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Monday, June 30, 2014
ENP STAFF REPORTS
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A Buffalo woman and a Lockport man were charged Sunday evening following an assault Sunday afternoon.

Charles E. Scott Jr., 18, 115 South St., Apt. 1, and Porsha M. Sanders, 21, 119 Leonard St., Buffalo, were both charged with third-degree assault.

According to their arrest reports, a female victim told patrol that she and a friend went to 115 South St., to retrieve her ring and wallet. They found the wallet but the ring was missing. While they were asking those at 115 South St., about the missing ring, Scott and Sanders began arguing with the female victim, then attacked her when she went to walk away.

According to LPD, Scott punched the victim five times above her right eye. Sanders punched the woman about 20 times while she was on the ground trying to protect her head, the report added.

A passerby yelled for the pair to leave the woman alone, causing them to return inside 115 South St., allowing the victim to escape to a Washburn Street address where she called LPD.

The victim was transported to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport, where she was treated for her injuries.

Patrol located the missing ring inside 115 South Street and the victim requested an order of protection.

Other LPD reports include: 


  • A Rene Place man reported today that someone had entered garage and stole his "Rhino" mountain bike between 12:20 and 12:30 p.m. It is described as a 26-inch red and black mountain bike with silver lettering. The bike is valued at $200.





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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — An unidentified man stole five bottles of perfume from Walmart on South Transit Road around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a report from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

According to the incident report, the male concealed the fragrances in his shorts, and then exited out the garden section exit, setting off the security sensor.

Patrol checked the area for a white male, with tan shorts, riding a bicycle.

Patrol was unable to locate the suspect and the case was closed pending further suspect information.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Niagara Hospice was recently recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care with its accreditation for hospice care.

Niagara Hospice demonstrated a commitment to providing quality care and services to consumers through compliance with ACHC’s nationally recognized standards for accreditation.

Accreditation with ACHC is a voluntary activity where healthcare organizations submit to peer review of their internal policies, processes and patient care delivery against national standards.

Vice President of Hospice Services Kay Dekker stated: “Our organization voluntarily chose to undergo the accreditation process to demonstrate our commitment to providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time to all of our patients and their families. Receiving Deemed Status from ACHC also lets other health care providers know that when they choose to partner with Niagara Hospice in providing care to their patients, that level of care will be exceptional.”

The ACHC is a private, not-for-profit corporation which was developed by home care and community-based providers to help companies improve business operations and quality of patient care. It is a Medicare Deeming Authority that prides itself in being a leader for Hospice Accreditation. The ACHC states that by choosing a provider that has achieved accreditation, patients and caregivers can take comfort in knowing that it has demonstrated its commitment to meeting rigorous national standards for quality and safety as well as providing an exceptional level of care.

Tricia Degan Niagara Hospice director of marketing and public relations, said, “Preparing for the accreditation process involved all disciplines of hospice care and it confirmed our staff commitment to going above and beyond what is required by not only Medicare, but also ACHC. I encourage families faced with serious illness to call us to learn more about hospice and how we can help. It’s never too soon to make the call and learn what your choices are when medical treatment options for cure have been exhausted.”

Citing a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine that supports the fact that patients who receive hospice care live longer than those who receive standard care, Degan stressed that patients and families ask for Niagara Hospice by name to ensure the highest level of care sooner in their disease process. “Choosing Niagara Hospice ensures the most comfort and best quality of life for both patients and families,” said Degan. The study found that patients lived an average of two additional months. Researchers also found that hospice patients reported a higher quality of life through the final course of their illness.

Niagara Hospice provides end-of-life comfort, care and support to Niagara County individuals and their families faced with terminal illnesses. No one is denied hospice care due to inability to pay. Niagara Hospice has served over 20,000 patients and their families since 1988. For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call Niagara Hospice at 439-4417.




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Adam Bootes
BURT — A Lockport-Olcott Road man was arrested after Niagara County Sheriff's deputies responded to a complaint of an open burn.

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies responded to 1663 Lockport-Olcott Road around 4:41 p.m. Sunday where they found Adam Bootes standing in the back yard of the residence near an open burn, according to the arrest report. When patrol approached Bootes, he immediately became confrontational.

Patrol advised him that he would have to extinguish the fire due to a complaint from a neighbor. The open fire burn consisted of tree branches, leaves and other garden debris, which is in violation of the Newfane Town ordinance.

Although patrol intended on issuing a warning for the open burn, Bootes swore at patrol, telling them to get off his property and that they had "no right to walk into my back yard." When patrol asked for Bootes' pertinent information, but he refused to give his name, instead swearing at patrol again.

Bootes was then taken into custody and charged with obstructing governmental administration and the open burn violation. He was held in Niagara County Jail on $500 bail and is slated to appear in Newfane Town Court on Tuesday.



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NEWFANE — A Newfane man was charged with marijuana possession after Niagara County Sheriff's deputies on bike patrol saw the car he was driving in back up unsafely at the intersection of West Avenue and South Main Street.

The vehicle was on West Avenue, facing east bound when Joshua R. Reineke 20, 2716 South Main St., suddenly put the vehicle into reverse and stepped on the gas in an unsafe manner, pulling into the parking on the south side of the road, according to the NCSO report.

After NCSO initiated a traffic stop, Reineke quickly exited the vehicle prior to be asked to. Patrol could smell a strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. Deputies located a clear plastic bag containing a green leafy vegetable substance inside a book bag next to the driver seat after Reineke gave them permission to search the vehicle. He admitted the substance was marijuana.

Reineke was issued an appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marihuana and an UTT for unsafe backing, returnable to the Town of Newfane Court on July 15. Patrol secured the marijuana into an evidence locker in order for it to be sent to the laboratory for confirmation.



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BY SCOTT LEFFLER
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


Congressman Chris Collins said this afternoon that the the Supreme Court ruling allowing businesses to opt out of certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act is "a victory for our First Amendment rights and the free exercise of religious beliefs."

The court, in a 5-4 decision, concluded that arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby and other companies could cite religious views as valid reasoning for being exempt from parts of the federal law, particularly the provision that required employers who provide insurance to their employees to offer contraceptives to those employees as part of that insurance.

Religious based schools, hospital and non-profit organizations were already exempt from the contraception clause of the Affordable Care Act.

“Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate is an intrusion on the religious freedoms of private employers, and was decided to be what many of us expected — unconstitutional," said Collins, R-Clarence, via press release this afternoon. "The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case is another example of this Administration’s hubris and extreme overreach into every corner of our lives.”

For its part, the White House condemned the ruling, saying it "jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies."

The ruling only affects certain corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.



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NEWFANE — Another fence in Newfane was vandalized over the weekend, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

Patrol was dispatched to a home in the 6000 block of East Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Sunday where a man reported that a group of juveniles damaged the decorative fence in his front lawn.

The complainant said that he was unable to get a description or a direction of travel of the juveniles after they broke his fence. He said that the approximate value of the damage is $100.

Patrol, assisted by Bike Patrol checked the area, and was unable to locate the suspects.

The sign at First Baptist Church, also in the 6000 block of East Avenue, was also damaged over the weekend. There have been a string of vandalism in Newfane in the past two weeks.

Case closed pending further suspect information.



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NEWFANE — Brandon S. Chapman, 30, 2660 Grace Ave., was charged with possession of marijuana by Niagara County Sheriff's Office late Saturday night.

According to the NCSO report, Chapman was entering a parked vehicle on South Main Street and then leaving that vehicle with an object in his arms. Chapman told patrol that the vehicle belonged to a friend and that the gallon of milk he had gotten out of it was his.

Patrol said Chapman appeared nervous and kept putting his hands in his pockets. When told he was going to be searched for weapons, Chapman told patrol that he had a small amount of pot in his pocket, which patrol found and entered into evidence after charging Chapman with unlawful possession of majiruana.

He was released on an appearance ticket and is due to appear in the Town of  Newfane Court.



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Lockport Little Loop Football is offering registration for football players and cheerleaders from 6 - 8 p.m. on July 11 and noon to 2 p.m. on July 12 at the Outwater Park Club House.

The program is open to kids from age six to 13 with four different divisions based on age. Registration is $100 for the Pee Wee football division and $120 for older kids. Cheerleading registration is $80 for the Pee Wee division and $90 for the others.

The organization says that spaces are limited and reminds people that birth certificates are needed for all participants.

The Lockport Little Loop Football Organization is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to making youth football and cheerleading a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone. It provides qualified coaches that are certified through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. The teams play in the National Youth Football League.

For more information, call 940-0713.



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Monday

  • The Town of Lockport Board will hold a work session at 1 p.m. at Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.

Tuesday

  • The Newfane School Board will meet at 7 p.m. in the Early Childhood Center on Godfrey Road.

Wednesday

  • The Lockport Common Council will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Locks Plaza. 
  • The Town of Lockport Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

Thursday

  • The Somerset Planning Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 8700 Haight Road.



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NEWFANE — Fifteen steel panels — valued at over $500 — were stolen from a Lockport-Olcott Road business recently.

According to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, the panels were in the yard at 7 p.m.. on June 14 were found to be missing on around noon Saturday.

The complainant believes they might have been stolen and sold for scrap.

Patrol will attempt to follow up on this case.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A Rochester Road homeowner's new door and windows were stolen out of his garage over the weekend.

The man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies that his family left the residence on around 6 p.m. Friday to go camping for the weekend, and when they returned late Sunday, he discovered the items were missing from the garage.

The complainant stated he is remodeling the house, and purchased the brown fiber glass front door for $600, and two white vinyl "AC Pro" windows for $220.

There were no signs of forced entry, and nothing else appears to be missing at this time.The man told patrol he spoke with several neighbors but nobody witnessed anything.



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MIDDLEPORT — Orchard Street is closed between Francis and Church streets for railroad work.

The closure, which began this morning, is expected to last through the week, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.



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NEWFANE — Vandals struck a sign at an East Avenue church over the weekend.

According to a report by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, the sign in front of the First Baptist Church located, 6047 East Ave., appeared to have been intentionally struck with a strong enough amount of force to cause the sign to break on both sides between 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Sunday.

The sign originally cost approximately $1,500, but a repair estimate was not available when the report was filed. No other damage was reported on the church property.



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ITHACA — Three local students attending Ithaca College were recently named to Dean's List for the spring 2014 semester.

They include:

  • Sean Chambers of Lockport, attending Ithaca College's School of Health Sciences and Human Performance for the spring 2014 semester.
  • Samantha Olewnik of Lockport, attending the college's School of Humanities and Sciences for the spring 2014 semester.
  • Taylor Flynn of Gasport, attending the Roy H. Park School of Communications for the spring 2014 semester.

Located in New York's Finger Lakes region, Ithaca College is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 400 graduate students.



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GASPORT — A Gasport Road man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies Saturday morning that someone had stolen his 2010 Ford F150XLT from his garage.

The complainant told patrol that he parked the truck in his driveway around 11:15 p.m. Saturday and was missing at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. The man said he believes the vehicle was locked before he went to bed Saturday night, but he was unable to locate a spare set of keys that is normally in his kitchen.

The man described his vehicle as a bright blue pickup truck with an archery sticker on the left side of the rear window, a "ROSS" emblem on the center of the rear window, and a "Thompson Center" sticker on the right side of the rear window.

The man told patrol that Saturday morning his wife asked him if he was in her vehicle because the center console was open and appeared to have been gone through but they didn't think anything of it at the time. Her vehicle was parked in the driveway, possibly unlocked, when that incident occurred.

Patrol had NCSO Dispatch enter the vehicle into NYSPIN, and a message was sent to all patrol cars. Patrol also had NCSO dispatch create a periodic check of the house. The investigation is continuing.



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BURT — A Buffalo woman's car was vandalized on McClew Road late Saturday or early Sunday.

According to a report filed with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, the passenger side and trunk area of the woman's 2008 Pontiac G6 was spray painted with a black line while it was parked in the driveway of a friend between 9 p.m. Saturday and 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

The complainant's friend gave police the name of a possible suspect. When patrol interviewed that person, she denied involvement and pointed out that there have been numerous cars in the area spray painted in recent weeks.



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The National Weather Service is calling for sunny skies today with a high near 89.Overnight, there's a slight chance of showers and thunderstorm with a low around 71.

Tuesday brings a chance of showers and thunderstorm with a high near 89 and a low around 67. Wednesday also calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 80 and a low around 62.
Thursday more showers are possible with a high near 77 and a low around 57.

Independence Day will be mostly sunny with a high near 75 and a low around 57. Saturday will be sunny with a high near 79 and a low of around 59 . Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 81.



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Sunday, June 29, 2014
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AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The majority of travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in 10 (34.8 million) choosing to travel by automobile, the highest level since 2007.  The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday through Sunday.

“The Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA East Central President Jim Lehman. “We are seeing increases across our region, particularly in auto travel, as many of us celebrate summer with an all-American road trip.”

Highlights from 2014 Independence Day Travel Forecast include:

  • Nearly five million more Americans are expected to travel for Independence Day than for Memorial Day.
  • Travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years and is expected to be more than six percent higher than the average of the past 10 years.
  • Holiday air travel is expected to decrease 0.6 percent to 3.1 million travelers from 3.12 million last year.
  • Travelers will encounter airfares five percent lower than last year and car rental costs that remain consistent with last year at $58.
  • Hotel rates at AAA Two Diamond hotels are 15 percent higher than last year and Three Diamond hotels are nine percent more.



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BURT — A Jockey Road man who had reported to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office that his car had been stolen remembered that he hadn't driven it home.

The man had told patrol that he parked his Nissan Pathfinder in his driveway Friday night and awoke Saturday to find it missing, but he later recanted, saying a friend had reminded him that friends drove him home and he left the vehicle at the Wilson Boathouse the previous evening.

The vehicle was recovered around 5 p.m. Saturday. The vehicle was removed from NYSPIN and no charges were filed.



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GASPORT — A resident of the 3600 block of Orangeport Road told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies on Thursday that the rear window of his wife's car was shattered while it sat in their driveway.

The man told patrol that the windshield — valued at $400 — was shattered between 5:40 and 6 p.m.

Patrol observed that a small pebble was on the roof of the vehicle but could not locate any other projectile inside of the vehicle that may have caused the damage.

The complainant speculated that the extreme heat inside of the vehicle may have been a factor. The case is closed pending any new information.



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BY SCOTT LEFFLER
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


Alayziah Scott, left, and sister Laneyea sell lemonade on East Avenue this afternoon. (ENP 
STAFF PHOTO)
Sisters Alayziah and Laneyea Scott spent this afternoon learning a little bit of business and supplying thirsty Lockportians and visitors to the Lockport Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival with ice cold beverages on a sweltering hot and humid day.

Alayziah, 8, manned the lemonade dispenser while six-year-old Laneyea kept an eye on the strawberry lemonade.

Alayziah said of the two, the regular lemonade was better, while Laneyea suggesting mixing the regular with the strawberry.

The pair will frequently be found out in front of 139 East Avenue this summer selling their ice cold drinks for a mere 50 cents a glass — a bargain at twice the price.



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A 17-year-old Lockport girl was charged with petit larceny after police say she had a juvenile steal for her from a downtown drug store.

According to the report filed by LPD, Cassanda A. Exford, 17, 504 Hawley St., sought out the assistance of the juvenile to steal five energy drinks from Walgreens on Saturday.

The energy drinks had a value of $13. They were returned to the store after Exford was charged.

Exford is set to be in Lockport City Court Monday morning.

Other LPD police reports include:


  • Terrance Dennis, 43, 1016 Amherst St., Buffalo, was charged early this morning with aggravated unlicensed operation and improper lane use. He is slated to be in City Court on Monday.
  • Michael H. Howe, 22, 18 Pound St., Apt. 1, was charged with criminal mischief around 6 a.m.
  • Marcee C. Ray, 33, 28 Lena Dr., North Tonawanda, was charged with driving with a suspended registration and having an improper inspection around 9:45 p.m. Friday. She is to be in City Court on Monday.
  • Chard M. McKerron, 31, no permanent address, was charged with second-degree harassment around 3:50 a.m. Friday for an incident that happened at 77 Main St. He is set to be in City Court on Monday.
  • Kevin J. Horton, 42, no permanent address, was charged with criminal mischief, attempted burglary and possession of burglar's tools, around 1:50 p.m. Friday. According to the police report, Horton attempted to break into an address on Works Place, damaging a door in the process. He is to appear in Lockport City Court on Monday morning.
  • Shawn M. Clines, 48, 80 Genesee St., Apt. 4, was charged around 9:50 p.m. Friday with third-degree assault. He is set to appear in City Court on Monday.
  • Douglas M Smith, 132 South St., was charged around 7 p.m. Friday with third-degree assault and obstruction of breathing following an incident that occurred on South Transit Street. He is to appear in City Court on Monday. 



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The 2014 Barker Public Library Summer Reading Program hopes to get kids excited about reading this summer.

The program, called "Fizz, Boom, Read!" is free to kids aged four through 18. It offers participants a reading bag that includes a reading record, bookmark, and other surprises. Children will sign a contract at the library and receive a logbook to record book titles and minutes read this summer. Special programs, prizes, and contests will be happening all summer long.

For more information, call the library at 795-3344.



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Lockport Police and paramedics were dispatched to a Washburn Street address minutes ago for a report of a person injured in a robbery.

The female victim was transported from an address on Washburn Street near South Street to ENH-Lockport.

An eyewitness observer said "they jumped somebody."

No further information is available at this time.

Lockport Police on scene at a Washburn Street address where they responded to a robbery call. (ENP STAFF PHOTO)


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CANTON — Codi D. Mckee of Barker made Presidents List during the spring 2014 semester. Mckee is a SUNY Canton Civil and Environmental Technology major who graduated from Barker Central School in 2012.

"The college's provost, deans, faculty members and I take great pride in our students' fantastic work ethic," said SUNY Canton Acting President Joseph C. Hoffman. "We are certain that their enthusiasm for learning will serve them well in their future careers."

To receive President's List honors, full-time students must earn a semester grade point average of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.



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Michael Bay! BOOM! Explosions! Michael Boom! Bay ‘Splosions! BOOM! Michael Bay! BOOM! Explosions!

Look, I am sure that Michael Bay has his fans. But this guy is, at best, a second unit special effects director. I finally got to see Transformers: Age of Extinction and this will be the last Michael Bay Transformers movie I ever see. Four of these things are enough.

Actually, the first Transformers movie was excellent. The action was awesome and the story was fantastic. But after that, they just kept turning into orgies of ‘splosions! BOOM! Michael Bay! Explosions! Michael Bay is simply the worst director working today and, when given a chance to prove it, he leaves no doubt.

Once again, we are treated to a litany of Transformers that we are never formally introduced to. The thing I absolutely hate about these movies is that, unless you are a Transformers fanatic and know every detail about every part of the canon, then you are lost 15 minutes into every movie. We get new Autobots and only learn the names of a couple of them. We get a big, nasty bad guy robot and we are never told who he is! That doesn’t even include the 50 or more Decepticons we get without any kind of name or story at all.

Michael Bay simply does not know how to tell a story. He has no clue how to develop characters and no idea how to feed a story line. All Michael Bay knows how to do is blow stuff up. That’s it. If you like stuff blowing up (and who doesn’t?), then you will love this movie… for a little while. But at two hours and 30 minutes, even blowing stuff up cannot save this movie.

I grew up reading Transformers comics and watching the cartoons and I still have no idea who half the Transformers were in this movie. The new wave of Transformers looks more like T-X’s from Terminator 3 than Transformers. This is just a horribly told story that relies on cheap special effects and ‘splosions! BOOM! Michael Bay! to get through to the end.

The human characters are shallow and predictable. I have to admit that I cannot stand Mark Wahlberg as an actor. I am sure he has his fans, which is why he keeps getting work, but he just doesn’t convince me of anything when he is in a movie. That being said, Wahlberg is pretty good in this movie, but his character is predictable and boring.

The only human character worth watching is Joshua Joyce, who was played by Stanley Tucci. Joyce starts out as the bad guy no one can stand, but we see the circumstances that turn him into a nice guy and we feel that he actually does want to be liked. This character is a gem crammed into a 150 minute turd. At points, the only reason to watch this movie was to see what Joyce would say next. He was funny, interesting, and his representation by Tucci was done extremely well.

It takes a lot to screw up a movie that features Optimus Prime, but Michael Bay manages to do that. If it weren’t for Bumblebee, I would have cared less about any of the Autobots. Apparently, John Goodman voices an Autobot named Hound. That Autobot is interesting and funny. The unmistakable voice of Ken Watanabe voices an interesting samurai Autobot who we are never formally introduced to at any point in the movie. He is just one of those Michael Bay “Here. Here’s an Autobot. You know who this one is, right?” situations.

Fans of the Transformers series will love this movie. Honestly, if there was as much kaiju action in Godzilla as there was Transformer action in this movie, then Godzilla would still be the number one movie in the world. But if you know little to nothing about the Transformers, then this movie will only prove to bore and frustrate you.

My wife fell asleep twice during this movie and, if we weren’t at the drive-in, I was considering leaving while she was sleeping. Look, I love explosions as much as the next guy, but I need a storyline to keep me going. There is a weak storyline here that is never developed. The movie is great eye candy for a little while, but it just keeps dragging on and even makes Optimus Prime boring. Making Prime boring is about the only difficult thing this movie accomplished.

Any movie with Optimus Prime automatically gets two stars. If it weren’t for Prime, this movie would have been my first zero.

Rating: 2 out of 5

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and movie fanatic. He spends his summer weekends at the Sunset Drive-in and you should too.




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Rev. Joseph Vatter
Rev. Joseph E. Vatter, pastor at Lockport's All Saints Parish, has been re-appointed to the post for six years, the church announced Saturday.

Vatter, previously pastor of St. Mary’s of Medina came to Lockport six years ago to take the then-new position of pastor at All Saints Parish, which consisted of the combined parishes of Saint Patrick’s, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Anthony’s and Saint Mary’s churches.

He's been a pastor with the Diocese of Buffalo from 1998 and has a Masters of Divinity from Christ the King Seminary.



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Thousands made their way to downtown Lockport Saturday for the annual Lockport Arts & Crafts Festival. Thousands more are expected today. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / CONTRIBUTOR)

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This rickshaw was one of the more unique finds downtown
Saturday. 
The sweltering heat didn't keep people away from the Lockport Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, but it may have shortened their visits.

The annual downtown show was busy before the official opening at 11 a.m., with Main Street packed with patrons looking for good deals on arts and crafts — and getting them. Everything from paintings and pottery to hot sauce and athletic wear was there for those who were willing to endure the heat. Of course, there were also plenty of good eats available, too.

The festival continues from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. today, running down Main Street and East Avenue from Cottage Street to Washburn Street.

If you go, you may want to go early as the temperature is expected to spike near 90 degrees early this afternoon and thunderstorms are possible later.



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I only have one question.

Mayor, I do not disagree about quality people, however I wonder about quality decisions.

Are you telling the people of Lockport, that with the city on notice for a potential hazard of flooding, that the City of Lockport and its Streets Department head, can't find 45 minutes to an hour to send a truck with two workers to clean the storm receptacles in the area that you are on notice for? On notice for over two weeks?

That’s my only question. Because it is past practice like this that has resulted in major damage and fines for the city.

Stephen M Wallace is a City of Lockport resident and contributor to East Niagara Post





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The National Weather Service issued a warning today for the heat as temperatures are expected to approach 90 again. There's also a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 3 p.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Overnight it will drop to around 71 — with more rain possible.

Monday calls for a chance of rain and a high near 85 with an overnight low of around 71. Tuesday calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 88 and a low of around 70. Wednesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 82 and an overnight low of around 61.

Thursday calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 78 and a low around 55. Independence Day willl be mostly sunny with a high near 75 and a low around 57. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 79.



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It was a packed house as 377 Lockport High School students graduated in a ceremony Saturday afternoon at Artpark. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)

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LHS Principal Frank Movalli addresses the crowd.
LEWISTON — Artpark was packed to the rafters Saturday afternoon with proud parents, relatives and friends of the 377 graduating seniors from Lockport High School.

The keynote speaker was 1972 Lockport High School graduate Dr. Domenico Cavaiuolo, while the salutatory address was given by Sarah Chatt and the valedictory address was by Nse Obot.

LHS Principal Frank Movalli gave a welcome to all including Superintendent Michelle Bradley. Paul Allison had his school band there playing music, including the traditional graduation processional, "Pomp and Circumstance."

It was a proud afternoon for parents teacher and students as the final turn of the tassel led to hats flying in the air and a final rush to the door.



There's more photos from Saturday's LHS graduation ceremony here.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
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Tandem bike riders on the 104-mile Ride for Roswell Course leave the rest stop at Golden
Hill State Park today. (HEATHER N. GRIMMER / CONTRIBUTOR)
More than 8,100 bike riders raised over $4.3 million today during the 2014 Ride for Roswell.

Three of the ride's 11 routes went through East Niagara, with the longest of the routes — for experienced riders only — cutting straight through, all the way to Lake Ontario at Golden Hill State Park in Somerset. The course, which allowed for 500 riders, was at capacity for the year.

The two other courses that went through East Niagara were the 62.5-mile course, which went through Wolcottsville, and the 44-mile course, which went through Rapids. They were each at capacity, as well, allowing for 850 riders on each route.

Funds raised through the Ride For Roswell support research and patient care programs that benefit the 31,000 patients who turn to Roswell Park for hope. Donations are further used to improve the patient and family experience, support new clinical treatments and procedures, provide proper clinical space to meet the increasing demand for cancer services, and educate the next generation of cancer scientists and clinicians.



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GASPORT — A Cottage Road man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies this morning that sometime overnight, his vehicle was broken into.

The man told patrol that an unknown person broke a window on his locked vehicle, made entry, and removed a backpack sometime between 7 p.m. Friday and 8:30 this morning.

Patrol said it appears the unknown person broke the left rear window to unlock the vehicle, then made entry and removed the backpack, which contained gym clothes and Nike running shoes.

The complainant said he did not hear anything during the overnight hours, but the air conditioning was on which drowns out some of the outside noise.

The cost of damage to the vehicle window is approximately $200, and the total for the items stolen is approximately $350.

NCSO considers the investigation closed pending new information.

The Cottage Road car break-in was the second reported over the same time frame. An earlier report from Rochester Road in the Town of Lockport states a window was broken and a car stereo stolen overnight, as well.



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For the second time this season, the Lockport Rampage have bested the Western New York Dragons.

Lockport's semi-pro football team won 32-6 this evening, using "devastating defensive play along with a vicious ground and air attack," according to Rampage Head Coach James Mount.

The teams' first meeting had a similar ending with Lockport winning 30-12 on May 31.

With the win, the Rampage are now 5-0 on the 2014 season.

Mount says the strategy is team.

"We believe in our team as a whole," the coach said following the game. "We all buy into that one goal that's a team championship not individual goals. One unit. One goal."

The home team has a bye next week. Their next outing is July 12 against the Lyndonville Tigers.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A Rochester Road man reported this morning that sometime overnight someone had broken into his vehicle.

The man told Niagara County Sheriff's Deputies around 9:37 a.m. that an unknown person broke a window on his vehicle, made entry, and removed the car radio. He stated he parked and locked his vehicle in the driveway around 10 p.m. Friday and noticed the damage around 9 this morning.

It appeared to patrol that the unknown person removed items from the back porch and used them to break the left rear window to unlock the doors, because a tiki torch and metal grill spatula were found near the scene. The unknown person then removed the black Pioneer car radio valued at $600. The cost of damage to the car window is approximately $200.

The complainant told patrol that his mother may have heard some noises during the overnight hours, but she believed it was her kids, so she did not get up to look at the cause of the noise.

The investigation is closed pending new information.



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LEWISBURG, PA — Andrew Sellers of Newfane has been named to the Dean's List at Bucknell University for the spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year.

Dean's List students have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0. Sellers is the son of Troy and Kimberly Sellers .

Located in Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell University is a highly selective, private, liberal arts university that offers majors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and social and natural sciences, along with broad opportunities outside of class, to its 3,600 undergraduates. Graduate programs are available in select disciplines. Students benefit from a small student-faculty ratio of 9:1, personal attention from faculty, leadership opportunities and excellent graduation rates and career outcomes.



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BURT — A Jockey Road man told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies this morning that someone had stolen his 1997 Nissan Pathfinder overnight.

The complainant told patrol that he parked his vehicle behind his home sometime around around 9 p.m. Friday, leaving it unlocked with the keys in the ignition. When he woke this morning, it was gone.

He said the vehicle had a black hatch and contained a tool box, blue car jack and a black PA speaker.

The man was unsure who may have been responsible. The vehicle was entered into NYSPIN as stolen and the case was forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Bureau.



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SOMERSET — A Somerset woman found out that someone else had used her identity several years ago after she attempted to apply for financial aid for college.

The complainant told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies that another woman had used her social security number in 2006, but never opened any lines of credit. She had been advised that she would have to file a police report in order to resolve the issue and be able to file for financial assistance at school.

The woman told patrol that she does not know the woman who had used her identity in 2006 and never gave anyone permission to use her Social Security number.

NCSO says that the case is closed pending new information.



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NEWFANE — The Newfane Library is giving girls the opportunity to be a Girl Scout for the summer.

The all-girl program will take place from 6 - 7 p.m. Thursdays from July 10 through July 31 for those in grades kindergarten through 8.

A form is available at the library or on the library's Facebook page.

For more information, contact Kelly Garrow at 935-6082.



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A car is stranded in the flood on Willow Street near McIntosh Drive on June 28, 2013. The heavy rains did more than $7 million damage in the city and has some wondering if it might happen again. (FILE PHOTO BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)

Flood hit Lockport June 28, 2013


BY SCOTT LEFFLER
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


June 28, 2013 started like any other day. It was relatively quiet and the National Weather Service called for afternoon rains.

Widewaters Drive-In Restaurant owner Marty Oliveri stands in front of his
shuttered restaurant Thursday. Oliveri hopes to reopen some day but his 
plans are on hold for the time being. (HEATHER N. GRIMMER / 
CONTRIBUTOR)
The rain that came changed the landscape of the City of Lockport for days — in some places it has yet to return what it was before the skies opened.

About five inches of rain fell in East Niagara over the course of just three hours, overwhelming the city's combined storm-sanitation sewer lines, which were designed to push all the water to the city's wastewater treatment plant below the escarpment.

Mayor Anne McCaffrey said Wednesday that the wastewater treatment plant performed as it was designed to — actually even better than it was designed to.

"Techinically everything at the plant worked. It just couldn't work fast enough," she said. "The rain came so fast and so strong that the system was not set up to handle that volume."

The plant normally treats 7 - 9 million gallons of water per day. It's designed to treat 22 million gallons a day. June 28, 2013 it had 93 million gallons to deal with. With the wastewater treatment plant well beyond capacity, the sewer lines backed up into city streets, yards and basements.

Throughout the day, local firefighters pumped out city basements, moving to the next one as soon as they were done with the one they working on. When all was said and done, they'd pumped out about 600 basements in all. But not before mother nature had done her damage. Property was ruined. Memories lost forever.

City officials say that more than $7 million in damage was done by the storm. About $1.2 million of that was to municipal property. The rest was to homes and businesses.

A year after the flood many city residents still have concerns
about city infrastructure and the potential for future flooding.
Leaves cover this storm grate on Jesson Parkway earlier
this week. (STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)
Two days after the storm — on June 30 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a disaster in Niagara County, opening up the state's wallet to allow government to step in and help where homeowners' insurance policies couldn't — or wouldn't. FEMA helped the city out, allowing necessary repairs to the grit collector at the wastewater treatment plant, destroyed by the sheer volume it had to deal with from the storm.

With the water having receded and money on the way, everything was going to go back to the way it was. Almost.

Widewaters Drive-In Restaurant became the public face of the flood. The business' insurance didn't cover any of the $300,000 in damages. It served as a backdrop when Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy came to Lockport to offer assurances. Owner Marty Oliveri was told he'd be taken care of. He was told everything would be alright. He got $50,000 in state aid to put back into the business. He's anxious to do just that. In fact, he said Thursday that he plans to reopen — bigger and better even — but his project is on hold until he receives assurances that the massive flooding of 2013 isn't just going to happen again.

"Thats' exactly why I'm not open is because no one's doing anything to make sure I don't flood again," Oliveri said. "One-hundred percent, I want to reopen the restaurant. That's my livelihood."

"I'm certainly willing to talk to him and see what role the city can take," McCaffrey said of Oliveri's concerns.

The promise Oliveri hopes for, though, is elusive. The same basic situation still exists in the city — an outdated infrastructure coupled with "100-year storms" that seem to happen every few years now.

So what has been done?

First and foremost, McCaffrey noted that the city has put in for a $2 million grant to separate the stormwater and sewerwater pipes on High Street. Doing so will help to alleviate the crush of water that goes to the plant during severe storms.

"You're cleaning rainwater that you don't want to have to clean," she said. Had the rainwater from a year ago been diverted to Eighteenmile Creek or the Erie Canal, the flooding would have been minimal and cleared as soon as it stopped raining.

About 15 to 20 percent of the city is separated. The most recent project was Walnut Street about 10 years ago, McCaffrey said.

Another concern is leaves blocking storm grates, leading to city streets flooding. It's an issue that persists still. In fact, leaves covering storm grates on O'Brien Drive resulted in flooded street Tuesday evening when the area got pummeled by rain.

Massive rains can still lead to flooding, as shown from this
photo taken Tuesday night on O'Brien Drive. (STEPHEN M.
WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)
The 70 million gallons the city saw that day did result in localized flooding in streets, but basements were spared and no property damage was reported, unlike a year ago. McCaffrey, who was in a meeting in City Hall when the torrential downpour began, admits she was a little concerned by the volume of the rain. It was, after all, more than three times the volume the wastewater treatment plant is designed to handle.

As for the flooding caused by the leaves, the mayor insists that the city isn't ignoring the problem with the leaves, it just lacks the manpower to do everything that needs done all at once. So far this summer, the city's primary infrastructure concern has been patching and paving city streets brutalized by a harsh winter.

"I know that people have concerns about the infrastructure," McCaffrey said. "But we have competent people working on it."

Lockport residents hope that Widewaters will reopen. Owner Marty Oliveri says he's committed to bringing the restaurant back bigger and better. (HEATHER N. GRIMMER / CONTRIBUTOR)



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