VERY BEST BET: The neatest thing on today's schedule for Western New York takes place just after the first quarter of the UB-Army football game at the University at Buffalo. That's when Robbie Lee Flowers, a UB honor student and enlisted Army medic, will be called onto the field to be awarded the Bronze Star for valor in action last year in Baghdad.
The Army game will be a great draw on a great autumn day, but consider this the day's first emotional hurrah for a guy who pulled buddies out of a burning Humvee as its munitions exploded. Flowers graduates this spring and also will earn an ROTC officer's commission, but he's already proven himself a credit to both UB and the Army, which sort of makes this a win-win on game day.
ALL RISE: It's not the first time God has stood trial, but a Nebraska county court judge acquitted himself more honorably than did Pontius Pilate in a judgment of far less import. Judge Marlon Polk ruled this week that a plaintiff's inability to serve notice on God -- due to his unlisted address -- was grounds to dismiss a lawsuit by State Sen. Ernie Chambers seeking a ban, on behalf of his constituents, on "terrorist threats" and various calamities attributed to God.
Chambers had asked the judge to waive the requirement, because God is both omnipresent and omniscient, so serving papers is superfluous.
All we can say is -- things must be slow in Nebraska.
DUMPING GROUNDS: And speaking of Nebraska, here's a lesson in the need to write laws carefully. The state sought to enact a "safe haven" law allowing folks to drop off unwanted children at a hospital, without fear of prosecution. Other states have that for infants, but Nebraska neglected to specify an age limit or residency.
One guy dropped off nine children. And last week, a mother drove 12 hours from her Detroit home to Omaha to drop off her 13-year-old son, making him the second teenager from out of state to get an introduction to Nebraska.
Attracting new residents is a goal of any state, but this approach seems unique -- and we hope it stays that way.
SINKING FEELING: There's something just sad about the drastic measures Millvina Dean has had to take to afford a few more weeks in a private nursing home.
Dean, 96, is letting go her mementos of an iconic tragedy, the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. She was 2 months old when she, her mother and her brother were rescued from the Atlantic and taken to New York.
To afford to stay in her Southampton, England, quarters, she's auctioning off the small wicker suitcase New Yorkers gave her newly widowed mother to carry donated clothing on the journey home.
Dean is the last survivor of the Titanic. And this is one more sad ending to that tragic story.