Thomas J. Prohaska, The Buffalo News
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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.


Alicia M. Davidson is pregnant, and her parents say she’s addicted to heroin. But getting out of jail this summer seemed easy for the 36-year-old former medical secretary. The first time, her parents paid $100 to bail her out of the Niagara County jail, where she spent a week in July for not paying a traffic fine. A month later, a judge released Davidson on her own…

The Federal Emergency Management Agency deleted 133 parcels of land in Pendleton from its newest flood hazard maps, but Town Attorney Claude A. Joerg said that doesn't necessarily mean the owners of those properties no longer need to purchase flood insurance. The new FEMA maps adoptedby the Town Board removed the parcels, mostly located either on Tonawanda Creek Road o…

Vincent K. Smith Jr., who shot a man in Niagara Falls in November and committed a drive-by shooting there in December, was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. Smith, 22, shot Dedrick Williams, 37, in the neck Nov. 19 outside the Hometown Market on Pierce Avenue in the Falls, and on Dec. 18 he shot at a house on 22n…

Shawn K. Pittler, who was charged with burglarizing five Lockport-area convenience stores in a January crime spree, accepted a plea bargain Friday that limits his prison time to seven years. If Pittler, 29, hadn't taken the offer to admit to two burglaries, he could have been indicted next week on all five, Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwel…

The leader of the Seneca Nation says he is ready to go to arbitration over the nation's dispute with New York State on sharing casino profits. The Nation maintains that under the terms of its casino compact with the state, no further payments are required. "Ignoring the facts and running from the facts do not change the facts," Seneca President Todd Gates told The Bu…

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is urgently seeking to hire bus drivers, so a special one-day test for a commercial driver's permit has been set for Sept. 23. Karen S. Novo, NFTA human resources director, said Friday that Metro Bus is about 50 drivers short of its needs because of retirements in the last few years. "There's been some routes where we'v…

North Tonawanda and Niagara County officials broke ground Thursday for a new bandshell in Raymond Klimek Veterans Park on the Niagara River waterfront. The city received $90,000 from the Niagara River Greenway fund to pay for the project, which replaces a stage built in 2003. The city put in $25,000 for landscaping and other improvements in the park. The open-air ban…

A new Courtyard by Marriott hotel is open in a 105-year-old Niagara Falls building that began its history as a chocolate factory and later became the headquarters of Moore Business Forms. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo cut the ribbon Thursday on the $12.8 million hotel, which had already gone through a "soft opening." "It was very tastefully done. It was intelligently done. It…

NIAGARA FALLS - An 11-month-old boy was injured Wednesday when he fell to the ground from the second-floor of a home, officials said. The child, identified as Liam Jacobson by a relative, was being treated for a fractured skull at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo following the 11 a.m. incident at 2003 Walnut St., Niagara Falls police said. Police said the child …

A $20 million indoor water park, to be built beside a downtown Niagara Falls hotel, received a 12-year tax incentive package Wednesday from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. NFNY Hotel Management will save an estimated $6.6 million through reduced property taxes and exemptions from sales tax on building materials and equipment for its Niagara Daredevil …

Sanborn Distillery Corp., the newly created U.S. arm of a Toronto liquor distillery, gained approval Wednesday for a 15-year package of tax incentives for its new plant in Wheatfield. The company, owned by Anat Inc., a maker of whiskey, vodka and gin, will erect a $1.1 million building in Vantage International Pointe, the industrial park controlled by the Niagara County…

Voss Manufacturing, which has been in business in Wheatfield since 1967, applied Wednesday to the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency for a 15-year tax break on a planned addition to its plant. "We're setting up our operation for the third generation," General Manager Thomas J. Kammerer said. "We want to go after some new business and we need more space to acc…

The first of three men to plead guilty in connection with a Feb. 4 home invasion in the Town of Lockport was sentenced Wednesday to a year in the Niagara County Jail. Markevious K. Davis, 23, of South Street, Lockport, had pleaded guilty before County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery. Jerrod T. Robinson, 23, of Lockpo…

Niagara Falls voters gave attorney James J. Faso Jr. a City Court judgeship Tuesday, while winnowing a field of nine City Council hopefuls to six. Meanwhile, voters across Niagara County chose Wheatfield Town Justice Erin P. DeLabio as the next county Family Court judge. Like Faso, DeLabio won every contested primary. Falls City Court Faso, a defense attorney w…