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Lou Michel

Lou Michel is the main crime reporter for The Buffalo News, coauthor of the bestseller, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing." He has received numerous state and national journalism awards.


Luck was with 500 schoolchildren whose applications were selected last week in a lottery for enrollment in the district's magnet school program, which is being expanded to improve racial balance at two schools.But whether the lottery winners end up attending a magnet school next fall depends on whether the district gets a $2.2 million grant from the federal government for…

A Niagara County Sheriff's Department technical sergeant who admitted stealing more than $1,000 from the department has been given a second chance and is now working as a deputy in the county jail.Sheriff's Department officials reported Friday that Nicholas Converso, 39, of Newfane was arrested and charged with petit larceny Jan. 12 after it was discovered he had stolen $1…

Erie County last year served more than double the number of meals to inmates in its holding center as Niagara County did to its county jail inmates -- but at a per meal cost dramatically less than Niagara County.Erie County spent $723,588 last year to serve about 2,000 meals per day (99 cents per meal), while Niagara County budgeted $555,000 to serve 800 to 1,000 meals per…

Niagara County Sheriff Francis L. Giles said the county jail's chief cook had no responsibility or authority to buy the institution's food.The statement about Deputy Clyde Rankie came in response to a 1991 state audit and contradicts recent statements made by other Sheriff's Department officials regarding jail operations.The audit had criticized the county for buying thou…

Niagara County Sheriff Francis L. Giles said the county jail's chief cook had no responsibility or authority to buy the institution's food.The statement about Deputy Clyde Rankie came in response to a 1991 state audit, and contradicts recent statements made by other Sheriff's Department officials regarding jail operations.The audit had criticized the county for buying thou…

LOCKPORT -- Police often find themselves cast as the "bad guys" when they charge the parents or guardians of teens who violate the city's night curfew.The curfew, believed to be the only one of its kind in Western New York, is designed to make adults more responsible for children under the age of 16 and to provide police with another tool in fighting vandalism, said Poli…

Police often find themselves cast as the "bad guys" when they charge the parents or guardians of teens who violate the city's night curfew.The curfew, believed to be the only one of its kind in Western New York, is designed to make adults more responsible for children under the age of 16 and to provide police with another tool in fighting vandalism, said Police Chief Henr…

Though a nostalgic 1950s and 1960s theme complete with live music greeted the 210 people attending the 11th annual Tourism Season Kickoff Breakfast Tuesday, most of the emphasis was placed on future events to increase tourism.Shining brightest among the upcoming events was the World University Games scheduled for July 8-18. Tourism industry officials said they are certa…

The 4 percent pay raise approved for employees of the Lockport Housing Authority has some Common Council members questioning the need for their approval because they had no role in negotiating the increase.At the same time, authority employees are upset because some Council members criticized their one-year pay increase. Aside from approving or rejecting the pay raise, the…

Instead of "watching grass grow in the summer," city schoolchildren could attend school year-round and in the winter have time "to vacation at Disney World," according to School Board member Robert J. Kerins.Kerins said he is half-joking when he suggests the Disney World vacation, but he is completely serious about instituting year-round education in the Niagara Falls Sc…

Determined to avoid another Love Canal environmental disaster, the School Board Thursday directed district administrators to thoroughly investigate whether the recommended third middle school site -- the former Madonna High School -- is environmentally safe."I want it etched in concrete that the Madonna site is safe because this community cannot afford another Love Cana…

The Lockport Community Pool will open this summer, thanks to the Common Council's unanimous approval of a $13,000 allocation Wednesday night to help pay for lifeguards and pool maintenance costs.The pool at Trowbridge and Corinthia streets for the past two years was funded through donations made by service organizations and companies. A substantial drop in donations this y…

School Board President Don J. King and Mark S. Zito, a steward and foreman with Laborers Union Local 91, were elected Tuesday from among a field of 10 candidates in the Niagara Falls School Board election.The current terms of King and board member Robert J. Kerins expire June 30. Complete but unofficial tabulations showed King, who was re-elected to his fourth five-year …

LOCKPORT -- The Lockport Community Pool at Trowbridge and Corinthia streets may not open this season if $15,500 is not found in a hurry to cover staffing and maintenance costs.In 1991, the Common Council stopped budgeting funds for the pool because of the need to cut city expenses. The idea of soliciting funds from service organizations and companies was embraced by the Co…

CAMBRIA -- After a dry spell of many years, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 4671 Townline Road is now flourishing.Membership in the last four years has more than doubled from 320 families to 650 families for a total of 2,000 parishioners. One parish expansion project has been completed while another is just getting started.Families are joining the parish at a rat…