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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).


It's a trophy vessel, and Buffalo's waterfront is its mantle this weekend.Saturday, visitors lined sidewalks at Erie Basin Marina waiting for a chance to board the schooner America and have a look at the digs on "the most famous racing yacht in history."In it's maiden voyage to Buffalo as part of the third-annual Fleet Waterfest, the America did not disappoint."We drove 65…

A Washington, D.C., man who had been on the run from a federal prison in Ohio for more than a month was arrested by authorities Thursday afternoon while bicycling on the East Side.Ronald Holmes, 40, was taken into custody by Erie County sheriff's deputies and U.S. marshals at 3:45 p.m. on Alexandria Street. Authorities said they were tipped off to Holmes' whereabouts by a …

It reads far more like a requisition form for a combat-bound military outfit than a list of stolen property.Machine guns, bayonets and bombs are included on the three-page list of items stolen Aug. 3 during a burglary at American Legion Troop I, 432 Franklin St.The ordnance taken represents the Legion's entire collection of nearly three dozen military relics dating from th…

For years, he's been singing about friends in low places.He underestimated.At least 106,000 friends of country music phenomenon Garth Brooks turned out Saturday at area ticket counters to sell out a string of six shows that will span Sept. 23-28. Brooks was originally supposed to perform just one concert -- with the option for a couple more. But he and his promoters kept a…

The Republic of China on Taiwan has 21.7 million inhabitants and the 19th-largest economy on Earth.But it has no representation in the United Nations, and that needs to change soon, according to a Taiwanese delegation that visited Buffalo Tuesday."Our strategy is to let our voice be heard," said Ben Shao, the executive information officer for the New York City-based Taipei…

Buffalo homicide investigators believe Salvatore Garrasi III fled Western New York just after killing his wife last week.He turned himself into authorities Tuesday morning and was charged with second-degree murder. The former Buffalo firefighter is being held in the Erie County Holding Center without bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment."His attorney, Anthony …

The 139 students entering the University at Buffalo School of Medicine not only have some new threads, they also have a whole new life, faculty members told the group Monday at an orientation ceremony.The inaugural "White Coat Induction Ceremony" at the UB Medical School welcomed the class of 2002 to the profession with a physician's jacket, a lapel pin and an oath to serv…

A Buffalo police narcotics detective was accidentally hit by ricocheting gunfire in a drug raid late Wednesday afternoon.Detective John Simonian, 47, a 29-year veteran of the force, was hit in the lower right leg by shards of ricocheting buckshot about 5:30 p.m. as narcotics officers shot to death a charging Rottweiler inside 41 Bardol St. Simonian was listed in fair condi…

A Buffalo man shot to death late Tuesday in a lower West Side neighborhood known for its rampant drug activity may not have been the target of his slayer, authorities said today.Anthony Andrews, 19, of Hudson Street was shot several times in the upper body at Pennsylvania Street and Lakeview Avenue, according to Assistant Chief of Detectives William P. Conwall, commander o…

The Amherst Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service are cautioning area residents after an escaped inmate from Ohio apparently abandoned a stolen flat- bed truck in Williamsville last week.Convicted armed robber Ronald Holmes, 40, of Washington, D.C., is being sought by authorities after evidence from a Youngstown, Ohio, burglary linked him to the stolen truck discover…

Buffalo homicide detectives stopped short Monday of naming Salvatore Garrasi III as a suspect in Sunday's fatal stabbing of his wife.Right now, they say they only want to talk to him."We're still looking for an opportunity to speak with Mr. Garrasi," said Capt. Joseph Riga, Homicide Bureau chief.Garrasi, 60, hasn't been seen since minutes before his wife, Jeanette Garrasi,…

John N. Cardarelli's decade-long tenure at the helm of Erie County's Department of Central Police Services has been a tireless mission to provide local police the technological tools they need to enforce the law and make the county a safer place to live.Now, satisfied that his accomplishments have meant something after nearly a third of a century in law enforcement, "the f…

A guest appearance by a young, successful Hollywood star will highlight September's 1998 Buddy Walk of Niagara to benefit the National Down Syndrome Society.Chris Burke, the young actor with Down syndrome who starred as "Corky" on the ABC-TV hit series "Life Goes On," will lead an expected 100 or so walkers Sept. 12 during the Kiwanis Peach Festival Parade in Lewiston.Foll…

A 32-year decorated officer of the Buffalo Fire Department was in serious condition in Erie County Medical Center today after a fire truck ran over his foot late Monday.Lt. Joseph Ziemba, 58, of Depew suffered a compound fracture to his right foot during the 10:56 p.m. call for an odor of natural gas at 38 Memorial Drive.Ziemba remained conscious after the accident, Keane …

More than just the flowers are blossoming in city neighborhoods around Elmwood Avenue.This weekend's fourth annual Forever Elmwood Garden Walk is the largest self-guided garden walk in its history, which, at more than 90 private gardens, has grown by more than 50 percent from last year's event.The garden walk, sponsored by Forever Elmwood, is headquartered at the 231 Norwo…