Share this article

print logo

Joseph Popiolkowski

Joseph Popiolkowski is a reporter for The Buffalo News covering Buffalo's inner suburbs, including the towns of Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and West Seneca.


Recently, a young man in his 20s from one of Erie County’s suburbs told his mother he was making a quick trip to the store. Instead, he drove to Buffalo’s West Side where he purchased what he thought was heroin, said Jodie L. Altman, director of the Renaissance Campus, the region’s treatment facility for teenagers with substance-abuse problems.“This young man sat in a car,…

Amherst

By Joseph PopiolkowskiNEWS STAFF REPORTERA West Virginia University student from Amherst has been charged in connection with the death of Nolan M. Burch, a fraternity pledge also from Amherst, who died from excessive alcohol consumption during an initiation ceremony in November, authorities said.Richard Schwartz, 20, of Quantico Court, turned himself in Tuesday at the Morg…

A neighborhood group in North Buffalo is gathering a list of ideas to improve the area around the former Budwey’s Supermarket on Kenmore Avenue if controversial plans for a public self-storage facility go forward.The University Heights Collaborative at its regular meeting Tuesday night in the Gloria J. Parks Community Center came up with suggestions for the property’s curr…

Commercial property owners in certain areas of the Town of Tonawanda planning major alterations to their buildings could be required to also spruce up landscaping and design under a proposed rezoning before the Town Board.“Unfortunately, when our zoning was put in place many years ago, most of the commercial districts had zero requirements for landscaping and a lot of thos…

People looking to pawn their jewelry, electronics or collectibles will have to look somewhere other than the Village of Kenmore.The Village Board on Tuesday night approved an amendment to its zoning code that defines the types of businesses allowed in the village’s general business use district.Consignment stores, antiques, precious metal and jewelry exchange shops are amo…

The Town of Cheektowaga on Monday night became the latest area municipality to endorse the practice know as Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return, or TNVR, to deal with the overpopulation of stray and feral cats as officials in Lackawanna were asked to form a task force to tackle the problem.Under Cheektowaga’s new cat control plan, animal lovers pick up the cats and take them to a…

Erie County

After Karen Verrall safely escaped the fire that destroyed her City of Tonawanda apartment Jan. 20, she had one thought: Her prized possession, a framed American flag that in May 2006 draped the casket of her husband, Navy veteran Raymond A. Verrall, was lost to the flames and black smoke.“That was the first thing I thought of,” Verrall said. “There wasn’t time for anythin…

Town historian isn't a position that gets a lot of attention. The unglamorous post comes with — maybe — a small stipend for expenses and a lot of digging through archives. But when officials have a question about something that happened in the town's distant past, the historian is their first call. John Percy held that role in the Town of Tonawanda from 1973 until stepp…

The Tonawanda Town Board has named a successor to retiring Police Chief Anthony J. Palombo.Assistant Police Chief Jerome C. Uschold, a 31-year veteran of the department, has been tapped to replace Palombo next month.“Assistant Chief Uschold has spent the last eight-plus years being responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the department along with Chief Palomb…

Lancaster

With the Buffalo Regals up 1-0 after the first period of a tournament championship Sunday, coach Glenn Shupe told his team of 9-year-old boys to gather around.“I just told them they’ve got to keep playing their game, play strong, move the puck, get the shot,” he said. “The next goal is big.”But this wasn’t one of the high-stakes, ultracompetitive tournaments at an indoor r…

Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis provided an upbeat take on the city Tuesday night during his State of the City speech touching on a wide range of issues.On fiscal matters, Davis began his address by noting that the city’s most recent bond rating by Standard and Poor’s was upgraded to “AA Stable.”“Compared to other small cities across New York State, the City of Tonawanda’s bond…

Demolition of the former emergency department at Kenmore Mercy Hospital has begun, with plans to turn it into a new preoperative holding area and renovate the existing post-anesthesia care units.“It’s geared toward additional capacity because of the additional surgeries that we’ve had,” said James M. Millard, president and CEO. “We’re trying to increase just the efficiency…

Buffalo

When James L. Thomas was summoned backstage Sunday night in Kleinhans Music Hall at the annual event to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., he thought it was to talk to his grandfather.The Canisius High School senior was told, however, that he was to receive the celebration’s Leadership and Determination Award.“It means a lot,” he said soon after. “I’ve…

Criticism of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District over the Common Core Learning Standards and an emphasis on standardized tests and test scores is “misdirected” and should be redirected at state education officials in Albany.That was the message Tuesday from the School Board, which sought to address comments in recent months from members of a newly formed group, K…

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board took the unusual step tonight of issuing a joint public statement in response to some recent comments made by parents about standardized testing, curriculum changes and other issues. The board's five members each read a portion of the statement in turn: School Board President Bob Dana We would like to take this opportunity to ma…