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Folks from Ireland used to talk about the Auld Sod. They meant the old country, the land of their roots. Buffalo has its own Auld Sod. It lies in the Valley and the Old First Ward, neighborhoods near downtown where the Irish originally settled. This was where the Irish held their earliest St. Patrick's Day parades. Proud Hibernians in long coats and stovepipe hat…

What’s better than reading a healthy cookbook? Eating one. The Western New York Book Arts Center will host its ninth annual Edible Book Festival from 3 to 6 p.m. April 1 and invites competitors for its 100 percent edible book competition. Entries will be exhibited, documented, judged and eaten. Prizes will be awarded. Festivities include basket raffles, bookmaki…

Pamela Dayton and her husband, Jon, used to plant a vegetable garden on their Genesee County property. Then they had four children. Busy lives and the demands of parenthood meant something had to give. Out went the garden –  but not the couple's commitment to helping Olivia, Jack, Henry, and Elliott, ages 7 to 14, eat right, enjoy meaningful family time and apprec…

Patricia Hudson and her daughter, Alexis, spent part of Valentine's Day evening together in a Christian meditation and yoga class. Hudson, 42, amped up her workouts last year after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She added yoga classes when her church parish, St. Mary of the Assumption in Lancaster, began offering them last fall in the St. Mary's Elementary School…

The punches are fake. (Oops! Shouldn’t say that.) The outcomes are scripted. The characters are screaming, grunting, eye-poppingly amplified caricatures. So why, then, is professional wrestling so incredibly popular? We asked a pair of close observers to chime in with their thoughts. It’s your big, fat Greek (or Roman) mystique. A pair of half-naked war…

Bill Morrissey grew up watching WrestleMania, and it slammed an impression into his malleable young mind. How much so? After graduating from New York University in 2009, he dropped his plan to go to medical school and instead enrolled in a wrestling academy. He trained first in his native New York, then in Florida, eventually adopting the name by which he is famous: …

Parents need all the help they can get in guiding their children safely through the social media labyrinth. And now there is help. Cheektowaga Police in conjunction with the Cheektowaga Town Board, the Community Crime Prevention Office and various school districts are presenting three forums in March and April on cybersafety. Cheektowaga Police Detective Michael H…

Walking in the woods or the mall, taking holistic steps to boost your well-being and learning how to better prevent cancer are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family in the region. To see this week’s complete calendar, click here. TUESDAY Healthy Living for your Brain & Body: 10 a.m., Peregrine’s Land…

We rarely do fast food. That being said, there are times we've stopped at McDonald's. And Emma, 5,  absolutely needed one of the must-have kid toys. For the most part, the toys make the trash within a few days. There is one exception, but it wasn't McDonald's. We stopped at Chick-fil-A on a recent trip to Florida, and would you believe the item that came with the k…

Following is a weekly listing of upcoming public events for those interested in health, fitness, nutrition and family support. The Buffalo News is now accepting more community events than ever for an expanded online calendar. If you would like your event included, submit the information two weeks in advance online at BuffaloNews.com/submit. Mail, fax and email submission…

Once upon a time, the Niagara County hamlet of Olcott was known for its Coney Island-like attractions. Even though the world has changed, this picturesque place retains its sense of fun. Witness the Olcott Pirate Festival, which takes place every July, complete with a magnificent car show. And the 1928 Olcott Carousel, which spins to the tune of a 1931 Wurlitzer orga…

Thomas Pomeranz knows he’s making a big ask when he tells parents to talk to their special needs kids about their differences, but he’s seen what a powerful impact it can make. His granddaughter was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome when she was 7 years old. Soon afterward, Pomeranz and his daughter explained that was why the young girl couldn’t stop herself from s…

Sloan will hold its seventh annual Soup on Sunday slurp-off starting at 12:30 p.m. at Sloan Fire Hall, 55 Gates St. Soup maker and deputy clerk Karen M. Gold will start boiling stock at noon Friday with the help of a revolving cast of volunteers. It's expected that 45 to 50 varieties of homemade soup will be available. Village clerk Debra M. Smith will contribute an …

The 39th Cheektowaga Polish American Arts Festival will run July 13-16 in Cheektowaga Town Park thanks to a partnership with the town's Chamber of Commerce, Senior Center Foundation and Youth Foundation, with proceeds benefiting the three nonprofit organizations. “The annual Polish American Arts Festival is an indispensable event for our community and a great opportu…