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Echo Chamber (Monday, April 7): News You Could Have Read Anywhere

Baby Joe Mesi

  • Heavyweight boxer “Baby Joe” Mesi is running for Mary Lou Rath’s (R-Williamsville) soon-to-be vacant State Senate seat, making him the fourth Democratic contender in that race. Mesi, whose experience doesn’t extend much beyond the boxing ring, said he will give up his fighting career to become a public servant. The other three contenders are perennial candidate Dan Ward, Erie County Legislator Michele Ianello and Amherst Council member Mark Manna. So far, no Republican candidates have been announced in the race. It’s an important seat for both parties, as the Republican party holds only a single seat majority in the Senate.
  • Henry Littles, manager of BMHA’s Marine Drive Apartments, can’t manage his own houses. Littles, who owns 14 properties around Buffalo, was cited by city housing inspectors for numerous violations at properties on Schreck and West Utica streets. Littles says he will fix the problems, which include broken windows, tires and trash in yards, rotting decks and loose gutters.
  • A Lockport man, the son of a cancer survivor, plans to hike the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in support of cancer research. Justin Cassamo, 30, plans to trek from Mexico to Canada through the deserts, mountains and forests of California, Oregon and Washington in honor of his mother, Paula Greck, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 but is now in remission. Cassamo hopes to raise money for cancer research at Roswell, and has set up a Web site—www.hike4lives.org—where pledges and donations can be made.
  • Charlton Heston, the actor who played Moses and Ben-Hur, and later headed up the NRA, died Saturday at the age of 84.
  • The Olympic torch has met with resistance from anti-China protesters today in Paris. The Parisian police reportedly had to extinguish the torch twice today and move it into a police vehicle to keep it away from unruly protesters. Yesterday, one such protester nearly grabbed the torch on its route through London, UK. The Olympic flame, however, remains lit. It’s carried separately, and is used to light the torches around the globe.
  • There was a burst of violence Sunday in Baghdad, as rockets from the Sadr City neighborhood rained down on the Green Zone, killing two American soldiers and wounding at least 17. Despite the cease fire called by Mahdi Army leader Muqtada Al-Sadr last week, fighting between the militia and American and Iraqi forces has increased.
  • The Olympic Torch Sadr City Sierra