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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gillibrand pushes for Dream Act passage before Senate recess in December

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and 10 Democratic women Senators sent a letter calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the Dream Act before the Senate recesses in December.

In the letter, Senator Gillibrand and her colleagues urge the Trump Administration to reverse their decision to rescind the DACA program. Specifically, they write that women Dreamers and their families will be hit hardest, making up 53% of DACA recipients. The Senators underscored the need to pass legislation that would prevent them from being deported from the only home they have ever known.

"Women make up 53 percent of DACA recipients. According to the largest survey of DACA recipients, about one-quarter are parents of American citizen children," the Senators wrote. "The futures of these mothers and their U.S. citizen children have been thrown into uncertainty. If Congress does not act to protect them, hundreds of thousands of women will lose their status and face deportation."

On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that his administration would end the DACA program through a six-month phase out. Once DACA status expires, recipients would be prioritized for removal based on existing department guidelines.

The Obama Administration started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program in 2012. DACA allows eligible individuals who came to the United States prior to the age of 16 to apply for temporary protected status and work authorization.

The other signers of the letter are U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Patty Murray (D-WA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leader McConnell:

We write to urge you to pass the Dream Act as soon as possible and before the Senate recesses for the holidays. There is bipartisan support for Dreamers who have grown up as Americans and know only this country as their home. They are enrolled in our colleges, serving in our military, contributing to our economy and leading lawful, productive lives. It has been over two months since President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program and we have yet to see a Republican legislative plan to fix DACA. As mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, we are particularly concerned about the harm immigrant women and young children face with the rescission of DACA.

Women make up 53 percent of DACA recipients. According to the largest survey of DACA recipients, about one-quarter are parents of American citizen children. The futures of these mothers and their U.S. citizen children have been thrown into uncertainty. If Congress does not act to protect them, hundreds of thousands of women will lose their status and face deportation.

The effects of deportation have a lasting impact on immigrant families. When a parent is deported, it leaves the other with the responsibility of raising a family as a single parent—likely on a single income. If both parents are deported, their children may end up in foster care. Dreamer parents deserve to raise their children with dignity and without the threat of deportation.

Through the DACA program, immigrant women have been able to secure jobs and educational opportunities that allow them to provide for themselves and their families. In fact, over 90 percent of DACA recipients are currently employed and approximately 70 percent were able to get better paying jobs through their DACA status. Without the Dream Act, women will face extreme difficulty making ends meet for their families.

Women deserve to feel safe and be protected, regardless of immigration status. Taking away DACA protections places survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at risk of further exploitation. There is already increasing fear among immigrant survivors to report these crimes. In fact, nearly 43 percent of legal advocates said they had personally worked with a domestic violence or sexual assault survivor who dropped a civil or criminal case because they were too scared of potential immigration enforcement actions to continue.

If we do not act now to pass the Dream Act, thousands of Dreamer mothers and their families will face separation. The experience of Riccy Enriquez Perdomo, a DACA recipient and mother of two small children, who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this summer despite having DACA protection, is just one example of what could happen across the country if Congress fails to pass the Dream Act. Riccy was detained for seven days and shuffled to five different detention facilities during that time. Her family was unable to see her or even get accurate information on where she was being held. ICE had already prepared travel documents for her to be sent to Honduras before acknowledging their mistake. Riccy's experience and the painful uncertainty her family faced will be repeated thousands of times across the country if we do not take action.

Dreamers should not be threatened with detention and deportation. Immigrant women contribute so much to our society and we cannot let them down. Congress should immediately consider legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

There is absolutely no doubt that America will benefit from passage of the Dream Act, and too much is at stake not to act. We urge you to bring this legislation to the Senate floor for consideration as soon as possible.


Women's hoops heads to the Florida to take on Nebraska, Clemson

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

BUFFALO -- The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (2-0, 0-0 MAC) will head down to Daytona Beach, FL this week for a pair of games in the San Juan Shootout. The Bulls will open the tournament on Thanksgiving day with a matchup against Big Ten member Nebraska (3-1) before closing out the tournament against ACC member Clemson (3-1) on Friday afternoon at the Ocean Center.
Thursday and Friday's games can also be listened to on ESPN1520 as Matt Mattia has you covered with the pre-game shows down in Daytona Beach. Thursday's pre-game show will start at 3:45 pm with the tip scheduled for 4:15 pm and Friday's pre-game show will begin at 6:00 pm with the game scheduled to tip at 6:30 pm.
Tournament CentralGame 1: 11/23 - vs. Nebraska 4:15 pm
Game 2: 11/24 - vs. Clemson 6:30 pm
After a dominant win last time out, the UB women's basketball team will be hitting the road for their first pair of games away from Alumni Arena. Buffalo will take on Big Ten opponent Nebraska on Thanksgiving at 4:15 pm at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL before closing up action against ACC foe Clemson on Friday at 6:30 pm. The Bulls will be aiming for their third consecutive 4-0 start to the season at the San Juan Shootout.

Buffalo was able to improve to 2-0 for the third straight season on Monday night inside Alumni Arena as they completely dominated the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, handing them the 76-41 defeat. The Buffalo defense picked up their game on Monday as they were able to force 31 Maryland Eastern Shore turnovers and turned those into 36 points on the offensive end of the court. Sophomore Summer Hemphill led the way off the bench for the Bulls as she netted a team-best 12 points and four blocks while Theresa Onwukadidn't miss a shot, going 2-for-2 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe in route to an 11 point and three rebound game in the victory for the Bulls.

The Bulls have been dominant over the past four seasons against non-conference foes as they own a 34-12 overall record in non-conference tilts. Buffalo is 2-0 this season against non-conference foes after posting a 10-1 record a season ago. The Bulls started out last season with a program record 10-0 start in non-conference games. Over their last 13 non-conference games, Buffalo has outscored their opponents by 13.9 points/game as they have averaged 70.0 points while shooting 41.3% from the floor. The UB defense also held eight opponents to under 60 points in non-conference play over their last 13 games.

After posting a 76-41 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday night, the Bulls improved to 2-0 for the third straight season and just the 15th time in program history. This 2-0 start for the Bulls has been their most impressive so far as they have outscored their opponents by average of 24.5 pts/game, the highest average of any of the 2-0 starts. Buffalo has also started each of the last two seasons with at least a 6-0 record.

The pesky Buffalo defense has been able to force a total of 54 turnovers through two games this season and they have earned the win in both. The Bulls have taken advantage of their opportunities as they have turned those turnovers into 65 points (32.5/game). Last time out, UB forced a season-high 31 turnovers by Maryland Eastern Shore and turned those into a season-best 36 points on the offensive end of the court. Over the past two seasons, the Bulls own a 13-4 record when committing less turnovers than their opponents, including a 2-0 mark this season.

Buffalo turned into one of the best teams in the country out in transition a season ago and with the athleticism on the roster this year, UB is sure to be near the top of the nation in fast break scoring once again. Through their first two games of the season, the Bulls seem poised to dominate this category all season long as they own a 30-2 edge in fast break scoring in their two wins. Last time out, UB earned the 13-2 edge in fast break scoring as they ran away with a 35-point victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Buffalo has been able to win or tie the fast break scoring category in 30 of their last 34 games over the past two seasons inclduing in 23 of their last 24 wins. Buffalo owned the 270-111 edge in fast break scoring last year.

The Bulls have been known for their defense since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the program six seasons ago which has helped UB produce back-to-back 20+ win seasons. After leading the MAC a season ago in points allowed/game, the Bulls got back on track against Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday as they collected the 76-41 victory. Buffalo was able to hold the the Hawks to just 22.2% shooting for the game as UB now leads the MAC in field goal percentage defense as they are holding opponents to just 29.3% from the floor overall and just 20.0% from behind the arc. UB is 46-8 over the past three seasons when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 20-0 when holding their opponents to 50 points or less. A season ago, UB was 17-0 when holding their opponents to 59 points or less.

One of the keys to success for the Bulls over the past couple of seasons under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack has been shooting a better percentage from the floor than their opponents. The Bulls were able to outshoot the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 48.3% to 22.2% on Monday in the Bulls 35-point victory. With the win, UB improves to 36-2 over the past three seasons when they shoot a higher percentage from the floor than their opponent.

Senior point guard Stephanie Reid has turned into the best floor general in the MAC over her impressive four-year UB career. After setting the program record for assists in a season opener (11) against Delaware, Reid had a quiet night as the Bulls cruised to a 76-41 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Reid finished her game with just one point, two rebounds, five assists and four steals in just 21 minutes of work. The floor general was able to stabalize the Buffalo defense as they forced a season-high 31 turnovers in the win. The senior heads into her final campaign looking to leave her mark throughout the UB record books as she has already set the program record for assists in a season with 233 a season ago. Last season, Reid posted career-highs in points (11.5), assists (7.3), rebounds (3.1) and steals (2.0) while also tying the program record for assists in a single game with 16 against Ball State. She finished the season ranked tied for 5th in the NCAA in assists/game (7.3) and 8th in assist/turnover margin (2.9) while also notching seven games with 10+ assists, a new career-high. Reid closed out her junior campaign scoring in double figures 22 times while breaking the 20-point plateau a career-best four times. Defensively, Reid earned All-MAC Defensive Team honors for the second straight season as she averaged a career-best 2.0 steals/game while recording at least one theft in 26 of 32 games and two or more steals in 17 games. She enters the season ranked 2nd in program history for career assists (486) and 7th in free throw percentage (75.9%).

The Buffalo bench saw a lot of action on Monday in the 35-point win over Maryland Eastern Shore and the sophomore duo of Summer Hemphill and Theresa Onwuka produced when they got their chance. Hemphill finished off her night leading all players with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting while notching four blocked shots and two rebounds in 11 minutes. Onwuka was also perfect from the floor as she went 3-for-3 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe as she notched 11 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal across 10 minutes. Both players saw major minutes during their freshman campaigns as Hemphill averaged 21.3 minutes, 6.0 points, a team-best 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while Onwuka logged 17.2 minutes, 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Hemphill tied for the team lead as she notched four double-doubles and earned All-MAC Freshman team honors while Onwuka netted three double-doubles of her own.

The much anticipated Buffalo debut for UMass transfer Cierra Dillard went just about as well as any fan could have hoped as she led the Bulls with 17 points in her debut. The Rochester native backed up her first career game for the Bulls with a strong game in limited time in the Bulls dominant win over Maryland Eastern Shore as she finished with five points, six assists and three steals in 20 minutes of action. Dillard has now notched six assists and at least three steals in both games this season while also connecting on at least one triple in both games. Dillard has now recorded 805 career points and will aim to surpass 1,000 career points during her junior campaign.

Fifth-year senior center Cassie Oursler will be leaned on heavily in the post this season and the 6-3 local product is more than ready to tackle that challenge. Oursler has opened up her final season for the Bulls with back-to-back double digit scoring efforts as she finished off the win over Maryland Eastern Shore with 10 points and two rebounds on 5-for-9 from the floor in just 17 minutes of work. The Grand Island, NY native is coming off of a strong junior campaign that saw her average a career-best 9.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while playing just 19.5 minutes/game. Last season, Oursler had 13 games with at least two blocks while notching at least one rejection in 24 games including each of her final nine games. With an improved fitness level this season and a new offensive game plan, the senior will be looking to exploit her opponents not only down low but in the open court.

The Buffalo bench has been a strength of the team over the past couple of seasons and they continued their high level of play on Monday in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore. The Buffalo bench was able to hold a 49-16 edge in scoring as two players, Hemphill and Onwuka, scored in double figures while eight of nine bench players recorded at least one point in the win. The UB bench is averaging 39.5 points/game as they have won the scoring battle in bot victories so far this season.

Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, the Bulls will be returning one of the most experienced rosters in the MAC as they have a total of five seniors and 10 upperclassmen who have notched a lot of playing minutes in their careers. The Bulls rank second in the MAC in career minutes returning as UB returns 12,413 minutes of experience. Senior point guard Stephanie Reid is the most experienced returner for the Bulls as she has notched 2,720 career minutes running the UB offense.

1. Miami - 13,782          7. NIU - 9,661
2. BUFFALO - 12,413 8. BGSU - 8,073
3. CMU - 11,567           9. Ball St. - 6,852
4. WMU - 10,848         10. EMU - 6,452
5. Kent St. - 10,795     11. Akron - 4,964
6. Toledo - 10,590        12. Ohio - 3,877

This Buffalo squad is jammed full of experience and it starts with their senior class of five players, Stephanie ReidLiisa UpsKatherine UpsMariah Suchan and Cassie Oursler. This senior class has accumulated 63 victories together and with six more wins this season, they will become the winningest senior class since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99.

For just the second time in program history, the UB women's basketball team was tabbed by MAC coaches to win the MAC East regular season title. The Bulls receieved a program record 10 first place votes, finishing way ahead of second place Kent State in the polls. Buffalo was also able to garner one vote to win the regular season MAC championship and one vote to win the MAC Tournament championship.

After a career year during her junior campaign, point guard Stephanie Reid was able to garner some preseason praise as she was named to the All-MAC east team for the second straight season. Reid joined Carly Santoro of Bowling Green, Jordan Korinek of Kent State, Lauren Dickerson of Miami and Taylor Agler of Ohio on the squad.

Buffalo will welcome three newcomers to the squad this season after graduating just one senior from last seasons 22-win team. Junior Autumn Jones transfers to Buffalo after spending the past two seasons at Pensecola State Junior College where she averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her sophomore campaign. UB will also welcome a pair of freshman in point guard Hanna Hall and forward Marissa Hamilton. Hall comes to Buffalo from nearby Hamilton, Ontario where she played at Lincoln Prep. Hall spent the summer of 2017 playing for the U19 Canadian National team, guiding them to their first-ever Bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Italy. Hamilton joins the Bulls after a successful high school career at Ellicottville high school where she averaged 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her senior season.

The Bulls will be looking to replace their leading scorer and one of the best shooting guards in program history this season as JoAnna Smith graduated in the spring. Smith averaged a team-best 17.2 points last season while finishing her career ranked sixth in program history with 1,395 career points. The lethal outside scorer also became the second UB player under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack to earn a professional contract following her career as she signed to play professionally in Portugal this season.

Since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the reins of the program prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the Bulls have turned into one of the premier teams in the Mid-American Conference. UB is 92-70 under Legette-Jack's watchful eye as they have accumulated at least 17 victories in each of the past four seasons and 19+ wins in three straight campaigns. Posting 22 wins a season ago, the Bulls have now notched back-to-back 20+ win seasons for just the second time in program history and the first since joining the MAC.

The 2016-17 season for the UB women's basketball team is one of the most impressive seasons in program history as they posted a 22-10 record, second most wins in the Bulls division I history and most since joining the MAC in 1998-99. Buffalo started the season in impressive fashion as they set the program record for best start to a season going 10-0 before suffering their first loss in the final non-conference game of the season. The 10-1 non-conference mark is also a program record. After gathering a 10-8 conference mark, the Bulls were able to advance to their second straight MAC semifinal game for the first time in program history but fell short, losing to eventual MAC champions, Toledo. Despite the 22 wins and beating multiple teams in the NIT field, Buffalo was denied of a postseason NIT berth.

Area students intern through SUNY Oswego in fall 2017

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

OSWEGO -- Several local SUNY Oswego students from the area took part in internships in fall 2017 with a wide variety of employers through the college's Center for Expertiental Learning, providing a strong on-the-job learning experience to amplify their coursework.

  • Jessica M. Kisluk of Two Rod Road in Alden, a senior broadcasting and mass communication major, interned with Cumulus in Syracuse
  • Hannah C. Cooper of Lake Street in Angola, a senior biology major, interned with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo
  • Shannon K. Moran of Hansen Avenue in Buffalo, a senior human resource management major, interned with Food Bank of Central New York in Syracuse
  • Hayley L. Prenatt of Lyth Road in Buffalo, a senior broadcasting and mass communication major, interned with WRVO Public Media in Oswego
  • Matthew D. Nawrot of Shisler Road in Clarence, a senior marketing major, interned with Walt Disney World in Orlando
  • Claire M. Towey of Clarkes Crossing in Fairport, a senior marketing major, interned with Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center in Oswego
  • Adam J. Schmidt of Mount Vernon Boulevard in Hamburg, a senior meteorology major, interned with Spectrum in Syracuse
  • Kimberly C. Corrie of Arrow Trail in Lancaster, a senior human development major, interned with Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse
  • Jessica M. Sheppard of Hunters Drive in Lancaster, a senior wellness management major, interned with The Fit Foodie Mama in Oswego
  • Rebecca R. Markajani of Lazy Trail in Penfield, a senior wellness management major, interned with St. Francis Commons in Oswego
  • Alicia L. Hughes of Moore Road in Ransomville, a senior journalism major, interned with InterFaith Works of Central New York in Syracuse
  • Jenna L. Amo of East Manitou Road in Rochester, a senior human resource management major, interned with Digital Dirt in Oswego
  • Stephanie M. Beaumont of Orland Road in Rochester, a senior human development major, interned with Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center in Oswego
  • Jessica L. Schafer of Woody Lane in Rochester, a senior human development major, interned with Paws of CNY in Syracuse

Admission to SUNY Oswego is competitive. U.S. News Media Group counts SUNY Oswego among the top public regional universities in the North for 2018, and the Princeton Review includes Oswego in its 2018 college guidebook "The Best Northeastern Colleges" and in its national list of "Green Colleges."

A 156-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, Oswego enrolls about 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education.

Visit for more information.

BPO celebrates holiday season with Irish Tenors, Polar Express, classical treasures and a visit from Santa

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is gearing up for another busy holiday season, with four chances to experience the joy and magic of the holidays in concert.


The season begins at 7 p.m Wednesday Dec. 6 with a performance from the Irish Tenors on their Holiday Tour. Ronan Tynan, Finbar Wright and Anthony Kearns lend their soaring voices to a program of holiday classics and familiar Irish tunes such as "Forty Shades of Green," "Let There Be Peace" and "Whiskey in the Jar." Tynan is especially recognizable to Buffalonians, having sung "God Bless America" at many Sabres games. The tenors are known worldwide for giving fresh life to old favorites from Ireland as well as popular and classical music from around the world, and their collaboration with the BPO this holiday season is sure to inspire and delight.


On December 8 at 10:30 a.m. and December 9 at 8 p.m., JoAnn Falletta leads a treat for lovers of classical music in JoAnn's Classical Christmas, part of M&T Bank's Classics Series. The program features the BPO debut of acclaimed soprano Aundi Marie Moore, singing favorites such as "Ave Maria" and "Gesu Bambino." Moore is an award-winning soloist originally from Virginia, as well as a former member of the Domingo-Cafritz Washington National Opera Young Artist Program. Benjamin Mekinulov will share the stage with his father, Roman Mekinulov, the BPO's principal cellist performing Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos. Benjamin attends Amherst High School. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus led by Adam Luebke will perform seasonal pieces by Rutter, Bach and Handel with the BPO. The program includes classical holiday treasures such as the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's"Messiah," "Dance of the Tumblers" from Rimsky-Korsakov's "Snow Maiden,"and selections from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," as well as an audience sing-along of favorite Christmas carols.


Santa himself plays an integral part in the BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids Jingle Bell Jam at 2:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 10 when he flies into town to share stories and his favorite holiday music.This budget-friendly family concert is complete with selections from "The Nutcracker" featuring dance performances from the Royal Academy of Ballet and Verve Dance Studios and a sing-along. Come at 1:30 p.m. to make cards for the men and women in the United States military stationed far from home this holiday season. After the show, children and parents are invited to have milk and cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The BPO also encourages audience members to bring a new, unwrapped donation for Toys for Tots to the show, as Kleinhans is an official drop-off location for the charity.


The BPO's holiday season concludes with John Morris Russell's Holiday Pops. There are four opportunities to enjoy this show: Friday Dec. 15at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday Dec. 16 at 8 p.m., and Sunday Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets often sell out, as thousands of Western New Yorkers attend this family tradition.

Russell's Holiday Pops programs are inspired by the records his father used to get at Goodyear Tire or Firestone when he got the snow tires put on the car. Just like those albums, the Pops programs are varied and engaging. "It would always just be this panoply of music," Russell recalled. "I like to have that kind of wild diversity in my holiday programs. We're celebrating peace, love and joy and I'd like to make sure every single piece of music on the program exudes it."

This year, the concert features Buffalo's own Katy Miner as a soloist. Miner was formerly a section leader in the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, and currently performs around the city with the Katy Miner Jazz Quintet and the Cabaret Big Band and is also recognizable from her roles in local professional theater productions. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Buffalo Girlchoir lend their voices to a tremendous array of holiday music. The Normal Street Exit Trio also makes an appearance on this program, featuring the BPO's own violinist Amy Licata, Associate Principal Bassist Brett Shurtliffe, and classical guitarist Matthew Sperber. The trio brings classical training to a Celtic sound. The centerpiece of the program is "The Polar Express," narrated by well-known local actor Mike Randall of WKBW-TV. The BPO plays selections from the lush film score while the original illustrations from the beloved children's book are displayed on screen above the orchestra. There are sure to be surprises when JMR brings his boundless energy to his favorite time of year!


The BPO offers a wide selection of gifts for music lovers. More than 40 CDs are available for purchase online, as well as in the Kleinhans gift shop alongside other music-themed gifts. Tickets also make the perfect gift. Concerts coming up in 2018 include classical favorites such as Bolero and Carmina Burana and Pops with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as well as rock shows like Music of The Doors and Brass Transit: the Music of Chicago. Gift certificates are available in any amount – they offer flexibility to the recipient and never expire.


As in previous years, Kleinhans will function as a drop-off location for the Toys for Tots drive this holiday season. Toys can be brought to Kleinhans from Dec. 4-17 whenever the box office is open or a concert is held. Toys for Tots requests new, unwrapped toys to make a child's holiday special.
For tickets to any of these concerts, visit or call (716) 885-5000. The BPO's box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sundays from noon until to the first intermission of the event. If there is no event scheduled for Sunday, the box office will be closed.

Beaver Dams man sentenced for role in methamphetamine conspiracy

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

ROCHESTER -- Scott Kennedy, 40, of Beaver Dams, who was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, was sentenced to 235 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who handled the case, stated that between June 2012, and May 4, 2016, Scott Kennedy conspired with others, including Wendy Kennedy, Jared Mendez, and Terry Champion, to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. Kennedy distributed large amounts of methamphetamine with and to people throughout the area of Schuyler, Chemung, and Steuben Counties in New York. During that time, defendant personally manufactured large amounts of methamphetamine at his home at 44 Campground Road in the Town of Catlin and on the property maintained by his sister, Wendy Kennedy, at 2200 County Route 19 in the Town of Dix.

Kennedy also received assistance from numerous co-conspirators who provided him with supplies with the intent that he would use those supplies to manufacture methamphetamine. Jared Mendez, for example, sold stolen anhydrous ammonia to Kennedy, while Terry Champion sold pseudoephedrine to Kennedy.

Jared Mendez, Terry Champion, and Wendy Kennedy have been convicted of charges stemming from the conspiracy and will be sentenced on December 1, 2017, November 30, 2017, and December 19, 2017, respectively. Charges are pending against another co-defendant, Quinton Harrison. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, Special Investigations Unit, Rochester; the New York State Police, CNET Southern Tier, under the direction of Major Richard Allen; the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of William Yessman; and the Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Joseph Fazzary.

Jamestown man pleads guilty to drug charge

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today Barrett Johnson, 34, of Jamestown, NY, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute MDA, also known as “Molly,” a Scheduled I controlled substance, before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant sold MDA on multiple occasions, at location which included Johnson’s barbershop. The defendant would purchase “Molly” from co-defendant Richard Clarke and, in turn, sell the “Molly” to others, including co-defendant Joshua Castro.

Co-defendants Joshua Castro and Richard Clarke have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.

Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce which includes the Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and Toronto Police Services.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 8, 2018, at 2:30 p.m., before Chief Judge Geraci.

Rochester man pleads guilty to conspiracy to sell oxycodone

All WNY News     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

ROCHESTER --  Michael Ingham, 29, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute a controlled substance before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that Ingham was prescribed large quantities of oxycodone by his heath care provider. Beginning in October 2016 and continuing until his arrest in February 2017, Ingham conspired to sell his oxycodone pills to Daniel Volonino, Jr. and Ronald Lockwood, who, in turn, sold pills to others in the Rochester area.

Ronald Lockwood has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing. Charges are pending against Daniel Volonino, Jr. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.   

Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, and investigators with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the New York State Attorney General, under the direction of Eric Schneiderman.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 16.

Today's forecast: Partly sunny with a high near 34

Scott Leffler     Wednesday, November 22, 2017    

The National Weather Service calls for partly sunny skies today with a high near 34. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 28.

Thursday, there's a chance of snow showers followed by a chance of rain and snow showers with a high near 39. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Thursday night offers a slight chance of more snow showers with a low around 32. Friday will be mostly sunny with a high near 46 and a low around 41. Saturday, showers are likely with a high near 46 and a low around 31.

Sunday, snow is likely with a high near 34 and a low around 26. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 40 and a low around 35. Tuesday will be partly sunny, with a high near 51.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

PODCAST: The Big Picture for Nov. 21, 2017

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    

Mike picks up where he left off last week and delves into the QB situation at One Bills Drive.

GURNETT: JD McPherson blows away packed house at the Tralf

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    

I hadn’t heard much of JD McPherson before his performance on Saturday, November 11th at The Tralf. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-born singer/songwriter/guitarist had managed to fly under my radar, despite a diverse set of influences spanning from Little Richard and Fats Domino to The Pixies and Wu-Tang Clan. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with a mix like that. I was happy to find that he and his amazing backing band blew me (and the rest of the packed house) away. It was a fun night of music and dancing I won’t soon forget.

Dylan Pratt opened up the evening. The Arizona-based singer/songwriter, who performed solo, has a beautiful voice that simply can’t be ignored, channeling influences like Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright and early Radiohead. Artists playing by themselves can feel a little lost in a big space. But Pratt’s guitar carried through the room, and his robust tenor captured the attention of everyone in the audience. His songs were full of catchy hooks and soaring choruses, and he hit every note perfectly. His guitar sounded equally fantastic, whether he was fingerpicking folky/indie tunes on his acoustic or moving to his for a more experimental sound. Pratt did a great job warming up the crowd for McPherson.

Then JD McPherson and his band took the stage. Trying to describe McPherson in just a genre or two is next to impossible. My best attempt would be to say he sounds like classic rock and roll with a modern spin. The first song started off with a country/folksy, Violent Femmes vibe, but I also heard bits and pieces of rockabilly, surf, new wave, ska, 60’s pop and classic metal -- usually with multiple genres coexisting at once. A song might start as a surf track, then take a detour through early Beatles brit-pop, then swing over to a Black Sabbath-esque metal bridge.

The crowd was completely engaged the moment McPherson stepped foot on stage. Within minutes, everyone in the Tralf was clapping and dancing along. The atmosphere was electric. The band played favorites like the 60’s skiffle-influenced “Desperate Love,” “Crying’s Just a Thing You Do” (a mixture of surf rock and blues with a huge metal bridge), and surf-rocker “Under the Spell of City Lights.” The choruses were downright anthemic and had everyone in the crowd singing along.

McPherson’s voice falls somewhere between Buddy Holly and Adam Levine. It’s a classic sound that calls to mind the music at high school dance in the 60’s. McPherson is a showman and interacted with the hyped-up crowd all night. He and second guitarist/saxophonist Doug Corcoran delivered intricate leads and perfect solos. Jimmy Sutton’s string bass laid a beautiful warm tone under the band. He also supplied the sweet slap-bass and percussive elements you can only get using this very versatile instrument. He demonstrated the beauty of not overplaying, knowing when to get a little crazy and know when to ease off. Jason Smay’s drums were thunderous, precise and dynamic, and he kept pace perfectly with mid-song genre changes.

When I review a concert, I usually leave a little room on my pad of paper for bands the performer I’m reviewing sounds like. For McPherson and company, my list was all over the place: Violent Femmes, Black Sabbath, Chuck Berry, Reverend Horton Heat, Brian Setzer, Beach Boys, Beatles, The Talking Heads, The Specials, Dick Dale, The Black Keys. That might sound overwhelming, but the result was actually delightful. If you like classic rock and roll, if you like a concert that feels like a big party, and if you like exciting, unpredictable music that demands your attention, you should definitely check out JD McPherson and his brilliant band the next time they come to town.

Ryan Gurnett has a B.S. in Music Industry from The College of St Rose. He has worked as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, producer and sound editor and has been a musician for 25 years. He is currently the bassist for The Lady, or the Tiger?. Email him at or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

AMHERST TIMES: Town Clerk Marjory Jaeger and her deputy assistant must be removed

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    
By James Tricoli

Let me state at the outset, I don't have a vendetta against the Town Clerk Department.  I am looking out for the security of our neighbors.

One, or some, of the employees of the Town Clerk's office removed political signs of Brain Kulpa and replaced them with signs of their boss, Marjory Jaeger.  In doing so they committed an act of thievery and showed a huge lack of integrity.  Miss Jaeger knew Tim Koller took these signs through a phone call she received.  She didn't contact the police and has remained deadly silent during this time period.  The top Town official said he doesn't want any punishment for anyone involved this episode.

The danger with having people who have admitted to a crime which is a felony is wondering what other nefarious acts will he/she or anyone else be doing in the Town clerk's office.  We can't forget how much money comes into the Clerk's office as well as all the citizen's information on their personal taxes and other vital information which can be sold or given to unsavory people.

The removal of Town Clerk Marjory Jaeger and Tim Koller must be immediately done for the safety of our town residents.

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.

MaryAnn Schwarzott -- Nov. 19, 2017

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    
SCHWARZOTT - MaryAnn (nee Porto) of South Buffalo, entered into rest November 19, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Ronald J. Schwarzott; devoted mother of Antoinette (David) VanHouten, Ronald (Ann) Schwarzott and Eileen (Jeremiah) Carroll; cherished grandmother of Kristin, Tiffany and Anthony; fond great-grandmother of 6 great-grandchildren; loving daughter of the late Julius and Ann (Porto); dear sister of Larian Porto.

Relatives and friends may visit the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Southtowns Chapel), 3060 Abbott Rd. near Lake Ave. on Wednesday from 3-8PM. Funeral Service will be held on Friday morning at 10 o'clock. (No visitation Thanksgiving Day).

Dunkirk man accused of possession of $16K worth of methamphetamine

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    

DUNKIRK -- A 24-year-old Dunkirk man was charged Monday with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, accused of being found with $16,000 worth of methamphetamine.

The charges again Ryan R. Lopez Jr. followed an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team. This investigation was based in the City of Dunkirk resulted in the seizure of over sixteen ounces of Methamphetamine. Lopez was arraigned in the City of Dunkirk Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Assisting agencies in this investigation were the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, the City of Dunkirk Police Department and the New York State Police in Fredonia.

State Police in Warsaw continue to investigate the 1979 missing person case

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    

WARSAW -- On Dec. 21, 1979, James Dean Knox, 24, of Warsaw was reported missing by his grandmother.

His grandmother last saw Knox at her home in South Warsaw on Dec. 9, 1979.

Further investigation by the New York State Police revealed Knox had been seen by friends, associates and local business people in the village of Warsaw on December 10 and 11, before his sudden disappearance.

At the time of his disappearance Knox was living on Wyoming Street in Warsaw, and was on medical leave from Leroy Machine Co., in Leroy, NY.  Knox was known to frequent a local pizzeria in the Village of Warsaw. 

Knox is described as a white male, 5’11” tall, 150 pounds, dark blonde hair, blue eyes and wears eyeglasses.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Investigator John Neeley of the New York State Police – Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Warsaw by calling 585-786-7244.  Please refer to case # 3029766.

New York National Guard soldiers to take over Ukraine training mission

All WNY News     Tuesday, November 21, 2017    

YAVORIV, UKRAINE -- New York Army National Guard Soldiers from western and central New York will take over the mission of training Ukrainian Soldiers from the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during a ceremony at Ukraine's Yavoriv Combat Training Center on Nov. 22.

Many of the 220 Soldiers who are part of the team are assigned to the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry which is headquartered at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The squadron also has troops in Jamestown, Geneva, and Buffalo.

The other members come from elements of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team which is headquartered in Syracuse and has units across New York. The unit is designated as the 27th Brigade (Forward).

The New York Guardsmen arrived in Ukraine on Nov. 11 and spent the last two weeks conducting a transition with the Oklahoma Soldiers.

The New York National Guard Soldiers will be part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U). Troops from Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom are also part of the training mission.

"Having the opportunity to train with and mentor Ukrainian Soldiers who are concurrently fighting on the eastern border of their country for freedom has a significant effect on how well we need to do this mission," said Col. Dennis Deeley, the commander of the New York National Guard Training Team.

"The 27th Brigade (Forward) is prepared and will carry on the strong success of Joint Multi-National Training Group Ukraine. We will work with all our friends, Allies, and Partners from free nations, to improve Ukrainian capability to oppose oppression," Deeley said.

The New York Soldiers left the state on Oct. 3 and conducted initial mission training at Fort Bliss, Texas. Sixty of the Soldiers conducted additional training at the United States 7th Army Training Command center at Grafenwoehr, Germany.

The New York-based 27th Brigade team will spend about nine months in Ukraine, helping the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense further develop its Combat Training and advise on its training program being conducted there. Oklahoma's 45th Brigade has been at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center since January 2016, conducting the same mission.

"We're all extremely well-trained - both in the military and the civilian side - and we're going to bring that skill set to JMTG-U and help the Ukrainians become better and more interoperable with the NATO forces," said Command Sgt. Major Thomas Ciampolillo, the senior enlisted soldier for the 27th Brigade.

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