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Maki Becker

Maki Becker is a staff reporter at The Buffalo News.


Maybe there's a reason they call it "baby" aspirin.Researchers at the University at Buffalo have embarked on a study to determine whether low-dose aspirin taken daily can help women get pregnant -- and stay pregnant.But they have run into a snag.They need 535 women to volunteer for the randomized testing. So far, they have only three."We have a long way to go," said a frus…

Six teenagers suspected of being part of a burglary crew targeting homes in Buffalo's Parkside area were arrested early Saturday morning after an attempt to break into a home on Crescent Avenue, police and city officials said.The six were nabbed by a special police detail formed after a home invasion at a Parkside Avenue home early Dec. 4, when a man awoke to find several …

Prom tickets were getting more and more expensive every year for the seniors at Gowanda Central High School.The price of the yearbook kept shooting up and up.The members of the varsity baseball team did extra fundraising to buy their jackets.It wasn't because of budget squeezing or even inflation.According to police and school officials, it was because a well-liked, unass…

It's another honor for City Honors.U.S. News & World Report has named the Buffalo school one of the top 100 high schools in the United States.City Honors was ranked No. 50 on the list -- the first time the news magazine, famed for its best colleges and universities lists, has rated high schools.The accolades came just six months after City Honors was named the nation's nin…

Efforts to keep St. Joseph Hospital open suffered a blow Tuesday when an appellate court dismissed the appeal of a State Supreme Court ruling upholding a state commission's decision to shutter the Cheektowaga hospital."While this is disappointing news," said Joseph McDonald, president and CEO of the Catholic Health System, "it does not discourage us from continuing our leg…

There's a 6-year-old Hamburg boy who is going to get something extra special from Santa this year.Little Connor Pelkey is credited with possibly saving his diabetic mother's life.The first-grader at Big Tree Elementary School came to the aid of his ailing mother early Saturday morning by calling 911 when she lost consciousness, according to Hamburg police.At about 1:30 a.m…

Buffalonians apparently know when to say when.A survey in the December issue of Men's Health rated Buffalo as the third "least dangerously drunk city" in America.The City of Good (and not stinkin' drunk) Neighbors was topped only by Miami, which took second place, and Durham, N.C., which came in first.The most dangerously drunk cities?The worst offender was Denver, followe…

Capt. Mark Morganti has been injured fighting blazes at three separate vacant house fires over his career -- but that's nothing unusual for city firefighters.His closest brush with death came about eight years ago, when he and his crew were in the attic of an abandoned house where they had just put out a fire.Morganti heard a terrible creaking sound, and the roof suddenly …

Buffalo firefighter Mark Reed, who has been hospitalized since Sunday night when he was severely injured while battling an arson fire at a vacant house, is continuing to show small, but promising, signs of recovery, Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo said Wednesday."He's still very critical, but he's stable," Lombardo told The Buffalo News after visiting Reed in the intens…

It sounded too good to be true -- a diamond tennis bracelet worth $3,000 being auctioned at a starting price of just one penny.But Anita Ortiz, 41, a Buffalo bus driver with a passion for jewelry, thought it was a dream come true."I like that piece," Ortiz recalled thinking when she saw the photo of the bracelet on eBay. "And that's not a bad price."Little did Ortiz know t…

An East Aurora man who left a box of rabies-infected raccoon babies at the doorstep of a West Seneca home last month identified himself to health authorities Thursday morning, Erie County Health Department officials said.The man, whose identity is being kept secret, called the Health Department after learning from a front-page article in Thursday's Buffalo News and reports…

The eight towering windmills that make up the Steel Winds wind farm at the old Bethlehem Steel plant site in Lackawanna are up and running.Nine months after developers broke ground on the unprecedented wind energy project, the giant blades can now be seen spinning in the strong, steady gusts off Lake Erie -- and they are not only generating electricity.They're creating a b…

It's a miracle that Mikey Kasprzyk is home now.It's an even bigger one that he and his mother, Michelle Kasprzyk, are alive at all.Both mother and child nearly died during delivery when Kasprzyk suffered an extremely rare and almost always fatal complication called amniotic fluid embolism during what was supposed to be a routine, induced labor Feb. 18.After three months of…

On display at a Fort Bragg, N.C., museum is a large, hand-painted sign that reads "Firebase Tycz" -- a tribute to Sgt. 1st Class Peter P. Tycz from the City of Tonawanda. His comrades in Afghanistan named their base of operations after the fallen soldier.To keep the memory of Staff Sgt. J.C. Matteson of Celeron alive, his father, James Matteson, drives his son's car and er…

The rapes may have begun as far back as 1977.Altemio C. Sanchez, who admitted Wednesday in court that he was the Bike Path Killer, would have been just 19 then.And he is now believed to have raped 16 girls and women, perhaps even more, over the last three decades."This monster is far-reaching," said Erie County Sheriff's Detective Alan N. Rozansky, a member of the task for…