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Stephen T. Watson

Stephen T. Watson is a staff reporter who writes about development, real estate and business in the towns of Amherst and Clarence. He is a native and resident of the Town of Tonawanda and a graduate of the University at Buffalo and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


Wilson Buck has a Facebook profile with 187 close friends, a map showing every place in the world he has visited and photos he shot with his digital camera.He regularly checks out MySpace, craigslist and NYSpeed.com, and he orders parts online for his Toyota Scion tC that he has shipped to his mother's house in Orchard Park.None of this is unusual, except that Buck is doin…

There aren't a lot of Buffalo Sabres fans in Salt Lake City, so Rachael Orejana went online to find someone who could talk to her about her favorite team.David Hill responded to her ad on the "Strictly Platonic" section of craigslist.com, and the two became good Internet pals.Last November, Orejana flew to Buffalo to visit Hill."I found him to be very much the same as the …

Jason Jeswald showed up with his wife, Kelly; 4-month-old daughter, Emily; and a copy of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" to pass the time while waiting.Mike Bronaugh brought a record of the $1,000 he got after winning on a $2 scratch-off lottery ticket last year.And Stan Simpson came with a plan for spending his refund."It's about time for a new mattress," said…

When Pat Geraci joined M. Wile & Co. in 1967, he began in the cutting room of the garment manufacturer's plant on Goodell Street in Buffalo.He spent 39 years with M. Wile and later Hartmarx Corp., and was one of 120 garment workers who lost their jobs when the company closed its Elmwood Avenue factory in late 2006.Today Geraci finds himself returning to the Goodell Street …

When Assemblyman Sam Hoyt wanted a crowd to fill a nightclub for a concert and campaign event for then-gubernatorial candidate Eliot L. Spitzer, he turned to the Web site Facebook to complete the guest list.When Niagara County Legislator Andrea McNulty needed help for a last weekend of electioneering, her campaign manager took out a Facebook ad.And Laura Manley volunteered…

Erie County employees who covet brand-new chairs or state-of-the-art computers may be out of luck for the near future.That's because new County Executive Chris Collins wants county workers to reuse the county's vast inventory of surplus furniture and electronic equipment before buying new items.In fact, Collins and top county officials on Friday canceled an auction schedul…

A school nurse from McKean County, Pa., who was serving with an Army National Guard unit in Afghanistan has died from injuries he suffered in a roadside bombing, the Pennsylvania National Guard confirmed Saturday.Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini, 52, of Eldred, Pa., was severely injured Jan. 2 in eastern Afghanistan when his Humvee drove by an improvised explosive device, sa…

It's impossible to make sweeping generalizations about what people seek online, but any attempt to do this must start with Britney Spears.Spears, other paparazzi magnets and the gossip sites that feed our unending appetite for celebrity news are what people most often search for when they go on the Web.That's based on new data from the largest Internet search engines showi…

Irish pubs, or at least the Western New York version of them, seem to be all the fashion in downtown Buffalo.W.J. Morrissey's opened in the Cobblestone District right around St. Patrick's Day.D'Arcy McGee's reopened this year at the Franklin Street site that housed a barbecue joint for what turned out to be a 12-month intermission.And now Jack Devine's Irish Pub is up and …

The Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy has upheld a decision by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo to close St. Adalbert Catholic Church.The group of parishioners challenging the closing now plans to appeal to the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura, the highest level of appeal and the last hope for keeping open the 121-year-old East Side church."By taking our appeal to the Apos…

At a little after 5 p.m. Saturday, a small group of people wordlessly took up position around the Boulevard Bear Band display in the Boulevard Mall and dropped to their knees.For three minutes, the people periodically raised their arms in the air and lowered their arms, with faces to the ground.Then, without warning, the dozen or so participants stopped, got up and casuall…

At a little after 5 p.m. Saturday, a small group of people wordlessly took up position around the Boulevard Bear Band display in the Boulevard Mall and dropped to their knees.For three minutes, the people periodically raised their arms in the air and lowered their arms, with faces to the ground.Then, without warning, the dozen or so participants stopped, got up and casuall…

Bill Johnson is deaf, as were both his parents and many relatives.In the 1940s and '50s, as Johnson was growing up in Iowa, family members had no easy way to give advance notice when they wished to visit a deaf relative.They just piled into the car and drove to the residence.If the relative wasn't home, they left a note in the box that all deaf families kept outside their…

Four people were arrested Monday on charges of operating massage parlors in northern Erie and Niagara counties where workers performed sexual acts on customers, the U.S. attorney's office in Buffalo has announced.The arrests followed coordinated raids early Monday by federal agents and local police at the North Tonawanda residence of those arrested and at four massage parl…

The Buffalo Zoo, stung by criticism over the deaths of four polar bears, is just the latest zoo to find itself caught in a storm over animal deaths.The Buffalo blowup follows similar controversies in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. It's a sign of the public's passion for animals, particularly high-profile mammals such as polar bears."The public becomes very emotionally atta…