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LOCKPORT – Niagara County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews reported this week that the county’s mortgage tax revenues are up 13 percent, or about $160,000, for the first half of the current fiscal year.Andrews said he believes a continued trend of refinancing of mortgages because of low interest rates produced the spike in income for the period of October through March.Andrew…

LOCKPORT – The interim director of the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District told county legislators this week that the state might pay up to 50 percent of the cost of capping the county’s construction and demolition landfill off the Lockport Bypass.Dawn M. Timm told the County Legislature’s Administration Committee that the so-called C&D landfill, which is to clos…

LEWISTON – The next speakers in the Lewiston Council on the Arts’ Discovery Series are Timm and Helen Herman, the owners of Sugartown Farms, who will speak on the business of raising alpacas in a presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Historic Opera Hall, 732 Center St.Their presentation will help the audience to discover the history of the alpaca, the investment, hus…

The local YMCA is again offering free fitness classes in parks throughout the area this summer, through a program co-sponsored by Independent Health. This year, the program expanded into Niagara County, as sessions are being held at Artpark in Lewiston.The “Fitness in the Parks” program offers classes such as pilates, yoga and cardio dance at eight parks: Artpark, Bass…

NIAGARA FALLS – Plans by Benderson Development to build up a retail plaza at the northeast corner of Niagara Falls and Factory Outlet boulevards received approval from the city Planning Board on Wednesday night.The board approved a site plan for construction of two buildings: one 6,000 square feet and the other 9,250 square feet.Those buildings will be added to a site wh…

LOCKPORT – The litigation over the demolition of the downtown Lockport parking ramp ended with a whimper Wednesday, and the ramp’s history will end with a bang in a few days.A lawsuit over the bid-opening process for the job, filed by Scott Lawn Yard of Sanborn, was dropped Wednesday, leaving Empire Dismantlement, the second-lowest bidder, with a valid $1.17 million co…

WHEATFIELD – Sean O’Laughlin, a 37-year employee of Unifrax, announced Tuesday he is running against Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross in the 2nd District, which covers parts of Wheatfield and Lewiston.O’Laughlin, a registered Republican, has been endorsed by the county Democratic Committee. He also will be able to oppose Ross, a registered Conserva…

LOCKPORT – The majority leader of the Niagara County Legislature called Tuesday for only a one-year renewal of the contract with the county’s tourism promotion agency, which has proposed a 15-year deal.State law gives the County Legislature the power to name Niagara’s tourism promotion agency. A 10-year contract with the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. ran out J…

Crime

Five-year-old Isabella Tennant loved swinging on the swings and sliding down the slides at Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga. Always smiling and laughing, she didn’t mind that her favorite playground was actually designed for children ages 6 to 12.Her father, Michael Tennant, took her there often – it was near their home on Como Park Boulevard. And though “Bella” will…

ALBANY – Talk about your mixed signals.As Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has been turning up the heat on the Seneca Nation of Indians by offering to place three new gambling hall competitors in Western New York, the Cuomo administration has been giving a marketing boost to the tribe’s Niagara Falls casino on the state’s I Love NY website.The plug had been on the “Things to D…

OLCOTT – Olcott Beach has been closed until further notice following testing by the Niagara County Department of Health that determined the water is “not suitable for swimming because of unsatisfactory bacteriological water quality.”Health department officials made the announcement on Tuesday and stated they will continue monitoring the situation and “will reopen t…

LOCKPORT – Niagara County will study the best way to inspect housing to be rented to welfare clients.A County Legislature committee voted unanimously Monday in favor of a resolution sponsored by the Legislature’s three Democrats, calling for a report by September on how to accomplish the goal.A special committee – comprising three senior legislators, the county manag…

NIAGARA FALLS – Family and Children’s Service of Niagara is planning to open a group home this fall for pregnant and parenting women in Niagara Falls, ages 16 to 21.The agency has announced a contest to choose a name for the new facility. Suggestions are being sought via email at namingcontest@niagarafamily.org. The email should include the name and phone number of the…

Crime

LOCKPORT – The owner of a former Niagara Falls business, already charged with shooting his brother-in-law, was charged Monday with trying, while in jail, to hire a hit man to kill the shooting victim and a witness in the case.Timothy C. DePetris, 44, formerly of the Town of Niagara, was arraigned Monday in Niagara County Court on the new charges.He pleaded not guilty to …

WASHINGTON – Federal authorities have found 400 long-missing pages from a diary kept by a key aide to Adolf Hitler at a small academic publishing house in Lewiston, and Holocaust experts say the find may shed new light on the extermination of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.The missing diary pages, written by Hitler confidant Alfred Rosenberg, turned up in the poss…