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Saturday, May 31, 2014
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BUFFALO - The Lockport Rampage won its Northeaster Football Alliance season-opening game 30-12 this afternoon against the WNY Dragons.

After a scoreless first quarter, Rampage defensive players Marcus Wyche and David Gross got the Lockport team on the board with a combined sack resulting in a safety. The offense followed up with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Lamont Rhim to Nicholas Peterson, putting the Rampage up 8-0 going into the half.

In the third quarter, the defense stepped up again when Jeremy Brown recovered a fumble and scored a 30-yard touchdown. Peterson added his second touchdown of the day on a 32-yard reception from Rhim. Derrick Adams added two successful two-point conversion rushes and the Rampage took a 24-6 lead into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Rampage offense struck again with a 21-yard reception for Jeremy Brown from Rhim, making the final 30-12.

Standouts of the game included Ron Dixon's five tackles and Cliff McDowell's four tackles. Also, Lamont Candy had an interception and runback for 11 yards.

Rampage president Roland Davis said the offensive line dominated the entire game.

The Rampage have a bye this week and will next meet the Nickel City Kings at 5 p.m. on June 14 at Niagara-Wheatfield High School.



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The Lockport High School Athletic Department will hold a golf tournament at 3 p.m. June 16 at the Lockport Town & Country Club.

The Texas Shamble style tournament will award prized to the longest drive, closest to the pin, and also award team winners. Texas Shamble rules allow each team to use the best drive from their team members and then play individually into the hole.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the school district's Athletic Hall of Fame.

The tournament is $85 per person, which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart and hors d’oeuvres after the tournament. All entry forms must be submitted by June 11.

For more information, email dgilson@lockport.wnyric.org or call Dave Gilson at 478-4481.

The tournament is still looking for sponsors of individual holes. Get details here.



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ROYALTON — A Griswold Street man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies that someone damaged his property early Monday morning.

The man said said his car was keyed and his cigarette can was set on fire. The man believes the incident to have occurred around 2 a.m. Monday because around that time "his dogs were barking and acting erratic," according to the report filed with NCSO.

The man had no further details and was unsure of any possible suspects.

Patrol advised the complainant that a report would be on filed and considers this case closed at this time pending new information.



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Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki announced on Friday that he would resign his post to prevent from being a distraction to the overhauls that need to happen within the department.

President Barack Obama said it was "with considerable regret" that he accepted Shinseki's resignation, but at least two local politicians don't seem to agree.

Public statements by Congressman Chris Collins and state Sen. George Maziarz would indicate that the Republicans both felt it was needed.
The resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki was long overdue. While the country honors his decorated service during the Vietnam War, it has been clear to me for well over a year that Secretary Shinseki is not up to the management challenges that plague the VA. It is now my hope that President Obama and his administration will lead a total review of top management of the VA and install leaders capable of meeting the needs of our veterans – they deserve nothing less. — Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, via press release.
Our veterans deserve better... We need new leadership at the VA and we need a renewed commitment to better serving those who served us in the military. — State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, via Facebook post.
New York's U.S. senators, both Democrats, stopped short of applauding the resignation. But neither did they condemn it. 

Sen. Charles E. Schumer said Shinseki is “a true patriot” who may have resigned because "the buck stops at the top and that accountability in government is vital."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's office, meanwhile, released a statement saying “We need to fix the system and hold all those responsible accountable." 



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A woman died this afternoon in a car accident when her 2002 Buick struck a tree on Lake Avenue, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

According to a press release by the NCSO, dispatch received a call around 12:44 p.m. concerning a motor vehicle accident in the 4100 block of Lake Avenue. When patrol arrived, they saw that the Buick had gone off the east side of the road, striking a tree.

The female driver of the vehicle was deceased at the scene. Investigation conducted  reveals that the Buick was north bound on Lake Avenue and suddenly left the east side of the roadway, striking a driveway culvert, mailbox, and finally the tree.

The investigation is continuing by the Niagara County Sheriff's Accident Investigation Unit. The woman's name being withheld at this time.



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A Mill Street man was charged Friday with two counts of third-degree trademark infringement after a multiple law enforcement agencies found what they say were 47 counterfeit athletic jerseys in his home.

Stephen M. Penkalski, 46, 173 Mill Street, was charged after the Niagara County Drug Task Force and Homeland Security executed a search warrant, where they found and seized the jerseys and other items, according to the Lockport Police Department.

According to the report filed, Penkalski was charged previously with selling counterfeit jerseys to a federal agent in April and earlier in May. Further charges are pending.



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NEWFANE — A bus driver for Ridge Road Express found a CPAP machine in the 1900 block of Transit Road on Wednesday morning, according to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

The bus driver picked up the CPAP machine and brought it back to the bus garage. The machine did not have any information on it that would enable the owner to be located, however, the serial numbers are clearly identifiable.

The machine was transported to NCSO and logged into property.



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The Lockport Rampage, Lockport's semi-pro football team, kicks off its regular season in the Northeastern Football Alliance today with an away game against the Western New York Dragons.

The 3 p.m. game will be played at Mulroy Field, 890 Tifft Street, Buffalo.

The Rampage is coming off an impressive pre-season victory two weeks ago against the Jamestown Chiefs, 44-0.

The Lockport Rampage walk off the field 
at half time during a preseason victory 
against the Jamestown Chiefs on May 17. 
The team travels to Buffalo today for its 
season opener against the WNY Dragons. 
(FILE PHOTO)
The rest of the Rampage season schedule:

  • June 7 — Bye
  • June 14 — @ Nickel City Kings
  • June 21 — Vs. Jamestown Chiefs
  • June 28 — Vs. WNY Dragons
  • July 5 — Off
  • July 12 — Vs. Lyndonville Tigers
  • July 19 — @ Buffalo Gladiators
  • July 26 — Vs. Buffalo Gladiators
  • Aug. 2 — Vs. Southern Tier Diesel
  • Aug. 9 — @ Jamestown Chiefs
  • Aug. 16 — @ Southern Tier Diesel
  • Aug. 23 — Bye





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Misty Sink
A 15-year-old girl reported missing last week was returned home by police late Wednesday night — and then again Thursday morning.

Misty Sink, who had last been seen on May 22, was picked up by the Lockport Police Department and returned to her Ernest Road home around 10 p.m Wednesday, according to a report filed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office. However, neither NCSO nor the girl's school had received word that she was found. As a result, when she arrived at school Thursday morning, school staff called NCSO, who arrived at the school and transported her home, only to be told that she had returned the previous night and was sent to school as normal.

Patrol advised that when a missing person is found, they need to be notified. They then had NCSO Dispatch remove the juvenile from NYSPIN as a missing person.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Two unknown suspects stole a $600 power washer from Home Depot on South Transit Road Thursday evening, according to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

The suspects were both white males, according to Home Depot employees, but further description was not provided. One of the unknown suspects parked an older green pickup truck in the lot near Burger King away from the Home Depot. The pair purchased items from the Home Depot with cash then loaded them in the vehicle around 6:15 p.m. One of them then returned all the items except for the Dewalt power washer to the store,  then left the Home Depot and was picked up by the green vehicle. The older green pickup then left the area possibly North on South Transit Road.

Home Depot employees told NCSO that the store did not have security cameras on the outside of the building but he believed cameras on the inside of the store may have got a picture of the men. They said that they would request a photo from the security department then contact NCSO with his findings. Patrol checked security cameras at Burger King and observed what appeared to be a white male running across the parking lot away from the Home Depot. The footage did not show where he ran to. No other suspicious activity was observed.



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The National Weather Service calls for sunny skies in East Niagara today with a high of 71 and an overnight low of 50.

Sunday will be sunny, as well, with a high near 80. Overnight will be mostly clear with a low of around 60. Monday, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 83 and a low of around 65. Tuesday, more showers and thunderstorms are likely with a high near 78 and a low of around 62.

Wednesday, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 75 and an overnight low around 58. Thursday is expected to be partly sunny with a high near 74 and a low around 57. Friday is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 76.



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Friday, May 30, 2014
Lockport Police officers and Niagara County Sheriff's deputies talk with people in the 200 block of Washburn Street Friday night after responding to a call of "shots fired." (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / CONTRIBUTOR)


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Lockport Police and Niagara County Sheriff's deputies are investigating an incident on Washburn Street near Lewis Street in the city.

Police had responded to a call of "shots fired," but neighbors say they heard only one shot fired around 10:50 p.m. Paramedics also responded to the scene and one person was said to have been injured.

More details when we get them.

A large group of people congregate in front of a home in the 200 block of Washburn Street Friday night. Police and paramedics were on scene after a call came in that there were shots fired.



A few more photos from the scene are available here.

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ELMIRA —  Elmira College released its Dean's List for Academic Achievement for the Spring 2014 Term, including four students from East Niagara.

  • Thomas Bragg of Gasport is currently studying Psychology at the College.
  • Allison Gagliardi of Lockport is currently studying Psychology at the College.
  • Allison Smith of Middleport is currently studying Business Administration and Economics at the College.
  • Kerri Wertman of Lockport is currently studying Nursing at the College.
The Dean's List recognizes students that have a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

Elmira College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college founded in 1855. The College has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1,200 full-time students, of which 12 percent are valedictorians or salutatorians of their high schools or preparatory schools. Currently, there are 184 part-time undergraduate students and 136 graduate students at the college from 35 states and more than 20 countries.



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LATHAM — New York Air National Guard's Niagara Falls-based 107 Airlift Wing will defend their four-year record this weekend at Camp Smith Training Site.

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from across the state are gathering Camp Smith to test their marksmanship skills with the M-16 rifle, M-9 pistol and M-249 light machine gun. The 107 Airlift Wing have won the match four years in a row. This year marks their fifth year of participation in the match, which begins Saturday.

About 125 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard from across the state are expected to attend the 35th Annual "TAG (The Adjutant General) Match" Combat Rifle and Pistol Championships Match shooting competition in which participants fire for score using M-4/ M-16 rifles, M-9 pistols and M-249 light machine guns.

Marksmanship training and competition has long been a key component of National Guard training. During the 1800s Annual New York National Guard shooting competitions in New York City and at Camp Smith, then known as Peekskill Camp, were reported by the New York Times and other newspapers.

The state's armories are filled with marksmanship trophies won in local, state, and national competitions and proudly displayed.

Today the tradition continues with a 3-day training event that allows units and individual soldiers the opportunity to improve their level of marksmanship training, engage in healthy competition, and pick top contenders to represent the state in national competitions.

The modern Adjutant General's Match requires participants to employ the weapon used on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, allowing participants in the match to improve their shooting skills and take those lessons back to the other soldiers in their units as trainers.

The match consists of eight timed constraint events that include the use of a pistol, rifle and machine gun - to include close quarters combat, casualty, and nuclear biological chemical (NBC) drills.

Last year, New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Edward Stefik, of Lewiston, was the individual champion for the combined arms match involving combat pistol and rifle. He also took first place in both the Excellence in Pistol and Combat Pistol Competitions.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A county-wide underage alcohol enforcement detail done Thursday evening by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and New York State Liquor Authority resulted in charges for a Lewiston woman working at the Lockport Pub.

Marissa R. Ebbole, 19, was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and prohibited sales. She is due to appear in Lockport City Court, according to a press release from NCSO.

Of the 16 bars checked between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., 15 of them successfully denied the underage operatives alcohol, the press release said.



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A raccoon found on High Street near Beattie Avenue has tested positive for rabies, according to officials at the Niagara County Department of Health.

The raccoon is the second this year to test positive for rabies in East Niagara. The first was a raccoon killed in a fight with two dogs on Stone Road in Hartland in early April.

The Department of Health says that wild animals, including stray dogs or feral cats, should not be touched, fed or adopted due to the risk of rabies. It also offers free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and domestic ferrets.

Contact with wild animals, and all animal bites, should be reported to the health department at 439-7444 during business hours or 439-7430 after 4 p.m. daily.

Niagara County residents with dogs, cats or ferrets are welcome to have their pets vaccinated at any one of a number of upcoming clinics. The first will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. June 14 in Niagara Falls. Subsequent clinics are July 12 in Wilson and Sept. 20 at the Town of Lockport highway garage.

For more information on the clinics, animal vaccinations or rabies, call 439-7444.



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WRIGHTS CORNERS — Two bikes were reported found Thursday afternoon behind the State Farm agency at 3969 Lockport-Olcott Road.

The caller told patrol that he believed the bikes had only been there for a day or two, but he was unsure of who the owners were so he called to report them.

Patrol came and secured the bikes, issued the man a property receipt and asked him to call if he got any further information. The case closed pending new information.

A Ewings Road man had reported his daughter's bike had been stolen Sunday from behind John's Ultimate Auto on Ridge Road, a little less than two miles away. The stolen bike had been ridden by one of the two males who stole it eastbound on Ridge Road.



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Yellow dot program helps first responders


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The New York State Sheriff's Association's new
program aims to save lives. 
A little yellow sticker being distributed by the Niagara County Sheiff's Office aims to save lives.

The Yellow Dot Program, a project of the New York State Sheriff's Association, provides first responders with vital medical information in the case of an accident in people's cars or homes, which leaves them injured and incapacitated or otherwise unable to speak.

The small yellow sticker with a bright red border is to be affixed to the rear driver's side door of vehicles — or the front door of people's homes. It is an indication that a Yellow Dot information card is nearby.

The information card is a fairly simple medical form asking the person's name, emergency contacts, doctors, preferred hospital, blood type, medications and allergies. There is also a space to attach a recent photo so first responders know for sure that the person they're helping is the person on the card.

Once the card is filled out, people are asked to put it in a visible place in their glove box — or the freezer compartment of their refrigerator. A separate card should be used for each person who frequently travels in the car or each resident of the home.

The card should be updated annually to ensure that police, fire or paramedics have the most up-to-date information.

Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Richards says "it's another free program that we can provide our residents in time of need."

Cards and dots can be found locally at most municipal buildings or can be ordered online at nysheriffs.org/yellowdot, according to Deputy Richards.



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NEWFANE — A 20-year-old West Avenue woman told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies on Wednesday that her 2009 Nissan Altima was keyed Wednesday morning.

The woman said the car was scratched on both the driver's and passenger's sides sometime between midnight at 11:30 a.m. while it was parked on Fuller Road. There are multiple deep scratch marks in the paint on both sides of the vehicle, according to a report filed by NCSO. Damage is estimated at approximately $500.

The woman said she and her boyfriend had a physical altercation with a male in Chatauqua County on Monday. Both parties were concerned that the male may try to retaliate. Patrol spoke with the male the pair thought might be behind the vandalism, but he denied any involvement.

The case is closed pending further information.



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The National Weather Service calls for patchy fog in East Niagara between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. followed by sunny skies and a high of 72. Overnight will be partly cloudy with a low of 51.

Saturday is expected to be sunny with a high near 73 and a low of around 50. Sunday will be sunny with a high of 80 and a low of around 58. Monday there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 79 and a low of around 62.

Tuesday, showers are likely with a high near 77 and an overnight low of 61. Wednesday calls for more showers and possible thunderstorms with a high near 78 and a low of 62. Thursday will be partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of showers and a high near 76.



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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Locust Street was closed this morning from Willow Street to Millar Place. Many Lockport streets are impassible due to ongoing construction and maintenance. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER)

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Main Street was closed this morning between Pine and
Locust streets.
Getting around Lockport lately has not been easy. After months of local residents trying to avoid potholes, now they're trying to avoid construction.

Road crews were out working this morning on both Locust and Main streets, which had Main Street closed between Pine and Locust streets, and Locust closed between Willow and Millar streets. In addition, paving was going on this morning on Washburn Street near Willow Street.

Road work is likely to continue in the coming weeks as the Lockport Streets Department patches and paves the streets that need it.




There's more photos here. If you snap a photo of roadwork in progress or know about a sudden street closure we haven't reported on, send the details to news@eastniagarapost.com.


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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 22-year-old Burt man stands accused of causing $700 damage to a Lockport man's vehicle when the two had a confrontation in the parking lot of the South Transit Road Walmart Wednesday night.

According to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, the owner of the 2007 Dodge Magnum was sitting in the vehicle talking with a female when he heard a car come to a screeching halt and then heard loud bang hit the rear of his vehicle. Dominic M. Annalora, 22, 2486 Fuller Road, Burt, then approached the driver's side of the complainant's vehicle, opened the door and challenged the man to a fight.

The complainant told patrol that he stepped out of the Dodge Magnum when Annalora took a swing at him, missed, and ran off through the Walmart parking lot.

The complainant said that Annalora had punched the rear hatch area of his vehicle, causing a dent. He said the rear hatch would need to be replaced at a cost of $700.

Patrol spoke with Annalora on Thursday. He admitted that he had challenged the complainant to a fight but said he never touched his vehicle, stating that the dent had already been there.

Annalora was issued an appearance ticket on the charge of third-degree criminal mischief. He is due in the Town of Lockport Court on June 5.



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ONEONTA — Jordan Perry of Lockport was inducted into the SUNY Oneonta Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, on May 4.

Invitation to apply for membership is based on recommendation, junior or senior standing and an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Selection is based on a demonstrated record of scholarship and leadership activity on campus in one or more of the following areas: athletics; campus and community service; social and religious activities; campus government; journalism, speech and mass media; and creative and performing arts.

Perry, who is majoring in Child and Family Studies, is a graduate of Lockport High School.

A liberal arts college focused on teaching and learning, SUNY Oneonta has 6,000 students in its 70 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs.



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The National Weather Service says it will start out cloudy but become mostly sunny today with a high near 66. Overnight the clouds will return and the low will be around 51.

Friday will be mostly sunny again with a high near 76 and an overnight low of 52. Saturday will be sunny with a high near 76 and a low of around 52. Sunday the high will be around 81 and the low will be around 58.

Monday calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 77 and a low of around 59. Tuesday more showers and thunderstorms are possible with a high near 74 and a low of around 59. And Wednesday will be partly sunny with a high near 78.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Someone got away with $1,360 from a South Transit Road restaurant after throwing a brick through the window late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

According to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, a brick was thrown through the double-pane window on the west side Kalamata Family Restaurant, 5690 South Transit Road, sometime between 10:10 p.m. Tuesday and 5:56 a.m. Wednesday.

Employees said the money was stolen out of the cash register, which appeared to have been opened with a passcode. The coin tray appeared to have been lifted from the cash drawer and was left on the floor along with several pieces of paper.

Outside of the broken window, laying in the grass, was a Lefas Virgin Olive Oil metal container, which employees stated was originally on the window sill as decoration. It appeared that the suspect moved the container off the window sill and placed it on the ground after throwing a brick through the window. The brick was located under one of the tables about 15 feet into the restaurant.

At the time of the report, a representative from Alarm Design System was en route to access the video surveillance system for the business and the case was forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Bureau for further review.



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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Not the actual bear.
PENDLETON — A Pendleton Town Councilman is warning residents — and their pets — to be on the lookout for a black bear.

The bear was reportedly seen Tuesday night, causing state Department of Environmental Conservation officials and Niagara County Sheriff's deputies to search for it.

The DEC said that the Western New York black bear population is at its highest level in decades, estimating that 300 to 500 bears currently live in the area, although most of them call the Southern Tier home. A few have found their way north to Buffalo, Amherst and parts of Niagara County — including Pendleton, apparently.

In July of 2009, Town of Amherst police shot and killed a young black bear that had wandered near homes and businesses in a populated area near Millersport Highway and North French Road, only a couple miles from where the bear in Pendleton was spotted.



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NEWFANE — A Ewings Road man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies this morning that two males had stolen his daughter's bike.

The man said the two boys, who appeared to be between 15 and 18 years old, stole the bike around 7 p.m. Sunday while it was leaning against the back of John's Ultimate Auto, 6017 Ridge Road.

There was a camera which captured the larceny, the man said. "The video shows both males speaking with each other prior to the one male riding off with the bicycle, east bound on Ridge Road," according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office report.

"Patrol will locate the males, who appeared to live in the area and charges will be filed," according to the report.

The bicycle was believed to be a Huffy Mountain Bike, silver and purple in color, valued at around $200.



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David W. Goffin
WILSON — A 46-year-old resident of the Village mobile home park in the Town of Lockport was charged Monday night with DWI after a traffic stop on Beebe Road in Wilson.

According to the report filed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, David W. Goffin, 6035 S. Transit Road, was traveling 82 mph in a 55 mph zone when he was spotted by Sheriff's deputies around 9:30 p.m.

When he was pulled over, Goffin displayed signs of intoxication and told patrol he had had "four or five beers." He then failed field sobriety tests, according to the arrest report.

"Goffin refused to take the road side alco-sensor and was subsequently placed into custody," according to the report, which also said he refused to take a chemical test.

He was charged with DWI, refusal to submit to a breath test, speeding and having an inadequate license plate lamp. He was taken to Niagara County Jail and held on $250 bail.



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Sheriff's Office has names of four suspects


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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A second complaint in three days of damaged golf carts at Oak Run Golf Course was filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office this morning.

Patrol responded around 8 a.m. to a call from the golf coarse, indicated that the ignitions to two golf carts had been damaged overnight, rendering them inoperable.

According to the report filed, "the suspects placed an unknown item/ tool into the key ignition in order to turn the golf carts on and take them for a joy ride. The suspects returned the golf carts to the parking lot of the business and took the tool out of the key mechanism, which turned the golf cart off. When the tool was removed from the ignition the switch was left turned over to the 'start' mode. The key which is used to operate the golf carts is now unable to fit into the ignition."

The estimated cost to get the golf carts repaired is about $100 each. There may be additional damage to the under carriage from the suspects operating the carts.

Patrol will have periodic checks made during the midnight shift for both Oak Run Golf Course and Willowbrook Golf Course, as an earlier report of damage to golf carts at Oak Run was made, as well as a complaint from Willowbrook Golf Course, across Lake Avenue from Oak Run.

"Throughout the course of my investigation, I have obtained four suspects names from a witness," according to the report filed by Deputy Patrick Tighe. "The investigation is pending interviews with the suspects and felony criminal mischief charges will be filed regarding all three cases open."



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OLCOTT — There were no injuries as the result of a car fire in Olcott on Sunday, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

A report of the incident filed today states that patrol responded to Lockport Street in Olcott at around 3:37 p.m. Sunday for a report of a vehicle fire. Upon arrival, patrol located the vehicle, which had smoke emanating from underneath the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle is registered to a Hartland Road, Gasport man, but was being operated by the man's son, according to the report.

Patrol was able to locate the driver and advised him of the fire. Olcott Fire Company determined that the fire/smoke was cause from the electric wiring from the stereo system.



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Christina M. LaDuca
TOWN OF NIAGARA — A 32 Niagara Falls woman visiting the Niagara County Jail this morning found her stay extended when she was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and prison contraband.

According to the report filed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, Christina M. LaDuca, 1202 N. Military Road, Niagara Falls, was found with the pot around 9:26 a.m.

LaDuca told patrol that a woman she was visiting the jail with was going to pay her $100 to pass the marijuana on to an inmate, while the other woman also had pot in her possession, which she had planned to pass on to another inmate. Patrol advised the jail of LaDuca's statements, but no other contraband or marijuana possession arrest reports had been filed as of 4:20 p.m.

LaDuca was transported to the Town of Lockport Court for arraignment where bail was set at $500. She is to return to Town of Lockport Court on June 5. Patrol turned the possible marijuana into evidence with property management.



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OLCOTT — The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is investigating an assault that occurred early Sunday morning at Time Out II.

According to a report filed by NCSO, a 55-year-old Olcott man was outside the bar around 2:30 a.m. talking with a woman when an unknown male came up and the woman told the unknown male to leave. At that time, the unknown male grabbed the female's arm and the 55-year-old intervened, according to the report. The unknown male then struck the 55-year-old and they both fell to the ground. The male then struck the 55-year-old in the eye with a bottle.

The victim was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Newfane for treatment. He was then transferred to ECMC where he was told he had a fractured cheek bone.

Patrol has interviewed Time Out II employees, who have given them the name of the unknown male. As of this afternoon, the investigation was ongoing.



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CONWAY, SC — Kyle M. Griffin, a sophomore majoring in Resort Tourism Mgmt Pre-Major from Lockport,  was among more than 1,600 students at Coastal Carolina University who made the Spring 2014 Dean's List.

To qualify for the Dean's List, freshmen must earn a 3.25 grade point average, and upperclassmen must earn a 3.5 grade point average. To qualify for the President's List, students must earn a 4.0 grade point average. All students must be enrolled full time.

Coastal Carolina University is located just minutes from Myrtle Beach, S.C. It offers baccalaureate programs in 66 major fields of study, including acclaimed programs in marine science, resort tourism and professional golf management. Seven graduate programs include an MBA as well as master's degrees in education, writing and coastal marine and wetland studies.

Coastal Carolina University was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College and became an independent state university in 1993.



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Local gas prices held at about $3.81 a gallon over the past week, according to AAA East Central.

The average Lockport price of $3.812 is just slightly lower than the $3.814 it was a week ago, but still 16 cents higher than the $3.652 gas prices were at this time last year.

Across the country, Memorial Day holiday saw drivers paying slightly more for gasoline than the previous two years – three cents more than in 2013 ($3.63) and two cents more than in 2012 ($3.64).

Elevated global oil prices have kept a relative floor under retail gas prices for motorists. Oil markets are keeping a close eye on simmering geopolitical tensions, most notably those in Ukraine and Libya, for any developments that might impact global supply.

Over the weekend Ukraine elected a new president, Petro Poroshenko, which some analysts had suggested would increase stability in the region. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX on Tuesday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $104.11 per barrel. This marks the third straight week that WTI closed above the $100 per barrel threshold.



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Michelle Renna
ROYALTON — A Gasport couple charged Sunday with child endangerment after their three-year-old son reportedly crossed Rochester Road unsupervised was arraigned Tuesday night in town court.

The couple is due back in court on June 12.

According to the original police report, Louis Renna and Michelle Renna, both 44, told patrol they thought they had left their three-year-old in the care of their 13-year-old, but the teen boy said he was not informed he was supposed to be watching his little brother.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office became involved because the three-year-old was found unsupervised at Dollar General, 8405 Rochester Road — across the busy road from his home. The people who found the small boy took him to his home, which he pointed out, but were unable to find anyone there, so they called police.

Louis Renna
When patrol arrived, they found the older brother who said he was unaware where his parents were. Numerous attempts by patrol to contact the parents failed over the course of about three hours, according to the report. Patrol also found that "the home was not in an acceptable condition to have the children living in," the report said, causing sheriff's deputies to call Child Protective Services.

When the parents did return home, about three hours after the original call, they appeared unconcerned that their three-year-old had crossed Rochester Road, according to the report.

They were later charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The couple was processed at Niagara County Jail Tuesday night.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 33-year-old Village mobile home park resident found himself in Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport early this morning after sustaining a self-inflicted wound from a BB gun.

Upon being interviewed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, the man said that he accidentally shot himself on the interior portion of his right ankle with a Benjamin Repeater CO2 powered BB gun. He said he had been shooting the BB gun at a small target in his living room after loading the BB gun with 10 steel BBs. The man said he must have miscounted the number of BBs, because after he fired 10 rounds, he placed the BB gun on his lap with the barrel pointed to the floor, and then he depressed the trigger, at which time an 11th BB was discharged from the BB gun and penetrated the skin on his right ankle.

Patrol interviewed the man's fiance, who was present when he injured himself, and confirmed his rendition of how the incident occurred. The man was still in the process of seeking medical attention in the emergency room at the time of the report. He and emergency room staff were advised that a report would be filed by patrol.



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GASPORT — Sometime between August and earlier this month, someone stole at least 40 veterans grave markers from the Hartland Cemetery, 8541 Ridge Road, according to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

The grave markers were noticed missing on May 16 during a walk through of the cemetery, but not reported to NCSO until Tuesday. Each grave marker is made of bronze while the stakes holding the markers are made of brass. The grave markers with stakes are each valued at $32.50 for a total of $1,300, according to the report filed.

An American Legion official, who noticed the markers missing, told patrol that he ha checked Dunn Salvage in Middleport and Niagara Metals in Gasport for the stolen property with negative results. Patrol followed up on the incident and checked at Lock City Metals in Lockport, also with negative results.

No suspects could be provided to Patrol at the time of report.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's health in locating a 15-year-old girl who ran away from her Rochester Road home.

Misty Ann Sink is described as a white female, 5-foot 7-inches in height, 144 pounds with blonde hair and brown eyes. She was last seen leaving her home in the 7100 block of Rochester Road on Thursday wearing gray sweatpants, a blue shirt and sandals. She is also possibly wearing purple glasses.

Police say she is known to have friends in the city of Lockport area. They ask anyone with information regarding Misty’s whereabouts please contact the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office on their 24-hour hotline at 438-3393 or during normal business hours, Investigator Tracy Steen can be reached at 438-3337.



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I have been watching this VA controversy very closely and I have taken one undeniable fact away from the entire proceeding – the government of the United States does not care one bit about the people. While that may not be any kind of revelation, I present it as a concrete fact in light of the way that this country is allowing the VA to treat our military veterans.

President Barack Obama should be completely ashamed of himself and so should the entire United States government. The bureaucracy has gotten so thick that every subject is treated with a high level of disrespect. When a senator wants to show how tough he is getting on the oil companies, he calls a hearing and tells oil executives to be there. The result is a dog and pony show that the senator hopes will get him a few more votes in the next election. As for the oil executives, they just get back on their private planes and go home to swim in their pools full of our money.

That is how a bureaucracy works. The people demand action, the government puts on a dog and pony show, and then the topic is forgotten. Our government has gotten so good at bureaucracy that it has forgotten how to govern. President Obama has gotten so good at hiding behind bureaucracy that he has forgotten how to care about the American people.

The way that the federal government treats veterans is disgraceful. If any private company was to do something as disgraceful, the government would throw its bureaucracy at it and maybe even levy a few fines. What has been done in the wake of the VA scandal? Not one damn thing. No firings, no fines, and no action. The president promised action after the “investigation was complete.” If that is his honest answer, then he is a president that represents American big business and not the people.

Let me explain what happened here so that you can be as offended as I am. It was revealed that the bureaucracy at the Veteran’s Administration has become so bad that veterans are dying while waiting for medical attention. Let me just put that another way for emphasis: Our piece of crap government is killing our veterans by not paying any attention to them. It isn’t bad enough that the enemy wants our veterans dead. Now the government wants them dead as well.

When the scandal blew up, the media played it off like it was something new. Veterans have been dying at the hands of the VA for years. This is nothing new, which is even more shameful.

So the congress and the president put on their dog and pony show and promised swift action. What is that swift action? The Secretary of the VA got to keep his job and the president said that something will be done when the investigation is complete. Apparently, years of veterans dying due to government negligence requires further investigation.

Here is what you really need to know: Our government is an embarrassing joke that cares less and less about representing the people and more about the profits involved in representing big business. It isn’t just the VA that is a national disgrace – it is the entire government that stands as an example of how embarrassing it is to be an American right now.

The men and women who bravely stood up and fought for our country should be given the best medical care available, and affordable housing as well. Why is there even a network of VA hospitals? Why is that necessary? All that does is contain the bureaucracy in a place where it can get worse.

Give vets a card and a program that allows them to get the best care possible from any doctor and any hospital. Then give vets the opportunity to pick out one home to live in, and put it on our tab. It is the least we can do. It is the least the scumbag government can do. But apparently, the government prefers bureaucracy over doing the right thing and now we have vets who are dying and homeless. It should make every American ashamed.

Barack Obama is not a leader. He is a corporate puppet that does and says exactly what the lobbyists tell him to. He is the furthest thing from change that we could have had. He is actually an enhanced version of what a thieving and immoral politician looks like.

To our vets, all I can say is that the people are sorry that you suffer. To the government I say, stop going to war if you are not prepared to take care of those who make the sacrifice. I read that the secretary of the VA said that the demand on the VA system has been too much since we started messing around in the Middle East. If the federal government cannot support its military, then it should not be going to war.

God bless the people of the United States. God bless our active military and veterans. Now it is time for the people to take control. We haven’t gone over the cliff yet, but we are close. For God’s sake people – wake up and see what is going on. We cannot rely on our government to clean things up. We have to do it and we have to do it now.

Nick Oliver is a proud American and supporter of our military. His column appears every Wednesday. Wake up people! It is now or never!



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The National Weather Service calls for a slight chance of thunderstorms today with a high of around 72 and a low of around 48.

Thursday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 66 and a low of around 52. Friday will be mostly sunny and 72 for a high with a low of around 53. Saturday will also be mostly sunny with a high near 73 and an overnight low of around 53.

Sunday will be mostly sunny again with a high near 77 and a low of around 58. Monday there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high around 76 and a low of around 59. Tuesday brings a chance of showers and thunderstorms; partly sunny, with a high near 76.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — When Niagara County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call to check the welfare of a motor vehicle driver on Amy Lane, they say they found a gray pickup truck stopped in the eastbound lane, running, in drive — and a man sleeping.

After placing the truck in park and turning it off, patrol woke the driver, Joshua Bass, 37, 39 Waterman Street.

Bass admitted to police that he had "had some beer earlier." Asked if he thought he should be driving, he said "no, probably not," according to the report filed.

After failing field sobriety tests, Bass was charged with DWI and taken to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office to complete paperwork. He is to appear in Town of Lockport Court on June 3.



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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — While investigating a report of 31 American flags being damaged at Cold Springs Cemetery, Niagara County Sheriff's deputies caught the culprit in the act of damaging more.

The 31 flags were damaged sometime between Saturday and Sunday according to Cold Springs Cemetery's head groundskeeper. They were then replaced this morning by a group of veterans who had stopped at the cemetery.

Around 3:40 p.m., patrol pulled into Cold Springs Cemetery and spoke to the head groundskeeper who stated that all of the damaged flags had been located near a large flagpole, pointing the flagpole out to patrol, according to the report filed by NCSO.

The report continues:
As patrol was pulling up to the area where the damage had occurred, patrol observed a groundhog breaking one of the small American flags with it's front paws. Patrol watched as the groundhog snapped another small American flag then ran with the flag in it's mouth to a ground burrow. Patrol was on the phone with Chief Deputy (Steven) Priesch while the groundhog was causing the damage. Patrol counted 12 flags damaged by the groundhog since being replaced this morning. Patrol advised (the groundskeeper) that the person causing the damage to the flags was a groundhog.
No charges were filed against the groundhog.



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Lockport police and fire departments attend to the driver of a vehicle after an accident on Church Street this afternoon. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)

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These two vehicles were struck by a 
van on Church Street this afternoon.
Lockport police and fire departments were called to a three-car accident on Church Street this afternoon.

Witnesses say the car was southbound on Church Street near Grand Street when it struck two legally parked vehicles on the west side of the street before veering across the roadway and striking a tree on the east side of the street.

The driver was treated on-scene by the Lockport Fire Department and taken by personal vehicle to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport, according to LPD. No one was in either of the parked cars at the time of the accident.

Lockport Police Chief Larry Eggert, in white, discusses with his officers the details of an accident on Church Street this afternoon.


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