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BUFFALO -- Preparation has started for the third annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament. City workers were out this morning at Erie Basin Marina to clear snow from the ice. Donald Poleto, senior engineer for the Division of Engineering in the Department of Public Works, said workers will be laying out eight rinks during the next few weeks. The tournament, sched…

BUFFALO -- Breakfast is on Denny's this morning. The restaurant is offering free Original Grand Slam breakfasts from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and people have been lined up outside the Delaware Avenue Denny's since 5:30 a.m. Vince Prestia, area director for more than 10 Denny's locations in Western New York, estimated the Delaware Avenue restaurant had already served more than 40…

Good morning. The Albany rumor mill continues to churn. Whispers of a political "bombshell" continue to swirl around Gov. David A. Paterson with no substantiated reports to back up the rumors. Tom Precious, of the News Albany Bureau, recaps how hallway chatter has caught up with the guv in a front-page story today. PBS' "Frontline" will focus on Colgan Air at 9 p.m. toni…

Buffalo-born folk singer Ani DiFranco plays her Asbury Hall at Babeville venue tonight. Check out News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers' preview of the show and his review in tomorrow's paper. Tickets are still available for $38 at the door, according to Righteous Babe Records marketing manager Anna Kapechuk. DiFranco will play with a full band (bass, drums and …

  A statue of William Shepard -- better known as "Old Shep" -- is on display at the West Seneca Historical Society in an exhibit on the eccentric hermit who claims to have been a member of the Jesse James gang before he moved to the area. Derek Gee/ Buffalo News WEST SENECA -- William Shepard is somewhat of a legend in West Seneca history. "Old Shep," as he was known…

AMHERST -- Advertisers have found a template that works for Super Bowl ads, and those that stuck with that formula won out. Babies, animals and humor were common themes in ads that struck home with consumers, said Charles Lindsey, assistant professor of marketing at UB's School of Management. "If you look at the bottom 20 ads," Lindsey said today, "only about two or three …

LANCASTER -- Darren Tolsma and Ernie West never made it home. Their widows, Robin Tolsma and Jennifer West, hope that thousands of Western New Yorkers will turn on their porch lights from 10 to 11 p.m. Friday to light the way home for others. The hour marks the one-year anniversary of the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407. Robin Tolsma and Jennifer West, whose hu…

Jay Leno and David Letterman hang out together. Betty White plays football. Google helps a relationship blossom. Sunday's Super Bowl ads brought a few surprises and laughs. Others fell flat. See the Pop Stand blog for a look at more ads.  And, as usual, it's humor, babies and animals that resonated with consumers, said Charles Lindsey, assistant professor…

"Aints" no more. The New Orleans Saints' 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday is dominating news coverage this morning. Somehow miss the big game? View photographs of the action. Or review Jerry Sullivan's live Super Bowl chat. Check back with Buffalo News Live later today for a recap of the best and worst Su…

NIAGARA FALLS -- For the last three years, Nelseau Doreus has been funding the education of 25 Haitian children residing in his hometown. Doreus, who grew up in Cotes-de-Fer but now lives in Niagara Falls, said that he has always felt the need to make a difference back home. In 2007, Doreus and childhood friend Alce Previlon founded the CDF Haiti Organization, a non-profit…

DOWNTOWN BUFFALO -- More than 1,300 young fans visiting WNED's downtown studios this weekend met a few of their favorite television stars -- none of them being human. Buddy, the young Tyrannosaurus Rex from the show "Dinosaur Train"; Becky Botsford, a fifth-grader who becomes a caped crusader for better vocabulary skills on "WordGirl"; and Sid the Science Kid were among se…

ALLENTOWN -- While its outdoor bar remains covered in snow, Cozumel prepares indoors for a Super Bowl fiesta tonight. Bartender Michelle Cotter and line cook Tim Collins explain what makes today different and the same than any other Sunday at the grill and tequila bar on Elmwood Avenue. Watch: Drink specials include $3.50 beer, $4 well drinks and $6 margaritas. Cozumel is…

Snow continues to fall throughout Western New York and temperatures remain in the teens while Miami's forecast predicts 60 degrees and partly cloudy skies for tonight's Super Bowl XLIV.  Super Bowl XLIV is all about the quarterbacks, says former News columnist Larry Felser. Check out Mark Gaughn's story on Peyton Manning's place in NFL history and Allen Willson's look…

For the faithful BuffaloNews.com Live readers, you get a sneak preview of the video accompanying Charity Vogel's Spotlight cover story in Sunday's paper. Charity wrote about Robin Tolsma - a Lancaster mother of two whose husband, Darren, died in the crash of Flight 3407 - and her push for better air travel safety. Watch the video below then read about Tolsma in tomorrow's …

BUFFALO — With a volley of rifle shots and placing of wreaths, dozens of people gathered at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society this afternoon paid tribute to the United States' sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln to mark his 201st birthday. Civil War reenactor Steve Teeft led the ceremony and told the crowd about Western New York's contribution to the Ci…