T.J. Pignataro - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

T.J. Pignataro - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).


Western New Yorkers are trading their snow shovels for buckets in the wake of a January thaw that has turned much of last week's 3-foot snow pack into pools of water.Many are undoubtedly already thinking spring with today's temperatures expected to peak in the low to mid 60s, but others are keeping a watchful eye on their basements and nearby creeks and streams.The Nationa…

The East Aurora Village Board Tuesday night unanimously approved the emergency purchase of a sidewalk snow tractor at a cost of $55,000."I think there's an expectation of this community that this is a service they want -- it's a service they expect and a service they'll pay for," said Mayor John V. Pagliaccio. "It's up to us to find the most cost effective way to get it do…

The City of Buffalo and developers will square off in a Genesee County court next month in a battle over a proposed Rite Aid expansion at Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street.Richard S. Mayberry, a Rochester attorney representing local developers, filed suit late last month in State Supreme Court against the Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals and the city on grounds its November …

Allen D. Sapp Jr., a noted composer and former professor and chairman of the University at Buffalo Department of Music, died Monday (Jan. 4, 1999) in Cincinnati. He was 76.A native of Philadelphia, Sapp earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Harvard University in the 1940s and later taught music there before coming to Buffalo in 1961 as Slee Visiting Professor of Comp…

The killer storm that ravaged the nation's heartland arrived on the Niagara Frontier Saturday afternoon, dumping a couple of inches of snow on the region before changing to sleet and then freezing rain.The edge of the huge storm system had worked its way into Western New York by early evening Saturday, dropping snow across the region.Freezing rain began hours later as a la…

The East Aurora Village Board Monday changed its subdivision regulations -- four weeks after a nearly identical proposal failed.The law, which alters the subdivision definitions and filing fees, was approved in a 5-1 margin. Trustee Randy Taylor was the lone opponent of the measure.The amended law recodifies the definition of subdivisions by classifying them as either majo…

The visit Saturday by the nationally recognized children's books illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky was a fairy tale come true for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.Zelinsky, the winner of the 1998 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished artist of an American picture book for children, grew up with dreams of being an artist and became one, he told the few hundred chi…

Six fire companies were called out early Saturday to battle a blaze that ravaged a historic barn in Akron's business district.The fire, which started at about 4 a.m. in the barn behind the Bag & Barrel Country Store at 99 Main St., quickly spread and was well involved in flames by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Akron Fire Chief Brian Murray."It wa…

Water service was largely restored to normal Friday evening, just 12 hours after the rupture of a major water main dried up some taps across the village.Mayor Frank Pagano said village residents will continue to observe a water emergency for most of today, however, as bacterial tests are conducted."Preliminarily, it looks very good," Pagano said late Friday. "It's chlorine…

Town of Hamburg police, responding to complaints about heavy drug activity at a South Park Avenue address made several arrests there Wednesday.Police executed a search warrant at 5498 South Park and charged resident Erik D. Williamson, 17, with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana.While the s…

The Aurora Town Board Monday set the wheels in motion for a $1.4 million water improvement project after residents overwhelmingly supported the plan in a two-week open referendum by paper ballot.The project, including the installation of transmission lines on East Main Street and Glenridge Avenue along with the Castle Hill, Lapham and Cook road areas of the town, passed 12…

A burglar picked the wrong house to try to break into early Friday.It was the home of Westfield Police Officer Robert Genthner, who ended up struggling with the burglar, who eventually found himself under arrest.Joe Jones, 22, of Westfield was arraigned on charges of felony burglary and assault and sent to Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 pro…

A proposal to change subdivision regulations has gone down to defeat before the East Aurora Village Board.The changes in subdivision definitions and filing fees fell short of the required four votes Monday, but the issue is likely to come up again, however. Leading the opposition was Trustee Randy Taylor, who charged the changes were "for the benefit of small groups.""This…

He's Polish-America's version of John Glenn -- and, he's from Elma.Penn State University assistant professor of physiology James A. Pawelczyk made his return to earth last spring after a 16-day mission aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Friday, he was back in Western New York.Pawelczyk, a 1978 graduate of Iroquois Central High School, visited his alma mater Friday and presente…

Residents in one East Aurora neighborhood Monday turned out en masse to tell the Village Board they are sick and tired of the racket coming from a local tavern.The Riley Street Station at 27 Riley St. is accused by residents of playing music at high volumes throughout the wee hours of the morning."I'm sure if my kids were playing music that loud and that late at night, the…