September 23rd, 2018

Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”

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Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York —A proposed hotel that was supposed to be built at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York is apparently off the table. The former proposal was going to be called The Elmwood Village Hotel and would have consisted of 72 rooms and cost between $7 to $10 million American dollars to build.

Today several unknown individuals were seen removing a sign that was dedicated to the “Elmwood Village Gateway,” which signifies the beginning of the Elmwood Village at the formerly proposed project’s location.

Nearly an hour later the men replaced the sign with a different and unexpected sign: “For Sale: 5 commercial parcels and 1 carriage house, By: Owner.” Those 5 “parcels” are 1109-1121 Elmwood and 999 Forest Avenue, which is located in an illegal alley, according to the City of Buffalo, behind the 5 other properties on Elmwood. Hans Mobius owns all properties named in the sale.

Sam Savarino, CEO of Savarino Companies never owned the properties and has repeatadly told Wikinews in exclusive interviews that he still had a “contract to buy the properties” and on October 2, 2006 told Wikinews in an exclusive interview that he “extended” the “agreement to purchase the property[s] and will have it under contract for what we hope is a sufficient period of time.”

“He [Mobius] is undoubtedly concerned because he has lost some tenants and is a bit impatient. I think he has properly portrayed the situation,” said Savarino in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

Savarino also says that there may be “legal issues” to work out now, before anything else can move forward, regarding the proposal.

“There are some legal complexities that must be sorted out before anything can happen there,” added Savarino.

The welcome sign was; however, not removed entirely. The sign was placed, facing the same direction of north, on the side of the Forest Plaza Art Gallery, a new art gallery located on the corner of Forest and Elmwood.

Nancy Pollina, owner of Don Apparel which was located at 1109 Elmwood, but closed on October 14, 2006 considers this a possible “victory” in regards to the lawsuit filed against the hotel to stop it from being built, alleging that several laws were broken, including not performing an Environmental Impact Study before the proposal was approved by the city, during its approval and the proposal was “rushed.” Patricia Morris, who operates Don Apparel with Pollina, Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway, were also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They filed the suit with a lawyer representing them, Arthur J. Giacalone, on April 25, 2006 in New York State Supreme Court, but the case has never gone to a courtroom.

Giacalone believes that a press release issued in July regarding the project was nothing but a statement to “save face,” but that the placement of the for sale sign might be a way of convincing Savarino to speed up the sale of the properties.

“I thought all along that Savarino’s July press release might be no more than an effort to save face. But we have no way of knowing. Similarly, Mobius might have put the for-sale sign up in an attempt to pressure Savarino into closing the deal. There’s no way to tell,” said Giacalone in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

In regards to the lawsuit, Giacalone thinks it may now be in “limbo.”

“The lawsuit still sits in limbo,” added Giacalone.

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September 23rd, 2018

Documents reveal al-Qaeda wants war between U.S. and Iran, Iraq insurgency weakening

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Documents reveal al-Qaeda wants war between U.S. and Iran, Iraq insurgency weakening

Friday, June 16, 2006

Documents found at the hideout of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi revealed al-Qaeda‘s desire to force a war between the U.S. and Iran. The document was translated by Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie, but the authenticity of the information could not be confirmed to be from al-Qaeda.

The documents reveal that al-Zarqawi was planning to destroy the relationship between the Shi’ite Iraqis and the United States. The document also said the U.S. military was hurting the insurgency by seizure of weapons, disrupting their financial outlets, massive arrests, and training Iraqi security forces.

The translated document said, “Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situation, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups.”

Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said, “These documents have given us the edge over al-Qaeda and (they) also gave us the whereabouts of their network, of their leaders, of their weapons and the way they lead the organization and the whereabouts of their meetings.”

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September 22nd, 2018

China’s ‘Bandit King’ given life term in ‘massive’ bribery case

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China’s ‘Bandit King’ given life term in ‘massive’ bribery case

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lai Changxing, dubbed the Bandit King, has been given a life sentence for years of smuggling and corruption that added up to billions of US dollars or Pounds sterling. The Chinese court described the values as “massive”.

Lai smuggled goods worth more than £2 billion into Xiamen, bypassing more than £1 billion in import duty. He paid 64 local officials a total of almost £4 million in bribes, giving him effective control of the city from 1995 to 1999. He fled China after becoming a wanted man in 1999 and went to Canada via Hong Kong; the following year, Premier Zhu Rongji said “If Lai was executed three times over, it would not be too much”.

As head of the Yuanhua Group, Lai smuggled in cars, chemicals, oil, cigarettes, and other goods. He distributed bundles of cash to the poor, owned and played for his local football team, built stadia, owned a bulletproof Mercedes that once belonged to President Jiang Zemin, and attempted to construct a tower that would have been the nation’s tallest building. He attained local popularity for funding construction projects including schools, hundreds of tower blocks, and the local airport.

As well as money, officials were offered alcohol and prostitutes. Many were offered time at Lai’s seven-storey brothel, the Red Mansion, and feasted at a replica of the Forbidden City.

State TV has broadcast footage depicting a banquet table with a tiger skin laid upon it, cars given to officials, a young woman alleged to have been donated as a lover, and a sackful of gold rings. The case’s prominence was such that Liu Liying, boss of the national Central Discipline Inspection Committee, took charge of bringing Lai down.

Subsequent investigations have examined more than 1,000 suspects with police at one stage turning over an entire hotel to the probe, filling rooms with suspects. National newspaper The People’s Daily has suggested it is the most serious economic crime in modern Chinese history. He was the nation’s top car importer and one of the main traders in oil and imported cigarettes.

Hundreds of officials have been convicted and it is estimated hundreds more remain. Fellow life-sentence prisoners from the case include the city’s deputy mayor and its head of customs. The nation’s former vice-minister for security, Li Jizhou, has a suspended death sentence. Other suspects have killed themselves.

The sums involved are unusually large, and the details are extraordinarily serious

Upon his escape from the nation Lai became China’s most-wanted fugitive. Twelve years of negotiations ended with a Chinese promise Lai would be spared the death penalty, and Canada extradited him last year. Numerous lower-ranking members of Lai’s empire have already been given life imprisonment or death sentences. With execution off the table, the court gave Lai the highest sentence possible: in addition to the life term, he received fifteen years for bribery and had all his possessions confiscated.

The court justified the “double sentence” on the grounds “the sums involved are unusually large, and the details are extraordinarily serious”. “The crimes involve massive sums and particularly serious circumstances,” court officials told Xinhua. Lai had denied corruption at his trial, although he accepted exploiting loopholes to avoid import duty.

“I don’t have a good family background,” Lai said previously in a press interview. “I have to do things step by step by myself. That’s how people came to respect me. I never fussed about big money.” Lai was born as one of eight siblings in the midst of famine.

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September 21st, 2018

CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Larry R. Heather in Calgary Southwest

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CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Larry R. Heather in Calgary Southwest

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Larry R. Heather. Heather is a candidate in Alberta’s Calgary Southwest riding, running under the Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) banner. The CHP is a minor, registered political party running a significant number of candidates across the country, looking to earn its first ever seat in the House of Commons.

Best known as an anti-abortion activist, this shipper-receiver holds a Bachelor of Religious Education from Saskatchewan’s Briercrest College and Seminary, and a BA in religion from Calgary’s Rocky Mountain College. He hosts the Gospel Road program on AM1140 in High River, and is remembered by many for his ketchup-soaked run-in with abortion law activist Henry Morgentaler.

He has run in the federal election of 1984 (Calgary South, ind.), 1988 (Calgary Southwest, ind), 1993 (Calgary West, CHP), 1997 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), 2004 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), and 2006 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), provincial elections of 1986 (Calgary Glenmore, ind), 1989 (Calgary Elbow, ind), and 2004 (Calgary Glenmore, Alberta Social Credit), and for various public school board ridings in 1989 and 1992. He has run against some big names, including Ralph Klein (1989), Preston Manning (1997), and Stephen Harper (1993, 2004, 2006). His 2006 campaign featured controversial and graphic images, to illustrate his pro-life and anti-same sex marriage messages.

His major opponent in the riding is economist and lecturer Stephen Harper, a Conservative, who just so happens to be the current Prime Minister. Harper previously represented Calgary West. Other names on the ballot include Liberal Marlene Lamontagne, New Democrat Holly Heffernan, Libertarian Dennis Young, and Green Party candidate Kelly Christie. The riding is any part of Calgary that is west of the Canadian Pacific rail line, and south of the Glenway Trail.

The following is an interview with Heather, conducted via email. The interview has had very limited editing, to eliminate in-text mentions of website addresses, but is otherwise left exactly as sent to Wikinews.

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September 18th, 2018

Coalition ups ante on Australian school tax rebates

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Coalition ups ante on Australian school tax rebates

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has pledged private school relief if the Liberal/National coalition wins the upcoming federal election. The pledge came in response to the Australian Labor Party leader, and current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard proposing a uniform and school equipment tax break expansion.

Abbott’s proposal includes an offer of tax rebates for sending a child to a private school. For students in primary school, prep to grade 6, the rebate will rise to $500 Australian a year per student and families will be then able to claim 50% rebate up to $1000.

“We are expanding the rebate so it can be claimed for school fees and also for other educational costs such as tuition and special educational costs for children with, for instance, dyslexia,” Abbott said at a press conference in Brisbane.

Before the election was called, Gillard had aimed to pledge $220 million over four years to expand the current tax breaks to cover refunds each worth $390 for primary school uniforms and $779 for high school uniforms, as well as refunds for other school equipment like texts books and computers.

“We all know that uniforms can be an expensive part of sending kids to school, but this change, along with the existing refund for textbooks and computers, will help families with that cost,” stated Gillard.

An opposition spokesperson claimed that the “obvious flaw in Labor’s policy is that it only applies to stationery, computer expenses and uniforms […] You know as a parent that you need help for a whole range of expenses. Extra teachers for children with dyslexia or the costs of doing music and all the other expenses like excursions and so forth.”

The expansion is expected to cost $760 million in total and one that Abbott claims needs to happen as “cost of living pressures tend to be greatest when your kids are at school”.

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September 16th, 2018

Western Australian economy at crisis point say builders

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Western Australian economy at crisis point say builders

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Western Australian Master Builders Association (MBA) yesterday demanded the Carpenter Government call an emergency cabinet meeting to avoid a “state of emergency” over the energy crisis gripping WA. A MBA spokesperson said that hundreds of workers have already been stood down, many without pay, and that the cost of building material is soaring.

The Minister for Energy, Fran Logan has admitted that the gas shortage caused by Tuesday’s fire is damaging the economy as mining, manufacturing and construction industries wind back operations. Western Australia’s two major brick producing companies have shut operations and Wesbeam’s $A100 million Neerabup pine production facility has been closed, their 130 employees have been stood down.

Wesbeam chief executive James Malone said, “It’s an industrial tsunami in my view. It’s a little ripple that has very quickly had a huge multiplying effect on the whole community”.

Michael McLean, Master Building Association director said “It’s a worst-nightmare scenario, and not one we could have imagined in our wildest dreams,” building supplies are expected to start running out by the middle of next week.

Premier Carpenter has announced a meeting of ministers and industry representatives to take place on Sunday to discuss solutions to the growing crisis. Tim Wall, managing director of Apache Corporation has said Apache is conducting a worldwide search for the parts need to repair the pipeline.

Major mining companies and Apache partners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have already reported they are suffering with the loss of gas supply; the Chamber of Minerals and Energy has talked down the effect saying that they don’t expect the crisis to take the heat off the booming mining industry.

Opposition leader Troy Buswell has describe the performance of Fran Logan as “absolutely dismal” noting that Mr Logan had experienced a similar incident in January this year, when a fire at Woodsides Karratha operations had a similar effect.

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September 15th, 2018

Puppies used to smuggle heroin

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Puppies used to smuggle heroin

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Ten puppies with bags of liquid heroin surgically implanted into their bellies were having seizures in a drug bust in Medellin, Colombia, said authorities.

“They utilized a wide range of smuggling, the most repulsive of which was the use of puppies,” said John P. Gilbride, head of the DEA’s New York office.

“There have been cases of animal cruelty that have led to the discovery of drug labs, but not to the extent of an animal being used to carry drugs, especially a puppy,” said ASPCA spokeswoman Jo Sullivan.

Investigators believe that the dogs were used to smuggle heroin into New York on commercial flights. The drugs were then to be distributed and sold along the East Coast.

“Ten puppies, including Labrador retrievers, were rescued during a 2005 raid on a farm in Colombia,” said the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Wednesday. The Agency also announced that they had made more than 30 arrests.

Authorities believe that a veterinarian, Andres Lopez Elorez (who is also believed to be a fugitive in Spain), opened the bellies of at least six of the ten puppies, inserted 500 mL bags of liquid heroin, and then stitched them back up. Three puppies had died due to infections after the drugs were removed. A total of 3 kg of heroin were recovered from six puppies. The bags were found using ultrasound.

“The surviving dogs are still alive and well, we’re told,” said Gilbride. “I think it’s outrageous and heinous that they’d use small, innocent puppies in this way. This investigation identified the individuals who were responsible for overseeing and smuggling millions of dollars worth of heroin from Colombia to the East Coast.”

The investigation revealed that the smugglers, whose ring was based in Medellin, not only used people and puppies to conceal their drugs, but also body creams, aerosol cans, and the linings of purses and luggage.

A tipster is said to have led authorities to the puppies.

It is not known how many puppies were actually used in the smuggling operation.

Three dogs were adopted by Colombian police. At least one of those puppies will be trained to sniff for drugs.

About 24 kilograms of heroin was seized in recent raids in Colombia which have resulted in more than 20 arrests and another ten in custody in New York. A total of at least 24 kilograms have been seized in these raids.

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September 14th, 2018

News briefs:June 9, 2010

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News briefs:June 9, 2010
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September 14th, 2018

Space Shuttle Discovery launches

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Space Shuttle Discovery launches

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery roared into the Florida sky at 10:39AM ET (14:39 UTC), 2 weeks after the launch was scrubbed due to a faulty sensor. The launch was the start of the STS-114 mission, which is planned to be completed on August 7, 2005.

Solid rocket booster separation was triggered two minutes and five seconds into the flight after burnout of the putty-like fuel packed inside each rocket. The firing of explosive bolts freed the twin boosters from the side of the external tank, allowing them to peel away from the space shuttle. Parachutes were then automatically deployed from the boosters, allowing them to slowly descend into the Atlantic Ocean where they will be towed back to shore.

Discovery initiated the command for main engine cutoff, or MECO, at the 8-minute, 23-second mark. MECO shuts down the orbiter’s three powerful engines in the rear of Discovery after completing the “uphill” climb into space.

With the ascent into space complete and fuel in the external tank exhausted, Discovery jettisoned the orange canister. Following jettison, Commander Eileen Collins pitched the orbiter up until the tank could be sighted through the orbiter´s upper windows. Mission Specialist Soichi Noguchi then took digital photographs and video of the external tank from a distance of just 1,500 feet.

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September 14th, 2018

William Salice, creator of Kinder Surprise eggs, dies at 83

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William Salice, creator of Kinder Surprise eggs, dies at 83

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On Thursday, William Salice, credited with creating Kinder Surprise eggs, died at age 83 in Pavia, Italy because of a stroke, according to his foundation “Color Your Life Campus”. Salice had worked with the businessman Michele Ferrero in the 1960s, the creator of the Nutella cream and owner of Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero died in 2015.

In 1974, Kinder Surprise was launched with plastic toys, which are sold within the eggs to surprise children. Due to this, the sale of Kinder eggs is prohibited in the US. A 1938 US law prohibits the sale of food containing objects in its interior. It is also prohibited in Chile, due to an obesity-reduction law brought in last year. Last year a three-year-old girl died in France, swallowing the plastic toy.

In 2007, after his retirement, Salice founded Color Your Life Campus from his retirement bonus of €400,000 in Italy. It aims to help young people between the ages of thirteen and eighteen discover and develop their own talents. Salice’s career spanned 46 years.

Since 2013, the Kinder Surprise Company has been taking care of continuing the manufacture and processing of chocolate eggs. According to the company, the chocolate egg has 32% milk and 15% cocoa in its composition.

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