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February, 2016:

Friday, February 20

ART247 Black and White Exhibition


March, 2016:



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Saturday, February 28, 2015
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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Lockport Town & Country Club will be hosting their Spring Open House from 6 - 8 p.m. March 18.

Visitors are invited to explore the options in golf, dining and pool memberships at this event. Reservations are suggested by calling 433-5969.

The Lockport Town & Country Club is located at 717 East Ave. and caters to all of their members and guests through dining experiences, golfing, and swimming.

To learn more about the Lockport Country Club, visit lockportcountryclub.com.



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The Niagara Art Trail is sponsoring a five-week literacy workshop geared toward children in grades 4-8 to be held from 5 - 7 p.m. every Tuesday in March.

The classes will be taught in the new Creativity/Learning center in the Ticklebridge Co-op Market at 12-14 Market Street in Lockport's Historic Bewley Building.
           
Katrina Krull will be running the workshop. She is a certified teacher who has been offering a variety of workshops and programs at various venues for over a decade. In addition to workshops, Katrina works as a substitute teacher in a number of school districts and also develops teaching resources which are utilized by educators throughout the country.

Students can attend any of the classes individually for $15 per week or attend the entire workshop for $60 (savings of $15). Details of each week’s class can be found online at workshops.katrinasresources.com. To register for the workshop, call Krull at 225-4686.

Ticklebridge will remain open beyond normal business hours on evenings when classes are being offered.

Parents are invited to "hang around and browse the store or make themselves comfortable with a complimentary beverage," organizers said. Free wi-fi is available and "they can even use one of our workstations if they do not have a mobile device."

While the literacy workshops are geared strictly for younger students, Ticklebridge will host an "exploratory mixer" after the March 10 class to discuss adult learning possibilities such a book club or support group for authors, designed to inspire and encourage creativity. There is no charge to attend and all are welcome but reservations are suggested. For more information, call Ticklebridge at 514-4567.

Several other classes and workshops are said to be in the works, including include bead and wire and other jewelry making, wood burning, decoupage, basic drawing, and others. Future children's workshops will address individual subjects such as science, art, writing and music appreciation. Schedules will be released soon and will be updated on a bulletin board at the store as well Ticklebridge.com.



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Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY — New York State has been awarded $8.1 million in federal funds to help prevent heroin use, prescription drug abuse, and opioid overdose among adolescents and young adults across the state, while also increasing awareness about the dangers of these drugs.

“This funding will help in our battle against heroin and prescription drug abuse, an epidemic that disproportionately affects teens and young adults, and has resulted in far too much needless tragedy," Governor Cuomo said Friday. “Drug abuse has devastating consequences for families across New York, and these grants are another way our administration is working to help communities fight this heads on, and ultimately save lives.”

The five-year, $8.1 million Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success funding was awarded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The funds will be awarded in up to 10 local community coalitions located in high-need communities across New York State. These funds will be used to implement environmental prevention strategies targeting heroin and prescription drug abuse and overdose prevention in the 12- to 25-year-old age group.

This new grant funding will support community coalitions in meeting the following goals to:

  • Reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse in the 12- to 25-year-old population,
  • Reduce heroin use and heroin/prescription opioid overdose deaths among the 12- to 25-year-old population,
  • Increase public awareness through statewide and community media campaigns directed at parents and community members about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse and the strategies to prevent heroin/prescription opioid overdose deaths, and
  • Increase the number of anti-overdose medication Narcan/naloxone trainings offered to parents, family members, and anyone living with a heroin/prescription opioid addict.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) will administer the grant. The funding will run through Sept. 30, 2019. Applications for community coalitions to apply for this funding are available online (link).

Heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse are persistent national problems that reach deep into communities across New York and heavily affect young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers nationwide. In 2014, there were more than 118,000 admissions into New York State-certified treatment programs for heroin and prescription opioid abuse – a 17.8 percent increase over 2009. The largest increase in opioid admissions during that time was patients ages 18 to 34.

Cuomo has made this issue a priority and implemented aggressive measures to help New Yorkers address heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse, launching the #CombatHeroin campaign in September to inform and educate New Yorkers about the risks of heroin and prescription opioid use, the warning signs of addiction, and the resources available to help. Additionally, the Governor launched the expanded first responder training program that in part requires every SUNY and CUNY police officer to be trained to respond to an opioid overdose by using naloxone. More than 41,000 New Yorkers are now trained – including nearly 4,000 law enforcement officers – and more than 1,200 lives have been saved.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer said, “Heroin and prescription drugs are ravaging communities throughout New York and this federal funding will make a real difference in helping us address the epidemic,” said Senator Schumer. “We must do everything in our power to prevent young people from falling victim to these horrible drugs, and I will continue to do everything I can to fight for funding that we need to address both the supply of these drugs and enhance treatment options that limit demand.”

Congressman Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, said, “The prescription drug epidemic which often leads to heroin use is increasing at alarming rates and threatening the future and lives of our teens and young adults. This federal funding will help to raise awareness and promote prevention efforts as we work to save families from the heartache of addiction.”

Congressman Tom Reed, R-Corning, said, “I welcome the Governor’s action on this important health issue. I have worked with Southern Tier law enforcement and health professionals to bring attention to the damaging effects of drug abuse on our families and communities. This critical funding will save lives and help prevent the corrosive effects that drugs have in our State and Nation.”

New Yorkers seeking help for drug addiction can access prevention, treatment and recovery information on the #CombatHeroin website or by calling the State's HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369. A list of addiction treatment providers in New York State is available online, as well (link).

New Yorkers who want to help prevent heroin and prescription drug addiction and its serious consequences are encouraged to share #CombatHeroin campaign posters and PSAs in their local communities and to become trained in anti-opioid overdose response. Combat Heroin campaign materials, including fact sheets and informational flyers, are available in English, Spanish and Russian on the #CombatHeroin website. Information about anti-opioid overdose training is available here (link).



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William R. Schielke, 26, 178 Waterman St., was charged around 2:45 a.m. with DWI and improper lane use, and "alcoholic beverage." According to LPD, Schielke was stopped on High Street for a traffic infraction and determined to be intoxicated. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Gene L. Raymond, 60, 5431 Ernest Road, was charged around 10:40 p.m. Friday with DWI. According to the LPD arrest report, Raymond was found on Mill Street, attempting to walk away from a vehicle which he had driven off the roadway. LPD determined him to be intoxicated and he was charged. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Renee S. Esposito, 40, 1112 Lockwood Dr., was charged around 9:30 p.m. Friday with second-degree criminal contempt. According to the LPD report, Esposito violated an order of protection against a Lockport man. She is to be in City Court on Monday.

Dennis E. Lovewell, Jr,. 38, 5780 Leete Road, north apt., was charged with DWI around 2:10 a.m. Friday. According to LPD, Lovewell was stopped on Pine Street for a traffic infraction and determined to be intoxicated. He is slated for City Court on Monday.

Alan R. Campisano, 34, 6067 Strauss Road, Apt. B, was charged around 11 p.m. Thursday with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and speeding. According to LPD, Campisano was stopped on South Transit Street for speeding and determined to be driving with a suspended license. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Keith G. Dobucki, 36, 6558 Lincoln Ave., Apt. D, was charged around 7:40 p.m. Thursday with disorderly conduct. According to Dobucki's arrest report, patrol had been called to Lincoln Avenue to check on a man who appeared to be highly intoxicated. Patrol found him Dobucki, who was unable to stand on his own, and called Twin City Ambulance to assist. When the ambulance arrived, Dobucki became belligerent and vulgar. After being transferred to ENH-Lockport, he reportedly became aggressive with hospital staff, as well, and had to be subdued by patrol. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Marquis M. Hill, 31, 174 High St., Apt. 1, was charged around 11:55 a.m. Thursday with second-degree harassment and third-degree criminal mischief. According to the LPD report, Hill got into a verbal and physical confrontation with a woman on Feb. 14, breaking her cell phone and slapping her twice in the face. He was seen by LPD Thursday morning and charged. He was due in City Court Thursday afternoon.



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Terrie Gailor, 74, passed away on February 23, 2015.

Born in Lockport on September 9, 1940 to the late Edward and Jean Gailor, She graduated from Lockport High School in 1958 and Erie County Technical Institute (now ECC) with a degree in Dental Hygiene in 1960. Terrie worked as a Dental Hygienist for several years at Roy-Hart, Albion, and Lyndonville Schools.

She is survived by a sister Linda (Lee) Lewis, a brother Edward (Anette) Gailor, and several nephews and nieces.

A private memorial will held at a later date.

Online condolences at www.pruddenandkandt.com.
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SUNRISE, Fla. — The Buffalo Sabres took a mere 13 shots this afternoon in their 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers, while Sabres' netminder Michal Neuvirth saw 46 Panthers shots.

Things started good for the Sabres, with the team taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on goals by Cody Hodson at 2:57 of the first, assisted by Zach Bogosian and and Nicholas Deslauriers; and Andrej Meszaros at 7:18, assisted by Johan Larsson and Hodson.

Beginning in the second, period, however, the ice tilted in Florida's favor with a pair of goals by Brandon Pirri at 12:01 (assisted by Brian Campbell and Jussi Jokinen) and 13:24 (assisted by Campbell and Brad Boyes). Florida tallied a third goal at 18:31 from Nick Bjugstad, assisted by Jokinen and Boyes.

The Sabres tied the game at 3 at 12:54 of the third period on a Torrey Mitchell slapshot, assisted by Matt Moulson and Nikita Zadarov. Just a minute and eight seconds later, Florida retook the lead with a wrist shot by Scottie Upshall. Derek MacKenzie and Shawn Thornton assisted. Then with just 17 seconds left, MacKenzie scored an empty-netter, assisted by Boyes and Jokinen.

The Sabres next on-ice action is Tuesday in Tampa, however, the team could look different by then with the front office focusing on Monday afternoon's NHL trade deadline.



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PAUL SMITHS — Catherine Bergman of Barker has been named to the Dean's List at Paul Smith's College for the Fall 2014 semester.

Bergman, who is majoring in food service and beverage management, earned a semester average of 3.3 or higher to receive this distinction.

Paul Smith's, which was founded in 1946, is the only bachelor's degree-granting institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Their programs — in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences — draw on industries and resources available in their own backyard, while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.

For more information, visit www.paulsmiths.edu.



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A 16-year-old Lockport High School student was charged Friday afternoon with marijuana possession while in school.

According to the LPD report, the school resource officer found the marijuana around 2:20 p.m. after being alerted to it by a teacher. While searching students, the resource officer found a large bag of suspected marijuana inside inside a mason jar inside of a hat. He also found 13 smaller bags of pot at the time. When the teen was brought to LPD for processing, he confessed to having another bag of marijuana on him.

The teen, charged with fifth-degree possession, is slated to appear in Lockport City Court Monday morning.



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Albert L. Ventura passed away Friday February 27, 2015 in Niagara Hospice House.

Born in Lockport on July 27, 1930, he was the son of the late Daniel and Amelia (nee DiRocco) Ventura. Al served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict from 1953 until his discharge in 1955. He then went to work at Harrison Radiator and retired after 30 years. Al enjoyed playing Bocce, watching the Yankees and especially spending time with his family.

Al is survived by his wife of 63 years, Anna (nee Menna) Ventura, whom he married June 7, 1951. He was the father of Al (Charlotte) Ventura, Nancy (James) Calos and Daniel (Sandra) Ventura; grandfather of Andrea (Nathan) Hugill, Amanda (James) Criddle, David (Kimberly) Calos, Michael (Erin) Calos, Samantha Ventura and Daniel Ventura; he is also survived by 8 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Al is predeceased by his siblings, Joeseph Ventura, Anthony Ventura and Connie Cobb.

Friends may call Monday 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 PM in Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee Street, Lockport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday morning at 11 AM at St. John the Baptist RC Church, 168 Chestnut Street, Lockport. Entombment will be in Queen of Heaven Mausoleum.

Memorials to Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, NY 14094, would be appreciated by the family.

Online Condolences at www.pruddenandkandt.com.



Ian M. Jordan passed away Thursday February 26, 2015.

Born in Newfane, NY on June 16, 1985, he was the son of Tina J. (late Jack Wery Sr.) Jordan and Robert Jordan. He was formerly employed by Niagara Specialty Metals as a certified metallurgist of precious metals. Ian enjoyed riding motorcycle, camping, fishing, a passionate snowboarder and especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Beside his parents, Ian is survived by his sisters, Jenniger (Jason) Seib, Charlene (Anthony) Turk; uncle of Natallie and Grace Seib and Harper Turk; he is also survived by several aunt, uncles, cousins and friends. Ian is predeceased by his grandparents, Robert (Irene) Simmons, Sr., Marjorie (Trude) Simmons, Ray Jordan and Elaine Jordan.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.  Online condolences at www.pruddenandkandt.com.


By +Scott Leffler 
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The Lockport Express lost a pair of games this weekend against the Wilkes-Barre Miners, first 7-4 on Friday, then a 4-3 shootout loss this afternoon.

The losses mark the team's fourth and fifth losses in a row, having lost three games to the Jersey Shore Wildcats last weekend. The team must win two of its next three to win the playoff series next weekend, also to be played against Wilkes-Barre — but this time at the Express-friendly confines of Lockport's Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

Friday night, Wilkes-Barre scored 7 goals against the Express' No. 1 goaltender, Tyler Shotwell en route to a 7-4 victory.

Derek Bureau and Daniel Leisser scored for the Miners in the first period, while Ryan Logar netted an unassisted goal for Lockport.

In the second period, Mark Friol tied the game for Lockport and Nick Siracuse put the Express ahead 3-2 before Bureau tied it back up for Wilkes- Barre.

The Miners scored four in a row in the third period, though. Goals came from Artus Bush, Guilluame St. Germain, Krystof Rykala and Leisser. Dillon Hayes tallied the Express' fourth goal at 16:25 to give the game the 7-4 final score.

Today's game, which started in the morning, saw the two teams trade goals in each of the first three regulation periods.

In the first, Bureau scored on the power play at 11:48, assisted by Bush and Austin Bandura. Jordan Pocobello tied it at 13:01, assisted by Siracuse.

The second period saw Jan Mendel score from Daniel Leisser at 1:37 to give the Miners a 2-1 lead. Christopher Gasiewicz combined with Siracuse and Anthony Merante at 15:55 to tie it again for the Express.

In the third frame, Krystof Rykala made it 3-2 for Wilkes-Barre, assisted by Hunter Hackling and Leisser at 5:53. Gasiewicz scored short handed at 7:48 to again tie it for Lockport.

After a scoreless overtime, the two teams went to a shootout, where the Miners had goals from Zoltan Eross, St. Germain, and Bureau. Lockport had goals from Frank Vecchio and Dillon Hayes.

Giancarlo Muglia stopped 42 of 45 shots for the Express today, while Nolan Bivolcic stopped 26 of 29 for the Miners.



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A water main issue at All Saints Parish on Church Street has temporarily moved all regularly scheduled masses to the oratory, 391 Market St., until further notice.

The church also said that "Sr. Renee will not be holding children's activities during the 11 a.m. Mass."



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By +Scott Leffler 
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


Rick Cohen was forced Friday to cut short his plan of walking from Florida to New Jersey.

The owner of the Transit Drive-In Theatre was making the 1,034-mile hike to raise awareness and funds for a small Ohio drive-in, helping the get the drive-in converted to a new digital projector — a $75,000 costs.

Cohen had started the walk on Feb. 6 and planned to walk for about another month. He had travelled 336 miles from Kissimmee, Fla., to Ridgeland, S. Carolina, raising over $7,000 while doing so.

Unfortunately, Cohen says he hurt his ankle early in the walk and, despite resting it for a few days earlier this week, it had been getting worse, rather than better. Rather than run the risk of doing serious permanent damage, Cohen decided to call off the walk Friday, and posted a statement to his personal Facebook page, as well as social media and sites devoted to his business and walk. Cohen's statement follows below in its entirety:
As I write this post, I'm sitting on an Amtrak train near Alexandria, Virginia, heading back to Buffalo. If you've been following my journey, you may recall my mentioning a mild ankle sprain in one of my updates from last week. At first it was just an annoyance, but after each day of hiking, it seemed to get more tender and difficult to walk on.

Yesterday during my hike to Ridgeland, even after having had four days of rest, it became apparent to me that it would not get any better without a prolonged rest in combination with immobilization. Hiking twenty miles each day for the next 4-5 weeks would have been a daily torture which could have had a long term health impact on my right ankle. My left ankle feels fine. The mostly uneven, sloped highway shoulders did not do anything to help my condition as the ankle got steadily worse each day.

It is with great sadness and disappointment that I inform everyone I have discontinued the 1,000 mile walk from Florida to New Jersey. I really wish I could continue on, and probably would if I was closer to the finish line, but realistically there is still another 700 miles of walking left that I simply cannot endure on a sprained ankle.

Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me throughout this journey. The donations made thus far will all go toward helping the Sidney Auto-Vue with their digital conversion this spring. If you are still interested in donating to help save the Auto-Vue, please visit my GoFundMe page at Drive-In Rescue, using the link in the comments section below this post.

Thank you.

Cohen expects to be back in Buffalo tonight.

He said the suspension of the hike itself does not end his plan to help raise funds for the Ohio drive-in.



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The National Weather Service says today will be sunny with a high near 20 and an overnight low around 2.

Sunday calls for snow with a high near 29 and a low around 22. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible. Monday offers a chance of snow with a high near 26 and a low around 8. Tuesday, there's a chance of snow, then rain with a high near 34.

Wednesday will likely bring rain, snow and sleet with a high near 38 and an overnight low of around 16. Thursday, there's a chance of snow with a high near 24 and a low around 7. Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 22.



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Friday, February 27, 2015
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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned defenseman Mark Pysyk to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Pysyk has two goals and an assist in seven games played with the Sabres this season, including an assist in Thursday night's 6-3 victory over Vancouver.

The Sabres next play the Florida Panthers at 3 p.m. Saturday.



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Kathleen Kipfer
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 21-year-old Lockport woman was charged Wednesday with petit larceny, accused of stealing from a family member.

Kathleen R. Kipfer, was charged with the class A misdemeanor after New York State Police responded to a report of a larceny on Slayton Settlement Road.

According to NYSP, investigation showed that Kipfer stole a Microsoft X-Box and four unknown X-Box games — with an estimated value of $400 — from a family member’s bedroom from where she resides and sold them. She later returned the stolen items to the family after she was arrested.

Kipfer was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Lockport Court for March 12.



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Niagara County Sheriff Voutour, left, is sworn in as a president of the New York State Sheriffs Association by Thomas A. Beilein, chairman of the NYS Commission of Correction. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

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ALBANY — Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutuor will lead the New York Sheriffs' Association after the group's board of directors elected him president at their 81st Annual Winter Training Conference.

Voutour was sworn in Tuesday by Thomas A. Beilein, chairman of the NYS Commission of Corrections and former Niagara County Sheriff.

As President, Sheriff Voutour will work with New York’s sheriffs to further the efforts of the Sheriffs’ Association to enhance public safety across the state through professional training and accreditation programs, public safety programs, and advocacy.

Voutour is a 22-year member of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and he is serving in his seventh year as the Sheriff of Niagara County. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from SUNY Brockport and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Niagara University.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.



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New York State Police responded to a report of a school bus / van collision on Badger Drive this afternoon. There were no injuries reported from the collision. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / ENP PHOTOGRAPHER)

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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — There were no injuries reported after a school bus and van collided on Badger Drive just west of Locust Street this afternoon.

New York State Troopers responded to the scene shortly after 3:30 p.m.

Details have not been released by police or school officials.



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Nearly 60 photos contributed from 19 artists compose a month-long exhibit opening Sunday at Market Street Studios, 247 Market St.

A gala opening will be held from from 1-4 p.m. Sunday with awards given to the top three photographs selected by judge Richard Baird.

“We’ve held a photography show every two years,” says Bonni Haney who oversees the hanging of the exhibitions “and its always proven to be one of our most popular attractions.”

The show was open to all photographers and established names like Andrea Clare, Karen Gast and Robert Rimmer will be alongside newer names such as Richard Primo and Debbie Hasley. ENP photographer and co-publisher Heather Grimmer is also featured in the exhibit.

“The one thing they all have in common,” Haney said, “is that they are all enormously talented.”

The exhibit, which runs from Sunday through April 2, will be shown in Market Street Studios' first-floor gallery, named the Whalen Gallery.

Refreshments will be served at the opening and the public is invited to attend. There is no fee for visitors to Market Street Studios.



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Seldom does a day pass when I don't write a story for East Niagara Post about someone getting arrested for marijuana possession.

Seldom do I post a story about someone getting arrested for marijuana possession when we don't get Facebook comments about the unjustness of the state's drug laws, either pointing out the dangers of alcohol in relation to pot, the scant amount of weed that the arrestee had on him/her, or how ENP has somehow ruined that person's life by publishing their arrest.

Seldom do I read comments about the unjustness of the state's drug laws when I don't think to myself, "So do something about it."

Personally, I don't have a problem with people smoking pot. I see no societal value from preventing people from growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking the stuff. But as I don't make a habit of growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking it myself, I see no personal value in fighting the laws which prevent people from growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking it either. Frankly, it doesn't affect my life one way or another.

Some people, though, it would seem, are incredibly offended by these laws. They feel their friends (or maybe complete strangers, for all I know) have been unjustly charged with a crime and had their name smeared in the press, ruining their chances at a good life ... or something.

So to those of you who feel that way, I say, "Do something about it."

The United States is a nation governed "of the people, by the people, for the people," as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put in the Gettysburg Address. Our representatives at every level are Americans just like us, out to represent the rest of us.

Those who represent us, from our local municipal officials to county legislators, state legislators, and U.S. congressmen, have the power to create, change or strike down laws. They get the impetus to do so from the rest of us.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. In New York, a very stringent medical marijuana law was passed last year. Many believe this to be the first step to complete decriminalization in the state. Four other states have completely decriminalized it already, allowing recreational use — although often with strict guidelines. There's no reason that New York couldn't be the fifth.

As stated previously, our elected officials have the power to change these laws. Our representatives have the power to strike down laws that they feel are unjust or unnecessary. But they have no real motivation to do so without their constituents asking them to. Basically, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So if people aren't clamoring for a law to be created, changed or eliminated, they're going to focus on other laws that people are passionate about.

On the executive level, police are instructed to enforce the laws and Constitution of their state and the United States as a whole. However, there have been several documented cases of local municipalities instructing their paid police forces to ignore certain laws. In other words, the Niagara County Legislature could instruct the Niagara County Sheriff's Department to ignore the state's marijuana laws. This could create a bit of a schism because the police have taken an oath stating that they would uphold state laws and continue to feel obligated to do so. But it's not unheard of.

A more assured method would be to band together with like-minded individuals to pressure state legislators to change or eliminate the law altogether. If police have no law to enforce, there's nothing to get arrested for. But that requires time and diligence on the part of those opposed to the law. And would likely have at least some opposition from those who for one reason or another want the law to remain in place.

Look, I'll be completely honest, I hate writing stories about people being arrested for having "a small baggie containing a green vegetable-like matter" on them or "some weed," as we published the other day. It seems trite to me. But ENP publishes all arrest reports. ALL of them. We do this as a matter of fairness. I don't feel qualified to pick and choose what arrests are "important enough" to publicize. So we publish them all. We're not about to change that, no matter how much complaining people do on Facebook.

If you want to not read any more stories about people getting charged with pot possession, the onus is on you to make pot possession legal. In other words, do something about it.

+Scott Leffler is the News Editor of East Niagara Post and has better ways to spend his time than writing about minor violations like pot possession. So do something about it. Also, follow him on Twitter @scottleffler



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The National Weather Service says expect a chance of snow showers this morning, otherwise, mostly sunny with a high near 13 and an overnight low around 2.

Saturday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 20 and a low around 3. Sunday calls for snow with a high near 27 and a low around 21. Monday, there's a chance of snow showers with a high near 29 and a low around 7.

Tuesday, rain and snow are likely — possibly mixed with sleet. The high will be around 34 and the low will be around 31. Wednesday, there's a chance of rain and snow with a high near 36 and a low near 16.
Thursday offers a chance of snow showers with a high near 26.



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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres scored four goals in the third period to win 6-3 over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

The Sabres' six goals came on only 24 shots, starting with Torrey Mitchell's first period goal at 13:07, assisted by Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta. Vancouver tied the game at 1 at 14:09 of the first on a goal by Shawn Matthias. Nick Bonino and Dan Hamhuis assisted.

In the second period, Vancouver went up 2-1 on a Jannik Hansen goal at 5:42, assisted by Hamhuis. Chris Stewart tied it for the Sabres at 8:59, unassisted.

The third-period offensive explosion started at 4:46 with an Andrej Meszaros goal, unassisted. Daniel Sedin tied it one more time for Vancouver at 7:27. Sedin assisted. At 12;43, Mitchell put the Sabres up 4-3, assisted by Moulson and Gionta again. Brian Flynn made it 5-3 Sabres at 18:28. Chris Stewart and Mark Pysyk got the assists. Gionta added an empty netter at 19:58 to make the 6-3 final.

The Sabres next play Saturday against the Carolina Panthers.

GAME NOTES:

  • Torrey Mitchell (2+0) posted his second career two-goal game. He recorded the other as a member of the San Jose Sharks on March 23, 2011 against Calgary.
  • Mitchell, Brian Gionta and Matt Moulson were each plus-4. It was a career-high for Mitchell, the highest rating for Gionta since his career-best (plus-five on Feb. 21, 2004) and tied Moulson's career best set on Oct. 13, 2011.
  • The Sabres did not take a penalty; it was the first game without a Buffalo penalty since March 20, 2011 vs. Nashville.
  • Brian Flynn registered a career-high ice time of 20:57 tonight.
  • With a goal and an assist, Chris Stewart now has four points (3+1) in two games against Vancouver this season.
  • After recording two assists, Matt Moulson has five points (1+4) in his last five games.




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Thursday, February 26, 2015
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PENDLETON — An 18-year-old Starpoint Student was arrested today and charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a class A misdemeanor.

According to New York State Police, the student — whose name was not released — reported an unsubstantiated threat at Starpoint Central School.

The teen was arraigned in the Town of Pendleton Court and scheduled to re-appear at a later date.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 34-year-old Blasdell man was charged early this morning with driving while impaired by drugs and other infractions after being pulled over on Forestview Drive.

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies had responded around 2:23 a.m. to a complaint of a reckless driver on Tonawanda Creek Road and caught up with the offending vehicle eastbound on Tonawanda Creek Road near Willow Wood Drive, following it briefly before pulling it over.

As patrol was interviewing the driver, Mark W. Fox, 3299 Bethford Dr., Blasdell, he was determined to be impaired. He was taken to ENH-Lockport for a drug/urine test, which revealed he was impaired by drugs, according to NCSO.

In addition the charge of impaired driving, Fox was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right, and driving a vehicle with an interlock device.

He was held in Niagara County Jail on $750 bail and ordered to appear in Town of Lockport Court on Wednesday.



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Lake Effect Ice Cream announced Wednesday afternoon that they're hiring
help for the upcoming 2015 season. Frey's Tasty Treat is doing the same.
(ENP FILE PHOTO) 
A pair of popular scoop shops announced recently that they're looking for staff for their impending spring openings.

Lake Effect Ice Cream announced via its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon that they are looking for "hard working, dedicated, and creative individuals to work in our cool little scoop shop this spring, summer, and fall!"

Lake Effect owners said they're in search of shop workers, managers, ice cream makers and ice cream cake decorators. "Maybe even some freeze pop makers too!"

The scoop shop will open sometime in April. Applications, which are available online, are due by March 13th.

Frey's Tasty Treat followed by announcing this afternoon that they are hiring, as well. Their Facebook post was simple and to the point: "Application available online - #‎momshours‬ ‪#‎11to3‬."

A response to a question on the Facebook page clarified that the store is "accepting applications for evenings and weekends too!"



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Rob Ortt
ALBANY — The New York State Senate today passed a total of nine bills that would close dangerous loopholes in sex offender laws, including one sponsored by NY-62 District Senator, Rob Ortt.

The Ortt-sponsored bill (S2981) fixes a loophole allowing sex offenders to spend significant amounts of time at a residence other than the primary one registered with the state. This legislation clarifies the definition of residency and requires offenders to comply with registration requirements to include any location at which the offender spends more than two days a week.

“Keeping our communities safe is a key priority for me and for my Senate Republican colleagues,” said Sen. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda. “Shockingly, sex offenders have been able to skirt residency laws and essentially live within school zones, or next to the victims of their crimes. This legislation will close loopholes in current law and ultimately protect our children and communities.”

The legislation passed today would: provide municipalities with the ability to enact local laws that strengthen sex offender restrictions; close loopholes that allow sex offenders to reside close to pre-K and kindergarten programs; prevent sex offenders from living close to elementary or high schools; decrease the potential time a sex offender could be released into the community before risk levels are determined; increase public disclosure about the residencies and workplaces of sex offenders; and prohibit registered sex offenders from living close to their victims, or from entering child care facilities.

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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Eastern Niagara Hospital will host a grand opening celebration event for its new ambulatory surgery center from 2 - 7 p.m. Monday.

The grand opening will include tours of the facility and details on the $3 million project. Several local establishments, including DeFlippo’s Restaurant, Donna Eick’s Divine Catering, and the Cream & Sugar CafĂ© will be serving complimentary refreshments for attendees.  Dr. Varallo’s Spring Lake Winery will also be providing wine tastings.

Niagara Regional Surgery Center, located at 5875 South Transit Road, is a state-of-the-art surgical center, and the first of its kind in Niagara County. The new facility has four surgical suites, as well as pre-operative areas, recovery and support functions. Surgical specialties to be provided there include orthopedics, plastic/reconstructive surgery, gynecology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and general surgery.

Niagara Regional Surgery Center will accommodate additional patients from East Niagara and surrounding areas, to provide cost-effective and efficient care in a state-of-the-art setting, and to respond to a public desire for outpatient surgical services in the region. The completion of the ambulatory surgery center culminates a number of projects at ENH’s Transit Road site, which also includes Western New York Occupational Medicine, Express Care, primary medical care, and an imaging center.

ENH officials say the project completes the hospital’s effort to grow its selection of healthcare services in a manner responsive to evolving health care trends, paying particular attention to the voice of the community. Redevelopment of the Transit Road location into a high throughput outpatient care destination with operating rooms, urgent care center and a diagnostic radiology center will reposition and complement the Hospital for continued success in the area.

The opening of this new center has also created new jobs in the region, including positions for Nurses, OR technicians, and clerical staff.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will include a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.



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There are still spots available in the Lockport Family YMCA’s Winter 2 Youth Sports programs, it was announced today. The Winter 2 session begins on Monday and runs until April 25.

The program includes several classes to choose from that promote skills development, staying physically active, and improving social skills. All programs are co-ed and target the development of age-appropriate skills.

Little Champ and Parent Introductory Sports is open to children between the ages of 3-5 and their parents and is designed to introduce them to a variety of team sports, including basketball, floor hockey, soccer, baseball, and more. Participants will learn the basics of the sports and engage in group game play. Parents are asked to be involved in the learning process to help teach and to engage in active play with their children. This class meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 - 5:45 p.m.

Shooting Stars is an instructional basketball program for children between the ages of 6-9.  This course teaches children the basics of basketball and skills development through drills, skill games, and scrimmages. Shooting Stars meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 - 5:45 p.m.

Grade School Instructional Basketball League is a YMCA Winners League, a value-based, competitive program for children in grades 2-5. Participants will be divided into separate divisions for second- and third-graders, and fourth- and fifth-graders. All players must register in advance and attend a mandatory skill evaluation prior to the start of the season. All games will be played on Thursday and/or Friday nights.

Similarly, there is a Middle School Instructional Basketball League for children in grades 6-8. Middle School League games will be held on Friday nights and/or Saturday mornings.

The Lockport Family YMCA Golden Knights Chess Club is a program for children in kindergarten through ninth grade that teaches them the basics of chess and allow the development of strategy to play at a high level. Participants have the opportunity to play in local, regional, and possibly national tournaments. The Golden Knights Chess Club meets on Mondays from 6 - 8 p.m.

Instructional Racquetball is offered for anyone 12 or older who wishes to learn the sport of racquetball. Racquets, goggles, and balls are provided. This program meets on Sundays from 1 - 3 p.m.

New to this session is Youth Multi-Sport. This program offers children the opportunity to work on developing skills in a variety of sports across the seven-week session. Sports will include but may not be limited to basketball, soccer, football, wallyball, and more. There are two separate age groups:  6-9 year-olds meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 - 6:45 p.m, and 10-12 year-olds meet the same days from 7 - 7:45 p.m.

Also new this session is a class on Flag Football Fundamentals. Come learn the sport in a fun setting at the Lockport Family YMCA and work on a basic skill set including passing, catching, throwing, conditioning, and more. The 6-9 year-old age group meets on Mondays from 6 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 - 11 a.m. The 10-12 year-old age group meets on Mondays from 7 - 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 - 12 p.m.

Additional information on these programs can be found on our website www.LockportYMCA.com or by calling the Youth Sports & Teen Leadership Director, Luke Kantor, at the Greater Lockport Family YMCA at 434-8887 x35.



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PORTER — A 36-year-old resident of Minnick Road escaped a Saturday evening car fire on Ransomville Road uninjured.

According to the NCSO report, the driver of the vehicle told patrol that he had noticed a hissing sound coming from the front driver side wheel well around 6:45 p.m. He said pulled over to the west side of the road to check on the tire and then noticed his front driver side tire was flat and that a small fire had ignited in the area of the wheel well.

Prior to patrol's arrival, Ransomville Fire was on scene and extinguished the small vehicle fire without incident. Ransomville Fire told patrol that the fire may have been caused by a blown out wheel bearing.

Chris's Towing arrived on scene and removed the vehicle without incident. The extent of the damage to the vehicle is unknown at this time.



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SYRACUSE — Four students from East Niagara have been named to the Dean's List at Le Moyne College for the 2014 fall semester.

The students include:

  • Marissa Chaffee of Lockport, a Senior Biology major.
  • Alexandra Paulin of Lockport, a Sophomore Communications major.
  • Anthony Polechetti of Lockport, a Senior Biology major.
  • Claire Puff of Gasport, a Freshman Biology major.

To be named to the list, a student must obtain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Located in a suburban setting on a picturesque 160-acre campus in Syracuse, Le Moyne College is one of only 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Offering more than 30 majors, Le Moyne provides a values-based education that helps students explore their potential through academics, experience and service.

In 2015, for the second consecutive year, Le Moyne was ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, an honor achieved by only 15 percent of the colleges and universities in the nation. A Le Moyne education provides students with the intellectual skills necessary to succeed in the world and the will to use their abilities to promote a more just society.



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This week's edition of "Catching Up With The Lockport Express" has hosts George Root and Craig Bacon talking with Lockport Express Head Coach Frank Vecchio about the recent series against the Jersey Shore Wildcats as well as the upcoming series against the Wilkes-Barre Miners.

ENP's contributors also talk goaltending strategy with two of the team's three goaltenders — Ryan Kostelnik and Tyler Shotwell.

This is the final "regular season" edition of the series, as this weekend's games against Wilkes-Barre are the team's last two games before they begin the playoffs next weekend at Cornerstone CFCU Arena — also against the Wilkes-Barre Miners.

Watch the video on the ENP YouTube Channel or embedded below.





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FINDLAY, Ohio — Bethany Dewey of Lockport is an event manager for Happy Kidz Pony Club, a spring internship she's participating in through the University of Findlay.

A senior at The University of Findlay, Dewey is working on a degree in sport and event management.

The University of Findlay is a comprehensive university with a hands-on approach to learning located in Findlay, Ohio, approximately 45 miles south of Toledo. With a total enrollment of 4,000 full-time and part-time students, The University of Findlay is known for its innovative, career-oriented programs in nearly 80 programs including bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. UF has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. For more information, visit www.findlay.edu.



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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled forwards Phil Varone and Zac Dalpe from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Varone (5’10”, 191 lbs., 12/4/90) is joining the Sabres for his third recall of the 2014-15 season. During his two recalls (Jan. 4 and Jan. 12), he played in seven games for the Sabres, scoring two goals in the team’s game against Carolina on Jan. 8. He currently leads the Amerks in total points (43) and assists (29) through 52 games played and his point total ranks 14th in the AHL.

The Sabres signed the Vaughn, Ontario native to a three-year, entry-level contract in March 2012 and he has appeared in 17 total NHL games for the club, registering three goals and four points.

Dalpe (6’1”, 195 lbs., 11/1/89) joins the Sabres for the second time this season since signing with the club in July 2014. With Rochester, Dalpe currently leads the team in goals (16) and has collected 28 points in 44 games played this season.

Prior to joining the organization, he played in 96 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes, recording 17 points (9+8). The Paris, Ontario native was originally drafted by Carolina in the second round (45th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.



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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Niagara County Sheriff's deputies charged a pair of men with marijuana possession after pulling one over Wednesday morning on Robinson Road for an invalid inspection sticker.

According to the NCSO report, Sean Stubbs, no age or address given, was stopped around 9:43 a.m. for having an expired inspection sticker. Stubbs told patrol that he was aware the inspection sticker was expired and handed over his identification, a state ID card. Patrol found his driver's license was suspended.

Stubbs told patrol that he had "some weed" in the center console along with a "one hitter," a small glass marijuana smoking pipe.

He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and having an invalid inspection sticker. He was taken to Niagara County Jail and ordered to appear in Town of Lockport Court on Wednesday.

Stubbs' passenger, Clayton M. Herring, 138 Cottage Park, Ransomville, was also found to be in possession of marijuana and charged by New York State Police, according to the NCSO report.

The suspected marijuana and "one hitter" were submitted to the Niagara County Forensic Lab for evidence and analysis.



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Carolyn M. Layer, of Lockport, passed away suddenly February 4, 2015 in Erie Select Specialty Hospital in Erie, PA.

Born in Beaumont, TX on February 21, 1947 she was the daughter of Henry and Marie (Meloncon) Edgar.

Carolyn worked for Wal-Mart where she was the manager of the fabric and crafts department.  She is survived by her loving husband Carl J. Layer of Lockport and was predeceased by her brother and sister.

A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date.

Please visit www.pruddenandkandt.com to leave an online condolence.



A few Saturdays back I returned home following another one of those miserable, sloppy and incredibly slow commutes that have become the norm this winter. As I got out of the truck I was immediately greeted by the calls of robins. Not one. Not two. But two dozen!

Yes, two dozen of these so-called “signs of spring” were looking down upon me and no doubt laughing.

Robins are around in the winter, despite what people may believe. (PHOTO
COURTESY OF OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY)
Touche, Mother Nature.

I could only let out a “darn you” or something along those lines under my breath. The weather really wasn’t conducive to spring — and everyone from this neck of the woods knows we haven’t seen hide or hair of spring since that sighting.

But, I knew better. Despite the widely-held belief that these birds are the harbingers of all things vernal, they really aren’t.

Robins, which are abundant around the Niagara Frontier in the spring, summer, and fall, can still be found here in the winter months. We’re just at the northern edge of the year-round range. From December through February they aren’t around in any measurable number and in some winters they are downright rare, but, they’re here ... if you know where to look.

While you might find a robin in your yard in the warmer months, you aren’t likely to do so in the winter.

You’ll have to venture out into the woods. Don’t go into the deep, larger forests, though. Stick to younger, brushier forest edges and small woodlots. That’s because the redbreasts are after the bounty of berries that hang on smaller trees and shrubs well into the colder months – mountain ashes, currants, and viburnums to name a few.

Berries make up a surprising amount of a robin’s diet. We might be more familiar with seeing robins pulling nightcrawlers from our lawn or yanking tent caterpillars from their messy nests in the spring and early summer, but their diets switch as berries, like blackcaps and mulberries, start ripening in July.

Studies have shown that from July through February more than 60% of a robin’s diet will be fruits and that number could surpass 85% in a bad winter without the periodic thaws that release insects.

To attract robins to your yard in the winter, you might want to plant some shrubs that stubbornly retain their berries, like pyrcanthas, roses or the aforementioned viburnums.

Unless they become starved and desperate, which can happen to the robins that stay here in a winter like this, they won’t come to feeding stations. On these frigid days you might find they are interested in raisins, apple bits, blueberries, raspberries and even bread crumbs. They are best served if you have a yard adjacent to a woodlot; you really won’t find robins frequenting cities and villages as you would in the summer.

Do not place the fruits on a bird feeder or platform, they won’t take them. They are naturally conditioned to expect berries to be growing on trees or lying on the ground next to them. Create a separate feeding area for them away from the cardinals and chickadees. Put some fruits on the ground next to a shrub and hope that they find them before the squirrels do.

If you don’t mind getting the heebie-jeebies, you can even feed them mealworms. In the winter robins will go berserk over them and if they find them in your yard they’ll be back every day. So, if you’re getting into handing out mealworms, know that you have to be all in.

You’ll find that winter robins are a more communal sort. In the spring and summer they are pretty territorial and you have no doubt heard nasty yelling calls come from male robins, especially on spring nights when they like to chase other males from their turf. In the winter they are less concerned with the fairer sex and more concerned with survival, so they flock up in larger groups in search of berries (many sets of food-finding eyes is better than two). Whereas you might see robins as couples or families in the summer, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see them in larger groups like I did.

One peculiar thing to take note of with winter robins: If they look drunk, they are. The berries that make it the seven or eight months into February tend to be a little fermented. The alcohol content, albeit slight, is enough to make robins tipsy and they will fly weirdly and often into objects (and sadly among them, moving cars).

This is one of those columns when I hate to burst most everyone’s bubbles: While many might think robins are a sign of spring, they really aren’t. It’s a myth. They are here among us all year. They’re just a little more secretive and nomadic in the winter.

But, myth or not, I still got a head-shaking chuckle out of my recent robin sighting.

Hey, we have to find humor somewhere, anywhere, in a winter like this, right?

+Bob Confer lives in rural Gasport where drunken robins taunt him in the winter months. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer or email him at bobconfer@juno.com.



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A Saxton Street man is facing a bevy of charges after Lockport Police found items in his home that had been reported as stolen in two separate burglaries — one in Lockport and one in West Seneca.

According to police, officers searched the home of Donald R. Manjeot, 37, 129 Saxton St., Upper Apt., after obtaining a warrant to do so Monday morning.

While police haven't said exactly what was found, LPD charges against Manjeot include two counts of petit larceny, two counts of fifth-degree possession of stolen property, three counts of fourth-degree possession of stolen property, third-degree possession of a weapon, and two counts of fourth-degree possession of a weapon.

Manjeot was to be in court Monday.



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Candice M. Wiley, 28, 6559 Lincoln Pl., Apt. B, was charged around 9 p.m. Wednesday with criminal impersonation, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving without a license. According to the LPD report, police were looking for Wiley in relation to the accident charge and when they found her, she gave patrol a fake name. She is due in City Court on Monday.

Michael R. Godzisz, 47, 187 Park Ave., was charged around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and registration plate display. According to the LPD report, patrol stopped Godzisz for a traffic infraction and found him to be driving without a license. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Tyler M. LaForme, 19, 204 Saxton St., was charged around 9 p.m. Monday with traffic infractions, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance. According to the LPD report, LaForme was stopped for a traffic infraction and found to be driving without a license. "A blue glass pipe with burnt residue and a blue round pill with 'COR 132' stamped on it were located." The pipe and pill were secured in an evidence locker and submitted for testing. LaForme was to be in court Wednesday.

Michael S. Clines, 48, 235 Washburn St., Apt. 4, was charged around 12:26 p.m. Tuesday with second-degree criminal contempt. According to the police report, Clines violated an order of protection. He was due in City Court Wednesday morning.

Danny S. Williams, 26, 113 Jackson St., Apt. 1, was charged around 9 a.m. Monday with fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, and identity theft. According to the arrest report, Williams used another man's unemployment card to make purchases without his permission. He was due in City Court Monday.



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