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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).


Parking meters, aesthetics and money for improvements were the hot topics Thursday evening at an informational meeting of the Delaware Avenue Streetscape Committee and the Ken-Ton Merchants and Friends organization.A pictorial view of the plan to refurbish Delaware Avenue was unveiled to business operators, who packed the Village Board's chambers before the floor was opene…

Experience seemed to prevail over party affiliation in Tuesday's Cheektowaga Democratic primary, where all four incumbents prevailed over the party's endorsed challengers.Incumbents Patricia A. Jaworowicz, Thomas J. Mazur and William P. Rogowski each appeared to win positions on the Democratic ticket in November for the Town Board, and Town Justice Ronald E. Kmiotek prevai…

A tentative 2002 budget of $67.5 million for the Town of Tonawanda, calling for less than a 1 percent tax increase, was submitted Monday by Supervisor Ronald H. Moline.Appropriations in the proposed budget would increase by 1.9 percent over this year's. Proposed appropriations include $31.3 million for town employee services, $11.1 million for contractual services, $9.8 mi…

That star-spangled banner yet waves its proud colors from porches, sidewalks and street corners across Western New York probably more now than it ever has in the past decade.This week's high demand for the stars and stripes in the wake of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, however, has proved that our flag isn't still there -- on the shelves of several area stores, that is."Anyth…

Bright sunshine illuminated an American flag that remained at half-staff Tuesday when Town of Tonawanda leaders emotionally pledged allegiance during the dedication of a new flagpole and garden at Englewood and Kenmore avenues.In the same hour that the World Trade Center towers collapsed only a week before, town officials, community organizations and Tonawanda citizens dec…

A traffic study set to begin this week near the proposed Grand Island site of a Wilson Farms convenience store and gas station could face some changes, town officials said Monday.According to correspondence between the Erie County Highway Department and the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, 24-hour traffic counters would be in place Friday through Mo…

The closest trauma center to the twin towers braced for the worst Tuesday when hospital personnel watched what was taking place down the street, according to a Lewiston native and New York City medical student who is assisting in disaster relief efforts.Mark Mirabelli, 25, a student at New York Medical College, was assisting doctors at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan w…

Nineteen members of the Disaster Relief Team of Buffalo's Rural/Metro Medical Services drove through the wee hours of Wednesday morning to come to the rescue of their country.Little did they know how important they would become.While 10 of the crew lent medical assistance Thursday in the "hot zone," an area at the base of the massive rubble that once was the World Trade Ce…

If you could measure compassion in pints, it was overflowing Tuesday at American Red Cross locations throughout Western New York.Lines stretched outside Red Cross locations all day, beginning shortly after word of Tuesday's terrorist attacks."It's not just about the families or about New York, it's about all the U.S.A., and this is probably the only thing we can do to help…

When Grand Island skateboarders learned over the weekend that the town's public skate park had reopened for the first time in nearly a year, it didn't take long for them to abandon the steps of Town Hall, store plazas and parking lots.When the town officially unveiled the temporary skate park in Veterans Park on Monday afternoon, the area was filled with skateboards and Is…

The Town of Tonawanda Board received a presentation Monday on a proposed $1.7 million bond project that would improve operations at the town's water treatment plant.Included in the overall proposal are three separate projects, as outlined by John S. Camilleri, the town's director of water resources.The proposal first calls for the replacing the bar screen at the facility. …

An incumbent Republican's bid for a spot on the Conservative line in Tuesday's primary for the Tonawanda Town Board was rejected Thursday afternoon by a federal judge.U.S. District Judge John T. Elfvin denied a motion by David H. Rider to block the Erie County Board of Elections from mailing out absentee ballots without his name or from omitting his name on next week's vot…

The fiery debate over whether the name of an incumbent Republican Town of Tonawanda councilman will appear on the Conservative line of next week's primary ballot for Town Board has moved into Federal Court.David H. Rider, a Republican incumbent Town Board member, filed suit in U.S. District Court challenging the constitutionality of the state's election laws after a ruling…

Call it the Town of Tonawanda jurist hall of fame induction ceremony.Eight past or current town justices or family representatives and other dignitaries were on hand Thursday evening to dedicate the refurbished Town of Tonawanda courtroom and to honor each of the town's justices, all the way back to Justice Joseph F. Bush, who served as the town's first judge from 1837 to …

The Delaware Avenue Streetscape Committee in the Village of Kenmore reviewed preliminary architectural designs Wednesday in its effort to refurbish the village's main thoroughfare.Early designs of the Conceptual Streetscape Plan, unveiled by representatives from Wendel Duchscherer architectural and engineering firm, call for aesthetic and practical enhancements along the v…