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T.J. Pignataro - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).


A man who was wounded while wrestling a rifle away from a gunman at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo returned home from the hospital Sunday insisting he wasn't a hero."I do believe in God and I had help," Mann Pollock Jr. said Sunday evening from his home in Panama. "I feel I was put in that position at the right time for just that reason. I was there at the …

Despite a drop in overall attendance at this year's version of the Erie County Fair, organizers say they're still extremely pleased with the results of the fair, which closed Sunday evening.According to Lou Ann Delaney, public relations coordinator for the fair, the final attendance for the 2001 fair was 965,283. That is down from last year's attendance of 1,006,351, and m…

The Town of Grand Island is completing paperwork requesting supplemental environmental information from the developers of a controversial Wilson Farms convenience store and gas station.Grand Island officials are expected to approve at the regular Town Board meeting today a scoping document for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement regarding the project before turni…

The Town of Grand Island is completing paperwork requesting supplemental environmental information from the developers of a controversial Wilson Farms convenience store and gas station.Grand Island officials are expected at the regular Town Board meeting Monday to approve paperwork, known as a scoping document, for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement regarding th…

Western New York Vietnam veterans will soon have a place to call their own following this weekend's grand opening and dedication of a museum and office in the City of Tonawanda.Western New York Chapter 77 of the Vietnam Veterans Association of America will unveil its new museum and office at 61 Main St. from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday."What we'll have now is a storefront that…

A $540,000 expansion of the building adjoining the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome in the Town of Tonawanda was launched Monday when the Town Board unanimously approved a bond resolution for the project.Under the plan, the Gallery Grill restaurant and Pro Golf Discount Superstore at 175 Brompton Road in Brighton Park will each get additions of about 1,750 square feet.Councilma…

Finishing touches are being brushed on what's likely to become the newest conversation piece in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda community.The 22-foot, multicolored mural in the Kenmore Mercy Hospital cafeteria already has the halls abuzz all around the facility and hospital officials inviting the public to stop by for lunch and a peek at the masterpiece in the making.The mur…

Kenmore has had a rash of water line ruptures -- 17 in all -- over the past eight days.Village officials blame the steamy weather and a sharp increase in pressure of water supplied by the Town of Tonawanda to their system.While town officials do not dispute some modest increases in water pressure, they insist that has not caused the ruptures.John S. Camilleri, the town's d…

Skateboarders on Grand Island scored double Monday in their quest to get back to showcasing their skills at a skate park on the Island.Not only did Grand Island Town Board members approved appropriating more than $10,000 to re-establish a temporary public skateboard park in town immediately, but at the same time, developer Paul D. Irving confirmed his intention to move ahe…

Buffalo Police announced Saturday that one man, motivated by robbery, is responsible for the rash of homicides that have swept the city in the last few days.The suspect is identified as Frank Murphy, whose last known address, 368 Leroy St., was the scene of the city's latest victim, Murphy's girlfriend, Gail McFarland, 43, who was discovered dead at the address Saturday af…

The Town of Clarence hopes to help blaze a trail locally in the cleanup of its roadside litter.Town Board members announced Wednesday that they're looking for a few civic-minded Clarence organizations to jump at the chance to become charter members of the town's own effort to assist Erie County in its "Adopt-A-Highway" program.The Clarence program will be modeled after the…

A Clarence Town Board proposal to eliminate its tax receiver and assessment office in its effort to reduce costs of town government stirred some concern Wednesday at a public hearing on the matter.Ultimately, however, the decision now rests solely in the hands of Clarence voters.The Town Board voted, 4-0, to hold a referendum June 26 on the proposal that would redistribute…

Twelve-year-old Amanda Kras of Cheektowaga is accepting donations.She's not saving money for a new bike, computer games or even Backstreet Boys paraphernalia like many people her age but rather is on a mission to save a few good pooches."I saw in the SPCA newspaper they were talking about a police dog in Arizona who was shot, and I just thought we should have a bulletproof…

Village of Lancaster residents can expect to see tax rates stay steady for 2001-02 fiscal year, according to updated tentative budget figures released Monday by the Village Board.Under the $6.6 million tentative budget, appropriations are expected to increase by about $13,000 in the spending plan that takes effect June 1 and runs through May 31, 2002. The tax rate would re…

A thorough testing and examination of Erie County Hall is the mission of a new Legionnaires' disease task force, created Saturday by County Executive Joel A. Giambra.The task force, to be led by Deputy County Executive Carl J. Calabrese and Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, the county health commissioner, was unveiled three days after the third case of the disease among County…