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Fatal Evans hit-and-run case from 2013 re-examined
Barry Moss' body was found along Route 5 in Evans on the morning of Dec. 23, 2013. The Southtowns handyman had been struck and fatally injured by a hit-and-run driver.
Since then, the hit-and-run case has taken as many disturbing twists and turns as an HBO miniseries.
Pieces of a Ford SUV found at the scene led Evans police to Gabriele Ballowe, an Angola bar owner who refused to answer questions about who was driving the vehicle. Months later, an Erie County grand jury voted to indict Ballowe on felony charges. Then, at the request of a prosecutor, they took a second vote and this time voted not to indict Ballowe.
In 2016, a new Erie County district attorney put the case in front of a new grand jury. Ballowe was indicted again. She pleaded guilty, admitting that she was driving the vehicle that injured Moss, and was sent to prison for up to a year.
Now, an appeals court wants Erie County Judge Christopher J. Burns to re-examine the case and explain whether prosecutors had sufficient "new evidence" to justify presentation to a second grand jury.
Ballowe's felony conviction could be overturned, according to one of her attorneys, Thomas J. Eoannou.
— Dan Herbeck
WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
Record number of companies participate in Corporate Challenge: Despite a soggy day, the 39th annual JP Morgan Corporate Challenge took off under sunny skies Thursday. Employees from 427 local companies participated. The race attracted 13,869 runners and walkers to Delaware Park. Kimberly Tomasik of Western Regional Off Track Betting (Batavia Downs) successfully defended her 2018 crown. Alexander Burks, a physical science teacher from the Attica Central School District, was the men's first-place finisher. Check out photos from this year's event.
New York ends vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs: Amid the nation's worst measles outbreak in a quarter century, state lawmakers Thursday approved a measure halting the practice of some parents using religion beliefs as a reason not to vaccinate their children.
Wellsville businessman pledges largest donation ever to Catholic Charities: Charles "Charlie" Joyce reminded Catholic Charities donors to "remember those in need." Then Joyce, who is president of Otis Eastern Service, put his wallet where his words are by donating a record $350,000 to push the drive within 81% of its $11 million goal. And he wasn't done. Before the morning ended Thursday, Joyce would add another $100,000 that can be used for matching donations.
Farmers say state's proposed overtime rule at odds with agricultural life: Farmers around upstate are objecting to elements of state legislation called the Farmworker Fair Practices Trade Act. The bill would allow farmworkers to collectively bargain, pay them overtime after more than eight hours a day and 40 hours per week and guarantee them at least one day off per week, among other provisions. One farmer laments that "agriculture just can't function like a factory."
UB expert warns Congress of "deepflake" deceptions: "It's likely to get much worse": Think there was too much "fake news" during the 2016 presidential campaign? Just wait till next year. That's the stark warning experts – including one from the University at Buffalo – gave a congressional committee Thursday regarding "deepfake" technology that allows people to literally put words in the mouths of candidates who never said them.
"Not your mother’s marijuana:" Ellicottville symposium probes questions about pot legalization: How have studies assessed the benefits and adverse consequences of marijuana? How do you store pot safely in a home with children? How much of a marijuana brownie is safe to eat? Tom Dinki of the Olean Times Herald reports these and other questions were tackled as speakers from New York, Massachusetts and Colorado met this week with about 120 people at a symposium in Ellicottville.
Buffalo teacher who gave students sanctuary finally displays his own art: Victor Shanchuk was an art teacher who pushed, encouraged and inspired many students who went on to pursue their own careers in the arts. And that's what makes Shanchuk's exhibit at the Burchfield Penney Art Center so special. The exhibit, "Chemical Light," a display of Shanchuk's experimental photography, was curated by John Opera, one of his former students at City Honors School.
(Got a news tip? Email citydesk@buffnews.com.)
FOOD & DRINK
At Ristorante Lombardo, a classic gets another look: The News' Andrew Galarneau returns to this renowned Hertel Avenue eating establishment. Check out his takes on menu items that range from fig pizza and bone-in half chicken to veal marsala.
Where brewing and winemaking "meet in the middle" at Niagara-on-the-Lake: “For wine purists and avid fans of beer alike, the union – in whatever fashion – of beer and wine would seem, at the very least, unconventional,” writes Bob Tymczyszyn in an article from the Niagara Falls Review. But the owner of Oast House Brewers in Niagara-on-the-Lake says the notion of mixing brewing with grapes, wine barrels and other wine-relating trappings has been part of the Italian craft brewing scene for a long time.
BILLS
WRs Andre Roberts and Victor Bolden Jr. impressed in spring practices: The Bills' top four receivers seem set, with John Brown, Cole Beasley, Zay Jones and Robert Foster all expected to make the roster. Most observers have penciled in Andre Roberts as the fifth receiver given his ability as a returner – he was named First Team All-Pro last season with the Jets. But Roberts showed during minicamp that he can be valuable in the passing game, too. Roberts earned praise in Jay Skurski's 15 observations from the Bills' spring practices.
(For more Bills news, sign up here for the [BN] Blitz newsletter.)
SABRES
With Stanley Cup decided, here are Sabres' draft picks: The Buffalo Sabres will get the 31st pick in the first round of the NHL entry draft next week after the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup. The Sabres get the pick as part of last summer's Ryan O'Reilly trade and also have their own Round 1 selection, at No. 7 overall. See how the rest of the draft shapes up for the Sabres.
(For more Sabres news, sign up here for the [BN] Hockey newsletter.)
WITH YOUR MORNING COFFEE 
Have you encountered baby birds or other infant animals in your backyard, a local park or a nearby hiking trail? If so, the wildlife director at the SPCA Serving Erie County offers some tips for what to do. Barbara Haney is featured in this video posted on WNY Media. Haney introduces a special guest: an orphaned hooded merganser.
Many of us have favorite stories about our dads. Many of my most vivid recollections involve things that others might consider mundane. For example, I recall after-dinner drives to the Buffalo Zoo. It was always closed at that hour, but the joy I would feel as dad hoisted me up and placed me on the concrete critters that graced each zoo entrance stays with me a half-century later. One of Steve Cichon’s fond dad memories involves cans of Diet Squirt. Check out this post titled “Nothing like sharing a pop with my ol’ man" that appears on Cichon's Buffalo Stories blog.
A friend has branded me a festival fanatic – and for good reason. In a typical season, I hit at least a dozen local festivals and fairs. Two personal favorites are staged in Cuba (the town in Allegany County – not the country). The Cuba Garlic Festival is staged in September. The other festival is being held today and Saturday. Cuba Dairy Days features a hodgepodge of events, from music and a craft show, to a car and motorcycle show, a petting zoo and – appropriately – a milk bar. One popular annual feature is the Dairy Days parade that will proceed down Main Street at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. If you still have one of those old Got Milk? promotional T-shirts hibernating in a dresser drawer, get it out and display it during Dairy Days.
If you’re looking for festivals a bit closer to Buffalo, check out our 2019 Summer Festival Guide. From the Juneteenth Festival to the Wing Fest and an eclectic mix of music festivals, you’re sure to find an event that suits your interests.
Finally, check out the Weekend in WNY. There's a lot going on, so it's entirely possible that some energetic folks will hit four major happenings in three days. Have a great weekend!
(Have feedback on the Good Morning, Buffalo newsletter? Email feedback@buffnews.com.)
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