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Amherst man will miss ?first game since 1979

Anyone who knows Tom Jasinski can tell you it takes a lot to keep him away from a Buffalo Bills home game.

Jasinski, 51, of Amherst, will miss today's big game against the New England Patriots because he had a kidney transplant six days ago in the Erie County Medical Center.

"He hasn't missed a game since the 1979 season. He's been to at least 260 straight games," said his wife, Ginny Wallace. "And Tom has only missed four games since he started going to games with his grandparents 44 years ago."

Jasinski is doing "exceptionally well" with his new kidney, and if it was up to him, he might very well show up at Ralph Wilson Stadium today, his wife said. The last time Jasinski missed a game, he was in the hospital, getting diagnosed with the diabetes that eventually required the kidney transplant.



Reform group to show? ‘Won't Back Down'

Buffalo ReformED on Monday will host a free screening of the movie "Won't Back Down," a fictional story depicting a community using a parent trigger law to make changes at a failing inner-city school.

A parent trigger law enables parents to force a school to adopt one of the federal turnaround models at a failing school if a majority of parents sign a petition in support. A number of states have approved such a law, but it has not yet been successfully employed at any school.

Buffalo ReformED plans to renew its efforts to get such a law passed in New York, according to Hannya Boulos, the group's director.
The screening will take place at 5:15 p.m. Monday at the Elmwood Regal, 2001 Elmwood Ave. Admission is free, but those who want to attend must RSVP by emailing

The movie will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Buffalo ReformED, Students for Education Reform and the District Parent Coordinating Council.



Army veteran returns ?to discuss Troops to Teachers

LEWISTON – Retired Col. Vanessa D. Barron, a 1978 graduate of Niagara University and a 31-year Army veteran, will return to the NU campus to discuss the federally funded Troops to Teachers program at 3 p.m. Thursday in the multipurpose room of the Gallagher Center.

Troops to Teachers is a national program designed to help eligible military personnel to begin new careers as teachers in public schools serving a high percentage of students from low income families. Barron is manager of the Troops to Teachers program for New York and Pennsylvania.

Michael J. Freedman, associate director of public relations for the university, said all current and prospective students, especially those considering education as a major, are encouraged to attend.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Troops to Teachers may provide stipends of up to $5,000 to help pay for teacher qualification costs or bonuses of $10,000 to teach in targeted schools.

Participants who accept the stipends or bonuses must agree to teach for at least three years in targeted schools.