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Markel Now Off Cheektowaga Town Board

Cheektowaga, NY - When the Cheektowaga Town Board meets on this coming Monday evening, one of the council seats will now definitely be empty.

Town Attorney Kevin Schenk tells 2 On Your Side that Charles Markel has been removed from office following his guilty plea last week to a misdemeanor count for improper collection of unemployment benefits. Markel said he misunderstood the requirements to collect the benefits while also working as a councilman.

Schenk says research of town law confirmed the opinion of the Erie County D.A. Frank Sedita that Markel had to give up the position.

Erie County Election Commissioner Ralph Moore said Thursday that in most such cases, the office holder does agree to step down. But that in some disputed, the case has been referred to a judge for a ruling.

Markel Loses Town Board Seat Following Guilty Plea

Cheektowaga, NY -- The Erie County District Attorney's office said as a result of his plea to unlawfully collecting unemployment benefits, Cheektowaga Councilman Charles Markel must give up his seat on the Town Board.

Councilman Charlie Markel admitted to filing false unemployment claims. The town's attorney has been researching the situation for the last couple days and Tuesday night briefly went over with board members what could develop in the short term. But a release Wednesday morning from DA Frank Sedita's office said that as a result of Markel's plea to a crime involving "moral turpitude", his position is automatically vacated.

Appeal Week 2014 Culminates with $8.88 Million Raised for 90th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal

Appeal Week 2014 Culminates with $8.88 Million Raised for  90th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal

BUFFALO, N.Y., April 15, 2014 – The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, provided his second report on the progress of the annual Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal today, revealing $8,886,816.65 has been raised to date, as Catholic Charities officials marked the close of Appeal Week 2014.

Today’s total represents 82.3 percent of the final goal, which is trending slightly ahead of last year at this time when 80.2 percent of goal was reached. Funds raised for Appeal 2014 support Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county region. The annual campaign runs through June 30 and carries a goal of $10.8 million.

During Appeal Week, which ran from April 6-13, parish volunteers and pastors across Western New York led a concerted effort to gather donations, and participated in fundraising activities in order to bring the Appeal closer to its final goal.

International Experts to Examine Crisis in Ukraine

International Experts to Examine Crisis in Ukraine

“Crisis in Ukraine” will be examined in a roundtable discussion by faculty experts, including a guest historian from Poland, from 3 to 5 p.m. April 26 in Daemen College’s Schenck Hall Auditorium.

Panelists will include guest scholar Dr. Tomasz Pudłocki, assistant professor of history at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, as well as Dr. Jacek Lubecki, associate professor and director of the Center for International Studies at Georgia Southern University; Dr. Steven Maddox, assistant professor of history at Canisius College; and Dr. John D. Occhipinti, chair of political science at Canisius. Moderator will be Dr. Andrew Kier Wise, department chair and associate professor of history at Daemen.

100+ Workers to Keep Jobs at Plastics Plant

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY- Over 100 local workers will be keeping their jobs after a plastics plant in Cheektowaga was sold to another company.

The Hospira facility on Walden Avenue was sold to MGS Manufacturing, a company based in Wisconsin.

The sale calls for MGS to act as a supplier for Hospira, which makes medical supplies.

The workers in place will stay and a representative from MGS says things will remain status quo at the plant.

Lawmaker Admits to Filing False Unemployment Claims

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - A local lawmaker has pleaded guilty after collecting thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits when he shouldn't have.

Cheektowaga town councilman Charlie Markel plead guilty Friday to falsifying unemployment benefits, after losing a second job he had in 2011.

Markel has been a council-member in Cheektowaga for more than six years.

Three years ago, Markel lost a job he had as a manager at a West Seneca convenience store after the business closed down.

That same year, Markel says he began claiming unemployment. But, Markel remained a town council member and prosecutors with the Erie County District Attorney's office say that Markel claimed unemployment benefits and said he wasn't working at all.

Catholic Charities Holds Raffle of Harley-Davidson

Catholic Charities Holds Raffle of Harley-Davidson

Catholic Charities of Buffalo will give away a generously donated 1999 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King motorcycle. All proceeds will benefit the 70 programs and services of Catholic Charities, including education and work readiness, counseling, basic assistance, and programs for older adults.

The motorcycle, with an approximate retail value of $8,000, was given to Catholic Charities by an anonymous donor. It is a touring motorcycle with two cylinders, four-stroke, 1450 cc, fenders and a Jimmy Buffett Parrot head mural on the tank (2-sided) and other detailing.

Only 200 tickets will be sold at $100 each and the drawing will be held at noon on May 9, 2014 at Catholic Charities Montante Administrative Center, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.