1. The Gates Foundation has supported College Summit. Met Life and Citibank have given it donations. President Obama even gave it a portion of his Nobel Prize money. Pretty impressive for an independent program that helps low-income high school juniors navigate their way into college. It has also shown remarkable success. Nearly 80 percent of its students enroll and thrive in college. Co-founded 17 years ago in Washington, D.C., by a group that included former Elmwood-Franklin School Headmaster Keith Frome, it's offering workshops, counseling and writing assistance to local students for the fourth straight year today through Sunday at Daemen College.
2. The population of Buffalo's Cultural Walk of Fame at Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway is about to take a major jump today. Induction ceremonies are being held at 9 a.m. for 10 new notables, whose names will be inscribed on granite plaques and permanently installed in the sidewalk. It's an impressive list. Among the honorees are Harold Arlen, Charles Burchfield, Leslie Fiedler and Wolf Blitzer. They join an array that includes Mark Twain, Tim Russert, Robert Creeley and Katharine Cornell.
3. It's been nearly 15 years since the Western New York Railway Historical Society acquired a piece of rolling stock it long wished for -- a 1930s Lehigh Valley caboose -- from a used railroad equipment dealer in Renovo, Pa. In storage since then on Buffalo Southern Railroad property in Hamburg while the rail historians raised the funds to fix it up and put it on display, it's finally going to roll again today to its ultimate destination -- the railway society's restored depot in Williamsville. The society hopes to have it ready to show off later this year.
4. We've seen beauty makeovers, wardrobe makeovers and extreme home makeovers. Now we're about to witness a lawn makeover. New homeowners Liz and Nathan Smolka of West Seneca, hoping to create an outdoor play space for their young daughter, entered their barren surroundings into a online contest sponsored by RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) on its Debug the Myths Web site. John White, a local landscaper and lawn care professional, and Kevin Monaco, of Monaco Enterprises and Xtreme Lawn Care, go to the Smolkas' yard today to begin a two-day transformation. In addition to getting a new yard, the Smolkas will get tips on how to keep it beautiful.
5. The Buffalo Bills have been running voluntary sessions of organized team activities all month to size up players ahead of the hard realities of training camp at the end of July, but today things start to get serious. It's the first of three mandatory days of minicamp. Veteran Aaron Schobel already has said he won't be showing up.
6. The United States soccer team faces its first do-or-die moment today. After gaining ties against England and Slovenia in the first round of World Cup action in South Africa, it faces a must-win situation when it takes on Algeria. The game gets under way at 10 a.m. (ESPN).
7. James D. Van Valkinburgh, the former Sacred Heart Academy teacher who had an affair with one of his 16-year-old students, will be resentenced today. He originally was given a sentence of three to nine years behind bars. But it turned out that the sentencing judge, State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski, had a daughter attending the school who knew both the teacher and his victim. Van Valkinburgh's attorney, Paul A. Bender, is hoping for a more lenient sentence from State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller this morning.
Don't miss on buffalonews.com:
Meet Cook of the Month Sal Bordonaro on Page C1, then watch him in action at video.buffalonews.com.