Nancy A. Fischer - The Buffalo News

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Nancy A. Fischer

A lifelong resident of Western New York and reporter for the Buffalo News for over 20 years covering Erie County Northtowns


After rejecting the option for years, the Clarence Town Board is considering leasing light duty work vehicles and small transportation vans instead of buying new ones. Highway Superintendent James A. Dussing said at the board's meeting Wednesday that the town has 21 vehicles it tries to replace on a revolving three-year cycle. But even with the trade-in, the town will n…

Erie County

The City of Tonawanda Common Council faced a firestorm when it narrowly approved a resolution to override the 2018 budget tax cap in September, as Council members and the mayor ran for re-election. City Treasurer Joseph Hogenkamp urged the Council on Tuesday to vote to override the tax cap as early as possible this year to avoid "playing a game of chicken" in September.…

Clarence

The Clarence Town Board rejected plans for a nine-unit subdivision on the site of the Clarence U-Pick Blueberry Farm on Shimerville Road. But board members stressed after the meeting that the decision had nothing to do with the loss of blueberries. The plan does not meet town codes, they said. The proposal would have landlocked one of two houses on the 36-acre lot if…

Art

The City of Tonawanda hopes to erect a 16-foot-tall abstract metal sculpture that pays tribute to the Erie Canal on top of the covered canal if supporters can raise $50,000 to $60,000. The city's Visual and Performing Arts Council has commissioned sculptor Henry J. Schmidt to create a sculpture called "The Canal Remembered" that would sit in Niawanda Park along the Niag…

Erie County

Deputy City Attorney S. Michael Rua was named city attorney on an interim basis by the Tonawanda Common Council on Tuesday. He replaces Ronald C. Trabucco, the city attorney for 22 years, who announced his retirement. Rua will serve in the position until the end of December, but will need to run for election in November to remain in the position. Tuesday was Trabu…

Erie County

Tonawanda City Clerk Gayle Syposs said she never saw her job as just issuing dog licenses and marriage certificates. Instead, she saw her role as advising the City Council. "Anybody can issue marriage certificates and dog licenses, but the city clerk needs to be the eyes and ears to the City Council," she said. "My value to the Council is my history with the city." …

Remember when sneakers, T-shirts and shorts were all you needed in gym class? Students are bringing iPads to gym class at Hoover Elementary School in the Town of Tonawanda as part of the school's iFitness program, which encourages third- and fourth-graders to create physical fitness videos, integrating technology with physical fitness. Physical education teacher Heat…

Education

Assistant Superintendent of Finance John Brucato thinks the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board should propose a new $66 million capital project before the end of the year. Brucato said he thinks the district's finances are healthy enough to vote on a new project in December. Voters approved a $59 million project in 2009 and $51.6 million plan in 2014. "We try …

Local News

The 31st annual Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools' SleepOut will be held at Hoover Middle School from 8 p.m. Feb. 2 to 6 a.m. the next day in the the parking lot along Sheridan Drive. Students, family members and other participants sleep outside in refrigerator boxes to raises awareness of those in need. In the 30 years since the first SleepOut was organized by the late Sa…

Erie County

All 30 officers in the City of Tonawanda Police Department have had body cameras for the past three years, but Chief William Strassburg says he would like to consider dashboard cameras for patrol cars. "At first I didn't think we needed them, because we had body cameras, but now I'm seriously considering putting them in patrol cars," Strassburg recently told the Council…

Erie County

The Town of Tonawanda will spend at least $2.7 million on general highway repairs this year. Highway Superintendent Thomas C. Jones said the final highway road repair budget will be determined once his department receives state funding. Three major road repair projects are under consideration — Willowgrove Court at Ellicott Creek Road, a $24,760 project; Abbington Av…

Erie County

The Town of Tonawanda intends to plant  510 trees over the next two years. The tree planting project was made possible through a $75,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Town crews will do the planting. Highway Superintendent Thomas Jones said in the past the town planted 100 to 200 trees a year, but those numbers have been down due to b…

Crime

City of Tonawanda Officer Thomas Kitson thought he saw a shadow as he patrolled the Fillmore Avenue business district at 3:55 a.m. Thursday. Then he spotted two men taking tools out of a warehouse on Peuquet Parkway, which was being used for storage by a Snap-On tool dealer. The suspects ran from the scene, police said. Matthew T. Banks-Jubert, 23, of Olcott Ave.,…

Business

Unifrax, which makes a polycrystalline fiber product, is finishing up a 83,000 square-foot expansion in the North Youngmann Commerce Center, but the company presented a preliminary plan for an additional 33,000 square foot expansion to the Town of Tonawanda Planning Board on Wednesday. James Hartz, director of planning and development for the town, said the second expan…

Erie County

A City of Tonawanda parks vehicle crashed through the ice last week while clearing snow from the Ives Park skating pond off of Delaware Street. The driver, Fred Sparks, was uninjured, according to police, but the 2016 Jeep appears to be a total loss, according to Mayor Rick Davis. It was not the first time this has happened. "It seems like every so often we have a…