What’s in a name?

Chris Collins left public office a year ago without a warm, fuzzy reputation.

The former county executive now looks to burnish a new image as he prepares to take on a new title.

And he was all smiles after his narrow victory over Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul.

The magnitude of his new job sunk in quickly as he celebrated his win with his wife, Mary, and campaign staff at GOP election night headquarters.

“Congressman!” someone shouted as the group posed for a picture.

“I’ve been called a lot of things in my life,” Collins quipped. “But never congressman.”

Horse laughs

Defense attorney Thomas J. Eoannou can be aggressive, feisty and, at times, a fast talker in a courtroom.

He can also become a bit tongue-tied.

The animal-cruelty trial resumed this week for his client, Aurora horse farm owner Beth Lynne Hoskins.

Eoannou cross-examined SPCA veterinarian Jean Feldman for three hours about the agency’s 2010 raid at Hoskins’ farm.

He had moments when he performed with flourish and gusto.

And then he had other moments. Like when he asked Feldman about her use of blow guns on the horses.

“Did you ingest the horse?” he asked.

“I didn’t ingest the horse,” Feldman replied. “It wouldn’t have been very tasteful. I injected them.”

Eoannou called the veterinarian “ma’am” until the prosecution insisted to the judge that he call her “doctor” or “Dr. Feldman.”

Even that proved a challenge for Eoannou at times, when he returned to his “ma’am” mode.

When Feldman testified she did not see any horse eat manure, Eoannou called her out on that answer, saying she had previously said she had but failed to do a diagnostic exam to confirm that horses were eating manure.

“There is not a diagnostic test that you could do for manure,” Feldman told the attorney. “How would you test what they’re eating, when what they’re going to eat is going to come out their rear end and look the same?”

A split ticket

Whether your favorite won or lost the White House, the presidential outcome could have been more unsettling.

A week ago, the Washington Times’ Inside the Beltway column quoted Canisius College political science professors Michael Haselswerdt, a Democrat, and Kevin Hardwick, a Republican, on the viable chance the two candidates could split the electoral votes, 269-269.

If that had happened, the Republican-led House would have picked the president and the Democrat-led Senate would have decided the vice president.

“That means that Joe Biden would be vice president for the next four years under President Mitt Romney,” Hardwick said.

“We would have the ‘Odd Couple’ on steroids.”

There’s an app for that

A lot of us have heard of Angry Birds, the popular game downloaded onto millions of mobile phones.

Now a new app is out, and criminals in Cheektowaga had best beware.

It is not called Angry Residents or even Alert Residents, though these names would be fitting.

The Cheektowaga Police Department has a new, 21st-century crime fighting tool – an iPhone app for sending anonymous tips.

The free app also allows police to respond for an anonymous, two-way chat.

Police Chief David Zack likes the idea.

“This tool ... will help our citizens play an active role in keeping neighborhoods safer, it will engage younger folks in the process, and it will save our agency time and resources.”

The CPDNY Tips iPhone app can be downloaded at the iTunes store or through

If it is anywhere close to as popular as Angry Birds, where angry birds are catapulted at egg-stealing pigs, we may see the book thrown at more criminals in the town.

By Patrick Lakamp with contributions from Denise Jewell Gee, Maki Becker and Karen Robinson. email: