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For more than 1,000 willing volunteers across Buffalo on Saturday, “giving thanks” meant going beyond offering a meal-time prayer at the holiday table. It was waking up early and breaking a sweat on a damp, chilly morning to help others in need. At St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, an assembly line of volunteers stuffed thousands of Thanksgiving meal bags with every…

Amherst

Tom the turkey likes to play chicken with traffic. The plucky bird is a common sight at the intersection of Klein and Paradise roads in East Amherst, where he often blocks lanes, pecks at tires and circles cars. While a neighborhood fixture and quirky oddity, his bold behavior has also garnered Tom a reputation as a nuisance. "He'll just walk up right in front of…

Buffalo

Start sharpening those ice skates. Layers of ice have been created over the past week so that the Ice at Canalside rink can welcome its first skaters, weather-permitting, on Friday for Thanksgiving weekend. Skaters will also notice something else nearby this year: An imposing steel frame for the new Explore & More Children's Museum rising from the ground. The mus…

Erie County

Residents served by the Erie County Water Authority will see an 1.9 percent increase in their water bill next year. The authority stated that for an average residential water user -- using 17,000 gallons of water a year -- this will work out to an additional 85 cents on their bill per quarter. But, it's a different story for the authority's more than 3,000 commercial…

Crime

Edward Bald heard the first rock shatter the window of a first-floor bedroom of his house on Quincy Street. He reached for the shotgun he keeps on the top bunk of his bed. "I sent a warning shot out the hole they already put in the window," said Bald, 61. "I hit one of them; I didn't know I actually hit him until I saw the blood in my backyard." Bald's shot late F…

Buffalo

The Episcopal Diocese of Western New York didn't have a prayer at this week's Buffalo Preservation Board meeting. The city agency dealt a blow Thursday to a controversial proposal to convert most of the former Ascension Church in Buffalo into senior housing, voting down the plan that would have brought 28 new apartments to the longtime religious building. The board's…

Business

Homebuilder Essex Homes has completed the third phase of its newest luxury patio home project in Clarence, as it prepares to move into the final stage of the development. The developer has added 22 lots to the existing Essex Greens at Waterford project, including five that are currently under contract and under construction. That added another $10 million to the overall…

Buffalo

The Anchor Bar is on board with the official chicken wing recipe for the new USS Little Rock, which makes its grand appearance here next month. Earlier this fall, the ship's crew had a competition to see who could make the best chicken wings and Mineman 1st Class Tyson Wilborn won with his "Pineapple Teriyaki Wings." In honor of the Navy's newest warship being commis…

Buffalo

Marine Sgt. Jo Ann Ortiz was inside Toys R Us in Hamburg when she fulfilled her childhood dream. Armed with a gift card purchased by the Marines' Toys for Tots campaign, the mother of two bought $32,700 worth of holiday presents that will be distributed to children through The Buffalo News Neediest fund. Ortiz, born in San Benito, Texas, did not have much as a chi…

Erie County

Erie County administrators showed off shiny, new Volvo snowplows Friday and urged residents to download the county's disaster preparedness app. County Executive Mark Poloncarz reminded residents that three years ago the county faced its worst November snowstorm in modern history, which resulted in stranded motorists and multiple deaths. "Three years ago today, this c…

Buffalo

The State Education Department last month ordered an outside takeover of Buffalo's B.U.I.L.D. Academy and gave the school district a choice: Either find someone who can turn around the school on Fougeron Street after years of poor performance, or the state will appoint someone to do it. But here's the problem: The state can't find anyone who wants the job. That's …

Buffalo

Children whose families may not have been able to afford a hat will be getting a NFL logo knit hat, courtesy of New Era, which donated more than 1,000 of the caps to be distributed in the Colvin Cleaners Coats for Kids drive. Colvin Cleaners officials said they are confident there will be enough winter wear for its second distribution from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov…

A child safety seat inspection will be held Saturday in Amherst at the Delta Sonic on Niagara Falls Boulevard and Maple Road. Child safety seat inspectors from the Erie County Sheriff's Office will provide free checks from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Each inspection includes a free car wash, along with free photos with Santa, face painting and giveaways.

Hamburg

Frontier Central School Board members are interviewing candidates for superintendent and hope to have someone on board early next year. The board started the search process in August with the appointment of Lynn Fusco,  Erie 1 BOCES superintendent,  to lead the search. The district received 19 completed packets from candidates, and the board went through them to de…