Harold McNeil - The Buffalo News

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Harold McNeil

Harold McNeil has been a staff reporter for The Buffalo News since 1989. He currently covers Amherst.


The imperial structure behind the Rice family's modest Zimmerman Street house is attracting a great deal of attention in their Town of Tonawanda neighborhood.Passers-by are surprised to see this little home fit for king or queen on their pleasant tree-lined street."People are always coming in from off the street to ask if they can look at it," Julie Rice said of the 1…

Homeowners in the East Riverwoods Estate subdivision on Grand Island plan to sue the developer of the subdivision, charging he reneged on a deal giving them access to 70 feet of waterfront property near their homes.Since June, residents in the subdivision, off East River Road just south of the Holiday Inn, have been seeking an agreement with developer Robert W. Weaver…

Three Democratic candidates for the Tonawanda Town Board are asking Erie County Comptroller Alfreda Slominski to audit time sheets submitted by Councilman Raymond E. Sinclair at his job with the county's Home Energy Assistance Program.In an letter sent Monday to Mrs. Slominski, the candidates requested the audit to determine if Sinclair violated county or federal poli…

The City of Tonawanda seemed unusually still this morning.But life continued as usual for many city dwellers as nearly 500 mourners filed into St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Broad Street to pay their final respects to the late Mayor David L. Miller.The four-term Democratic mayor died of a heart attack Monday at his Buffalo business office in the Statler Towe…

The Tonawanda Common Council has scheduled a special session for Tuesday to decide who will succeed the late David L. Miller as mayor until November's election.Miller, 52, collapsed Monday in his Statler Towers office in downtown Buffalo. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed that he died of a heart attack, according to a spokesman for the Erie County medical examiner's…

City of Tonawanda and other officials expressed shock Monday at Mayor David L. Miller's unexpected death from a heart attack.Miller, 52, collapsed about 8 a.m. Monday at his Buffalo business office in the Statler Towers, 107 Delaware Ave."I spoke with him the other day, and there was no indication of any ill health," First Ward Alderwoman Esther Akins said. "I'm absol…

Delores Hoasienova is a bundle of energy displaying photographs of a grown son and a daughter back in Moscow.Her command of English is faltering, but that doesn't stop her from attempting to tell one anecdote after another about her Soviet homeland.Mrs. Hoasienova, 51, is staying in the home of a stranger on Buffalo's East Side. She and her younger son, Dennis, 16, en…

An Erie County Legislator says he is confident efforts by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to step up air monitoring at two coke-producing plants in the Tonawandas will alleviate persistent pollution problems in the area.Charles M. Swanick, D-Kenmore, said residents in the Riverview Heights area for years have been plagued by a black, sooty substance…

A complaint has been filed with the Erie County district attorney's office alleging that signatures were forged on election petitions circulated by Timothy Murray, City of Tonawanda economic development director.An assistant district attorney has been assigned to investigate the charges, Terry Wincott, executive assistant to the district attorney, said Friday.Donna A.…

Federal cleanup efforts at the former National Paint Manufacturing Corp., 153 Fillmore Ave., Tonawanda, will cost taxpayers nearly $800,000, according to officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.The agency, using money from the federal Superfund program, is directing the cleanup and removal of more than 500 drums of flammable materials stored at the plant…

The Abbey Nursing Home at 2865 Elmwood Ave. in the Town of Tonawanda became Catherine McAuley Manor this morning after a rededication ceremony.Kenmore Mercy Hospital had operated the 79-bed facility under a receivership agreement since 1986. After receiving approval from the state Health Department, the hospital purchased the nursing home Tuesday.Next spring, Kenmore …

A federal cleanup has begun at the former National Paint Manufacturing Co., 531 Fillmore Ave., Tonawanda, where some 500 drums of flammable materials have been stored, according to state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials.DEC officials identified the materials, mostly solvents, after a 1986 inspection of the fac…

State Supreme Court Judge Jerome C. Gorski Wednesday reserved decision on whether a Democratic candidate for Third Ward alderman in the City of Tonawanda could challenge petitions for two Republicancandidates.Democratic candidate James N. Penberthy is seeking to challenge petitions circulated for Third Ward Alderman Susan Gregg and another GOP candidate, Thomas Smeyer…

City of Tonawanda Economic Development Director Timothy Murray Tuesday denied allegations that he witnessed Board of Elections petitions containing forged signatures.The charges were made by Clinton Street resident Michael Skoney during a Common Council meeting Tuesday night. Skoney presented Council President John G. Lawrence signed affidavits from five Fletcher Stre…

The Tonawanda Common Council Tuesday night unanimously approved posting 7-mph maximum speed signs along the Riverwalk in Niawanda Park.The resolution, proposed by Second Ward Alderman William D. Sheldon, was approved in the wake of complaints that speeding bicyclists are endangering pedestrians using the walkway."A lot of city residents won't use (the riverwalk) becau…