Joseph Popiolkowski, The Buffalo News
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Joseph Popiolkowski

Joseph Popiolkowski is a reporter for The Buffalo News covering Buffalo's inner suburbs, including the towns of Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and West Seneca.


The owners of the former Westwood Country Club asked a judge to put the brakes on the Amherst Town Board's "accelerated" review of their proposal to redevelop the 170-acre site, mostly into homes. Mensch Capital Partners filed suit Monday in State Supreme Court — hours before a public hearing on the project's environmental impact — seeking to prevent the hearing and…

The superintendent of one of the Buffalo area's largest special education day schools has been replaced. Teri Byrne-Knell, a 31-year employee of the Stanley G. Falk School, is "no longer employed" as its superintendent, said Mary Cornwell, chief development officer for Child and Family Services, which operates the school's three locations as an affiliated program. M…

Emerging diseases, energy sustainability and severe weather are just some of the global issues today's students will be asked to solve using the skills they learn in the classroom, according to one local teacher. Kenneth L. Huff, a middle school science teacher in the Williamsville Central School District, was one of 10 teachers nationwide chosen to help promote the sc…

Freshmen just starting classes this month in Williamsville Central School District's three high schools will not have to fret over one number during their four years. The School Board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to eliminate class rank for its newest freshmen and all subsequent classes. It is the only known local district to have eliminated the metric, according to th…

Williamsville's real estate market is hot, numbers released this week show. The combined value of the village's properties has grown much faster than properties in the town of Amherst outside the village, according to a report by the Town Assessor's Office. After this year's townwide reassessment, the total taxable assessed value of the village's properties grew by…

Town of Hamburg Highway Superintendent Tom Best Sr. on Tuesday fended off a primary challenge from Megan M. Casey for the Independence Party line. Now, he'll have to beat Casey's brother, too. Ted Casey, the only Democratic candidate, and Best, the only Republican candidate, face each other in November. On Tuesday, they had primary challenges only on minor party ball…

James M. Shaw got more votes than Dennis Gaughan on Tuesday night. But to become the next Hamburg town supervisor, he’ll have to do it again in November. Shaw and Gaughan are both registered Democrats. Shaw received the Democratic endorsement and Gaughan was endorsed by the Republicans and challenged Shaw in the Democratic primary. Shaw won 75 percent of the vote i…

Williamsville's South Long Park would remain as-is under the terms of a downsized land swap proposal between the village and a housing developer. Village trustees had been considering swapping 1.8 acres of parkland with Natale Development so two parks could be connected. But cost estimates last month came back too high. The tentative deal now calls for the village to…

The total taxable assessed value of all properties in the Town of Amherst grew by nearly 19 percent following a town-wide reassessment this year, officials said. [PHOTO GALLERY: 10 highest-assessed homes in Amherst] After exemptions of $2.94 billion are factored in, the combined value of the town's 44,000 properties grew by $1.66 billion, to $10.46 billion, said Tow…

As Amherst prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2018, the town is seeking to compile important historical information on its website, including a list of the men and women who have served as its elected officials. The town is seeking qualified individuals for unpaid internships to assist with data entry. Attention to detail and proficiency in Microsoft Excel a…

Two homes in Amherst are the town's newest historic landmarks. The stone house at 38 Richfield Road and neoclassical style home at 23 Four Seasons West were given the designation last week by the Town Board. The Richfield house is one of only six remaining stone houses in the town and was owned by Peter Hershey, one of the first settlers of Amherst, who bought the lo…

None of the three Republican candidates in Tuesday's primary election for two seats on the Amherst Town Board want to see the former Westwood Country Club developed into a mix of housing for 1,700 people, retail and commercial space. They all want to see the privately-owned 171-acre site between Sheridan Drive and Maple Road remain as green space, either as a recreation…

There are no pay raises planned for Amherst's elected officials in 2018. Last year the Town Board in a 3-2 bipartisan vote approved 40 percent raises for council members, as well as pay increases for all elected town officials. The supervisor will continue to earn $105,000. The four councilmembers will each earn $35,000, with a $4,000 stipend for the deputy superviso…