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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Schumer blasts Pinnacle plan to cut back on pilot reviews

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is demanding that Pinnacle Airlines abandon its plan to cut back on its reviews of pilots who make mistakes in training.

In wake of a story Monday in The Buffalo News that detailed Pinnacle's proposal to convene training review panels after a pilot's second failure rather than the first, Schumer wrote Monday to Pinnacle's incoming president and CEO, John Spanjers, to criticize the idea.

Schumer said he expected more of Pinnacle, the owner of Colgan Air, which operated the Continental Connection flight that crashed in Clarence Center in 2009, claiming 50 lives.

"As the owner of the plane that crashed as a direct result of pilot error and questionable mismanagement of personnel, this company has a special responsibility to take every precaution to prevent a tragedy like this from recurring," Schumer said. "That this firm is seeking to take steps that would actually weaken pilot training standards is at once galling and mind-boggling."

Pinnacle, which is in bankruptcy, has asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to approve the change in pilot training as a cost-saving move.

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$3.5 million project begins at Richardson complex

Work has begun at the Richardson Olmsted Complex to redevelop the South Lawn, which includes relocation of the parking lot south of the Towers Building.

The $3.5 million project has begun with construction of new Buffalo Psychiatric Center parking lots and entry to the Strozzi Building. Visible changes between July and September are expected to include construction of newly aligned roadways, a plaza south of the Towers Building, planting of 125 large canopy trees and repair of the iron fence.

Design work was done by Andropogen Associates of Philadelphia, and interprets changes recommended during a public meeting last year, and by the Richardson Olmsted Community Advisory Group at several stages of design development.

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Cosby of 'Inside Edition' to address GOP Committee

"Inside Edition" special correspondent Rita Cosby will be keynote speaker at the Amherst Republican Committee's annual Spring Dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Sean Patrick's Banquet Facility, 3480 Millersport Highway.

Cosby is a former Fox News host and is the author of "Quiet Hero: Secrets From My Father's Past."

Dinner Chairman Brian D. Rusk and Finance Chairman Carl M. Balmas said other guests include State Republican Chairman Edward F. Cox, and U.S. Senate candidates Wendy Long and George Maragos.

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Aurora Waldorf School to unveil new entrance

Aurora Waldorf School, 525 West Falls Road, West Falls, will hold a ribbon-cutting and time capsule installation at 9:30 a.m. Saturday as it celebrates the completion of its new front entrance.

All are invited to the free event, as well as May Day festivities that run until 2 p.m.