Share this article

print logo

Maki Becker

Maki Becker is a staff reporter at The Buffalo News.


For the family of Linda Yalem, Altemio C. Sanchez's unexpected guilty pleas to her murder and those of two other women meant that a 17-year wait for justice had finally come to an end.For Christine Mazur, the plea brought an overwhelming sense of relief that the man who robbed her of the mother she never got to know will "rot in prison."And for Dr. William Barney, Sanchez'…

Marie Lucas has lived her entire life in the Lovejoy District house her grandfather built in 1917. Now she is in danger of losing it.Her homeowner's insurance company canceled her policy late last year because the exterior of the house is in terrible disrepair -- and Lucas can't afford to fix it.With no insurance -- a requirement for her mortgage -- the mortgage company i…

Ann Figueroa spent much of Friday picking through the charred, soggy remains of the home of her mother and aunt on Busti Avenue."Everything is gone," she said. "Forty, fifty years of family history. Generation after generation. Everything."A fierce two-alarm fire set Thursday night by an arsonist at an, abandoned house at 270 Busti spread quickly to 272 Busti, destroying t…

It was a gorgeous spring day on Sunday -- perfect for fathers and sons to come together for an afternoon of fishing at the annual Great Wellsville Trout Derby.But the popular community event turned tragic when a volunteer firefighter died trying to rescue another man and his teenage son who had become trapped in a powerful whirlpool.The firefighter's own son nearly drow…

The average price at the pump in Western New York has gone up to $2.95 a gallon -- and in some spots it has surpassed the $3 mark.The Mobil station at Elmwood and Forest avenues, across from Buffalo Psychiatric Center, was at a whopping $3.09 Friday.And it has everyone wondering: Will it get worse?The experts are divided.Many believe that gas prices have nearly peaked and …

The Amherst toddler who died Tuesday when her mother backed a car over her was at least the 12th child in the country to be killed in April in such an incident, according to a group that tracks car-related child fatalities."This happens so frequently," said Janette E. Fennell, founder of Kansas-based Kids and Cars.Calette McCrea, 18 months, somehow got out of her home and …

The mayor of the Big Apple is being a big baby.Not only is New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg too chicken to wager on the upcoming series between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres, as reported in Tuesday's Buffalo News, but his press office has sent out a snarky salvo as to why the billionaire mayor just can't be bothered to put his money -- or even a lousy…

An Amherst toddler died Tuesday afternoon, just hours after her mother backed over the girl with her car, police said.Kristin McCrea, 26, of Cornell Avenue in Eggertsville, told investigators that she thought her 22-month-old daughter, Collett, was in their house while she went to the garage to back her car out.McCrea said she had intended to leave the girl inside the hous…

Gas prices are back up to $3 a gallon, and among those hardest hit by the rising cost of fuel are the volunteers of Meals on Wheels."It's really getting expensive now," lamented Juanita Tillmon, 80, of Buffalo, who has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Western New York for 27 years.Living on a fixed income and taking care of her 103-year-old mother, Tillmon said sh…

Police Officer Carl E. Andolina has become a hero to all of Buffalo since the night he and his partner, Patricia A. Parete, were shot by a teenage gunman.Andolina grabbed the gunman, wrestled him to the ground with his bare hands, even as the teenager continued to fire his gun, striking Andolina twice.Now, the 41-year-old Buffalo cop has a chance at being nationally recog…

Cheektowaga police were investigating three unrelated robberies of businesses that took place within a 12-hour period Tuesday."Three in a day? For Cheektowaga, that's a little heavy," Capt. John Glascott said Wednesday.The first took place at 6:50 a.m., when a man in a gray coat with a basketball emblem and a black and white baseball cap walked into the Wilson Farms at 105…

Dean Waldron picked up the telephone at his Oakfield home shortly after 10 a.m. Monday to hear his son screaming."Dad! Did you get my text message?!"Waldron had no idea what his 19-year-old son, Matt, a football player at Virginia Tech, was talking about.Had there been a car accident? Waldron recalled thinking.His son had, in fact, been calling from his cell phone while ru…

A Buffalo artist is the recipient of a quirky international prize for his even quirkier book: "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification."Julian Montague, 34, has earned London-based Bookseller/Diagram's first prize for oddest book title.The West Side artist described "Stray Shopping Carts," published by Harry N. Abrams, as an art p…

Mayor Byron W. Brown's son says he is "very sorry" for taking his parents' SUV on his now-infamous Feb. 24 joy ride and that he is owning up to his acts, the family's attorney said Thursday in a statement."I am very sorry," Byron W. Brown Jr., 16, said Thursday in a statement released by his family's lawyer. "I want to apologize to my mother and father, my teachers and my …

A fire broke out at about noon Wednesday at a West Seneca building that houses the town's satellite Auto Bureau and West Seneca's youth recreation program, county and fire officials said.The fire was reported at 12:05 p.m. at 50 Legion Parkway, behind West Seneca Town Hall, but was extinguished within an hour, said Vigilant Fire Chief John Gullo. No one was hurt, and there…