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Thursday, April 30, 2015
Christoper A. Clancey, 31, 5776 Broadway St., Lancaster, was charged around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday wth DWI, tailgating, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. According to the LPD report, Clancey struck a vehicle on Locust Street then left the scene. The other driver followed him until patrol caught up with him on Dysinger Road, where he was determined to be intoxicated and charged. While being booked, police found what was believed to be marijuana on Clancey. He is due in City Court Monday morning.

Anthony J. Evans Jr., 18, 2520 Tilden Ave., Brooklyn, was charged around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday with trespassing. According to the LPD report, Evans entered a South Transit Street business that he had been previously told he was unwelcome in. He reportedly refused to leave the store when asked — but left when police were called. Evans was found on High Street and charged. He was to be in City Court Wednesday afternoon.

Reginald Cheatham, 46, 14 Tudor Lane., Apt. 2, was charged around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with petit larceny, seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance, and fifth-degree possession of stolen property. According to the arrest report, Cheatham was seen taking items from a South Transit Street business. When police caught up with him, he was found in possession of $35.10 worth of items from the business and a glass pipe with residue that tested positive for cocaine. Cheatham is due in City Court on May 11.

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A 23-year-old Gabriel Drive woman stands accused of theft of services after she allegedly took a NYSEG meter from a Saxton Street home and put it on her own.

Raquel A. Golson, 87 Gabriel Dr., Apt. B, swapped the meter out after having her own NYSEG services shut off for failure to pay, according to the LPD arrest report. The meter had been hooked up and was using NYSEG services for approximately a week.

Lockport police found the meter hooked up to Golson’s home on April 16 — after NYSEG said that the meter from the Saxton Street home had gone missing after Golson’s meter had been taken by the utility company.

NYSEG removed and secured the missing meter. The case was transferred to the detectives division, which concluded that Golson had obtained NYSEG’s services without paying for them.

Golson turned herself in on Tuesday and was arraigned in City Court.

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The third-annual Wine, Cheese & Chocolate fundraiser will be held May 12 at the Barker Chocolate Box inside the Old Post Office.

The event, presented by Relay for Life and Blossoms of Hope, will include a basket raffle, finger foods and a grand prize. Tickets are $20 each, available at the door.

For more information, call 572-4940 or visit

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The National Weather Service forecasts a mostly sunny day today with a high near 58. Overnight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 42.

Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 63 and a low around 44. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 65 and a low around 46. Sunday will also be mostly sunny with a high near 68 and a low around 50.

Monday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 72 and a low around 54. Tuesday offers a chance of more showers with a high near 68 and a low around 48. Wednesday will be partly sunny with a high near 66.

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Summer and fall have their own special bounties, both wild and cultivated, to choose from on the Niagara Frontier. Spring, on the other hand, doesn’t have much to offer in the way of fruits and vegetables as the plants are still growing and recovering from the winter.

That doesn’t mean we are without something for our palates to enjoy. You can find asparagus on roadside stands. And, if you are the adventurous outdoors sort, you can find leeks in our local woods.

What to look for

Leeks often grow in large bunches like this. (PHOTOS BY BOB CONFER / 
This leek is a member of the onion family and also goes by the name of ramp, a name more commonly used in Appalachia. Unlike other wild onions, the leaves and flowers are not seen at the same time.

Instead, in these parts, the leaves come up around the second or third week of April (depending on the
severity and length of the winter) and typically last through the second week of May. Those leaves are eight to 12 inches in length and have reddish stems. They typically grow in tightly-packed clusters, in groups of two to as many as two dozen.

After the leaves have withered you will see in June and July a small cluster of creamy white flowers atop a single, naked stem.

Where to look for them

Leeks are found in cool, somewhat moist woods with rich soils. The best places to look for them are along streams, especially closer to the escarpment where the soils are more conducive to their growth.

That said, public places where they are likely to be found are Royalton Ravine Park in Gasport, the Gulf Wilderness Park in the city of Lockport or the town of Lockport nature trail on Slayton Settlement Road.

How to harvest leeks

Leek bulbs are much smaller than the onions you'll get at the grocery store.
This is the time of year to harvest leeks. To do so, you need only a small spade. Their bulbs are close to the surface (maybe 2” underground), so barely stick the spade in the ground and pop them out. It is that small white, onion-like bulb that you want, although you can also use the leaves (just not the red stems) in salads, and they too have an oniony flavor.

As with any wild plant or animal, sensible harvest is crucial to maintaining both the local and the greater populations. Do not take too many leeks; for a family of four just a dozen bulbs should satisfy what needs you may have for making a springtime dish or two.

If you take too many, you will prevent the leeks in the area from efficiently flowering and spreading their seeds, thus eliminating them from the forest. Plus, it’s laborious for the plants to provide you food: It takes a few years to make a harvestable bulb.

While this isn’t a problem in the Appalachian or Allegheny Mountains where the plants are fairly abundant, it is the further north you go. As a matter of fact, a black market for wild leeks exists in Quebec where years of over-harvest have made them a species of special concern. There, it’s illegal to

have more than 50 bulbs or plants in possession and leeks cannot be sold commercially or by the individual as they are in the south -- it’s not uncommon to see roadside stands selling leeks even here in Western New York (Allegany County).

How to eat leeks

A typical leek leaf. Note the red stems.
Leeks are culinary delights, so much so that, especially in Appalachia, people will take to the woods in small armies to harvest them each spring. There are numerous, well-attended ramp festivals throughout the Virginias, the Carolinas, and Tennessee, some festivals having attendance measured in the thousands and, in the case of the Cosby Ramp Festival, the tens of thousands. There, the pungent plants, which smell like garlic but have a more subtle onion flavor, are served in a number of ways, fried individually, put in eggs, pickled or turned into soup.

Here in Western New York, maybe due to some of us having German heritage, leek and potato soup seems to be the preferred dining option.

That’s how I eat them and this is the simple recipe that I’ve used over the years (serves 8):


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 12 to 14 leeks (sliced)
  • 4 large russet potatoes (peeled, diced)
  • 9 cups of vegetable broth or chicken/turkey stock depending on your preference 


  • Melt butter in a saucepan. Add leeks and cover; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often. 
  • Add potatoes. Cover and cook, stirring often, until potatoes begin to soften. 
  • Add the broth or stock. Boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender (about a half hour). 
  • Puree until potatoes and leeks are smooth. Season with salt and pepper.   

+Bob Confer lives in rural Gasport where springtime means leeks and, in turn, a stinky kitchen. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer or email him at

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New York State Police are asking for the public's help in
getting details about the theft of an air compressor just like
the one seen here. (PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY NYSP)
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — The New York State Police are asking for the public's help in getting details about the recent larceny of an air compressor.

The yellow 2004 Kaeser portable air compressor, Model M57, was stolen from the front parking lot of Ross Rental, 6722 Lincoln Ave.

It was last seen on Sunday. The compressor has a Ross Rental sticker on the side of the equipment.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Inv. Thomas Gibbons at 434-1245.

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The Lockport City School District is holding a literacy event from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at North Park Junior High School, 160 Passaic Ave.

The event will include:

  • Scholastic Book Fair
  • Basket raffle
  • Free books to take home
  • Special guest read alouds
  • Literacy activities created by Niagara University graduate students
  • Spotlight on local authors
  • Informational displays by The Lockport Library (book fine forgiveness & free library cards), The Literacy Zone, Adult Literacy Services, Lockport YMCA, PAWS, and the Lockport City School District
  • Refreshments

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By +Scott Leffler

Rob Ortt
ALBANY — New York state secured an additional $47.5 million in federal transit grant funds to enhance the mobility of senior citizens and people with disabilities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

This funding is available to programs run by non-profit groups, local governments and other agencies that meet the unique needs of transit-dependent populations beyond the services provided by traditional sources of public transportation, as well as paratransit services in connection with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This $47 million will provide essential services to people with unique transportation needs, and ultimately improve their quality of life,” Gov. Cuomo said. “By supporting programs that offer transit alternatives to the elderly and people with disabilities, we are enhancing mobility and making a difference in the lives of New Yorkers across the state. I encourage all eligible organizations to apply for this funding today.”

The funding is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration’s Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program.

State Sen. Rob Ortt is encouraging the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to apply for a portion of the grant to help keep fixed bus routes and Paratransit services from being cut.  

This push follows Ortt's concerns about a bus route, and subsequently its Paratransit line, that’s in jeopardy of being discontinued.

Ortt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, said, “I fought for the NFTA in Albany, and was able to help secure a total of $6.4 million, so that people with disabilities or impairments, who rely heavily on the Paratransit service, wouldn’t have to worry about how they would get to their next doctor’s appointment if their route were to be cut. Unfortunately, the money set aside in the budget wasn’t enough to avoid disruption, but upon eligibility, this transit funding program could be the solution to the NFTA’s problems.”

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A mural planned for the side of Mills Jewelers on Main Street will be visible by westbound Erie Canal traffic. The mural design will be unveiled Tuesday evening at the Historic Palace Theatre. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)


After nearly nine months of discussion and planning, organizers of the "Mural on Main" project are ready to unveil the design chosen to liven up the side of Mills Jewelers.

The side of this building had been hidden by the former parking ramp. Now
that the ramp is gone, a group of Lockport residents is raising money to 
spruce up the view. 
A 7:30 p.m. Tuesday public event at the Historic Palace Theatre will begin with a video presentation and the highly anticipated rendering reveal of the mural. Internationally known muralist, Augustina Droze will expound upon the inspiration and the process.

Following, at 8 p.m., the public will have a chance to meet the artist and purchase a limited edition signed print of the mural. Refreshments will be served by Cream and Sugar Café.

While the event is free, attendees who contribute a donation of any amount will be eligible to win a pair of season tickets to the Palace Theatre’s 2015-2016 live Broadway Style season.

The Mural on Main is a project dependent entirely on community contributions. Recently the Grigg-Lewis Foundation pledged $10,000 toward the project as a matching grant. Organizer, George Fritz reports that the public has donated 34% of the funds needed to receive that matching grant. The total budget for the mural has been reduced to $35,000. Savings were realized by changing the method of installation from scaffolding to boom lifts. Funds need to be raised by July 30 to make the mural a reality.

The mural will depict the historic flight of five locks while it represents the progress of current day and the promise of the future. The artwork will fill the entire 42-foot high, 60-foot wide wall facing the Main Street parking lot. It’s highly visible to Main Street traffic and even to boats traveling the Erie Canal. The wall was exposed after the former parking ramp was torn town two years ago. Painting is expected to take place in September and take about a month to complete. Residents will be able to watch the daily progress in person and on social media.

Tax deductible donations can be made at the event on Tuesday evening by cash, check or credit card. Information will also be shared on how the public can help raise the funds needed to complete the mural. Donations can also be sent to Mural on Main, POB 123, Lockport, NY 14095. Checks should be made payable to the Niagara County Historical Society.


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Glenn A. “Bud” Rhoades passed away April 27, 2015 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst.

Born in Lockport on July 14, 1928 he was the son of Glenn R. and Clara M. (Krull) Rhoades. Bud worked for Try It Distribution for 42 years where he was beer salesman retiring in September 1989. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. He was predeceased by his wife Jean (Olear) Rhoades on October 25, 2006.

Glenn is survived by his children Glenn (Julie) Rhoades III of Hammond, LA, Cheryl (Ron Moyer) Laspada and Scott (Terri) Rhoades both of Lockport; grandfather of Jennifer(Shelby) Byrd, Holly (Joby) Johnson, Ryan Glenn Rhoades IV, Brandon Laspada, Brent (Jennifer) Laspada, Russell Moyer, Ben Moyer, Elizabeth (David) Edmister, and Megan Rhoades; great grandfather of Emily, Collin, Sydnee, Gavin, Cody, Glenn V, Concette, Julian, Ethyn, Sydney, Luca, and Gianni; brother of the late Jane Marie Bent; and also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Sunday, May 3rd from 1-5 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, May 4th at 10 AM in St. John the Baptist RC Church, 168 Chestnut St., Lockport.  Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Memorials to the church would be appreciated by the family.


Arthur A. Bach, Sr. passed away April 28, 2015 in Absolut of Gasport.

Born in Buffalo on April 12, 1929 he was the son of Edward and Mildred (Brunner) Bach. Arthur was a truck driver and various local companies, was a member of the Redman Club and enjoyed playing cards, working on puzzles and being with his family. He was predeceased by his former wife Magdaline (Schillinger) Bach in 2007.

Arthur is survived by his children Thomas (Karen) Bach of Connecticut, Susan (Peter) Rickard, Arthur Bach, Jr., and Alan (Tammy) Bach all of Lockport; grandfather of five and great grandfather of seven; brother of Leatrice “Sis” Kopec-Weiser of North Tonawanda and the late Dorothy, Donald, William, Edward, Mildred and Richard; also several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Friday, May 1st from 6-8 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport. Private interment will be in Cold Springs Cemetery.



BARKER — The Barker Lions will hold their annual Mother’s Day Chicken Barbecue beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 10.

Meals, consisting of a half chicken, baked beans, salt potatoes and dessert, will be available at the Lions Community Building on Main Stree. Presale tickets are $9 each; at the door is $10.

Tickets can be purchased from any Barker Lion, at The Winery at Marjim Manor, and at Bittner-Singer Orchards. To reserve tickets, email or call 778-7001 or 778-7330.

As part of Lions International, the Barker club is one of the 45,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographic areas. Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes. Founded in 1917, the association’s motto is “We Serve.” Lions are known for their service to persons who are blind and
visually impaired. Members participate in a vast variety of projects and strive to make a difference in their local community and in communities worldwide.

During the past year, the Barker Lions:

  • Provided eye exams and glasses for those in our community who could not
  • afford it.
  • Provided hearing aids for those who could not afford them.
  • Built ramps for those in our community with physical challenges
  • Gave four deserving seniors college scholarships
  • Held a Halloween party for elementary school students
  • Continued our charter sponsorship of the Boy Scouts
  • Sponsored a Little League team
  • Donated to the food pantry and holiday baskets
  • Provided funding for the Radio Reading Service, including placing radios in the community
  • Maintained the community building so that many groups such as the American Legion, Boy Scouts and Lighthouse Optimists could use it
  • Held pancake breakfasts to support the Music Boosters in their fundraising efforts
  • Gave out the Robert Uplinger and Melvin Jones Awards to recognize those in the community, not necessarily Lions, for their contributions.
The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Barker Lions Community Building. They welcome those who wish to join them.

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City street crews were out this morning and afternoon filling potholes on and around Main Street. Here a crew attends to a hole on Locust Street near Main Street. One city worker said they unloaded five truckloads of asphalt into potholes around the city today. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP PHOTOGRAPHER)

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The Arielle-Khrystiana Studio will present a spring recital, featuring students of all ages and abilities at 6 p.m. May 8 at All Saints Parish, 76 Church St.

A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. For more information or to RSVP,call: 860-9434.

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Harold R. Donelson passed away April 28, 2015.

Born in Lockport on November 4, 1956 he was the son of James A. and Roxie O. (Peyatt) Donelson. Harold worked as a roofer for various local companies and enjoyed hunting, motorcycles, four wheeling, and being with family and friends.  He is survived by his wife of 38 years Cathy (Spillman) Donelson; father of Mike, Joe (Shannon), and Tammy Donelson; three grandson and five granddaughters; brother of George and Gary Donelson; several nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.


SHELBY — A 24-year-old Lockport man was charged with marijuana possession following a weekend traffic stop at a DWI sobriety checkpoint on State Route 32.

Joseph J. Pippard was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after Troopers detected an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. He was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Shelby Court on Thursday.

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Anthony J. Evans Jr., 18, 2520 Tilden Ave., Brooklyn, was charged around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday with trespassing and third-degree menacing. According to the LPD report, Evans attempted to return items to a South Transit Street store and was irate when he was told he couldn’t return them. He yelled at the store clerk and threatened her. He was asked to leave the store and told he was no longer welcome there. He left and returned twice more, the report says. He was found by LPD and charged. He is due in City Court on May 11 to answer to the charges.

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For decades, the people of the United States have been screaming that our own government doesn’t seem to care about us. During the presidential campaigns, every candidate lays out this extravagant platform of domestic policies that sound pretty good to a lot of people. But once the President of the United States takes office, the focus shifts to countries around the world.

It has to stop and it has to stop now.

The schools, roads, and bridges throughout the United States are crumbling. The gap between the haves and have nots is widening and the have nots have even less than they did just 30 years ago. The state and local governments are handcuffed either by incompetence, or by a lack of funding just for the basic necessities.

Why are the schools of the United States falling apart and being underfunded when schools in Iraq and Afghanistan are receiving American financial support? Why is the infrastructure of the United States allowed to crumble while Israel gets billions of dollars every year in American funding? Where are our priorities?

I just heard on CNN that 36 percent of Baltimore children live in poverty. These kids have crumbling schools, old textbooks, and no hope for the future. Sure, you can make your own future if you are ambitious enough. But good schools give kids the kind of foundations they need to chase those opportunities. When the schools are underfunded and falling apart, what kind of future does that give the kids to look forward to?

Then you have parents like the Mom of the Year who plucked her teenage son out of the gang of teenage looters, whipped his butt on national television, and then took him home. How many parents in Baltimore, or anywhere else, are willing or able to fight for their kids like that? How many single parents are working two jobs and unable to provide the kind of solid home life that kids need to break out of their situation and get into something better?

This isn’t just a Baltimore problem, this is happening all over the country. Cities all over the country are so impoverished that they cannot hire the teachers, firefighters, and police they need to keep their communities functioning. And what is our government worrying about? Iran. Iraq. North Korea. Afghanistan. Everywhere but the United States.

I am not insinuating that we need the government to swoop in and save the people, but there is supposed to be a reason why we have a government and our government has stopped fulfilling that reason. The riots in Baltimore, Ferguson, and New York City are just the anger boiling over at the gap between the truly wealthy and the poor. It is the fuse that was lit by the powerkeg that is a lack of opportunity. The rich control too much in the United States and the government is too busy running the rest of the world to do anything about it. Even if our government was paying attention to our own country, the rich own the government and that makes it really difficult for things to change.

I’m not naïve. I understand that the American way of life must be protected at all costs or else we, as a country, become obsolete. But maybe if we spent more time trying to be a member of the international community instead of dictating what we want from everyone else around the world, then maybe other countries would find pride in doing things themselves and stop trying to either please the mighty United States, or take it down.

Our country is coming apart at the seams and President Obama can blame “thugs” all he wants and he is partially correct. But what is it about this country now that entices young people to join in on looting and riots instead of staying home? I would dare say that if the local, state, and federal governments indicate that they do not care about the country, then why should the country care about itself?

When the war on terrorism started, there was this switch that was flicked on in the United States that set a series of bad things in motion. We became obsessed with the rest of the world and did not seem to care if our own country fell apart. It suddenly became so important that the rest of the world do what we say that we started deploying our military to back up our words. Nothing we are doing is working to anybody’s advantage except for the contractors that run the American war machine. They get richer while the rest of the country gets poorer. When does it stop?

I don’t want to sound cold and heartless, but I am starting to not care if children in North Africa have decent schools and good healthcare. I don’t care because millions of our own children in the United States lack schools and healthcare. How can the land of opportunity claim its crown when there is no opportunity for the average citizen anymore?

Baltimore will happen again somewhere else. And, once again, everyone will miss the point of what is going on. Riots happen when people are angry. Looting happens when people no longer care about their own communities or their own country. When both start happening on a regular basis, then it is time for a change before we destroy ourselves.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and fears for the future of his country. His column appears each week and you can send feedback to Follow him on Twitter at @georgenroot3.

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The National Weather Service calls for a sunny day with a high near 67. Overnight will be partly cloudy with a low around 43.

Thursday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 60 and a low around 44. Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 60 and a low around 44. Saturday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 65 and a low around 46.

Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high near 68 and a low around 49. Monday brings a chance of showers with a high near 71 and a low around 52. Tuesday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 70.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GASPORT — Hartland United Methodist Church is planning a drive-thru BBQ dinner from noon to 2 p.m. June 14.

Options include a 1/2 chicken dinner or a pulled pork sandwich.

Tickets are available now for $10 from Ellen Flack (799-7426), Doug Flack (795-9217), or any Hartland UMC member. They are $10 each.

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Evelyn N. Carpenter of Barker, NY formerly of Wrights Corners, NY entered into rest suddenly on Monday, April 27, 2015 at home.

She was born on June 18, 1945 in Leicester North, England, the daughter of the late Roy and Doris Read Rutherford. She worked as a Senior Companion for HANCI for many years. Member of Solid Rock Assembly of God in Gasport, NY and the Barker Senior Citizens, also loved shopping and enjoyed life.

Mother of Robin (John) Wittcop of Appleton, NY, Sherry (Tom) Poczciwinski of Barker, NY and Stacy Carpenter of Gasport, NY. Sister of Roy C. (Mona) Rutherford, Margaret R. (George) Davis, Paul D. Rutherford, Judy S. (John) Willis, Gale L. Rutherford, Wanda L. (Al) Wolfe, Glenn L. Rutherford, Kirk D. (Jeanine) Rutherford, Scott Rutherford and the late John L. Rutherford and Annie Cain. Also survived by five grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Family and friends may call at the RUTLAND-CORWIN FUNERAL HOME, INC. 1708 Pallister Ave. Barker, NY. THURSDAY 2-4 & 7-9 PM. Funeral services will be held FRIDAY at 10:00 AM at Solid Rock Assembly of God 8590 Rochester Road Gasport, NY 14067. Memorials to Solid Rock Assembly of God, Gasport, NY would be appreciated by the family.

Please visit to send the condolences to the family.


ELMIRA — Three East Niagara Students were named for their academic achievement today when Elmira College released its Dean's List for Academic Achievement for Term II, 2015.

The Dean's List recognizes students that have a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

Local students who made the cut include:

  • Thomas Bragg of Gasport, a member of the class of 2017
  • Courtney VanBuren of Middleport, a member of the class of 2018
  • Kerri Wertman of Lockport, a member of the class of 2017

Elmira College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college founded in 1855, located in Elmira, New York. The College has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1,200 full-time students, of which 13 percent are valedictorians or salutatorians of their high schools or preparatory schools. Students come from 35 states and more than 20 countries.

Elmira College's mission is to offer its students both liberal and professional education of sufficient breadth and depth to enable them to pursue successful, rewarding careers. The College blends academic rigor, distinctive programs, and theory and practice beyond the classroom to prepare students to be tomorrow's leaders. Academic programs are steeped in the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, with special attention given to the refinement of communication skills and the exploration of world cultures.

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Arthur H. Trapper, of Lockport, passed away April 27, 2015 in the VA Hospital in Buffalo.

Born in Buffalo on August 10, 1930 he was the son of Arthur and Georgiana (Schnell) Trapper. He served in the Army during the Korean War. Arthur worked for G & G Sales (supplier to Tops Friendly Markets) where he was an account executive retiring in 1995. He was a talented piano, organ and accordion player.  He is also known for being an avid Gardner at the family home on Thistle Lea in Williamsville. Arthur was predeceased by his wife Patricia (Lee) Trapper on August 11, 2012.

Arthur is survived by his children Linda Trapper-Trankle, Thomas (Rae House) Trapper, Lori (Dave Belcher) Trapper, Scott (Norma) Trapper, John (Carlos Castro) Trapper, and Christopher (Hania Khuri) Trapper; grandfather of Kelly Anne, Timothy Shaddock, Jessica, John, Jamie Trankle, Patrick, Daniel, Sami, and Faris Trapper; loving dog Cookie.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.


"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" will be premiering at the Historic Palace Theatre Thursday night. The Transit Drive-In will also have an early showing of the expected blockbuster. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

The summer blockbuster movie season unofficially kicks off Thursday night with special screenings of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

The Historic Palace Theatre on Main Street and the Transit Drive-In Theater will both offer viewers a chance to see the new release Thursday night at highly promoted screenings.

The drive-in will debut the flick with a rare single feature at 8:45 p.m. Gates will open 45 minutes earlier. The 141-minue movie will be paired with Disney's Cinderella for Friday, Saturday and Sunday showings. The classic downtown movie house, meanwhile, will hold its advance screening at 9 p.m. It plans to run the movie through May 21.

ENP movie critic +George N Root III complained Sunday that the movies so far this season have been lackluster and cheered the opening of the latest in the series of Marvel comic book movies, saying it kicks off a string of great movies to come.

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner reprising their roles from previous Marvel movies, including the original 2012 Avengers, which grossed $623 million in the U.S.


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BINGHAMTON — Lockport resident Anthony Giamberdino, an Iraq War veteran, has been named Command Sergeant Major of the New York Army National Guard's Binghamton-based 204th Engineer Battalion.

As Command Sergeant Major, Giamberdino is the highest ranking enlisted Soldier in the unit, responsible for providing advice to the battalion commander on the training, morale, and readiness of the Soldiers in the battalion's four companies. The battalion, which has been mobilized repeatedly to respond to state natural disasters, has elements in Binghamton, Buffalo, Kingston, Cortlandt Manor, Horseheads and Walton.

Giamberdino joined the Army Reserve in 1991 and was trained as a combat engineer. In 1993 he joined the 827th Engineer Company of the New York Army National Guard. At that time the unit was a Sapper company, trained to reduce obstacles under enemy fire so that infantrymen and other combat elements could advance.

In December 2003 he mobilized as an engineer squad leader to support the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry which deployed to Iraq. His eight-man squad was attached to Company B 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, which was operating out of Balad Iraq in 2004.

 The squad supported the infantry company by conducting route reconnaissance and assisting in the destruction of improvised explosive devices. The team also supported Iraq elections held that year.

Giamberdino has served in a variety of leadership positions to include platoon sergeant and 1st Sergeant of the 152nd Engineer Support Company.

He has supported a number of state active duty missions to include the National Guard response the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the response to Tropical Storms Lee and Irene in 2011, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the Buffalo lake effect snow storm in November 2014.

Giamberdino holds an Associates Degree in Architecture from Erie County Community College and also studied Engineering at the University of Buffalo.

He and his wife have four children.

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The National Weather Service calls for cloudy skies this morning gradually becoming mostly sunny with a high near 60 and a low around 40.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 61 and a low around 44. Thursday, there's a slight chance of showers with a high near 60 and a low around 46. Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 63 and a low around 44.

Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 64 and a low around 46. Sunday will also be mostly sunny with a high near 66 and a low around 49. Monday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 71.

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Conspiracy theorists will love the book that is being reviewed this week. This book is full of some riveting conspiracies. What if the government could take you off the morning train and make you disappear completely, without warning or warrant? What if these governmental officials were a bit overzealous in their interpretation of the Patriot Act? What if what you thought was reality was simply a carefully orchestrated fantasy? All these questions and more will bring you to the edge of your seat as you read "Fifty Mice: A Novel" by Daniel Pyne.

The story starts with Jay Johnson boarding the commuter train as he heads off to work. While assisting a seemingly helpless elderly woman, he finds himself trapped on the train with his own bags still on the platform and people who seem to be following his every move just a bit too closely. He feels a prick, and then falls into darkness.

After this first, quick-paced chapter, we move back in time several days. Jay is visiting his friend, Vaughn, at his place of employment. Vaughn works in a laboratory where he studies mice as they work their way through a maze. Different rewards or punishments deliver different results as each mouse learns the expectations. The 50 mice almost seem like a feint in the rest of the novel, but there is much more to the symbolism of the mice. It speaks of experiments meant to implant false memories in mice. This is what seems to happening with our protagonist.

Once we make our way through the aside with Vaughn, Jay wakes up in a place that he does not recognize, handcuffed to a hospital bed “for his own safety.” It is explained that he was not kidnapped. He was just forcibly taken into protective custody over something the government believes he may have seen. His guards assure him he is a guest, not a prisoner. Jay is taken to Catalina Island where he will live in witness protection until his handlers deem it safe.

Meanwhile, back in the world Jay left behind, his history is irrevocably changed. His former fiance, Stacy, is told Jay has been sent permanently to an asylum. His best friend is told the same thing, but is also instructed on how to react when Jay shows up at his laboratory.

Back on Catalina Island, Jay is renamed Jimmy, although he insists on Jay. He is put up in a house with a woman, Ginger, and her mute daughter, Helen. The fiction being passed off is that they are a family living on the island in relative serenity. However, there is something mysterious about the family he has acquired and the town that seems to be more governmental officials and other protected citizens than normal residents. And they all want to know what he’s seen, even if he has no clue as to what they’re talking about.

This is where the book gets a little tedious. Jay spends a lot of his time trying to figure out what is real and what his handlers want him to think is real. The rest of his time is trying to escape from the island. There is not a lot of action in this part of the narrative as Jay formulates his plans.  The action in this story slows as Jay tries to make it appear he is finally accepting his predicament. It is during this time he makes a breakthrough with his “daughter,” Helen.

Jay finally makes his escape and returns to his home to meet up with Stacy. He finds her having moved on with her life after his disappearance, though her new boyfriend may not be all that he seems to be. Jay continues to question his reality. Later, when he convinces Vaughn to meet with him, only to have his best friend apparently kidnapped, Jay determines that there is more going on with his incarceration.

Jay returns to Catalina Island to find his home empty. Ginger and Helen are gone. He realizes that he misses their company despite the idea of having his own family was not a high priority of his. He demands their return, stating he will tell his captors nothing until the girls are back home with him. It is at this point the action really picks up in the narrative.

Jay convinces Ginger and Helen to escape from the island with him. He feels at this point that they are his family. Faced with madmen from both the government and others, Jay finally learns the truth as to what information they were expecting him to divulge. After a dramatic, adrenaline-filled showdown with his captors Jay understands what he has been held for, and understands what he wants with his life. The time he spent in protective custody has changed his perspective on life.

The most intriguing aspect of this book is how often the perception of what is real has to be questioned. While Jay is confused about his surroundings, the reader is drawn into the narrative as he or she attempts to separate fact from fiction.

Daniel Pyne, a screenwriter, writes like he is setting the stage for television or screen. For the most part in this novel, it works well. In other places, his career as a screenwriter plainly shows through the thinness of the plot. Visually, your actors and actresses can fill in what the screenwriter has missed with their expressions, body language and ad-libs. When it’s committed to the page, that safety net is missing. There were a few places where that shortcoming is readily noticed.

Overall, "Fifty Mice" by Daniel Pyne is a well-written thriller that will keep you engaged for the most part. There is a lengthy section in the middle of the book the reader must muddle through, but it does help set the stage for action at the end of the book. Daniel Pyne will take you on a thrill ride that delivers great action to begin the story, and greater action to finish it.

Pyne uses language that is easy to follow and does not fall into endless cliche. His characters, especially the confusion of Jay, reverberate with authenticity. Ginger, the most mysterious of his characters, holds back on exposing who she really is, not only in action, but also in the way he delivers her dialogue. Her words are stunted and terse, rendering Jay and the reader ignorant to her real intentions.

Some of Daniel Pyne’s accomplishments include the remake of "The Manchurian Candidate," "Pacific Heights," and "Fracture." He has a large list of television credits and has previously published two other novels, "Twenty-Nine Palms" and "A Hole in the Ground Owned By a Liar." Despite the lull in the center of the tale, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other works by him. I’m hoping that as he continues to write novels, he hones his craft to write even greater novels.

This review was supposedly written by +Craig Bacon . You can follow his ramblings on Twitter at @hippieboy73.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

The Kenan Center is holding its second "Get to know your Kenan Center" gathering at 10 a.m. Friday.

The Kenan Center's board president and executive director will be on hand to share what's happening at the Center and to hear from area residents.

Light breakfast items and beverages will be served during the free event, which will take place in the Kenan House, 433 Locust St.

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BUFFALO — Nearly three dozen East Niagara residents were honored by Buffalo State for achieving at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA after completing 45 credit hours (30 credit hours for transfer students). Each student received an honors pin.

Local students honored include:

  • Rebecca Crafts of Burt, majoring in art education K-12
  • Peter Mayers of Lockport, majoring in biology
  • Robert Burns of Lockport, majoring in business administration
  • Esther Ekong of Lockport, majoring in business administration
  • Alison Kalata of Lockport, majoring in business administration
  • Taylor Peterkin of Newfane, majoring in business administration
  • Sarah Scott of Gasport, majoring in business administration
  • David Bartholomew of Middleport, majoring in career and technical education
  • Jillian Beatty of Lockport, majoring in career and technical education
  • Kimberly Mitchell of Lockport, majoring in childhood education
  • Aaron Mullins of Lockport, majoring in childhood education
  • Jessica Smith of Newfane, majoring in childhood education
  • Judith Wells of Lockport, majoring in childhood education
  • Kathleen Shaw of Burt, majoring in childhood education and English
  • Nicole Huntington of Gasport, majoring in childhood education and social studies
  • Walter Sidor of Lockport, majoring in computer information systems
  • Adam Stockton of Lockport, majoring in computer information systems
  • Anna Copeland of Lockport, majoring in dietetics
  • Melissa Rosenburg of Lockport, majoring in dietetics
  • Deanna Flanigan of Middleport, majoring in early childhood and childhood education
  • Dana Mastropoll of Lockport, majoring in early childhood education
  • Crystal Vesneske of Middleport, majoring in electrical engineering technology
  • Brittany Murphy of Lockport, majoring in health and wellness
  • Anthony Fabrizio of Lockport, majoring in history
  • Sara Dannebrock of Lockport, majoring in individualized studies
  • Christy Ventura of Lockport, majoring in mathematics 7-12
  • Tatiana Brewer of Middleport, majoring in music
  • Marissa Parker of Lockport, majoring in music education
  • Timothy Schuler of Lockport, majoring in physics
  • Meghan Batt of Lockport, majoring in psychology
  • Christopher Miller of Newfane, majoring in psychology
  • Ashley Wetzel of Lockport, majoring in psychology
  • Charity Wimmer of Lockport, majoring in public communication
  • Jonathan Boje of Lockport, majoring in social studies 7-12
  • Deborah Branch of Appleton, majoring in social work

Buffalo State belongs to the State University of New York. We offer more than 170 undergraduate programs in the arts, education, professional studies, and science on our 125-acre campus located in the heart of Buffalo's cultural corridor.

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Jane Corwin
ALBANY — The New York State Assembly today approved another provision of the "Women's Equality Agenda."

The bill, which assures equal pay for women, was unanimously approved. A similar Senate bill was approved in January. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will sign the bill.

Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, R-Clarence, and Gov. Cuomo each issued statements today about the issue. They follow in their entirety.
Today, I was proud to vote for another plank of the 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda: equal pay. Having long advocated for these bills to be individually voted on, I am pleased these bills are finding their way to the Assembly floor for a vote, and I hope each of the remaining provisions will be voted on before the end of this year’s legislative session. Ensuring that all citizens are paid fairly for their work is an important measure for all New Yorkers, and today’s vote shows that when Albany is willing to put partisanship aside we are able to come together to do the job we were sent here to do: represent our constituents and improve the safety, affordability and quality of life for all New Yorkers.

— Assemblywoman Jane Corwin
The women of New York have waited far too long for this day to come. My administration was proud to introduce this legislation two years ago to address the discrepancy in pay that – even in 2015 -- still exists between men and women in the workplace. This discrimination is wrong, and will be addressed across New York with the signing of this bill. All women deserve to receive a paycheck based on their position and job performance rather than their gender. Today, with the Assembly’s passage of the fair pay provision of the Women’s Equality Act, the Empire State is taking a firm stand in support of equal pay for women in the workplace, and I look forward to signing this legislation as we continue to advance and ensure the rights of women across New York State.

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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Lockport-area jumped another eight cents, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report. The average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area, was $2.634, same from $2.551 last week and $3.861 this time last year. The national average is $2.536.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline climbed above $2.50 per gallon late last week for the first time in more than four months. Average prices have now increased by 15 cents per gallon in just two weeks. This recent increase has been the product of rising global crude prices, the seasonal switch to summer-blend gasoline and regional refinery issues, particularly on the West Coast. The national average continues to reflect a significant discount of $1.16 per gallon in comparison to this same date last year.

The deadline for terminals to switchover to summer-grade gasoline is May 1. Select markets that require reformulated gasoline or experience localized refinery issues may see prices move more dramatically in the spring. Following the transition to summer-blend gasoline and as refineries complete seasonal maintenance, the national average may return to below $2.50 per gallon, though much of the forecast will depend on what happens with the cost of crude oil.

Global crude oil prices rose again last week due to geopolitical tensions in Yemen and the declining strength of the U.S. dollar. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil finished at its highest price in approximately four months and Brent Crude also posted weekly gains. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 59 cents at $57.15 per barrel.

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State Sen. Rob Ortt says planned NFTA cuts will hurt riders of its Paratransit service. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


State Sen. Rob Ortt urged the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) today to reconsider its proposed plan to discontinue some of its fixed bus routes, which would consequently impact its Paratransit service.

The NFTA announced it planned to eliminate Route 57 — running between Niagara Falls and Tonawanda — as of June 21.

Paratransit Transportation is a van service used by individuals with permanent or temporary disabilities who are medically eligible.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Ortt said he fears cuts to the system would be a quality-of-life issue with those in the disabled community. The transit service is readily accessible and affordable for an individual who has a physical or mental impairment.

“When a fixed bus route is eliminated, the Paratransit system goes with it, unfortunately,” Ortt said via a press release. “I understand ridership is down and certain routes are not being used to its fullest potential, however, alternatives are few for those who use Paratransit, and they depend on it. This public transportation is key for independence for disabled riders.”    
Sen. Ortt said he and his colleagues fought for more money in Albany for the NFTA — a total of $6.4 million for the NFTA in the recently adopted New York State Budget. Of that amount, $2.5 million was earmarked to help the NFTA maintain current schedules for some of its bus routes. And, $3.9 million is for capital assistance.

Sen. Ortt says he is willing to sit down with the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners and the Western New York Delegation to discuss options to reconfigure possible effected bus routes throughout the Buffalo Niagara region in order to maintain the current Paratransit system.    

An NFTA response to Ortt's press release says that Metro is presently working on rerouting Route 25 to cover much of the eliminated portion of the 57 after June 21 and will be continue to offer Paratransit service for the eliminated portion of Route 57 through March 31, 2016, in order to give riders an opportunity to make other arrangements going forward.

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Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey has called a special meeting of the Common Council for 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

According to a press release from the mayor's office, the "subject of this special meeting is Assessment Service for the City of Lockport."

No further details were immediately available.

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The National Weather Service calls for scattered showers today with a high near 51. Overnight, there's a slight chance of showers with a low around 41.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 63 and a low around 40. Wednesday will also be mostly sunny with a high near 65 and a low around 44. Thursday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 64 and a low around 43.

Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 62 and low around 43. Saturday also looks to be partly sunny with a high near 64 and a low around 44. Sunday: Partly sunny with a high near 66.

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This drive-in season is not getting off to a great start as the first three movies we have gone to see have been really, really bad. At least Furious 7 had the decency to play to its audience and put out a movie that was entertaining to the franchise’s large, worldwide audience. The first Paul Blart movie came out in 2009 and was a huge financial success, but failed miserably with the critics. In the movie business, money talks louder than the critics and a sequel was put into motion.

It took six years to create a sequel to a movie that was based on Kevin James falling down and acting like a jittery moron for 90 minutes. With such names as Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Nick Bakay signing on to be part of the sequel after delivering pure magic together in the first Paul Blart movie, we were assured of a comedic masterpiece that would change the way we look at comedy. Or we would get another pile of garbage that, this time, people would refuse to go see.

I had no expectations at all for Paul Blart 2 and the movie couldn’t even reach that level. There were two moments where we actually laughed at the movie and one of those moments didn’t even involve Kevin James. The Blart schtick gets old very quickly and this was another movie where we wanted to leave after only 15 or 20 minutes, but decided to hang out and see if it got any better.

I actually like Kevin James’ stand-up material and I thought that the King of Queens was a funny show. But I fail to see how James’ jittery delivery is supposed to translate to the big screen. I hate to say it, but his weight is his biggest movie punchline and that gets old quickly as well. In Paul Blart 2, there was just too much focus on the idea of a “fat guy running around doing stuff” instead of developing good comedy. I could not help but think that the Paul Blart franchise is something that Jim Carrey could have probably made funny because, well, Jim Carrey can act.

There are so many tired and overused clichés in this movie that there isn’t enough space to list all of them. The more dominant ones are “fat guy gets hot chick” and “daughter of inept father somehow learns to be more competent at his job than he is.” It wasn’t until Mini Kiss showed up towards the end of the movie that any laughs could be heard in our car or any of the cars around us. Two vehicles left the movie early, and I envied them.

I know it is comedy, but there were also way too many instances of things happening that just did not make any sense or have any basis in reality whatsoever. For example, Paul Blart somehow ends up with a wig at the end of the movie, but yet we never see any way in which he was able to procure such a wig. Then we get to watch as Paul Blart somehow plays the role of two people to fool the bad guy, but when Blart turns around to reveal himself, he is the only one there. Where did the other guy go that was just standing next to you? Where the hell did you get that wig???

I found myself asking too many questions throughout the movie to enjoy it. I really tried to just let this be the dumb comedy it was supposed to be, but the movie simply is not funny at all. The jokes are old, the slapstick is the old fat guy schtick and the story … what the hell was the story anyways?

The point is that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is just as bad as the title makes it sound. Kevin James needs to stick to stand-up and get the hell away from Adam Sandler. I am not sure how Adam Sandler is continually allowed to make movies, but he needs to stop because he is making Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow look funny and that is not easy.

Rating: 1/8 out of 5

+George N Root III is a drive-in junkie who is able to watch movies like Paul Blart 2 only because he is at the drive-in. Next week is when the summer really starts with the Avengers movie! It is about time!

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