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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.


Amherst

The Williamsville Central School District has locked in a busing contract through the 2023-24 school year. The School Board on Thursday approved a five-year renewal of the district's contract with Student Transportation of America. The new contract begins with the 2019-20 school year and increases are based on the consumer price index, said Thomas Maturski, assistant su…

Amherst

Amherst's West Royal Park is getting a $260,000 makeover, and the community is being called on to help install the new playground. A community build at the park between the I-290 and Royal Parkway West is scheduled for June 23. It will be similar to a playground build held last year at the town's Billy Wilson Park. New equipment will include a "play shaper structure"…

Local News

How long does it take to walk from Williamsville Village Hall to Glen Park? Two minutes, according to a new sign unveiled Tuesday in the village's Pocket Park off Main Street next to Village Hall. The sign lists walk times to various parks, schools and other public spaces in the village. “Our one-square mile Village is very walkable, but we are located in the mid…

Education

The seven candidates vying for three seats on the Williamsville Board of Education have been invited to participate in a public forum Thursday. The forum hosted by the district's PTSA Council begins at 7 p.m. in the district office boardroom, 105 Casey Road, East Amherst. Candidates will make opening statements, then respond to questions submitted by audience members. T…

The union representing the Williamsville Central School District's teachers has endorsed two incumbents and a newcomer for three seats on the School Board. The Williamsville Teachers' Association Monday announced its endorsements of current board members Shawn P. Lemay and Mark Mecca, as well as Eric Borenstein, a retired performing arts executive who ran symphony orche…

Don't be surprised to see at least a dusting of snow Sunday morning, or even up to an inch in the higher elevations south of Buffalo. But that snow will be gone by the afternoon, said David Church, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Buffalo, as temperatures warm to the mid 40s and the precipitation changes over to rain. The sky will be overcast, but …

Obituaries

Sept. 27, 1933 – April 25, 2018 Ellen R. Denecke was a nurturing, mother figure to more than just her own 10 children. As a young mother of three children expecting her fourth in South Buffalo in the 1950s, she took in her husband's two teenage brothers after their mother died. "She used to have to, in her early 20s, go to parent meetings at Timon High School for …

Education

There will be no agenda or set topic Saturday morning when the Williamsville Board of Education meets for a community forum. The town hall style meeting will give parents, residents and staff members a chance to talk about any education-related issues. Board members and Superintendent Scott Martzloff will be on hand to discuss school-related topics and answer questio…

Local News

Elected officials and traffic experts in Amherst and Williamsville agree that South Union Road should be reduced from four lanes to three. Some of the people who live there beg to differ. About a dozen residents attended an information session Monday night during the Village Board's regular meeting, with many expressing concerns about the state Department of Transpor…

Local News

An Amherst woman who celebrated her 106th birthday on April 5 was honored last week by the Town Board. Celestine "Sally" Siemenkowski Szemenciak lived in Sloan for nearly 100 years before moving to Amherst in 2015. In addition to her five children, she has eight grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. Her great-granddaughter, Emily …

Local News

A proposed "road diet" for South Union Road in the Town of Amherst and Village of Williamsville will be the subject of a public information session Monday night. The state Department of Transportation has proposed reducing the roadway's four travel lanes down to one lane in the northbound and southbound directions with a two-way center turn lane and shoulder. The projec…

Amherst

The Town of Amherst has its first official Facebook page. The first post on the page launched Monday promotes an upcoming series of 10 neighborhood forums, which begin Tuesday in Eggertsville and continue through May 31 in Swormville. At the forums, residents will have the chance to tell town officials what future development they want to see in their neighborhoods. …

Amherst

Amherst property owners might be going through another reassessment in less than two years. The town last year put a new value on each of its 44,000 properties, but officials are already eyeing 2020 for the next project – a year earlier than anticipated. The goal is to make sure the new assessments match what properties would sell for in the open market so owners are…

An out-of-town developer is again asking the Amherst Town Board to approve plans for a $50 million student housing complex near the University at Buffalo North Campus. The Town Board in July denied Core Campus' request to lift deed restrictions on the property and issue a special-use permit to build the 154-unit complex on North Forest Road. Tenants of the nearby Bryant…

Business

Add one more name to the list of chain stores that sell groceries along a 1.5-mile stretch of the Niagara Falls Boulevard corridor in west Amherst. Price Rite Marketplace on Sunday opened its first Amherst store, and fourth store in the Buffalo area, at 4224 Maple Road. Price Rite joins at least nine other chains in the area, including Whole Foods, BJ's Wholesale Clu…