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Distracted Driving Awareness Month nears its end, but the issue is an every problem for all

Distracted Driving Awareness Month nears its end, but the issue is an every problem for all

By Marissa Shorenstein, New York President of AT&T and Anthony Spada, President-CEO, AAA Western and Central New York

When you’re driving and your phone makes that familiar “ding” sound, what do you do? Sadly, that’s a life or death question. Every day, nine Americans die from distracted driving such as texting and checking their phones. In New York State alone, there’s an 840 percent increase in tickets issued for texting while driving since 2011. How come? Because some drivers don’t believe It Can Wait.

It Can Wait is the name of AT&T’s campaign to educate motorists on the dangers of texting while driving. As New Yorkers mark another Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s a shame this dangerous behavior continues. Despite the number of crashes, life-altering injuries and preventable fatalities, drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk.

No Frills Buffalo Releases Crime Novel ‘Stay Away From Lions’

No Frills Buffalo Releases Crime Novel ‘Stay Away From Lions’

A petty thief, local mobsters and a parish priest who’s more sinner than saint come together in the gritty black-comedy crime novel “Stay Away from Lions,” the latest release from No Frills Buffalo. 

Written by Buffalo natives and St. Bonaventure University graduates J. Matthew Smith and Patrick Reynolds, “Stay Away from Lions” follows the poorly led life of Tommy Patton, a small-time South Buffalo crook who upon being sprung from his latest stint in the Erie County Jail learns he’s in debt to a ruthless mob boss as a result of a robbery gone wrong.

With the payback deadline looming, a two-faced henchman charged with collecting the debt goes behind his boss’s back and hatches a scheme designed to benefit all involved. But when that scheme unravels, unholy secrets are exposed costing people their lives.

An ACD is Not an Admission of Guilt in New York State

An ACD is Not an Admission of Guilt in New York State

 

An adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, commonly referred to as an ACD, is a sentence typically offered to a defendant when the crime charged is a misdemeanor and the defendant has no prior record. In sum, the case is put on hold for a specified amount of time (generally six months) and if the defendant has stayed out of trouble throughout that time period, the charges are dismissed. Under New York State law an ACD is not considered a criminal conviction nor involves a guilty plea. 

Jamaican National Charged Again with Fraudulent Receiving of Medicaid Benefits

Jamaican National Charged Again with Fraudulent Receiving of Medicaid Benefits

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Georgia Bowen, a/k/a Georgia Bennett, 38, of Lackawanna, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with health care fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized use of social security numbers. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Senate Passes Kennedy-Cosponsored Bill to Ensure Parents Know of Sex Offenders Residing Near Schools

Senate Passes Kennedy-Cosponsored Bill to Ensure Parents Know of Sex Offenders Residing Near Schools

Kennedy-cosponsored legislation will require school districts to notify parents of sex offenders living within the district in an effort to help keep children and families safe from predators.

Now that the bill has passed through the Senate with bi-partisan support, Kennedy is urging his Assembly colleagues to pass the bill as well.

Kennedy: With nearly 1,300 sex offenders living in our community, this legislation ensures parents have the knowledge they need to help keep their children safe.

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, announced the Senate has passed legislation he cosponsored to help protect children from sex offenders who may live near their schools. Kennedy explained the bill would ensure school districts notify their students’ parents when they receive information about a sex offender residing within the district.

Western New York to Join the Million March Against Child Abuse

Western New York to Join the Million March Against Child Abuse

 

For the first time in American history on April 22, 2013, people in 200 cities and 45 states will join and will walk together in solidarity to raise awareness of child abuse and crimes against children at the inaugural Million March Against Child Abuse. Buffalo will be one of the participating cities.  Child advocate groups, churches, parents, teachers and many other concerned citizens from across Western New York (WNY) will take part in this national event and will converge on Lafayette Square in Downtown Buffalo and March to Niagara Square loudly voicing their collective outrage against child abuse along their route. 

Don’t Let Your St. Patrick’s Day End Tragically

Don’t Let Your St. Patrick’s Day End Tragically

As St. Patrick's Day approaches, The Resource Training Center, provider of the New York State Drinking Driver Program, is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they've been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2006 to 2010.  

“Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending the parade, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely,” said Monica Farrar, program director of The Resource Training Center in Amherst.