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Sunday, May 31, 2015
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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A Transit Road restaurant is asking for the public's help in finding a pair of coolers and a pair of cooler condensers that were stolen late Saturday night or early this morning.

Sunny's Family Restaurant took to social media to offer the reward "for information on the whereabouts of some refrigeration units that were stolen."

The restaurant asks that anyone with any information get ahold of them on Facebook, Twitter, by phone at 433-4747 or call the New York State Police.

RELATED LINKS:
Sunny's Family Restaurant on Facebook
Sunny's Family Restaurant on Twitter



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ROYALTON — A Peet Street family safely evacuated a fire at their home this evening. Unfortunately, their home was deemed to be a "total loss" from the blaze.

According to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, the home — at 4611 Peet St. — was fully engulfed when fire companies arrived on scene shortly after the 911 call arrived at 5:54 p.m. The fire was brought under control by the responding fire companies but not in time to save it.

The home was occupied at the time of the fire and all occupants were able to safely evacuate. They are being assisted by American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by Niagara County Cause and Origin.



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The Lockport Police Department is warning area residents against scam phone calls claiming to be from the IRS telling the person answering the phone that they're being sued.

According to a post on the LPD Facebook page, the calls are from "foreign scammers attempting to extract money or information."

The LPD post gives some tips:

* If you are being sued by the IRS you will know why and it will be done in writing
* The IRS already knows your SS#
* If there is background noise like a football game, its not the IRS
* Calling the IRS and speaking to someone is an act of magic, so them calling you is another act of magic
* The IRS will not ask for personal info over the phone

Finally, the LPD post advises to "just hang up and do not give any information," adding "tell them to put it in writing and they will probably hang up on you."



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CANTON — Catherine E. Heinrich of Lockport was one of nearly 600 students who received bachelor degrees from St. Lawrence University during Commencement ceremonies held on May 17.

Heinrich, a geology major, received the degree of bachelor of science cum laude from Ridley College.

Four honorary degree recipients spoke during St. Lawrence University's Commencement, including award-winning songwriter Judy Hart Angelo, hedge fund pioneer John M. Angelo, chair of the Baseball Hall of Fame Jane Clark, and garden historian Peter Hatch.

Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence University is a private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,500 students located in Canton, New York. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global. Visit www.stlawu.edu.



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Wednesday night is comedy night at the Kenan Center Taylor Theater as Defiant Monkey Improv hits the stage at 7 p.m.

Over an hour of live comedy improvisation will be presented by Karen Eichler and Andy Spragge as the pair will use suggestions and volunteers from the audience to create on-the-spot theater — akin to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Tickets are available online for $10. For more information, visit defiantmonkey.com.



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Ames #88 Royal Arch Masons will hold a Krolick's chicken BBQ from 3-6:30 p.m. June 11 at the Masonic Temple Lodge, 1 Cottage St.

Each dinner will include chicken, salt potatoes, macaroni salad, roll and butter — plus your choice of pop or water. Presale tickets are available for $10 from Steven Allore at 417-3572 or John Cooper at 585-813-7612. Tickets are available at the door for $11.

Proceeds will benefit Ames #88 activities, especially the Masonic Scholarship Fund.

The site will also be a drop-off point for the Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive. Donations of peanut butter, jelly and Fluff will be accepted.



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FINDLAY, Ohio — Bethany Dewey, of Lockport has graduated from The University of Findlay, the school announced, receiving a bachelor of science in sport and event management.

Dewey was invited to walk in the University's commencement ceremonies earlier this month, where more than 400 graduates were awarded doctoral, master's, bachelor's and associate's degrees.

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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Andrew M. Cuomo
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today sent a letter to New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald, directing that the speed limit on the Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo be reduced immediately.

A three-year-old boy was killed on Saturday when he was struck by a car that had crashed through the median on the expressway. A 5-year-old girl was also injured and taken to Women and Children's Hospital. The mother of the children also suffered minor injuries.

Cuomo's letter follows in its entirety:
I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic car crash in Buffalo on Saturday that claimed the life of a young child and severely injured another.

While law enforcement agencies are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this terrible crash, it is clear that immediate action needs to be taken to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians on the portion of the Scajaquada Expressway that passes through Delaware Park.

For this reason, I direct you to immediately lower the speed limit on this section of the roadway to 30 mph, install speed messaging boards, and construct park-appropriate guard rails to protect pedestrians.

These actions are to be taken as ýthe Department of Transportation continues to investigate long-term solutions to prevent further tragedies on this part of the Expressway.

This administration will continue to take every available action we can through engineering, education and enforcement to avoid crashes like this in the future.

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Cuomo



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The National Weather Service has issued a "hazardous weather outlook" for this afternoon and tonight.

The alert is in effect for portions of Western and north-central New York, including all of Niagara County.

According to the weather service, "a cold front will stall to the south of the region through Monday while a significant wave of low pressure moves slowly along the front later today through tonight. This will bring an extended period of moderate to heavy rainfall" in the range of one to two inches throughout the region.

"Due to the relatively slow and steady accumulation of rainfall and previous dry conditions, only minor ponding of water is expected in typical poor drainage areas," NWS added.



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The National Weather Service calls for showers on and off throughout the day with a high near 49. Tonight rain could be heavy at times with a low around 44. New precipitation amounts between an inch and an inch-and-a-half are possible in the next 24 hours.

Monday, showers are likely with a high near 55 and a low around 47. Tuesday, a slight chance of showers before, otherwise, partly sunny with a high near 62. The chance of precipitation is 20 percent. Wednesday looks to be sunny with a high near 68 and a low around 53.

Thursday will be sunny with a high near 77 and a low around 60. Friday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 82 and a low around 62. Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 76.



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One of the first things someone will likely tell you, when you have a child with special needs, is to thrown out the calendar of when they “should” be doing things. That they’ll get there eventually, no matter how long it takes them.

Sometimes the latter is true. Sometimes … well, it’s not. Still, we choose to proceed as though it will be, and who knows? We just might be surprised.

Jim is 10. I remember 10. I remember my pride in my growing independence, in walking to (the very nearby) school by myself. I remember how grown-up I told myself I was. My world was expanding, and I couldn’t wait for all the freedoms I knew were coming. I remember books I read at that age; in fact, since I was reading at an adult level then, I still re-read some of them today.

Jim is 10. His freedoms are smaller, such as the ability to get himself a snack from the kitchen cabinet. So are his milestones. He’s not ready to read “The Blue Sword” … he’s still fond of his ABC books.

If I start to make those comparisons … I’ll be honest. It can be a recipe for frustration and sadness for a parent. Will he ever be ready to read my favorite books? Will he be able to have those freedoms at all? Sometimes the milestones seem to come so slowly. I want my son to be happy, at whatever level he’s at, but I want him to have some independence, too.

No matter how much you love your child, these are things that go through your head.

This past week, Jim was honored with a Steps to Achieving Real Success award from the Erie 1 BOCES. He was selected from his classroom for his accomplishments, which include all the progress he’s made over the past few years, speaking in clearer sentences, improved use of crayons and markers and more. He’s a happy, social kid who loves to greet the folks around his school, and his teacher sang his praises in the write-up she prepared for the ceremony.

I sat in that audience and listened to the list of his accomplishments, and I thought about that advice I mentioned at the beginning of this column.

It’s still good advice, to take (and celebrate) each and every one of those milestones for what and when they are … not what someone else tells you they should be. He’s learning and he’s growing, and we’ll continue to take every step for what it is.

Jim’s a STAR. We knew it anyway, but he even has an award to prove it.

And I’m so very proud of him.

***

A Keppeler family favorite, Niagara Falls Comic Con is coming up Friday and June 6 and 7 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For those who love any form of geekery from anime to Marvel to The Walking Dead, it’s well worth a trip across the border.

Children age 10 and younger are admitted free, but before you go, be sure your kids are able to handle crowds and costumes and a general amount of noise and hubbub. (As well as some potentially scary stuff in the Falls Horror Fest section, although that’s pretty easy to avoid if you keep your eyes open.)

(And also take this advice: Get there on the early side, because there’s a chance you might have trouble getting in once the crowd really swells. And once in, don’t leave unless you’re positive you’re not going back that day.)

For more information, visit niagarafallscomiccon.com.

Jill Keppeler is immensely proud of both her sons. Follow her on Twitter @JillKeppeler or email her at jillmkeppeler@msn.com.



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Saturday, May 30, 2015


I'm conflicted. But that's nothing new.

As I write this, I'm sitting in the midst of thousands of books at the annual AAUW book sale. Tens of thousands maybe. And while Heather pours over them, adding what would seem to be half of the entire building's inventory into her shopping cart (no, really, she got a shopping cart), I have so far added eight books to my personal library - most of them about writing.

See, I like books. I love reading, in fact. But I'm one of those people that actually prefers to read on a screen than off a printed page. I've probably added a couple dozen books to my Kindle library in the past month — since having bought a Kindle Fire. Prior to that, I did most of my reading on my Kindle app on my tablet ... or the Google Books app on the same. As far back as 15 years ago, I read the first four Harry Potter books on my Palm Pilot.

Side note: We just took a shopping cart of books to the car and came back for more. We also ran into another girl I used to date and I saw (but we did not talk to) a third girl I used to date. I apparently have a thing for girls who read ... or at least girls who like books.

Anyway ... back to the story: I still bought books, though. Hardcover and paperback, alike. I had a couple bookshelves full of them. I liked the way they looked. And I liked the way they made me look. But about six years ago, I gave them all to charity ... or lost them ... or something. I was in the midst of a major transformation (*cough* divorce) and books were an unnecessary burden.

Slowly, I began building a book collection again. It started with "Plato and a Platypus Walked Into a Bar." I got a few books as gifts and picked a few up here and there. This incredible annual book sale and the Lockport Library book sale added to the collection. But it pales in comparison to what it once was. And I want to get back to that impressive collection of leather bound books. ... But then there's also a part of me that feels like buying books for the primary purpose of showing off how many books I have is ... forgive my French ... douche-y.

So I'm conflicted. I like books. I want books. But I probably won't read the books because I prefer reading digitally. So much like my favorite Shakespearean character, I'm struggling with what to do here. Of course, he would just tell me that "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” So maybe the moral of the story is to think less and read more.

+Scott Leffler left that book sale with eight books. And ran into — literally — another girl he had dated on his way out of the book sale. If you want to follow Scott's reading you can find him on Goodreads or follow him on Twitter @scottleffler. If you want to date him, apparently you should read more.



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Paul Carlino, left, and Tim Pynn talk at 100 American Craftsmen at the Kenan Center on Friday. The 45th annual craftsmen show continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

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Bob Hagen, left, talks with one of the 100 American Craftsmen on Friday.
The 45th annual 100 American Craftsmen show at the Kenan Center wraps up Sunday.

With artists coming from around the country — and some from Lockport — selling their unique wares at the Kenan Arena, the show is a perennial favorite for local residents.

The event, featuring live music, specialty food vendors and wineries, an Herbal Plant Sale, and the new “Annex Market” with first-time artisans, student craft art display, and more will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can also enjoy the current exhibit in the Kenan House Gallery: EXTRAORDINARY FORMS IV: THE CERAMICS LEGACY OF ROBERT L. WOOD from noon to 4 p.m. Wood is a professor of design and coordinator of the ceramics program at SUNY Buffalo State. Featured are more than 30 of Wood’s ceramic pieces spanning his 28-year career along with works by 12 of his former students.

Admission to 100 American Craftsmen is $6; children 12 and under are free. This year, active duty military personnel and students with ID will pay $3. A discount coupon and more details are available online at www.100americancraftsmen.com.

Craftsmen come from all across the country. And some are from Rochester, like Cheryl Olney, pictured here. 

There's more photos available here. (link)



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Lockport Rampage players had a lot to celebrate tonight, beating the Southern Tier Diesel 37-0 at Outwater Park. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler 
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


It was a total domination on both sides of the ball — with special teams pitching in as well — as the Lockport Rampage shut out the Southern Tier Diesel 37-0 at Outwater Park.

Through the air and on the ground, the Lockport Rampage marched up and
down the field nearly unscathed.
The Rampage kicked off the scoring with a touchdown with 35 seconds to play in the first quarter. A missed extra point left the score at 6-0. The Rampage doubled it to 12-0 with 3:46 to go in the second. Again, the point after the touchdown was unsuccessful. The Rampage got the ball back with just under a minute to play and made the Diesel pay, scoring — and getting the extra point.

Following a pair of mis-steps by the Rampage, they got back into the swing of things and returned to domination. A pair of fourth-down mistakes saw the Rampage pick up the first down and then fumble — and be the victim of an interception. Then the home team picked off Southern Tier and a few plays later, made it 25-0. An attempted two-point conversion, however, failed.

The Rampage celebrates one of their six touchdowns in their victory over 
the Southern Tier Diesel.

In the fourth quarter, Jeremy Brown took a punt all the way, putting Lockport up 31-0. AJ Cleveland then made it 37-0 taking an interception into the end zone.

Rampage Head Coach James Mount said he was impressed by his team but noted that there's still more to work on.

The Rampage next plays June 6 when the Jamestown Chiefs come to Outwater Park for another game under the lights.

The lights almost didn't come on for tonight's game. Although they were to be turned on before the game, the lights and scoreboard didn't make an appearance until the start of the second half. The appearance of the scoreboard allowed for music to be played through the sound system in between plays, getting the crowd more into the game.



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Rob Ortt
ALBANY — Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Rob Ortt, giving tax credits to eligible taxpayers and developers who pay to have asbestos removed from their residential or commercial properties, passed the Senate on Thursday.

The Asbestos Remediation Tax Credit bill (S2961) would fight blight and help spur economic development across the state, according to Ortt.

“When I was the mayor of North Tonawanda, I became very familiar with the issues contractors or companies had when removing asbestos,” said Sen. Ortt. “It can be very costly and pose a health hazard to the community if not handled properly. This bill would help move projects forward by curbing costs of remediation. And, it would encourage clean up of old buildings or homes, in turn, revitalizing a neighborhood and providing opportunities for economic redevelopment and reinvestment.”

Whether asbestos-filled structures need to be demolished to make way for new builds, or are planned for adaptive reuse, costs necessary to safely and legally remediate asbestos are unfeasibly high. As a result, many developers and homeowners don’t rectify the situation, and structures fall into disrepair leading to blight, abandonment and disinvestment.

Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen said, “Providing incentives for remediating asbestos is critical if we are ever going to fully realize the potential of Western New York’s old building stock and capitalize on the current momentum of redevelopment happening in our community. Asbestos remediation is incredibly expensive work and without tax credits, developers will think twice about rehabbing a building with asbestos that is currently a strain on a neighborhood. With the recent long-term extension of the Brownfield Cleanup Program, meaningful incentives for asbestos remediation would be the one-two punch we truly need to spark investment, especially in our older neighborhoods. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership applauds Senator Ortt for his leadership on this issue, and is grateful that all the members of the WNY State Senate delegation voted in favor of this important legislation.”

The credit would cover 20 percent of incurred costs for asbestos removal, and would be capped at $1 million over a three-year period. The $1 million cap on claimable credits for asbestos remediation would help guide private capital investment into existing infrastructure and assets. Furthermore, it would address the public safety concern and pave the way for growth and redevelopment in our cities and region.  

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, “Asbestos abatement is often the first and most expensive roadblock to building rehabilitation. As Niagara Falls welcomes more and more building renovations, S2961 would be an important economic development tool, leading to more forward thinking renovations and fewer demolitions.”

City of North Tonawanda Mayor Art Pappas said, “I support this bill considering it would help defray the costs of asbestos remediation for older and historic structures. By reducing the costs, this type of credit can encourage reuse of a building and spark economic development of new buildings. In addition, this bill would breathe new life into our neighborhoods.”

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.



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CANTON — Codi D. Mckee of Barker made the SUNY Canton President's List during the spring 2015 semester.

Mckee is a SUNY Canton Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major who graduated from Barker Central School in 2012.

To receive President's List honors, full-time students must earn at least a 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.



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A male driver got his car stuck this afternoon on Lincoln Avenue near the corner of Davison Road, causing a backup of traffic while the car hung there waiting for a tow truck. (STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)

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A male driver got his car stuck this afternoon on Lincoln Avenue when the undercarriage didn't clear the ridge created by the ongoing construction near the corner of Davison Road.

Eyewitness accounts say the driver was aiming for a temporary driveway but missed. The incident caused traffic to back up around 2:40 p.m. Many good Samaritans tried to help but the car was unable to move until a tow truck fixed the situation.



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The National Weather Service calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms this morning and afternoon, followed by likely showers and a possible thunderstorm this evening. The daytime high will be around 83, while it will dip to a low of 48 overnight.

Sunday, showers are likely in the morning, then gradually becoming mostly sunny with a high near 57 and a low around 45. Monday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 65 and a low around 50. Tuesday offers a chance of showers with a high near 68 and a low around 53.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 74 and a low around 60. Thursday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 82 and a low around 61. Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 85.



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Writing a food column for East Niagara Post comes with a few amazing perks. One of my favorites is the fact that I get to buy new clothes every month- not because I want to, because I have to. The food in this neck of the woods is so scrumptious that I’ve been blessed with the gift of a new wardrobe due to an increased waistline. In my travels these past few months I have stumbled across some unique menu
items and some downright weird ones too. For example, did you know Steakstone & Sushi serves Jellyfish? Thankfully it’s seasonal and I didn’t have to try it … yet.

I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorite “Unique Eats” that I found right here in East Niagara. It was hard to choose five but I narrowed it down to the best dishes that were sampled this month.

#5 Pineapple Rice from Steakstone & Sushi

Pineapple Rice sounds simple enough, just the name alone alludes to the fact that it’s probably rice with pineapple in it. What if I told you it is rice with pineapple in it in a pineapple. Huh? Yes, you read that right. Steakstone cuts a pineapple in half, takes out the fruit, cooks the rice along with any vegetables and your choice of chicken, steak, or shrimp, and then serves the rice inside the pineapple. It’s bizarre, it’s fun, and it’s delicious. A perfect balance of sweet and savory.

#4 Pretzel Crust from Pizza Hut

Wait, what’s a chain pizzeria doing on this list when East Niagara has some of the best pizzerias in Western New York? Pretzel Crust-It’s a game changer. Pizza Hut has revamped their menu to cater to the modern, hip & trendy, eaters. Their new menu offers spicy sirracha drizzles, a buffalo chicken pizza, and the aforementioned Pretzel Crust. The new crust almost tastes like those Auntie Anne’s pretzels that are at every mall in America.  Seeing that you can get their “Big Box Meal Deal” for $20, that includes breadsticks, boneless wings, and two pizzas, you really can’t go wrong by ordering one regular pizza and one with the new crust.

#3 Banana-Cinnamon Delight from Gordie Harper’s Bazaar

So imagine a place that bakes their own bread daily. Now imagine they take their cinnamon bread, grill it, drizzle it with a sweet sauce that will make your head spin with joy, and then top it with bananas. They serve up two slices for $4.75, I was full after one but the second one was sinfully delicious too.

#2 Jumbo Stuffed Mozzarella Meatball from DeFlippo’s

Living in East Niagara, I would imagine you’ve had a DeFlippo’s meatball. The legendary Italian Restaurant has been serving them for generations for a reason-They’re delicious. Now Imagine a DeFlippo’s meatball the size of a baseball. Crazy right? Now imagine that baseball sized meatball stuffed with mozzarella cheese then erupts out of it as you cut into it. The fact that they cover this modern marvel with their signature homemade red sauce makes something that couldn’t be better, spectacular.

#1 Gin and Juice Sherbet from Lake Effect Ice Cream 

I don’t know how the owners of Lake Effect pulled this one off-Gin & Juice ice cream. Take one bite of this “super refreshing mix of orange & Grapefruit juice spiked with gin” and you’ll understand why it made the list. I’m not quite sure if the guys at Lake Effect are geniuses or they are just two guys that threw a cocktail in the ice cream machine one night just for kicks. Either way, this sherbet was not only refreshing, it was absolutely divine. After licking my final bite off the spoon I glanced at the counter and wondered if the cashier would judge me if I ordered another round.

+Jay Bérent  had to be escorted off the premises of Lake Effect Ice Cream after his seventh round of Gin & Juice sherbet. He was last seen stumbling down Transit mumbling “I don’t care how much you pay me, I’m not eating the Jellyfish from Steakstone.” Know of some unique eats? Email him at jayberent@gmail.com.



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First responders attend to a crash victim Friday evening. The motorcyclist struck a deer then went flying into a wooded area. He was taken via Mercy Flight to ECMC. (PHOTOS BY STEPHEN M. WALLACE / CONTRIBUTOR)

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Mercy Flight landed at the
Niagara County Fairgrounds.
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A motorcyclist was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC early Friday evening after striking a deer on Old Niagara Road.

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies and Wrights Corners Fire and EMS responded to the call originally, where they found that the cycle and driver flew off the road into a thick wooded swamp area. The deer was killed on impact, while the driver of the bike was stabilized by Miller Hose ALS, who was called to assist.

Mercy Flight landed at the Niagara County Fairgrounds, right around the corner from the crash scene.

The identity of the driver was not released, nor was his condition.

The bike and driver both landed in a wooded area. 
There's more photos from the crash here. (link)



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Friday, May 29, 2015
Terrence L. Davis Jr., 21, 728 Townsend Pl., Niagara Falls, was charged around 2:09 a.m. with unlawful possession of marijuana, improper plate display and parking after 2 a.m. According to the LPD arrest report, Davis was sitting in a vehicle on Erie Street and found to be in possession of marijuana. He is slated for City Court on Tuesday.

A 17-year-old South Street male was charged around 2:09 a.m. with unlawful possession of marijuana. According to the LPD report, the male was the passenger in a vehicle stopped by LPD and found to have marijuana. He is due in City Court on Tuesday.

Shawn A. Awtry, 38, 157 Cottage St., was charged around 10:45 p.m. Thursday with third-degree menacing and unlawful possession of marijuana. According to the LPD report, Awtry threatened a city woman who refused to allow him to enter her home. When he was arrested by LPD, he was found to be in possession of marijuana. He is due in City Court on Monday.

Frank A. D’Angelo, 35, 40 Webb St., Apt. A, was charged around 8:50 a.m. Thursday with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. According to the LPD arrest report, D’Angelo was found to be in possession of two hypodermic needles when police were called to his home. He was due in City Court Thursday morning.

Anthony M. Sammarco, 18, 27 Cave St., was charged with third-degree assault around 3:25 a.m. Thursday. According to the LPD report, Sammarco punched a woman in the head and pushed her into a refrigerator, then threw her onto a table. The woman was granted a full order of protection. Sammarco is due in City Court on Monday.



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A Niagara Falls woman turned herself over to Lockport police on Thursday, having been accused of participating in a gang assault of a Lockport woman at a Heath Street bar in early March.

Shauniqua Rodriguez, 36, 1027 South Ave., Niagara Falls, was charged around 12:34 p.m. Thursday with second-degree assault and second-degree gang assault after turning herself in at the Lockport Police Department.

According to LPD, Rodriguez and two Lockport women — Adrien N. Criswell, 30; and Christina M. Criswell, 28, both of 191 North Transit St. — struck and kicked a woman at Casa Montego on March 8 after one of them had sprayed the woman with something, causing her to have difficulty breathing and being unable to see. The complainant was taken to the hospital following the incident.

The Criswell sisters turned themselves in to LPD on Wednesday.



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Freedom Run Winery is now open late on Fridays during the summer. 
(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Freedom Run Winery on Lower Mountain Road announced today that they will offer extended hours on Fridays during the summer months — beginning tonight.

"Every Friday throughout the summer, Freedom Run's hours will be extended until 8 p.m. with wine, wine slushies, beer on tap, cocktails, and food available," the Lower Mountain Road winery said. "Join us out on the patio."

The winery's normal hours of operation are noon to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday — and until 8 p.m. Fridays during the summer. They're also available for special events and private tastings.

For more information, visit freedomrunwinery.com or call 433.4136.



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Mike White
Lockport City Treasurer Mike White is seeking a fourth term in office, he announced this afternoon.

The incumbent said in a press release that it has never been more crucial that the Treasurer's Office "maintains the municipal experience necessary to navigate in these temporary rough waters."

White faces opposition from Alderman John Lombardi, a fellow Republican who announced recently that he would be seeking the elected post.

White said he takes "a no-nonsense approach to following up when potential violations as the relate to people's money arise," in the release, which follows in its entirety:

At this time I would like to announce my candidacy for the Office of the Lockport City Treasurer. This will be my fourth campaign and I am asking for the voters continued trust to allow me to serve them. As part of remarks I recently made to the public (Available at East Niagara Post) is is important for the voters to understand that this "Independent Office's make (Design) and custodian (Treasurer) that was originally set up by our founding fathers and mothers, can only be changed by you, the people.

In these financially challenging times, which are not exclusive to this city alone, it is more important now than ever that this office maintains the municipal experience necessary to navigate in these temporary rough waters. Rest assured that they will be calmed. With the devastating cutbacks, like other departments in the City have experienced, and the limited remaining staff available to perform the daily business of the Treasury there is simply no room or time to go through a "learning curve." I believe voters will make some changes in November and hopefully the elected officials will take advantage of how much and invaluable resource this office can be on how city government should run financially before big spending decisions are made.

Those that know me or have dealt with this office understand that they can put their trust in me and the great professional staff that I have the pleasure of working with. These days ou continually hear the expression, "Do more with less." My staff and the many employees throughout the city that work with us on a daily basis are the epitome of that statement. We communicate extremely well. This office is much more than the recently applied public perception that it is nothing more than a collection agency. Nothing could be further from the truth. For others dealing with sensitive issues such as water, sewer, refuse, people in jeopardy of losing their home, home closings, and legal matters just to name a few, the public feels comfortable knowing we will go above and beyond the call of duty while protecting their integrity.

With ethics, as it related to finance, I take a no nonsense approach to following up when potential violations as they relate to the people's money arise. As the public has seen in the past, this independent office will not tolerate any improper activity of this nature from employees or elected officials period.

White is a recent Past President, Chairman of Audit and Director of the New York State Municipal Finance Officers Association. This organization is instrumental in training and keeping the membership of over five hundred current municipal Chief Financial Officers across the state abreast on all matters of financial substance as it relates to their cities and villages. He is a "Certified Credentialed Municipal Finance Officer" and served as a former staff accountant in the private sector. He also serves on the Executive Board as Treasurer and is currently Operations Committee Chairman as well as Audit Committee member of the recently completed Lockport Ice Arena & Sports Center, Inc.

The support I have received has just been amazing especially with the challenges we face. I am up for the task. I have over fifteen years of combined municipal experience between Niagara County (Deputy Treasurer) and the City of Lockport (Treasurer). I feel I am the most qualified person for the job and without question the most qualified in the area of municipal finance.

White will be running in a Republican Primary in September. 



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Dominick Farina passed away May 29, 2015 in Niagara Hospice House.

Born in Lockport on January 2, 1931 he was the son of Lewis and Antonietta (DeAngelo) Farina. Dominick served in the US Army from 1951 to 1953 and worked for 26 years at Carbonrundum in Niagara Falls where he was a tinsmith retiring in early 1980’s. He enjoyed woodworking and loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dominick is survived by his wife Betty (Hofert) Farina of Lockport; father of Kenneth (Sharon) Bowerman of Middleport, Daniel (Sharon) Bowerman of Barker, Marie (Donald) Walters of Gasport, Mark Farina and Dominick (Pamela) Farina both of Lockport. He is also survived by several grandchildren, great grandchildren a nieces and nephews. Dominick was predeceased by several brothers and sisters.

Relatives and friends are invited to a celebration of life on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 11 AM in the Solid Rock Assembly of God, 8590 Gasport Rd., Gasport. Memorial donations to Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Dr., Lockport, NY 14094 would be appreciated.

Visit www.pruddenandkandt.com.
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POUGHKEEPSIE — Kanasha Kennedy of Lockport has received a Master's degree in Public Administration from Marist College, the college announced.

Marist is an independent comprehensive liberal arts college with an enrollment of 4,800 full-time undergraduate students. Founded in 1929, the College offers 44 major fields of undergraduate study and 12 graduate degree programs. Marist is included in the Princeton Review's 2015 guide to the top colleges and universities in the U.S., The Best 379 Colleges.

Marist is also ranked as 11th in the northern United States in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" guide and is listed by Kiplinger's Personal Finance as one of the best values in private colleges and universities.

For more information visit www.marist.edu.



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Royalton-Hartland Community Library will hold a "Gadgets & Gear" help session from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The session offers free hands-on training for the latest phones, tablets, readers or computers. Attendees are invited to bring their own device or devices to the library, 9 Vernon Street in Middleport.

Sara Taylor, an e-mobile trainer from the NIOGA Library System’s BTOP Express, will show residents how to use their electronic devices and answer questions about any device that is brought to the session.

Interested residents are invited to bring in their own eReaders (Kindle, Nook, etc.) iPads or other tablets, flash drives, laptop computers or Smart Phones (including charging cords) and ask questions about them.

Attendees will also be able to learn how to download items from Overdrive, Freegal or Zinio right at the session so they will know how to use these valuable services. These electronic services provided through the NIOGA library system, make it possible for patrons to download free music, books and a large number of free magazines either at the library or from the convenience of their own homes.

Due to the popularity of the Gadgets & Gear sessions, registration is requested by calling the library at 735-3281.

The Royalton Hartland Community Library periodically offers sessions like Gadgets & Gear and residents are encouraged to check the library’s website at www.RoyHartCommunityLibrary.com for program information or you can call the library at 735-3281.



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Members of the Lockport Fire Department were out this morning collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

For three hours, firefighters worked intersections in front of City Hall, Lockport High School, Transit and Summit streets, and Transit and Walnut streets. Their efforts resulted in $5,303 collected for the MDA.

The LFD and the MDA have a long history. Sally Cramer of the MDA explains more to ENP News Editor Scott Leffler in the video below:






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BURLINGTON, VT — A pair of Lockport students have been named to the Dean's List at the University of Vermont. To be named to the Dean's List, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their respective college or school.

Those who accomplished the feat include:

Jamie L Dimond of Lockport, a Junior Nutrition and Food Sciences major.
Elizabeth P Schratz of Lockport, a Junior Public Communication major.

Chartered in 1791, UVM was the first college or university in the United States that did not give preference to a religious sect in its charter. UVM now has 9,958 undergraduates in seven schools and colleges, 1,371 graduate students and 459 medical students. The University of Vermont combines faculty-student relationships most commonly found in a small liberal arts college with the resources of a major research institution.



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City property owners waiting on their refuse bills from the city will just have to keep waiting.

A notice from City Treasurer Mike White says that they will be mailed once the treasurer's office receives information needed to compile the bills. The notice, posted below in its entirety, says that residents will not be shorted in the amount of time they have to pay the bills.
Semi-annual refuse bills for May that would have normally been mailed out on or about May 15, 2015 have been delayed.

This office has not received the necessary updated file from the Office of the Clerk to process.

This will have no impact on the time you will have to pay. You will still receive the full time to pay from the issue date that will appear on the invoice once you receive it. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused for those that expected this billing sooner. We also want to save you a phone call to this office wondering where the bill is.

Thank you for your patience.

— Michael E. White, Lockport City Treasurer.



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ONEONTA — Jordan Perry of Lockport has completed Platinum Level requirements in SUNY Oneonta's Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program.

LEAD@Oneonta is a comprehensive leadership program based on current research and guidelines from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. All students can choose to participate in the LEAD program, which aims to better prepare them for life after college by providing a comprehensive picture of leadership and the skills needed to be a good leader. There are three levels of leadership certification: Silver, Gold and Platinum. To attain each level, students must meet a mix of programmatic and experiential leadership requirements, including attendance at educational events, and membership and leadership in one or more of SUNY Oneonta's 100+ student-run clubs and organizations.

Completion of a leadership level is recognized on campus as a credential that can be used, for example, when running for office or applying for STEP (Student Travel for Excellence Program) funding. The program also provides students with a leadership record that can be submitted to potential employers.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value. The college has been named to Kiplinger's list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for nine consecutive years, was ranked No. 2 on the 2014 Kiplinger's list of "10 Best Public Colleges With Lowest Debt at Graduation" and sits at No. 9 on the 2015 U.S. News and World Report list of the best public institutions in the region. The college enrolls 6,000 students in its 70 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs.



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The Lockport Rampage will be open the 2015 NFA season against the Southern Tier Diesel this Saturday with a "Veterans Appreciation Game."

Coming off an exciting 10-0 regular season record in 2014, Lockport's semi-pro team are looking to get back to the NFA championship, where they suffered their only loss last year at the hand of the Troy Fighting Irish.

The Diesel also had an impressive 2014 season, going 7-3 in the regular season to earn their own bid to the NFA playoffs. Two of the Diesel's three defeats came at the hands of the Rampage — by a combined total of 50-6.

Saturday's game kicks off under the lights at Exchange Field at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 at the gate.



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Rob Ortt
ALBANY — A bill sponsored by 62nd District Senator Rob Ortt, designed to ensure "appropriate punishment for cruel and repeated mistreatment of children," passed the the New York State Senate on Thursday.

The “Protect Our Children Act” (S2964) would create a new crime of aggravated murder of a child. An individual convicted of this crime would receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole. It would also strengthen the current law of reckless assault of a child by creating the felony offenses of aggravated abuse of a child in the first, second and third degrees; aggravated manslaughter of a child; aggravated endangering the welfare of a child; aggravated murder of a child; obstructing the location of a missing child; and concealment of a death.  

“This legislation is the next step we need to take in protecting our children,” said Sen. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda. “Anyone entrusted with the welfare of a child must be held to a higher standard that ensures they're truly protecting that child. Current law doesn’t go far enough to protect our children from serious abuse. Quite frankly, our children deserve better than a legal loophole and I hope the Assembly Majority will act on this common sense measure to prevent further, potentially fatal, abuse.”

Current law relating to reckless assault of a child would be expanded in the “Protect Our Children Act.” The law, which currently only applies to day care providers, now would apply to a parent, guardian or person in a position of trust who recklessly causes physical injury to a child under the age of 14. The bill indentifies a person in a position of trust to mean any person who is charged with any duty or responsibility for the health, education, welfare, supervision or care of a child, no matter how brief a time period it may be.

A felony offense would be created for the new statute of aggravated endangering the welfare of a child. This provision would create the crime of failing to notify law enforcement when the whereabouts of a missing young child is unknown.

Repeat child abusers would have increased penalties.  

Existing statutes often make prosecuting child abuse very difficult, or current laws carry such disproportionately low punishments that they essentially have no meaningful consequences. Under current law, unless physical injury results, the infliction of sadistic, painful, dangerous punishments on children can typically be charged only as misdemeanors. Other low-level charges with probationary sentences are not seen as sufficient to protect the most vulnerable children. The “Protect Our Children Act” would fix these problems.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.      



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The National Weather Service calls for sunny skies today with a high near 85. Tonight, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a low around 68.

Saturday, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 86 and a low around 49. Sunday, there's a chance of showers in the morning, otherwise partly sunny with a high near 59 and a low of around 45. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 69 and a low around 52.

Tuesday looks to be mostly sunny with a daytime high near 75 and a low around 60. Wednesday will be partly sunny with a high near 81 and a low around 64. Thursday will be mostly sunny with a high near 84.



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Thursday, May 28, 2015


John A. Assimotos entered into rest May 25, 2015 at Medina Memorial Hospital. Born in Lockport on April 8, 1921 he was the son of Anthony and Bessie Assimotos. John has been married to the former Mary Thersa Hoenig for over 50 years. He retired from Harrison Radiator as an electrician.

Beloved husband of Mary Theresa Assimotos. Beloved father of John Christopher Assimotos. Dear brother of the late Lt. Col. Sammuel Assimotos.

Relatives and friends may call from 2-4 & 7-9 on Thursday at the TAYLOR & REYNOLDS FUNERAL HOME, corner of Transit and Niagara streets, where the Funeral Service will held at 11:00 am. Entombment in Glenwood Mauseluem.

Please visit www.taylorandreynolds.com.

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Niagara County was awarded a $400,000 EPA grant for brownfields — the 
only county in the state to receive funds. (ENP FILE PHOTO BY
HEATHER N. GRIMMER)
SANBORN — Niagara County officials pointed to hard work by Economic Development staff as the reason Niagara County was the sole county in New York state to receive an award for brownfields assessment from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The $400,000 award, the result of a nationwide competition open to all local governments, states, tribes, quasi-governmental organizations, and non-profit entities, was the only one issued in New York state—a fact that the chairman of the Niagara County Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, Legislator Rick Updegrove, R-Lockport, said is no accident.

“Niagara County has made reclaiming lands contaminated by industrial and commercial processes a top priority of its economic development efforts over the past dozen years,” Updegrove said. “The Niagara County Center for Economic Development has a track record of success leading efforts to restore contaminated properties and return them to the tax rolls, and this grant will further that effort.”

Updegrove noted the specific funding request, developed by Brownfields Development Corp. President Amy Fisk, a senior planner at the county’s Center for Economic Development, would be used by the county to assess potential brownfield sites throughout the county for rehabilitation. The award is actually a pair of $200,000 grants: one will be used to assess petroleum-contaminated sites, and one will focus on hazardous substance sites.

Fisk and Updegrove also stressed that the county placed an emphasis on assessing tax-delinquent parcels. This includes both Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, which range from review of paperwork and database information to on-site sampling and testing.

“Determining the level of contamination will allow these properties to be remediated and returned to productive use, returning them to the tax rolls and allowing the private sector to create jobs there,” Updegrove said. “Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands.”

The grant will allow assessments countywide. Municipal government leaders are encouraged to contact Fisk at the Center for Economic Development about potential sites within their jurisdictions. Funding is not directly available to businesses or municipalities, but Economic Development staff will work with interested businesses and municipalities to determine potential sites for assessment.

Fisk noted that funding may be utilized for sites countywide, and known priority sites within the county’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas would likely be targeted. The Brownfield Opportunity Areas include the City of Lockport Downtown Tourism area, the Buffalo Avenue area in Niagara Falls, the City of North Tonawanda Brownfield Opportunity Area, and the Highland Avenue area in the city of Niagara Falls.



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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Dan Bylsma has been hired as the 17th head coach in franchise history. With 479 total games coached during six NHL seasons, Bylsma becomes the most experienced head coach to join the Sabres since the team hired Scotty Bowman in 1979.

Bylsma comes to the Sabres after spending six seasons as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he led the Penguins to a 252-117-32 overall regular-season record, becoming the winningest head coach in Penguins history. His career record gives him the best points percentage (.668) of any head coach in NHL history with at least three full seasons coached.

In 2008-09, his first year as an NHL head coach, Bylsma took over a Pittsburgh team that ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference with just 25 games remaining in the regular season. Under Bylsma, the Penguins went 18-3-4 to finish the season fourth in the conference before going 16-8 in the playoffs on the way to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 16 years.

Bylsma won the Jack Adams Award in 2011 as the league’s “most outstanding coach” following a season that saw Pittsburgh overcome adversity to post one of the best regular-season records in franchise history. The Penguins went 49-25-8 and won the Atlantic Division that season despite ranking near the top of the league with 350 man games lost due to injury, including 119 from the team’s top three forwards in ice time per game (Sidney Crosby-41, Jordan Staal-39, Evgeni Malkin-39).

Pittsburgh would go on to qualify for the playoffs in all six seasons under Bylsma’s leadership, winning two division titles (2012-13, 2013-14) and posting the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13. His success throughout these seasons made him the fastest coach in NHL history to reach 250 wins, a feat he accomplished after just 396 regular-season games. Bylsma led the Penguins to at least 100 points in every full season he spent with the team.

In addition to his coaching achievements at the professional level, Bylsma has found success in international competition. He made his international debut as head coach of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the United States went undefeated in group play before finishing fourth in the tournament. Bylsma also served as assistant coach at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, where the United States again won their group and went on to earn the bronze medal with a win against the Czech Republic in the medal round.

At the time of his hiring by the Penguins in February 2009, Bylsma was in the midst of his first season as head coach of Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, a post he took up after four seasons as assistant coach with the New York Islanders, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (AHL).

Before his first coaching job as assistant coach in Cincinnati in 2004-05, Bylsma played in parts of nine NHL seasons as a forward for the Los Angeles Kings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, tallying 62 points (19+43) in 429 regular-season NHL games. He was a member of the 2002-03 Mighty Ducks team that won the first Western Conference Championship in franchise history and eventually fell just one win short of lifting the Stanley Cup.



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