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April, 2015:

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

A pair of Lockport men are facing charges after a Webb Street man's dog went after a Prospect Street man's dog — and the Prospect Street man went after the Webb Street man.

Peter J. DeFazio, 40, 30 Webb St., Apt. 2, was charged around 1:52 p.m. Friday with having a dog at large. According to the LPD report, DeFazio’s dog was running loose in the area of Webb Street and attacked another dog.

The owner of the second dog, Tyrone L. Ewing, 28, 91 Prospect St., then struck DeFazio, according to the report. He was charged with second-degree harassment. Ewing is slated for City Court on Thursday, while DeFazio is scheduled for May 12.

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Niagara Produce vs Burger King

Burger King is the self-proclaimed King of Burgers and home of the Whopper. Niagara Produce is a locally owned market located at 8555 Transit road. How can this little market go toe to toe in a burger completion with the aforementioned King? This week’s culinary adventure answered that question.

When we visited Burger King, located at 5720 Transit Road, there was a line of cars waiting in the drive thru ahead of us. As patient as I am, the flame broiled scent of burgers being pumped out of the restaurant made the five minute wait seem like at least eight. My whopper meal came to around six dollars and it included the burger, French fries, and a small drink.  For comparison, I asked the young lady at the window if the Whopper was a quarter pound of beef. She really wasn’t sure and she said she would find out. When she came back a minute later and gave the unimpressive answer of “We don’t really know how much it weighs but we don’t sell quarter pounders” I simply thanked her and drove home to dig into my brown bag of flame broiled food.

The sandwich itself was quite large but instead of the Whopper it should be called the Flopper. The bun just flopped down in my hand as I picked it up.  After a little burger reconstruction I finally took my first bite and shrugged off the fact that the burger patty seemed incredibly thin. The somewhat smoky taste wasn’t bad but it was pretty boring for something from the King of Burgers. I gave up on the sandwich after three bites and dug into the crispy fries. I was impressed by the crunch but the lardy residue that coated my mouth made me quickly reach for my drink to wash it down. It turns out that the best part of the meal at Burger King, and the only item I finished, is the ice cold Coca Cola.

A couple miles down the road form Burger King is the newly built Niagara Produce Market. Inside this beautiful building you’ll find fresh produce, a giant greenhouse, a full deli, fish market, butcher shop, and various grocery items. The secret that a lot of people don’t know is that there’s also a mini café where you can eat in or get a meal to go.  That day, the huge menu included Cajun Butter Cod, pasta, Thai Chicken soup, various wraps, tacos, and even a Rueben. For around six dollars, the same price of the Burger King meal, I ordered the quarter pound Black Angus Hamburger with a side of loaded mashed potatoes and a strawberry lemonade iced tea. As the burger was being cooked right in front of me I smiled as I watched the flames come up from the grill and I could see the infamous grill marks that, in my opinionated opinion, make a good burger even better.

As the food cooked I made some small talk with the cooks Lauren & Mike, who had an uncanny resemblance to movie stars Jennifer Lawrence & Michael Cera. It turns out that Lauren, who was
wearing a chef’s outfit, is indeed a chef that graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania at
Punxsutawney’s Academy of Culinary arts. The simple, yet gourmet, menu was making more sense now.

It’s as if Niagara Produce gave this chef, who graduated from the longest named school I’ve ever heard of, her own little kitchen and said “Go on and make some magic”. When I asked the chef what was in the loaded mashed potatoes she leaned in and whispered cheese, chives, and bacon. The dramatic pause before she mentioned the word bacon made as anxious for the potatoes and I was for the burger that just came off the grill.

The Niagara Produce hamburger was served on a fresh Costanzo’s Bakery roll, with lettuce, tomato, and onion. The beef was perfectly grilled and it made me yearn for the summer months when the smell delicious barbeque rises from America’s backyards. Although condiments were offered, they were absolutely unnecessary because the patty was mouthwatering on its own. The loaded mashed potatoes lived up to their namesake with spoonful after spoonful of cheddar cheese and inch long cuts of bacon. I felt guilty that I only paid six dollars for a meal of this caliber.

As I was leaving Niagara Produce, the older gentleman behind me in line was paying for his Pot Roast dinner. Chef Lauren stopped what she was doing, came up to him and started talking to him about his military hat which had his tours of duty displayed upon it. Chef Lauren quietly thanked the veteran for his service to our Country and stated that because of brave men and women like him she was able to do what she does today. The sincerity in her gratitude astonished me and made my experience at Niagara Produce extra special.

So, there you have it. The King of Burgers verses a little café located in a market.  I’m not quite sure how to ask a King to remove his crown but I think it’s obviously time for the Burger King to step aside. The Niagara Produce hamburger was unquestionably the better burger. The meal at Niagara Produce was prepared in the same amount of time that I waited for the drive thru service at Burger King. While Burger King is considered Fast Food, I would call Niagara Produce’s Café gourmet food, done fast. The exceptional service and reasonably priced meals tells me that this secret little café won’t be a secret for too much longer.

+Jay Bérent  is on the lookout for the new places to try. A good tip will earn you a free “Thank you.” Shipping & handling fees may apply. He can be reached at jayberent@gmail.com.

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On behalf of the entire Lockport Express Junior A Hockey organization, I would like to sincerely thank the Lockport community for making our very first season a resounding success.  As you know, we hosted the very first playoff series at our home, Cornerstone Arena. What you may not know is that we led the league in attendance, which is a monumental tribute to you, our fans, for supporting us endlessly.

This is one reason that we secured one of our year end awards, Organization of the Year for the 2015 NA3EHL season.  We do not win that award without your support and we sincerely thank you.  Anthony Merante was named Rookie of the Year for the 2015 NA3EHL season and Nick Siracuse was named a 1st Team All Star for the 2015 NA3EHL season. Our last award was awarded to me as the 2015 General Manager of the Year for the NA3EHL. My name is on the plaque but I had a great deal of support from our owner, Steve Bueme, our Associate Head Coach and Skills Instructor, David Kasperek, our Head Scout, Joe Siracuse, Mike Sutt, my wife Jeanine as well as some parents of players on our team that helped with game day operations.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention our Official Media Partner, East Niagara Post, including Heather Grimmer, Scott Leffler, Craig Bacon and George Root for spending countless hours covering and promoting our program.

Lastly, a huge thank you to our sponsors: Allison and Paul LoVullo, John Shepard and Integris Financial, East Niagara Hospital, Tom Hildreth and Hildreth Electric, Confer Plastics, Partners Packaging and Lock 34 Bar & Grill. Thank you all for your generous support.

We are gearing up for next season already with our Junior camps starting May 3rd at Cornerstone Arena and we look forward to seeing everyone at the rink again very soon.  Thank you!

Thanks guys.

Frank J Vecchio is the head coach and general manager of the Lockport Express Junior A hockey team.


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The Lockport Family YMCA is holding a free community event today to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families, features activities such as, games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.  

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,300 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of-school time for kids’ health. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles – or gaps – that prevent them from reaching their full potential, related to hunger, water safety, learning, safe spaces to play, and health. Each year, the Y helps over 9 million youth nationwide “hop the gap” and achieve more, providing a safe to place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.

“The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, and a place for kids to hang out. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home,” said Laurie Ferris, Youth Director, Lockport Family YMCA.  “We know that it can sometimes feel like a challenge. So at Healthy Kids Day, we’ll encourage kids to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long, and give families tips they can easily replicate at home. It’s free and open to the community.”

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

  • Try, try, repeat – There are many great tasting fruits and vegetables that many kids have never heard of, let alone tried. Grab a new fruit or vegetable and encourage everyone in the family to try at least a bite.
  • Play around town – Challenge the family to play on a different playground every week. Identify playgrounds at a variety of parks; expand definitions of playgrounds to include nature trails, a nearby stream, and a bike path. 

Families at play for an hour a day – From walking to gardening, or swimming to shooting hoops, make playful movement a part of your family’s day. To get 60 minutes of moderate activity throughout your day just add 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there.

The Lockport Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day at 19 East Ave. started with a Free Aerobic Class at 8 a.m. followed by a Free Water Fitness class. There's still plenty to do today, though:

10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

  • Niagara County Sheriff Dept. Child Safety Seat Inspection 

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • Fitness Screening – height, weight, BMI, strength & flexibility measured for 6 year olds plus.
  • Sports Challenge (Hockey & Racquetball) – test your sports and game skills, while you learn a few new skills for the 12 year old and under crowd.
  • Health & Youth Fair – local community agencies will share their youth & health tips!
  • Youth Agility Test – Lockport City Firefighters will test your abilities!
  • Preschool Fun - exercise with our Preschool staff and take home a YMCA craft project!
  • Healthy Snacks – learn more about nutrition and make your own healthy snack with help from our School Age Child Care Staff!
  • Youth Fitness Center Orientation – tour the fitness center & learn the YMCA Fitness Policies for teens.
  • Outdoor Education & Nature Activities – get ready for summer with Camp Kenan staff.
  • Lobby Games – learn the skills & rules of lobby games from the YMCA Teen Leaders Club.
  • Basket Raffle (All Day Long) – to benefit our Annual Support Campaign
1:00 – 2:00 PM

  • Hot Shot Hoop Shoot – test your scoring abilities and join in the fun!

1:00 – 4:00 PM

  • Family Open Swim – enjoy free time for the whole family in the Y pool.

2:00 – 4:00 PM

  • Family Open Gym – spend some quality family time shooting hoops!

Those who join the Y this weekend will have the joiner fee waived —a $25 - $75 savings.  There will also be raffles, giveaways, prizes, family fun and more!  For more information, contact the Y at 434-8887 or visit www.LockportYMCA.com.

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The National Weather Service says today will be sunny with a high near 52 and a low around 35.

Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 54 and a low around 40. Monday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 56 and a low around 41. Tuesday: Partly sunny with a high near 62 and a low around 43.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 64 and a low around 44. Thursday will be partly sunny with a high near 60 and a low around 39. Friday looks to be cloudy with a high near 56.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Robert W. Mondry passed away April 24, 2015 under the care of his family and Niagara Hospice.

Born in Buffalo on February 6, 1947 he was the son of Walter and Josephine (Lelonek) Mondry. He went to South Park High School Class of 1965 then on to the Diocene Preparatory Seminary and attended the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. After completing that Robert went on to the EJ Meger Memorial Hospital School for Nurse Anesthetist and furthered his education to St. Joseph’s College in North Windham, Maine earning his bachelor’s degree in hospital administration. Robert also served in the US Army from 1988 to 1994.

Robert is survived by his wife Ruthanne (Parlier) Mondry of Lockport; father of Rachel (Scott) Hackett of Canandaigua, Jill (Jeff) Doebler of Rochester and Samantha (Gene) Hudzina of Levittown, PA; step-father of Kylee Parlier of Lockport and Daniel (Nicole) Brown of Cheektowaga; grandfather of Ainsley, Jamieson, Brady, Joshua, Maddison, Connor, and Bradley.

Relatives and friends may call Sunday, April 26th from 1-5 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport where services will be held Monday, April 27th at 11 AM.

Visit www.pruddenandkandt.com.

Ronald A. Hart left for his heavenly home April 23, 2015 after a brief illness.

He was born on November 8, 1936 in Lockport, NY to Melvin R. Kinsley and Margaret (Nevin) Kinsely. He attended Lockport schools and served in the US Navy from 1953 to 1956.

He married Deloris “Dee” A. Knight on June 20, 1959 who survives him. Ronald is also survived by his two daughters Tina (Curt) Simmons and Laurie (Bill) Spencer. He was predeceased by his two sons Michael Hart Kinsely and Ronald B. Hart, his grandson Curt Simmons, Jr., brothers Raymond Hart and Jack (Joann) Hart.  He is also survived by his three grandchildren Sam and Steve Spencer and Rhonwen Kinsley and one great grandchild Connor.

Relatives and friends may call Sunday, April 26th from 2-4 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport where funeral services will be held Monday, April 27th at 12 Noon. Interment will be in Cold Springs Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to Niagara Hospice would be appreciated.

Visit www.pruddenandkandt.com.