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Walgreens wants to reward customers for merely taking a walk, and Rite Aid will help cover trial gym memberships for some of its frequent shoppers.All the national drugstore chains now offer a free customer loyalty program loaded with incentives to use their cards. Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain, became the latest when it unveiled its Balance Rewards pr…

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The remarkable life of a man nicknamed Pi played out in Western New York years before there ever was a movie or book of the same name. He is largely forgotten now, obscured by time and overrun by events, but Pius Louis “Pi” Schwert had a life worth remembering in the widely disparate worlds of sports and politics.That dichotomy can be summed up in the kind of trivia questi…

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Rita Bell of North Collins is an American Kennel Club judge who is devoted to dogs. Born in Girard, Pa., Bell moved to Western New York after graduating from Edinboro State College (now Edinboro University). For more than three decades, Bell worked as a math teacher in the Eden Central School District. Bell is now retired, and she spends much of her time with her German sh…

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We have a winner.It happened at year’s end – New Year’s Eve, to be specific. CNN was ushering in 2013 as it is wont to do with gigglepuss Anderson Cooper standing next to Kathy Griffin, the OMG queen of the airwaves. Griffin’s most famous attempt to celebrate the new year by dynamiting Cooper’s always tenuous unflappability was to strip down past her skivvies on camera.Thi…

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Elizabeth Stalter was a seamstress with an alteration shop on Niagara Street in Black Rock when my mom, Grace Milligan (then Grace Castelluccio), went to work for her. As the years passed, Mrs. Stalter became “Granma Susan” to me, and my mother became as accomplished a seamstress as her teacher/mentor.After retirement, Granma Susan divided her living between her daughters …

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Taisho Bistro, which opened in November, adds a few new words to the local Japanese culinary lexicon. Let’s start with izakaya, a style of Japanese restaurant designed to feed sake drinkers. The lavishly illustrated menu offers lots of small dishes, blue-collar grub, plus iconic Japanese snack foods and others designed with sharing in mind – and alcohol is optional.The int…

It has been a year since I wrote a column on how, during each month in 2012, I would tackle one project around the house – in addition to the usual chores and upkeep. I figured it was a good way to focus on getting things done, one at a time, without feeling overwhelmed by a long list.One month it would be closets. Another, framing and hanging photographs.So, looking back …

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Hard times call for soft colors.Although Pantone recently proclaimed Emerald its gem of 2013, American paint companies chose soothing pastels as their go-to hues for the new year. For Sherwin-Williams, it’s Aloe, a minty green with a 1950s vibe. Benjamin Moore selected Lemon Sorbet, a citrus shade slightly brighter than cream that also has a nostalgic look.“Now we yearn fo…

Lifestyles

OK, so maybe giving a starring role to a monkey in a lame sitcom (“Animal Practice”) wasn’t such a good idea. And, in hindsight, “The Mob Doctor” and “Partners” were disasters just waiting to happen.Yes, the fall featured its fair share of TV blunders. But we’ve now reached the midseason point, and it’s time to hit the restart button. A wave of new shows is headed our way,…

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By Kristina MacroNeXt CorrespondentAs we begin a new year, NeXt takes time to reflect on some of the things that happened in 2012. The year was full of both good and bad, but here’s hoping lessons were learned from the bad and the world can move forward into a better new year.January3 – The Iowa caucus started the 2012 presidential election process.13 – The cruise ship Cos…

Now that we have all survived the “end of the world,” it’s time to celebrate a new year and take a look at what to expect. Here’s a peek at what the new year will bring.The year 2013 will be full of opportunities to head to the movie theaters, but make sure to get your 3-D glasses ready. Many classics including “Top Gun,” “Jurassic Park” and even “The Little Mermaid” are c…

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A ciambella is a simple, ring-shaped bread made of egg, shortening and sugar – basically, an Italian Bundt cake. Ciambelle are often served as an afternoon snack at a bar or café. They can be dressed with glazes, syrups or berry compote.This decadent winter version is inspired by Emilia-Romagna. The fresh chestnuts and chestnut flour bring a smoky flavor and smell that ree…

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The day I became The News’ restaurant critic, I lost my appetite.I found it again, to be sure, but my first months as a professional opinionator were disconcerting. For 25 years as a newspaper reporter, my opinion was the last thing my bosses wanted.As much as possible, my stories were straight, just-the-facts-ma’am journalism. Appearing biased – that is, indicating that y…

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The opening lines of Liz Moore’s book, “Heft,” immediately immerse readers in the world of Arthur Opp, a brilliant and isolated man.The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat. When I knew you I was what one might call plump but I am no longer plump. I eat what I want & furthermore I eat whenever I want. For years I have made very little effort to re…

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Getting older seems to bring out the author in people. And seniors are discovering the booming self-publishing industry is their path to every author’s deepest desire: a book.There are far more pay-to-publish options today, including on-demand printing that lets customers order one book at a time. Local libraries now are more likely to place donated copies on their shelves…