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LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas on Friday rejected a prosecution request to present testimony about Timothy C. DePetris’ alleged attempt while in the county jail to hire a hit man to kill his brother-in-law and a witness in his criminal case.DePetris goes to trial Feb. 3 on charges of shooting his brother-in-law and illegal weapons possession.The hit ma…

LOCKPORT – A $1 million grant from the state this week was good news for the developers of Lockport’s new ice arena, but they remain $4 million short of the amount needed to complete the $12 million project.Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano, who is among the prime movers of the not-for-profit twin-rink complex, said after Wednesday’s Albany announcement that he will be…

NIAGARA FALLS – Mayor Paul A. Dyster gets most of what he wants in next year’s budget, but city lawmakers on Thursday took a couple of significant chunks out of the mayor’s wish list.While most of Dyster’s 13 vetoes withstood City Council scrutiny, the Council set next year’s salary for City Administrator Donna D. Owens at $75,000, rejecting Dyster’s push to raise it.Owens…

LOCKPORT – A man who burglarized a guest room in the Seneca Niagara Casino hotel earlier this year pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court.Luke L. Lucas Jr., 30, of Ontario Avenue, admitted to third-degree burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Feb. 14 by County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.A hotel surveillance camera caught Lucas entering the room, where he stol…

The court battle between the Newfane Central School District and some retired unionized non-instructional employees over changes in post-retirement health benefits will continue with a hearing over what the word “same” means.The state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that four retirees, who sued after the district raised their prescription copayments in 2010, are entitled t…

LOCKPORT – Two teenagers were held for possible indictment by a Niagara County grand jury Wednesday in connection with the Dec. 3 assaults on the Lockport High School athletic director and a school monitor.City Judge William J. Watson sent the case onward after brief appearances by Jesse F. James, 18, of Caledonia Street, and DeAndre T. Reed, 16, of Washington Street.They …

LOCKPORT – A former Niagara Falls man who moved to Las Vegas after being charged with selling cocaine in the Falls was sentenced Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to 18 months in state prison and two years of post-release supervision.Jason R. Palmer, 27, sold cocaine at 15th Street and Pine Avenue Nov. 21, 2012. After posting $20,000 bail, he moved to …

LOCKPORT – A man who said he can’t see very well because of a failed cornea transplant pleaded not guilty to a drug indictment Thursday in State Supreme Court.Maurice Mackey, 32, of Chapel Street, Lockport, is charged with third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. He is accused of having had cocaine with th…

NIAGARA FALLS – A Niagara Falls man faces a long list of charges after being accused of leaving the scene of a property damage crash at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 1300 block of LaSalle Avenue.Ronald D. Terry, 56, of Cedar Avenue was chargeded with unreasonable speed, aggravated unlicensed operation, driving while intoxicated and having an open alcoholic beverage in the veh…

LOCKPORT – A Buffalo teen was charged with second-degree assault after he allegedly injured another inmate in a fight in the Niagara County Jail on Wednesday.Demetrien I. Bell-Bradley, 19, of Goodyear Street was accused of striking fellow inmate Matthew C. Brown, 29, of Prentice Street, Lockport. Brown was cut above his left eye in the alleged attack and had to be taken to…

LOCKPORT – The city, whose finances are rated as “moderately stressed” by the State Comptroller’s Office, is planning to seek advice and perhaps money from a state agency.At a work session Wednesday, the Common Council decided to vote next week on applying to the state Financial Restructuring Board for help. Council President Anne E. McCaffrey said the city could be eligib…

WHEATFIELD – The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board was unable to take action Wednesday on a $3.4 million apartment project in Youngstown because the address of the site was incorrect in legal notices.IDA attorney Mark J. Gabriele said the IDA thought the address of the former Youngstown Cold Storage warehouse, which is to be demolished to make way for the …

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Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie’s kid brother Randy in the 1983 holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” has answered the same questions hundreds of times.No, he doesn’t really hate meatloaf. Yes, he owns a leg lamp. No, he doesn’t watch the movie that made him famous. And yes, he can put his arms down.But after all these years, the film’s obsessive fans cannot get enough.“Pe…

LOCKPORT – More than three dozen gun-rights advocates returned to City Court on Wednesday in a show of support for Paul A. Wojdan, the Lockport man who was charged with violating the state’s new SAFE Act on the number of rounds of ammunition in a magazine.Defense attorney James D. Tresmond told City Judge William Watson that he believes the officer overstepped his bounds b…

NIAGARA FALLS – The Niagara Falls Chapter of The Links Inc. will hold its annual Emerald and Ivory Gala Saturday evening in the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.The program will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing until midnight with a deejay and a live band. Tickets are $50. Dress is black tie optional.Proceeds sup…