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T.J. Pignataro - Buffalo, NY

T.J. Pignataro has been a staff reporter for The Buffalo News for more than 20 years and the environment and weather reporter since 2013. He holds a juris doctor degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School.


The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board on Monday unanimously approved a $107.8 million budget for the 2002-03 academic year.The budget calls for a projected tax increase of 3.31 percent if property tax assessments remain the same. That is slightly higher than the 2 to 3 percent increase the board asked Superintendent Steven Achramovitch and his staff to adhere to when …

Bolstering America's public-safety response to terrorism is the aim of a national conference that will be held in Virginia later this month, according to Grand Island Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, who is one of a dozen organizers of the event.McMahon, who has been involved in similar projects over the last six years, said "Strengthening the Public Safety Response to Terrori…

Bolstering America's public-safety response to terrorism is the aim of a national conference that will be held in Virginia later this month, according to Grand Island Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, who is one of a dozen organizers of the event.McMahon, who has been involved in similar projects over the last six years, said "Strengthening the Public Safety Response to Terrori…

The Grand Island Town Board narrowly approved a measure Monday that will provide the town's Wastewater Department with its own camera and closed circuit television system to monitor the inside of the town's sewer system.The measure, which passed by a 3-2 margin, awarded a $34,492 contract to Fosters Equipment Inc. of Penn Yan for the sewer camera and will allow the town to…

A routine state comptroller's audit of Grand Island has revealed that three town departments have "weaknesses in internal control" that might increase the risk of "errors or irregularities."The audit, covering Jan. 1, 2000 to last May 22, examined selected financial activities of the town. The report is available for review in the town clerk's office in Grand Island Town H…

Up until a few weeks ago, Grand Island resident James M. Mulcahy was asking questions.Like a handful of Grand Island Central School District residents, he is concerned about the delay in the school's $18.4 million capital project that voters approved in 1999. He came up with list of pointed questions for the Board of Education in February.But Mulcahy has been conspicuous i…

The remnants of a secret government project were still visible at the Linde Air Plant in the Town of Tonawanda when Tony Cioppi and John Lauer worked at the facility in the 1950s.Several buildings of the Linde Ceramics Plant were cordoned off. Workers weren't allowed to go near them.Cioppi and Lauer, like most of their co-workers, knew very little of the "Manhattan Project…

A spring planting of 150 trees in Grand Island's Veterans Park will be like decorating a giant birthday cake, figuratively speaking.The Grand Island Town Board approved a measure Monday that will commemorate the town's 150 years of existence by planting one tree to mark each of those years on the vast expanse of Veterans Park off Bedell Road."As part of the town's sesquice…

A spring planting of 150 trees in Grand Island's Veterans Park will be like decorating a giant birthday cake, figuratively speaking.The Grand Island Town Board approved a measure Monday that will commemorate the town's 150 years of existence by planting one tree to mark each of those years on the vast expanse of Veterans Park off Bedell Road."As part of the town's sesquice…

Monday's meeting of the Grand Island Central School Board was short, but it was anything but sweet.Three residents who questioned the status of the board's delayed $18.4 million capital project said not only did they not receive the answers they sought Monday but they were mistreated by board President Richard J. McCowan during an open public forum.The capital project has …

A former Koons Avenue man who was serving a 25-years-to-life prison sentence for a 1997 Buffalo murder was found slain in the cell of a fellow inmate in Elmira Correctional Facility.The body of Nathaniel Roland, 23, was discovered Thursday afternoon by authorities, under the bed of the locked single-occupancy cell of a fellow inmate of his cellblock, according to the state…

A new carpet will soon be a reality for a Grand Island youth and recreation center following Monday's Town Board approval of a pair of expenditures toward long-coveted projects on the Island.After about five months on the table of the Grand Island Town Board, a proposal to replace the frayed carpet for Reality Cafe, a supervised weekend hangout for youth in grades eight to…

Grand Island residents will be able to weigh in Monday on this year's capital projects in town, ranging from road paving to water-line replacement, during three scheduled public hearings.Two of the hearings concern resurfacing on town roads. The first deals with the Duplex Area on Carl Road, Blackmon Road, West Park, West Park Court and Ward Park.Spending for the roadway s…

Grand Island Central School District officials are projecting a nearly 11 percent increase in the district's budget for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in 2002-03.A preliminary review by School Superintendent Paul D. Fields projected the BOCES budget to increase by about $156,000 from his school year, to $1.54 million for 2002-03."This is a preliminary estima…

The sampling of the Town of Tonawanda's Seaway landfill site has been completed and the results are under review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health and federal Environmental Protection Agency, according to officials from the Army Corps of Engineers.Sampling of the site began last August "to gain additional information about the natu…