Lou Michel, The Buffalo News
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Lou Michel

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Lou Michel is the main crime reporter for The Buffalo News, coauthor of the bestseller, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing." He has received numerous state and national journalism awards.

A conference to discuss a "spiritual solution" to the deadly opioid epidemic gripping the region and country is set for Tuesday at the Newman Center on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus. Organizers are urging local clergy to attend so that they can gain insights into how to help their congregations, including how to set up support groups. The Rev. Jan Hubbard of…

Norman R. Hameister took his uncle's advice and enlisted in the Navy, rather than face the likelihood of the Army drafting him into World War II. His Uncle Charlie knew all about the Army and marching into harm's way. He had served in the  killing fields of World War I. "I had about two years of high school at Hutch-Tech and quit to join the Navy at 17. My uncle sig…

An aerial drone crashed through a window on the 23rd floor of Buffalo City Hall. No one was in the office when the craft landed in an office late Wednesday afternoon after workers had gone home for the day, police said. Its operator didn't even know what happened to the drone and later called police asking if anyone had found it. "I'm actually surprised it broke t…

I spent Sunday heartbroken after hearing Jimmy Breslin, the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning New York City newspaper columnist and author, had died. He was 88 and had been my friend for all of my adult life. Many others will also make this claim, and it will all be true. Jimmy was loved by many. The first time I found out about him was when I was watching the TV news in…

When Angelo C. Ianni arrived at Fort Niagara for processing into World War II, the draftee took notice of other 18-year-olds who were crying. They were homesick, he realized. “You have to understand that back in those days people never left their own communities. Many of these young men had never been away from home,” said Ianni. He did not cry then, but he di…

Investigators were dealing with a confusing domestic situation as they tried to determine what exactly happened to 2-year-old Ethan Bigham on March 10, and who inflicted the injuries that led to the toddler's death four days later. Ethan was one of nine people staying in the small mobile home at 2039 Hemstreet Road in Marilla, authorities said. Ethan's mother lived t…

Organizers of the annual Gold Star Family Honor and Remembrance Ceremony and Dinner are seeking to honor individuals who died serving the nation. While the 2017 gathering is months away --- the evening of Sept. 30 at the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts on the North Campus --- members of The Patriot Guardians  want to get the word out that they are seeking t…

Thinking ahead to the warmer weather, the Buffalo Police Department is asking anyone with "new or gently used" bicycles to donate them  for its 2017 Bike Drive. "We'll be distributing them to kids throughout the city in the spring and summer," said Community Police Capt. Steve Nichols. "If the bicycles need minor repairs, the children will do them with the officers." …

One of 2-year-old Ethan Bigham's organs went to a little boy in Texas. Another part of him was transplanted into a 55-year-old Buffalo woman. "At this point that's what is keeping me going, knowing that my son is a miracle by helping others," Ethan's mother Heather Schoepflin said Tuesday. Just hours earlier she kissed Ethan goodbye before he was wheeled into surgery…

Two-year-old Ethan Bigham has been taken off life support. Ethan was taken off life support at Women & Children's Hospital after organs from his body were donated for transplant to other children, authorities said. A 17-year-old baby-sitter is accused of beating the Marilla toddler and initially was charged with first-degree assault, according to authorities. …

At 17 years old and a junior at Wellsville High School in 1943, Peter T. Xanthos skipped school for a day and hitchhiked 35 miles to Olean, the nearest Navy recruiting office. “I walked in and there was a petty officer and I told him I wanted to enlist. Everyone wanted to enlist back then. That was the spirit. All my friends were enlisting,” said Xanthos, who rememb…

A Buffalo parolee  threatened a woman with a knife and inappropriately touched her last month, Buffalo police authorities said Friday. Langston R. Austin, 51, also known as Langston Block, was charged with attempted sexual assault forcible touching, menacing and an additional assault count, police said. He was taken into custody late Wednesday night at his Gibson St…

The 4-year-old girl who was police said was kidnapped Thursday by her mother after she lost custody of the child was located this morning at a location on Academy Road in Buffalo, police said. The girl was unharmed and her mother is in custody, said Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo. At a Friday afternoon news conference, Rinaldo announced six charges were placed against Lawso…

Police officers removed 87 guns from Buffalo's streets last month – an average of three a day – as the Police Department confronts an influx of guns that it says has contributed to the high number of homicides so far this year. "Whenever we have a spike in shootings and shooting-related homicides, we see that it correlates with the number of guns on the streets," Po…