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Senators plan bill to name courthouse for Jackson

WASHINGTON -- New York's two senators have announced plans to introduce legislation naming Buffalo's new federal courthouse after the late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.

The bill is identical to one that's primed for passage in the House, meaning the still-unnamed courthouse will likely soon bear the name of the legendary jurist from Frewsburg, in Chautauqua County.

"Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was one of the truly great legal professionals Western New York and Chautauqua County gave America, and it is appropriate and fitting that the Buffalo Federal Courthouse bear his name," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., agreed.

"From serving on America's highest court, to his role as the architect of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Justice Jackson always served with integrity, and was a true champion for human rights," Gillibrand said. "This is the perfect opportunity for Western New York to celebrate and honor his legacy."

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, is pushing the Jackson courthouse legislation in the House.


Board OKs 2012-13 budget that retains programs, staff

The Pioneer School Board has approved a $47.74 million budget that preserves programs and staffing.

The proposed 2012-13 budget also keeps the tax levy increase within the tax cap, which is 0.6 percent for the district.

The board was considering a proposal that would have raised the levy by 1.45 percent, which would have required the approval of 60 percent of the voters since it was higher than the cap. The board decided to use an additional $97,000 from unappropriated fund balance. The budget will require a simple majority of voters for approval.

Superintendent Sharon Huff said she will conduct a series of budget meetings with district residents.

There is one School Board seat open this year. Board President Mary Lou Merlau will run unopposed for a five-year term on the board.

Voting takes place May 15.


Italian group to honor nun, officer, Scintas at luncheon

A nun, a retired military officer and a family of entertainers will be honored Sunday as the Federation of Italian American Societies of Western New York holds its God, Family and Country Award Luncheon.

Sister Beatrice Manzella will be recognized for her lifelong devotion to education and the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Messina will be honored for his years of military service and as current chief of police at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The Scinta Family, a Las Vegas show band, will be cited for their continued success as Buffalo ambassadors and exemplars of Italian family values.

The luncheon, at 12:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, will be preceded at 11 a.m. by Mass in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 160 Court St. Tickets are $35, or $15 for children aged 5 to 12. For reservations, call Barbara Barbarossa at 688-2421 or Judy Parlato at 834-8497.