Thomas J. Prohaska, The Buffalo News
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Thomas J. Prohaska

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I graduated from Starpoint Central High School in 1979 and St. Bonaventure University in 1983. I worked at WLVL Radio in Lockport from 1985 to 1995, when I joined The News.

Krista Wander of Lockport and her father drove to the Niagara County SPCA to look for a dog to adopt. She soon wished they hadn't. "The second we walked into the dog adoption center it was filthy, reeked and the dogs were overwhelmingly barking and growling and throwing themselves against their cages," said Wander, who had never been in the Wheatfield shelter before. …

The U.S.-Canadian agency that controls flows of water out of Lake Ontario decided this week to continue the highest outflows ever. For the second consecutive week, the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board allowed nearly 2.75 million gallons per second to flow out of the lake and into the St. Lawrence. The water level in the lake has fallen 4.3 inches sin…

A Canadian company plans to build a new liquor distillery in a Wheatfield industrial park with the aim of reducing costs as he focuses on U.S. customers. Leon Safir of Anat Inc. said he intends to produce as much as a truckload of whiskey and vodka per day, creating five new jobs, at a site his company has purchased in the industrial park off Lockport Road. "For me, …

A downtown Niagara Falls hotel will unveil the results of a six-month-long makeover of its top floor Thursday. The Days Inn at the Falls, 443 Main St., will show off four Diamond Sky Suites and 16 premium guest rooms on the eighth floor, in space that previously was a banquet room. The new rooms and suites increase the Days Inn's room total to 188, said Maggie Barnett,…

Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson Tuesday to deliver on a promise to send a KC-135 flight simulator to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. In his Senate confirmation hearing last year, Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein told Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that the simulator would be sent to the Falls. "My mother, who was born and r…

The Niagara County Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to join the ranks of counties suing the manufacturers of opioid painkillers for reimbursement of costs resulting from the opioid abuse epidemic. Erie County is among the local governments that already have filed lawsuits against drugmakers over increased costs for police and emergency response and social servic…

A man who robbed a Niagara Falls cab driver of $90 at gunpoint last year called the crime "a minor thing" at his sentencing Tuesday. Keonta J. Mayfield, 21, a former Falls resident whose last reported address was on Rodney Avenue in Buffalo, was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to six months in jail and probation. Mayfield pleaded guilty to thi…

Construction may start this fall on the 2.2-mile gap in the Erie Canalway trail in Pendleton, the last missing link in the trail in Western New York. State Canal Corp. spokesman Steven Gosset said that the agency soon will seek bids for the project, with hopes of starting work in October on the connection between Tonawanda Creek and Fisk roads. Once that portion is com…

A woman who stole a 2005 Dodge Caravan in Niagara Falls and crashed it in Lewiston while leading police on a high-speed chase appears headed to state prison. Mariah M. Patterson, 21, of Seventh Street, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty last week to a felony and two misdemeanors. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III scheduled sentencing for Aug. 24 and refused a defens…

A state board that doles out advice and grants to financially distressed communities offered some suggestions -- but no money -- to Niagara Falls. The city should reassess its properties and get police officers to work more hours, according to the Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments. The board can award large grants to communities in financial turmoil…

John E. Castro of Strauss Road, Town of Lockport, was sentenced Monday to four years in state prison, followed by 10 years of post-release supervision, for fondling a 13-year-old girl in Somerset on Nov. 1. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III gave Castro, 27, the maximum sentence available for the charge. Murphy said Castro didn't merit any further breaks beyond …

Niagara Falls City Councilman Ezra P. Scott Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Scott, however, can earn a reduction to impaired driving, if he stays out of trouble during six months of interim probation. If he does so, he would not have a criminal record. Lockport City Judge William J. Watson accepted the proposal from the Niagara …

Kaden Mitchell, the 7-year-old Niagara Falls boy who was attacked by his aunt's two Rottweilers June 7, is slowly improving, but may face another four to six months of surgeries. His grandfather, Roy Gregory, said Monday that a scan showed the swelling in Kaden's brain is decreasing. Soon an operation will be performed to close a large wound in the back of his head.…

Niagara River Greenway funding is being sought for the Discover Niagara Shuttle, a Town of Niagara park and a bust of the man after whom Lewiston is named. Public comment will be accepted through July 5 at Jeanne.Leccese@parks.ny.gov. Veterans Memorial Park off Grauer Road in the Town of Niagara would receive $399,870 toward a $647,000 "town square" project that includ…