Last Saturday, 32 high school junior and senior automotive students from career and technical schools gathered at Erie Community College’s Vehicle Technology Training Center to compete in the 2013 Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association/Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition. Teams from across Western New York were competing for the chance at an all-expense-paid trip to the National Automotive Technology Competition in April at the International Auto Show in New York City.

The winners in the senior competition, Dan Ruble and Kyle Jung from the Orleans-Niagara Career and Technical Education Center, along with their instructor, Jasper Adams, will represent their school and the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association at the National Automotive Technology Competition. The Burgard High School team of David Thie and River Saxbury came in second place and will also be competing in the nationals. Ashley Warren and Eric Mayle from the Harkness Career and Technical Center finished third.

Both Western New York teams will be competing against 28 other dealers’ association teams from across the United States and Canada.

The junior level event, known as “The Tire Rodeo,” was won by Nolan Sinclair and Talel Elwaseem from the Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career & Technical Center in Tonawanda.


The Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center in Hamburg will hold cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or a nature walk at 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants must bring skis and/or snowshoes. For more information, call 627-4560 or visit


Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve and the state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a Winter Wonderland in the Woods from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other activities will be available. For more information, call 683-5959 or visit and search for Reinstein Woods.


Western New York Heritage Press is hosting an essay contest for students in grades four and up. The essays should focus on the art, architecture or history of Western New York. The winning essays will be published in Western New York Heritage magazine.For rules and an entry form, visit or or call 893-4011. Deadline is next Thursday.


The 36th annual Carter G. Woodson Essay Contest is open to all students in grades four through 12. Essays, between 200-500 words about an African-American poet or writer in Western New York, are due Feb. 6. Send to Carter G. Woodson Essay Contest, P.O. Box 63, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207, or leave at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave. at East Utica Street. Please include name, address, telephone number, school and grade on your essay. For more information, email or call 886-1399 or 400-2826.


The Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus will present its 25th anniversary winter concert, “Celebration in Song,” at 4 p.m. Sunday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave.


To learn more about Buffalo Prep, a program that offers fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders from disadvantaged backgrounds accelerated classes, tutoring and mentoring to help them get into top local high schools and colleges, an information session will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University at Buffalo South Campus, 18 Acheson Annex. For information, call 829-3605.


The Music is Art High School Jazz Festival will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Kenmore East High School, 350 Fries Road, Town of Tonawanda.

The festival will feature high school jazz bands from Kenmore East, Charles O. Dickerson, East Aurora, Niagara-Wheatfield, Tonawanda, Williamsville South, Cleveland Hill and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.

Before the show, students will have the opportunity to work with special guest artists.

Tickets are $5 presale and $7 at the door; call Music is Art at 880-3377 or 200-6518.