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Thomas J. Prohaska

I graduated from Starpoint Central High School in 1979 and St. Bonaventure University in 1983. I worked at WLVL Radio in Lockport from 1985 to 1995, when I joined The News.


Local News

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday that the state Workers' Compensation Board should grant death benefits to the widow of State Trooper Lawrence W. Lakeman. Lakeman died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer believed to have been caused by his service at the World Trade Center site after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The state rejected the claim from Audra Lakeman of Lockp…

Environment

The international agency that regulates outflows from Lake Ontario continues to blame the weather for last year's flooding on the lakeshore, concluding that water would have been even higher without its intervention. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, a subsidiary of the International Joint Commission, issued a study absolving a lake management pla…

Local News

Sonia Dusza just wanted to talk to a legislator during a break at a Niagara County Legislature meeting. But the 75-year-old North Tonawanda resident didn't get far Tuesday when she left the public gallery and stepped onto the floor where the lawmakers sit at their desks. An armed sheriff's deputy told her to leave that part of the chamber. "My God, it's gotten lik…

Business

Michael A. Casale, deputy economic development commissioner for Niagara County since 1998, was promoted to director by the County Legislature Tuesday. Also, the department's headquarters was named for Casale's predecessor. The Legislature voted to rename the building on Lockport Road in Wheatfield the Samuel M. Ferraro Center for Commerce, for the 22-year county deve…

Education

Niagara County Community College's Sanborn campus will be patrolled by armed guards, starting this fall, as part of an upgraded security program. The number of peace officers on campus could also increase in coming years, said W. Ross Annable, who became the college's director of security in January. The college will continue to employ about 20 unarmed security offic…

Environment

A state-sponsored program called Solarize Lockport is giving City of Lockport residents and businesses the chance to install solar panels on their properties at reduced prices. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority gave the city $5,000 to promote the effort, which begins with an informational meeting at 11 a.m. Thursday in City Hall. Brian M. S…

Local News

A Niagara Falls woman pleaded not guilty in State Supreme Court Tuesday to an indictment accusing her of playing a key role in a "criminal enterprise" that allegedly printed and deposited counterfeit checks using the account numbers on checks stolen last year from mailboxes in Niagara County and elsewhere. Assistant District Attorney John N. Philipps called Tasheen N. D…

Crime

A former Niagara County probation officer, who was accused of stealing drugs from four convicted criminals he was supervising, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors Tuesday and was promised he would not go to jail. Matthew V. Fender, 44, has been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a debilitating disease which affects mental and physical capacities, according to P. Andrew V…

Crime

A Niagara Falls man, who pleaded guilty to a gun felony after being arrested on the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge for having two unregistered handguns in a car, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in state prison and three years of post-release supervision. State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. denied youthful offender status for Keith Foster, 18, of Krull Parkw…

Local News

Anthony K. Mallory of Niagara Falls pleaded guilty Tuesday to two misdemeanors in a reported carjacking case that seems to have been something less. Mallory was charged with forcibly stealing a car Sept. 19 in the Falls. However, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said Mallory was given the car "relating to a drug deal" and didn't return it. Second Assist…

Local News

The New York Civil Liberties Union has asked New York State education officials to revoke funding for a project to install facial recognition software in Lockport schools. The organization contends the Lockport school district's plan endangers the rights of students and teachers. In a letter Monday, the NYCLU asked the state Education Department to cancel its approva…

Local News

The fate of the Frontier House turned into a last-minute election issue in Lewiston. The debate figures to continue into the fall, no matter the results of Tuesday's election, since the village has 120 days to back out of a purchase agreement the Village Board approved Monday. One mayoral candidate, Trustee Bruce R. Sutherland, voted to allow outgoing Mayor Terry C. …

Local News

Voters in the Village of Lewiston will elect a new mayor and two trustees in balloting from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Village Hall, 145 N. Fourth St. Republican Bruce R. Sutherland is giving up his trustee seat to run for mayor and is being opposed by Anne C. Welch, former village clerk-treasurer, a registered Republican running on the Democratic and Village Party l…

Crime

Gregory Roy, the stepson of a California man whose body was found last month in Cattaraugus County, has been found mentally competent to stand trial on a gun possession charge. Niagara County District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek declined to comment Monday when asked about the status of the murder investigation and whether Roy is involved. During Roy's arraignment …

Local News

The pool of vendors at the 43rd annual Optimist Club Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Lockport is being augmented by out-of-state artists. Richard Forsey, secretary-treasurer of the Lockport Evening Optimist Club, said the club posted applications for the show on a national website, and as a result, artists from five other states will join the lineup of sellers, whi…