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Mary B. Pasciak

Mary Pasciak, a member of The Buffalo News' watchdog team, has been using Freedom of Information Law requests and data analysis to uncover stories for her hometown newspaper for more than 20 years.


Buffalo

In his open letter to the Buffalo Diocese announcing his retirement, Bishop Richard J. Malone offered Wednesday a general statement about his plans moving forward. “I intend to continue to live among you as Bishop Emeritus, and to be available to serve in whatever ways that our Apostolic Administrator and new bishop determines is best,” he wrote. It’s not clear wheth…

Buffalo

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone said Wednesday he wasn't forced to retire. In fact, though, Vatican officials had begun preparing to replace Malone at least three weeks ago. He and the other bishops in New York were in Rome Nov. 11 to 15 for what is known as an ad limina visit, a trip that occurs every few years to update the pope on the status of their dioceses. …

Business

A Gowanda nursing home has been fined $10,000 by the state Health Department in connection with the sexual assault of an 88-year-old resident by another resident. The Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center waited more than six hours to report the May 29 assault to police and destroyed possible evidence related to the assault, the state Health Department concluded thi…

Deaths

June 3, 1933 - Nov. 19, 2019 R. Donald Helenbrook's pleasant, soothing bass voice served him well as a local radio announcer. In the late 1970s, he hosted a Sunday evening call-in show that played soft jazz on local radio station WADV. Many restaurants played his show. "He had a wonderful voice – he was like a natural," recalled his wife, Nancy. "We had a ton of o…

Erie County

The Erie County Board of Elections' plan was to post early voting results online by 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. But at 9:15, results were not online. That was when elections officials said results would be online by 9:30. At 9:45, they still were not online. That was around the time that a Board of Elections spokesperson told a reporter, “This isn’t about fast. This is abo…

Erie County

Erie County elections officials had said prior to Election Day that all of the results from the nine days of early voting would be posted online by about 9:15 p.m. But no results at all appeared on the Board of Elections website until about 9:50 p.m. Officials downplayed the lag, noting that this was the first year of early voting and the technology that accompanied it,…

Erie County

Updated Nov. 6: Mark Poloncarz wins third term as Erie County Executive. Read more. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has a 54% to 46% lead over Republican challenger Lynne Dixon with 89 percent of the vote counted. Erie County posted its early voting results at 9:50 p.m., about 45 minutes after Niagara County did and 35 minutes after Erie County's Board of Electi…

Erie County

It was easier to vote early in Erie County than anywhere else in the state, with 37 polling places to choose from and residents permitted to vote at any of them. By and large, though, most of the people who voted early in Erie County probably would have voted anyhow this year, even if the state hadn't introduced early voting. Fewer than 1% of Erie County’s early vote…

Erie County

Election inspectors in Brant have been busy ever since early voting began a week ago. One is crocheting a table runner. Another, an afghan. A third is cross-stitching a Christmas pillow.  The fourth? Well, she’s been crushing it on Slotomania, her favorite app. Of the 37 early polling centers in Erie County, the slowest has been the one in Brant. On average, eight…

Amherst

Amherst Police Friday identified James Booker III, 31, of Amherst as the victim of the fatal shooting Thursday night at a Springville Avenue house. Booker was father to five daughters, the youngest of whom was 9 months old, according to his Facebook page. He regularly posted pictures of him with his baby, beaming about spending time with her. He had been renting the …

Erie County

Early voting will be more convenient in Erie County than just about anywhere else in New York State this year.  That’s because local officials will open twice as many early voting sites here than there will be in any of the other 61 counties. For the first time New Yorkers can vote early across the state, beginning Saturday. More early voting polling sites will me…

Education

This year, Christian Central Academy students achieved higher overall proficiency rates than their peers at any other local private school on the state’s math and English language arts assessments for elementary and middle school students. The Williamsville school, in fact, achieved the second-highest level of proficiency in English language arts in the state this year …

See how local private, public schools performed in math, English Below are the proficiency rates in math and ELA for every private, public and charter school in Erie and Niagara counties, grouped by district. Private and charter schools are grouped by the school district in which they are geographically located. The Buffalo News aggregated the results from all of the g…

Health and Fitness

More than 10,000 people participated Saturday in a 5K walk/run at the Outer Harbor to raise money to fight breast cancer. Participants raised $450,000 for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. Proceeds will help fund research into the causes, prevention and treatments for breast cancer. It also will be used to provide patients …

A 29-year-old man was shot in the legs just before 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 2500 block of Main Street, between Rodney and Fillmore avenues, according to a Buffalo police spokesman. The man was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call or text the confidential tip line at 847-225…