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Stephen T. Watson

Stephen T. Watson is a staff reporter who writes about development, real estate and business in the towns of Amherst and Clarence. He is a native and resident of the Town of Tonawanda and a graduate of the University at Buffalo and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


A state appeals court has cut the $850,000 award granted to a Wende Correctional Facility officer who contends she was persistently harassed by co-workers because she is a lesbian.The State Supreme Court's Appellate Division, 3rd Department, ruled that the original award for compensatory damages -- one of the largest of its kind in state history -- was "excessive" and redu…

While supporters of Lackawanna's embattled animal control officer say Frederick S. Grasso would have shot to death three cats only if the animals were rabid, an Erie County SPCA representative said Thursday there's no way to know if that was the case.And even if they were, Grasso didn't follow the SPCA's standard procedure in dealing with an apparently rabid animal, said G…

A couple of weeks after Sgt. Jon Aisel's Army National Guard unit arrived in Afghanistan this spring, members found themselves in a pitched, seven-hour battle with Taliban forces.Aisel's fellow soldiers were fighting side by side with their Afghan National Army allies.When an Afghan sergeant was shot in the hip, Aisel, a medic, treated his wound even as they remained under…

The Erie County STOP-DWI Office and several area police agencies wanted the local media to know about a driving while intoxicated checkpoint planned for Thursday evening in Lackawanna.They just didn't trust reporters not to leak in advance the time and location of the checkpoint. So they lied about the starting time in a news release sent to media agencies.The news release…

Buffalo police, fire marshals and federal agents early Friday confiscated about $1,000 worth of fireworks and arrested a South Buffalo man accused of selling the fireworks out of a trailer in front of his home.The Buffalo Fire Marshal's Office received several tips that someone was selling fireworks from a trailer parked at 140 O'Connell Ave., police said.Fire Marshals Edw…

I went to Duo armed with some drink recommendations from a friend who just about ordered me to try the grapefruit mojito and watermelon margarita.I don't normally order fruity concoctions when I'm out. However, at her insistence, and on the hearty recommendation of Brian the engaging mixologist, my friends and I made our way through a wide swath of Duo's summer cocktail li…

For 20 years, Jack Stewart has thrown one of the area's largest Fourth of July bashes -- highlighted by a massive and illegal pyrotechnics display.An arrest in 2006 -- and heightened police attention following an interview with The Buffalo News last year -- forced the resident of Geary Street in South Buffalo to scale back his party, but the shows went on.This year, howeve…

The grainy, 91-second amateur video begins with a graphic naming the two fighters, both North Tonawanda Middle School students.It ends with one boy raising his arms triumphantly and the other coping with a broken nose he suffered as a note on the screen taunts the loser.A fight between two students is not surprising. The surprise here is that someone recorded the fight, ed…

State police have arrested the Erie Community College women's basketball coach on charges of fraudulently collecting more than $5,000 in undeserved unemployment benefits.A joint investigation between State Police and the state Department of Labor led to the arrests last week of Natosha E. Cummings-Price and two others on the same charges. State police reported the arrests …

It's an ambitious plan to redevelop the poster child of the region's once vibrant industrial base.A company wants to build a massive plant at the former Bethlehem Steel site that would convert petroleum coke -- a waste product of oil refining -- into synthetic gas.Lackawanna Clean Energy says it will spend $1.5 billion to clean up the plant's dormant coke oven facility and…

Spam, one of the most annoying features of the Internet age, is celebrating a milestone.In the spring of 1978, someone sent a note advertising a new computer system to the addresses of about 600 people on Arpanet, the government-designed precursor to the Web.The unsolicited message sparked an immediate outcry."This was a clear and flagrant abuse of the directory!" one us…

The two-minute, homemade video shows a young man executing an amazing series of contortions, tumbles and break-dancing moves at various spots around Buffalo.He leaps from the rooftop of an Allentown apartment building.He strikes a Spiderman-like pose, while clinging to the outside grate of the third floor of a downtown parking ramp.He does a running back flip off a wall be…

I grew up in Kenmore, but I'm a city boy now, and it's rare that my friends and I get out to the bars in the 'burbs.But we recently stared down the high price of gas and trekked out to Amherst to check out black & blue. It's a posh steak house that's become a popular happy-hour destination for Northtowns residents thirsty for upscale drinking options.My first thought upon …

Poppy Wright moved from the West Coast to Buffalo in 2006, thinking she'd found a slice of heaven on the city's West Side.She's leaving this month after suffering through the nightmare of a vacant neighboring building, City Hall bureaucracy, drug dealers, thieves and finally a fire."There goes our life, and pretty much all our worldly possessions," Wright said Thursday, as…

Jasmine Lawrence is not the typical University at Buffalo engineering major.The 19-year-old from Buffalo's East Side is a single mother who maintained a 3.8 grade-point average her first semester while raising her daughter, Dayana, now 10 months old."I had her in July, and the semester started in August," Lawrence said in an interview near the end of her freshman year. "Al…