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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.

Lockport, NY Male Convicted Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base

BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announces today that Damian Ard, 33, of Lockport, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine base, was sentenced to six years in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was arrested as a result of a long-term investigation into narcotics trafficking in Niagara County and the City of Buffalo conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Niagara County Drug Taskforce. The investigation involved several court-authorized wiretaps, including  two cellular telephones used by Ard to conduct his drug-trafficking. The defendant distributed cocaine base, cocaine, heroin, prescription medications, and marijuana in the Lockport area from early 2009 through August 2010, some of which was supplied to him by co-defendant Eric Williams. 

Pittsford, NY Male Convicted of Child Pornography Possession

Pittsford, NY Male Convicted of Child Pornography Possession

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announces that Michael Mercadel, 21, of Pittsford, N.Y., who was convicted of possessing child pornography, was sentenced to 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer. The defendant had been subject to a recommended sentencing guideline range of 97 to 120 months in prison.

 

Rochester Woman Indicted for Stealing money from Unity Health System

Rochester Woman Indicted for Stealing money from Unity Health System

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announces that a federal grand jury in Rochester has returned a two-count indictment charging Barbara Tripi, 62, of Lyndhurst, Ohio, with interstate transportation of money taken by fraud and theft in connection with health care benefit program. The charges carry a maximum p[enalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. 

Rochester, NY male Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Elderly

Rochester, NY male Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Elderly

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announces that Ricky Miller, Sr., 55, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in a telemarketing scheme before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

 

Penfield Male Sentenced for Trafficking Herion

Penfield Male Sentenced for Trafficking Herion
 ROCHESTER, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Alfredo Valentin, Jr., a/k/a Alfredo Valentine, a/k/a Fred Valentin, a/k/a Fred Vegas, 44, of Penfield, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of one kilogram or more of heroin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. Valentin was also ordered to forfeit $74,690 in U.S.