Chris Jamele

Weekend program host

Saturday & Sunday 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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UB President Satish Tripathi has announced the hiring of a new school provost.

Chemical engineer Charles Zukoski will fill the $400,000 per year post. Zukoski is the chairman of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He will begin his new job this summer.

The Village of Kenmore is offering an amnesty period to motorists who have outstanding parking tickets.

Village officials have passed a law that vehicles with at least three outstanding tickets can be towed. It is estimated that at least $500,000 in unpaid tickets have been issued since 2003.

The amnesty period will last until May 31st, and vehicle owners can learn about any unpaid citations by contacting the Kenmore Police Department.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

A local man is facing a lengthy prison sentence and a hefty fine after a guilty plea was entered on Friday for drug conspiracy charges.

Twenty-six year old Scott Bald is accused of stealing more than 1300 prescription pills from a Clinton Street pharmacy in 2010. The charges detail that Bald conspired with Michael McCallum to steal and later distribute Oxycodone, Oxycontin and Percocet from the pharmacy.

Bald is facing a 20 year prison senctence and a $1 million fine and will be sentenced in July.

McCallum has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in May.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Three winners in three different states have been identified as winners in the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot.

The Democrat and Chronicle out of Rochester is reporting that a second place ticket was sold at a Wegman's store in the Town of Henrietta. The value of the ticket is reported to be $250,000.

This is one of seventeen second place winning tickets sold in New York State but the only one purchased in Western New York.

The identity of the winner has not been released.

Shoppers in New York will be getting a tax break on some of their favorite items one again.

Beginning today, a four percent tax break will be applied to clothing and shoe purchases that are valued under $110. A similar expemtion was lifted in October of 2010.

The exemption cuts the added tax to these purchases in half for most counties in the state.

A man who is facing financial challenges in both Buffalo and North Carolina has been served with subpoena papers by the New York State Attorney General.

David Tomasello, a former local resident, is facing nearly $3 million in fines for environmental violations dating back to 2008.  His Lake Front Recycling firm in Lackawanna was cited at that time for multiple waste violations. He is also being sued for $1 million dollars after accusations of financial malfeasance by business investors in a Carolina beverage company.

WBFO News file photo

Three contestants have been added to the growing list of candidates seeking the South District seat on Buffalo's Common Council.

Former County Legislator Timothy Whalen joined bartender Patrick Burke and nurse Linda Bain in raising the number of candidates in the race to six.

The seat became available when Michael Kearns was elected to the state's 145th Assembly seat last week.

photo from

GOP presidential primary candidate Newt Gingrich is scheduling a stop in Buffalo next month.

Gingrich will be in town on April 20th for a day long visit, attempting to drum up votes and money for the state's primary in that month. Local developer Carl Paladino is among those assisting with arrangements for the visit.

Gingrich is expected to address area business leaders and supporters at the Buffalo Club.

Off-shore wind farms in New York State's Great Lakes are once again a possibility.

New York is one of five states to have reached a memorandum of understanding with Washington on Friday for the development of off-shore wind farms. Once deemed too costly, the viability of the farms is still in question, but their construction and operation are expected to generate numerous jobs.

Environmentalists claim that wind farms in the state's Great Lakes and along the Atlantic shoreline could power every home in the state.

NFTA commissioners have tentatively agreed to terms for hosting a series of summer concerts at the former Shooters restaurant site.

A proposal by Funtime After Dark, a local promoter, was panned last week, but commissioners re-opened negotiations after facing criticism for their decision. According to the Buffalo News, the proposal would bring at least four big name concerts to the waterfront locale, with anticipated audiences of between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

The NFTA would receive $20,000 to rent the land for the events.

The new state budget approved by Albany this week will increase state aid to schools over the levels the Governor had proposed.

Locally, that means some jobs and academic programs will be preserved, but the aid will not cover all of the budget gaps for local schools. A majority of the increased aid will go to what are considered high-needs districts, such as Buffalo.

The News reports that the only district in Erie and Niagara Counties not to receive aid was Holland.

WBFO News file photo

Republican former Erie County Executive Chris Collins has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 27th Congressional District race.

Collins made the announcement on Saturday in an interview with the Buffalo News. Should Collins survive a June primary against fellow Republican David Bellavia, he would face incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul in November.

Collins suffered a stinging defeat in his re-election bid for County Executive to Mark Poloncarz. In a special election, Hochul upset Jane Corwin, a Republican candidate, who was heavily supported by Collins.

After weeks of warm, summer-like weather, a hard freeze is being predicted for the overnight hours on Monday.

Colder weather will approach the region with daytime highs reaching the upper 30's on Monday, but it is the overnight temperatures that are raising some concerns. Temperatures are expected to dip to the mid 20's during Monday night. These temperatures could be damaging to fragile blooms that have responded to the recent heat.

Precaution should be taken to protect sensitive plants and trees from the freezing temperatures.

"Fish Out of Water" continues on stage this weekend at the Irish Classical Theatre.

Irish playwright Gilliam Grattan was recently in Buffalo for the premier of her show. The play looks at problems in a small Irish vacation community.

Grattan sat down with WBFO and AM 970's Mike Desmond to discuss her work.

An early morning blaze at the 3M plant in the Town of Tonawanda sent alarms to several local fire companies.

The fire was reported at around 3 o'clock Saturday morning and was quickly extinguished. Workers were evacuated and sprinklers were triggered when a machine caught on fire.

The building itself was not affected but an estimate on the damage to the machinery was unavailable.

   Quick work by Grand Island firefighters prevented serious destruction from Friday's fire in Buckhorn State Park. 

The blaze broke out in the afternoon as wind downed a high voltage transmission line. In the path of the blaze were large propane and gasoline tanks along with several construction vehicles. Firefighters battled to prevent an explosion that could have affected the North Grand Island Bridge.

Approximately ten acres were involved in the fire.

    State Senator Mark Grisanti is introducing legislation Saturday that would require prompt public alerts to sewage spills that enter local waterways. 

The "Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act" would be an amendment to the environmental conservation law, requiring sewage treatment plants to notify the public within twenty-four hours of a raw sewage overflow. Grisanti claims that these overflows leach dangerous bacteria, toxins, pathogens and chemicals into recreational and commercial waters and the public has a right to know about them.

File Photo / WBFO News

The Families of Flight 3407 along with members of the general public will participate in a candlelight procession tonight.

This weekend marks the third anniversary of the tragic crash that took the lives of 51 people. Marilyn and John Kausner lost their daughter, Ellie, in the crash. The accident has Kausner urging all consumers to consider a number of factors over and above airfares when they buy airline tickets.

A trio of teens has been arrested in connection with a spree of larcenies on Grand Island.

Three males, one seventeen and two sixteen year olds, face multiple charges. The youths were witnessed rifling through a car when police were called. The group was caught in possession of a number of stolen GPS devices.

Anyone in the Cardinal Lane neighborhood who believes items are missing from their cars or garages should contact the Sheriff's office.

File Photo / WBFO News

Time Warner Cable customers may find themselves missing the rest of Buffalo's hockey season on television.

Fans have already missed most of the Sabres' season due to a dispute over a price increase demanded by the Madison Square Garden Network, or MSG. Network President Michael Bair reports that no end to the dispute appears to be imminent, and with just 27 games left in the Sabres' regular season, cable subscribers could be without the remaining games.

The contractual stalemate is affecting fans of professional sports teams from the New York City region as well.

Members of the school board in LeRoy faced questions from the community during a public meeting on Saturday.

Board members attempted to calm the fears of many that environmental conditions, particularly potential contamination from a chemical spill decades ago, are the cause for Tourette's-like symptoms that have affected at least eighteen students. Schools Superintendent Kim Cox attempted to assure the audience that Studies by the State Department of Health and an independent researcher have cleared the site of chemical contamination.

The LeRoy School District is expected to release a public assessment today on tests that have been performed at the LeRoy High School. The testing was conducted after eighteen students all suffered ticks and Tourette's-like symptoms. The District hired Leader Professional Services. The company will examine the testing and issue recommendations.

The review will be presented to parents from 9 to 10:00 this morning at the high school auditorium.

The proposed clean-up of the toxic spill site in LeRoy, which is at the center of investigations into a strange malady affecting eighteen students at the high school, must clear a hurdle.

Material from the spill site was planned for transfer to the CWM facility in Niagara County. That site is just one mile from the Lewiston-Porter School District.

Senator George Maziarz, Assemblyman John Ceretto and Superintendent Chris Roser have rejected that plan.

WBFO's Chris Jamele and ArtVoice editor Geoff Kelly examine the proposed redistricting plans that have been submitted for both the Senate and the Assembly in New York State.

Kelly explains that the proposals did not meet Governor Andrew Cuomo's expectations.

Chris and Geoff also discuss how a local organization is pushing for small Western New York businesses to anchor the Canal District downtown.

An early morning car accident on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation has taken the life of a fourteen year old girl. Another teenage girl is listed in critical condition at Women and Children's Hospital.

The accident occurred after four AM on Versailles Planks Road, when the vehicle, driven by a nineteen year old male, slid off the road and down a steep embankment. Authorities claim that the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

A number of organizations and experts are examining a strange rash of neurological symptoms that have struck at least fifteen high school girls in LeRoy.

The symptoms include involuntary twitches and verbal outbursts that reflect the symptoms common with Tourett's syndrome.

Environmental activists, including Lois Gibbs and Erin Brockovitch, are investigating a possible connection to a toxic chemical spill in the area in 1970. Brockovitch claims that remediation of the spill was never performed.

Drug testing results that led to severe punishment for 57 prisoners at Attica Correctional Facility have been proven inaccurate.

The tests detected the use of Suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate addiction. Pressure applied by friends and family members forced prison officials to review the tests, and the testing materials were found to be faulty. Peter Cutler, the Director of Public Information for the New York State Department of Corrections, claims many of tested prisoners will be given a reprieve.

Photo from St. Francis High School

A weather related accident in Hamburg on Friday afternoon has taken the life of a popular St. Francis High School employee.

Sixty-three year old Pamela McDonnell was killed when her car spun out of control on Camp Road and veered into oncoming traffic. McDonnell served at the school for more than twenty years, acting as the secretary to the principal.

According to school alum Shawn Connolly, McDonnell's office work did not prevent her from becoming an integral part of the school and its social events.

An altercation between a husband and wife at a local supermarket led to a stabbing.

Buffalo Police were called to the Wegmans on Amherst street Saturday afternoon after a thirty-two year old man stabbed his twenty-six year old wife in the store's lobby. The victim was treated at ECMC and later released. The assailant has been arrested on numerous charges including endangering the welfare of a child.

Store spokesperson Theresa Jackson claims that quick action was taken to resolve the incident.

Friday's weather brought not only the season's first significant snowfall but also a record accumulation for the day.

A Lake Effect Snow Warning will remain in effect into the evening hours tonight for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties, but Aaron Reynolds, meteorologist at the National Weather Service,  tells WBFO News that the rest of the area will see minimal snows today, and mild weather could be the trend for the near future.