What you need to know locally, globally and nationally
UB working with NFTA to make public transportation more accessible
A research partnership between the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and UB’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access is working to make buses in Buffalo more accessible for disabled riders, according to UBNow.
The partnership is applying what they learned from lab simulations on South Campus and applying the findings to NFTA buses. The research partnership is looking into better wheelchair securement systems and improving bus ramps.
Music department to offer honorary degree to British composer Bernard Rands
English contemporary music composer Bernard Rands will come to UB later this month to accept an honorary doctorate and attend a concert by Slee Sinfonetta in his honor. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, according to UBNow. Rands has often visited UB as a faculty composer for the ‘June in Buffalo’ music festival.
Search for police officer missing in Niagara River entering third day
Thirty-four-year-old Craig Lehner has been missing in Niagara River since a routine diving training session on Friday. Lehner, a nine-year member of the Buffalo Police K-9 Department who joined the Underwater Recovery Team last year, got caught in the current after a cable keeping him tethered to his boat snapped.
Robotic and sonar equipment are being used to aid in search efforts and more than 20 organizations are assisting in the search.
Jamestown man arrested on drug trafficking charges
Twenty-three-year-old Brian Torres of Jamestown has been arrested on drug trafficking charges. Investigators and Jamestown SWAT Team members found 15 pounds of marijuana, a shotgun, a bulletproof vest and more than $47,000 in cash in Torres’ Lakeview Avenue residence. Torres is facing a felony drug charge. The investigation is ongoing.
California wildfires continue to blaze
The deadly Northern California wildfires that have been blazing for the past week continued to burn, despite hopes that lighter winds would help with fire suppression efforts on Sunday. Strong 35-45 mph winds led to mandatory evacuations for thousands of Napa Valley and Santa Rosa residents due to fears that the heightened winds could worsen the fires, despite a prediction from the National Weather Service that winds would gradually decrease over the weekend.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defends his standing in the Trump administration
Following Sen. Bob Corker’s remarks that Trump “castrated” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Tillerson responded that he was “still intact” on CNN’s State of the Union. He also denied claims that he called Trump a moron. He said he was not going to deal with “that petty stuff.”
“As I said, Jake, I'm not playing," he said, adding, “These are the games of Washington. These are the destructive games of this town. They’re not helpful to anyone.”
Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz set to become world’s youngest leader
31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party, is set to win Austria’s general election. Prior to the election, Kurz was the country’s youngest foreign minister. He was appointed to the position at age 27.
Kurz ran on an anti-immigration platform, vowing to shut down migrant routes to Europe, stop benefits for refugees and prevent immigrants from obtaining benefits until they live in the country for five years.
Nearly 300 killed in Somali truck bombing
Two truck bombings left more than 200 people dead and 300 more injured in the Somali capital Mogadishu in one of the deadliest massacres since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007. Roughly 300 others were wounded in the blast, according to The New York Times.
The current death toll is 276 and expected to rise. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared three national days of mourning following the attacks. Mohamed is a UB alumnus.