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Ken Johnson, known far better as “Pinto Ron” around greater Buffalo, vividly remembers meeting Ezra Castro. It is important to read that sentence exactly as written, because Castro is being eulogized throughout the football world as Pancho Billa, the mask-and-sombrero wearing character he made famous in the stands at Buffalo Bills games. They were introduced in the crow…

Crime

From the time of his arrest, Dr. Paul T. Biddle was upfront about his addiction to painkillers. In time, the Orchard Park pain management physician also admitted writing prescriptions to two dead people and diverting the drugs to himself. Biddle, 55, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to two years of probation. Biddle's lawyer pointed…

Crime

A Lackawanna man was arrested on sexual assault charges following an incident in which he allegedly assaulted a 14-year-old male customer, according to Orchard Park Police. Stephen Savaglio, 68, was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal sexual act, a felony, as well as forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. Orchard Park Police said they wer…

Crime

A Hamburg man with two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated was charged with felony DWI Sunday night after Orchard Park police said he fled the scene of a crash. An Orchard Park police officer saw a pickup driver run a red light and crash into another vehicle at the intersection of Southwestern Boulevard and Orchard Park Road about 10:40 p.m. Sunday, poli…

Amherst

Nearly $30 million worth of commercial real estate transactions closed within the last two months in Erie County, ranging from restaurants and oil-change shops, to medical office and manufacturing buildings, to apartments, nursing homes and even vacant land for future housing. The $28.5 million in deals stretched from Buffalo, Kenmore, Tonawanda and Amherst in the north…

Business

KeyCorp.'s commercial real estate lending division has provided a $45.8 million loan to Hamister Group to refinance debt on the Orchard Heights senior housing property in Orchard Park. KeyBank Real Estate Capital originated the fixed-rate, 15-year loan for the 162-unit property at 5200 Chestnut Ridge Road, which was constructed in 1992 and renovated in 2016. It includes…

Local News

Bridge maintenance work on Route 219 will continue next week on a section of the expressway in Orchard Park. The New York State Department of Transportation said lane closures are scheduled to occur to allow for the construction of temporary crossover lanes. Long-term lane closures will begin Monday between Boston State Road (Route 391) and Armor Duells Road.  The le…

Local News

A man seriously burned at a North Benzing Road business Wednesday afternoon is in critical condition, according to Orchard Park Police. The call, which came in at 1:12 p.m., reported a person and a vehicle were on fire at Buffalo & Orchard Park Topsoil. Paramedics were working on the 33-year-old man when police arrived, and he was taken to Erie County Medical Center…

Bills

Ezra Castro, who has established a national identity as the costumed Buffalo Bills fan who calls himself Pancho Billa, learned from doctors Thursday morning that he is entering hospice care for cancer that began with a mass around his spine and spread into other organs, including his liver and lungs. Yet even at the most heartbreaking moments, Castro, like so many Bills…

Local News

Orchard Park Police Chief Mark F. Pacholec will retire May 3 with a 20 percent pay increase for this year, 80 comp days and up to $12,500 in longevity pay, under an agreement reached with the town. Pacholec, who has worked for the town 22 years, signed the agreement Tuesday and the Town Board, by a 3-0 vote, approved it Wednesday evening. The agreement ends one of th…

Local News

A proposal to build a hotel, houses and retail on 91 acres in Orchard Park is just one of the projects on the town's busy planning agenda. But last week the town told its planning coordinator, who had been involved in town planning for more than 30 years, that his job was done. "He's not available in the building enough," Town Supervisor Patrick Keem said of John P. …

Bills

Ezra Castro was in a hospital room Saturday in Houston, going through more tests, when he heard about Stevie Johnson's proposal. Castro, who is in treatment for stage 4 cancer, is a Dallas mortician who often shows up for Buffalo Bills games in the luchador mask and sombrero of the character he calls "Pancho Billa." Johnson, a former Bills wideout, has been selected by …

Local News

The four finalists for the job conducting the Orchard Park Symphony will have on-the-job tryouts. Matt Marco, who has conducted two recent productions of Buffalo Opera Unlimited, is the accompanist for the Buffalo Master Chorale, and performs with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will lead the orchestra Oct. 25. Hayden Denesha, associate conductor of the Rock Hill…