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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 …

It's official.  The Navy's newest warship, the USS Little Rock LCS9, will be commissioned  Dec. 16 at Canalside. The commissioning will be the first time in the Navy's 242-year history that one of its ships is commissioned in view of the decommissioned ship for which it is namesaked, according to Maurice L. "Moe" Naylon III, chairman of the local commissioning commit…

City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis' proposal to reassign seven part-time seasonal parks attendants to new positions is drawing some criticism, including from city Recreation Director Mandy Loffts. Loffts told the Common Council at its meeting Tuesday night that no one asked her about any proposed changes to her department. Loffts said she learned  from social media …

Officer Craig Lehner's K-9 dog, who had been waiting inside his air-conditioned patrol car when Lehner disappeared into the Niagara River Friday, gnawed on a chew toy inside Buffalo Police Headquarters Wednesday. Lt. Sal Losi, who heads the Buffalo Police K-9 unit, said the 85-pound German shepherd has a quirky sense of humor, just like his human partner. "He embodie…

After a lawn sign that declares "Love is Love" was burned last month in front of a house in Allentown, 500 new "Love is Love" signs will be offered at a party from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in the WNY Peace Center. "The Love is Love campaign works to ignite a movement that spreads the message – of kindness, peace, unity, acceptance and diversity – that the arso…

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-thru restaurant at the longtime …

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. The 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 a…

A slice of low-cost power will be allotted to the Niagara Daredevil Waterpark, planned by the owners of the Sheraton at the Falls hotel in downtown Niagara Falls. The County Legislature voted Tuesday to send 320 kilowatts to NFNY Hotel Management through 2020, under the Empower Niagara program, which was set up with the county's 9-megawatt share of the Niagara Power Pro…

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…