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Lou Michel

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.


Saluting Our War Heroes

Two decades ago, World War II Army veteran Don Weimer began writing poems about the war. Such verse, the bard says, helped him put his military service in perspective and better understand the trials of his fellow soldiers. One of his poems about a vet who received a "Dear John" letter, Weimer said, represents what sometimes happened when soldiers went off to war: The g…

Erie County

Paul Woods had it tough as a boy growing up in Alabama. He was 7 when his father died in July 1930. A month later, his mother died. "My uncle came to my mother's gravesite and took me to his farm," Woods said of how he came to work on his uncle's 500-acre spread in Sulligent, Ala. As the years passed, Woods said he dreamed of "seeing the other side of the world." …

Local News

After Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Gwendolyn Hawkins-Rutledge received orders that she was headed to the first Gulf War. She had entered the Navy on a whim when she was 18 and never expected that she would have to fight in a war. Complicating matters when she was told to prepare for Operation Desert Storm was the fact that her husband, als…

Buffalo

The ousted former chairman of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park plans to fight his removal from the board of directors, according to the former board vice chairman who resigned last month. The board on Thursday removed Don Alessi from the board and issued a statement citing allegations of workplace misconduct involving Alessi and the former board vic…

A  vacant post for deputy police commissioner in the Buffalo Police Department was filled this morning with the promotion of Central District Chief Joseph A. Gramaglia. The vacancy occurred after Byron Lockwood was appointed police commissioner earlier this year when Daniel Derenda left the post to take a position in the private sector. At the promotion ceremony,…

Buffalo

University at Buffalo officials identified the student who was injured while crossing Main Street near the UB South Campus early Wednesday as Kevin L. Guichard, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. They said that he is not a local resident. The 19-year-old student remained in critical condition Thursday in Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo Police Capt. Jeff Rin…

Saluting Our War Heroes

As far back as Edwin L. Garris can remember, he wanted to be a soldier. Brotherly influence played a role. The youngest of seven children, Garris'  four brothers all served in the military. Determined to follow in their footsteps, he signed up for delayed entry into the Army during his senior year at Kensington High School. "I had two brothers in the Army, one bro…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Nine miles out at sea when an atomic bomb ignited at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, 19-year-old Frank G. Buzzelli watched as the mushroom cloud swelled above the tiny island's lagoon. He and other sailors aboard the Navy's USS Mount McKinley were given sunglasses and told to turn their backs. "They told us to close our eyes, but I still saw a flash of light when …

Saluting Our War Heroes

For Teddy Bucki and other Marines, it was a job just getting onto the beaches to fight the enemy at Iwo Jima. The first challenge occurred with their transfer from the bigger troop ships to the smaller landing crafts tossed about in rough seas. "We were each wearing two backpacks, one hooked to the other, and we had our rifles. We climbed down rope ladders and had to…

Saluting Our War Heroes

At a time when peace, love and flower power were taking root in young people in the 1960s, Daniel M. Perlinger said he was an angry young man. "And that's putting it mildly," the 69-year-old combat Marine added. At 16 years old from South Buffalo, he signed up for the Marine Corps knowing it would be his ticket to Vietnam. He says he did not know much about life at t…

Buffalo

The Buffalo police officer who struck and killed a North Buffalo woman out for her early morning walk on Friday did not have his patrol car's flashing lights or siren activated, according to three police sources. The officer, identified by the three police sources as Daniel G. Ahearn, was not required to turn on the lights and siren because he was responding to a "routi…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When the Cold War was heating up with fear of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, many Americans had constructed backyard bomb shelters in the hopes of surviving. Bob M. Manke, who grew up in Kenmore, shared those same worries of possible nuclear annihilation, but from a different vantage point. He was at the bottom of the Earth living in bu…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When George M. Morreale turned 18 on Dec. 7, 1943, he registered at the local draft board at Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street in Niagara Falls. Morreale was a student at Trott Vocational High School, where he was learning how to become a draftsman. He was certain the military would summon him to duty after he graduated in June 1944. But Uncle Sam surprised the aspiring…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When Joseph R. Burgio was drafted into the Navy for service in World War II, his mother objected. Joseph was the youngest of nine children and three of his five brothers already were in the military. Carmela Burgio and her ailing husband, Ignatius, were in their 70s and depended on Joseph's paycheck from Bell Aircraft. The mother felt her family already was making a …