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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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

KanJam Championship Saturday to Benefit Carly's Club

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY-- The 21st annual KanJam world championship will kick off on August 14, and will benefit Carly's Club.

The day-long competition will take place on the picnic grounds of the Gratwick Fire Hose Company and will pit nearly 400 of the best Frisbee players from across the country against eachother as they team up to vie for the championship title.

All proceeds from this year's competition will benefit Carly's Club for Kids and Cancer Research as well as the North Tonawanda Police Athletic League. Carly's Club provides support programs to make life more manageable for WNY children diagnosed with cancer.

The championship games will be held rain or shine, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. All are invited to attend.

190 Southbound to 290 Eastbound Closed Aug 16 & 17

TONAWANDA, NY-- The NYSDOT has announced the 190 southbound to the 290 eastbound will be closed to all traffic on Monday, August 16 and Tuesday, August 17 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

A detour will be posted directing traffic down the 190 southbound to Exit 15, Sheridan Drive, and proceed along the 290 eastbound to Grand Island Boulevard.