Author Archives: thehilbertscribe

Hilbert Student Hit by Car: Media Camp Exercise


Editor’s note: This is a story based on a reporting exercise conducted as part of Hilbert College Media Camp. No one has been injured at the college.

By Areeba Bakht

A Hilbert College student is in critical condition after being hit by car in school parking lot this morning.

A Hilbert sophomore was found lying unconscious after being hit by a black Honda Civic. The Hilbert College Campus Safety Team arrived within minutes after the accident, which happened at 9:42 am, according to law enforcement officials.

Vito Czyz, the head of the Campus Safety Team, said that Hamburg emergency responders arrived minutes after his team and began working on the victim, addressing the media at a press conference held on campus shortly after the accident.

“Looks like upper body injuries we can say,” Czyz said. “Again, paramedics were on the scene and transported the victim to ECMC.”

The driver, an unidentified white male, fled the scene of the accident on foot. The Hamburg Police Department was in pursuit of the suspect, who disappeared into the woods behind the college, but had not found him at the time of the press conference, Czyz said.

“We have no further report on the injuries nor can release the name of the student,” Czyz said.

Ryan Zunner, a Hilbert junior who witnessed the accident, said he thinks he knows the victim.

Zunner said he was running out to his car when the accident happened.

“I just know her from school,” Zunner said. “I had a class with her last semester. She will be a sophomore this year. I mean, she is just a caring, loving person. It’s a shame to see something like this happen to her.”

Zunner said that after the victim was hit, the culprit looked around before running towards the soccer field. Zunner tried to catch him, but the driver was too quick. He was able to catch a glimpse of the culprit.

“He was about 6’1”, about 200 pounds, white male,” Zunner said. “Dark hair. Hair shorter than mine. ”

An officer on the scene declined to answer questions, saying she was not authorized to answer any questions.

Czyz said that he will continue to provide updates on the situation as he gets more information.

Central Terminal Comeback


by Jacob Conley, Ava Orton and Luke Toney

Mark Lewandowski has seen many ups and downs in his years of working at Buffalo’s Central Terminal. But now, the historic train station seems as well positioned as ever to take advantage of the city’s renaissance and capitalize on efforts to reuse the landmark.

“We were able to work with the state of New York and were promised $5 million for restorations to put in new windows and stuff like that,” said Lewandowski.

Lewandowski, the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation director of facilities, finance, tours and events, said “Through a lot of volunteer hours we were able to open the building up to visitors.”

In 1929 the Central Terminal in Buffalo was completed, and on June 22nd it opened to the public. The grand opening festivities included a party attended by over 2,200 invited guests. It was the largest event in Buffalo’s history at the time. Not long after the terminal’s grand opening however, the nation was hit with the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and travel across that country declined.

“The only people taking trains at that time, were the hobos,” Lewandowski elaborated, alluding to the struggles many Americans faced during the Great Depression.

Once the nation started to improve from its economic problems, so did the Central Terminal and the railroad industry as a whole, thanks in large part to America’s participation in the raging wars in Europe and the Pacific.

“World War Two was this place’s heyday,” Lewandowski said.

During this 1940’s upsurge, it was very popular, with more than 200 trains arriving a day. This lasted until the quality and dependability of car and air travel improved.

In the early 1970’s, Amtrak took control of the station, and with that marked the beginning of the end for the Central Terminal, a true sign of the times for passenger rail service. By 1979, the station saw it’s last train depart, and with that, Amtrak shifted operations to a much smaller station in Depew, N.Y.

In the early 1980’s a man named Tony Fedele purchased the building and used the complex to host events. He even lived there in an apartment with his dog that he used as security. Later, the terminal was foreclosed upon by the IRS due to Fedele defaulting on owed taxes.

Thomas Telesco purchased the station in the ensuing foreclosure auction, as he was the only bidder. Telesco spent $100,000 on the building and had plans to utilize the complex as a banquet hall. However none of these plans came to fruition, and Telesco mainly just used his ownership of the terminal to sell artifacts and other valuables found on the property.

Now the building is being renovated by Lewandowski’s corporation, to be used for events and as a mixed-use complex. However, the Central Terminal’s railroad past may not be fading away fully just yet.

“I have talked with officials from Amtrak, and they have said once the building [Central Terminal] is occupied, they will put a stop back in,” said Lewandowski. “It will not be a station again, but it will be a stop.”

Lewandowski and his non-profit, the Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation have secured a $5 million dollar grant from the State of New York for renovations to the station’s concourse. This, coupled with the tireless efforts of local volunteers, government officials, and organizations, the Central Terminal may once again see footsteps grace the marble floors of one of Buffalo’s most storied buildings.

Bisons Embrace History


by Areeba Bakht, Kaitlyn Barone and Max Snyder

Murphy Smith has seen a lot of baseball in his ten years in the minor leagues. But rarely has he seen a season started like this one. With many of their April home games cancelled due to weather, the team now has to string together double headers to make up the games.

“We kinda enjoyed the highs but not get too high, then obviously if we lose a couple in a row you can’t let that beat you up because every day is a new day out here,” Murphy said.

Still, bonding with teammates on long bus trips has brought a lot of camaraderie to the team, he added.

The Bisons are just a few games below .500, but team members on the historic franchise feels good about where the club is headed. With up-and-coming stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. the organization has a bright future ahead of them and exciting baseball for fans from Buffalo and of the Toronto Blue Jays, the team’s major league affiliate.

Smith is one of the 18 pitchers in the Buffalo Bisons organization. The 30-year-old veteran has a 5.40 ERA and a .291 batting average this season.

The MiLB team, founded in 1877, has won many championships, including the Governor’s Cup (6 times) and the North Division (4 times). They were once in the Triple-A World Series Championship, but lost to the New Orleans Zephyrs in 1998. They play their games at Coca-Cola Field, which first opened in 1998. They are the oldest MiLB team in America. The team has a rich history of great players, with the retired numbers of Ollie Carnegie, Luke Easter, Jeff Manto and even Jackie Robinson (even though he didn’t play for the Bisons) hanging on the wall. The top players of all time were Russ Ford, Fred Anderson, Gene Krapp, Baldy Louden, and Al Schulz. The 2018 team has over 30 players, including pitcher Murphy Smith, catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Darnell Sweeney.

Pat Malacaro, the voice of the Bisons, has been around the team for nearly two decades. He said he is always amazed by the endearing stories he comes across while covering the team.

“Everyone has a different story and a unique story to tell,” Malacaro said. “I think that is our job to tell those stories and that way the games are going to happen. There are 140 games throughout the season.”

Tyler Dunne, a features writer with Bleacher Report, said that he believes that the reason so many people are interested in sports is the connection they feel with the players.

“You are always learning something, you get to see these guys as people,” Dunne said. “They like the fact that their not just robots you plug into a fantasy football lineup. They’re people and that’s what we try to do with our stories.”