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LOCKPORT – The Common Council last week ratified a four-year agreement with the Lockport City School District, under which the city Treasurer’s Office will continue to collect all of the district’s school tax bills.The district will pay the city $35,000 for that service in the upcoming school year, a price that will rise by $2,000 a year until the deal runs out in the 2016…

Science enthusiasts will soon have an opportunity to view the city from a unique vantage point, all while engaging in a childhood game of “I Spy.”The Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, will open its rooftop to museum patrons from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.Rooftop access is included with the Body Worlds Vitals exhibit or general admission ti…

Children are invited to the seventh annual free youth baseball clinic with the Buffalo Bisons on Aug. 3 at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.The clinic is open to children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon; children may stop by any time. There will be free food and beverages for all participants, as well as free T-shirts for all children.The clinic is sponsored b…

LOCKPORT – A Town of Tonawanda company submitted the only bid that was under the allotted $1.81 million budget for the reconstruction of part of the 19th-century Erie Canal locks to working order.Hohl Industrial Services bid $1.74 million for the work, outbidding the only other contender, BVR Construction Co. of Churchville, which bid $1.9 million.Shane Mahar, spokesman fo…

Many were frustrated and upset.Some were reinvigorated to make a change.Others just want the violence to end.All those emotions came pouring out Saturday at Niagara Square, where several hundred people attended a vigil and rally for Trayvon Martin, just a week after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of the unarmed teen.It was one of 100…

Erie County

The safety net for people with a serious mental illness was at its breaking point in the middle of June.About 90 people were packed into the psychiatric emergency room at Erie County Medical Center, a space that grows crowded with half that number.Patients waited for hours to be assessed and admitted. People were sprawled on the floor, and the staff was overwhelmed, said o…

One of David Gorczynski’s legs is shorter than the other, and he has finished last in every race during his three years on the Orchard Park High School cross country team. But that never stopped him from competing.Neither did his other disabilities, including an autism spectrum disorder, keep him from reaching the finish line, where his teammates often wait to cheer for hi…

Business

Alexis Agnello has lived through a whirlwind. The 32-year-old commercial banker and her husband, a 33-year-old landscaper, bought a house in North Buffalo, sold their old house – and had a baby – all in three weeks.The couple lived in half of a two-family home but were tired of being landlords. Two days after an open house, they had three offers. The house they bought – af…

Joining several other towns in Erie County, the Elma Town Board last week created guidelines for preserving older homes and businesses. The vote was taken after a public hearing at the July 17 board meeting. The board approved the new guidelines as the first step in preserving historic sites and older homes, said Elma Historical Society President Marlene Baumgartner. She s…

LEWISTON – A quarter-mile of land bordering the Niagara River soon may become a nature preserve, the first project of that type in Niagara County since the Niagara River Greenway was launched five years ago.The Western New York Land Conservancy plans a $3.17 million project on 29 acres of land between Lower River Road and the riverbank.The not-for-profit conservancy has an…

NIAGARA FALLS – A Linwood Avenue man arrested at gunpoint early Friday is accused of forcing his way into an Ontario Avenue home and threatening to shoot someone lying on a couch, police said. Kenneth J. Hall, 23, who was arrested after a short foot chase through the neighborhood, police said, was charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, third-…

WHEATFIELD – A thief caused an estimated $10,000 in damage while stealing $5,000 worth of copper from Oppenheim Park on Niagara Falls Boulevard early Friday, Niagara County sheriff’ deputies said. A park groundskeeper told deputies the thief targeted the maintenance building area about 3 a.m. and cut four, 75-foot electrical lines at the power box and at a power pole. T…

NIAGARA FALLS – Thunderstorms that caused outages overnight Friday also managed to fray nerves, leading to one arrest, Niagara Falls police said.Dennis C. Townsend, 50, of Ashland Avenue, was charged with second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief and harassment for striking a neighbor in the head with a golf club, police said. Townsend is accused of attacking t…

LOCKPORT – The city is likely to raise its bed tax on hotel and motel bills from 4 percent to 5 percent, with the extra money being used to pay for the Towpath Trolley, the summer tourist shuttle service.Mayor Michael W. Tucker said that he favors the increase, which was proposed by John Percy, CEO of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., the county tourism promotion a…

Two area school districts graduated their first students enrolled in a two-year advanced study program that gives them an edge in college admissions, and administrators say the results are encouraging.At Kenmore West High School, 46 of 53 seniors who participated in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme completed it, and 39 accumulated enough points from May ex…