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Thomas J. Prohaska

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.


Education

Fifteen new police officers will graduate Wednesday from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy. The academy's 67th graduation ceremony is set for noon in the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University. Three of the graduates will join the Town of Tonawanda Police Department and three others have been hired by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Two will join t…

Crime

Thomas M. Campbell of Lockport, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to his third gun felony in the past year, will serve no more than six years in prison, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said in approving a plea deal. Murphy will pass sentence April 9 on Campbell, 31, of William Street, who admitted Tuesday to criminal possession of a firearm. He acknowledged ownershi…

Crime

All charges in a May 27 gunfire incident were dropped Tuesday as the trial of a Niagara Falls man was to begin in State Supreme Court in Lockport. Taddeus R. Remington, 29, of 20th Street, had been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Remington was accused of firing a gun into an occupied house on Whitney …

Crime

The attorney for Javonte Epps-Fisher, who pleaded guilty to shooting a man in Lockport, said Tuesday she thinks his father's 20-year imprisonment for a crime he didn't commit "had a major impact on his life." Attorney Ann Nichols urged State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. to allow Epps-Fisher, 25, of Elmwood Avenue, Lockport, to return home in time to in…

Crime

Marc J. Smolen pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday to stealing and forging $6,281 worth of checks from his father's checkbook last year. Smolen, 48, of Niagara Road, Bergholz, was assigned to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment by Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. If Smolen breaks his opioid addiction within two years, his third-de…

Health and Fitness

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will host a community forum on health issues and service needs in Niagara County. The open session begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of the hospital at 621 10th St. Memorial spokesman Patrick J. Bradley said medical center executives often obtain valuable input from these forums, leading to new programs that respond to…

Niagara County

Terry C. Collesano, a lifelong Lewiston resident who has served 43 years in village office, including the past eight years as mayor, said Monday he won't run for re-election this June. "It's a bittersweet day for me, for sure," Collesano said. "I expect my emotions will only intensify in the months leading up to my exit date." Collesano's roots in the village are dee…

Health and Fitness

Employees at Schoellkopf Health Facility, a Niagara Falls nursing home, will receive bonuses of as much as $2,500 as a reward for the nursing home's new five-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency. It also received its second consecutive top quality rating from the State Health Department, which will make a performance payment to…

Crime

A guilty plea was entered Friday in the case of a man who, according to prosecutors, chased his victim down a Niagara Falls street on a bicycle before catching up to him, striking him in the head with a baseball bat and stabbing him. Carlos J. Lopez, 25, of 18th Street in the Falls, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was scheduled for sentencing April 6 by Niag…

Environment

Joe Williams Sr. counts himself among the Tuscarora Indian Reservation residents with "a good well." "No sulfur, smelled good," Williams said of the water at his home. "Most people around here aren't as lucky." Still, he won't drink the water. A federal report four years ago revealed many wells on the reservation are polluted – contaminated with E. coli bacteria, …

Health and Fitness

Attorneys for Kaleida Health and a former emergency room doctor scored a partial victory Friday in the case of an Amherst man who was declared dead when he was still alive. Dr. Gregory C. Perry declared Michael Cleveland of Amherst dead in the DeGraff Memorial Hospital emergency room in North Tonawanda in 2014, but his wife, Tammy A. Cleveland, and Niagara County Corone…

Crime

Adrian R. Taylor of Rochester, charged with multiple thefts from Walmarts in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties, entered his third guilty plea Friday. Taylor, 40, asked for drug treatment as he admitted to a March 12 theft of more than $3,000 worth of goods from the Lockport Walmart. State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. made no promises. Taylor, who has serv…

Crime

Four people on probation suspected Niagara County Probation Officer Matthew V. Fender was stealing their medications when he counted their prescription pills in their homes or at a probation office. But they were reluctant to report Fender to authorities. "I did not report the issue of Probation Officer Fender taking my pills, as I did not believe that anyone would b…

Local News

The Lockport Police Department has decided to allow its state accreditation to lapse when the five-year designation expires next month. A spokeswoman for the state Division of Criminal Justice Services said this week that Lockport withdrew in the wake of a January inspection. She said Lockport was not maintaining its program files in accordance with the 110 standards th…

Crime

Christopher M. Wright, the Pendleton child molester whose 2016 flight from police led to a lockdown at Starpoint Central School, will serve 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of two boys and a girl, ages 12 to 14. "You left a toll of human wreckage that's going to reverberate for decades," Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Wright Thursday. "I scarr…