Good Morning, Buffalo: A family’s journey from Ukraine to Western New York |

The Polyak family in front of the home of Yuri Hreshchyshyn on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. The Polyaks, of Lviv, Ukraine, escaped the war through Poland, eventually arriving in Buffalo on July 21.

Minh Connors / Buffalo News

‘I wish our family was complete’: A family’s journey from Ukraine to Western New York

In late July, Maryana Polyak and her three children boarded three flights and traveled from Warsaw, Poland, to Buffalo. They were among the 10 million Ukrainians who were displaced after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

After fleeing Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, Polyak, like many Ukrainian refugees, found herself in Poland with her two daughters, son, niece and nephew.

But when Poland stopped providing her housing assistance after three months, Polyak knew she would have to consider new options. She decided her family would move to the United States under its Uniting for Ukraine program, where relatives in the US could support them.

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Now, Polyak and her children are living in a relative’s home in Williamsville. While her family is excited to start anew, they continue to worry about the safety of their country and Polyak’s husband, who was forced to stay in Ukraine.


As some GOP leaders fume, Nick Langworthy attempts balancing act between party leader, candidate roles: Some say Langworthy’s hold on both jobs presents an inherent conflict that short shrifts them both – especially his statewide responsibilities as chairman of the Republican Party. Langworthy is facing a tough GOP primary against Carl Paladino in the new 23rd Congressional District on Aug. 23, and then the general election against Democrat Max Della Pia on Nov. 8. Read more

Visit by Trump-aligned roadshow at Batavia church spurs protests: A high-profile event featuring pro-Trump, anti-vaccine speakers kicks off today at a church in Genesee County, and it is running into the same fierce opposition that drove the tour out of its scheduled stop in Rochester. The right-wing ReAwaken America Tour was set to stop in Rochester on Friday and Saturday, but pushback earlier this summer drove the host venue to pull the plug on the appearance. Organizers then moved the tour stop to the Cornerstone Church in Batavia. Opponents have held several protests in Batavia and more are planned during the two-day event. Read more

gov. Hochul signs bill making it easier to run for Buffalo School Board: Now you only need 400 signatures on petitions to run for an at-large seat on the School Board, and 200 signatures for district seats. Read more

Erie County residents become targets of ‘grandparent scam’: Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is warning residents to keep an eye out for a scam in which con artists use emotional manipulation and hidden identities to gain money from others. Read more

Tight on cash, Athenex prices $30 million in stock: The struggling Buffalo biopharmaceutical firm is seeking to raise about $30 million by selling more shares of its stock. Read more

People Inc. CEO to retire after 43 years with the agency: ‘It’s been an honor of a lifetime’: President and CEO Rhonda Frederick announced she will retire in April from the Western New York nonprofit health and human services agency. Read more



The bar area at Torrent inside the Sheraton Niagara Falls.

Minh Connors / Buffalo News

Gusto’s Look Inside: Torrent: The restaurant inside the Sheraton Niagara Falls has come a long way since its TGI Fridays days. watch now


‘Everybody’s loving this’: Healthy Corner Store Initiative grows in East Buffalo: Lucky Majid has long wanted to bring healthier foods and more hope into a Broadway-Fillmore District neighborhood that for decades has had too little of both. But with limited means himself, he has felt largely abandoned by those from outside East Buffalo with good intentions to help lift his part of the city – but maybe not much insight. “They spend millions of dollars on the Broadway Market to make that place look nice,” he said. “Why don’t you help us, too?” Majid and a dozen other convenience store owners hope the Healthy Corner Store Initiative will help. Read more

Upcoming Urban Run Series event is a marriage made in plogging heaven: Plogging – a combination of running and picking up trash – has swept the world since the first organized event six years ago in Sweden. It will make its first appearance next weekend as part of the Urban Run Series in Buffalo. Series co-creator Dennis Brinkworth organized the event with his wife, Jenna, community engagement manager with Tobacco Free WNY. The event includes a two-mile run focused on picking up cigarette butts. Read more


Editorial Board: Historic preservation in the suburbs can bring the same benefits as in Buffalo: It would be a big mistake to assume that suburban towns and villages in Western New York are bereft of the stand-alone historic structures and intact blocks of 19th-century architecture often protected by local, state or national preservation designations, writes The News’ Editorial board. Read more


Whitewater rafting: A guide to making a splash as a beginner: If this exhilarating experience has been on your bucket list, Sydney Bucholtz details things to do and how to prepare with the help of experts and her own experiences as a beginner. Read more


A message for Brandon Beane: Von Miller’s right – the Bills should absolutely sign Odell Beckham Jr.: “Even if Beckham can’t play until December, the idea of ​​him eventually lining up with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis in three-receiver sets is downright intoxicating. That’s why Beane needs to find a way to overcome any obstacles,” writes Jay Skurski . Read more

Best of Bills training camp 2022: MVPs, most improved and more: The Bills officially ended training camp Thursday, and they take the field at Highmark Stadium for their first preseason game on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. Because the roster is strong, deep and nearly set, this was not the spiciest training camp. The awards reflect that. Here are some of the standouts from the last three-plus weeks. Read more

Observations: Allen won’t play in preseason opener against Colts: We know the plan when it comes to at least one of the Bills’ starters for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Colts. Quarterback Josh Allen will not take the field at Highmark Stadium, coach Sean McDermott said Thursday ahead of the final practice of training camp at St. John Fisher University. Read more


Lawrence Pilut ‘excited’ to return to Sabers after whirlwind two years in Russia: An American Hockey League all-star with the Rochester Americans in 2018-19, Pilut had a strong debut season in North America. In the NHL, he showed promise under former Sabers coach Phil Housley. Pilut was poised and fearless with the puck, but he, like everyone else on the roster, had some challenges in defensive-zone coverage in Housley’s man-to-man system. And the system of Housley’s successor, Ralph Krueger, didn’t fit Pilut’s natural talents, either. Read more

Sabers prospect Ryan Johnson still returning to Minnesota for senior season: A first-round draft choice of the Sabers in 2019, Johnson can become a free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an entry-level contract with Buffalo. Read more


happy bees

Gardeners are increasingly interested in planting gardens that are organic, pollinator- and bird-friendly. Above, a garden photographed during the East Side Garden Walk on July 23, 2022.

Minh Connors / Buffalo News

• After a month that was packed with walks and tours, “Great Gardening” columnist Sally Cunningham reflects on the trends she observed in the gardens and while talking to the people who tend or visit them.

• A local health care advocate shares key lessons she learned from her late father who was a high-profile civil rights leader in Western New York. Francesca Mesiah talks with Buffalo Healthy Living’s Annette Pinder about the late Frank Mesiah, who headed the Buffalo NAACP for more than two decades.

• If you’re looking for a fun way to mix art appreciation with a visit to a quaint community, the Lewiston Art Festival returns this weekend. Lewiston was recently selected by World Atlas as one of “7 charming lake towns” in the upstate region.

• Croquet, anyone? Some people’s only exposure to the lawn game occurred when they read “Alice in Wonderland.” Remember how the Queen invites Alice to play a bizarre and difficult version of the sport? This post on the Visit Buffalo Niagara blog showcases a public croquet lawn nestled behind a row of hedges off Parkside Avenue in Delaware Park.

Whether your weekend plans include art festivals, whitewater rafting, croquet or other activities, enjoy!

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