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As Niagara Falls / Tales of the strange but true

>Lesson from the past

When you start digging through history, you never know what you'll find.

Or how close to home you might hit.

Sheriff's Chief Deputy Christopher J. Carlin found that out while pulling together information for his new book, "Protecting Niagara -- a History of the Niagara County Sheriff's Department."

It turns out there was a dark side to the Carlin family tree.

Carlin has had a long and decorated career in both the military and in law enforcement. He's also a history buff.

His exploration of old newspapers for his new book took him to an interesting tidbit. A Lockport criminal caught his eye.

A little over 100 years ago, the name Carlin was more infamous than treasured. A young man named Frank Carlin was charged with holding up several men in front of the Lockport Paper Mill. Seems Carlin and his friends wanted "money for drinks."

The three men being robbed, however, were able to get the best of their assailants and turned the gun on Carlin, marching him and his friends down to the nearby police headquarters.

By the next morning, Carlin, the leader in the holdup, and his friend, Frank Boehnke, were allowed to plead guilty to third-degree assault. Carlin was sentenced to "sixty days in the pen"; Boehnke got 30 days. A third assailant was let off with a warning.

Talk about swift justice.

Looks like the Carlin family learned what side of the law it was better to be on.

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>Somebody's gotta do it

Sounds like Pendleton town highway workers have made a choice about when to do an unwelcome job -- which might help explain the observation of one town resident earlier this month.

During a Town Board meeting, a resident complained that road kill can sometimes lay around town highways for days.

Highway Superintendent Jeffrey R. Stowell said his workers get to the jobs shortly after the town is notified about a dead animal carcass. And, he added, "Our guys, when they see them, they will pick them up. We do it on the way in from lunch."

Better choice, it seems, than doing it beforehand.
Town officials asked those who spot road kill to call the town at 625-8833.

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>Music for all tastes

Heavy metal searingly performed at a Catholic university? Why not?

For $5, anyone can take a chance to see Klear, a heavy-metal band, with special guest Breaker Box from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday at Niagara University.

The entertainment is part of the Live Music Series in the Under the Taps Club in the Lower Level of the Gallagher Center. The series is in its sixth year.

You never know who you might see at the series, although one person is unlikely: Niagara's president, the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque.

Levesque told As Niagara Falls last year that he's never attended a Live Music Series show, although he has a very wide interest in music. His tastes include classical, jazz, Latino, salsa and merengue.

Hip-hop bands dominated the slate during the spring 2006 semester, but this semester may bring something more to Father's liking. Other performers include a Beatles tribute band on Feb. 9 and an Irish band March 9.

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>Consider the audience

If more than two board members gather together for a discussion, it becomes a meeting -- and, under state law, a special board meeting must be called and announced to the public two days in advance.

In order to avoid that requirement for an impromptu meeting that all board members wanted to attend recently, Lewiston Town Attorney David G. Boniello offered an idea:

"Don't say anything. Just listen."

Supervisor Fred Newlin nixed that advice.

"That's not possible," he said. "We're politicians for God's sake."

With contributions from Nancy A. Fischer and Pam Kowalik of the News Niagara Bureau.

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