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As Niagara Falls / Tales of strange but true

Awesome tires though

A couple of East Indian descent, visiting Niagara Falls in a van with New Jersey plates, pulled into the Cayuga Village trailer park on Niagara Falls Boulevard last week.

They drove down the trailer park's main street, which, in fact, is called Main Street.

They appeared confused and asked the mailman on his rounds how far down Main Street they would have to drive to get to the falls.

"The falls?" said the mailman, nonplused. "There are no falls here."

"But it says right here," said the driver, indicating the Global Positioning System tracking device on the dashboard. "The falls, at Main and Rainbow."

The mailman stood there, putting two and two together. The couple was on Main Street, all right, albeit Main Street in Cayuga Village, but how did Rainbow get into the picture?

Then it all became clear. Next to Cayuga Village is a business called Rainbow Outlet Tire. The couple had punched into the GPS the key words Main and Rainbow and ended up in a trailer park next to a tire store. The falls were five ways thataway.

The mailman put them on the right track. But he wasn't sure if they turned right or left when they drove out of the trailer park.

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Fade to black

The Lockport court hearing into $43.4 million worth of tax breaks given the AES Somerset power plant by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency isn't exactly riveting. But it has its moments.

When someone testifying last week said a particular point was open to varying interpretations, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. had one question:

"Isn't it like the conclusion of 'The Sopranos?' Did Tony get whacked or was his daughter coming in late for a pizza?"

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The Falls: Like no 'Other'

The Learning Channel has a popular new family show called "Little People, Big World," where the Roloff family of six takes trips to various places around the world. Last year, they went to Hawaii and a couple of episodes were all about that island paradise.

This year is still up for grabs. Fans of the show get to vote online where they would like the Roloffs to go.

Disney World was the clear favorite as of late Monday, followed by Hollywood and Montreal. Coming in fourth on the list is Niagara Falls. The Falls was beating out New York City, the Grand Canyon, Texas, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, London, Australia and "Other."

Debbie Hengst of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. has four words for anyone reading this: "Get out and vote." And no, not for Other.

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Putting himself out there

Tonight is Irish Festival Night at Dunn Tire Park, which means the Irish-American of the Year will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Bisons game. And it turns out to be none other than Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III.

"That violates one of Tip O'Neill's 10 commandments -- never have a politician introduced at a ballpark," Murphy said. "There's a risk of booing."

Booing would appear to be irrelevant for Murphy, who appears to be unopposed in this year's election for Niagara County judge. So, how did Murphy score this first-pitch honor?

"I think my friend Frank Clark had something to do with it," Murphy said, referring to the Erie County DA.

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Reefer madness

A Niagara County Court found George A. Richardson III of Lockport guilty of smoking marijuana in violation of probation conditions barring him from using drugs.

When it came time to sentence him, Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. kept in mind that the drug charge dated back to 2001 and that Richardson's probation term was almost up when he committed the violation.

Broderick decided against jail, instead ordering him to spend 10 weekends in the county work program.

Noted the judge: "You'll be cutting grass instead of smoking it."

With contributions from Bill Michelmore and Thomas J. Prohaska of the News Niagara Bureau.

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