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Off Main Street: Camaro fan is revved and ready

Revved and ready

Cleveland Jones Jr.’s loyalty to General Motors goes beyond his job at the Tonawanda engine plant.

When the assembly engine technician saw the 2016 Chevy Camaro unveiled earlier this year, he just knew he had to have that car.

He placed his order at the first opportunity last summer. And when a Hot Rod Magazine editor stopped by the plant one day with a 2016 Camaro, he returned to the plant three hours after his shift ended to check it out.

Jones talked about his eagerness to buy the vehicle in the GM plant newsletter, so co-workers constantly asked him when it was arriving. His patience was rewarded last month when GM said he became the first customer in Western New York to own a 2016 Camaro, taking delivery at Joe Basil Chevrolet in Depew. If the car doesn’t stand out enough on its own, it has a “CLEVE JR” license plate.

In a follow-up message, Jones said it was worth the wait: “As I drive down the road, everyone’s reaction is priceless.”

Ring, ring. Who’s there?

There is nothing so irritating as a cellphone going off in a solemn setting.

The sound pierced the intense proceeding of Aurora Town Justice Douglas Marky’s courtroom Thursday as he presided over proceedings regarding horsewoman Beth Lynne Hoskins’ failure to pay $52,325 in fines tied to her animal cruelty case. As the proceedings continued, so did the ringing. Observers in the courtroom discreetly looked around, trying to figure out where it was coming from.

After a while, the judge could no longer ignore it.

“Who is ringing?” Marky asked.

It was then that Hoskins’ attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, leaned over toward his brief case on the floor, as he explained to the judge that he’d forgotten to mute his phone.

Chuckles erupted in the courtroom. “It’s time for me to leave, your honor,” said Eoannou.

Hold the phone

Intrusive as they can be sometimes, smartphones have made a few commonplace objects – watches, phone books and dictionaries – all but obsolete.

At a recent Town Board meeting, Alden Supervisor Harry F. “Bud” Milligan relayed how, earlier in the day, he had gone to the town clerk’s office to use a dictionary to look up the exact definition of infamy for some research he was doing on Pearl Harbor.

Observing this anachronism in action, the deputy town clerk, who is of a younger generation, remarked that it was “cute” that Milligan was using a dictionary.

“People don’t do that anymore, I guess,” Milligan said.

“Your smartphone wasn’t smart enough?” Councilwoman Mary Riddoch asked with a laugh.

“I guess not,” Milligan replied. “My smartphone is a dumbbell.”

Rising to the occasion

Lancaster High School students have earned a reputation for their high baking energy when it comes to participating in the annual cookie marathon.

It rolls around this time of year and last week the Student Union tweeted out a call for volunteers to help bake cookies for this week’s event.

Well, interest rose beyond expectations, reaching all the way to Texas.

Turns out the Greyhound Student Council in San Benito, Texas, follows the district on Twitter and inquired about the event.

By the time the districts were able to connect after Thanksgiving, it was too late to set up a friendly competition this year, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. However, the idea is being explored for a possible future bakeoff.

Preet’s first tweet

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara finally opened a Twitter account this week.

“How many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?” Bharara asked in his second tweet.

Well, the ball is in his court.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil, with contributions by Matt Glynn, Karen Robinson and Michael Canfield.