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Stephen T. Watson

Stephen T. Watson reports on development, government, crime and school districts throughout the Northtowns, including the towns of Grand Island, Tonawanda, Amherst and Clarence. A native of the Town of Tonawanda, he worked at the Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse before starting at The Buffalo News in 2001.


Local News

Cats have made themselves at home in Amherst's yards and streets. Officials say they don't want to – nor could they – remove all stray and feral cats from the town. But they want to make sure felines that spend most or all of their time outside are healthy and sterilized. That's why the Town Board on Monday approved new rules for the care of community cats. The local…

Local News

Outspoken area Catholics said they were comforted by what they heard Wednesday from Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, who temporarily takes over the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, but they await concrete actions to heal an institution roiled over its handling of a clergy sex abuse scandal. They say Richard J. Malone's departure as bishop is a much-needed fresh start…

Local News

Chicken wings are Buffalo's gift to the world. But a recent article in Esquire caught our attention with its, um, expansive view of where wings came from. Esquire's Big Black Book, a style bible for the magazine's readers, decided in its latest edition to reveal where to get the best wings in America. Spoiler alert: It's not in Buffalo. No, Jeff Gordinier, Esqu…

Local News

The landlord of a former Honey's restaurant in Niagara Falls has won a $531,250 default judgment for unpaid rent and other costs against the defunct chain's third-generation owner and the owner of the tavern that replaced Honey's on the site. Benderson Development said in its April complaint filed in State Supreme Court that Honey's leased the 7,200-square-foot building…

Local News

The Ken-Ton School Board is holding a roundtable discussion Tuesday on the district's search for a new superintendent. Representatives of stakeholder groups such as teachers, parents and district administrators will offer feedback on a recently completed search survey and discuss the search process generally. The public is invited to attend and observe this discussion, …

Local News

Leaders of a Town of Tonawanda fire district approved tens of thousands of dollars in inappropriate credit card and travel expenses over a period of several years, according to an audit performed by the State Comptroller's Office. State auditors criticized commissioners of Brighton Fire District No. 5 for approving more than $200,000 in questionable or inflated reimburs…

Local News

The endless reconstruction of Wardman Road in Kenmore finally is coming to the end of the road. Residents along a two-block stretch of Wardman have complained for months about the disruption caused by the lengthy, $2.5 million project to install new sewer, water and gas lines underneath the village street. The work required ripping up the road itself as well as sidew…

Local News

The victim of an August attack, described by City of Tonawanda police as "unprovoked and despicable," has died. The Erie County District Attorney's Office said it learned Friday morning of the death of Michael Zuch, 59, who was assaulted before 2 a.m. Aug. 4 near Grove Place and Grove Street. Authorities say Avery D. Hunter, 24, of Buffalo, twice confronted Zuch befo…

Local News

Most bank advertising follows this theme: We're boring but dependable, so you can trust us to keep your money safe while it earns some interest. So we were surprised to see the ad that Steuben Trust Co., which has a full-service branch in Clarence, has run in this area on and off since around February touting the bank's flexible term CD. It features two kids in white…

Local News

The arsenic, mercury and other toxins found in the ground on most properties surrounding the former Tonawanda Coke plant generally are at safe levels, according to the scientist leading a court-ordered soil study. But two rounds of collecting and testing soil samples in sections of the Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda and Grand Island have identified areas of elevat…

Local News

An Albright-Knox Art Gallery shop and a co-working, event and nightclub space operated by an unidentified company are the newest tenants planned for the former Northtown Plaza site – now dubbed Station Twelve – in Amherst. The developer transforming the Sheridan Drive plaza into a retail and entertainment center revealed the lineup additions at a ceremonial groundbreaki…

Local News

Democratic Amherst Town Board candidate Mike Szukala, who narrowly trailed a Republican challenger after Election Day, has pulled ahead by 57 votes with absentee ballots counted. Republican Joe Spino, 42, special projects coordinator with the Erie County District Attorney's Office, held a 48-vote lead over Szukala, 56, the county's Medicaid inspector general, after earl…

Local News

An inspirational 1993 movie told the story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the undersized football player with a big heart who famously got a chance to play in his final game at Notre Dame. But before anyone had ever heard of Rudy, Buffalo's Charlie Yeager had his underdog moment in the 1952 Harvard-Yale football game. How big a deal was it? The Yale student newspaper pr…

Local News

A man who was assaulted and robbed early Friday as he left a downtown Buffalo bar suffered a skull fracture and had his car stolen. The victim told police he had spent part of Thursday night at the Rec Room bar, 79 W. Chippewa St., and was leaving sometime after 12:30 a.m. Friday when someone attacked him and knocked him out cold. It's not clear from the police report w…

Local News

Two Buffalo residents recently reported losing nearly $30,000 combined in thefts involving a game of pool and a Bible. The first took place Oct. 18 but wasn't reported until Saturday. The victim said he was having some people over to his apartment in the Hydraulic Lofts, 500 Seneca St. The group went to the building's billiard room, and the victim thinks that's when …