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Lou Michel

Lou Michel is the main crime reporter for The Buffalo News, coauthor of the bestseller, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing." He has received numerous state and national journalism awards.


Saluting Our War Heroes

Nine miles out at sea when an atomic bomb ignited at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, 19-year-old Frank G. Buzzelli watched as the mushroom cloud swelled above the tiny island's lagoon. He and other sailors aboard the Navy's USS Mount McKinley were given sunglasses and told to turn their backs. "They told us to close our eyes, but I still saw a flash of light when …

Saluting Our War Heroes

For Teddy Bucki and other Marines, it was a job just getting onto the beaches to fight the enemy at Iwo Jima. The first challenge occurred with their transfer from the bigger troop ships to the smaller landing crafts tossed about in rough seas. "We were each wearing two backpacks, one hooked to the other, and we had our rifles. We climbed down rope ladders and had to…

Saluting Our War Heroes

At a time when peace, love and flower power were taking root in young people in the 1960s, Daniel M. Perlinger said he was an angry young man. "And that's putting it mildly," the 69-year-old combat Marine added. At 16 years old from South Buffalo, he signed up for the Marine Corps knowing it would be his ticket to Vietnam. He says he did not know much about life at t…

Buffalo

The Buffalo police officer who struck and killed a North Buffalo woman out for her early morning walk on Friday did not have his patrol car's flashing lights or siren activated, according to three police sources. The officer, identified by the three police sources as Daniel G. Ahearn, was not required to turn on the lights and siren because he was responding to a "routi…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When the Cold War was heating up with fear of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, many Americans had constructed backyard bomb shelters in the hopes of surviving. Bob M. Manke, who grew up in Kenmore, shared those same worries of possible nuclear annihilation, but from a different vantage point. He was at the bottom of the Earth living in bu…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When George M. Morreale turned 18 on Dec. 7, 1943, he registered at the local draft board at Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street in Niagara Falls. Morreale was a student at Trott Vocational High School, where he was learning how to become a draftsman. He was certain the military would summon him to duty after he graduated in June 1944. But Uncle Sam surprised the aspiring…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When Joseph R. Burgio was drafted into the Navy for service in World War II, his mother objected. Joseph was the youngest of nine children and three of his five brothers already were in the military. Carmela Burgio and her ailing husband, Ignatius, were in their 70s and depended on Joseph's paycheck from Bell Aircraft. The mother felt her family already was making a …

Saluting Our War Heroes

Michael T. Daniels operated a heart and lung machine as surgeons performed open-heart surgeries. Not everyone possesses the mettle to be right in the middle of such intense work, but Daniels watched the skilled hands of the surgeons with admiration. As a Navy corpsman, his own hands had helped saved the lives of wounded Marines in Vietnam. He also knew the other side…

Crime

When Janet and Frank Larango moved from North Tonawanda to an Atlanta suburb, they were happy the Catholic priest they considered part of their family also made the move. The Rev. Stanley Idziak, who had celebrated Masses at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in the 1960s and 1970s, arranged to have himself transferred in 1978 to the Larangos' new parish 900 miles away.…

Saluting Our War Heroes

At 16 years old, Clayton F. Eldridge was more interested in making money than getting an education. So he quit McKinley High School in 1943 and worked as a welder at Curtiss Wright aircraft factory on Vulcan Street. "I made about $22 a week and spent it on clothes and entertainment," the 91-year-old Eldridge said. But money took a back seat to patriotism when he t…

Featured

PORTVILLE – The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo made Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits get psychological treatment after receiving a complaint that he had sexually abused a child. It was after that, Orsolits said, that the diocese assigned him to work for years in the mid-1980s in a rural parish in tiny Portville. There, he led the church youth group and gave booze to underage bo…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Sometimes the way a person walks is enough to inspire another person to follow in the same footsteps. That was the case for Edward B. "Andy" Enterline. As a boy growing up in a Pennsylvania coal town, he would watch his Uncle Harv, who had served in the Marine Corps, walk with military bearing on his way to jobs at people's homes. His uncle had quit working in the mi…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Bob Fahey dreamed of becoming an officer in the Navy. As a teenager during World War II, he studied photographs of naval ships battling Japan in the Pacific Ocean. He wanted to be part of the sea assault action. But by the time he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, the war was over. However, he ultimately would not be disappointed. The Korean War began w…

Local News

Henrica R. Kiernan surprised her parents when she was born. They were so certain that their second child would be a boy that they had picked out the name Henry. But when she was born on Sept. 4, 1921, her Polish immigrant parents who made their home in Sloan quickly changed the intended name to the feminine version – Henrica. Twenty-one years later, Henry and Loui…