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.


A dozen streets in the Village of Williamsville will be milled and repaved this month, officials said. They are: Two alleyways between Eagle Street and Swan Place; Belmont Place, between Mill and Evans streets; Chalmers Street, between N. Ellicott and Evans streets; Edward Street, between Mill and N. Ellicott streets; Glen Avenue, between North Long an…

Hammers will be thrown and cabers tossed during the Buffalo Heavies Highland Games, a highlight of this weekend's 33rd annual Buffalo Niagara Scottish Festival. The festival opens at 10 a.m. both days at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755, Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst. Other highlights includes entertainment by Red Hot Celtic Night, fiddler Mari Black, piper Cra…

Dogs will bark and cats will meow once again in the former headquarters of the SPCA Serving Erie County. The Ensminger Road site in the Town of Tonawanda, home to the SPCA for 55 years, this fall will become the second location for Creature Comforts Pet Resort, which offers luxury boarding, day care, grooming and training. Animals there will be pampered in bedrooms…

Registration is now open for the 9th annual Tour de Farms, a scenic bicycle tour of urban and rural farms and community gardens in Erie County on Sept. 16. The 35-mile "Classic Tour" starts on Buffalo's West Side and stops for a light lunch at the halfway point at Bippert's Farm in Elma. The ride ends at Oles Family Farm in Alden with a celebration. Participants may…

Thirty-six names will be added to the Amherst Veterans Memorial Wall during a ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday in Amherst State Park. They are: Marine Corps: Douglas J. Parker, Gerard P. Styn. Army Air Force: William M. Smith, Joseph R. Coppola. Air Force: William D. Woodworth, Philip V. Vullo, Gerhardt H. Kaese. Army: Richard J. Dentinger, Harold M. Wagner, Cliffo…

For several dozen Praxair employees, this year's United Way Day of Caring turned into several Days of Caring. Staff at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park had asked the volunteers to sand and stain the wooden deck of the submarine USS Croaker on the 25th annual community service event held Wednesday. But after one look at the deck's current state,…

The prospects for a land swap between Williamsville and a housing developer that is bitterly opposed by some village residents dimmed this week after estimates for parkland improvements came in significantly higher than expected. The estimated cost of putting South Long Park back together after a land swap was put at as much as $1.25 million – much higher than village…

Owners of 190 commercial and upscale residential properties in Amherst have gone to State Supreme Court seeking assessment reductions totaling $194 million. It's the final battleground over this year's townwide reassessment. And the outcome could affect the tax bills sent to all other Amherst property owners. Town officials say they’ll aggressively defend their …

A vacant home in Amherst is slated for demolition, unless a judge halts it. The Town Board awarded a $28,000 bid by Regional Environmental Demolition of Niagara Falls to demolish the home at 46 Royal Parkway West. Just before the vote, Town Attorney Stanley Sliwa told the board his office was expecting a judicial order preventing the demolition. At a public hearin…

The Aquarium of Niagara's new harbor seal pup has a new name: Zara. The announcement comes after a week of public voting between two names, Dill or Zara, an aquarium spokeswoman said. The first harbor seal pup to be born at the aquarium in 30 years arrived July 13. Zara was first suggested by the aquarium’s executive director, Gary Siddall, to represent the pup…

Some high school seniors fret all year over one number – their class rank. It's a statistic that can be considered during the college admissions process. But the Williamsville School Board is considering eliminating class rank, starting with the district's incoming high school students. The proposal follows a nationwide trend toward ending calculation of class rank…

Leaders of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy are not giving up on their effort to change the state's plan to transform the Scajaquada Expressway into a lower-speed boulevard. Top state Department of Transportation officials on Tuesday rejected the conservancy's call to restrict the stone arch bridge over Delaware Avenue to pedestrians and bicyclists and to re-route…

New York's $104 million plan to turn the Scajaquada Expressway into a lower-speed boulevard will not include restricting the stone arch bridge over Delaware Avenue to pedestrians and bicyclists, state officials said Tuesday. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy last month called for connecting the bridge to Delaware Park's Ring Road, giving pedestrians and bicyclists …

Tax rates in the Williamsville Central School District have decreased as a result of Amherst's townwide reassessment, officials said. The total assessed value of all properties in the district increased by 6.88 percent, allowing the $120.4 million tax levy for 2017-18 to be distributed across a wider base. Even so, a property owner's school tax bill may increase, dec…

Main Street in Williamsville will be shut down to traffic from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, between Cayuga Road and Mill Street, for the fifth annual Picture Main Street Block Party. The party starts at 6 p.m. The village started the annual event in 2013, largely as a symbolic gesture in its crusade to take back Main Street from all the traffic. The state Department of Tran…