1. Expect a huge presence of local and state police this afternoon for the first day of calling hours for Trooper Kevin P. Dobson, who was struck and killed Saturday morning while issuing a traffic ticket to a driver on the Youngmann Highway. People will be able to pay their respects from 4 to 8 p.m. today and Thursday in Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, 8445 Greiner Road, Clarence.
2. Cory Booker, the second-term mayor of Newark, New Jersey's largest city, will give the keynote address for the University at Buffalo's 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at 8 p.m. in the Mainstage Theater in the Center for the Arts on the North Campus in Amherst. The high-profile politician is a frequent guest on cable news talk shows.
3. The reduction of aid from Albany in the new state budget is going to oblige the Buffalo Board of Education to cut back on many things, including its payroll. Board members get down to business on that process when they hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. in City Hall to consider an early-retirement incentive for certain employees.
4. It seems like every game the Sabres play in the season's home stretch is a crucial game, but tonight's matchup in HSBC Arena with the New York Rangers (7, Versus, 550 AM) has special significance. Prior to the Sabres' Tuesday night game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers were right in front of them on the list of teams headed for the playoffs. A win would give the Sabres a big boost in their effort to catch the Rangers in the standings.
5. Magician Don Rogers will perform one of his niftiest tricks at 7 p.m. in the New Angola Theater, 72 N. Main St., Angola. The Gowanda-based illusionist will fill the place with an audience. Actually, that's not a miracle at all. Rogers, who tours nationally, played the theater last year and wowed the crowd with his timing, his charm, his special effects and his sleight of hand. Tickets are $15.
6. Hundreds of promising young hockey players, their families and coaches arrive in Amherst today for the start of USA Hockey's Tier II Youth 14 and Under National Championships in the Northtown Center. The event, hosted by Amherst Youth Hockey, includes 42 teams from across the nation, some from as far away as Alaska and California. The Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the tournament, which continues through Sunday, will take up 4,500 hotel room nights and have an economic impact of $1.5 million.
7. You don't usually put sex, politics and the Buffalo Chamber Players all in the same thought. But "Sex and Politics" is the title of the group's concert at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel of Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway. It will mark the premiere of a work commissioned from the group's new composer-in-residence, Fredonia State College composition department Chairman Rob Deemer, who has set music to some very sensual poems by e.e. cummings. Celebrated University at Buffalo soprano Tony Arnold will be soloist. The program also includes Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello; Charles Koechlin's Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon; and the Septet for Winds and Strings by Alexandre Tasman. Tickets are $15, $5 for students.