News briefs

What you need to know in local, national and global news

The Spectrum


UB steps up for heart health with month-long step challenge 

The School of Public Health and Health Professions is honoring National Public Health Week from April 1-7, according to UBNow.

The week’s main event is the fourth-annual UB SPHHP month-long Step Challenge. The challenge will take place April 1-30 and anyone can participate through tracking and submitting their steps. 

UB has set out to reach 375 million steps. Prizes will be given to participants along the way. 

Those with social media can follow @UBSPHHP and use the hashtag #UBsteps19 to encourage themselves and others throughout the challenge. 

The Step Challenge is part of the American Public Health Association’s effort to promote a healthier nation through events that spread awareness of public health. 

Registration for the fourth annual UB SHHP is online at

School of Nursing partners with Management School in pursuit of Nurse Leaders 

The Advanced Certificate in Nursing Leadership is a part-time online program designed to give nurses the management skills needed to be leaders in their fields, according to UBNow. 

The certificate is available to those with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a registered nurse license. 

The 15-credit program takes one to two years to complete and explores topics including management courses on organizational behavior, leadership and financial forecasting. 

Janice Jones, program coordinator for the Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Health Care Systems is working with Larry Zielinski from the School of Management, Maureen Kelly from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and other health care organizations in the area to make sure nurses feel ready to advance in their practice. 

Students may choose to apply the certificate toward a Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Healthcare Systems degree or a Masters in Business Administration through the School of Management.


Fired directors of nonprofit intend to fight for their positions

Two former directors of the nonprofit Community Action Organization plan to challenge the legality of their firings on Monday, according to The Buffalo News.

CAO’s board is now filled with supporters of Mayor Byron Brown and the former directors would require the support of the board to keep their positions.

The directors were initially fired due to their votes in favor of removing the nonprofit’s CEO L. Nathan Hare, a long-time Brown associate.

When the board of directors attempted to fire Hare they hired a forensic accountant to investigate CAO’s books, but the accountant’s investigation ended when the board fired the directors.

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority ranked one of the worst in the nation 

Buffalo’s Municipal Housing Authority is one of the worst in the nation, with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development review score of 55, according to The Buffalo News.

This failing score has gotten progressively lower over the past three years. Any Housing Authority with a score under 60 is required by HUD to be listed as “troubled.”

With 92 percent occupancy currently, BMHA is missing out on approximately $2 million in rent and federal subsidies, according to Buffalo News estimates. These and other financial choices by the BMHA led to the HUD audit and demands for reform.

Tenants said the lack of maintenance on properties was BMHA’s greatest shortcoming.


Two dead and seven injured during Mardi Gras celebration

A dark sports car crashed through a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans on Saturday, killing two people and injuring seven, according to The Associated Press

Tashonty Toney, the 32-year-old perpetrator and son of a New Orleans police officer, was celebrating his birthday before the crash. 

Police spokesman Andy Cunningham said Toney’s relation will not affect the investigation.

Toney refused to take a sobriety test at the scene of the crime. Police officials believe Toney was impaired but are waiting for results of a blood alcohol test. 

Black activist takes over Neo-nazi movement in an effort to destroy it

James Stern took control of the National Socialist Movement in order to disband it, according to The Associated Press.

Stern, of Moreno Valley, California, convinced former leader Jeff Schoep to transfer leadership to himself after establishing a “yearslong dialogue” with Schoep. 

Stern plans to speak for the organization and accept all accountability for the 2017 white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Schoep said he was tricked into transferring leadership, as he believed Stern taking over would alleviate legal stress on the NSM. 


Pipeline explosion in Nigeria leaves over 50 people missing

An oil pipeline explosion in southern Nigeria left over 50 people missing on Saturday, according to The New York Times.

Nengi James-Eriworio, a spokesman for the Nembe Chiefs Council, said the explosion caused a “massive oil spill” in the Nembe Kingdom. Fatal incidents such as these are not uncommon in the area and a spill in January left at least 12 dead.

Oil spills have left the area polluted, since Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa. Oil companies said a majority of spills are the result of “sabotage, theft and illegal refining.” 

There are no updates on injuries or casualties.

Canadian Prime Minister caught in scandal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s involvement in deal-making scandals related to Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi has been exposed, according to The New York Times.

SNC-Lavalin, the company involved in the bribe is accused of circumventing the Libyan government of 129.8 million Canadian dollars to win contracts. 

Trudeau is accused of pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould, his justice minister at the time, to stop inquiring about the company’s records. Trudeau demoted Wilson-Raybould after she refused to drop the inquiry. 

Wilson-Raybould described the demands as “veiled threats” from Trudeau’s office over a four-month span. 

Trudeau has 7 months for the scandal to fade from voters’ minds before the upcoming elections.