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News 2 You: A look back at when vehicles needed 2 inspections, & everything needed a price tag

Our weekly look back at some of the stories that made headlines 10, 20, and 30 years ago this week

BUFFALO, NY — This week in 2012

Ten years ago this week, Buffalo police unveiled for the first time their newest crowd control device. It was called Skywatch and allowed officers to keep tabs on large events by lifting them up in a cab attached to a scissors jack. Purchased with homeland security funds, it is still in use today, after being deployed for the first time on Chippewa Street this week in 2012 to watch bar crowds who flocked in for what is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for the entertainment district.

Small Business Saturday, which encourages holiday shoppers to patronize independent stores on commercial strips in towns and cities was a new concept in retail marketing, actors who starred in the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard were the special guests at the World’s Largest Disco at the Buffalo Convention Center, and Ernie Warlick, who starred at Tight End for the Bills in their AFL heyday (and who later became Buffalo’s first African American sportscaster right here on Channel 2) died at the age of 80 this week in 2012.

Twenty years ago this week as Congress reorganized after the recent elections, for the first time a woman was elected as the Deputy House Minority Leader. Her name was Nancy Pelosi, who would later serve twice as Speaker of the House.

Gregg Williams was coaching the Bills, Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts grad Jesse L. Martin was starring on Law and Order, and Kermit the Frog was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week in 2002.

Thirty years ago this week was when Madonna came out with a coffee table book which was a rather revealing self portrayal with a simple three letter title: The pop music recording star’s book, Sex, sold more than 1.5 million copies. Three decades later it remains among the most sought after out of print books, and copies are listed on E-Bay for several hundred up to $1,000 for an original print in good condition.

Meanwhile, motorists in Erie and Niagara County were learning that they would soon need two annual inspections for their vehicles. Watch the video version of this story above to find out why.

That same week, a judge ruled on a simmering lawsuit filed by local grocery stores against Erie County, upholding a county law requiring price tags on every item sold in stores, despite the availability of bar code scanners.

However, the court also found that the penalties the county imposed on stores that failed to comply were unconstitutional.

This lead to compromise legislation where stores would no longer have to affix a price tag on every single item (just one on the shelf in front of the item would suffice) but if the checkout scanner overcharged for the item, customers would then be owed a “super re-fund”, equal to 10 times the amount of the overcharge.

It’s a law which is still on the books some three decades after the controversial court ruling came down…and when it was all News 2 You.

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