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OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news

Mickey Mouse Club

Three seats on the Williamsville School Board are up for election in May. But district officials were beset by some anxiety this week because only one candidate -- the current board president -- has submitted a valid petition to run for office.

The deadline is little more than a week away, April 16.

That left other board members to ask who would be chosen if no one else runs for the two remaining seats. Clerk Mitzie Serafin responded that write-in ballots would have to be counted to elect other members to the board.

"Mickey Mouse?" several board members asked.

Serafin clarified that write-in candidates still would have to meet eligibility requirements, meaning that they must be real people who are over 18 and reside in the district.

Board members subsequently expressed relief that Mickey doesn't live in Williamsville.

"Yes, he lives in Orlando," said board member Carrie Kahn.


Hey, you never know

Armenia is getting into the lottery business and is counting on the Amaya Gaming Group of Montreal to help kick-start the effort.

One problem. The company is being sued for breach of contract. The lawyer handling the suit is John P. Bartolomei, the noted Niagara Falls lawyer.

Bartolomei, in court papers filed here in Buffalo, claims his client played a role in Amaya winning the 10-year deal with Armenia.

We're not sure who's right or wrong -- Bartolomei did not return calls from us -- but one thing is clear. His client wants to be compensated.

How much does the company want?

A mere $215 million in damages.


Georgia on his mind

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. adjourned the drug case against David I. Price of Lockport for two weeks after his attorney, E. Earl Key, was late to court -- an event heralded by a sound effect of chirping crickets from Kloch's iPad.

Key and Price were back in court Tuesday, and Price pleaded guilty to selling cocaine to a police informant in Lockport on Nov. 22, 2010.

Price, 39, told Kloch he's taken steps to change his lifestyle.

Kloch said he'll likely place Price on probation.

"While he's on probation, he wants to move to Georgia," Key said.

"Living in Georgia is like being on probation," Kloch quipped.


Getting to know you

Also appearing before Kloch was Sheldon W. Crogan of Niagara Falls, who was charged with burglarizing a house in that city to steal copper wire.

Police said they caught him coming out of a basement on 24th Street on Oct. 5.

Crogan, 35, came to court wearing a T-shirt that read, "Don't judge me if you don't know me."

"You want to go out for coffee?" Kloch asked.

Written by Stephen T. Watson with contributions from Sandra Tan, Thomas J. Prohaska and Phil Fairbanks.