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Sunday, November 30, 2014

For the most part, movie adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol are hit or miss. In my experience, 95 percent of them are generally a miss. But I will always hold three versions of this story as three of the finest movies ever made, along with being the three best adaptations of Dickens’ work. One of those classics is the 1984 adaptation starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge.

This movie had a lot working against it when it comes to reaching the level of holiday classic, not the least of which is the fact that it is a made-for-television movie and I, for the most part, despise made-for-television movies. But there is just so much good about this movie that it is impossible to ignore it, and easy to call it an all-time classic.

George C. Scott was as passionate about acting as General George Patton was about going to war. Scott was a believer in the sanctity of the craft and it showed in every single role he ever played. When he won an Oscar for his performance in Patton, he refused to show up to claim his award. He called acting award shows “public displays with contrived suspense for economic reasons.” Here, here, Mr. Scott. Here, here.

When I first heard about the release of this movie, I refused to believe that it actually starred George C. Scott. First of all, it was a made-for-television movie and George C. Scott despised television. Secondly, it was a retread of a story that had been done 100 times before. Why would George C. Scott take an interest in this kind of a movie? When I watched this movie for the first time, I will never forget it. Finally, a made-for-television movie that transcended the stigma attached to that label and delivers an unbelievable result.

I was not surprised to find out that Scott had been nominated for an Emmy for his performance. However, I was surprised to see that he did not win the award. For all of his great work, George C. Scott won only one award- his Oscar for Patton. Just further proof that the Academy sometimes gets it right, but most times gets it wrong.

Scott’s performance in this movie is brilliant, but he does not carry the movie on his own. David Warner plays Bob Cratchit, and he does so with a demur, yet reinforced, manner. The way in which Warner’s Cratchit unceasingly bows to Scrooge, but yet refuses to allow his economic position dictate how he and his family are to be treated by anyone else, is something every Bob Cratchit should aspire for.

The effects for this made-for-television movie are amazing and add so much to the story. The effects do not go over the top, but they do help Scrooge to make his transformation in a gradual but convincing manner. Scott pulls back on his Scrooge at the perfect moments and unleashes his Scrooge in rage and happiness just when it is required. The interaction between the actors in this movie is what makes it such a pleasure to watch.

There are two issues I have with this movie and I believe they are issues that prevent this movie from getting five full stars. Anthony Walters plays Tiny Tim and he is neither convincing (like Richard Beaumont is in the 1970 rendition) nor does he appear to be a professional actor. Sure, the kid is cute and gives plenty of “aww” factor, but he is obviously reading off cue cards throughout the film and that is extremely distracting.

The other problem I had with this movie was the jerky motions of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. It is obvious that this is a statue on a track being moved about and, in many instances, the track does not appear to be very stable. The ghost bounces up and down and acts as a diversion from an otherwise excellent execution of Scrooge’s final transformation.

If you are a fan of Christmas movies, then this is a film you need to see at least once. It picks you up, transports you back to merry old England in the late 1800’s and tells Dickens’ story exceedingly well. This is a made-for-television movie that acted as the perfect vehicle for a George C. Scott performance.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

George N. Root III is a drive-in fanatic who can put drive-ins on hold in December to make room for Christmas.

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BUFFALO — With many shoppers skipping the malls and turning to the Internet for holiday gifts, Better Business Bureau serving Upstate New York is offering 10 tips for safe online shopping on Cyber Monday and throughout the season.

“To avoid the hassles, lines and crowds, many consumers are staying home and shopping online,” said Warren Clark, president of BBB serving Upstate New York. “While online shopping may be convenient, the Internet also has a dark side with scammers and viruses that can cost consumers not only money and time, but can also hijack their personal information.”

BBB’s 10 tips for safe shopping online:

  1. Protect your computer. Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly.
  2. Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://.” You also may see a picture of a small closed lock in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
  3. Shop trustworthy websites. Look for the BBB seal on the site and click to confirm that it’s valid. The seal will take you to a site’s BBB Business Review. If there is no seal, you can always check out any business at Also, make sure you are shopping with a brand retailer you know and trust. 
  4. Protect personal information. Make sure to read a site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If a site lacks a privacy policy, it could be a red flag that the site could sell your information without your permission.
  5. Beware of “too-good-to-be-true” deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer free or very low prices on hard to find items. There may be hidden costs or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge. Look for and read the fine print.
  6. Beware of phishing. Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming problems with an order, account or a package to lure the buyer into revealing financial information. If you receive such an email, BBB recommends that you pick up the phone and call the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm a problem.
  7. Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive an item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are any unauthorized charges on the card, and many card issuers have zero-liability policies if someone steals and uses your card number. Check your credit card statement regularly for unauthorized charges. Avoid using GreenDot Money cards or wiring money.
  8. Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page of an order or emails confirming the order until you receive the item and are satisfied.
  9. Obtain tracking numbers for shipments. If you need the product before the holidays, find out when the seller intends to ship it and if possible, how it will be shipped. The tracking number can help you find a lost order.
  10. Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by phone, mail or online be shipped by the date promised or within 30 days if no delivery time was stated. If goods aren’t shipped on time, shoppers can cancel and demand a refund. Consumers also may reject merchandise if it is defective or was misrepresented.

For scam alerts, tips and other information you can trust, visit, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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Baby Gabriella Prentice went to heaven on November 27, 2014 at Sisters Hospital. Born on November 26, 2014, she was the daughter of Jerrell Stewart and Jessica Prentice; beloved granddaughter to Jillinda Prentice and Aida Stewart; great-granddaughter of Patricia Prentice and Joan Felvus. Also survived by aunts, uncles and cousins.

Relatives and friends may call from 6-8 PM on Tuesday at the Taylor & Reynolds Funeral Home, corner of Transit and Niagara Streets, where Memorial Services will be held at 8 PM.

Please visit

Shawn A. Awtry, 38, 157 Cottage St., Apt. E, was charged around 11:45 p.m. Saturday with third-degree criminal mischief. According to the LPD report, patrol responded to a call for a burglary in progress on Garden Street. When they arrived at the location, they found an intoxicated Awtry standing on the front porch of a Garden Street apartment. The homeowner told patrol it was a misunderstanding at that Awtry thought he was at another person's apartment. However, she told patrol that the person whose apartment thought he was at had their vehicle window smashed. Patrol asked Awtry about it and he said he had punched it out. The vehicle owner asked to press charges on Awtry, who is to be in City Court on Monday.

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Runners line up on Locust Street Saturday morning for the Tacky Sweater Run. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


Jim Schuler of Newfane poses with Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey and
his trophy after the race. Schuler's time of 17:40 was the best overall time.
Jim Schuler of Newfane and Kelli Dimon of North Tonawanda made looking bad look good as they were the male and female winners of Saturday's Tacky Sweater Run, part of Lockport's Christmas on the Canal.

Schuler's time of 17:40 was the best overall race time for the 5K that ran around downtown Lockport, ending at the Historic Palace Theatre. Dimon's 21:20 was the best time for a female in the race. In all, 118 people finished the race. Full results follow.
Kelli Dimon, right, of North Tonawanda, had the best female time at 21:20.

1 0:17:40 - Schuler, Jim - Newfane (first place, male)
2 0:18:31 - Krull, Alexander - Lockport
3 0:18:44 - Strobel, Jack - Lockport
4 0:19:52 - Buscarino, Nicholas - Lockport
5 0:20:24 - Thompson, Gary - Lockport
6 0:20:29 - Weber, Greg - Williamsville
7 0:21:20 - Dimon, Kelli - North Tonawanda (first place, female)
8 0:21:22 - Matusak, Scott - Lockport
9 0:22:04 - Brownlee, Randy - Appleton
10 0:22:16 - Ciliberto, Dominick - Gasport
James Shaw crosses the line at 33:31. 
11 0:22:20 - Piattsley, Brett - Alexandria
12 0:22:28 - White, Danielle - Cheektowaga
13 0:22:41 - Franco, Ronald - Lockport
14 0:23:15 - Glynn, Eric - Cheektowaga
15 0:23:18 - Smith, Christopher - Lockport
16 0:23:25 - Goerss, Amy - Williamsville
17 0:23:50 - Crofts, Jerry - Lockport
18 0:23:57 - Kahle, Gianni - Lockport
19 0:24:00 - Pratt, Amber - Lockport
20 0:24:02 - Basehart, Eva - Amherst
21 0:24:03 - Haseley, Mary Claire - Lockport
22 0:24:15 - Bohnstadt, Kurt - Lockport
23 0:24:50 - Fearby, Cory - Lockport
Matthew Schratz of Waltham, Mass., crosses the line at 32:40. 
24 0:24:57 - Coy, John - Williamsville
25 0:24:58 - Brennan, Michael - North Tonawanda
26 0:25:10 - Murphy, Jennifer - Lockport
27 0:25:14 - Meyers, Justin - Lockport
28 0:25:18 - Waple, Morgan - Lockport
29 0:25:19 - Ensminger, Paul - Amherst
30 0:25:21 - Waple, Mark - Lockport
31 0:25:25 - Glynn, Tom - Lockport
32 0:25:35 - Schuler, Laura - Lockport
33 0:25:40 - Richards, Jim - Lockport
34 0:26:03 - Mcintyre, Neidy - Reston, Va.
35 0:26:06 - Dimon, Scott - Newfane
36 0:26:08 - Ciemny, Kelsey - Lockport
37 0:26:10 - Brownlee, Steven - Appleton
38 0:26:12 - Edmister, Kyra - Lockport
39 0:26:18 - Harnois, Abby - Lockport
40 0:26:38 - Hale, Warren - Lockport
41 0:26:40 - Mullaney, Richard - Lockport
42 0:26:44 - O'shea, Darin - Middleport
43 0:26:46 - Salmons, Dan - Lockport
44 0:26:50 - Pettapiece, James - Lockport
45 0:26:52 - Bryan, Amy - Lockport
46 0:26:54 - Pettapiece, Robin - Lockport
Alieha Sack of Newfane crosses the line at 32:40. 
47 0:26:55 - Baker, Theresa - Newfane
48 0:27:05 - Florio, Michael - Lockport
49 0:27:17 - Butcher, Cookie Lockport
50 0:27:17 - Mcdonough, Kevin - Lockport
51 0:27:25 - Cavallari, Laura - Lockport
52 0:27:38 - Trachte, Elizabeth - Lockport
53 0:27:46 - Trutter, Megan - Lockport
54 0:27:55 - Fermoile-mcavoy - Lockport
55 0:27:58 - Strobel, Katie - Lockport
56 0:27:58 - Donovan, Sage - Lockport
57 0:28:08 - Haye, Jake - Buffalo
58 0:28:32 - Pitzrick, Sarah - Lockport
59 0:28:53 - Glaser, Bonnie - Lockport
60 0:29:05 - Pease, Jim - Newfane
Crossing the line at 33:59 is Stacy Knott of Newfane. 
61 0:29:11 - Trapasso, Lisa - Lancaster
62 0:29:48 - Hebeler, Sandra - Sanborn
63 0:29:50 - Losey, David - Stow, Ohio
64 0:30:08 - Brady, Renee - Lockport
65 0:30:10 - Coy, Julie - Williamsville
66 0:30:13 - Hunt, Alicia - Lockport
67 0:30:37 - Cavallari, Alyssa - Lockport
68 0:30:39 - Wendt, Liberty - Lockport
69 0:30:40 - Cavallari, Emily - Lockport
70 0:30:40 - Mckay, Olivia - Lockport
71 0:31:02 - Derry, Kara - Stroudsburg, Pa.
72 0:31:03 - Schratz, Ellen - Lockport
73 0:31:47 - Mckav, Lauren - Lockport
74 0:31:48 - Mckay, Jodi - Lockport
Christine Stolzenburg of Lockport finishes at 33:25. 
75 0:32:12 - Sawyer, Allyson - Lockport
76 0:32:40 - Sack, Alieha - Newfane
77 0:32:42 - Schratz, Matthew - Waltham, Mass.
78 0:33:09 - Hunt, Amy - Lockport
79 0:33:13 - Turek, Hannah - Depew
80 0:33:14 - Krywcun, Ashley - Lockport
81 0:33:25 - Stolzenburg, Christine - Lockport
82 0:33:30 - Shaw, Julia - Lockport
83 0:33:31 - Shaw, James - Lockport
84 0:33:34 - Glenn, Maggie - Lockport
85 0:33:35 - Glenn, Mary - Lockport
86 0:33:38 - Roth, Ellen - Barker
87 0:33:39 - Superczynski, Chelsea - Angola, Ind.
88 0:33:40 - Sherwood, Andrea - Sanborn
89 0:33:40 - O'Neil, Alissa - Lockport
90 0:33:40 - Grzebinski, Tracy - Lockport
91 0:33:54 - Hess, Corian - Niagara Falls
92 0:33:59 - Knott, Stacy - Newfane
93 0:34:36 - Schul, Colleen - Newfane
94 0:35:39 - Udell, Maria - Lockport
95 0:35:41 - Duderwick, Stacie - Buffalo
96 0:36:15 - Rowe, Fran - Niagara Falls
97 0:36:23 - Sholk, Donna - Lockport
98 0:36:45 - Stolzenburg, Amanda - Lockport
99 0:37:40 - Caccese, Cindy - Lockport
100 0:38:04 - Long, Jillian - Lockport
101 0:38:05 - Long, Susan - Lockport
102 0:38:31 - Sawyer, Janice - Lockport
103 0:38:59 - Betsch, Roberta - Lockport
104 0:39:01 - Seitzer, Tammy - Lockport
105 0:39:02 - Oaks, Sarah - Walworth
106 0:39:23 - Schratz, Elizabeth - Lockport
107 0:39:24 - Costello, Mary - Norwell, Mass.
108 0:39:57 - Costello, Kelly - Norwell, Mass.
109 0:39:58 - Costello, Molly - Norwell, Mass.
110 0:40:28 - Orr, Amanda - Buffalo
111 0:40:29 - Gualano, Stephanie - Niagara Falls
112 0:44:08 - Meier, Debra - Grand Island
113 0:45:10 - Krywcun, Shannon - Lockport
114 0:45:17 - Krywcun, Kelly - Lockport
115 0:45:17 - Turek, Adele - Depew
116 0:50:15 - Zirnheld, Audra - Tonawanda
117 0:55:19 - Winter, Joan - Lockport
118 0:55:19 - Martin, Ellen - Lockport

The event also offered awards for the tackiest sweaters, which went to Sage Donovan and Gary Thompson, both of Lockport.

Sage Donovan, left, and Gary Thompson, right, won the tacky sweater contest. Standing in between the two of them is Cookie Butcher, one of the event organizers and fellow runner. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

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The American Red Cross asks eligible donors to give something that means something this holiday season – a lifesaving blood donation.

Blood donations often decline this time of year when donors get busy with holiday festivities and travel. Severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can also have a serious impact on blood donations, but the need for blood remains steady. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood products every day for patients across the country.

Eligible donors with all types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming East Niagara blood donation opportunities:

  • Dec. 4: 2 - 7 p.m., South Lockport Fire Company Inc, 5666 Transit Road
  • Dec. 9: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Dale Association Incorporated, 33 Ontario St.
  • Dec. 15: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Newfane Town Hall  Community Center, 2737 Main St., Newfane

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NEWFANE — A 22-year-old Lockport man was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after Niagara County Sheriff's deputies say he swerved while driving on Lockport-Olcott Road.

Zachary S. Baldwin, 28 Spruce St., was stopped around 9:33 p.m. Wednesday for swerving. He told patrol he was "trying to multi-task."

Baldwin told patrol that he had a learner's permit and that the passenger in the car had a valid license. However, police say Baldwin's permit was suspended for failure to answer a summons in Orleans County.

While Baldwin was being searched, patrol located a small clear plastic bag containing marijuana in his pocket. He was to the Niagara County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $250 bail and ordered to appear in the Town of Newfane Court on Tuesday to be arraigned on the charges of unlawful possession of marijuana, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and two traffic violations.

The marijuana was secured into an NCSO property locker in order to be sent to the laboratory.

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Coach Tim Menges stresses both effort and sportsmanship as the Stingrays prepare for their meet Nov. 22. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)


Excited about their great times are, from left, Madison 
Keleher, Samantha Madden, and Gena Rising.
Things are starting to heat up for Coach Tim Menges' Lockport YMCA Stingrays as they enter a much busier second half of their season.

Nov. 22, the Stingrays traveled to North Tonawanda High School to take on the Ken-Ton Y Cobras. Many familiar names were once again triple winners in their individual events for Lockport. Gina Artieri (200 Free, 100 Back, & 500 Free), Elizabeth Swartz (50 Back, 200 Free, & 100 IM), Mark Crocker (50 Back, 50 Free & 200 IM), Luke Menges (50 Back, 100 IM & 50 Free), Madison Fragale (100 Free, 50 Free & 50 Breast), and Aiden Moran (25 Fly, 25 Free & 50 Free) all continued their domination in the pool.

Lockport's Michael Marker  gets set on the
blocks for his 50 Free.
However, in addition to their regular all-stars, the Stingrays continue to see their remaining swimmers improving week to week. Eric Artieri touched first in two of his Freestyle heats. Samantha Madden sped to new times in all three of her events (200 Free, 50 Free, & 100 Breast). Gena Rising flew to a strong lead leg in the 200 Medley Relay, while at the same time posting a personal best time in the 100 Free. Riley Adams looked strong in two new events for her (200 IM & 50 Free), and Emma Vought set a personal best time for herself in the 50 Breast.

Other first place finishers for the Stingrays were: Megan Tatro (200 Free & 100 Back), Zackary Santarsiero (100 Free & 25 Back), Angelina Peruzzini (200 IM), Henry Genewick (100 IM), Ava Conklin (25 Free), Sam Murphy (50 Breast), Jenna Bull (50 Breast), Elizabeth Kershaw (50 Free), Meghan Mietlicki (100 Free), Ethan Menges (100 Free), Olivia Larson (50 Back), and Ava Thompson (25 Breast).

Emma Vought finishes strong for a personal best in the 50 Breast.

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Thomas V. Bennett, 88 of Lockport, NY husband of the late Carol Cramer Bennett entered into rest on Sunday November 30, 2014 in Eastern Niagara Hospital Lockport.

He was born in Lockport, NY December 09, 1925, the Son of the late Van and Mary Coughlyn Bennett. Thomas worked for American Airlines as an aircraft maintenance crew chief for 39 years till his retirement in 1983. He enjoyed traveling was an avid reader and a collector of circus model builder trains. Thomas was a member of the Lockport Elks Lodge #41 where he was a past exalted ruler and a trustee for numerous years.

Father of Karen Bennett (John Wenilich) of Greenville, NY. Very good friend of Walter and Cookie White.

Friends may call at the RUTLAND-CORWIN FUNERAL HOME, INC. 2670 Main St. Newfane, NY 14108 WEDNESDAY 4-7 PM. The Elks lodge #41 will conclude with a service at 6:45 PM.  Burial will be in Forest lawn cemetery at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Camp Happiness care of the Lockport Elks Lodge # 41, PO Box 395 Lockport, NY 14095.

Please visit to send the family a condolence.

Michael P. Bellow passed away November 29, 2014 in Eastern Niagara Hospital.

Michael was born December 30, 1955 in Angeles City, Philippines, the son of the late Francis and Jean Meahl Bellow. He was an IT Tech working for the Office of Workers Compensation, in Buffalo, NY retiring in 2004. Michael served in the US Air Force, was an avid Amateur Radio Operator, a member of the MARS Program and the Navy Marine Club.

Michael is survived by his wife Denise Hackmer Bellow; father of Charissa (Robert) Lovewell, Mary (Justin) Hackmen, Sarah (John) Williams, Michael F. Bellow, William Bellow, Jean Bellow and David (Jen) Bellow. Also surviving are his three grandchildren Robert H. Lovewell, Alec M. Jex and Emma L. Routly and was also predeceased by his step mother Marie Dodge and step-brother Rick Dodge.

Relatives and friends may call Thursday December 4, 2014 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM, followed immediately by a service at 8 PM in Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee Street, Lockport.

Online condolences at


TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 33-year-old Niagara Falls man was talking with a corrections officer at the Niagara County Jail about his release when jail officials say he spat in the C.O.'s face — and found himself back in court — and jail.

Jonathon P. Wilson, 1832 Weston Ave., was charged with second-degree harassment and obstruction of governmental administration over the incident and taken before Town of Lockport Justice Cheryl Antkowiak, who ordered him held on $500 cash or $1,000 bond until his return court appearance on Thursday.

The corrections officer was taken for medical evaluation following the Thanksgiving morning incident.

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The National Weather Service calls for a chance of rain this morning and early afternoon with a high temperature of around 55 degrees. Overnight rain is likely to change into snow showers with a low of around 33.

Monday will be partly sunny with a high near 34 and a low around 17. Tuesday is forecast to be sunny with a high near 33 and a low around 31 overnight with a chance of freezing rain. Wednesday: A chance of showers with a high near 43 and a low around 28.

Thursday will be mostly sunny with a high near 36 and a low around 28. Friday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 38 and a low around 31. Saturday, there's a chance of rain and snow showers with a high near 41.

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MONTREAL — The Buffalo Sabres are slowly climbing out of the NHL's basement, winning again Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens — and winning five of their last six games.

The Blue and Gold needed a shootout to secure the two points Saturday, but did so against a Montreal team that leads the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference — for the second time in two nights.

Zemgus Girgensons started the scoring for Buffalo at 14:03 of the first period, assisted by Tyler Ennis and Nicolas Deslauriers.

In the second, Montreal tied it with a goal by Brendan Gallagher at 7:51, assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and Bryan Allen.

The Sabres re-took the lead in the third period with a goal by Chris Stewart at 5:57, assisted by Marcus Foligno. But again Montreal came back with Lars Eller scoring at 7:31. Brandon Prust and Alexei Emelin notched the assists on the tying goal. Then Montreal took the lead — to the delight of the home crowd. Max Pacioretty's goal at 13:15 was assisted by Dale Weise and P.K. Subban. 

At 14:04, Brian Flynn knotted the game again for the Sabres, assisted by Brian Gionta and Torrey Mitchell. Then in the shootout, Flynn scored the only goal — in the fifth round, giving Buffalo the victory.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014


TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A magnitude 1.5 earthquake was reported around 6:27 p.m. in South Lockport, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There was no damage reported due to the slight tremor, and many people may not have even felt it.

While the USGS reports "South Lockport" as the epicenter for the quake, the point on the map appears to be between Saunders Settlement and Lockport roads just west of Campbell Boulevard.

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Louis G. Farina passed away Saturday November 29, 2014 in Absolut of Gasport.

Born in Lockport on February 27, 1933, he was the son of the late Angelo and Mary Fragale Farina. Lou was a Fireman for the City of Lockport, from 1961 until his retirement in 1993. He received the Outstanding Fireman Award in 1980 for saving 4 people in a house fire. Served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict. Lou enjoyed hybridizing oriental lilies and was a member of the Ontario Regional Lily Society and traveled several time to the shows in Ontario.

Lou is survived by his wife Joyce (nee Hunter) Farina of Lockport; father of Rick (Terri) Farina, Louis (Dianne) Farina, Matthew Farina and Julie Kidney; step father of Tamara Smith, Cathleen (Chris) Scirto and Wendy (Joe) Derda. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and several great grandchildren. Lou was the brother of Antoinette (Dominick) Grottanelli and Michael (Mary) Farina. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Friends may call Tuesday December 2nd from 4 to 8 PM, in Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home, Inc., 242 Genesee Street, Lockport, where services will be held Wednesday morning at 10 AM.  Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery.  Memorials to Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, NY 14094, would be appreciated by the family.

Online condolences at

Jeffrey M. Wright, 29, 317 Applewood Dr., Apt. 9, was charged around 3:01 a.m. with an equipment violation and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. According to the LPD report, Wright was seen driving with "inadequate brake lights." When he was stopped, he was found to have a suspended driver's license. He is slated for City Court on Monday.

Christian M. Hiam, 18, 225 South Transit St., was charged around 11 p.m. Friday with unlawful possession of marijuana. According to the LPD arrest report, Hiam was found in a parked car on Park Lane Circle that someone had reported as suspicious. When patrol interviewed Hiam, he was found to have a clear plastic baggie of marijuana. He is slated for City Court on Tuesday.

Dylan K. Kruse, 18, 639 Locust St., was charged around 11 p.m. Friday with unlawful possession of marijuana. According to the LPD arrest report, Kruse was found in a parked car on Park Lane Circle that someone had reported as suspicious. When patrol interviewed Kruse, he admitted to having marijuana. He is slated for City Court on Tuesday.

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Lockport police found a damaged car in the parking lot of the Kenan Arena this morning while looking for a pair of burglars.

According to the LPD incident report, patrol found the vehicle — a Pontiac Grand Am — embedded in the snow on the north side of the parking lot, severely damaged and with footprints leading away from it.

Police called the vehicle's owner, a Haines Street man, who was unaware his car was missing. He responded to the Kenan Center to reclaim the car.

The car owner told police his car had been in his driveway with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition.

The car was towed to LPD to be checked for evidence.

Damage is estimated at $2,500.

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A Beattie Avenue burglary was halted in progress around 3:05 a.m. when the homeowner went to check on the noise in the garage.

According to LPD, the woman was awakened shortly after 3 a.m. and went to check on the noises. When she entered her garage, she saw two white males — one wearing a green and gray jacket with a striped knit hat with a plush ball on top of it, and the other wearing a gray hoodie and sitting in the driver's seat of her car.

When the males saw the homeowner, they fled the scene, taking with them about $10 in change from the car. They fled westward in the direction of the Kenan Center.

There was no damage to the garage or car.

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Runners prepare for the Tacky Sweater Run this morning. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


Three-year-old Liam and seven-year-old Thomas Christman enjoy hot cocoa
at the Old Post Office this morning.
There's still plenty to do during this year's Christmas on the Canal.

Hundreds have turned out for the first half of the festivities, which run from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The day began with a Tacky Sweater Run and included free goodies at many downtown locations, a free movie at the Palace, story time with Mrs. Claus, free pizza from Papa Leos and more.

Still to come is free ice skating, which just started at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. It runs until 4 p.m. ($3 to rent skates).

Autograph signing with Joe DeLamielleure also runs until 4 p.m. at Niagara County Sheriff’s Association, 20 Market Street. First Autograph is free; any additional autographs are $5 each.

Historic Homes Holiday Tours runs until 6 p.m.

The 3rd Annual Lighted Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. and immediately following the parade will be the tree lighting on top of the Palace Marquee.

At 7:15 p.m., the Palace Theatre will show “The Polar Express.”

Horse and carriage rides proved to be popular. The line for the rides just kept growing. 

There's more photos from today's festivities here.

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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled forward Tim Schaller from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Schaller (11/16/90, 6'2", 206 lbs) joins the Sabres for his first career recall since he signed an entry-level NHL contract with the organization in April 2013 as an undrafted free agent. While playing in Rochester for the past two seasons, Schaller has appeared in 92 games, recording 33 points (17+16) and 58 penalty minutes.

Before joining the Sabres organization, Schaller played four years of collegiate hockey at Providence College. He was named the 2013 Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year and helped Providence reach the Hockey East semifinals in back-to-back seasons. Schaller finished his collegiate career having appeared in 131 games and totaling 68 points (29+39).

Schaller, a native of Merrimack, N.H., also played for the New England Huskies of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL).

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The National Weather Service calls for a chance of rain and snow showers today with a high near 40 and an overnight low around 39.

Sunday offers scattered showers with a high near 55 and a low around 32. Monday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 35 and a low around 19. Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 33 and a low around 30.

Wednesday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 42 and a low around 29. Thursday will be partly sunny with a high near 37 and a low around 29. Friday, there's a chance of rain and snow showers with a high near 37.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

BUFFALO — They may be lingering near the bottom of the standings in the NHL, but the Buffalo Sabres took down one of the top standing teams tonight, beating the Montreal Canadiens 2-1.

Buffalo's Tyler Ennis scored a doozy of a goal at 3:27 of the first, going from right to left through Carey Price's crease before flipping the puck into the net on a backhand. Canadiens fans cried that Ennis had interfered with their netminder when he went through the crease, but the goal stood. Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson assisted on the play.

After a scoreless second period, Montreal scored on the power play at 1:35 of the third. The Alexandre Parenteau goal was assisted by David Desharnais and Jiri Sekac. Buffalo closed out the scoring with 1:18 to go in regulation on a Matt Moulson goal, assisted by Ennis and Rasmus Ristolainen.

With the win, the Sabres are now 7-14-2 for 16 points. The Sabres play the Canadiens again on Saturday in Montreal.

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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed free agent forward Jean Dupuy to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Dupuy (6'3", 195 lbs., 10/6/94) currently plays for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Through 19 games in 2014-15, he has tallied 19 points (5+14) and 27 penalty minutes.

Prior to joining the Greyhounds for the 2013-14 season, Dupuy played three seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). In 159 career games in the OHL, the Orleans, Ontario native has recorded 52 points (22+30) and 177 penalty minutes.

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Richard A. Nolan of Newfane, NY husband of Rose Coyle Nolan entered into rest Wednesday, November 26, 2014 in Eastern Niagara Hospital, Lockport, NY.

He was born in Johnstown, PA January 19, 1953, the son of the late Louis and Mary Richardson Nolan. Richard was a veteran of the US Air Force. They moved from Johnstown, PA to Newfane, NY in 1977. He worked for Nuttal Gear in Wheatfield for 17 years as a machine operator. Richard enjoyed fishing, working on cars, helping others out when every they needed it and spending quality time with his grandchildren.

Father of Richard L. (Ashley) Nolan, Lawrence S. Nolan both of Newfane, Denise (Will) Wittcop of Barker, Francis Swanson of Newfane, Dwayne (Chris) Swanson of Lockport, and the late Ted Swanson. Brother of Kay Madigan, Pat Diehl both of Johnstown, PA, Gary Nolan of California and the late Leeann Nolan. Also survived by 13 grandchildren, several great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

No prior visitation. A Memorial Service will be held at RUTLAND-CORWIN FUNERAL HOME, INC. 2670 Main St. Newfane, NY SATURDAY, December 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM.

Please visit to send a condolence to the family.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed Saturday (Nov. 29) as “Small Business Saturday” in New York State to encourage all New Yorkers to support their local businesses. Small Business Saturday celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners and encourages shoppers to visit local companies at the beginning of the busy holiday shopping season. Small businesses account for the vast majority of companies and support millions of jobs in New York State.

“Small businesses are not only an important part of New York’s economy, they are the lifeblood of our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “Their success is our success and with the holiday shopping season upon us, I encourage all New Yorkers to buy local and support their neighborhood small businesses.”

The small business sector contributes significantly to the framework of New York’s economy, accounting for 98 percent of all businesses in the state and employing more than 40 percent of its private sector workforce. New York State has more than 516,000 small business proprietors that employ more than 3 million people.

The Governor’s proclamation can be viewed here.

“Small businesses are truly the backbone of our state’s economy and deserve to be supported year-round and celebrated on Small Business Saturday,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we have worked tirelessly to improve the business climate and help companies grow, which has resulted in new jobs and new small businesses, and further strengthened our economic recovery.”

“Small businesses play a critical role in growing our state’s economy,” said State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “When we support local small businesses, that money goes back to our own communities. I encourage everyone to shop local on Small Business Saturday and support small businesses near them year round.”

Whether a business is just starting up, expanding, or looking to fill a few vacancies, New York State Business Service Team members are available to help businesses:

  • List their jobs;
  • Find the right candidates;
  • Access hiring and training incentives;
  • Obtain business tax credits and incentives;
  • Secure business capital;
  • Learn about small business training and counseling;
  • Become Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) certified;
  • Access HR services and technical assistance; and
  • Find layoff aversion resources.

More information about New York State programs and assistance available to small businesses, is available via Empire State Development here and the Department of Labor here.

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Terry's Corners volunteers use the jaws of life to get into this car on Rochester Road Thursday afternoon. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)


A male from this van was taken to ENH-Lockport after the crash.
Even before the snow fell on Thursday, area roads proved dangerous to local drivers.

Terry's Corners volunteers were called to a two-vehicle accident scene just before 3 p.m., where the jaws of life were necessary to extract an injured female from her vehicle, who was then taken by ambulance to ECMC. A small dog was also rescued from the car.

A male from the other vehicle — a van — was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport.

The road was closed for about an hour after the accident.

About an hour later, a young female self got out of her own car after rolling it on Murphy Road in Newfane. According to emergency responders, she was traveling south on Murphy Road when the she left the road, rolling the car and spinning it to face the wrong direction.

Miller Hose transported the girl to ENH-Lockport.

Patient conditions have not been made available for either accident.

The young woman who was driving this car got out on her own, according to emergency responders. She was taken to ENH-Lockport after the crash.

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When leading nature hikes it is invariably asked of me: “what books do you suggest for learning about local plants and animals?”

It’s a good question, as there are just so many — I might even say “too many” — field guides on the market and trying to figure out which one (or ones) to buy can be confusing and expensive.

So, for this week’s column I will answer that question.

It comes at a good time, too, because the books I suggest here can also answer this seasonal question: “What do you get a nature lover for Christmas?”

Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife

North American Wildlife is a comprehensive guide 
to animals, plants, and fungi. (CONTRIBUTED 
If I had to suggest one book to the budding naturalist, or even the experienced one, it’s a no-brainer: Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife.

This book is my Bible. I refer to it all the time, peruse it regularly, have multiple copies and travel with it. I can’t imagine there being a more perfect book.

It’s a 576-page tome first printed in 1982 that features a whopping 2,000 plants, animals, and fungi in full color. Although it claims “North American” in the title, the focus of the book is on the United States and Canada. It does not look at Mexican plants and animals or those of the Caribbean.

It’s touted as “the equivalent of an entire shelf of nature guides in a single volume.” They’re right. It is divided into the following sections: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, mollusks, insects, other invertebrates, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, other non-flowering plants, and mushrooms. So, it has all the bases covered.

It does a good job of being pretty comprehensive. It identifies at least 90 mammals and 250 species of birds. Its largest section features almost 800 wildflowers. And, the depth of its mushroom section is always a treat.

What I really like about it is that it’s a very informative read, something unusual amongst its peers.

Many field guides point out just the identifying characteristics of wildlife. That can be fairly boring. North American Wildlife does that, but it also goes well beyond that, offering interesting insights and trivia about the various species. You’re constantly learning and intrigued whenever you open it.

It’s not written as a pithy science book, either. The writers didn’t opt for deep terminology or dull prose. Instead, it’s all written in terms and format that the layman can understand and enjoy.

Does it have its weaknesses? Sure, it does. As an example, it doesn’t present enough shorebirds and it emphasizes saltwater fish to the detriment of freshwater fish.

But, overall, it’s a very strong nature guide.

And, best of all, it’s a steal. If you look online you will see prices for the softcover and hardcover versions (I suggest the latter as you will give the book a beating over its lifetime) starting at $11 and averaging $15 to $20. You can’t go wrong at that price.

Golden Guides

Even though they date back to the 1950s, Golden Guides remain quite useful.
Golden Guides from Golden Books — the same folks who brought us the Poky Little Puppy — have been a mainstay of nature libraries since the early 1950s.

They are pocket-sized, little books (4” x 6” and not even a half-inch think) typically in the range of 150 pages that each address a specific aspect of wildlife, plants or geology. There have been dozens of various titles over the years, many discontinued, but the standbys like Flowers, Insects, and Rocks and Minerals remain in the latest (2001) re-release of the series, which is the same 1950s content with contemporary covers.

The books were historically affordable. In the 1990s they were $2.95 or $3.95 each. Now, they come in at $6.95, which may be pricey for some of the titles. One that immediately comes to mind is “Birds.” It highlights only 130 of the most common birds and is lacking in thoroughness as it depicts only the showy males (and not the females) and does little to describe their calls.

On the other hand, many of the other guides are worth the money. Fossils is an exceptional piece about natural history that shows many fossils that you’ll find along the Niagara Escarpment. Spiders and their kin highlights a couple of hundred arthropods – most field guides of such thoroughness would cost three times the amount. Old reliable texts like Reptiles and Amphibians, Mammals, and Trees show good enough numbers of their respective subjects that they would be the only field guides you would need for them.

With their size, these booklets make great stocking stuffers.

You can find them at most book stores or online. I would even suggest checking out eBay where you can find single editions or whole libraries on the cheap.

I was surprised to discover that while checking out eBay, Golden Guides had produced one called Hallucinogenic Plants in the 1970s. I can only imagine why that one didn’t last – if it’s an informative as their other books, it probably put many a druggie on the path to getting his fix.

Bob Confer lives in rural Gasport where his 1950s sensibilities match up pretty well with the Golden Guides. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer or email him at

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