EC Central Police Services Forensic Lab Receives International AccreitationN

CPS building

Lab Meets Highest Internationally Established Forensic Standards; Provides Testing for all EC Law Enforcement Agencies

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Central Police Services (“CPS”) Forensic Laboratory, previously accredited under the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (“ASCLD/LAB”) LEGACY program, has received a new and more stringent accreditation under the ASCLD/LAB INTERNATIONAL Program. The international program is based on the more rigorous ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards along with ASCLD/LAB-developed supplemental requirements, and the accreditation is recognition that the Erie County CPS Forensic Lab is meeting internationally established forensic standards.

“Receiving this international accreditation is a testament to the professionalism and effort of the team at Erie County’s Forensic Lab, and is acknowledgement of the high-quality work they are doing every day,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The Lab is a vital component in helping law enforcement agencies solve crime and protect communities, and I commend them for the good work they are doing to keep us all safer. My congratulations go to the staff for their professionalism and their hard work which led to this accreditation.”

“We are confident that our Laboratory is one of the best in the country, and that our work leads to the apprehension and conviction of criminals that prey on the citizens of Western New York,” said Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott. “The hard work and dedication of Lab Director Dr. John Simich, Quality Manager Dr. Kori Ortt-Gawrys, and the entire Lab staff has resulted in achieving this international accreditation, further evidence of the top-notch work they do in assisting law enforcement agencies across Erie County.”

The Central Police Services Forensic Lab provides centralized scientific support and assistance in association with criminal investigations for all law enforcement agencies in and around Erie County.  This is accomplished through the scientific analysis of recovered items of physical evidence.  The lab is accredited in the following general forensic disciplines: Controlled Substances (Drugs), Biology (DNA), Trace Evidence and Firearms.  Some common examples of the types of forensic testing services provided include: the chemical identification of a white powder as containing cocaine; identifying a recovered bullet from a homicide victim as being fired by a particular gun; or identifying DNA from evidence recovered in a serious violent crime and then, through the use of the DNA Databank, identifying a particular individual as the source of the DNA.  With the international accreditation, the law enforcement community is assured that evidence submitted to the Lab will be reviewed and tested according to the highest scientific standards.

For more information:

On Erie County Central Police Services, visit

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You Can Help Stop Bad Development in Amherst 2014

Protect Amherst logo

Good Day,

The Protect Amherst Life Association has declared 2014 – The Year of the Amherst Resident.

For many years individual neighborhoods have tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to curb commercial development that infringes upon residential areas.

In 2013 the Protect Amherst Life Association was formed for two main reasons:

1) To fight a proposed “bad” development at 1055 Youngs Rd.

2) To establish a grassroots effort for all Amherst residents to unite under and create a strong voice for all of us.

For all who have fought, are currently fighting or will be fighting future battles against “bad” development, this is an opportunity to say enough is enough. To be clear, Protect Amherst Life is not against development, we are against “bad” development that is having a negative effect on our residential communities. 

If you agree that the people of Amherst need to speak with one voice, a voice that speaks for hundreds of residents, a voice that will rally people to support other neighborhoods facing “bad” development, then join with us.

Please forward this email to fellow residents, family, and friends that can help and or relate with our cause… there is great strength in numbers!

We must make sure that our elected officials and appointed board members hear our voice, loudly and clearly, “Stop destroying our residential communities.”

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Influenza (“Flu”) Arrives in Erie County

It’s not too late to get a Flu Shot!

ERIE COUNTY, NY—According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), New York State is one of ten states reporting geographically widespread flu. Along with the rest of New York State, the number of reported cases in Erie County is also on the rise.

“In the past two weeks, reported cases of influenza have jumped significantly” states Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.  “Similar to the 2009 flu season, the majority of those falling ill with this flu strain are between the ages of 18 and 49 years old. However, no matter what your age, you are at risk of getting influenza if you have not been vaccinated during this flu season. Everyone at least 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine as soon as possible to stem the spread of this disease. While the vaccine is not 100% effective, it offers the best protection we have against this very serious disease.”

Burstein continues: “Frequent hand-washing is the most important health tip for all of us to remember so that we don’t spread illness. Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers, and always before eating, preparing, or handling food. When sneezing or coughing, be sure to turn away from others and use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose and sneeze into the crook or your arm, rather than into your hands.”

Influenza can lead to severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization and in some cases can be fatal. The flu season can last as late as May due to variations in the timing and duration of the season.  As long as flu season is not over, it is never too late to be vaccinated.  Even unvaccinated people who have already gotten the flu still benefit from vaccination since the vaccine protects against 3 different flu viruses. The flu vaccine is readily available in Erie County in physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other community sites.

What exactly is the Flu? It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, which can cause mild to severe illness.  It is especially important for certain populations at high risk for serious flu complications to get vaccinated.  Those people include:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu, including individuals with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, and chronic lung disease;  women who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breast feeding; and people 65 years and older.
  • People who are immunosuppressed where there body’s immune system or ability to fight off infection may be impaired or not working as effectively
  • People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications
  • Health care providers
  • Young children, especially those under 2 years of age

Symptoms of the Flu

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (although not everyone with flu will have a fever); cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; and fatigue. Some people may experience vomiting or diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.

How is the Flu Spread?

  • Flu is spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.  Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

For more information

Erie County Department of Health –

New York State Department of Health –

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –

University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy –

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UB Study Finds Strains Of Strep Lingering In Day Care Centers


Kids in day care centers could be sharing more than just toys when they’re passed around.

Two bacteria that cause some of the most common infections in children survive on objects and surfaces much longer than previously thought, according to a team of University at Buffalo researchers.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, a cause of ear and respiratory infections, and streptococcus pyogenes, the cause of strep throat and skin infections, were thought to die rapidly soon after leaving the human body.

But strains were found in a day care on hard-to-clean items such as stuffed toys and books many hours after kids had any contact with them, according to the study published last week in the journal Infection and Immunity.
Read more…

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Another Violent Home Invasion In Amherst At the Villas In Rensch Apartment Complex


An Amherst man was resting in his home when two men with handguns forced their way into the apartment and demanded  money.  He was pistol whipped at his home in the Villas on Rensch apartment complex located across from the University at Buffalo North Campus.  He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The incident occurred at about at about 10 p.m. Monday night, police reported

The victim, a 21–year-old Lackawanna man was visiting his older brother when the incident occurred.

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History Being Made In Amherst Today

Kara Buscaglia 1

Kara Buscaglia made history today … as the first woman judge in the 195 year history of the Town of Amherst.  Congratulations!

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Miller Gets Nod For Olympic Team

Ryan Miller

There are three close Buffalo connections to the USA Olympic Hockey team.  Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is one of three goaltenders that will compete next month in Sochi.

South Buffalo native Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and East Amherst native Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins also were named to the team.
Read more…

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News Will Be Made In Area Courtrooms, On Construction Sites And In Voting Booths In The Year Ahead

Even though temperatures were in the teens, the annual ball drop from the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo drew thousands of revelers wanting to bring in the New Year.

Even though temperatures were in the teens, the annual ball drop from the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo drew thousands of revelers wanting to bring in the New Year

Happy New Year!

There is no crystal ball, but the die is cast for much of what is to occur in this new year. Court dates, election campaigns and construction schedules offer us the tea leaves to predict some momentous events will occur in 2014.

In the next 12 months, major lawsuits will go to trial, big construction projects will be finished and state leaders will face re-election.

Here are some of the highlights:

Flight 3407 day in court
A green code for Buffalo development
Cranes and more cranes
Murder trial of mother set for March
Medical campus continues to grow
Civil case against Corasanti expected
Waiting on Cuomo’s fracking decision

and the list goes on.  Check it out HERE.

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Colorado Readies For ‘Green Wednesday’ Pot Sales

In this Dec. 27, 2013, photo, employee Lara Herzog trims away leaves from pot plants, harvesting the plant’s buds to be packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which is to open as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver.

Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1. Officials at Denver International Airport installed new signs warning visitors their weed can’t legally go home with them.

While smoking pot has been legal in Colorado for the past year, so-called Green Wednesday represents another historic milestone for the decades-old legalization movement: the unveiling of the nation’s first legal pot industry.

“It could be crazy. Or it could be crickets out there. Who knows? No one’s ever done this before,” said Robin Hackett, manager of BotanaCare in Northglenn, a suburb of Denver, who planned to have a DJ to greet shoppers.
Read more…

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Cruz Blocks Entrance to Flu Shot Clinic

HOUSTON – Just hours after the Affordable Care Act took effect, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led a protest blocking the entrance of a health clinic in Houston giving out inexpensive flu shots. “As long as I have breath, I will do everything in my power to keep the American people free from the scourge of healthcare,” Sen Cruz said. “Big government must not come between us and the flu virus.”
Photo: Cruz Blocks Entrance to Flu Shot Clinic HOUSTON - Just hours after the Affordable Care Act took effect, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led a protest blocking the entrance of a health clinic in Houston giving out inexpensive flu shots. "As long as I have breath, I will do everything in my power to keep the American people free from the scourge of healthcare," Sen Cruz said. "Big government must not come between us and the flu virus."

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