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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).


Preparations are heating up in the Sweet Home Central School District for an upcoming golden anniversary gala, school officials said Tuesday.The district is planning a weekend celebration Oct. 6 and 7 at the school to mark "50 Years of Excellence," Craig W. Allwes, the director of district planning and community outreach, told School Board members during a regular board me…

There will be no mystery for Buffalo parents this morning about whether their children will be in school; city teachers have pledged that they will remain on the job at least through Tuesday while a state mediator attempts to settle their nearly two-week-old labor standoff with the School Board.But for parents still seething about having their children stranded Thursday wh…

Plans for a new sewage transmission line and the elimination of three sewage treatment plants in Clarence were set in motion Friday by County Executive Joel A. Giambra.Giambra will request approval from the Erie County Legislature for an $800,000 planning bond issue for the preparation of planning and engineering documents that would scrap sewage plants at the Clarence Res…

The Town of Lancaster Building Department is assuming control, at least temporarily, of its village counterpart, after a decision last week by the Town Board.At the request of the Village of Lancaster, the town officially agreed to absorb the village's building and code-enforcement operations. The move came a little more than a week after Dan Baccari resigned as village bu…

As the pace of construction picks up on Clarence's new 17,000-square-foot library, officials are considering dates next spring for the unveiling and dedication of the new facility.Groundbreaking at the new site on Old Goodrich Road near Clarence Town Hall was held March 31. While uncooperative weather hampered development efforts early on, construction crews still plan to …

Motorists crossing the newly reopened Kraus Road bridge in Clarence probably don't give their split-second journey over Ransom Creek a second thought.But engineers and highways officials in the town are hailing the project's "in-house" completion this week as a cooperative venture that helped taxpayers keep an extra $200,000 in their pockets.That's because rather than putt…

Two Lancaster men arrested in June for videotaping Lancaster town meetings are each seeking total damage awards of at least $1 million for alleged injuries and civil rights violations resulting from a separate skirmish with town police nearly a year ago.Henry Gull, 68, and James Guenther, 69, both of Pavement Road, contend that they were hurt and their rights violated when…

The vacant Kegs Saloon in Lancaster has been tapped again for demolition after a unanimous vote Monday by the Village Board.The former tavern at 176 Central Ave. has been on the razing block for more than two months, but stalling efforts from owners, legal injunctions and board concessions have kept the building from the wrecking ball.After the board's vote, the property's…

Cheektowaga closed its swimming pools for the season Friday and bid adieu to this lukewarm and soggy summer.By the time swimmers return in 2001, they'll likely see refurbished pools with new liners, filtration systems and heaters, Cheektowaga officials said.The improvements will be financed as part of a $2 million recreation bond, approved earlier this week by the Cheektow…

The move to regionalize Western New York's water delivery system received a major boost Friday with the announcement of a $3 million state grant that will benefit Erie, Genesee and Monroe counties.The Erie County Water Authority stands to be the recipient of a major portion of the grant for its planned participation and assistance in developing Genesee County's Public Wate…

Goose, goose . . . duck!Residents and outdoor enthusiasts in Clarence are crying foul over an invasion of Canada geese overrunning town parkland and residential areas, leaving piles of droppings in their wake."At the rate it's been growing, I think we have to take some measures," said Councilman John Love.The geese have been seen flocking to town parks, near ponds on the g…

Goose, goose . . . duck!Residents and outdoor enthusiasts in Clarence are crying foul over an invasion of Canada geese overrunning town parkland and residential areas, leaving piles of droppings in their wake."At the rate it's been growing, I think we have to take some measures," said Councilman John Love.The geese have been seen flocking to town parks, near ponds on the g…

A controversial conceptual plan for a 28-home subdivision off Clarence Center Road in Clarence should remain largely as is, the town's Planning Board determined Wednesday.The decision came much to the chagrin of a group of homeowners from the adjacent Meadow Lakes subdivision who have been fighting developer John Rubino's proposal for nearly two years."This has been an exe…

Implementing new state Regents requirements and preparing for new assessments in 2000-01 top the list of the Sweet Home Central School District's curricular and instructional priorities for the upcoming school year.Those goals were outlined Tuesday by Superintendent Gary R. Cooper during a regular meeting of the School Board."We have to make sure we concentrate our efforts…

The Lancaster Village Board agreed Monday to put off demolition of a former Central Avenue saloon for at least another two weeks, pending negotiations between attorneys representing the village and the property owner.Kegs Saloon at 176 Central has been on demolition row since June, but circumstances outside the control of the board during the last two months have stayed th…