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Mark Sommer

I have worked at the Buffalo News as an enterprise reporter, and as arts editor, for the past 17 years.


Buffalo

The planned Pavilion and Union Block buildings at Canalside were discussed in a Thursday presentation by HHL architect Matthew Meier in the Central Library's Mason O. Damon Auditorium. Meier discussed the buildings' materials and appearance, their location and planned use. But the public meeting for the previously-announced projects drew just 13 people on a frigid eveni…

National Fuel has resolved a problem at a transmission facility that prompted the utility to ask customers on Monday to cut back on their fuel consumption. The unspecified problem caused "natural gas deliverability concerns in five New York State counties," including Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany "The situation has been resolved and the transmis…

Bills

Still contemplating heading to Jacksonville for the big game? There were 2,003 tickets available on the secondary market's Stub Hub website on Wednesday morning. Tickets were available on other sites, too. There were tickets available all over the Jaguars' EverBank Stadium, but they're still going to cost a pretty penny. Here's what was found on Stub Hub: $200 …

Bills

Let's say you're contemplating a trip to Jacksonville, Fla., to root for the Bills in their playoff game this weekend, and you're not a snow bird. Here are some things you're going to want to think about first. Are tickets still available? Yes. Vivid Seats had 1,407 tickets available Monday afternoon online. The most expensive was $14,807 to sit in EverBank Stadium…

Buffalo

National Fuel has resolved a problem at a transmission facility that led it to ask customers on Monday to cut back on their fuel consumption. The unspecified problem caused "natural gas deliverability concerns in five New York State counties," including Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany "The situation has been resolved and the transmission system is…

Niagara County

Feb. 28, 1954 – Dec. 28, 2017 Bruce E. Phillips, a former Kodak machinist, died Friday in Niagara Hospice, Lockport, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 63. Mr. Phillips was born in Akron, Ohio, and graduated from North Tonawanda High School. He worked at Kodak as a machinist for 32 years before retiring in 2013. He began his own machinist company in 2000 and di…

Bills

It was 4 degrees outside, 1 in the morning and the end of a long night of New Year's celebration. Even so, hundreds of Buffalo Bills fans – perhaps 500 or more, many wearing Bills jerseys over their winter coats – waited in the bitter cold to cheer the players as they walked off their plane early in the New Year on Monday. https://www.facebook.com/WGR550/videos/16783…

Local News

On the last night of 2017, people in and around Buffalo found many things to celebrate, and many went out to do it together. For families, the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center was turned into a children's carnival Sunday night, as kids and their adults prepared to welcome in 2018 with good old-fashioned fun. The annual First Night celebration was crowded with kids e…

Buffalo

NIAGARA FALLS – Tourists don't just head out to Niagara Falls State Park in warm weather. On Saturday, bracingly cold weather in the teens attracted hardy visitors, many with cameras and smart phones in hand, who were marveling at the frosted tree branches, tree trunks swaddled in ice and the swift-moving current as it dropped over the American Falls in a shroud of mist…

Buffalo

Sleds speed down a toboggan run, one after the other, as ice skaters move about on three outdoor rinks. The movements of ballroom dancers are seen through a window and the soft glow of Christmas lights, as an outdoor seesaw, with a child at each end, goes up and down. These are just some of the scenes from "Carol's Village," a miniature world of over 300 houses, doze…

Buffalo

Residents of the Commodore Perry housing complex endured around 12 hours without heat, hot water or electricity starting Christmas morning before it was turned on around 3 p.m. Monday. The power outage began at least before 3 a.m., according to Pearl Waller, who lives at 320 Perry St. She woke up and found her television turned off at that time. She then discovered her …

Buffalo

A former president and CEO of the Buffalo Museum of Science has been tapped to lead the Richardson Olmsted Campus. Mark Mortenson, whose seven-year tenure at the science museum ended in 2015, will take over Jan. 10 as executive director of both the Richardson Center Corp. and the future Lipsey Architecture Center of Buffalo. Mortenson succeeds Monica Pellegrino Faix,…

Aug. 3, 1947 - Dec. 17, 2017 Thomas A. Biersbach, a retired Hamburg police officer, died Sunday from lung cancer at Elderwood Nursing Home. He was 70. Mr. Biersbach was born in Buffalo and was a longtime Hamburg resident. He graduated Frontier High School in Hamburg, and served in the Army as a military police sergeant stationed in Germany. After the service, Mr. …

Buffalo

A 33-year-old Buffalo man died Wednesday following a one-vehicle crash in Niagara Falls, according to the Niagara Falls Police Department. The name of the driver was not released by Niagara Falls Police on Wednesday night. The man was driving east on Buffalo Avenue near 56th Street when his 2001 Honda Accord apparently left the road and struck a traffic signal suppor…

Businesses on Jefferson Avenue, between East Ferry and East Utica streets, will receive free public Wi-Fi beginning in January. "This will be a great asset for businesses and residences along Jefferson Avenue," Mayor Byron W. Brown said. "JEFFREE Wi-Fi will continue the build-up and massive investments we are planning to make on Jefferson Avenue." Brown announced the…