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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. 

Tenth Street Gang Member Convicted under R.I.C.O.

Tenth Street Gang Member Convicted under R.I.C.O.

Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Justin Augus, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, was sentenced to 228 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.    

Accessory After The Fact charge Levied in Bank Robbery Investigation

Accessory After The Fact charge Levied in Bank Robbery Investigation
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announces that Sheila Cassata, 48, of Buffalo, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with bank robbery and accessory after the fact. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $375,000 fine.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on December 27, 2013, the defendant drove Michael Mitchell (charged in separate federal complaint) to a Key Bank located at 201 Amherst Street near Military Road in Buffalo. Mitchell told Cassata that he was going to get “coin rolls.” The defendant then went to a nearby fast food restaurant and waited for Mitchell to call.

Cross Border Partnership Leads to "Largest Seizure of Cocaine in District's History"

Cross Border Partnership Leads to "Largest Seizure of Cocaine in District's History"

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Parminder Sidhu, 39, of Brampton, Ontario, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export from the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a $10,000,000 fine or both.

 

“This case stands for more than the largest seizure of cocaine in this District’s history,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Of equal importance, this prosecution demonstrates that American and Canadian law enforcement partners can work seamlessly together to protect the citizens of both countries. For while it may have be true that crime knows no borders, now criminals should realize that our ability to apprehend them also has no geographic limitations.”  

 

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.