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Maki Becker

Maki Becker is a staff reporter at The Buffalo News.


Buffalo

A friend of the Conti family who requested anonymity told The Buffalo News that Joseph Conti admitted to her he accidentally set some bedding on fire while using a blowtorch to light a cigarette. The fire spread and his 7-year-old son, Anthony David, died in the three-alarm fire that destroyed their family home Monday. Several TV news stations also reported that unnamed…

Education

Just before Natalie Lewis died in a hot air balloon accident in Virginia on May 9, 2014, she sent her mother in Buffalo a text message: "I’m going up up to see this beautiful world from up above!” That was just like her – her soaring spirit, strong Catholic faith and uncanny ability to brighten someone's day, her mother, Trish Lewis, said. "All of us suffer loss," he…

Education

A former headmaster at Nichols School accused of failing to do enough about inappropriate relationships between teachers and students has resigned from his current job as headmaster of a boys school outside Cleveland, Ohio, school officials confirmed. "With extraordinary sadness, I have realized that my ongoing presence has become a distraction to the important work of …

Local News

The distribution of "precious blood" is suspended. No physical contact should be made in church during the exchange of the sign of peace. Holy water fonts should be drained, cleaned with disinfecting soap and refilled with holy water on a regular basis. And ministers of Holy Communion should take care not to touch the tongues or hands of the faithful. Welcome t…

Crime

A Cheektowaga man who was behind the wheel of a vehicle that struck and killed an 18-year-old bicyclist on Aug. 11 pleaded guilty Thursday before State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski, the Erie County District Attorney's Office announced. Paul Hintermeier, 37, pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident resulting i…

Local News

Three people escaped from a fire at a home at 5573 S. Abbott Road in Orchard Park early Thursday morning, Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec said. The fire was reported just before 3 a.m. It began in the garage, destroying two of three cars inside, and caused some damage to the house, officials said. No injuries were reported. Investigators were still at the sce…

Local News

Route 5 was back open as of about 7:30 a.m. after an accident on Route 5  closed the inbound side at Tifft street to Ohio Street, NITTEC reported. The accident was reported at 6:52 a.m. Heavy congestion was reported behind the accident scene. https://twitter.com/NITTEC/status/956505710917013504

Crime

Whatever happened to ski masks? For the second day in a row, a thief wearing a very obvious wig held up a bank branch in Buffalo. The latest came at 1 p.m. Tuesday at an M&T Bank branch at 788 Tonawanda St. Two robbers approached the tellers, screaming and demanding money, police said. A surveillance camera image shows the robbers, one wearing a long, curly wi…

Business

The Babies R Us store on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst is among 182 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores the nationwide chain plans to close, according to USA Today. The company plans to shutter a fifth of its stores as part of its restructuring. The Toys R Us on Sheridan Drive will remain open. Also two other Toys R Us locations in the Buffalo area will remain open – …

Local News

The Stevenson Street bridge was closed to traffic midday Tuesday because of concerns over an ice jam forming there in Cazenovia Creek, city and county officials said. "Just talked to Don Polito of Buffalo's Engineering Division," tweeted County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who posted photos of the ice-filled creek. "We both were watching an ice jam at the Stevenson Road Br…

Crime

Two robbers wearing long, curly wigs held up an M&T Bank branch at 1300 Jefferson Ave. at about 2:10 p.m. Monday, Buffalo police said. The robbers passed a note to a teller demanding money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. They were last seen heading north on Jefferson. Police asked anyone with information about the incident to call or text the police …

A Byron teenager was arrested Monday on multiple misdemeanor charges involving girls ages 15 to 17 following an investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, state police said. Anthony L. Miraglia, 18, was charged with 2nd-degree unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and 3rd-degree sex abuse. The inves…

Crime

Four people were arrested following a brawl inside an apartment on Klinger Avenue in the City of Tonawanda early Sunday that left two police officers hurt, City of Tonawanda Police Capt. Fredric Foels said. When police arrived at the apartment at about 3 a.m., they found several people fighting and furniture strewn about, Foels said. During the melee, one officer was…

Local News

Firefighters were on the scene of an occupied house fire at 45 Shepard St., north of Broadway midday Friday. The blaze was reported at about 12:30 a.m. Firefighters encountered heavy flames on the second floor. The cause was under investigation, fire officials said. The Red Cross was assisting four people who lived at the house.

Crime

A City of Tonawanda man who ran from police after he was pulled over for allegedly speeding early Thursday was found half an hour later hiding behind a garbage tote, City of Tonawanda Police Capt. Fredric Foels said. When police tracked him down, the driver, identified as Michael C. Rauch, 27, said "I ran because I have warrants." It turned out there were two warran…