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Saturday, November 30, 2013
A Buffalo woman was given a free ride to Niagara County Jail this afternoon for allegedly having a free ride in a rental car.

The woman, 53-year-old Lorraine Brown of Kirkpatrick Street in Buffalo rented a car from Discount Car Rental at 6567 South Transit Road in the Town of Lockport. She was supposed to return the car on Nov. 7, according to a complaint made to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office by Discount Car Rental. When she failed to do so, the rental company left messages telling her that if she didn't return the 2005 Chrysler Sebring by this morning, a report would be filed with the police.

While the rental company was making arrangements to have the car towed, Brown exited her Kirkpatrick Street residence and was detained by Buffalo police and then transported to the Niagara County Jail, the report states.

She is slated to appear in Town of Lockport Court on Tuesday.
For the second time in two days, Lockport's Walmart was the destination for emergency responders after a fire scare led to the store's brief closure today.

A Walmart representative said that fire trucks were called to the store mid-afternoon due to "a problem on the roof" but was reopened by 5 p.m.

Friday the store called 911 after somebody made a bomb threat against the store.
Contributed Photo
The show might go on. 

At least that's what it would appear the Labatt Canal Concert Series organizers are suggesting via their Facebook page

Organizers released a "2013" yearbook this morning, featuring Q&A sessions and reviews of the shows by local author Thom Jennings, and photos from J Ritz and Nola Provost. The book is available free of charge for Amazon Kindle through Sunday.

More interesting than the 2013 yearbook, many would surely say, is that organizers appear to be attempting a 2014 season despite a lack of funding from the City of Lockport, which pulled out following the 2013 season due to budget issues. 

"Just because the city is not going to fund the concerts does not mean there will be no more concerts, they were one of many sponsors," the organizers said in response to a question on the post.

Organizers then pointed to a Facebook page for the 2014 season. 

Organizers also said yearbooks from previous concert series could be created depending on the demand. 
Lockport's fourth-annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive, which counted nearly 4,000 jars at the drive's halfway point, has just one week left.

The drive, which runs though Dec. 7 had 3,854 jars of peanut butter, jelly and fluff on their last official counting, according to its Facebook page.

Scores of businesses and government offices are available as dropoff points in East Niagara, including:

  • Allie Brandt's
  • Artz Gallery & Cafe
  • Bower Insurance Agency
  • Briody's
  • City Hall
  • Cream & Sugar Cafe
  • DeSales
  • Dunkin' Donuts (Beattie and Dysinger)
  • Edward Jones Financial Office
  • Flight of Five Winery
  • Gi-Ro Cleaners (town of Lockport location)
  • John Pound Early Childhood Center
  • K.M. Treats
  • LCTV
  • Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club
  • Lockport Board of Education Offices
  • Lockport City Library
  • Lockport City Schools
  • Lockport Discovery center
  • Lockport Main St. Inc.
  • Lockport Moose Club
  • Lockport Opportunity Project
  • Lockport Pediatrics
  • Lockport Produce City Location
  • Lockport Union Sun & Journal
  • Marie's Sewing Center
  • Molinaro's Ristorante
  • Mongielo's Auto Specialties
  • Niagara County Dept. of Health
  • Niagara County Dept. of Social Services
  • Niagara County Historian
  • Niagara County Sherriff's Dept.
  • Niagara's Choice FCU ~ all branches
  • Odd Fellows
  • Papa Leos
  • Scripts Cafe
  • Shear Madness
  • Summit MSP
  • Sunny's Family Drive-In Restaurant
  • Stevie V's
  • The Dale Association
  • Thrifty Propane
  • Village Trailer Park Community Center
  • WLVL
  • YMCA
  • YWCA
  • Boy Scouts Exec. Office 
  • Gasport Elementary
  • Grant Pollard Insurance
  • Hartland Firehall
  • Hartland Town Hall
  • Peggy's Towpath Cafe
  • Royalton Town Hall
  • Salon 9450
  • Terri Seidel's 4 H Group
  • The Candle Nook LLC
  • The Chop Shop
  • Village of Middleport Offices
  • The 3 Bears Restaurant
  • Barker High School
  • Chad's Diner
  • Pizza, Wings, & Things
  • Somerset Town Hall
  • Thee Barker Store
  • Bank of America
  • Countryside Merchant
  • Crossroads Pizza
  • Emma's Closet
  • First Niagara Bank 
  • Flint Hardware
  • Karma Graphics
  • Newfane Central Schools
  • Newfane Family Dentistry
  • Newfane Library
  • Newfane Methodist Church
  • Red House Music
  • Tammy Jo's Cafe
  • Town of Newfane
  • Wright's Corners Wine & Spirits
Contributed photo
A citizen of Mexico, illegally in the United States, was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with the Nov. 11 robbery of Newfane Pharmacy, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

Martin H. Reyes, 23, of Van Buren Street in Olcott was charged with third-degree robbery and petit larceny. He is being held at the Niagara County Jail on $20,000 bail and is set to return to Newfane Town Court at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to the Sheriff's department report, on Nov. 11, Reyes attempted to rob the Newfane Pharmacy, demanding Opana and saying he had a bomb. He fled the store and a town-wide manhunt was started. He was found due to an investigation by the NCSO, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol.
Christmas kicks off in Lockport today with Christmas on the Canal events scheduled throughout downtown.

Beginning at 4 p.m., downtown businesses will have an open house with specials, freebies, and holiday cheer. (click here for details)

Many of the businesses will offer a chance to win a "Hometown Holiday Gift Basket" featuring prizes from those businesses, including:

  • $25 gift certificate to Shamus Restaurant
  • Key Bank logo wear
  • $50 gift certificate to Mills Jewelers
  • $25 gift certificate to Pallister House Floristry
  • $25 gift certificate to Art & Soul Gift Shop
  • $20 gift certificate to KM Treats
  • $50 gift certificate to Gould's Flowers
  • An accessory from Julie Muscato Interior Designs
  • Gift certificate for wine for two from Flight of Five Winery
  • Gift certificate from Mericana Restaurant
  • $20 gift certificate to The Artz Gallery & Cafe
  • Specialty items from Antiques of Lockport and Just Lookin'
  • $50 Garlocks gift certificate from the Lockport Retailer

The open house will be followed by the 2nd annual Lighted Christmas Parade down Main Street at 6 p.m. Christmas caroling will be held at the Palace Theatre at 7:15. The night will conclude with a free showing of Polar Express at the Palace.

The event picks back up Sunday at Day Road Park, where Santa Claus will arrive at noon. He'll remain at the park until 3 p.m. There will also be hot chocolate and other treats as well as horse-drawn carriage rides.

A Newfane man reported to Niagara County Sheriff's deputies on Friday that some time in the past week, someone entered his unlocked garage and stole $1000 worth of power tools.

The Orchard Street resident said an unknown suspect stole a large tool box containing approximately $500 worth of hand tools and $200 quarter-inch drive socket set. Also stolen were two circular saws valued at $150 each. No other items were missing and no damage was done to the garage.

The complainant was advised to contact NCSO with any further information. The report said the case will be closed pending new information.

An unknown male, upset about missing out on Black Friday deals called Lockport's Walmart store, 5783 S. Transit Road, and threatened to blow up the place.

According to a report from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, a phone call came in at 9:05 p.m.Friday. When the caller was told that the pharmacy was closed and black Friday deals were over, the suspect stated, "I'm going to come and blow up the store."

The call came from an unknown number. Patrol checked the area but didn't find anything. The matter has been forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Friday, November 29, 2013
The eighth annual Mayor's Charity Ball, hosted by Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker, will be held at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Lockport Town & Country Club.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served and Biggs Sound & Entertainment will provide the entertainment for the black-tie optional event.

Tickets to the event are available for $125 per couple or $65 per person. Reservations may be made by calling Rosalie Tucker at 434-7724 and sending payments to Shirley Weiland, 20 Vermont St., Lockport, NY 14094. Checks should be made payable to “Mayor’s Charity Ball.”

Proceeds from this year's event will go to the United Way of Greater Niagara. Previous balls have benefited the Lockport YWCA, the Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center, Niagara Hospice, the Palace Theatre, and Sister Mary Loretto's Soup Kitchen, the Dale Association and the Salvation Army.

It may not seem like the best conditions to go to to drive-in, but the Transit Drive-In Theater remains open this weekend.

The drive-in is offering movies on all four screens tonight and Saturday with the first movie of each showing starting at 5:30 p.m. and gates opening a half an hour beforehand.

Screen 1 willl feature "Disney's Frozen" and "Thor: The Dark World." Screen 2 will feature "The Hunger Games" followed by "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." On screen 3 is a triple feature with "Ender's Game," "Gravity," and "Bad Grandpa." And Screen 4 offers "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Ender's Game."

The drive-in's Facebook page offers tips for enjoying the drive-in in the cold.
  • Bring blankets
  • Wear warm clothing; include wool socks, long johns, thermals.
  • Start your vehicle periodically for heat.
  • Bring a cuddle buddy.

The drive-in will also be "serving hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and plenty of yummy food inside the heated Starlite Snack Bar to warm up your tummy," the Facebook page states.

The home at 73 Elmwood was a complete loss from
a Thursday morning blaze. To the right, 67 Elmwood also
sustained heavy damage. Also damaged in the blaze was
75 Elmwood.
Three homes on Elmwood Avenue were ravaged by an early morning fire Thursday.

The fire was reported shortly after 3 a.m. at 73 Elmwood, which was a total loss from the blaze. It then spread to 75 and 67 Elmwood, both damaged, but neither to the extent of the middle home.

Firefighters believed that the blaze was active for a while before they got there. The combination of that and insufficient water volume and freezing conditions contributed to the extent of the damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A pond hockey tournament is planned for Jan. 24 and 25 on Transit Road in Pendleton.

The "First Annual" Pond Hockey Tournament will be held at The Dugout (formerly Jimmy B's), 6856 South Transit Road. 

It is expected that 24 three-person teams will participate in the event. Registration is still ongoing.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Salvation Army, Niagara Hospice, the SPCA of Niagara and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Those who attend are also asked to bring a jar of peanut butter or jelly for the PB&J Drive.

Organizers are currently looking for donations for a basket raffle planned for the first day of the event.

For more details, email
Lake Effect Ice Cream just became a stop on many people's Black Friday shopping lists as the downtown Lockport ice cream company announced today that ordering for their annual Holiday Four Pack will begin Friday.

A post on Lake Effect's Facebook page says that an order form will be posted to the page Friday morning. Orders are expected to go until Dec. 8 "or until we run out."

The $25 packs will be available for pickup from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 20 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 21.

This year's flavors include:

  • Orange Chocolate Sponge Candy- Our rich Omanhene Chocolate ice cream infused with house made orange extract and then blended with huge chunks of Platters orange chocolate sponge candy.
  • Amaretto Chocolate Cherry- A new creamy amaretto ice cream swirled with sweet and tart, amaretto soaked Bordeaux cherries, and dark chocolate chunks.
  • Peppermint Bark -Peppermint laced Silver Cloud Vanilla ice cream loaded with Eaton Chocolate's handmade peppermint bark and mint pieces.
  • Winter Soiree- A seasonal pomegranate sherbet with a touch of champagne and limoncello. This flavor blend is absolutely outstanding. We frost the pint by dusting the top with sugar crystals.

Lake Effect Ice Cream is located at 79 Canal St.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
A Town of Lockport woman told the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday that someone unlawfully entered her home and stole several items including an Xbox video game system, several games and prescription pills.

The Lake Avenue woman said she believes she knows who took the items, valued at $565.

Sheriff's patrol was unable to locate any physical evidence at the scene. The investigation will be turned over to the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
A Town of Lockport woman told the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday that she was harassed by a student on a Ridge Road Express bus.

According to the report, the bus company employee stated that a juvenile — whose name was not reported — "struck her in the face" while the bus was on its way to take the student home.

The complainant said the the juvenile is a Newfane BOCES student and has had a history of acting out on the bus before.

The woman notified the Ridge Road Express supervisor in regards to the incident, according to the report, and was advised to file a report with NCSO. Patrol advised the complainant they would speak with the Ridge Road Express supervisor about the incident before pursuing further action.

The report states that a message was left for the supervisor and NCSO is awaiting a return call prior to any further action at this time.
Rev. Roy Harriger, pastor of Community Fellowship Church on Johnson Creek Road in Middleport, was arrested Wednesday morning by State Police on charges of sexual abuse.

Harriger, 70, was charged with two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct and four counts of first-degree sodomy, class B felonies. He has also been charged with two E felonies. Police say the victims, one boy and one girl, were both under the age of 10 at the time the incidents occurred but are now adults.

The alleged sex crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001 in Yates, while he was pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

At least 10 other victims have come forward in the course of the two-month investigation. Police say some of the victims are from Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Harriger has also lived.

Harriger was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Yates then taken to the Orleans County Jail on $250,000 bail and is slated to appear back in court on Tuesday.

Anyone with any information is asked to call State Police in Albion at 585-589-4244.
The rebirth of Old City Hall continues today with the grand opening of Old City Hall Tea Parlor.

Owned by Barker Chocolate Box owner Cindy Jex, the tea parlor will feature a wide variety of teas, finger sandwiches, baked goods and chocolate confections.

The grand opening is slated to run from 4-7 p.m. at the tea parlor, 2 Pine St.

"Everyone is invited to come to visit and sample our teas, finger sandwiches, baked goods, and candies that will be set up at different food stations," Jex said via her Barker Chocolate Box website. "There is open seating and the event will be a great introduction to the Tea Parlor."

The tea parlor plans to be open from noon to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Earlier this year, the Flight of Five Winery opened in Old City Hall. The winery is part of the ever-expanding Niagara Wine Trail. Mulled wine from the winery will also be available at the open house.

For more details on the tea parlor or to make reservations, call 572-4940.
Due to the heavy wet snow in East Niagara, some 500 National Grid customers are without power as of 6 a.m.

The power company says they are still assessing the situation from the loss of electricity, which occurred around 2:30 a.m. and do not yet have an estimated restoration time.

Additionally, 68 homes have been without power in Wolcottsville since 1:30 a.m.. Those customers also do not have an estimated restore time. Meanwhile, a handful of customers in Pendleton are expected to have their power restored by 9:45 a.m.

NYSEG reported no outages in Niagara County as of 6 a.m.

The National Weather Service advises: "If you come across a power line that is down, remain clear of the area as the line may still be live. Motorists who come to a stoplight that is not operating must treat it as a four-way stop."

"The heavy wet snow from overnight has tapered off to very light snow this morning ... and most of the accumulations are now done with less than an inch expected today," the weather service added.

The Winter Storm Warning which had been declared in effect until 4 p.m. today has been lifted in Eastern Niagara County.
Nine people were arrested and charged with drug crimes in the City of Lockport Tuesday morning.

Charged were Lockport residents Jerome Drake, North Transit Street; Nathaniel Carson, Jr., 23, Clinton Street; Ashley Boyer, 27, West Avenue; Curtis McCoy, 51, Garden Street; Anderson Davis, Jr., 20, High Street; and Terrance Hardy, 29, Lincoln Avenue. Also charged were Kevon Sykes, 23, East Delavan Avenue, Buffalo; Latasha Ford, 32, Robinson Road, Town of Lockport; and Jeanine Burton, 23, an inmate Albion State Correctional Facility.

All were charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both charges are Class B felonies.

The Lockport Police Department carried out the raids with the assistance of the Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda police departments, the Niagara County Drug Task Force, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Division of Parole, the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Police from the Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda departments also assisted.

More arrests are forthcoming according the the Niagara County Drug Task Force.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Contributed Photos -- A lamp post is colorfully
decorated in front of Lockport's City Hall. The
seasonal glow of Main Street lights the background.
It began two weeks ago on a lamp post in downtown Lockport. It has since spread up and down Main Street to the schools, the Lockport Town & Country Club, Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport, the Dale Association and the Spires apartment building on Ontario Street. And it continues to grow.

Yarn bombing wasn't something that Ellen Martin came up with. But it was something she was excited to share. The owner of Sweet Sixteen Cafe on Main Street and Sweet Ride Rentals on Canal Street has taken on numerous artistic projects in the city this year and says she has more in the works.

Said to have started in Texas in 2005, yarn bombing - also known as yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting and graffiti knitting - is designed to add a little color to trees, lamp posts and other less vibrant staples in downtown areas.

Martin said, "Yarn bombing has been around for years and the City of Pittsburgh yarn bombed the Warhol Bridge. I wanted to do the locks...but that was a little much so we converted (the) project to downtown Lockport for local businesses."

From there, she says, it just grew. Yarn bombs can be seen all over the city now and the project has more than a month to go still with new decorations being put up all the time. Just today it spread to Locust Street with an addition in front of Gould's Flowers.

Of course, not everyone loves the project. Some have complained it's unsightly and others have said that the poor need the scarves more than the trees do.

A tree in front of Sweet Sixteen Cafe has been decorated
since the early part of the yarn bombing campaign.
Martin has answers to both those concerns, saying those that don't like the look can take solace in the fact that it's temporary. As for the poor needing scarves? St. John's Outreach Center on Chestnut Street has an abundance of scarves, "but needs winter coats."

These trees in front of City
Hall will be kept warm.
Earlier this year, Martin organized "Sweet Harmony," featuring pianos scattered about in public places for anyone to play. She also put together a "Sweet Chalk Festival" on Canal Street, "Sweet Dream," featuring a public wish list for Lockportians on an 8-foot by 12-foot chalk board on Canal Street and "Sweet Idea," asking residents to share why they're important to the Lock City. They were all part of a series called "Sweet Sweet Summer."

Martin said the whole "sweet" scheme was "designed to be public art and all designed to help be a part of downtown Lockport.  No hidden or deep meaning."

She says she has more plans for the future.
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is reprising their popular "virtual ride along" program the day after Thanksgiving.

During Friday's afternoon shift (3-11 p.m.), the department will be posting detailed accounts of all their calls on the NCSO's Facebook page.

"We will also share photos and videos from the night to try to give you the experience of being right in the patrol car next to the deputy. You can also follow along with our dispatch center and hear every call going out to the cars," a post says on the department's Facebook.

There is no special signup or website to log into. Just make sure to "like" Niagara County Sheriff on Facebook.

The department last did the "virtual ride along" program in May.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for nearly all of Western New York including the entirety of Niagara County from 4 p.m. today until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The warning calls for heavy snow with accumulations up to 8 inches.

The report states that "heavy snow will result in very difficult Thanksgiving holiday travel with snow covered and slippery roads. The heavy wet nature of the snow may result in isolated power outages."
Tuesday morning, Lockport Police Department conducted a round up of what eight local drug dealers they say are responsible for "much of the illegal drug trade" in Lockport.

Police say they were charged with "multiple felony drug charges" and expect to make even more arrests.

Announcing the arrests on their Facebook page, LPD says they got help from Niagara County Drug Task Force, the Buffalo office of the DEA, US Marshals Service, New York State Parole, and the Niagara Falls Police Department.

"Thanks to all our fellow law enforcement agencies for their assistance during this yearlong investigation," the announcement said.
Niagara County Sheriff's deputies arrested 45-year-old Timothy Brien of Green Valley Lane in the Town of Lockport Monday evening following a one-car crash in Royalton at the intersection of Bunker Hill and Akron roads.

The Sheriff's Office report says that Brien was northbound on Akron Road and failed to stop at the stop sign, striking the guard rail at Bunker Hill.

Brien showed signs of intoxication and had a blood-alcohol content of .16 percent, according to the report.

He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stop at a stop sign in addition to the DWI charges.