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Name: Rachel Stepien, 34. Who she is: Owner of the Plant Shack, which opened in November at 618 Main St., East Aurora. The Plant Shack’s first location at Knox Farm State Park opened in July and is now closed for the season. The Plant Shack sells houseplants, grown locally or in Texas and Florida, as well as gifts and home decor sourced locally or from global small busi…

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Name: Chris J. Handley, 36 Who he is: Actor, singer, teacher and coach who will star as Buddy the Elf in the MusicalFare Theatre production of “Elf the Musical” (Nov. 13-Dec. 22). He is associate artistic director at Alleyway Theatre, where he is head of the Alleyway Theatre School of Western New York. In May he will take over as executive artistic director at Alleyway.…

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Cold weather wreaks havoc on the skin. We asked a few WNYers who spend quite a bit of time outdoors – or with their hands in water – to share some of their skincare strategies as well as the products they depend on. Here are their edited responses. Lizzy Dugan, owner of Salon Elizabeth, Elma. Professional hair and makeup artist specializing in bridal beauty. For …

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Warm and sunny one day. Cold and rainy the next. Dressing this time of year in Western New York can be problematic. Some people make it look easy – perfect layering strategy, stylish rain boots, midweight coat for ducking out of the office at lunchtime ... We reached out to several of the stylish WNYers who have appeared in The Buffalo News’ ongoing fashion series "7…

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Name: Gina Lattuca, 53. Who she is: Chief communications officer at the SPCA Serving Erie County, where she has worked for 29 years. The 1984 graduate of Maryvale High School earned an English degree with a communications minor from SUNY Fredonia and now serves on its alumni board. She is very involved in her church, the Chapel at CrossPoint, Getzville. ("I'm very passi…

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Name: Therese Deutschlander, 38. Who she is: Owner of Thin Ice gift shop, 719 Elmwood Ave., which opened in 2006 and specializes in one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, pottery, home decor and more from 200 local and regional artists; president of the Elmwood Village Association; founding member of the Elmwood Strip merchants group. The Lancaster native graduated from SUNY B…

Aug. 27, 1935 – Sept. 21, 2019 Bernard LeCastre, a retired men’s clothing store owner, died Saturday under hospice care in his home in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village after a lengthy illness. He was 84. Born in Buffalo, he attended School 3, was a 1953 graduate of Grover Cleveland High School and served in the Army Reserve. He began working in retail at Kobacker’s in do…

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Name: Jessica Brown, 39. Who she is: She is a certified public accountant, lawyer and director of administration and finance for the City of Buffalo. She also teaches an accounting class at Bryant & Stratton and enjoys reading and working out. She grew up in North Tonawanda and is the mother of 3-year-old Eleanor. What she's wearing: Green pleather skirt and ivor…

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Name: Jennifer Trautman, 33. Who she is: The Amherst resident is a sales rep for Henry Schein Dental division, where she has worked for six years. A 2004 graduate of Sweet Home High School and lifelong dancer, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater from the University at Buffalo. During college summers, she danced and sang in live shows at Fantasy Island on Gra…

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Miss Josie's, an antique and vintage clothing shop in Kenmore with a devoted customer base, will close this month after 14 years in business. The store's owners, James Walaski-Miller, 54, and his husband, Alan, 57, say they're ready to downsize their lives now, especially because they've both dealt with recent health issues. James – a top Tupperware seller who hosts …

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Name: Ellen Krzemien, 53. Who she is: Ellen and her husband, Jon, are the next generation at Rumfola's farm, 13187 Vaughn St. in the Town of Concord. Rumfola is Ellen's maiden name, and her family has farmed this land since the 1930s. "My husband is carrying on the vegetable portion of the market with the help of my dad, Joe Rumfola, and I have reinvented our farmlan…

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Name: Brendan Francis O'Connor, 25. Who he is:  The North Tonawanda native graduated from SUNY Fredonia where he majored in political science. He now works in county government in downtown Buffalo and lives in Amherst. He attended Cardinal O'Hara High School for three years and graduated from North Tonawanda High School. He broke both wrists eight weeks ago inline skati…

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Name: Jackie LoVullo, 60. Who she is: Designer of handmade, whimsical wreaths who calls her business Zenjoy (a combination of "zen" and "enjoy.") She's a gardener, power walker and workout enthusiast and celebrated her 60th birthday by tandem skydiving from 10,000 feet. She grew up in North Buffalo and graduated from Bishop McMahon High School in 1977. She and her husba…

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Name: Yolanda Fields, 43. Who she is: Chairwoman of Garden Walk Buffalo, with which she has been involved for 12 years – including seven as a headquarters manager. The Buffalo native, vice president in the commercial lending department at a local bank, graduated from Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and attended Spelman College in Atlanta. She volunteers a…