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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 gunned down Friday morning while at a Buffalo apartment complex has been identified as Louis Sansivero, 49, of the Town of Niagara.Police said he was shot several times, including once in the head, at about 9:15 a.m. at 1798 Kenmore Ave., Apartment C. Sansivero was visiting a friend when the shooting occurred, said Detective James Giardina of Buffalo's Homicide Burea…

Two Buffalo teen-agers pleaded guilty this week to charges stemming from the April shooting of a Canisius College student on Fairfield Avenue, the Erie County district attorney's office announced Wednesday.Anthony Watkins, 15, of Amherst Street pleaded guilty as charged to second-degree attempted murder, and a co-defendant, Derek Montgomery, 17, of Montclair Avenue, pleade…

Benjamin Randle, principal of Grover Cleveland High School for 10 years, will remain in that post, Buffalo School Superintendent James Harris said early today.Harris' decision not to transfer Randle came after heated debate during the public portion of Wednesday's Board of Education meeting that was followed by an executive session of the board that ran into early today.Ea…

The City of Good Neighbors will leave out the welcome mat for the 190-member crew of the U.S. Navy guided missile frigate USS Clark through Friday.The message that the ship will stay in Buffalo for a couple of extra days was relayed Tuesday afternoon after officials learned that water levels in the Lake Ontario harbor around Oswego were too low for the ship to navigate suc…

A man suspected of trafficking heroin between Buffalo and Altoona, Pa. was arrested by Erie County sheriff's narcotic detectives Monday morning at his father's Lower West Side home.Efrain Hidalgo Jr., 26, faces nine felony federal charges stemming from a three-month investigation into heroin trafficking by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.Hidalgo, who was taken i…

James J. Horbett said a train's whistle may be the reason he lived to tell about a Monday afternoon collision on the tracks that demolished his car.Horbett, 73, of West Seneca, was traveling west shortly after 4 p.m. on Indian Church Road on his way home from a nearby friend's house when the collision occurred. According to Horbett, bright sunlight caused him to lose sight…

Funeral services will be held Tuesday for Buffalo Police Officer Doris Ann Lewis, 43, and her mother, Ora Lee Lewis, 63, who died Monday (Aug. 16, 1999) of injuries in a van crash on the Thruway in the Town of Portland, Chautauqua County.Born in Nitta Yuma, Miss., the former Ora Lee Pendleton married the late Hezekiah Lewis Sr. on Sept. 21, 1952, and they moved to Buffalo …

Mother Nature Friday reintroduced the region to something called rain -- a lot of it.Thunderclouds moved slowly across the drought-stricken area, resulting in dangerous deluges in some places, knocking out power and threatening lives and property.The intensity of the storm was felt particularly in Bradford, Pa., where a series of thunderstorms washed out roads and collapse…

Ret. Col. Henry Holmes "Doc" Harper, 96, a 44-year Buffalo resident known for his civic and charitable activities, died Sunday (Aug. 15, 1999) in St. Petersburg, Fla., of natural causes.Born in Plain City, Ohio, on Oct. 3, 1902, Harper graduated from Ohio State University in 1927.An investment broker, he was a retired general partner in the investment banking firm of Shiel…

It was billed as a 10-minute sprint to see which rooster at the Erie County Fair could cock-a-doodle-doo the most.By the end of the contest, more than half of the birds cock-a-doodle-didn't."My rooster only crows when no one is watching," said Kerri Clarkson, 14, of Colden.That would explain it. A crowd of fairgoers packed the show tent Wednesday for the second-annual Erie…

Alcohol is believed to be responsible for a one-vehicle crash that killed a Hornell teen and injured five others early Saturday in Wyoming County, sheriff's deputies said.The driver, Francis A. Hornbeck, 19, died as the result of serious chest trauma a short time after a 3:45 a.m. crash that occurred at the junction of Routes 19 and 19A in the Town of Gainesville.According…

United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says the challenges this nation has grappled with in the 20th century has prepared it well for new obstacles it will encounter in the next millennium.Speaking Friday before a capacity crowd of more than 5,000 at the Chautauqua Institution -- one of her family's regular vacation destinations -- Justice O'Connor said th…

The Boston Town Board joined more than 600 of its residents to protest Blue Cross-Blue Shield and Community Blue's recent decision to limit its number of pharmacy affiliations.A letter and petition with 659 signatures from Boston residents, submitted Wednesday before the Town Board, chastised the insurance carriers for their actions."We choose to contribute a greater amoun…

A portion of this Chautauqua County village's historic West Main Street business district came crashing down in a sea of bricks and debris Monday afternoon after a building apparently was disturbed during an excavation project nearby.Everyone inside Costello's Music Store at 10 W. Main St. and the apartments above got out of the three-story building safely just before its …

He got away -- but just bearly.At 11:15 p.m. Saturday, nearly seven hours after the Southtowns' wandering bear took officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Erie County Sheriff's Department and the West Seneca Police Department on a frustrating game of hide-and-go-seek through a wooded area near Union and Center roads, the humans called it a night…