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Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

The Week's Winners & Losers

All-Weather Driving

32 inches of the white stuff stranded dozens of drivers on the westbound Thruway outside West Seneca on Dec. 2—some for upwards of 24 hours. Look, Buffalo drivers, we know you’re pretty tough. But next time, how about take Ol’ Mayor Jimmy’s advice:Just stay inside and crack a cold one.

Crippled Cons

And the hits keep coming for the Erie County Holding Center. According to court papers filed Dec. 2, a Justice Department inspection of the facility uncovered serious violations of the Disabilities Act. Wheelchair-bound inmates were reported to lack accessible showers, sinks, and even toilets.

Silver Linings

There was one bright spot amid the Buffalo Bills 38-14 dismantling at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 5. Two minutes into the game, Bills’ linebacker Arthur Moats straight-up devastated egomaniac quarterback Brett Favre, knocking him out of the game and potentially sending him to retirement.

Conspiracy Theories

Buffalo Police—who clearly aren’t big Oliver Stone fans—dismissed alleged City Grill killer Riccardo McCray’s claim of a second shooter on Dec. 7, using NFTA video and forensics to conclude only one gun was fired. McCray’s defense contends alternate—yet unseen—video exists which exonerates him.

Scare Tactics

County Exec. Chris Collins dropped a not-so-veiled threat of a property tax increase on Dec. 7, claiming Democratic additions to his budget for arts and culture would force his hand. Collins still has—and is expected to use—the power of veto to slash the $1.2 million allocated for dozens of nonprofits.

By the numbers...


Cost of a gallon of gas in dollars charged to stranded motorists on the NYS Thruway outside West Seneca on Dec. 2 by several men wearing what appeared to be Thruway Authority jackets. The unscrupulous con artists, who in all fairness took full advantage of the laws of supply and demand, gouged desperate motorists—some of whom had been trapped upwards of 24 hours.


Millions of dollars awarded to 30-year old Cheektowaga resident Natalie Barnhard on Dec. 7 in what is believed to be the largest personal injury award in Western New York history. Barnhard sued the Massachusetts based exercise machine manufacturer Cybex after one of their devices fell on her during a physical therapy session six years ago, leaving her paralyzed. Cybex has stated they will appeal the decision.


Age of convicted sex offender Theodore Sypnier, who was the oldest incarcerated inmate in New York State, upon his death on Dec. 7. Sypnier returned to prison last spring after a bried parole and was convicted in 1999 of sexually abusing his two young daughters. The next oldest inmate in New York is 91-year-old John Bunz of Amherst, who murdered his 89-year-old wife in March.

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