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No dress rehearsal. You think you're prepared for an eventuality, and yet when it arrives, your world is thrown off its axis, and it's like they moved the moon while you were looking the other way, and nothing makes sense. When the texts started arriving Wednesday, I was wishing I had turned my phone off. "Gord died last night" was the first one I saw, from Bruce …

A Delta Sonic proposed for Niagara Falls Boulevard is on the agenda for Thursday's Amherst Planning Board meeting after the project was delayed for months to give the developer time to meet with neighbors to address their concerns. The company is planning to build a car wash, gas station, oil change building, convenience store and drive-through restaurant at the longti…

Officer Craig E. Lehner was alone in the Niagara River during an underwater recovery team training session Friday when he went missing, according to police sources. He was attached to a tender cable as another team member on the Bird Island pier at the foot of West Ferry Street held the line and walked along the pier as Lehner moved in water about 25 feet deep. Sudde…

New York State is giving a $1.3 million grant to the Erie County Water Authority to pay for critical repairs to water transmission systems in Amherst that serve 215,000 customers in the Northtowns but have a history of breaks. The money will pay for 60 percent of the $2.1 million cost to replace a 36-inch transmission main. The most notable water break involving this ma…

A development company owned by True Bethel Baptist Church has a $5 million plan to convert a vacant Catholic school in Niagara Falls into apartments. The former Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its elementary school became True Bethel's Niagara Falls campus about six years ago, according to Janice McKinnie, executive director of the church-owned True Community Developme…

Two convenience stores in Niagara County have been fined for selling tobacco products to minors earlier this year. Tthe county Health Department and the Sheriff's Office orchestrated the compliance checks. Kwik Stop Mart on Locust Street in Lockport was fined $1,100 for being a second-time violator. Oliver Express Mart on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda was fined $500 …

Chicago remains ground zero for efforts to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. But federal and state agencies also are concentrating efforts to block potential connections between the Mississippi River watershed, where the carp are plentiful, and the Great Lakes. That includes at least two spots leading to Lake Erie, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency …

Sebastien Y. Lavertu wasn't drunk or high on drugs, nor was he speeding or weaving out of his lane on June 21. But he was a little drowsy and when he realized he had struck something on Broadway shortly before midnight,  he later said. He checked his truck, saw a cracked bumper and, afraid of what may have happened, drove away. Lavertu, 32, of Asbestos, Quebec, was…

A village public works garage in Arcade sustained about $3.25 million in damage in a fire Tuesday night, according to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services. Firefighters were called to the Arcade Department of Public Works garage, 2 Sullivan Ave., at 9:17 p.m. Investigators determined the fire was caused by a malfunction in a village electric department ser…

A planned health center on Buffalo's East Side has received a $200,000 grant from the New York State Health Foundation. Jericho Road Community Health Center hopes to open the facility at 1021 Broadway in 2018. “This funding from the New York State Health Foundation will allow us to strengthen the primary care safety net that has been eroding on the city’s East Si…

The Flint water crisis doesn't make the national news anymore, but it's far from over, a youth development director from the Michigan city said Wednesday at the Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo. Experts said other communities across the Great Lakes, including Buffalo, face lead crises of their own. "Up to 24 million children up to age 6 will lose IQ poin…

"Wearing the Letter P," a book about Polish women who were forced into labor in Germany from 1939 to 1945, will be the topic of a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Canisius College. Author Sophie Hodorowicz Knab wrote the book to keep a promise with her mother, who was a slave laborer during the war. German soldiers forced approximately 12 million people from al…

The Tragically Hip tweeted out the sad news this morning that their frontman Gord Downie, 53, died Tuesday night with his children and family by his side. The Canadian rocker was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December. Here's a statement from The Tragically Hip's Twitter account: https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom/status/920628509369950208 In September,…

The City of Tonawanda Common Council is eyeing a $1 million plan to improve the city's public waterfront docking facilities. Four municipal dock locations would be upgraded if the city obtains the necessary funding. They are located on the Erie Canal, along Young Street, where local vendors provide kayaks and paddleboard rentals, and along the Niagara River in Niawanda …