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Saturday morning roundup: Christmasville, Santa visit and more

Jourdan Woodward covers his face from the wind and snow as he walks down South Park Ave. in South Buffalo on Friday. Photo by Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News

Good morning.

A little more snow may fall early today, which will feature stiff winds and a high temperature of 38 degrees. Here's a look at some events happening around town today:

Tonight is the Village of Lancaster's annual Christmasville Parade, which starts at 6 p.m. on Central Ave. and also features a tree-lighting ceremony.  The crowd can also check out the popular animatronic holiday displays that once graced the windows of AM&A's department store, which now have a new home in the village's Central Ave. business district downtown.

Santa is coming to the Broadway Market. Bring the kids and catch him as he makes his way down Broadway in a horse and carriage today at 11:00 a.m. and take home a special picture with him. Santa will be at the Market every Saturday until Christmas and from Dec. 18 though Christmas Eve!

Pick up some crafts handmade by local artisans today at the Parkside Holiday Craft Show in Jewett Hall at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Jewett Parkway. It runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society hosts the One-Stop Buffalo Book Signing today from noon until 2 p.m. The event, designed for shoppers looking for personalized gifts in a relaxed atmosphere, features more than two dozen local authors selling and signing their books.

Last but not least, tonight is the World's Largest Disco at the Convention Center. But if you don't have tickets, you'll have to wait until next year to put on your bell-bottoms and dance to the Bee Gees. The event is sold out.

For more on what's happening around town today, check out Good Morning, Buffalo.

--Joseph Popiolkowski

No 'opt-out' delays reported at Buffalo Niagara airport

5 p.m CHEEKTOWAGA -- A steady flow of travelers arrived at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport this afternoon, but there were few delays for those headed out of town.

Lines at the security check point remained short most of the afternoon, with passengers getting through the screening process in under 5 minutes at times. Lines this evening are starting to build up a little longer.  

"It's pretty quick and easy," said Asha Marshall, a Toronto resident traveling through Buffalo on her way to New York City this afternoon. "I was expecting it to be a lot more busy than this because it's Thanksgiving weekend, but it seems pretty good."

Like many travelers, Marshall wasn't fazed by new security measures that prompted a call for protests earlier this week.

Several passengers interviewed after arriving at the airport this afternoon said they saw no delays caused by a highly publicized campaign to urge travelers to protest new Transportation Security Administration screening measures by opting out of full-body scanners. 

"If you didn't walk through the scanner, then you got a pat down," said Samantha Berner, a former Western New Yorker who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. "I was happy to walk through the scanner. So it wasn't bad at all."

Berner, who flew to Buffalo from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, said she didn't see any commotion over the new TSA screening measures. 

"There were lots of people. It wasn't bad, though," Berner said. "And everything moved quickly."

All of the parking lots at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport remained open as of early afternoon.

Julie Britt, a 10th-grade special education teacher at Bolivar-Richburg Central School in Bolivar, accompanied 34 high school seniors on their way back from a class trip to Disney World this afternoon. 

Britt said some of the students had to go through the scanners when they departed for Florida on Saturday. Besides a few complaints, she said, the students had no problem with the new security measures. 

"We were very worried about the lines at the airport," Britt said of flying on what is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year. "However, everything went smoothly."

Related: "Tips for making an airport run"

--Denise Jewell Gee

Winter weather advisory issued for tonight

Western WeatherYing Lu, left, and Tianming Zhong shield their faces from the wind and snow while walking along 1200 E near the Utah State University campus Tuesday afternoon. A storm system moving across the west could bring snow to the Southern Tier late Friday. (AP Photo/Herald Journal, Jennifer Meyers)

6:41 p.m. update: Western New York residents, particularly those south of Buffalo, can expect freezing rain when they wake up Thanksgiving morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Wyoming, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Allegany and southern Erie counties.

The forecast is for a soaking rain Thanksgiving afternoon and evening. Rain early Friday could turn to snow by evening in areas south of Buffalo, the Weather Service said.


A storm system moving across the midwest could bring heavy winds and Lake Effect snow to southern Erie, Chautauqua and Wyoming counties Friday night, the National Weather Service has forecast.

Meteorologists are watching a deep low pressure system now centered over Colorado and western Kansas that will bring cold air across the relatively warm waters of Lake Erie.

Dave Sage, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the weather agency currently expects the "potential for significant accumulations" in areas well south of Buffalo, but that could change depending on the direction of the wind.

"We can't totally exclude Buffalo yet, so we'll have to keep a close eye on that," Sage said. "But there's certainly a potential for not only the Lake Effect snow going on, but also some pretty gusty winds, which would make travel pretty difficult."

The storm could bring wind gusts of up to 40 mph and sustained winds of 30 mph on Friday.

"The location is a little bit uncertain at this time, depending on the exact wind direction that we're going to have off the lake," Sage said. "Right now, it would probably favor the Southtowns and southward."

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the potential of a storm Friday and will continue to update its predictions.

The weather service has forecast soaking rain Thanksgiving afternoon and evening, with the potential for some sleet or freezing rain in sheltered valleys Thursday morning.

Rain early Friday could turn to snow in the evenings in areas south of Buffalo.

"Friday evening and overnight Friday would be the biggest potential for significant accumulations," Sage said.

--Denise Jewell Gee

Tips for those making an airport run

Picking someone up at Buffalo Niagara International Airport? Don't want to pay to park while you wait?

If you're planning to park for two hours or less, it's free in the long-term lots (follow the green, orange and blue signs). In the parking garage -- which is considered short-term and is the closest to the terminal -- it's $4 an hour.

There's also a free cell phone lot on Holtz Drive (look for the big sign). Holtz runs north off Genesee Street between the Kensington Expressway and Transit Road.

Within about 3 miles of the airport, you can listen to 1580-AM, which has airport updates, including parking information. That information is also found here.

--Aaron Besecker

Seeing Stars: An interview with Torquil Campbell

Stars, from left, Pat McGee, Chris Seligman, Amy Millan, Evan Cranley and Torquil Campbell play Buffalo's Town Ballroom Wednesday.

BUFFALO -- Torquil Campbell is tired. But he's nearing the homestretch.

Campbell, Amy Millan, Evan Cranley, Chris Seligman and Pat McGee will convene as Stars beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Town Ballroom in what News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers called "one of the season's most hotly anticipated club gigs."

Campbell spoke to Live from Cincinnati where the quintet was on the next-to-last night of its coast-to-coast North American tour that started in September.

"It's been great," Campbell said of the fall tour in support of Stars' June release "The Five Ghosts." "It's been really, really, really long. I can feel it at this point pretty badly. But the shows have been fantastic."

In fact, Campbell is no stranger to Western New York. A Toronto native, he spends time in Montreal and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. where his wife is an actor in the Shaw Festival.

"Buffalo is practically my neighborhood," he said.

In fact, Stars is part of a decade-long groundswell of popular indie Canadian bands such as Arcade Fire, New Pornographers and Broken Social Scene (the brilliant collective that counts members of Stars among its ranks) breaking through and achieving massive crossover appeal with American audiences.

Campbell credits the Canadian government's policy toward its arts. The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings was set up in the early 1980s to promote the Canadian music industry. And requirements were passed to guarantee that a certain percentage of content aired is by Canadian artists.

"The political will was there to create an environment that was favorable for music," Campbell said. "And as a result of that you started to get an industry, a tradition and a scene."

Campbell talks about the importance of arts funding and education:

Stars got its start in that flourishing industry 10 years ago and "Ghosts" is its fifth full-length release in that time.

While Campbell has derived inspiration from painters such as Matisse and Picasso, a couple of life-changing experiences set the tone for the new album.

Seligman had a strange haunting experience, which kicked off the eerie aura surrounding the album. Then Campbell's dad died midway through the recording. And his daughter was born. It raised myriad questions for the 38-year-old singer about life and loss.

"Where do people go?" he asks. "Where do the people you once knew go? And where do the people who died go? They live inside your mind but are they present? And if they're present then how do they feel? Are they lonely? Are they afraid? Do they want us to know that they're there?"

Campbell talks about the inspiration behind "Ghosts":

With such interpersonal material, Stars had to find a delicate counterbalance between up-tempo dance-pop such as "How Much More" and the whimsical sway of "Changes" — two of the album's standout tracks.

"That's the tedious part of writing a song, in a way, is tempo," he said. "You try it in a lot of different ways, basically, is the only way to find out a song works. You get in a room and play it lots and lots and lots of times until you find something that feels natural."

The result is always evocative pop that recalls New Order, Kraftwerk and the Junior Boys wrapped up in haunting melodies that linger long after they're gone.

Town Ballroom, of course, is generally regarded as one of Western New York's most haunted establishments. It opened as the Town Casino and hosted all the big names in night club entertainment including Frank Sinatra.

Campbell seemed genuinely intrigued when told about the venue's history.

"How appropriate," he said laughing.

Doors for the all-ages show will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day-of-show (, box office).

--Joseph Popiolkowski

Morning Roundup: Tuesday, Nov. 23

Good morning.

A drop in temperatures today will bring a breezy afternoon, with west winds between 21 and 25 mph, the National Weather Service forecasts. The temperature is expected to drop to 40 by 5 p.m. in the Buffalo area.

Here's a look at a few of the latest headlines:

- An 18-year-old injured hunter who had fallen about 150 feet into the Zoar Valley gorge was rescued early this morning.

- An Orleans County hunter was found dead Monday night, apparently killed when he fell from a deer stand, Orleans County sheriff's deputies reported.

- Erie County Medical Center is expected to unveil details today of a $150 million planfor its Grider Street campus, News Medical Reporter Henry L. Davis reports.

For more on what's happening today, visit Good Morning, Buffalo.

--Denise Jewell Gee

Morning Roundup -- Monday, Nov. 22

Happy Monday.

And what makes it even happier is that feeling you get the morning after a Buffalo Bills win. 

The Bills relished Sunday in their biggest comeback in 13 years and their largest road comeback in 23 years. They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 49-31, coming back from a 31-14 halftime deficit. It was the first time in NFL history a team won by 18 or more after trailing by 17 or more at halftime.

Watch Allen, Mark and Sully's postgame report from Paul Brown Stadium:

Read more on the game here.

In other local news, the head of the local bicentennial commemoration for the War of 1812 said the organization is seeking nongovernmental funding because governments on the U.S. side of the border have done little to help.

Physicians bracing for more battles over Medicare payments has come to seem like an annual ritual since federal legislation passed years ago has triggered annual cuts to Medicare fees.

Looking for a cool new cell phone app? A few UB professors have developed a mobile application for the iPhone and iPad that helps its users stumble onto something new or see a familiar place in a different light. Check it out.

Be sure to check out Good Morning, Buffalo for a quick look at what's happening around town today.

--Lauren Nicole Mariacher

Morning Roundup -- Friday, Nov. 19

Students dressed as Pilgrims and Indians participate in a special pre-Thanksgiving feast Thursday in the Newfane Early Child Education Center. (Charles Lewis /Buffalo News)

Good morning. Here are this morning's top headlines:

Filming for part of this Sunday's episode of "Undercover Boss" took place the Subway restaurant at True Bethel Baptist Church.

Republicans believe Mark Grisanti has won the 60th State Senate District race over incumbent Antoine Thompson.

Kleinhans Music Hall is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

The Sabres' Patrick Lalime is working, and playing the waiting game, according to this piece by Mike Harrington.

The latest edition of Gusto is out today, with a cover story on Buffalo's own Brian McKnight. Here's the latest episode of Gusto TV:

For a look at today's other happenings, including today's weather forecast, check out Good Morning, Buffalo.

You also can check out The Buffalo News on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

--Aaron Besecker 

Morning Roundup -- Thursday, Nov. 18

The search for a suspect in a stabbing and burglary in Hamburg is believed to have ended late Wednesday when this car was stopped after crashing near Coca-Cola Field downtown. (Sharon Cantillon /Buffalo News)

Good morning. Here are today's top headlines:

Staff Reporters Jay Rey and Keith McShea look at the grim future of the Empire State Games.

The increase in the speed limit on the Kensington Expressway, effective today, is supposed to decrease the severity of car crashes.

Buffalo News Chairman Warren Buffett and a Holocaust survivor with strong ties to Western New York will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Arts Editor Jeff Simon says the new Harry Potter movie is something only true Potter fans can love.

Looking ahead to Sunday's Bills-Bengals game, check out this video report from Mark Gaughan, Allen Wilson and Jerry Sullivan:

For a look at today's other happenings, including today's weather forecast, check out Good Morning, Buffalo.

You also can check out The Buffalo News on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

--Aaron Besecker 

Radio stations get a jump on Christmas

It's all Christmas, all the time, at two Buffalo radio stations.

Two FM stations -- Joy 96.1 WJYE and Star 102.5 WTSS -- started offering holiday music on Monday.

Though the holiday is still 37 days out, WJYE Program Director Chuck Stevens said there's already a market for listeners ready to slip into the holiday mood.

"They're definitely ready for it," Stevens said. "Not only is it a great holiday, I think it's an escape for people this year."

Stevens said the holiday tunes give listeners a break from the economy and other worries.

Joy 96.1 will carry the Christmas format through the holiday and possibly a few days beyond, Stevens said.

"Believe it or not, we started getting emails before Halloween from people wondering when we were switching," said Brian Demay, program director for Star 102.5. "We do it because people really, really like it. Our ratings really increase this time of year."

Star 102.5 started playing holiday music on Monday and will continue until New Year's Day, Demay said. 

But not everyone is ready to hear Christmas music a week before the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We do a lot of audience feedback with our listeners, and there was really just two very simple things that they responded back to us," said Chet Osadchey, general manager of Citadel Broadcasting in Buffalo. "And that was that Christmas music absolutely needs to start after Thanksgiving."

Second, he said, listeners have told Citadel they want only a limited amount of Christmas music each hour in the days after Thanksgiving.

Citadel's Classic Hits 104.1 WHTT will start playing one holiday song an hour after Thanksgiving. Holiday music will increase steadily after that until the stations airs 36 hours of commercial-free holiday music starting at noon Dec. 24, Osadchey said.

Osadchey said many advertisers have also made it clear they're not interested in 24/7 Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

He said some worry about "audio fatigue" when listeners are inundated with holiday music too early.

On the AM dial, Citadel's Swing 1270 WHLD-AM offered a lineup of music and vintage Christmas radio shows all last week. It returned to its regular lineup this week, but will repeat the week of holiday programming again starting Dec. 19.

For listeners who aren't in the holiday spirit, Joy FM is offering a stream of its more typical selections on its website.

"That's something new we did this year," Stevens said. "A majority of our listeners want the Christmas music, but certainly not everybody."

--Denise Jewell Gee

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