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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 s…

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 winn…

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…

LOCKPORT – A North Tonawanda man, found at the wheel of a stopped vehicle in Pendleton May 19, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Monday to a felony driving while intoxicated indictment.Wesley S. Wilson, 57, of Cramer Street, also is charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and stopping on the highway.Police measured Wilson’s blood alcohol cont…

LOCKPORT – Rashaun L. Abrams, who shot a man in the back last fall, was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of post-release supervision Monday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.It was the sentence Abrams had agreed to when he accepted a plea bargain May 22, pleading guilty to second-degree assault.Abrams, 27, of Ontario Avenue in the Falls, shot Ea…

LOCKPORT – A former Niagara Falls woman pleaded guilty Monday in Niagara County Court to stealing money from her mother’s annuity account over a period of more than four years.Jennifer L. Lofstrand, 39, of Fort Myers, Fla., will complete an $80,000 restitution package for her parents in the Falls when she is sentenced Oct. 15, defense attorney George V.C. Muscato said.…

LOCKPORT – A Carrier Coach bus with six clients, a driver and an aide aboard went off the road and into a ditch on the Lockport Bypass, between Hinman and Saunders Settlement roads just before 3:30 p.m. Monday. And an hour before that a number of City of Lockport residents were without power after a dump truck took down a utility pole.All eight involved in the bus crash …

LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered a Niagara Falls man committed indefinitely to a state mental institution Monday, after learning that a year of treatment hasn’t made Maurice Hill competent to stand trial for trying to attack some hospital employees.Hill, 41, of 12th Street, was arraigned Sept. 25 on an eight-count indictment accusing him of u…

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man pleaded not guilty Monday to an indictment that accused him of robbing and assaulting his grandmother in the Falls June 15.Christopher L. Ford, 32, of 19th Street, was arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation.County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered Ford to remain in the Niagara Cou…

LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas imposed the minimum sentence of eight years in prison Monday on a Lockport man convicted of raping his best friend’s girlfriend in a South Street home July 29, 2011.Dalvan H. Robinson, 52, of Pennsylvania Avenue, continues to insist the sex was consensual, although a jury ruled May 10 that Robinson was guilty of first…

In December 1995, when singer Kevin Mahogany was playing Buffalo’s old Calumet Arts Cafe, a fight broke out near the door. The staff acted fast and threw the two guys – who were still cursing and slugging – out into Chippewa Street.Mahogany, on stage singing a ballad, didn’t miss a beat. Even now, looking back, he remembers the fight but laughs it off.“Mostly I r…

NIAGARA FALLS – Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. has been awarded a three-year matching grant totaling $78,558 from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation through its annual Technology Initiative.The agency, which provides programs to help the homeless and hungry at several locations in Niagara County, will use the funding to install a new wireless access…

The following Buffalo Niagara environmental organizations have been awarded funding from more than $1 million in environmental justice grants announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo:Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper – $49,535 for a training and mentoring program on environmental science for high school students from low-income neighborhoods.Groundwork Buffalo – $25,073 for educat…

NIAGARA FALLS – A free outdoor gospel festival that was canceled because of the powerful July 19-20 thunderstorm has been rescheduled and moved to a new location.Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has announced that the seventh annual Good News Gospel Festival and Health Fair will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Oasis Shelter at Hyde Park. This year’s e…

North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels is selling the “Save Around Buffalo 2014” coupon books until Dec. 15.The $20 book has more than 560 coupons for fast-food and sit-down restaurants, entertainment, recreation, golf and retail services in the North Tonawanda and Greater Buffalo areas.The book features multiple coupons from 108 restaurants, 22 entertainment and recreation f…