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OBITUARIES IN THE NEWS
Buzz

LAS VEGAS — Marty Allen, the baby-faced, bug-eyed comedian with wild black hair who was a staple of TV variety shows, game shows and talk shows for decades, died Monday night. He was 95.

Allen died in Las Vegas of complications from pneumonia with his wife and performing partner of the last three decades Karon Kate Blackwell by his side, Allen's spokeswoman Candi Cazau told The Associated press.

Allen, known for his greeting and catchphrase "hello dere," was a living link late in life to a generation of long-dead superstars with whom he shared a stage, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and Elvis Presley

He first found fame as half of the duo Allen & Rossi with partner Steve Rossi, who died in 2014. Allen & Rossi appeared 44 times on "The Ed Sullivan Show," including the episodes where the Beatles performed and most of America watched.

"Everyone remembers those shows with The Beatles, and they were great, but we appeared on all the shows," Allen said in 2014. "There wasn't a talk show on TV that didn't want Allen & Rossi."

The duo appeared regularly on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" and "The Merv Griffin Show." They also toured comedy clubs nationwide, headlined shows at major Las Vegas casinos and released a series of hit albums until their amicable breakup in 1968.

Allen then took on a series of serious roles on daytime television and made-for-TV movies, and was a regular on "The Hollywood Squares" and other celebrity-themed game shows.

He was a regular entertainer on the Las Vegas Strip for much of his life, and tributes from there poured in Monday night.

"We have lost another iconic Las Vegas entertainer, Marty Allen," Las Vegas magician Lance Burton tweeted. "What a funny man who brought joy to millions of people for 95 years."

Ventriloquist and Strip luminary Terry Fator tweeted that "Las Vegas and show business lost a legend tonight.... and I lost a friend."

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried tweeted, "Farewell to one of the funniest people onstage and off."

Allen was born in Pittsburgh and served in Italy in the Army Air Corps in World War II, earning a Soldier's medal for valor.

He was married to Lorraine 'Frenchy' Allen from 1960 until she died in 1976.

Then in 1984 he married Blackwell, a singer-songwriter who became his performing partner in his last decades and acted as the goofy Allen's "straight man" just as Rossi did half a century earlier.

He kept making crowds laugh into his mid-90s.

"It's unbelievable to be 94 years old," Marty Allen told a New York audience in 2016. "My wife says, 'What do you want for your birthday?' I told her, 'An antique.' So she framed my birth certificate."


NEW YORK
Senate Democrats: Eliminate cash bail

ALBANY — New York state would eliminate the long-standing practice of requiring defendants to post cash bail under a proposal from Democratic lawmakers who say the idea would save money while addressing a glaring inequity in the criminal justice system.

States including Alaska and New Jersey have already taken steps to reduce or largely eliminate monetary bail, which critics say unfairly allows suspects with financial resources to go free while those without must wait in prison until their trial begins.

The bail reform proposal was one of three bills announced Tuesday by Senate Democrats. The other two would impose new requirements for taking criminal cases to trial quickly and change discovery rules to give defendants more information about their case before a plea bargain.

"Our criminal justice system is broken and we have to fix it," Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said Tuesday.

Under the bail-reform proposal, suspects accused of a violent crime who are considered a danger to others could be detained pending trial, while other defendants could be released with a promise to return or placed under community supervision. But no one would be held in jail simply because they can't afford bail, according to Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens and the sponsor of the bill.

"Innocent until proven guilty — unless you're poor. That's the way our system works in practice," he said. "The person of wealth is at home waiting for his trial."

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing his own proposal to end cash bail in misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases. Democrats in the Assembly, meanwhile, have proposed legislation that would reduce or waive bail for young, low-income offenders and expand the ability of charitable community organizations to post bail for suspects.

There's no organized public opposition to the measures so far, though prosecutors and law enforcement have argued against similar proposals before. No vote on the legislation has been scheduled.


Mark Peck, Great Backyard Bird Count 

A barred owl.


Celeb Bdays

TV personality Hugh Downs ("20/20"), 97; Country singer Razzy Bailey, 79; Jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker, 75; TV personality Pat O'Brien ("The Insider," ''Access Hollywood"), 70; Magician Teller of Penn and Teller, 70; Actor Ken Wahl ("Wiseguy"), 61; Actress Meg Tilly, 58; Actress Sakina Jaffey ("House of Cards"), 56; Actor Enrico Colantoni ("Just Shoot Me"), 55; Actor Zach Galligan ("Gremlins"), 54; Bassist Ricky Wolking of The Nixons, 52; Actor Simon Pegg, 48; Bassist Kevin Baldes of Lit, 46; Singer Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, 46; Actor Jake Lacy ("The Office"), 32; Actor Brett Dier ("Jane the Virgin"), 28; Actor Freddie Highmore, 26.


Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen 

Port Byron's Brett Saroodis drives through Cato-Meridian’s Marcus Ramacus to the basket Wednesday at Dana West High School. 


Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen 

The view from Dale Smith's cab while plowing snow in the city.


Local
OWASCO LAKE
DEC: Find out about the state of Owasco Lake's fisheries

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold an informational public meeting about the state of Owasco Lake's fisheries, according to a release.

It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Bass Pro Shops' meeting room in the Fingerlakes Mall, 1579 Clark St. Road, Aurelius.

The presentation will include summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies, in addition to an overview of the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program and the Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Owasco Lake and inlet is annually stocked with trout, according to the release. The angler diary program also provides recent reports with data on population trends of other game fish in the lake.

The DEC said it is seeking cooperators, and that interested volunteers should contact the Region 7 Fisheries Office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213 or email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.