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Saturday, October 31, 2015
ENP STAFF REPORTS
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This guy will be in Newfane on Dec. 4 for the annual Holiday Light Up and 
Parade. (ENP FILE PHOTO)
NEWFANE -- The annual Newfane Holiday Light Up and Parade will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 on Main Street.

Cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa will all be part of the days festivities in addition to the parade. Santa will be brought in on a horse drawn wagon, and the lights in town will be lit as the parade makes it way down Main Street. The Wishing Tree will be lit along with a special light up display at the gazebo.

The Newfane United Methodist Church will hold its annual Candy Cane Lane which features vendors, food and crafts beginning at 4 p.m. the same date. Then following the parade, Grace Bible church will hold its first night of the Living Nativity.

Any  organization or community group that would like to participate in the parade is asked to contact parade chairman Pat Darrow at 512-9731. This event is sponsored by the Newfane Business Association.



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In 1991, I met Anne McCaffrey, and made one of the best hiring decisions of my 40-year-
plus career in human services. At that time, Anne was a recent college grad, obviously both intelligent and highly motivated to help people in need. Over the next 19 years, working her way up to a key management position at Lakeshore Behavioral Health, Anne developed a high level of expertise in service delivery, personnel management, consumer advocacy and effective grant
writing. Some of her outstanding accomplishment included creating new services for the homeless, and for women in substance abuse treatment.

Anne became skilled at budget management, working effectively in the complex environment of state and county contracting. She also became a highly respected and knowledgeable collaborator within the network of local human service agencies. These abilities led to significant increases in the resources available for the people she served.

Anne McCaffrey performed a very intense and demanding job, in a very crisis prone environment, with extremely limited financial resources. She did this with dedication, integrity, and professionalism, and was highly regarded by her colleagues.

So why should the people of Lockport care? I’d suggest a moment’s thought on what it takes to be your mayor shows that Anne’s skills and experience are exactly what’s needed. In her first term, Anne has brought Lockport from a city in crisis to one with a budget newly in the black.

She has brought in over 5.5 million in new grants to assist city residents and has negotiated a new Code of Ethics policy and established a City Audit committee to avoid  the problems of the past and keep things moving in a positive direction.

I’ve never regretted hiring her; I’m sure you will be glad you did too.

-- Susan Piper is a Buffalo resident



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


The National Weather Service calls for increasing clouds today with a high near 52. Over night offers occasional rain with a low around 45.

Sunday, there's a chance of rain early then gradually becoming mostly sunny with a high near 59 and a low around 44. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 62 and a low around 47. Tuesday: Sunny with a high near 66 and a low around 48.

Wednesday will be sunny with a high near 64 and a low around 51. Thursday looks to be partly sunny with a high near 66 and a low around 52. Friday: A chance of showers with a high near 58.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


"Team Transit" poses for a photo while presenting a check to SERV Niagara
in Lockport. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated a simple idea -- that by working together, people can improve their financial well-being.

“People helping people,” this year’s ICU Day theme, is the foundational philosophy of the credit union movement.

To celebrate International Credit Union Day on Oct. 15, Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union employees participated in several random acts of kindness throughout the Niagara County area.

Employees from each of the five Cornerstone branches brought breakfast to Police and Sheriff offices throughout Niagara County. In Lockport, the group surprised Tim Horton’s customers with gift cards to pay for their purchases.

The group also made a donation to SERV Niagara in the city of Lockport.  SERV Niagara’s mission is to support, empower and respect veterans and their families.  SERV Niagara works with veterans helping them overcome public and personal barriers while improving developmental, social and overall life skills.

They help veterans find housing and offer community outreach and many other programs.  (To donate or learn more about this organization visit SERVNiagara.org)

To learn more about Cornerstone CFCU visit CCFCU.org or call 434-2290.  Anyone who lives, works, worships, goes to school or volunteers in Niagara County can open an account with the credit union.  Branch offices are located in Lewiston, Lockport, Middleport and North Tonawanda.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
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BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel scored his fourth goal of the season and Ryan O'Reilly racked up three points en route to a Buffalo Sabres victory of the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night.

Eichel's goal came with just 36 seconds remaining in the first period, assisted ty O'Reilly and Johan Larsson.

In the second, O'Reilly notches his own goal, assisted by Brian Gionta and Cody Franson at 4:20.

The third period saw O'Reilly get another point, assisted on a Nicholas Deslauriers goal at 3:12. Marcus Foligno also assisted. Philly scored a goal at 16:34, making for a 3-1 final.

The victory was Buffalo's second in three games, improving their season record to 4-7-0.

NOTES: 

  • The Sabres now have three straight wins against the Flyers for the first time since Nov. 14, 2009 to March 5, 2010.
  • With his first NHL win Friday, Linus Ullmark (22 years, 92 days) became the youngest goaltender to earn a win for the Sabres since Mika Noronen (21 years, 111 days) on did so on Oct. 5, 2000 vs. Chicago.
  • With three points (1+2) tonight, Ryan O'Reilly extended his point streak to five games. During the streak, O'Reilly has posted 10 points (3+7), an even-strength corsi for percentage of 59.0% and a 61.0% faceoff percentage on 136 total faceoffs while averaging 21:34 of ice time per game.
  • O'Reilly led all skaters on either team with 26:03 of ice time Friday, seven seconds shy of his career high and the highest total since he logged 25:30 on April 9, 2015. He leads all NHL forwards with 21:32 per game this season.



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Friday, October 30, 2015


Since moving to Lockport nearly 30 years ago we have immersed ourselves in serving our community from Rotary and the Kenan Center to the Historic Palace Theater.

We truly love Lockport. Additionally, we have watched it transform dramatically in terms of industry, economics and demographics.

One of our most memorable encounters while living here came in 1991 attending the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce Expo at the Kenan Center where we formally met Anne McCaffrey for the first time. We were instantly impressed with her poise and confidence. We have watched her donate her time, her talents and her energy to the Lockport community while balancing a thriving career and raising a family.

Last winter, we were especially honored to be present for the swearing-in of Anne McCaffrey as Mayor of the City of Lockport. This change in administration quickly shook a city – in the midst of a financial and emotional crisis. We had faith that Anne McCaffrey understood and accepted this serious challenge. With Anne’s integrity, resourcefulness, intelligence, leadership, education and strong affection for Lockport, she was prepared for this unexpected moment. We knew that our city was in good hands.

Mayor McCaffrey immediately restored our faith and confidence at City Hall. Mayor McCaffrey made difficult decisions to right-size our City’s operations and implemented a balanced budget.  Mayor McCaffrey turned a million dollar deficit into a surplus and has continued to champion economic projects such as the Flight of Five and Cornerstone Hockey Arena.

We have watched Mayor McCaffrey rise up to make Lockport a place we can all be proud of. We know that Mayor McCaffrey had very difficult decisions to struggle with, but in spite of some undue criticism she has held her head high because she knew that her only mission was to stabilize our City and lay a new foundation for future generations to build on.

On Election Day, let’s stand by Anne McCaffrey a sensible, forward thinking, creative leader who has stood by us, as our Mayor and community servant.

Lockport is a better place because of our friend, Anne McCaffrey.

Thank you Anne for all that you do!

-- David and Kathy Greenfield are Town of Lockport residents




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I read with great interest the letter by Ken Genewick urging Lockport voters to vote "Yes" on the referendum to change the job description of the City Treasurer, a referendum, if I am not mistaken, that he coauthored.  The letter was very interesting, to say the least, conflating space travel, fighting wars and invention of the television with the current situation.  Entertaining?  Yes.  Informative?  Not really.

I can agree with Mr. Genewick that many things have changed in the past 100 years.  But Mr. Genewick would have voters believe that within those 100 years the City Charter has become outdated and needs to be changed.  The charter's principles worked 150 years ago and they work today.  It is only with the administration of Mayor Mike Tucker, with its lack of communication with the Treasurer's Office coupled with indiscrete spending, that city finances suffered.  No amendment to the City Charter is going to fix a problem like that.

What is needed to fix those problems is leadership, and sadly the Lockport voters have not gotten that.

The Treasurer's Office has long been understaffed.  A leader would have come in and remedied that
problem, giving that department's employees the resources needed to complete their duties.  The Treasurer's Office needed permanent resources, not temporary agency help, to correct the deficiencies that had accumulated over the years since Mike Tucker was Mayor and to be able to go forward.

But, instead of taking $95,000 of taxpayer money and hiring the clerical help needed, the current Mayor and Common Council decided to use those resources to hire a Director of Finance with duties overlapping those of the Treasurer and accountable only to the Mayor.

So let's get this straight.  To fix a problem of chronic understaffing of the Treasurer's Office the solution has been to fail to staff them, to change the City Charter in order to strip the Treasurer of his duties, then hire a Director of Finance who reports only to the Mayor thus eliminating the checks and balances needed between the fiscal and executive branches of city government, and for good measure to throw the Treasurer under the bus, making him a scapegoat for the city's financial woes.  Is this leadership?

Hardly.

Mr. Genewick's letter would also have voters believe that the current Treasurer is minimally qualified for the position (over 18 years of age and a city resident) and that he is only there because he is well-liked.

This is untrue and meant to mislead you.  He tells us that the city cannot afford to have such a person solely responsible for overseeing the finances of a 33 million dollar operation.  Again, this is misleading.

The Treasurer has never been solely responsible for overseeing the finances.  There were checks and
balances in place to guard against that.  By hiring a Director of Finance accountable only to the mayor we are eliminating those checks and balances and concentrating those powers within the Mayor's Office which is a step in the wrong direction.  The voters should demand more transparency and accountability, not less.  And if you vote "Yes" on the referendum you will be getting less.

I urge everyone to do their homework and vote "No" on Election Day.

-- Molly Ennis is a Lockport resident



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State Sen. Rob Ortt presents a check to Orleans/Niagara BOCES. From left, BOCES Senior Michael Stachowski (Niagara Falls Central School District); BOCES Senior Nate Burgin (North Tonawanda CSD); BOCES Board of Education Member Becky Albright (representing Wilson CSD); BOCES Board of Education Member Ed Grabowski (representing Medina CSD); Senator Rob Ortt; BOCES Automotive Technology Instructor Jasper Adams; and BOCES Board of Education Member James Little (representing Newfane CSD). (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


SANBORN - Senator Rob Ortt, R – North Tonawanda, presented a ceremonial check to Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in the amount of $50,000 on Friday.

Senator Ortt secured the funding as part of the 2015-16 State Budget. The Niagara Career and Technical Education Center will be using the state funds for new computers, state-of-the art equipment, and to upgrade the technology for the career and technical education programs and the Adult Education Workforce Training programs.

Orleans/Niagara BOCES partners with school districts to provide students and adults with hands-on educational experiences preparing them for career opportunities in competitive fields. Orleans/Niagara BOCES serves 13 school districts: Albion; Barker; Lewiston-Porter; Lockport; Lyndonville; Medina; Newfane; Niagara Falls; Niagara-Wheatfield; North Tonawanda; Royalton-Hartland; Starpoint; and Wilson.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
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Trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, so adults need to be on the lookout. On All Hallows’ Eve, research shows that children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle and killed than on any other night of the year. Making Halloween a real treat for everyone isn’t hard, and you don’t need to be a wizard to accomplish it. All it takes is some extra precautions on the part of motorists and parents.

“Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert," said AAA East Central Safety Advisor, Terri Rae Anthony. "Motorists should watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they'll be harder to see at night," she added.

This Halloween, AAA offers these simple tricks:

  • Trick-or-treat together: AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until age 12
  • Choose costumes wisely: Make sure your child is visible by selecting a light colored costume, or by adding reflective tape
  • Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping
  • Stay on the sidewalk: Always walk on sidewalks, if available. If there are no sidewalks, walk as far to the left of the road as possible, facing traffic
  • Shine a light: Give everyone a glow stick or flashlight to help them see and be seen by drivers
  • Cross with caution: Cross streets only at the corner, and never between parked cars or mid-block. Be sure that approaching cars come to a complete stop before stepping into the roadway
  • Put down the devices: Parents and children should look up and pay attention to their surroundings while walking. Texting and social media can wait. If you need to use your cell phone, walk to a safe area away from the street before doing so
  • Check the treats: Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items
  • Watch for children: Watch for trick-or-treaters walking on roadways, medians and curbs. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between cars
  • Halloween has also become an increasingly popular holiday for adults to dress up and host, or attend parties. While the trick is to have fun, it’s no treat to learn the scary facts: fifty-eight percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. on Halloween night last year involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.
Fatal injuries from motor vehicle crashes rise nearly 50 percent when Halloween falls on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver; and one-third of Halloween crash fatalities involve a pedestrian. The combination of drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween night has been a deadly combination in past years.

Keep the following in mind while out on Saturday:

  • Designate a sober driver in advance. If intending to drink alcohol, plan ahead to get home safely by selecting a designated driver or ensuring cab service is available from the party location. Never ride with a driver who has been drinking
  • Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s home, consider asking to stay overnight. If participating in festivities in a downtown or commercial area, look into hotel accommodations within walking distance.
  • Do not let impaired guests drive. If hosting a Halloween party, remind guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, offer alcohol-free beverages and do not allow impaired guests to drive. Prepare a list of local taxi companies in advance to have ready should guests need to call one



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Police, as well as local and county law enforcement agencies, will increase patrols to crack down on drunk driving and underage drinking this Halloween weekend. The special traffic enforcement detail will begin today and continue through Sunday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes across the U.S. on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 – 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) were in crashes involving a drunk driver. Trick-or-treaters, their friends and loved ones are also at risk on Halloween night, with 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes (2009-2013) involving drunk drivers. As Halloween falls on a Saturday night this year, state and local law enforcement will be out in full force and extra vigilant in their efforts to protect families and their loved ones on New York’s roads.

“This weekend, we are ramping up our enforcement efforts in order to prevent needless tragedies and keep people safe,” said Governor Cuomo. “It’s simple: if you’re planning to drink, use public transportation or a designated driver. I urge New Yorkers to make the right choice this weekend so that everyone can have a safe and happy Halloween.”

Motorists that are traveling this weekend can expect to see a number of sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols. Troopers will also conduct a special enforcement detail to crack down on the sale of alcohol to minors.

State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Halloween can be fun, but it can also turn tragic if people get behind the wheel after drinking. Children will be out walking after dark and drivers need to exercise extreme caution. Never drink and drive. Troopers will be out in force making sure this Halloween is a safe one on the roads."

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. The initiative is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

“We want this and every Halloween to be a fun time that creates happy memories, and not see it marred by needless tragedy,” said Chuck DeWeese, Assistant Commissioner for the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. “Drive safely if you are going out, as there will be children trick or treating into the evening. If you’re going to a Halloween party and plan to drink, have a designated driver or make other arrangements for getting home safely. Let’s make this a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.”

During last year’s Halloween initiative there were more than 720 crashes that killed three people and injured more than 150 others. Troopers arrested 195 people for DWI and issued more than 9,700 tickets for speeding, distracted driving and other traffic violations. Choosing to drive drunk can ruin or end your life or someone else’s. This Halloween, if you drink and drive, you may face jail time, the loss of your license, higher insurance rates, and many other unanticipated expenses. An impaired driving charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000.

The New York State Police and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee ask that you to follow these easy steps to enjoy a safe Halloween without jeopardizing lives on the road.

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
  • Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home. 
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program 
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


PITTSBURGH -- The Sabres fell short of a comeback Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh was on top of their game offensively and defensively against the Sabres, scoring four goals -- the most of the season -- while netminder Jeff Satkoff stopped 47 of 50 shots.

Pittsburgh started scoring early -- just 56 seconds into the game. Pascal Dupuis notched the goal, assisted by Sidney Crosby and Ben Lovejoy. Patric Hornqvist made it 2-0 at the 7:16 mark, assisted by Crosby and Olli Maata. Jamie McGinn brought the Sabres within a goal at 14:25, assisted by the recently called-up Tim Schaller and Rasmus Ristolainen. Nicolas Deslauriers tied it less than two minutes later, assisted by Ryan O'Reilly and Ristolainen.

The Penguins regained the lead in the second with a goal by Lovejoy at 8:18, assisted by Evgeni Malkin. At 14;57, Malkin scored to make it 4-2. Hornqvist and Phil Kessel  assisted.

Matt Moulson brought the Sabres back within a goal at 17:34 of the third period -- but it was too late for the Sabres to muster a full-fledged comback. O'Reilly and David Legwand assisted on the Moulson goal.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
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The National Weather Service calls for cloudy skies gradually becoming mostly sunny with a high near 47 and an overnight low around 34.

Saturday offers increasing clouds with a high near 53 and a low around 45. Sunday: Rain is likely with a high near 57 and an overnight low around 46. Monday: Partly sunny with a high near 62. and a low around 48.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 65 and a low around 49. Wednesday: Mostly sunny with a high near 64 and a low around 51. Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63.



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I've mentioned once or twice that I enjoy politics. I follow politics like some people follow sports. Local, state, national; it doesn't matter, it's all interesting to me.

I've never understood why anyone goes into politics, to be honest with you. The grief they get ... the attention they get ... as compared to the paltry salary most of them get ... it's just not worth the effort.

Lockport elections this year is nearly blood sport: We've got unpaid taxes by candidates in the First and Second wards, a debate over whether Second-Ward Alderwoman Anita Mullane supports firefighters or not, a controversial postcard, a four-person race in the Third Ward, the most hotly contested mayoral race since I've lived in Lockport, the treasurer's race, a referendum ... mass hysteria. Then there's county Legislature races -- in theory. Not a single candidate ever contacted East Niagara Post. Not one. Were it not for David Mongielo dropping out a week ago, we would have forgotten there were Legislature races.

About a week ago, we began being inundated with political press releases. That's died down mostly now. But it's been replaced by letters to the editor. Everyone wants the rest of the city to vote their way. It's a fun part of the process. We'll continue to publish letters through Monday, by the way. They must be received by noon Monday to make publication before election day.

***

I got a really strange Facebook message the other day from a Newfane woman asking us to post something about trick-or-treat times in Lockport being unchanged. Apparently they were changed in Lockport, La., and some people thought they were changed here, too. I ignored the request. I mean ... people know what state they live in, right? Then I got the same basic message in the form of a press release from City Hall. So, no. The answer is: people don't know what state they live in. And their vote counts just as much as yours does. Let that sink in.

***

The "we're not Louisiana" press release wasn't even the stupidest press release I got this week. No, the "we're going to cancel the last Common Council meeting before the election" press release took the cake. Now to be fair, it was only a work session. Also, they probably didn't have much to talk about. But a note to future politicians: You don't cancel the last meeting before an election. It just looks bad. Something about "the appearance of impropriety..."

***

The election of Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House is most interesting. Ryan got everything he wanted as Speaker all by pretending he didn't want it at all.

I read several stories a week ago or so about his "demands" if he were to run for speaker. He basically said, "the only way I'll take the job is if I get undying support from all factions of the GOP." Basically he set up an impossible scenario and waited to see how it played out. And it played out in such a manner that people that can't so much as agree on what time it is, all agreed that they wanted this guy as their leader.

Another "demand" Ryan had was that he wanted to be able to go home on the weekends to spend time with his family. A lot of people complained about that. Especially given that Ryan had voted against the Family Medical Leave Act. But again, Ryan wasn't campaigning to be Speaker. No, he was basically drafted and said, "fine, I'll do the job. But only if I get it my way." I'm honestly not sure whether he really wanted the job or not. But he has it. Congratulations, Speaker Ryan.

***

East Niagara Post will be hosting election returns live, on-air Tuesday night beginning at 8:30. We'll, of course, publish returns as they come in. But we'll also broadcast those results via EastNiagaraRadio.com. Tune in and be the first to know.

***

Speaking of East Niagara Radio, thank you to the candidates who made it in for "On the Record" interviews. We appreciate your time and surely the voters do, too. To those of you who haven't made it in, there's still time. We'll air one final round of interviews on Monday.

***

+Scott Leffler is ready for this whole election thing to all be over. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffer or email him at scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com.



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Thursday, October 29, 2015


I find it hypocritical the Democratic Party went out of it’s way to determine that Anita Mullane's opponent had outstanding taxes to pay, when Democratic City Chair and candidate Ed Tracy is in the same boat, owing almost $2,000 in back city taxes!

Tracy called the error an “oversight” and “inexcusable.” If his conduct is “inexcusable” now, what will his conduct be if elected?

It also shows little awareness of the challenges that many Lockportians and individuals throughout the United States are facing and trying to cope with daily. I would doubt that either had much experience in small business ownership and the struggles that have been imposed upon them by government at all levels. Small business owners often make daily decisions on which bills get paid. This doesn’t make them bad people or irresponsible financially. It’s a simple numbers game, you have a certain amount of money and bills and utility costs that continue to climb. Maria Updegraph and her husband took a risk, ended up having to spend more money than anticipated rehabbing a building, and it hasn’t paid back yet. That’s what small businesses are facing due to government spending, taxation, and regulation. This week two more businesses close on Main Street and Schimschacks, a long-time staple in the area.

Ironically, most of those that have laid their scourge upon her are the same folks that complain about rundown houses and buildings and nobody cleaning them up. I see few of them, buying up those properties and taking the same risk that Maria took. As they talk, she took action. Which is more important to you? Who has the bigger impact on a neighborhood, those that criticize and complain, or those that step up and risk their own money?

According to the City, there are many people that are behind on water bills, refuse bills, and taxes etc. So, I’d say that someone that has been in that same situation represents the people fairly well.

According to the Union Sun & Journal and the last City Council meeting, Anita Mullane was not available to receive nor did she proactively seek out information when she was expecting it, on a city contract agreement when the email was sent to wrong address. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that they have the info they need to vote on? But yet, she has plenty of time to research, with her city paid relative, the tax history of her opponent.  Lockport needs good government not poor politics. Let’s leave that to the State and Federal levels. They’re very good at it.

A simple look at Mrs. Mullane’s voting record will show who she’s truly looking after. Voters should take notice.

  • for the SAFER Act Grant that the city would’ve been unable to afford post grant funding
  • against the SAFER Act Grant that the city could ensure they could afford post funding
  • against the reduction in pay to the Treasurer 
  • against the Director of Finance position 

The Treasurer’s salary in 2006 was $45,000 per year. It is currently at $83,000. How many private sector jobs in this city have had their salaries nearly doubled in the last nine years? It is completely illogical to have the main individual responsible for the financial welfare of the City in the hands of someone that won a glorified popularity contest. How many voters are aware of a candidate’s credentials that make them qualified for this job? Having a hired position, based on merit, not popularity is just logical.

The SAFER Grant has been an issue of a lot of contention in the City as of late. The original grant, which Mullane supported, was written for four. What happens after the grant runs out in two years? We bring in four firemen and in two years either through attrition or through layoffs we’re right back where we are today. The LFD will be understaffed and the City will have no money to do anything about it. Do we really want to be in the same place, fighting the same fight two years from now?

So, Anita’s voting record is thus, she’s against taking steps, getting the right people in place to help fix the financial problems, against bringing in one firefighter using grant money, that we pay for anyway, that can help with staffing and yet still be affordable for the city once the grant funding runs out. And she’s for keeping the status quo and short-sighted legislating from crisis to crisis. We need to remain focused on the long-term stability and growth.

-- Talan J. Pomeroy is a City of Lockport resident



East Niagara Post will publish election-related letters to the editor through Monday evening.
Send letters to the editor to news@eastniagarapost.com with name and contact information.
To ensure publication, letters should be received no later than noon Monday.

Harley Miller
ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


GASPORT -- A 20-year-old Gasport man was charged today with petit larceny, accused of stealing from his employer.

New York State Police say Harley S. Miller stole approximately $135.00 worth of New York State Lottery Tickets and cigarettes while employed at Crosby’s in Gasport.

Miller was issued an Appearance Ticket returnable to the Town of Royalton Court on Nov. 12.



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Michael Moore
ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


GASPORT -- A 42-year-old Gasport man was charged by New York State Police on Wednesday with felony counts of strangulation and criminal possession of a weapon, as well as assault, criminal mischief, and criminal obstruction of breathing.

According to New York State Police, Moore hit and choked a woman and damaged belongings. He also possessed an unregistered handgun.

Following his arrest, Michael S. Moore was arraigned in the Town of Royalton Court and remanded to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 12.

NOTE: Story updated at 2:41 p.m. Oct. 31 with additional details.



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ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


Niagara County Sheriff's Office Lt. Robert Richards was appointed as the Western Region Chair for the STOP-DWI Association, Sheriff Jim Voutour announced today.

The Western Region Chair covers 15 counties on the western end of New York State. As the chair, Lt. Richards will be responsible for furthering the STOP-DWI mission within those counties, working with STOP-DWI Coordinators to find solutions to regional problems and interacting with state agencies to implement change.

"Lt. Richards is very deserving of this position," Voutour said via a press release. "He has shown his dedication to the Sheriff's Office and to the efforts of the STOP-DWI Program. He has successfully overseen the Niagara County Traffic Safety each year which provides high school seniors across Western New York with the tools to be safe drivers. He has also been an integral part of the Niagara County Traffic Safety Board."

Lt. Richards is currently the STOP-DWI Coordinator for Niagara County along with overseeing the
Division at the Sheriff's Office.



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The duties of the City Treasurer for the City of Lockport Charter were adopted by our City’s fathers over 100 years ago. The telephone and automobile were just being introduced to society and city records were kept on paper ledgers. There were no televisions, computers or internet and our city budget was a fraction of what it is today.

Over 100 years ago, New York State did not require, and taxpayers did not demand complex financial reporting, accounting and auditing of a 33 million dollar corporation.

Municipal financing and employment laws have evolved immensely, and rightly so. Unfortunately, the present requirements to run for City Treasurer of being 18 years of age and a city resident, which were adopted over 100 years ago, have not changed with the times.  It is time to be fiscally prudent, and make sure that our city is operated with a finance director with the professional and educational qualifications to ensure that our 33 million dollar municipal corporation is operated appropriately, given the complex and changing times we live in today.  

In December 2013, the NYS Comptroller’s Office issued a Fiscal Stress Report that classified the City of Lockport’s financial stress as Moderate Fiscal Distress.

The city can no longer afford to have a well-liked, but unqualified, citizen be the sole person overseeing the finances of a 33 million dollar operation.  This is confirmed by the NYS Comptroller’s Office reports in three separate audits, which state that the Treasurer’s Office’s performance was so poor that city officials could not make good decisions based on the poor accounting and financial management.

The city is coming out of our financial distress. We have turned the corner and now have a small surplus, and our new Director of Finance is doing a great job reporting city finances accurately and on time every month.

A lot has happened in 100 years. Our country won Two World Wars, we can fly airplanes around the world, and we have traveled to space. Why has it taken so long to address the duties of City Treasurer and municipal finances in our City so it is consistent with our current times? The time has come, the time is here, and the time is now. Let’s make these changes so we can continue to move forward, and not revert backwards again.

VOTE YES on the referendum.

-- Ken Genewick is the outgoing Fifth-Ward alderman for the City of Lockport



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(ENP FILE PHOTO / HEATHER
GRIMMER)
Trick-or-treating in City of Lockport neighborhoods will be held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday.

Some Lockport residents apparently saw an online posting from the Lockport, Louisiana Police Department indicating that they changed their Halloween Trick or Treating day to Friday.

This does not apply to Lockport, New York -- as we are not Louisiana.



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Mariah Jones
Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour announced today that additional charges have been filed against 19-year-old inmate Mariah E. Long, who escaped from Sheriff’s Office custody on Tuesday while being treated at Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport.

According to NCSO, Long ran from the corrections officer who was guarding her after asking to use the bathroom at the hospital. During the search of the area Long was located and was found to be operating a stolen vehicle. She was then taken back into custody.

As a result of the incident, she was charged with three felonies: first-degree escape, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and fourth-degree grand larceny. She was also charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and second-degree harassment -- a violation.

Long was arraigned in the City of Lockport Court before Judge Bill Watson and remanded to Niagara County Jail on $10,000 bail. She is set to return to City Court on Monday.



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Terry Lee Leturgey passed away Wednesday October 28, 2015.

Born in Cambria County, PA., he was the son of the late John and Minerva Taylor Leturgey.  Terry was a bartender at the Niagara Hotel in Lockport. He was a member of the Army National Guard, loved frog and his little green car.

He was the father of Terry (Jennifer) Gill, Betty Jo (Mark) Cye, Candy Gill, Annie Leturgey, all of Lockport and the late Joseph Leturgey. He is also survived by several grandchildren. Terry was the brother of James (Jean) Leturgey and Susan Nachtrieb, both of Gasport, Sally (James) McGovern of Florida, and the late Robert, Harold, Norman and John Leturgey. Terry is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Private Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Inurnment will be in Hartland Central Cemetery.

Online Condolences at www.pruddenandkandt.com.
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Kenneth M. Joy
The Lockport Police Department has canceled a search for a West Avenue man.

Police had asked the public's help in finding Kenneth M. Joy, who had not been seen since Sunday when he reportedly left his home on foot.

The man returned home unharmed on Wednesday, according to police.

No further details are available at this time.



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East Niagara Post has been named the "Official Media Sponsor" for Hockey Day in Lockport, to be held at Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union Arena on Nov. 28.

The all-day, all-things-hockey extravaganza will include five hockey games, a figure skating exhibition, free public skating, and several off-ice activities including a pancake breakfast, face painting, balloon animals, carnival games, basket raffles and more.

Sponsored by Howell Motors Ford, the event will include the ceremonial announcements for the Howell Motors Ford Lockport Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. The induction itself is slated to take place in early 2016.

Planned games include a Lockport High School Varsity game, a JV game, an exhibition Junior A hockey game between the Lockport Express and a team made up of players from the Southern Tier Diesel and the Roc City Royals, as well as a pair of Lockport Hockey Alumni games ("rookies" and "vintage").

East Niagara Post staff and contributors will serve as masters of ceremonies during the day's ceremonial awards and announcements, as well as during both alumni games. East Niagara Post will also select and announce the "ENP Three Stars of the Game" for both alumni games.

East Niagara Radio will broadcast a live remote from the arena throughout the course of the day, sponsored in part by Howell Motors Ford. Additional remote sponsorships are available.

For more on Hockey Day in Lockport, keep your eyes on EastNiagaraPost.com.

East Niagara Post is also the Official Media Partner of the Lockport Express.

RELATED LINK: 





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The National Weather Service calls for showers and wind today with gusts as high as 55 mph. The high will be around 51, while the low will be around 41.

Friday, there's a slight chance of showers with a high near 48 and an overnight low low around 36. Saturday offers a slight chance of showers with a high near 54 and a low around 49. Sunday, rain is likely with a high near 58 and a low around 44.

Monday: Partly sunny with a high near 59 and a low around 50. Tuesday will also be partly sunny with a high near 61 and a low around 48. Wednesday: Mostly sunny with a high near 63.



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The Lockport Public Library played host to over 100 people Tuesday night as author, Ariel Lawhon visited for the annual “One Book, One County” program.  Her book, The Wife, the Maid, & the Mistress, was chosen by the library staff to be the showcase of the program for this year. During her presentation, she not only told the viewers of her journey on becoming an author, but also her upbringing which readied her for a life of writing.

Ariel Lawhon poses for a photo with ENP's Craig Bacon. 
(PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIANNE COLTON /
LOCKPORT PUBLIC LIBRARY) 
Ariel Lawhon was the product of a marriage where her parents met and married in the same day. There were six children living in the American Southwest without electricity until solar panels were utilized as she was in her teens.  Mom and Dad were voracious readers and equally storytellers. In a house without television, entertainment came in the form of books, even when it meant reading by the light of a kerosene lantern.

As she began reading on her own, she fell into the worlds like Narnia. However, instead of ending the story when she finished the last page, she began to add to the stories. The worlds that she fell in love with through the pages became her own as she added her voice to them. Soon she had moved onto making her own worlds and her own stories.

When she was a freshman in high school, shortly after the year began, a teacher tapped her on her shoulder while she was standing at her locker. The teacher was the creative writing teacher for the sophomore class, and she had heard about how wonderful Ariel’s writing was. Mrs. Wilson asked if Ariel would be taking her class the following year. Of course, the answer was a resounding yes.

Graduating at only 16 years of age, Ariel moved from Arizona to Kentucky and Tennessee to be near her brother, who was in the military. There she met and married her husband, eventually having four sons to keep her busy. It was shortly after the birth of her second child that the story that became her novel started to form in her mind.

About two weeks after bringing home the new baby, she sat down to her computer to read the news and catch up on emails. She saw a link asking “Has the Mystery of Judge Crater Been Solved?” Clicking on it, she read the history of one of the biggest missing persons cases in our country. She was hooked when she read that Crater’s widow, on the anniversary of his disappearance, would go to one her husband’s favorite bars. There she would order two shots, sit in the corner booth, and toast her late husband. She would drink one shot and leave the other behind.

Lawhon viewed this as an act of pennace. The question arose, “What if she knew but never told, and this was how she punished herself?”  From there, she began outlining her ideas on what might have happened to Judge Crater.

Research began by reading contemporary accounts of the disappearance as well as visiting New York City to make sure she got the setting correct. Included in her research was Empty Robes, a memoir written by Stella Crater with assistance from Oscar Fraley, co-author of The Untouchables.  Stella’s voice from this memoir became the spine around which the novel was written.

Interestingly, in the book, Lawhon imagines that Ritzi, the showgirl, has escaped the clutches of the people who were out to do her harm and settles in the Midwest with a husband. In real life, the whereabouts of Ritzi were unknown. About five months after the book was published, she received an email from a woman who claimed to be the showgirl’s granddaughter.

The family was stunned to learn of their grandmother’s past. She had always kept that hidden. After leaving New York City, she had moved to California where she became a competitive ballroom dancer. She also changed her name to Diane. Her family had no idea that her name wasn’t Diane until the last few months of her life in 2000. She also kept a scrapbook with numerous clippings that she never let anyone look at. She burned the book before she died, taking its secrets with her to the grave.

Lawhon was amazed at how close her imagination had gotten to the truth. Finally, after 70 years, the mysterious disappearance of Crater’s showgirl friend was solved. It was uncannily so much like what she had imagined in her novel.

In her closing, Ariel Lawhon stated, “There is a profound connection between the author and the reader. This thing is mine for all those lonely months of writing. Then it is yours, yours to love or hate.”

Ariel Lawhon was fun to listen to. She regaled the audience with tales of her youth and of her own children (4 sons) with a folksy charm that endeared her to the people at the library. Her newest book, Flight of Dreams will be released in February, 2016. It’s another piece of historical fiction that is sure to keep readers begging for more.

+Craig Bacon reviews books and the theater for East Niagara Post. Read his column every Tuesday and follow him on Twitter @hippieby73.



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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that remaining Deer Management Permits (DMPs) in several Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) will be available to hunters beginning Sunday.

Deer Management Permits, which allow hunters to harvest antlerless deer, are issued for specific WMUs to control deer populations according to need. Both WMUs covering Niagara County -- 9A and 9F -- are included in the process.

Application willl be processed on a first-come, first-served basis with hunters being allowed to apply for up to two additional doe tags. Applicants who previously paid the $10 DMP application fee or are exempt from the application fee will not be charged for this additional application. Hunters that did not previously apply for a deer management permit will pay the $10 application fee.

During this extended application period, DEC will issue DMPs for an individual WMU until the target issuance quota is achieved. The status of permits will be reviewed each night, and as individual units are filled, they will be removed from the list of those available effective the following day, with no further applications accepted for those units. A list of units with available leftover DMPs will be routinely updated on DEC's website.

Deer populations are above desired levels in all of the units with leftover DMPs, according to the DEC, which encourages hunters to use these leftover tags to take an additional antlerless deer or two.

For more information, visit the DEC website.



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GASPORT -- Lockport CARES sixth-annual fundraising dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Hartland Bible Church 8110 West Ave.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with a huge basket raffle, followed by dinner -- catered by Donna Eick & DeVine Catering.

Tickets are $25 with table sponsorships available.



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Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Charles C. Leavitt passed away October 28, 2015 in Eastern Niagara Hospital, Lockport.

Born April 1, 1929 in Lockport he was the son of the late Harold Thomas and late Bessie Hartley Leavitt. He was married to Verna E. Leavitt on November 6, 1954 in Lockport, she passed away April 15, 2007. Charles worked at Simonds Saw & Steel from 1948 to 1983 and also at B & B Plastics. He served in the Marine Corp. from 1946 to 1947 and in the reserves from 1947 to 1951, active duty 2nd Marine Division. Charles was a member of First English Lutheran Church serving on the council and ushered for many years. He was also a member of the American Legion B. Leo Dolan Post 410 serving as the Chaplin. Charles enjoyed bowling, playing cards and horseshoes.

Charles is the brother of the late Lucille LaSpada, Gertrude Leavitt, and Ronald Thomas Leavitt. He is survived by several cousins and nieces.

Relatives and friends may call Sunday, Nov. 1st from 1-5 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport where funeral services will be held Monday, Nov. 2nd at 10 AM. Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the First English Lutheran Church, 185 Locust Street, Lockport, NY 14094 would be appreciated

Visit www.pruddenandkandt.com.



Samuel J. Walker passed away October 28, 2015 in Briody Health Care Facility.

Born in Wysox, PA he was the son of Guy and Edith (Pierce) Walker.  Sam served in the US Army from 1950 to 1953 and worked for the Upson Company in Lockport where he was a train loader. He was predeceased by his wife Rose Marie (Gerling) Walker on June 22, 2001 and also by his son Timothy (late Lisa) Walker. Sam is survived by his two daughters Jane (Ted) Vaslet and Helen (Jeffrey) Boots; grandfather of Peter (Sara) Vincent, Christopher (Katie) Vincent, Patricia (Christopher) Daningburg, Susan (Marc) Phillips, Laura Boots, Sara Boots, Kathleen Boots, and Samuel Walker; great grandfather of seven; brother of Helen (late David) Korff and late Raymond Walker; also several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Monday, Nov. 2nd from 2-5 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport where funeral services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 3rd at 11 am. Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery.

Visit www.pruddenandkandt.com.



Lewis Turner Bell entered into rest October 19, 2015 in Batavia, NY. He was predeceased by his mother and father, Mildred and Lewis M. Bell.

Born and raised in Lockport, Lew entered the Army, 1st Infantry Division in 1965.  He earned the Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Marksman (RifleM-14) Medal.  Lew served as a Chaplain during the Vietnam conflict. After his return, he was employed and retired from HSBC (previously Marine Midland) where he had many friends and associates that enjoyed Lew’s kind, warm ways.

Lew was very active in Politics and in the Community.  He volunteered to serve in the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Salvation Army Board of Directors, Cold Springs Cemetery Association and the Mason Lodge.   Lew would volunteer to help anyone at any time, unconditionally.  Lew also enjoyed playing the trombone in many different bands including the Barker Community Band, The Federation of Musicians, and many small bands that played around the community.  He was always pleased to play on the Holidays and at the area nursing homes, when he felt it brought the most joy to his audience.

Lew was a lifelong Episcopalian, serving as a lay reader and Eucharistic Minister.  He was a quiet soul with a great sense of humor who touched many lives with his kindness.  He will be fondly remembered by cousins Karen Sherwood and Buddy Turner of Lockport and Dana Castle of Virginia, close friends, Cyd Bennett Cehulik, Dave & Bonnie Seaman, James Hoste, Ted Hadley, Joe Kibler, Mary Brennan Taylor, Robert Bush, Doug Bowden, Lou Cain, Father Don Seekins and Clyde Locke.

A Celebration of Lew’s life will be held on October 31, 2015 at 10 am at the Christ Episcopal Church, 7145 Fieldcrest Dr, Lockport, NY.  Burial was Oct. 21st in Cold Springs Cemetery.
At Lew’s request, any random act of kindness to another in his memory would be appreciated.

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Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today released a letter he sent to the Secretary of the United States Air Force urging her to solidify the future of the 914th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

The Air Force Reserve unit currently flies eight C-130 cargo aircraft, but their fate is uncertain due to a number of factors. A long-term, “enduring mission” for the 914th – one on which all other Air Force objectives will depend – is critical to ensuring that the Air Force continues to fly heavy aircraft from the base. Gov. Cuomo identified a tanker refueling mission as one such possibility, and pledged the State’s support in identifying a long-term plan for the base.

“For years, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station has played a critical role in the strength and readiness of the United States Air Force – and I believe that should continue well into the future,” the governor said. “New York State is prepared to take cost-saving measures in order to help craft a viable enduring mission for the base, and I hope to work with the USAF to make this a reality.”

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Stations is the largest single-site employer in Niagara County, supporting more than 3,000 airmen, airwomen and soldiers. It has an annual economic impact of more than $140 million, including direct payments that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority receives from the U.S. Defense Department because the base is co-located with the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The base has been repeatedly targeted for cuts and closure in multiple rounds of Base Realignment and Closure and Air Force personnel changes.

Defense budget constraints and the Air Force’s declining emphasis on mid-range cargo planes have led to roughly a 17 percent reduction in the C-130 fleet since 2013. Additionally, unless the remaining planes receive expensive instrument upgrades before 2019, both U.S. and European regulations will impose significant flight restrictions that will further limit their use.

Earlier this year, NFARS was one of 18 Air Force Reserve bases nationally considered to receive the new KC-46 Pegasus tanker that is scheduled to replace the existing fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers beginning in 2017. Replacement will take several decades, during which the Air Force will continue to rely on the KC-135 for refueling missions. Additionally, delays in developing the new tankers will require reassignment and continued use of a number of KC-135s in order to meet current and future refueling needs. NFARS is an attractive location for some of those tankers.

Though not currently home to tankers, NFARS still has most of what is needed to host the KC-135 mission from when the 107th Wing of the Air National Guard flew that plane at NFARS for more than a decade, from the late 1990’s until tankers were removed as a result of BRAC 2005. Having that infrastructure makes NFARS a cost-effective location for the Air Force to potentially assign KC-135 tankers from bases that will begin receiving the KC-46 in 2017. Unlike C-130 cargo aircraft, tankers do not require instrument upgrades to operate in U.S. or European airspace beyond 2019.

Cuomo's office has worked closely with the Niagara Military Affairs Council, Niagara County and the Congressional delegation to explore the possibility of the 914th undergoing a mission conversion, from an airlift mission flying C-130s, to a refueling mission flying tankers. The Governor’s Office has facilitated multiple rounds of meetings for community leaders with senior Air Force leadership in Washington over the last two years, and supported NIMAC leaders on a September 2015 visit to Air Mobility Command headquarters in St. Louis for meetings with General Carlton Everhart and his staff. As the newly-confirmed AMC Commander, General Everhart is responsible for all cargo airlift and refueling missions.

Copies of Governor Cuomo’s letter to Secretary James were also sent to General Everhart and General James Jackson, commander of the Air Force Reserve.



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Kenneth Joy
Lockport police are investigating the disappearance of Kenneth M. Joy, who was last seen by a relative Sunday afternoon when he left his West Avenue residence on foot.

Joy is a 47-year-old white male, five-feet, six-inches tall, weighing 170 pounds. He has brown hair and is balding on the front. He was last seen wearing a long sleeve shirt, a fleece vest, jeans and white sneakers. Joy does not own a vehicle.

He has not arrived at work since Sunday nor has he contacted close relatives.

Anyone with information about Mr. Joy is encouraged to contact Lockport Police at 433-7700.



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The National Weather Service calls for periods of rain today with a high near 66. More rain overnight and possibly a thunderstorm with a low around 52.

Thursday offers showers and possibly a thunderstorm with a high near 52. Overnight will be windy -- with gust as high as 48 mph -- with a chance of showers and a low around 42. Friday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 47 and a low around 35. Saturday: Partly sunny with a high near 52 and a low around 42.

Sunday, there's a chance of showers with a high near 58 and a low around 47. Monday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 61 and a low around 50. Tuesday: Partly sunny with a high near 62.



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OK, Lockport, it all comes down to next Tuesday. By the time you read my next column, you would have already decided who will guide our city out of the abyss and back to respectability. Will it be Roger Sherrie? Honestly, that is who I am pulling for. Why? I feel like he has a better grip on what is going on and what needs to be done. Sherrie also believes in making city government accountable to the people, and I really respect that.

I mean no disrespect to Mayor McCaffrey. I have said several times that I appreciate the job she was forced to do to keep the city from going bankrupt. No matter who wins on Tuesday, no one will ever be able to deny the place that Mayor MacCaffrey holds in the history of our city.

What about the rest of the people who work at the Municipal Building? I do not believe in change for the sake of change, but I cannot see allowing incumbents who have done so much damage to keep their jobs. Of course, not every person on the council deserves to be vilified. I understand that some council members did their absolute best to keep the city on track, but the group effort was lacking.

Don’t kid yourself folks, our city is in trouble. We are burdened with debt, the various departments are understaffed and our essential services are not getting the type of attention they deserve from the city. At a time when the city’s finances are at their worst, we should not have a disconnect between the mayor’s office and the treasurer. But, for whatever reason, we do. I am not laying blame on one party or the other, I am just saying that it needs to change if we are going to get anywhere in the next few years.

Our taxes go up, but our services have diminished. There were roads last winter that were impassable simply because they were only plowed a few times all winter long. The people delivering our services are doing the best they can, but they lack the necessary resources from the city. At the end of the day, the responsibility for that shortcoming falls into the laps of the people in charge at the Municipal Building.

It has been a very long time since an election has meant so much to the future of the city. I commend both mayoral candidates for the way they reached out to the population and laid out their ideas and solutions. There were some unnecessary distractions along the way, but I think the people got what they needed to make up their minds.

What about you, Lockport? Have you done your homework? Do you know why you are voting for the candidate of your choice, or are you just going to put in a vote based on old habits? I said before that if you are not educating yourself about the candidates and the issues before you go vote, then stay home. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Whatever we have by Wednesday morning is what we will have to live with for years to come. The impact of these elections will go well beyond the terms these public servants will serve. The decisions the mayor and common council make will determine how we handle problems that could haunt us for years to come, or put us on the path towards economic recovery.

Remember that no city recovers from its economic problems overnight. No matter who we put in office Tuesday, they will have years of hard work ahead of them. But the key is to take the time to find the people who can offer the best solutions to some of the most difficult problems we have ever faced.

Are you ready, Lockport? Ready or not, here it comes.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and guy who will be voting Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at georgenroot3@gmail.com.



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