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LOCKPORT – A Town of Lockport man, whose attorney called him “a seasoned user” of crack cocaine, pleaded guilty to two gas station robberies in Niagara County Court Tuesday.Danny P. Merritt, 33, of Murphy Road, admitted to third-degree robbery in the May 5 theft of $65 from a Sunoco station at South Transit and Robinson roads, and attempted third-degree robbery for the Jun…

ROYALTON – A man who was digging up a shotgun in the backyard of his late uncle’s home in the 6000 block of Miller Road instead chanced onto several marijuana plants – some growing in buckets and others at the site, Niagara County sheriff’s deputies said.The Niagara County Drug Task Force was called to the scene just after 8 p.m. Monday and retrieved the plants and deputi…

NIAGARA FALLS – A Canadian family in the hospitality business on both sides of the border and Buffalo’s largest commercial real estate manager and developer are making plans to revive two-thirds of the former Rainbow Centre mall.Groups headed by Intertrust Development, a company run by the DiCienzo family, and Uniland Development Co. passed a prescreening process and will …

NIAGARA FALLS – A couple walking at Whirlpool Street and Walnut Avenue just before 10 p.m. on Monday was robbed by three men – one armed with a pump action shot gun and the another with a handgun, police said.The robbers, who were dressed in all black, demanded the couple empty their pockets and hand over their bags.During the robbery, the gunman with the shotgun pumped it…

Buffalo

ALBANY – The Seneca Nation of Indians has hired a developer to help explore a possible casino and hotel project in the Rochester suburbs near the Thruway.The Senecas, believed to have an option to purchase land in the Town of Henrietta, retained Flaum Management Co. in Rochester to “organize and coordinate” a casino and related hospitality project in the Monroe County town…

LOCKPORT – The second phase of spraying for bedbugs in the Trott Access Center, a Niagara County office building in Niagara Falls, will occur this week.Robin DeVoe, deputy public works commissioner for buildings and grounds, told the County Legislature’s Public Works Committee on Monday it was a “minor” bedbug problem. The work by Buffalo Exterminating will occur after hou…

LOCKPORT – A giant copper beech tree, reputed to be the oldest tree in Lockport and certainly one of the largest, was cut down Monday.“It was deader than dead,” Mayor Michael W. Tucker said. However, the tree was on private property in front of a Rite Aid drugstore at South Transit and Summit streets, so the city wasn’t involved in the removal.Citizens urged the state Depa…

NORTH TONAWANDA – The family of Stanley A. Grajek donated the newest Wurlitzer jukebox to join the collection of the North Tonawanda History Museum.Grajek worked for the North Tonawanda Wurlitzer plant for 20 years, and the family made the donation in his memory.The Wurlitzer Model 3700 Americana Jukebox was manufactured in 1973 at the North Tonawanda plant and was a stapl…

CAMBRIA – The Cambria Volunteer Fire Company will host a tractor pull at 11 a.m. Saturday at its hall, 4631 Cambria-Wilson Road.Tickets are $10 for the event, which includes a Western New York Pro Pullers show at noon.Seven tractor classes will be featured, with weight classes of 8,500, 10,500 and 12,500 pounds.A chicken barbecue, a beer tent and music also are on tap.

LOCKPORT – A Lockport photographer and a Newfane student won top honors for chalk-on-asphalt drawing at last weekend’s inaugural Sweet Chalk Festival on Canal Street, organizer Ellen Martin said.Joe Mahley of Lockport was the winner of the Fan Favorite award for his chalk rendition of the famous painting “The Seduction of Psyche.”Ally Martin, 14, of Newfane, won best-in-sh…

LOCKPORT – Niagara County made a killing in Saturday’s tax-foreclosure auction.County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews was more than happy with the bottom line: 89 parcels sold for a total of just over $1.1 million.The unpaid taxes that led to the county foreclosures totaled a shade less than $400,000, so the county turned a $706,578 profit on the bidding, a figure which may have…

WILSON – A Dorwood Park resident told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies that his home was burglarized while he was in the hospital late last week.The resident, who also said two tires were slashed on his vehicle overnight, told authorities his front door was forced open and shelving was damaged in the living room. He said four pounds of ground beef and two 12-packs of sod…

LOCKPORT – A giant copper beech tree, reputed to be the oldest tree in Lockport and certainly one of the largest, was cut down Monday.“It was deader than dead,” Mayor Michael W. Tucker said. However, the tree was on private property in front of a Rite Aid drug store at South Transit and Summit streets, so the city wasn’t involved in the removal.Citizens urged the state Dep…

LOCKPORT – For the second consecutive year, Shamus Restaurant was the people’s choice at Sunday’s Taste of Lockport.The West Avenue eatery won the voting for the best overall offerings, conducted by balloting at the Lockport Business Association booth, event director Gary Chapman said. Shamus also won the award for best sandwich, one of the food categories whose winners we…

LOCKPORT – A murder scene for Matthew Broderick’s new movie, “The American Side,” was shot along the towpath at the Erie Canal Locks and inside the Lockport Cave on Monday.Lockport Mayor Michael W. Tucker said Lockport’s role all happened quite by accident.The film, which also features Janeane Garofalo, was co-written by an Eden native, Greg Stuhr. The actors and crew had …