News briefs

What to know in local, national and global news



UB to hold free ‘repair fair’ next Monday in Student Union

UB STEM is hosting a free repair fair next Monday from noon to 3 p.m. in the Student Union lobby. Expert volunteers will try to fix items like jewelry, bikes and appliances. After the fair, there will be a “TED-style” speaker series in the Student Union Theater from 4-5:30 p.m. where a panel of experts will discuss approaching changes in sustainability and manufacturing, according to UB’s website.

UB medical school to host ‘Genome Day’ for Buffalo public school children

On Thursday, 400 eighth-grade students from Buffalo public schools will head downtown to the medical school to learn about genetics. The fourth-annual event will begin at 10:45 a.m. with Keynote speaker Eric Spana, Ph.D, a Duke University biology professor, delivering the keynote address, “Wizard Genetics of Harry Potter,” according to UB Now.

Students will learn more about genetics with activities, including the chance to extract their own DNA to take home in a necklace.


Town of Amherst joins opioid lawsuit

The Amherst Town Board announced its plan to file a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies Monday during a meeting, according to WGRZ. The town is joining other local counties who are tired of deaths related to opioid painkillers.

The driving force behind the suit is to recover costs for town police and other services that help individuals fight their addiction. Local police said they’re receiving calls daily, having to use Narcan more frequently and are seeing more overdoses than before.

Erie County filed a similar suit last February after 11 manufacturers misled doctors about the addictiveness of opioid painkillers.

Buffalo Police Dept. elects new chief

The common council unanimously voted Byron C. Lockwood as Buffalo’s new police commissioner, according to The Buffalo News. Lockwood, a 44-year department veteran, assumed the role of interim chief on Jan. 17 after former commissioner Daniel Derenda abruptly retired to pursue a job in the private sector.

Lockwood is the 41st person to lead the department. He said his three goals are to get the department accredited by the state, incorporate the regular use of body cameras and do more public policing.


Nashville Mayor resigns after felony charge

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced her resignation at a press conference Tuesday morning after pleading guilty to stealing over $10,000 of property, according to CNN. She’ll pay the city of Nashville $11,000 in restitution and serve three years of probation.

The resignation comes after Barry admitted to having an affair with her former head of security detail Rob Forrest in January 2016.

Forrest also pleaded guilty to the same charge and agreed to pay $45,000 in restitution to the city of Nashville and serve three years probation.

Striking West Virginian teachers get deal

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill Tuesday morning giving all state employees a five-percent pay increase, according to CNN. This includes all teachers and school employees who have been on strike the last nine days.

Last Tuesday, the governor and union leaders announced a five-percent raise for teachers but only four percent for state employees. This elongated the teachers’ strike, which started on Feb. 22 when nearly 20,000 teachers walked out of schools in the state.

Taxes will not be increased in the state, but there will be $20 million in cuts to Medicaid and general services.


Ex-Russian spy and daughter critically ill

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center Sunday, BBC reports.

UK police are investigating what “unknown substance” harmed the father and daughter.

Sri Lanka in State of Emergency after attacks on Muslims

Sri Lanka’s government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after mobs attacked the Muslim population in the district of Kandy.

The attacks started on Sunday as members of the Sinhalese ethnic group attacked Muslim businesses, houses and mosques. The mob attacks highlight the country’s internal ethnic strife after decades of civil war, The New York Times reports.

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