HAMBURG, NY.  May 6, 2021– RANE Property Management announced today that they will be holding a Grand Opening/Open House on May 15th & 16th at the much anticipated The Oaks at South Park, located at 5138 South Park Ave in Hamburg.

The weekend is full of events: Friday, May 14th The Oaks is hosting the Alumnae of Immaculata Academy for a Preview Open House with a very special presentation to the Sisters of Immaculata at 11:30am that shouldn’t be missed.  This will be followed by a public ribbon cutting hosted by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce at noon.

The Grand Opening Open House will continue Saturday and Sunday for all to tour and see the amazing transformation of the former school. The fabulous “Town Center” Clubhouse that includes the original school gymnasium, auditorium turned into a grand party room, and backstage area that is now a relaxing and zen-ful yoga studio.

This stunning 152-unit community brings a new lifestyle choice to the South towns with carriage house style apartments that include private entrances and attached garages.  Residents will also enjoy and marvel over the Town Center Clubhouse which pays homage to the former school while offering modern amenities: a 24/7 fitness center, large entertainment space complete with at 50’ projection screen and a billiards table,  plus a gymnasium that is beyond what any other community has seen in WNY.

The public is invited to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, May 14th at noon.  Tours will be available following the ceremony. The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce will be there to officiate the event.  The Open House will continue on Saturday from 11am-4pm and Sunday from 11am-3pm. Masks & Social Distancing will be in place during the event.

Construction of The Oaks at South Park began in 2020 under the watchful eye of PURE Construction Services. Immaculata Academy was built in 1952 as an all-girls school and proudly accepted students from 1954 until it’s closure in 2016. Many alumnae are still very attached to the former school to this day.

RANE Property Management develops and manages apartment communities throughout New York, Tennessee and Florida. RANE provides best in class lifestyle choices for its residents while producing maximum return for its owners. Learn more at http://www.ranemgmt.com.

If you would like more information about this event, please contact RaeAnn Plouffe, Operations & Marketing Director at 716-604-4998 or email at [email protected]


RANDOLPH, N.Y. — May 5, 2021 — After 36 years of serving the Randolph Academy Union Free School District, including 15 in the role of superintendent, Lori DeCarlo will retire from her post at the end of this school year. The Board of Education is currently reviewing applications and expects to appoint a new superintendent on or about June 1. The new individual will assume his or her duties on or about July 1.

Since 2006, Mrs. DeCarlo has led this 200-student, two-campus district which supports, empowers and educates children with emotional and mental health disabilities. During her tenure, Randolph Academy has assisted thousands of students from across the state, providing counseling, behavior management, a Regents diploma curriculum and vocational training to give students many options for rewarding careers and successful adult lives.

Randolph Academy was established as a Special Act Public School District by the New York State Legislature in 1985 — the same year DeCarlo joined its staff as a teacher. She steadily became more involved in administrative work, and was eventually chosen to lead the district 20 years later.

DeCarlo has since positioned the school as New York’s foremost expert in Restorative Justice (“RJ”) within the K-12 landscape. This sociological model focuses on building and strengthening relationships and community. It uses a process of regularly engaging students and educators in structured, open communication – called Circles – incorporated into the daily classroom routine to get students comfortable with talking about events and relationships inside and outside of school.

“I’ve always believed there were better ways of responding to students’ problem behaviors,” said DeCarlo. “The potentially devastating effects of even one out-of-school suspension, coupled with the school-to-prison pipeline that threatens many at-risk students, led me to research more proactive, positive responses to student behaviors and conflicts.”

DeCarlo dove deep into this approach, researching and developing the concept to its current form and culture. She convinced her board of education of its merits, then led her faculty and staff through a years-long transition to a Restorative Practice system in 2015, a process that requires a true paradigm shift across an entire organization.

DeCarlo has taken this expertise far beyond Randolph Academy’s walls. Since 2018, she’s been the lead trainer for the New York State Education Department’s RJ training initiatives, statewide. She also co-chairs Western New York’s Youth Justice Team and has presented at dozens of conferences, including those of the National School Boards Association, New York State School Boards Association, and New York State Council of School Superintendents. In addition, she’s encouraged her staff to share their expertise with anyone interested in adding restorative practices to their classrooms. Together, they’ve designed workshops and learning labs that have drawn dozens of state educators from hundreds of miles away to their two campuses. They also travel to other Western New York districts to help them learn and implement restorative practices into their cultures.

“Lori DeCarlo’s influence is evident in every corner of Randolph Academy,” said Board of Education Vice President Brad Sande. “Our modern school buildings, classrooms, technology, and recreation facilities; our students’ outstanding performance on state tests and Regents’ exams; the success of Restorative Justice and our stable fiscal condition are all the result of her leadership and vision for the potential of the Academy’s students and staff.”

DeCarlo has distinguished the district in many other ways, too. She was a driving force in its expansion, acquiring the former Hopevale UFSD in Hamburg in 2011 to create the current Randolph Academy footprint. She has also instilled a strong academic program which generates Regents exam scores that consistently exceed the state’s averages for students with disabilities.

Perhaps most importantly, she has steadily emphasized the importance of Randolph Academy students maintaining a visible presence in the community, so that neighbors and key influencers never saw them as dangerous or “bad kids.” Volunteer partnerships with organizations like the SPCA, Oishei Children’s Hospital, community centers and nursing homes have allowed students to put their vocational skills to great use in a service-learning capacity — and improve people’s lives in the process.

“Lori’s impact was most recently summed up eloquently by a parent of a former student,” added Board President Mary Myers. “Upon learning of her pending retirement, she said, ‘You have been there for so long — and always put our kids first.’ That sums up Lori’s character and approach perfectly, and we wish her decades of health and enjoyment in her well-earned retirement.”

An alumna of Buffalo State College (B.S., ’84, M.S. ’90), DeCarlo is a past president of the Western New York Educational Service Council (2016-18) and the New York Council of Administrators of Special Education (2014-16). She has also been named a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Specialist.

Following her retirement DeCarlo will continue her RJ work, as she joins the staff of the University of San Diego’s Center for Restorative Justice. There she will lead intensive training and certificate programs in RJ and Leadership, leveraging the expertise she has developed within the regional and national education landscape. She’s also looking forward to spending time traveling with her husband, Joe, and spending time with family and friends.

“It’s been a privilege to have a career which allows me to carry out my passion — to support, empower and educate our students, allowing them to discover their personal greatness and succeed,” DeCarlo added. “While I look forward to this new phase with excitement, serving Randolph Academy has been my highest professional honor. Its mission, my colleagues and our precious students will remain in my heart, always.”

About Randolph Academy
The Randolph Academy Union Free School District supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 who have a variety of emotional and mental health disabilities stemming from various causes and conditions. The nearly 200-student district is comprised of a residential campus, whose origins trace back to the 1860s in Randolph, N.Y. and serves students from throughout the state, and a day school in Hamburg, N.Y., which serves students from dozens of districts across Western New York.

With a flexible structure and non-traditional classrooms, it focuses on the power of relationships to help students achieve academic progress, with the goal of graduating high school and preparing for life as productive adults. Its staff are experts in Normative Culture, a sociological method using positive peer pressure to influence behavior rather than a system of rules, and Restorative Justice, an alternative to suspensions and other punitive approaches. To learn more, visit www.randolphacademy.org.


Buffalo, NY – Special Olympics New York has opened registration for the 2021 Sun Bowl, a 6-on-6 flag football tournament for the public to be held at Highmark Stadium June 26-27. Individuals and teams who wish to play can register at buffalosnowbowl.org.
In a promotional video to kick off registration, Defensive Tackle Harrison Phillips asks viewers, “Do you have it what it takes to play flag football at Bills Stadium?” and challenges the community to sign up and start fundraising for Special Olympics New York.
“The Buffalo Sun Bowl is an exciting, unique opportunity for fans to run out of the tunnel and play on the same field as the AFC East Champions,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “This is one of the public events we missed most when it had to be canceled last year. We couldn’t be happier to be able to bring it back this summer.”
Participants can choose from the following adult divisions: Amateur (just for fun), Co-Ed (must have two females on the field at all times), First Responder, or Pro (most competitive). There are also slots available in the middle school and high school divisions.
Each team is guaranteed to play at least three games at Highmark Stadium. Teams may be comprised of up to 12 players.
Adult teams are asked to raise $1,200 and student teams are asked to raise $1,000 in order to participate. All proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics New York athletes.
“The Erie County District Attorney’s office takes pride in participating in the annual Snow Bowl, this year re-named ‘Sun Bowl,'” said Meredith Mohun, co-captain of District Attorney’s team, which competes in the tournament annually. “We take pride in the dual competition that this event offers. The first is the ability to channel all of our inner AFC East Champions on the field, but more importantly the privilege to raise money and sponsor as many Special Olympics New York athletes as we can for their respective seasons.”
“We are honored to be a part of the Buffalo Sun Bowl,” said Mike Hefferon, captain of Seneca County Sheriff’s team. “We look forward to the event and the positive impact our fundraising efforts can make on the lives of Special Olympics New York athletes.”

About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.


Blasdell, N.Y. (April 13, 2021) – Ten Lives Club announced a $35,000 grant investment from the newly named, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in Western New York.

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with nearly $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And, they’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide.

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in Ten Lives Club and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. This month, we will also launch the first of our national tools to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“We can’t begin to share how excited we are here at Ten Lives Club for this amazing news. We rely heavily on donations to continue our mission to save cats and help them find loving homes and this lifesaving grant will be used to do just that. This year alone, we’ve rescued and re-homed 700 cats. We can’t thank our partners at Petco Love enough for their generosity,” said Marie Edwards, President & Founder of Ten Lives Club.

For more information about Ten Lives Club, visit TenLivesClub.com, and click here to learn more about Petco Love.

About Ten Lives Club
Ten Lives Club is a nonprofit organization located in Western New York that is made up of volunteers and staff all devoted to the club’s mission, “to promote, further, and enhance all cat life.” For the past 20 years, Ten Lives Club has helped more than 35,000 cats in need. The no-kill rescue relies on donations to help feed, medicate and house the thousands of cats that have come through their doors.

About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)
Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing nearly $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find
loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit petcolove.org to be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day.


Blasdell, NY – – Medaille College’s Veterinarian Technician Club volunteered their Saturday to help the cats and kittens of Ten Lives Club. Students helped clean the nonprofits infirmary, vet office, and free roaming rooms. Ten Lives Club offers students and clubs a hands on experience when it comes to caring for cats. With an in house vet staff, colleges can set up internship opportunities where students can help their vet staff processing cats, give meds to sick cats, and help on surgery days.

Ten Lives Club is the second largest rescue in Western New York and serves all of Erie County, Niagara, and nearby counties. They are always looking for volunteers, age 18 and older, to volunteer at their many offsite locations. People looking to do community service, church, and some court appointed hours can do them at the Ten Lives Club shelter. For more information about volunteering, events, or how to donate, please visit www.tenlivesclub.com or call them at (716)-646-5577 ext. 1.


April 1, 2021– Buffalo, NY. 1900’S TURN OF THE CENTURY BUILDING REPURPOSED INTO CITY LIVING APTS. Interior reconstruction, renovations and building upgrades are well underway at 270 Michigan Avenue, a property that was historically home to the Buffalo Envelope Company. The project’s general contractor, Concept Construction Corp was selected as the Construction Manager by Ellicott Development Co. to oversee the work.  Plans call for renovations to the interior of the building into a mix of uses including commercial office space and market-rate apartments.  This unique and expansive property is able to accommodate a variety of commercial office users with boutique style space under 2,000 sq. ft. up to large open contiguous floor space near 40,000 sq. ft. in size.  Working with the State Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service, the reconstruction work includes 6 brand new city living spaces with incredible views of Downtown Buffalo from the top 3 floors.  The apartments are designed to incorporate exposed views of the structure’s original “turn of the century” construction methods.  The use of 12” thick, heavy timer wooden beams, exposed vintage brick walls and some other unique and formerly hidden features, are reminiscent of and offer hints into the building’ long-time forgotten uses of the past.   While managing the work scopes of 40+ workers in multiple trades, Concept Construction is on schedule to deliver the completed project by the end of July 2021.

“We are excited to work with Concept Construction Corp on bringing this vacant building back to life.  Its adaptive reuse will add to the ongoing vibrancy and rebirth of the Seneca Street corridor.” William Paladino, CEO, Ellicott Development Company.

For more information on this project or to find out more about Concept Construction’s diverse portfolio of services please contact Vince Ricotta or visit us at www.conceptconstruction.com


As President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law today, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021, and then providing an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said:
“Today, President Biden sent another strong message to America’s more than 30 million small business owners negatively impacted by the pandemic: help is here. By signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act into law, the President is providing additional critical relief to the smallest of the small businesses – the mom-and-pop shops that line our Main Streets and keep our local and regional economies going.

“The leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, working with leaders of the House Small Business Committee, Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez, and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Young Kim, and Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Susan Collins, ensured a strong bipartisan vote to extend this critical relief to hard-hit small businesses. More than 8.2 million PPP loans have provided struggling small businesses with the relief they need to keep workers employed and make ends meets during this pandemic. The SBA remains dedicated to reaching the heart and soul of the nation’s urban, rural, and low-income communities – the smallest businesses – and removing barriers to access this vital relief.”

Visit the SBA for details on applying


Hamburg, NY:  Today Gullo’s Garden Center, a full-service nursery, garden center, and landscape installation company, announced they have commenced construction of a large-scale addition to their business’s retail store. In response to rapid growth, the business is increasing its greenhouse size by almost 50%. This will allow them to offer an even greater selection of plants, including a new, dedicated houseplant section, as well as host larger events, such as their long-running Fall Festival.

“The decision to expand our family business was both an exciting and logical move for us,” said Russell M. Gullo, chief operating officer. “The business has continuously grown and this is our fourth expansion since opening 27 years ago. We look forward to serving the community for years to come as second and third generation members of our family. As a top 100 garden center in North America, we’d like to thank our customers for our continued success and for allowing us to become a pillar of the community.”

About Gullo’s Garden Center: Gullo’s Garden Center was founded in 1994 by president Russell W. Gullo, who got his start in 1977 with a small stand on the Clinton Bailey Farmer’s Market. Along with his sons Russell and Tony, daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Richard, the business is family-owned and operated. Previous expansions occurred in 2005, 2013, and 2018. Gullo’s Garden Center was recognized in 2019 and 2020 as a Top 100 garden center in North America by Garden Center Magazine.


Blasdell, NY- – Ten Lives Club Cat Adoption Group went to a recent Hamburg Town Hall meeting and was awarded a certificate announcing Ten Lives Club Proclamation Day. The nonprofit is celebrating their 20th birthday this year. In their 20 year history, they have helped over 35,000 cats and kittens. Ten Lives Club was recognized for the service they do to for our community. The nonprofit helps rehome the friendly, stray cats around Western New York as well as combat the overpopulation of unwanted animals by hosting spay and neuter clinics throughout the year. Since Ten Lives Club has started, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of homeless cats wandering the streets. In 2020, the nonprofit adopted took in 2,615 cats into their program and adopted out 2,655 cats. Ten Lives Club was elated to receive such an honor from the Town of Hamburg. For more information on Ten Lives Club, please visit their website at www.tenlivesclub.com or by calling (716)-646-5577 ext. 1.


RANDOLPH, N.Y. — MARCH 12, 2021 — Randolph Academy, which supports, empowers and educates children with emotional and mental health disabilities, takes pride in sharing its expertise with anyone who is interested. Whether an educator works in a nearby district or one that is hundreds of miles away, its staff are always happy to share their knowledge of Restorative Justice and students with disabilities. They especially welcome the chance to work with the next generation of educators and leaders.

With campuses in Randolph and Hamburg, the district has more than a dozen colleges and universities nearby, providing ample opportunities to give student teachers a classroom experience that is unlike any they’ve probably had — on either side of the desk.

However, the district discovered recently that it offers unique value for another group of students: Criminal Justice majors. Because of the challenging circumstances many of Randolph Academy students face in their lives, it has developed a new connection with these budding professionals who seek to understand aspects of the judicial and social work sectors as they relate to childhood education, safety and development.

This past fall, the campuses began hosting interns from the Department of Sociocultural & Justice Sciences at the State University of New York at Fredonia. These students have worked closely with the Academy’s teachers, staff and administrators, developing a rapport that’s allowing their program to build momentum and meaningful connections across the region.

“We really enjoy working with interns as they navigate their career paths and determine what settings are right for them,” said Randolph Academy Restorative Justice Coordinator Laura Heeter. “Our (K-12) students have often been exposed to difficult conditions, and it’s incredibly valuable for these young professionals to see those challenges up close and in person. It provides a whole new perspective that can guide them in their careers — and hopefully inspire them to go that extra mile for these kids.”

Most college students find that internships enhance their understanding and appreciation of what they’ve learned in the classroom, once they apply their knowledge in a professional setting.

“Our Criminal Justice students quickly discover that learning outside the classroom is an essential component of their education,” explained Patrick Johnson, a Fredonia faculty member and retired warden of the Chautauqua County state prison. “Internships help to develop our students’ self-directed learning skills and allow them to evaluate how they fit in the field they’re studying.”

One of his students is senior Keith Leonard, a Long Island native preparing to take his New York State Trooper exams. He’s also considering law school. Regardless of his eventual career, he sees how beneficial restorative practices are for children with emotional disabilities.

“This internship has helped me realize the importance of building relationships with kids, and how that approach is much more fruitful than a punitive one,” said Leonard of his Hamburg campus experience. “It wasn’t something I had experienced or really considered before.”

Tracy Brown, a Falconer, N.Y. native and intern at the Randolph campus, was particularly impressed by how our school changes the trajectory for students, keeping them out of the school-to-prison pipeline.

“They’re catching these kids before it’s too late,” Brown said. “By identifying these students and helping them grow using circle practice, it keeps them from landing in some juvenile facility.”

“I really like seeing that you can get through to these kids without using traditional suspensions,” added Hamburg intern Janiya Carter, a senior from Niagara Falls, N.Y. “Solving incidents by building relationships and using dialog is a much more effective, longer-lasting approach.”

Beyond the classroom experience, internships also help students develop relationships with real-world practitioners who help them set career goals and strengthen their ethics and values.

“Of course, internships can also lead to employment, either at the organization where they’re working or through the many connections that their hosts have,” Johnson reminds his students.

“As a teacher, I’m thrilled to share what I know with this next generation! It’s a privilege as well as a responsibility,” Heeter added. “Best of all, I usually learn something from our interns along the way, and that always makes for a great day.”

About Randolph Academy

The Randolph Academy Union Free School District supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 who have a variety of emotional and mental health disabilities stemming from various causes and conditions. The nearly 200-student district is comprised of a residential campus, whose origins trace back to the 1860s in Randolph, N.Y. and serves students from throughout the state, and a day school in Hamburg, N.Y., which serves students from dozens of districts across Western New York.

With a flexible structure and non-traditional classrooms, Randolph Academy focuses on the power of relationships to help students achieve academic progress, with the ultimate goal of graduating high school and preparing for life as productive adults. Its staff are experts in the concepts of Normative Culture, a sociological method using positive peer pressure to influence behavior rather than a system of rules, and Restorative Justice, an alternative to suspensions and other punitive approaches. Through specialized academic instruction and therapeutic interventions, students achieve Regents and local diplomas, as well as Career Exit Credentials. To learn more, visit www.randolphacademy.org.