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State Senator Antoine Thompson Birthday Greeting Angers Constituents

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. - Call it a birthday greeting gone bad.

Several Grand Island residents are complaining to 2 On Your Side about something that recently came in the mail from State Senator Antoine Thompson (D-Buffalo).

"I was very upset," said Grand Island Resident Michael Pontikos. "And I still am."

The greeting is a generic birthday card mailer from Senator Thompson. The mailer is complete with his photo and a birthday wish. And all of it is printed, paid for, and mailed with state taxpayer dollars.

Ed Shelp, also of Grand Island, showed us the same card sent to his wife Rosemarie.

"I think it's wrong," Shelp said. "Why should we all be paying for something where he's campaigning, or whatever he's doing, and we have got pay for it. Let it come out of his own pocket."

Senator Thompson refused an interview with us Wednesday, but 2 On Your Side Photojournalist Norm Fisher caught up with Thompson recently.

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Jammies For GI's

Tonawanda, NY - Jammies for GI's is a Tonawanda-based charity founded by Cheryl Lepsch after her son returned from the U.S. Marines and needed medical care.

Lepsch learned that many of the wounded must go for days or weeks without basic necessities, so she began sending anything she could directly to military hospitals and installations all over the country and the world.

What began as a small effort soon grew into a network of groups working together from all over Western New York.

Jammies for GI's was donated storage space by Paul Biloni owner of Colvin Cleaners, located at the corner of Mang and Elmwood, many volunteers from the Legion and Patriot Guard Riders as well as Jammies for GI's were at the cleaners sorting and palletizing all the donations.

Administrators Prepped on Improvement Plan for Opening Day of School

With less than three weeks to go before the start of school for students in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District on September 7th, 2010, a group of 25 Administrators and Curriculum Learning Specialists (CLS) participated in a thorough training program on how to share their respective school’s Instructional Improvement Plan (IIP).  Each school and curriculum area creates their own unique IIP, which serves as a critically important process concerning activities and strategies used to improve student learning.

“Many people in the community believe principals and administrators have the summer off.  We work year-round and are consistently focused on how we can improve student achievement and the educational experience for children in Ken-Ton,” said Hamilton Elementary School Principal Michael Huff, who participated in the IIP implementation training that took place in the Community Room at Hoover Middle School.

While there are 13 unique and

New Health Charter School to Welcome 2010 Freshman Class

TONAWANDA, NY-- Doors will open for the first time Wednesday, August 18 at the new Health Sciences Charter School for the inaugural 2010-11 freshman class.

Enrolled students come from nine school districts and more than 50 schools.

HSCS is one of the first school-to-work models to be charted in New York State, by offering a unique career-oriented learning environment.

Real-work internships, mentoring, and service learning placements at medical/ healthcare facilities are included in the cirriculum. HSCS graduates will be either college ready, or work ready.


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Kenmore Avenue Restoration Planned

BUFFALO, NY-- Plans to improve Kenmore Avenue will be discussed on Thursday, August 19th in Buffalo City Hall.  Officials from the City of Buffalo, Erie County, Town of Tonawanda, Amherst and Kenmore will take part.

Representatives from each municipality's planning, engineering and highway departments will offer input on the design development for the improvement of 1.3 miles of Kenmore Avenue between Main Street and Starin Avenue.

The goal of the project is to improve the roadway to increase safety for drivers and walkers.  Since this stretch of road is a mix of residential and commercial zoning, the goal is to improve traffic flow as well as the aesthetic look of the roadway, while making it more "pedestrian friendly".

A public meeting will be held at a future date to update the community and get feedback.

Varsity Football Teams Kick-Off First Official Practice of the 2010 Season

There is a strong sense of excitement, energy, and anticipation throughout the two varsity high school football programs in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District as Monday August 16th, 2010 marks the first day teams can practice.  The Kenmore West High School Blue Devils, coached by Rich Harris, practiced at Crosby Field.  The Kenmore East High School Bulldogs, coached by Matt Chimera, practiced at Adams Field.

“I’m very excited to start the season.  It is important to show our players that their coaches show up with a high level of passion and intensity.  This is my 26th season coaching and I’m just as thrilled to start a new year as I was during my first season,” said Coach Harris.

“The first day is always exciting and rather hectic.  We are thrilled with our young talent and I’m looking forward to a great year of football at Kenmore East High School,” said Coach Chimera.

There are many new elements to both the Ke

Ways 2 Save: Erie County Fair

HAMBURG, N.Y. - The Erie County Fair opens Wednesday afternoon and it is Channel 2 Day. That means, $2 for parking, $2 for tickets and $2 for midway rides.

In some cases you can save up to three bucks beforehand, by buying pre-sale tickets at Tops.

Getting to the fair can actually be pretty inexpensive. On certain days there's a free shuttle.

"On Saturdays and Sundays you can park at Erie Community College South on Southwestern Boulevard and they'll drive you, drop you off right at gate one," said Holly Smyczynski, Marketing Coordinator at the Erie County Fair.

And with that we started our journey to savings.

We first found some ride deals.

"Every weekday, Wednesday through Friday and next Monday through Friday we have one price ride days," said Smyczynski.

A ride pass for those days is only $20 with a Tops register receipt, a $5 savings.