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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

Jingle, jangle, jingle

It's been a common sound in Aurora Town Court since the start of the animal cruelty trial of Beth Hoskins, accused of neglecting her Morgan horses.

Anyone who has attended the slew of court hearings in the case knows Hoskins often wears eye-catching jewelry to complement her outfits.

The clanking of her bracelets has been quite audible in the courtroom as she takes her own notes at the defense table.

It was so bothersome Thursday to Assistant District Attorney Matt Albert that he complained to Town Justice Douglas W. Marky. "I'm having a hard time concentrating with all the jangling," Albert said, turning to glance at Hoskins, who was sporting several bracelets.

He was beginning to question witness Joshua Burkhardt, the farrier who first examined and treated the 73 horses seized from Hoskins' farm by the SPCA Serving Erie County in the raid on March 18, 2010.

Hoskins quickly said: "I'm a jangler? Sorry." Marky then said: "Ms. Hoskins, try to cut down on the jangling."

Nothing more was said, but as the hearing went on an occasional jangle still was heard.


Talking not-so-proud

Someone who isn't, uh, a big fan of Mayor Byron Brown's public-speaking and interviewing skills took to YouTube to make her point.

YouTube user "jenrossi1991" posted a video -- "The Art of Public Speaking by Byron Brown" -- on the site Thursday.

It's a montage of brief video clips that show Brown saying the words "uh" or "um" as he speaks at a news conference or responds to an interviewer.

In some cases the video provides a full sentence -- "It should make, uh, the stadium, uh, brighter" -- and in others it presents the word "uh" rapid-fire through quick-cut editing. "Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is flat-out captivating," wrote "jenrossi1991" in posting the video, which had been watched just 10 times as of Friday afternoon.

"Jenrossi1991" didn't respond to a message seeking comment Friday.

Spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said Brown was taking the video in stride.

"The mayor got a chuckle to know that somebody would take the time to follow him with that much interest," DeGeorge told us.


An ump with a heart

Buster T. Bison's between-innings race around the base paths against a young fan -- which Buster always loses in comical fashion -- was anything but routine at last Saturday's Bisons game at Coca-Cola Field.

As the mascot rounded second, he accidentally knocked down his opponent as she ran toward him from the opposite direction. Buster tried to make amends, even sitting next to the fan when she returned to her seat on the third-base side.

The hero of the day? An umpire. After the collision, he hustled over, scooped up the girl, and carried her from the infield.

Who says umps are the bad guys?


Always listen to mom

Mark J.F. Schroeder took a break Sunday from running the City Comptroller's Office to run the Buffalo Marathon.

The 56-year-old former assemblyman said he did the race to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute in memory of his sister, Mary Ann Shailiko, who died two years ago from an aggressive form of cancer.

Schroeder, with Jennifer Persico and Tim Wroblewski, ran as part of the team Smooches for Mooch, which was his sister's childhood nickname. They raised $3,500 for the hospital.

Schroeder's five nieces and nephews ran parts of the marathon with him, with his sister's eldest daughter, Becca Shailiko, running the last two miles.

Schroeder finished in a respectable 4:23:37, but said he felt pretty awful by the end.

He said this is his 10th, and final, marathon, at the request of his mother, Carmella.

When Schroeder approached her after the race, she refused to hug him until he said, repeating after her, "I, Mark Schroeder, will never run another marathon, because your mother worries about you."

Written by Stephen T. Watson with contributions from Karen Robinson and Matt Glynn.