Thomas J. Prohaska, The Buffalo News
print logo

Thomas J. Prohaska

Author

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.

The confession of Matthew W. Jurado, who told North Tonawanda police he set fire to the apartment of the city's only black firefighter, will be admissible at his trial, now scheduled for July 10. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III ruled Friday that he saw no legal reason to prevent the prosecution from using Jurado's statement, which was made Aug. 4, the day af…

Lacory K. Edwards Jr., of Niagara Falls, was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison for shooting a man five times in the Falls last year. The sentence was imposed by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who on Thursday handed down a 10-year sentence for Edwards' co-defendant, Courtney A. Williams, 19, of Whitney Avenue. Both men also will face five ye…

Lake Effect Ice Cream will receive a $100,000 short-term loan from the City of Lockport's development agency to help the company start construction of its new production facility. The company, owned by Lockport High School teachers Erik Bernardi and Jason Wulf, recently spent $125,000 to buy a 7,000-square-foot vacant former auto parts store at 43-49 Niagara St., which …

WHEATFIELD – A hit-and-run driver killed a teenage pedestrian on Krueger Road three years ago, and the fallout from that tragedy continues. The driver was eventually apprehended and served a jail sentence. The victim's mother filed a lawsuit against the driver. And the mother was accused in early March of trying to run over the hit-and-run driver. If there ha…

LOCKPORT – Gia M. Arnold, who ran for the State Senate in 2014 on a platform opposing New York's SAFE Act gun control law, pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegal possession of a semiautomatic assault rifle. Arnold, 26, of Rochester, who was arrested last year in Niagara Falls after police found the gun in her vehicle, said she accepted a plea offer on the recommendation …

SANBORN – James P. Klyczek retired Wednesday afternoon as president of Niagara County Community College, less than three hours before the college Board of Trustees was expected to fire him. Klyczek has been under fire for insulting remarks he reportedly made regarding a woman who reported being sexually assaulted on campus last summer. A federal grand jury also is …

LOCKPORT – A jury had been selected for the trial of Christopher P. Gordon, accused of predatory sexual assault, when the defense lawyer learned that a second accuser, not named in the original indictment, had come forward. That led to a round of plea negotiations that resulted in Gordon, 46, of Niagara Falls, pleading guilty to a reduced charge on the original indic…

SANBORN – James P. Klyczek is likely to be fired or placed on administrative leave Wednesday as president of Niagara County Community College. Klyczek can be heard on a surreptitiously recorded audio tape ridiculing a woman who reported last summer that she was sexually assaulted on campus, said a source with knowledge of the matter. "You can't call the victim of …

OLCOTT - Rep. Chris Collins renewed his criticism of the International Joint Commission during his visit Tuesday to Olcott to inspect damage from Lake Ontario flood waters. Collins, R-Clarence, has urged President Trump to pull the U.S. out of the commission's Plan 2014, a Lake Ontario water level management policy that Collins and some others blame for the high water…

NIAGARA FALLS - More than 80 unionized employees will receive annual raises through 2024 under terms of a contract ratified Monday by the Niagara Falls Water Board. The deal for three units of the United Steelworkers union includes pay increases averaging 1.5 percent per year. Workers also will receive lump sum bonuses of $10 for every week they've worked since their la…

ALBION - The valedictorian of Albion High School's Class of 1961 this month donated $100,000 to the public library in his hometown, which is now named after him. Library Director Betty Sue Miller said Maurice Hoag and his wife Courtenay Hoag have made four large donations to the library in the past five years, totaling $450,000. Albion built a new $3.1 million librar…

LOCKPORT – The 14-year-old boy who pleaded guilty in the massive HTI Recycling arson fire last summer – the largest blaze in Lockport history – was placed on probation for one year by a Family Court judge. Judge John F. Batt on Tuesday ordered the juvenile defendant to stay in inpatient treatment at the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center in West Seneca…

LOCKPORT - A Town of Lockport man pleaded guilty Monday to a felony for forcibly fondling a 13-year-old girl in Somerset last year. John E. Castro, 27, of Strauss Road, accepted a preindictment plea offer to a reduced charge of attempted first-degree sexual abuse. The crime occurred Nov. 1. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said he could send Castro to priso…

LOCKPORT - An assistant district attorney who sued Niagara County over allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination has accepted a $335,000 settlement offer from the county. In her lawsuit, prosecutor Elizabeth R. Donatello alleged former District Attorney Michael J. Violante sexually harassed her and other female prosecutors, making unwelcome comments abo…

NIAGARA FALLS – Pasqua DiGianni planned to plead guilty Monday to trespassing at the Seneca Niagara Casino. But she did not get the chance in Niagara Falls City Court. On April 15, the 69-year-old Woodbridge, Ont., woman won a $1,400 jackpot. But when she headed for the cashier's window to claim her winnings, casino management refused to pay her and called Niagara Fa…