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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SANBORN — Traffic is back to normal after a crash scene has been cleared on Route 31 in Sanborn.

The road was closed to traffic between Route 429 and Baer Road around 1:40 p.m., following the crash.

According to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, a westbound vehicle on Route 31 struck a road sign at Campbell Boulevard and continued westbound without stopping. A few minutes later, the vehicle was in a head-on two-vehicle collision on Route 31 near Baer Road.

Investigation reveals, the earlier involved vehicle, a gray 2005 Toyota Camry, had crossed over into the eastbound lane of traffic, striking a 2006 Kia Optima. Witnesses described the Toyota as being operated recklessly. The operator of the Toyota was pronounced dead at the scene. The operator of the Kia was extricated extricated from his vehicle by Sanborn Fire Company and then flown by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of several fractures.

Investigation is continuing by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office Accident Investigation Unit.

The New York State Department of Transportation had said the road could be closed for up to six hours, but it cleared in a little over three hours.

NOTE: Story updated at 5:29 p.m. with details of the crash.

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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 25-year-old Niagara Falls man stopped Monday for following too closely was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

According to New York State Police Craig D. Zeis was pulled over on Chestnut Ridge Road when Troopers detected the smell of marijuana coming from the car. A search of the vehicle netted two grams of pot in a plastic bag.

Zeis was issued an appearance ticket and a traffic ticket returnable to the Town of Lockport Court on Oct. 6.

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The portion of Monroe Street between North Transit and Church street in Lockport is closed until Thursday evening. (SCREENSHOT / GOOGLE MAPS)


Monroe Street in Lockport is closed between Church Street and North Transit Street until sometime Thursday evening.

The closure, which includes emergency vehicles, was announced by the Lockport Water Department.

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Betty J. Crane passed away September 29, 2015 under the care of Niagara Hospice.

Born in Lockport on January 20, 1925 she was the daughter of Percy and Winifred (Bloom) Ryan. Being the oldest of twelve children Betty loved family gatherings, being a homemaker, playing BINGO and was an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills. She was predeceased by her husband Gordon “Corky” Crane on October 28, 2009.

Betty is survived by her children Gary (Alice) Towner of Alabama, Debra (James) Grimm, Gail Placido both of Pennsylvania, Cheryl (Mark Udell) Crane, Esther Neff, and Dennis Crane all of Lockport; grandmother of thirteen grandchildren, thirty-two great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren; sister of Dorothy (late Robert) Vigrass, Pat (late Shirley) Ryan, Audrey (Wayne) Burgess, Winifred (late Fay) Heschke, Mary (late Junior) Caldwell, Charlotte (late Pat) Patrick, Donald (Judy) Ryan, Florence (Herb) Kolbe, Dawn (late Raymond) Coyle, and late Anna (Robert) Heschke, Geraldine & Ernest Winters; sister-in-law of Betty (late Bill) Mitchell and late Jean (late Elmer “Red”) Lederhouse; also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Friday, Oct. 2nd from 2-4 and 7-9 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport where funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 3rd at 10 AM. Interment in Acacia Park Cemetery.


Win ticket to the 7:30 p.m. Historic Palace Theatre production of "Little Women: The Musical" from ENP. (ENP STAFF PHOTO)


The 2015-2016 Historic Palace Theatre season kicks off Thursday with the production of "Little Women: The Musical."

Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel, it focuses on the four March sisters — brassy, tomboy-like, aspiring writer Jo; romantic Meg; pretentious Amy; and kind-hearted Beth — and their beloved Marmee, at home in Concord, Mass. while the family patriarch is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. Intercut with the vignettes in which their lives unfold are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio.

The show itself may be timeless, but it will only be playing for four days at the Palace. Tickets are still available for purchase — or you could try to win a pair from East Niagara Post. We have a pair of tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Saturday show to give away to one lucky reader.

Similar to other giveaways that we've done, we're asking people to like, comment and share (publicly) our Facebook post of this story (link). We'll pick a winner Thursday at 6 p.m. to ensure that those who don't win can still go buy tickets of their own.

Remember: Like, comment AND share (publicly). Good luck. We hope to see you there.

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Route 31 is closed from Route 429 in Sanborn to Baer Road due to an accident. (SCREENSHOT / GOOGLE MAPS)


SANBORN — Route 31 is currently closed in both directions from Route 429 to Baer Road due to an accident that occurred around 1:40 p.m.

The New York State Department of Transportation says the road could be closed for up to six hours — through rush hour.

Officials recommend using an alternate route.

UPDATE: Route 31 in Sanborn now open

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This Joe Whalen self portrait is one of a number of
items that will be on display at an upcoming exhibit
at Market Street Art Studios. (CONTRIBUTED)
An upcoming exhibit at Market Street Art Studios studies the life and legacy of Joe Whalen.

"Whalen: A Legacy" will explore over 75 years of Joe’s work along with the impact he has had on the community and individuals throughout his career. The exhibit opens Sunday with a kick-off reception from 1 to 4 p.m. and runs through Nov. 14.

Staring in 1939 when Whalen was just 11 and stretching to current times, the exhibit will showcase Whalen's work and his impact — more than just art. His storytelling, humor, and knowledge of local people & history enhance that legacy, but the most important aspect of what he has given is the influence he has had on others as an artist, a teacher, and a human being.

To that end, the Niagara Art Trail, which is organizing the show, asked the public to submit a short testimonial as to how they have been influenced by Whalen and why they are a piece of his living legacy. Statements should be limited to just a few lines and include the submitter's name. They will be displayed on a bulletin board at the show. Submissions should be mailed to The Niagara Art Trail, Attn: Whalen Legacy, PO Box 1164, Lockport, NY 14095-1164.

Although original paintings and reproductions will be on display, the exhibit will include a wide assortment of Whalen's work in other forms: posters, logos, greeting cards, cartoons, and various advertising pieces will walk you through decades of his influence. Reproductions of several items will be for sale, including a limited number of signed copies.
The historic portion of the exhibit will be from the private collections of Joe, his family, family friends and others.  Organizations including the Kenan Center, The Niagara History Center, The Niagara Art Trail and Market Street Art Studios have all helped to gather artifacts produced for shows, events, and various commercial purposes.

The release of the Whalen 2016 Calendar will take place at the opening as well. Similar to the 2015 version, it will feature works from private collections with one difference. The works chosen will be primarily from the private collections of Joe and his family members.

Market Street Art Studios is located at 247 Market St. Regular hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. Admission is always free.

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This week's edition of the ENP YouTube series, Catching Up With the Lockport Express, has contributors Craig Bacon and George Root talking with the coaches of the Express and the brothers Logar.

The boys also discuss last weekend's home stand against the New York Aviators and Jersey Shore Wildcats, as well as this coming weekend's trip to New York to take on the Aviators again.

Watch the video below and on the ENP YouTube channel.

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James McDonald
NIAGARA FALLS — A 26-year-old Lockport man, arrested Saturday by New York State Police for DWI and driving without a license tried getting away with pinning it on his own brother, according to New York State Police.

James E. Mcdonald was originally charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs, and aggravated unlicensed operation.

He was taken to Mount St. Mary's hospital in Lewiston for a chemical test and to the Niagara Falls Troopers' barracks for processing. That's when fingerprint analysis showed that McDonald had actually used his twin brother's identity, according to police.

He was additionally charged with offering to file a false instrument, falsifying business records, forgery, identity theft and criminal impersonation. He was arraigned in Town of Lewiston Court and remanded to Niagara County Jail.

McDonald is set to appear in City of Niagara Falls Court on Oct. 16.

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The National Weather Service says to expect showers this morning and clouds this afternoon with a high near 60. Overnight will be partly cloudy with a low of around 44.

Thursday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 60 again and an overnight low around 42 with the potential for rain. Friday, there's a chance of showers and an expected high of around 58. The low should be around 42. Saturday also offers a chance of showers with a high near 56 and a low of around 46.

Sunday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 61 and a low around 48. Monday, more showers are possible with a high near 62 and a low around 47. Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a high near 64.

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I think one of the lasting accomplishments of social media, the thing that archeologists will be studying when they dig our society out of the dirt thousands of years from now, will be the way that social media blurred and almost obliterated the line between fantasy and reality. There are people who are so anxious to believe anything that they will believe a Facebook hoax simply because an imaginary television station was attached to it. Are people really that easy to fool? They are now.

That line between reality and fantasy is what helped to keep sports a fun distraction and politics a serious venture. But ever since social media came along, sports has dominated the regular headlines and politics has become a circus. Not the kind of circus that sees power brokers facing off to try and get the next law passed that is detrimental to society, but the kind of circus where a bigoted billionaire suddenly becomes the presidential candidate of choice for millions of Americans.

I had a discussion online just today with someone who tried to tell me that President Obama had as much political experience when he first took office as Donald Trump and Ben Carson currently do. Obama was a junior senator from Illinois when he took office. He had years in state politics and a brief stint in the federal government as his foundation for experience. Donald Trump and Ben Carson have absolutely no experience holding a political office at all. But yet, this person insisted that Obama’s experience was the same as two guys who have no idea how politics really works. I was so dumbfounded that I just could not respond to that person’s statement.

These are the people who vote in presidential elections. Apathetic Internet users who believe every meme they read and never get past reading the headlines to any article. People who believe that an 18-year-old kid cannot do any worse as mayor of Lockport than someone with experience running the city or someone who has experience negotiating with unions for years because, well, I have no idea why.

People demand the truth from politicians and business people, yet absolutely no one checks facts. How the hell do you know if someone is lying to you if you never bother to look up the truth? A very simple Google search could have stopped this week’s Facebook hoax before it even got started. An intelligent and rational population would have looked up the details and found that the information was not true. Instead, the thing went viral faster than jokes about Tom Brady’s deflated balls. What does that tell you?

Here is what I have learned about Americans after observing social media for a very long time. Americans are eager to believe something that sounds so stupid that it just has to be true before they will take the time to learn and use facts. All NASA has to do is create a series of comical memes about life on Mars and, thanks to all of the recent information about water on Mars, everyone will believe that War of the Worlds is about to happen. Why? Because no one ever bothers to check the facts anymore. It is all about believing what is convenient and what fits your own beliefs.

Have you ever noticed that the ratio of real news stories that go viral compared to satire stories or made-up stories is heavily weighted in favor of misinformation? Why? Why are people inclined to believe a story from some made-up news outlet that insists that police officers arrested two people who tried to help someone get out of a car filling with water, instead of doing a quick Google search to see that the story is a fake and resurfaces every couple of years?

The problem with the Internet is anyone is allowed to put information out for mass consumption, regardless as to whether that information is accurate or not. There are way too many people who believe that stories from the satire website the Onion are true, no matter how ridiculous those stories may be.

There was a concern in the 1980s that video games and movies were dumbing down the American public. I used to ignore those concerns because I didn’t see any problems with the way our society was progressing. But now that everyone is posting their misinformation on social media and millions of people believe it, it looks like mission accomplished on setting back common sense by about 50 years.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident who does not believe everything he reads on the Internet. You can follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

County lawmakers agreed tonight to move forward with contract talks with
Solar Liberty Energy Systems to install solar panels on vacant county land.
Niagara County lawmakers unanimously backed initiating contract talks with a solar energy producer at a special meeting tonight. The initiative could purportedly produce $4.75 million in savings to taxpayers.

A resolution passed at tonight’s meeting authorizes the county administration to move forward with drafting a contractual agreement with Buffalo-based Solar Liberty Energy Systems, Inc., that will allow construction of solar arrays on vacant county lands. Draft plans suggest the construction of three arrays on properties owned by the county’s Refuse, Water, and Sewer districts.

“Through this agreement we are putting vacant county-owned land to use providing a financial benefit to our special districts and an expected savings to taxpayers of $4.75 million,” said North Tonawanda Rpublican Legislator Randy R. Bradt, the project’s most vocal backer.

Under the arrangement, Solar Liberty will construct the arrays and power generated by the arrays will be sold on the market by Solar Liberty. The county is set to benefit from an anticipated $744,000 in monetary credits over the next 20 years and revenues in excess of $4 million through construction of the solar energy farms at county-owned sites.

Environmental Coordinator Dawn Timm noted the deal, which takes advantage of the county’s grandfathered status under the New York State Public Service Commission’s “Remoted Net Metering Solar Projects” program would allow Solar Liberty to benefit from tax credits to construct the arrays, which she termed “good for the environment.”

“By authorizing construction of these solar arrays and entering into this agreement, we as a county are embracing the generation of green energy—renewable alternative energy that has zero carbon emissions,” Timm said. “Coupled with the financial benefits to our taxpayers, that’s a real positive for our region.”

State Sen. Robert G. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, praised the initiative as well.

“By offsetting Niagara County's energy costs and expanding solar technology, this exciting project will benefit taxpayers, protect our environment , and grow our economy,” Ortt said. “I’m proud to spearhead clean energy efficiency and incentives at the state level. And I'm thankful that we have such strong partners in local government and business—it’s especially encouraging that this venture will utilize a local small business and the expertise of our Western New York workforce.”

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Diane Sobieraski passed away September 29, 2015. Born October 14, 1942 she was 72 years old.

Daughter of the late Frederick & Jessie Sheppard and sister to the late Ann(Richard) Welcher of Florida, Diane was a medical records clerk at the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and at Lockport Memorial Hospital. She was a Girl Scout Leader and member of the Mothers Club and she enjoyed knitting and swimming.

She is survived by her children Julie Sobieraski, Brett (Jacqueline) Sobieraski and Shari (Louis Niro) Sobieraski, her siblings Robert(Patti) Symes of Florida and Sandra Sheppard of Lockport and her grandchildren Zachary and Gabriel Sobieraski and Shelby Smiedala, family members John Sobieraski and Randall Smiedala, dear friend Darlene Pasceri along with several nieces and nephews and many friends.

Visitation concluding with Funeral Service to be held Thursday October 1, 2015 from 2-4 and 7-9PM at Ross Funeral Home Gaul Chapel 263 East Avenue in Lockport. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Diane’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements by Ross Funeral Home Gaul Chapel.


BUFFALO —  Rookie sensation Jack Eichel netted another goal in the Buffalo Sabres pre-season game against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight en route to a 4-0 Sabres victory.

Eichel's goal, a short-handed snap shot, came at 13:48 of the first period, fed by Nicolas Deslauriers.

Fifty-nine seconds into the second period, Matt Moulson made it 2-0 with a tip-in goal from Matt Donovan and Brian Gionta. Evan Rodrigues made it 3-0 with a wrap-around goal at 2:41 of the second, assisted by Marcus Foligno.

Rodrigues made it 4-0 with his second goal of the night at 10:15 of the third period. The wrist shot was fed by Sam Reinhart and Mike Weber.

Goaltender Robin Lehner stopped all 24 shots the Sabres faced. Buffalo is now 4-1-0 in the pre-season. They next face the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota on Thursday before closing out the pre-season at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.


  • As of the end of tonight's game, the Sabres led the league with 21 goals through five preseason games, including a league-best nine special-teams goals (four power play, five shorthanded).
  • With Jack Eichel's second shorthanded goal of the preseason, the Sabres have now scored a shorthanded goal in each of the team's five preseason games.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the team's regular-season record for most consecutive games with a shorthanded goal is four (2x, 2/26/94-3/6/94 & 3/28/95-4/4/95).
  • Evan Rodrigues led the Sabres with two goals tonight, getting the first two NHL preseason points of his career.
  • In his return from an injury that kept him out of the first four preseason games, Rasmus Ristolainen led both teams with 23:32  of ice time. Cody Franson (21:49) ranked second among Sabres skaters and logged a game-high plus-3 rating against his former team.
  • Tonight's Attendance: 17,357

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ROCHESTER — Julia Prisaznuk of Lockport made the Dean's List at Rochester Institute of Technology for the Summer 2015 term.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Dean's List if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete," "D," or "F;" and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls 18,600 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With one day left before the expiration of the World Trade Center Health Program, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand today spoke on the Senate floor to once again urge Congress to pass a permanent extension of the programs on which 9/11 first responders, survivors and their families rely on. Since the 14th anniversary of the attacks just two over two weeks ago, six first responders died from 9/11-related illnesses. Over 1,700 people have passed away from a 9/11 related illnesses.

Earlier this month, hundreds of first responders and advocates – including former Daily Show host Jon Stewart – lobbied Congress in support of the permanent reauthorization of the Zadroga Act. Since then, 20 Senators – 14 Democrats and six Republicans – have cosponsored the bill, called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. A total of 57 Senators now support it.

Created in 2010, the World Trade Center Health Program provides treatment and medical care to 33,000 first responders and survivors suffering from at least one 9/11-related illness or injury. More than 72,000 first responders and survivors receive medical monitoring to screen for cancers and other diseases observed in the 9/11 population. Participants in the World Trade Center Health Program live in all 50 states, and in 429 of the 435 Congressional Districts. Without renewal, the program’s authorization will expire at midnight on September 30, putting these critical services in jeopardy.

Another program established as a part of the Zadroga Act, the Victims Compensation Fund, will expire in October 2016. The Fund provides financial aid to responders, survivors and families who suffered economic losses as a result of 9/11-related injuries.

Gillibrand’s prepared remarks follow in their entirety:
Mr. President, we just passed the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Americans all across the country honored the memory of the 2,977 lives lost.

There were moments of silence. There were testimonials from friends and family of the victims.

And there were statements and speeches and posts online by my colleagues in Congress, vowing to ‘never forget.’

But the victims of September 11th are not just the men and women who were killed on that terrible day. The terror attack on that day in 2001 is still claiming American lives.

This includes the heroes who ran into the towers to save whom they could, who worked on the pile so that America might rebuild, who would not abandon their community in a time of terrifying confusion and intense grief.

Many of them are now sick because of their work at Ground Zero. Many are dying.

In 2010, after years of delay, we established the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation programs, to provide the first responders, the survivors, and their families with the healthcare and benefits they need.

And tomorrow, at midnight, the bill authorizing this funding will expire.

More than 33,000 first responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath.

More than 1,700 have passed away from a 9/11-related illness.

More cops have died from 9/11-related illnesses, than died on 9/11 itself.

And since the 14th anniversary of the attacks earlier this month, another six 9/11 first responders died.

Think about that, in just a few short weeks, 6 more of our 9/11 heroes have died.

John P. McKee. Roy McLaughlin. Reginald Umpthery. Kevin Kelly. Thomas Zayas. Paul McCabe.”

They were married. They had children. Their average age was 53 years old.

They will miss birthday parties and graduations. They will miss evening dinners and holidays.

They leave behind mortgages, car payments, and college tuition payments.

These 9/11 illnesses not only rob families of their loved ones but leave them to face expenses without – in many cases – the family’s primary breadwinner.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of first responders traveled to Washington, from all over the country, to lobby Congress not to let their healthcare program expire.

If Congress doesn’t act now, how many more first responders and their families are going to suffer – medically and financially – because we didn’t do our job and reauthorize this program?

Mr. President, let me tell you about one responder, Ken George, from Long Island.

Ken was 37 on September 11, 2001. He was working for the New York City Highway Department, and after the attacks, he went in to do search and rescue work. He was there for a couple of weeks.

Almost right away, Ken developed a cough. Then asthma. And then the asthma led to restricted airway disease.

Doctors found crushed glass from Ground Zero in his lungs.

He was forced to retire in 2006 because his medical ailments became too burdensome and now, as he put it, he’s ‘financially hurting like you wouldn’t believe.’

Mr. President, we’re not talking about statistics. We’re not talking about data-points on a chart.

We’re talking about a 51-year-old man with a wife, three kids, and crushed glass in his lungs because he chose to serve his country and search for survivors after 9/11.

And on top of everything else he’s dealing with, Ken now has to worry if he’ll get the health treatment he needs, and if his family will receive the financial support they need.

The health program officially expires tomorrow – at midnight – but these illnesses – Ken’s and thousands of others – they will not expire. Neither should their healthcare.

Mr. President, we must reauthorize and make permanent the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victims Compensation Fund.

The participants in the health program live in every single state.

They live in 429 of the 435 Congressional Districts.

Every Senator in this chamber has constituents who are sick and are in the program.

Mr. President, a majority of this body has already signed on as co-sponsors of this legislation, including many after our day of action earlier this month.

So let’s finish the job. Let’s give our 9/11 heroes the care and compensation they deserve – and so desperately need. Let’s truly ‘never forget.’ The clock is ticking. Let’s do our job.

I yield the floor.

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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A Bear Ridge Road woman told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies Monday that someone stole her purse from her car.

The woman said the theft occurred between 11:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:30 a.m. Monday while the car was unlocked in her driveway.

The woman said the purse contained $294 in cash, two credit cards, and three rings.

"Patrol checked Bear Ridge and Lockport road area for any of the property with negative results," the report said.

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Sue Mawhiney
Sue Mawhiney, Democrat candidate for Lockport City Treasurer, is holding a coffee and donuts meet-and-greet fundraiser from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Sandtrap of Lockport, 314 Davison Road.

The $20-per-person event promises to give residents insight into why Mawhiney is running for treasurer, what her qualifications are, and what her plans are if elected.

“I believe most strongly in transparency and accountability," Mawhiney said. "We need an independent, objective and properly trained individual that will provide the public with the information they not only require, but are entitled to, as it pertains to the finances of the City of Lockport."

"I pledge to be a dedicated servant of the people and I will be accountable to the public and bring back the trust to the Lockport City Treasurer’s Office,” she said.

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A Lockport Common Council "Committee of the Whole" meeting slated for Wednesday has been canceled, according to Mayor Anne McCaffrey's office.

McCaffrey and Common Council President Joseph Kibler decided to cancel the meeting due to it being the fifth Wednesday of the month, according to a notice sent to media this afternoon.

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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced plans for “Opening Weekend,” which will take place during the team’s first three home games of the 2015-16 season. The three games will feature a wide variety of activities, giveaways and special events for the whole family.

To kick off “Opening Weekend,” the Sabres will host a Party in the Plaza in Tops Alumni Plaza on Oct. 8, prior to the home opener vs. Ottawa at 7 p.m. Sabres alumni and Sabretooth will be on hand to sign autographs and hand out giveaways, and Echo City will play live for fans. The event, which runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m., will also feature an interactive fan photo booth, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. First Niagara Bank will also have a special home opener handout for all fans in attendance at the game.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Sabres will host a family-friendly party in Tops Alumni Plaza before the team’s 1 p.m. game vs. Tampa Bay. The event will feature children’s activities such as a face painter, a balloon artist, bounce houses, a fan photo area, and a miniature zoo. The outdoor event will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be a live DJ on site as well as vendors and the BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Healthy Zone Cruiser, which plays host to healthy activities. In addition, food and beverages will be available for purchase, and Perry's Ice Cream will be handing out a magnet schedule to all fans who attend the game that day.

Finally, on Monday, Oct. 12, the Sabres are offering a Kid’s Day ticket offer for the team’s 3 p.m. game vs. Columbus. With the purchase of one 300 Level II ticket, fans can purchase up to four additional kids tickets for $15 each. Kids Day tickets are valid for use by children ages 15 and under. Before the game, there will be a Pregame Skate, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, at HARBORCENTER’s First Niagara Rink (Rink #1). The skate is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis and will consist of two sessions from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admission for the skate is $6 or $5 if you show a BlueCross BlueShield card at the door.

All outdoor events will be weather permitting.

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Wendelville firefighters respond to a crash scene this morning on South Transit Road. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / ENP CONTRIBUTOR)


The driver of the vehicle was cuffed and taken away by NCSO.
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — An unidentified woman is facing felony charges after Niagara County Sheriff's deputies responded to a crash scene in front of the West Herr dealership on South Transit Road this morning.

According to NCSO, the driver had gone off the road, ripping down a street sign before going across to the other side of South Transit, jumping the West Herr entrance driveway and ripping out the divided curbs, then bouncing off a sign and crashing into a pole.

NCSO responded to the scene along with the Wendelville Fire Dept. and Rural Metro. When the deputy rolled up to the scene, he recognized the female driver as someone he had charged previously with DUI — having gotten into an accident in Tops parking long while under the influence of pills — and realized she was driving on a suspended license.

The EMS crews from Rural Metro and Wendelville checked her out and she signed off, refusing any care. She was charged with driving without a valid license and cuffed.

Sources say that a technicality prevented blood samples from being allowed to be taken, however she reportedly failed a field sobriety test on scene. Additionally, deputies found a large quantity of pills.

NOTE: Story updated at 5:04 p.m. with additional charges, details.

A Sheriff's deputy places the driver into the back of a patrol car. 

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The National Weather Service calls for showers and thunderstorms today and tonight with a daytime high near 71 and an overnight low of around 50.

Wednesday, there's a chance for more showers with a high near 62 and a low around 47. Thursday, the sun comes out with a high near 60 and a low around 44. Friday, showers return with a high near only 56 and a low of around 43.

Saturday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 55 and a low around 44. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 59 and a low around 46. Monday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 61.

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Several months ago I wrote a review for a book by David Bell, The Forgotten Girl. I thought it was a very well written book that was a gripping read. So, when I discovered that Bell was releasing a new book over the summer, I made plans to read that book and give another review. The books are that good.  I read his newest output, Somebody I Used to Know, in a single day while on a road trip to Virginia. The pages passed as quickly as the miles.

Somebody I Used to Know is the story of Nick Hansen; man recently divorced and trying to figure out his place in life. One day while shopping, he meets a young woman who looks exactly like an old girlfriend who had died twenty years previously. Immediately, his mind wonders if the truth about Marissa’s death all those years ago may not be as straightforward as he had thought. When the young girl ends up murdered in a motel room with his name and number in her pocket, Hansen immediately becomes the prime suspect.

Against all the wishes of the police and those who love him, he sets out to uncover the truth about the mysterious girl’s death and her possible connection with his old flame. This leads to conflict with the women in his life who believe he never really got over the death of Marissa in a college dorm fire. His on again/off again relationship with Heather stumbles and suffers from his infatuation with Marissa’s memory.

As Hansen’s personal investigative mission gains traction, it begins to seem that someone doesn’t want him to uncover the truth. An attempt is made on his life. Someone tries to kidnap his stepson. This mysterious culprit seemingly knows a lot about all of Hansen’s daily movements.

David Bell writes characters that are not ostentatious.  They are believable with their own sets of flaws.  I was a little surprised, however, that a forty-year-old man was still stuck on a girl who broke up with him and died over two decades before. This infatuation reminded me more of a high school romance, but it did propel the mystery and plot forward. Hansen engages the reader as he struggles to come to grips with a truth he could have only imagined. His confusion is brought out in Bell’s prose.

David Bell sends us a few twists that make you think your initial assumption of the finale was wrong, only to deliver what we mostly expected after all. His clever use of some of these twists kept me turning the pages while I attempted to rectify the ending in my head with this new information. A good author will keep his or her readers thinking until the final unveiling. Bell has delivered a book that does exactly that.

There were a couple things that I did feel detracted from the overall story and excellent writing. As I stated before, it seemed odd that Hansen was still stuck on an old girlfriend two decades after her death and after a marriage of his own. In addition, there was a bit of a soap opera-ish feeling to some of the plot twists., especially Heather’s personality at the end of the book.

Despite that, I felt this book was very well written. David Bell delivers a product that will keep a reader engaged and turning pages.  Although Somebody I Used to Know is billed as “crime fiction,” I feel this is more of a love story that needs to be resolved through the reader’s imagination. What Hansen does with the paper he receives at the end of the story is up to us to decide. Great authors not only entertain their customers, they make them part of the story. That is exactly what David Bell has done with this new book.

This is the second David Bell book I have read.  While I enjoyed Forgotten Girl just a little bit more, I thought Somebody I Used to Know was well worth the time. I eagerly anticipate the next installment by Bell -- hopefully in the near future.

+Craig Bacon had a lot of girlfriends in high school, although most of them didn’t know it. You can follow his shenanigans on Twitter at @hippieboy73.

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Lockport-area gas has fallen by nearly eight cents in the last week, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area.

This week’s Lockport area average price of $2.413 is eight cents lower than a week ago and $1.19 lower than this time last year.

The national average is $2.290. National average fuel prices stabilized Monday, following 37 days of consecutive declining prices.

Despite this plateau, drivers are continuing to save 20 cents, on average, month-to-month, thanks to lower crude oil prices, declining domestic demand and the switch to winter-blend fuels. However, heavier refinery maintenance scheduled for this fall, may cause prices to remain steady and possibly rise as maintenance occurs.

The market’s current oversupply is expected to keep prices relatively low even during maintenance work, and five states (Mississippi, South Carolina, New Jersey, Alabama and Tennessee) are averaging less than $2/gallon.

Uncertainty regarding global oil demand continues to impact crude prices. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate opened Monday’s trading with losses. Additional uncertainty comes as China, which accounts for 12 percent of global oil demand, announces plans for a national cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions. Although the effects of this on the global market are unknown, less demand for oil may exacerbate the market’s current oversupply and place a ceiling on global oil prices.

Supply and demand are expected to heavily influence oil prices in North America, as declines of oil rig counts are reported. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, sustained low oil prices could indicate a reduction in investment in exploration and production activities.

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Democratic mayoral candidate Roger Sherrie called for the city to adopt an Open Government Policy.

Roger Sherrie
“Giving ready access to public information is something most politicians’ give lip service to but seldom back up with policies or procedures,” Sherrie said in calling for the new policy. “Communities as far away as Oakland California and as close as the Town of Amherst have adopted policies designed to create high levels of openness and transparency in their government.”

Sherrie said if elected mayor, he would “urge adoption of the three principals of Open Government: transparency, public participation and collaboration. I think it important that we provide greater public access to information and a mechanism for public feedback and participation.”

To deal with the demands of an open government framework, Sherrie proposes creation of a citizen’s Open Government Advisory Board “that would be responsible for recommending goals and timetables for development and implementation of an Open Government Plan.” He said the plan “should detail specific actions the city needs to take to incorporate the principals of open government in its daily activities.” Sherrie envisions a plan that would be formulated “by a board of senior department heads, legal and technology leaders from the city, the general public and open government experts willing to share their knowledge and experience.”

“I don’t know if having such a policy in place would have prevented the current situation we have between the mayor and city treasurer, but it sure would have given the public access to information they are not getting from any other source”, Sherrie said.

Sherrie carries the Democrat and Working Families party lines in the Nov. 3 election for mayor. His opponent, Anne McCaffrey is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.

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Monday, September 28, 2015
East Niagara Radio broadcasts classic alternative music when we're not broadcasting news updates (which we do at the top of the hour every afternoon) or live events like Lockport Express hockey games. To listen, simply click here or the image below and hit "play."

The link should play on any computer or smartphone.

You can also listen on the Live365 app for Android and iOS phones, Kindle Fire, Roku, Sonos, Tivo, WDTV HD Media Players and anything else with Live365 embedded in it.

Also, East Niagara Radio is available on the TuneIn app for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows phones, Kindle Fire, Roku, Sonos, Xbox One, Samsung smart TVs and anything else with TuneIn available.

On both platforms, just search for "East Niagara Radio."

Lockport Police and the Niagara County Drug Task Force found a meth production lab in this home at 240 Pine Street today, according to LPD. Two are facing charges. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


A 32-year-old Lockport woman was charged this afternoon with third-degree unlawful production of methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a child following what police are now saying was the discovery of a meth lab at 240 Pine Street.

Earlier today, police told ENP they did not believe meth was being produced in the home but that there were suspected drugs found, however, LPD now says police discovered a "methamphetamine production lab" in the home.

Ashley Urban, 240 Pine St., Upper was visited by LPD after they received a tip of possible drug activity in the apartment. After speaking to her, police received another tip that there was a male hiding in the attic of the home because he had an outstanding warrant and "that the parties were cooking 'meth.' "

Urban allowed police to search her home. In doing so, LPD found Derrick D. Powell, 22 Harvey Ave., Apt. D, hiding in the attic.

While in the home, patrol found "several clear pop bottles in plain view with unknown liquids in them," leading them to call the Niagara County Drug Task Force to the scene to process the evidence.

Powell was turned over to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on an outstanding warrant. Further charges are pending.

NOTE: Story updated at 10:21 p.m. with additional details, names, charges.

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LPD Det. Todd Chenez stands in front of a Pine Street home while members of LPD and the Niagara County Drug Task force investigate the upstairs of the home. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


Lockport Police and the Niagara County Drug Task Force are on location at a Pine Street home.

According to LPD, Derrick Powell is in custody on an unrelated warrant from Niagara County. He and a woman are being questioned in the home, 240 Pine St. Charges are pending against both.

LPD says that they found what they believe to be drugs on the scene. They are currently being tested to confirm the suspected Methamphetamine. Police say that they don't believe that meth was being manufactured in the home.

UPDATE: Police now saying Pine Street home had 'methamphetamine production lab'

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LPD Officer Paul Zapp walks Bryan A. Danna out of a Maple Street home this morning. Danna is being charged by LPD with several traffic violations following a high-speed chase through the city. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF LPD / FACEBOOK)


LPD Capt. Doug Haak keeps an eye on the ditched stolen car this morning.
A Maple Street man and woman are facing numerous charges and a possible extradition to Florida after Lockport police were led on a high-speed chase this morning in a stolen car.

Bryan A. Danna, 28, 44 Maple St., was charged around 11:20 a.m. with third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, speeding, four counts of reckless driving, four stop sign violations, a failure to signal violation, moving from the lane unsafely, failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile device.

According to Lockport Police, patrol saw Danna talking on a cell phone this morning while driving a black Honda sedan northbound on South Transit Street. When patrol attempted to stop the Honda, Danna accelerated, leading police on a chase through the city before ditching the car and running on foot. When police caught up to the stolen car, they found it parked and no sign of Danna, the driver. A canine unit quickly picked up a scent, however, which led them to the Maple Street home.

Originally, a female resident of the home, Erica V. Noon, 24, had said she was locked out of the house. She had given police a false name, as well. Eventually, she recanted her story, gave police the proper name and let them into the home, where they found Danna.

Noon was charged with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration and second-degree criminal impersonation for her part in the incident.

Both are due in City Court and face possible extradition to Florida, according to LPD.

Police Chief Larry Eggert said the department is looking into the possibility that Danna was involved in another recent high-speed chase in Orchard Park.

NOTE: We'll have more details later on this developing story.

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Anthony "Tony" Di Nicolantonio, of Lockport, passed away on September 22, 2015 at Niagara Hospice.

Born in Lockport, NY on January 15, 1923, he was the son of the late John and Josephine (Angelucci) Di Nicolantonio. A 1941 graduate of Lockport High School, Anthony began his career at the former Harrison Radiator Division of General Motors in 1942. He enlisted in the Army/Air Force in 1943 and served until 1946 when he was honorably discharged. On May 17, 1947 he married the love of his live, Marion E. Brown at St. Anthony's Church in Lockport. Anthony resumed his career at HRD and held several management positions until his retirement in 1980. He and Marion enjoyed winters in Naples, Florida for 25 years. They were married for more than 67 years when Marion passed away on February 4, 2015.

Earlier in his life, Anthony was a manager for the 8th Ward Simon Steelworkers baseball team and the Westside Athletic Club football team. He played softball in the Lock City League for several years, held the City Bowling Championship title and enjoyed playing golf. He was a lifelong fan of the NY Yankees, the Buffalo Bills and Notre Dame football. Anthony was a Life Member of the Lockport Elks Lodge #41. He was a parishioner of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church for more than 50 years before joining St. John the Baptist.

Anthony is survived by his three children; Dianne (John) Cross, Sandra (Thomas) Scrace and John A. (Nancy) Di Nicolantonio, all of Lockport; seven grandchildren; Lisa (Matthew) Mattucci, Lindsay (Shane ) Myers, Thomas (Sarah) Scrace, Jr., Anthony Scrace, Kristin, Kimberly and Kelly Di Nicolantonio; and four great grandchildren, Logan, Mela, Tyler and Emelia. He is also survived by his sister, Marie Angelo, of Lockport, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his brother, Carl
Di Nicolantonio.

Friends may call on Monday from 3-7 p.m. At PROVENZANO MEMORIAL CHAPEL, Niagara at Transit Sts. (same location as Taylor & Reynolds Funeral Home). A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church, 168 Chestnut St. on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. (Please assemble at church). Interment Cold Spring Cemetery. Donations in Tony's name to Niagara Hospice or a charity of one's choice would be appreciated by the family.


BUFFALO — During Liver Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood and platelets to support liver transplant patients and others needing blood products.

Liver transplants are the second most common type of transplant with more than 6,000 performed in the U.S. each year, according to the American Liver Foundation. Liver transplant patients may require in excess of 30 pints of blood during surgery.

For blood donor Amy Slattery, the need for blood hits close to home. Her mother received a liver transplant and needed more than 70 blood products during the surgery.

“I donate to help others that needed blood like her,” said Slattery. “I donate in thanks to those who donate their blood products to help save lives.”

Volunteer donors like Slattery are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions during transplants and other surgeries. Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, A negative, B negative and AB blood.

To make an appointment to donate blood, eligible donors are encouraged to download the new Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores or text BLOODAPP to 90999 to receive a download link, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming local blood drives include:

  • Friday: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., South Lockport Fire Company Inc, 5666 Transit Road, Lockport
  • Oct. 12: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Newfane Town Hall  Community Center, 2737 Main Street, Newfane
  • Oct. 13: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Dale Association Incorporated, 33 Ontario St.., Lockport

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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres released 12 more players from its training camp roster over the weekend.
Ten players have been loaned to the Rochester Americans (AHL): Forwards Justin Bailey, Nicholas Baptiste, Jerry D'Amigo (pending waivers), Jean Dupuy, William Carrier, Daniel Catenacci, Justin Kea, Jack Nevins and Philip Varone (pending waivers); goaltender Andrey Makarov

Two players have been released from their tryouts and will report to Rochester for training camp: Forward Matt Garbowsky and defenseman Matt Prapavessis.

The Sabres now have 38 players (20 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goaltenders) on their training camp roster.

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Bruce Adams, left, and Augustina Droze add a protective coating Sunday to the Mural on Main. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)


The finalized Mural on Main can be seen from Main Street, as well as from
the Erie Canal. 
The Mural on Main in Lockport had a dedication ceremony and official unveiling to the public on Saturday, but one last bit of work still needed to be done.

Sunday, muralists Augustina Droze and Bruce Adams added the protective coating to the 42- by 60-foot mural adorning the east side of the Mills Jewelers building.

With all the pomp, circumstance and pageantry taken care of, Droze is now focusing on her next gig — teaching art in China.

While enough money was raised to pay for the mural being painted, the Mural on Main committee is continuing to raise funds for its expected upkeep. Donations can be made at


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