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The vacant three-story brick building at 550 Main St. is Niagara Falls has a colorful history. For many years, Dr. Pravin V. Mehta prescribed painkillers there, sometimes without examining patients, in what authorities said was a major contribution to the local opioid epidemic. Now, with Mehta in prison and the city in charge of the building, the structure is propose…

Local News

The Town of Porter has overbilled Fort Niagara State Park by $152,900 for sewer service since 2014, according to a state audit released Thursday. In 1970, State Parks signed a contract to use Porter's sewers. In 1996, the town changed the billing basis from the park's share of the total sewer flow to its amount of water use, but the contract never was altered. The se…

Crime

A Niagara Falls woman on Thursday entered the second guilty plea in a May 10 gun possession case. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III set sentencing Feb. 1 for Crystal G. Martin, 37, of Welch Avenue, who admitted to attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Tuesday, Thomas M. Campbell, 31, of Elmwood Avenue, Lockport, admitted to the same ch…

Erie County

Snowfall totals keep growing in the Southtowns and the Southern Tier thanks to the first significant lake-effect event of the season. Here are the latest official snow totals as of Friday afternoon from spotters' reports to the National Weather Service: Colden – 22.9 inches Boston – 18.2 inches Perrysberg – 16.8 inches Village of Wyoming – 16.4 inc…

Local News

Niagara Falls Police have released the name of a person of interest in connection with a fatal shooting Tuesday and asked for help from the public in locating him. Police said they are seeking Charles Lee Walker Jr., 24, of Niagara Falls. They said he may be driving a silver 2011 Chevrolet Impala with the license plate HFL-5991. He is described as black, 6 feet tall and…

Featured

Michael DiCienzo and Faisal Merani each own hotels on the U.S. and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Both Canadian businessmen also navigated approval processes for development projects in Niagara Falls, N.Y. That is where DiCienzo wants to build an indoor water park and Merani built a 191-room hotel that opened in January. So which side is more inviting for a develop…

Construction and Growth

Eastern Niagara Hospital plans to triple the size of its emergency department as part of an $8.2 million building project announced Wednesday. The Lockport hospital said it intends to erect a two-story structure near the entrance of its building at 521 East Ave., with the new emergency department on the ground floor. Plans call for the second floor to include doctor…

Erie County

That lake-effect snow predicted for the last several days has arrived — just in time for a tricky Wednesday afternoon commute. The National Weather Service says the band of snow that formed earlier over the relatively warm waters of Lake Erie will stay in place for much of Wednesday afternoon and into the evening, causing low visibility and slick conditions. Meteorolo…

Crime

A City of Lockport man, originally charged with first-degree rape, was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail on a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching. Thomas J. Peckham Jr., 22, will not have to register as a sex offender. He was living on Ridge Road in Newfane when he was arrested May 15 in connection with allegations from an adult woman. He's been in jail ever sin…

Crime

A car and a sport utility vehicle collided at Lockport and Hoover roads in Wheatfield about noon Wednesday, sending two people to local hospitals. A report from the scene said one of the drivers was seriously hurt and was transported to Erie County Medical Center, while the other, less badly injured, was taken to Mount St. Mary's Hospital. The Niagara County Sheriff'…

Buffalo

Of all the vessels in the Buffalo River on Monday morning, Marcus Gillebaard probably had the tiniest. As the Navy's new hulking USS Little Rock warship sailed past to dock at Canalside, Gillebaard paddled nearby in a wooden kayak he and a friend fashioned to look like the original World War II-era USS Little Rock. Gillebaard, of North Tonawanda, built this craft tw…

Crime

Bail was set at $200,000 Wednesday for a man who was extradited from Alabama in connection with a fire at his boyfriend's Lockport apartment. Alex D. Brown, 37, of Rochester, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court to second-degree arson and obstructing governmental administration. Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Grundy said Brown was in an argument at the…

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has graduated its first class of care coordinators under a state Department of Health grant to prepare workforce candidates for the future of health care. Class members are the first of 120 people who will get education in partnership with Niagara County Community College by way of this two-year project. Care Coordination is an e…

Local News

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help to identify a body found floating five months ago in Lake Ontario. On June 13, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at 1 Scott Ave., Youngstown, where the body of an unknown man was found. Authorities are still unsure how long the body had been in the water. The She…

Crime

A Niagara Falls man died Tuesday from a fatal gunshot wound, according to Niagara Falls Police. Police were called to the emergency room of Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital at around 3 p.m., for a reported victim of a shooting, Niagara Falls Police said. When officers arrived, they found the victim, identified as Ladrae Walker, 26, who had sustained a single gunshot …