HAWK Traffic Device Coming to Busy Main Street in Williamsville

Nov. 16, 2018
Bicyclist and pedestrians use a crosswalk controlled by a HAWK beacon at  Kenmore Avenue on the Tonawanda/Buffalo border. A similar device is set to start working Monday on Main Street in Williamsville.  (John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

Bicyclist and pedestrians use a crosswalk controlled by a HAWK beacon at Kenmore Avenue on the Tonawanda/Buffalo border. A similar device is set to start working Monday on Main Street in Williamsville.

After a six-year wait, a HAWK is nesting in Williamsville.

The village is home to the newest high-intensity activated crosswalk, or HAWK, beacon in the region. The traffic-control devices are meant to help walkers and bicyclists safely cross busy streets, and Williamsville officials have long sought one for the heart of Main Street.

Sometime Monday, the state Department of Transportation will activate the new signal installed in front of the Williamsville Branch Library.

Elected officials and business representatives say the signal will help make Williamsville more walkable and calm the flow of vehicles on the heavily traveled road. They say pedestrians and drivers may need to get used to how the new signal works, but the long-term benefits are clear.
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Farm to School Lessons Teach Healthy Eating in Buffalo Classrooms

Nov. 16, 2018
“You have the power to change your eating,” D'Youville fourth-year dietetics student Alanna Bonaccorso, left, recently told fourth-graders during a Farm to School program at Southside Elementary School. She taught with fellow dietetics student Jennifer Arnette. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)
“You have the power to change your eating,” D’Youville fourth-year dietetics student Alanna Bonaccorso, left, recently told fourth-graders during a Farm to School program at Southside Elementary School. She taught with fellow dietetics student Jennifer Arnette.

Kids like to talk about food, at least if a couple of new farm-to-school lessons at Southside Elementary School in South Buffalo are an example.

The lessons showed that the program buzz is palpable among students — who are more than willing to throw their parents under the bus when it comes to their lack of healthy food choices at home.

Take the fourth-grader who learned that white bread on sandwiches adds too many carbohydrates — and, over time, too many pounds.

“I have white bread with my peanut butter sandwich,” he exclaimed. “C’mon!”
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The Actual First Thanksgiving

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Trump Refuses to Pardon White House Turkey After Accusing It of Working for Soros

Nov. 16, 2018

Satire from The Borowitz Report

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a startling break with Thanksgiving tradition, Donald J. Trump refused to pardon the White House turkey after claiming that it was working as a secret operative of the billionaire George Soros.

A group of fourth graders from Bethesda, Maryland, who had gathered on the White House lawn for the annual turkey-pardoning ceremony appeared unprepared for the anti-Soros outburst that Trump unleashed on the Thanksgiving bird.

“That turkey was sent by Soros to spy on me,” Trump said, angrily turning on the fowl. “A lot of people are saying this.”

While the oblivious turkey pecked desultorily at the ground, an increasingly enraged Trump spewed a stream of conspiracy theories linking the feathered animal to global élites, election fraud in Florida, and Jim Acosta.

Trump attempted to lead the fourth-grade class in a chant of “Lock It Up,” apparently directed at the Thanksgiving delicacy, but the students slowly backed away from him in silence.

Tracy Klugian, one of the children who witnessed Trump’s meltdown, said that he found it “sad.”

“I get that he’s upset about Mueller and the midterms, but he shouldn’t take it out on a turkey,” he said.

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Amherst to Pay $30,000 for ‘horrendous’ Injuries Caused by Broken Drainpipe

Nov. 16, 2018

An Amherst man who suffered lacerations and a painful infection after gashing his leg on an exposed drainpipe is in line to receive a $30,000 settlement from the town.

Carlton Ullrich said he fell over a jagged metal drainpipe, owned by the town, next to his home at Randwood Drive and Hopkins Road in November 2014.

Ullrich’s lawsuit, filed in 2015 against the town and Erie County, contends he was badly scarred and suffered hives, inflammation and swelling. Town Attorney Stanley Sliwa said the “horrendous” wound required 25 stitches and Ullrich developed a severe sepsis infection.
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Amherst, City of Tonawanda to Share Assessing Services

Nov. 16, 2081

The Town of Amherst and City of Tonawanda have agreed on a plan to share assessing services.

Town and city officials on Thursday said the collaborative arrangement saves money for both municipalities, creates efficiencies and encourages the sharing of best practices.

The city would pay Amherst $43,000 per year for the part-time services of Town Assessor David C. Marrano and Cheryl Walfrand, a senior real-property appraiser.
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As Ciminelli Faces Possibility of Prison, Friends and Allies Plead for Leniency

Nov. 16,  2018
A jury convicted developer Louis Ciminelli of fraud and conspiracy charges. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
A jury convicted developer Louis Ciminelli of fraud and conspiracy charges.

ALBANY – In his years as a prominent Buffalo businessman, Louis Ciminelli made some enemies, but he made lots of friends, spreading his time and money around to cultural groups, providing steady union jobs on his many projects and enjoying close ties with politicians across party lines.

Now, as Ciminelli faces a possible prison sentence being handed down in a couple weeks, those friends and family are coming to his defense.

Lawyers for the convicted former construction titan have turned to dozens of big and small players in the Buffalo community to try to convince a federal judge not to sentence him to any prison time when Ciminelli learns his fate later this month.

From siblings and his children to political, cultural and business figures came pleas to U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni to show leniency for Ciminelli, who was convicted last summer in a federal corruption case that found the Buffalo Billion solar plant project at RiverBend was the product of a rigged bid.
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Don’t Count Retail Out: Why Stores Expect More Foot Traffic for the Holidays

Nov. 16, 2018
All signs point to a jolly holiday shopping season this year. (Mark Mulville/News file photo)
All signs point to a jolly holiday shopping season this year. 

If you’re waiting for the holiday shopping season to start, you’re late.

It’s already in full swing.

Sure, Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon offered Black Friday sales in July, but sales and consumer foot traffic began their annual increase in earnest last weekend, well before Black Friday’s symbolic kickoff.

Despite reports of brick-and-mortar retail’s steady drop-off and hastening demise, things are looking up again this year, with indicators that can predict such things trending positive: consumer confidence, holiday hiring, the economy, unemployment and projected spending.

Even tariffs on Chinese products aren’t likely to dampen enthusiasm: Retailers imported a record amount of merchandise before the tariffs took effect in September as part of a strategy to head off price increases.
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Cocktails and Caroling

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3 Students Charged With Making Will North Bomb Threat

Nov. 14, 2018

Three students have been charged in connection with Tuesday’s bomb threat at Williamsville North High School, according to Amherst police.

A 14-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old have been charged with making a terroristic threat, police said Wednesday. Their names were not released.

The 16-year-old was charged as an adolescent offender and the matter was sent to the Youth Part of Erie County Court, according to police.

The other teens were petitioned to Erie County Family Court, police said.

Police responded to the school at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday for the report of a threat. Police said nothing suspicious was found after a search of the school and school grounds. Students sheltered in place, and resumed normal school activities at 12:40 p.m.

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