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Some scarecrows greet shoppers at store entrances. Others smile from stakes on people’s lawns – or sit slightly slumped over on bales of straw or in wheelbarrows.Scarecrows can be scary, but more often than not they pack plenty of personality into their humanlike frames. While some are store-bought, others are stuffed, dressed and adorned by hand – their faces fashioned to…

NIAGARA FALLS – A 22-year-old woman was shot in the back of her left leg just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday outside the entrance of Club Joey’s in the 1500 block of Pine Avenue. Police said the shot appears to have come from a pellet gun. The victim said she was smoking a cigarette when she heard two shots, then felt pain in her lower left leg. The victim told police no vehicl…

NIAGARA FALLS – Two men wearing ski masks and armed with long guns who attempted to rob Frenchy’s Pizza at 2210 Niagara St. about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday apparently left empty-handed. The bandits demanded cash, pointing their weapons at three employees who fled out the back door of the business and called police. A customer also had left when the gunmen arrived. Both bandits …

TOWN OF NIAGARA - The ninth annual Niagara Electric Lights Parade will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2 on Military Road, from Fourth Street down to Kmart.This year’s event will include a food drive to benefit Community Missions of Niagara Frontier. Parade organizers are also encouraging donations be made to local church pantries on behalf of the Niagara Electric Lights Parade.…

NIAGARA FALLS - The Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope has scheduled a rally on Sunday about quality of life issues.The rally will focus on issues of public transportation, rodent control and the trend of reversing disinvestment in the Falls.The event will held at 3:30 p.m. at Heart, Love and Soul food pantry, 939 Ontario Ave.

NIAGARA FALLS – A public hearing on the proposed city budget for 2014 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers in City Hall, 745 Main St.The City Council is reviewing Mayor Paul A. Dyster’s proposed spending plan, which calls for a .03 percent increase in the tax rate for residential property and a .01 percent cut in the tax rate on commercial property.In the end…

Crime

CAMBRIA – Emergency crews were called to the scene of a two-car crash at Plank and Ridge roads at about 10:15 a.m. today in which the vehicles sideswiped each other and one ended up hitting a house.A car traveling southbound on North Ridge Road and headed toward Plank Road, failed to stop as the driver turned left onto Ridge Road and was struck by the eastbound driver on R…

NIAGARA FALLS - A planned auction of a vacant downtown piece of land that was supposed to happen Thursday morning has been put on hold as the legal fight between the owners continues.A judge’s order prevented the auction of 0.8 acre of land near Ferry Avenue and Second Street from happening as scheduled, said Falls attorney Thomas J. Caserta Jr., who was appointed by the c…

LOCKPORT – The Lockport Town Board voted Wednesday to conduct a sealed-bid auction for a residential lot at 6804 Erica Lane, site of a house the town demolished in August.The abandoned home had been foreclosed upon by Niagara County because of unpaid property taxes, but the county decided to give the house to the town instead of auctioning it itself. Town Attorney Michael …

LEWISTON – The annual “Halloween Spooktacular” is on tap from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Power Vista, the visitor center for the Niagara Power Project, 5777 Lewiston Road.Children up to age 16 will be able to participate in a costume contest from 10 to 2, with prizes to be awarded at 2:30, based on originality, creativity and overall appearance. Games will be provid…

LOCKPORT – The Common Council voted Wednesday to hire a Niagara Falls company with environmental expertise to work on the repair of a sanitary sewer line leaking into an area that is listed as a Superfund site.Mark Cerrone Inc. was hired to replace Yarussi Construction, also of Niagara Falls, on repairs to the Gulf Interceptor sewer line in a ravine off Niagara Street near…

LOCKPORT – A schedule of work presented to the Town of Lockport shows Walmart expects its new supercenter on the old Lockport Mall site to open Aug. 15, the Town Board was told Wednesday.Councilwoman Patricia Dufour reported that the retailer gave a timeline to Chief Building Inspector Brian M. Belson for the work, which began with site preparation earlier this month.Dufou…

Business

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – At the end of the day today, workers will start packing up the ponchos for the final time at the small dock near the base of the Rainbow Bridge on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. This is the last day the Maid of the Mist boats will set sail from here.The company has operated the attraction in Canada and the United States without interruption since…

Many cities and towns in Erie and Niagara counties have larger percentages of their property values exempted from taxes than the state average.Twenty-seven percent of real property value across New York is exempt from county property taxes, while some cities and towns in Erie and Niagara counties far exceed that.In Buffalo, for instance, 37 percent of real property is exem…

NIAGARA FALLS – A resident of the 1000 block of Ferry Avenue was found beaten up and bleeding on the sidewalk by a neighbor at 11 p.m. Tuesday.The victim said two men knocked on his door and threatened him before hitting him in the back of the head, dragging him off the porch and onto the sidewalk, punching and kicking him. Police said the victim refused medical treatment…