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Erie County Recognized as "Storm Ready"

Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service announced Monday that Erie County has been recognized as “storm ready.” 

The following is information provided by Erie County:

The County had to meet a set of rigorous criteria to receive the designation.  The County’s Emergency Services Department established a 24 hour warning point and emergency operations center, developed numerous ways to receive severe weather forecasts and to alert the public, created a system to monitor local weather conditions and developed a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises. 

County Executive Chris Collins said, “Our Emergency Services Department in Erie County, led by Commissioner Greg Skibitsky, regularly trains for all types of emergency situations and natural disaster responses.  Their impressive response to the October storm of 2006 and the floods in Gowanda last year in August are

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ASPCA's $100K Challenge

BUFFALO, NY - This Sunday marks the official start to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals $100K Challenge to Save More Lives.

Back in April, shelter contestants across the country started working tirelessly to save at least 300 hundred more animals than they did over the same three month period in 2009.

The shelter that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during that three-month period over the last year will receive a $100,000 grant from the ASPCA to continue its life-saving work. A second grant of $25,000 will be awarded to the shelter that does the best job of engaging its community in helping to save more lives.

Large Crowd at Taste of Williamsville

More than a dozen restaurants offered up several items at the annual Taste of Williamsville in Island Park on Sunday.

Organizers moved the event to a weekend after hearing several requests from residents.

Food Tents were also removed from the shelter in order to give people more space to sit and eat.

Did you attend the Taste of Williamsville? If so, post a review in the comment section below and send pictures to newsdesk@wgrz.com.

Sloan, Williamsville Dissolution Votes Draw Near

On August 17, voters in the villages of Sloan and Williamsville will go to the polls to decide if they want to dissolve their village governments.

It will be the first time such dissolution votes will be held in Erie County.

Government downsizing advocate Kevin Gaughan was able to gather enough petition signatures to allow residents of both communities to be able to vote on the issue.

Sloan Mayor Len Szymanski is soundly against the move, and believes most people there agree with him.

"We'll stay the way we are," Szymanski predicted.

"I have a message for the Mayor," countered Gaughan. "There is substantial support for ending, for Sloan residents, the highest property taxes that anyone pays in Erie County."

However, Gaughan - who has been successful in convincing voters in several towns to reduce the size of their town boards - admits convincing voters to jettison an entire government has proven to be a harder row to hoe.


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I-90 Reopened After Tanker Truck Fire

DEPEW, NY-NITTEC says the both directions of the Thruway beyond exit 49 have been reopened following an afternoon truck fire.

Eastbound lanes in that area were also closed for a short time while the fire was put out.

Despite all lanes being open, officials say there could be some traffic back ups as a result.

Stay tuned to wgrz.com for updates on this story as they develop.

Shop for the Animals at the Buffalo Zoo

BUFFALO, NY-The Buffalo Zoo needs you to help make sure they have enough to stock their pantries throughout the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

"Shop for the Animals" will take place at participating Tops locations on Saturday, August 21st.

Here's how it works-a copy of the Zoo's grocery "wish list" will be provided at the store and you're asked to pick up an item or two on the list while doing your own shopping. Shoppers will be albe to leave their gift with a Zoo volunteer in the store lobby.

All of the donations will be used as special treats to promote the animals' natural behaviors and to stimulate them both mentally and physically.

Some of the items on the list include: Kellogg's Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops, all sizes of dog biscuits, extracts and spices, peanut butter and rawhide chews.

The following Tops Friendly Markets are taking part:

-2101 Elmwood at Hinman in Buffalo

-Sheridan Drive at Delaware Road in Tonawanda

Taste of Williamsville Plans to "Savor the Flavor"

Williamsville (WGRZ)-- The 22nd annual Taste of Williamsville will be held Sunday, August 8th from 12 to 9 p.m.

This year's theme is "savor the flavor," and will feature 24 participating restaurants. There will be hundreds of food items, such as crab cakes, prime rib, pulled pork sandwiches, lobster bisque, and bakery specialties.

The event will also feature the annual pie baking contest and a kids area with games, prizes, and and an inflatable obstacle course.

There will also be a free historic trolley ride along Main Street thoughout the day.  Numerous free music performances will be given by:

  • WAKOS - 2:30 to 4 p.m.
  • Chris Squier Band - 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • Elvis tribute band with Terry Buchwald - 7 to 9 p.m.

The event is being sponsored by The Village Preservation Foundation, Inc and The Williamsville Business Association.