Share this article

print logo

Thomas J. Prohaska

Thomas Prohaska has been a reporter for The Buffalo News since 1995. A graduate of Starpoint Central High School and St. Bonaventure University, he previously worked at WLVL Radio in Lockport.


Environment

Jane Corwin of Clarence, a former state Assembly member, was nominated by President Trump Tuesday to chair the International Joint Commission, the binational agency governing Great Lakes issues. Corwin said she intends to seek a review of Plan 2014, the Lake Ontario water management plan that many local officials and residents blame for last year's flooding and heavy er…

Local News

Most of the elected officials representing Niagara Falls will be on hand Thursday for an open forum hosted by County Legislator Owen T. Steed. The third annual installment of Steed's "Talking Matters" series will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Harry F. Abate Elementary School, 1625 Lockport St. Steed said Tuesday that he expects Rep. Brian Higgins, state Se…

Business

An undetermined number of new jobs will be added to the 250-member workforce at the Oath data center in Lockport, company executives said Tuesday. The company, formerly known as Yahoo, will invest $32 million at its campus in the Town of Lockport industrial park: $28 million to erect a third data center and $4 million for electrical improvements at one of the existing c…

Crime

Charles L. Walker Jr., who fatally shot a man on Highland Avenue in Niagara Falls last year, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter. The sentence, imposed by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon, was part of a plea deal in which prosecutors dropped a charge of hindering prosecution that accused Walker of driving Denzel K. Lewis to a Ni…

Crime

Tommy D. George, who previously admitted to two driving-while-intoxicated felonies, accepted a plea offer Monday for a Jan. 19 incident in which he was accused of bringing a gun into the Empire Sports Lounge on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls. George, 47, of 22nd Street in the Falls, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a wea…

Crime

A former employee who stole $9,371 from Advanced Auto Parts in Lockport last year was sentenced Monday to probation for five years, in part because he repaid almost one-third of the money in the past six months. Zachary W. Adams impressed Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon through his performance on six months of interim probation, which enabled him to avoid a maximum fo…

Crime

Chad S. Bower, a Lockport man whose criminal record includes 33 convictions and two state prison sentences, was arraigned in Niagara County Court Monday on an indictment accusing him of stealing his ex-wife's car. Bower, 45, of North Adam Street, allegedly stole the 2007 Chrysler in North Tonawanda July 16 and drove it to Lockport, where it was recovered three days late…

Crime

Attorneys may offer a mental health defense for Gregory A. Roy, the Porter man accused of killing his stepfather and dumping his body in a Cattaraugus County ravine. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon signed subpoenas Friday for Roy's medical records from the county jail and two hospitals, which his lawyers sought to help them decide on their strategy. Roy already…

Local News

The Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government saluted Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Councilman Kenneth M. Tompkins Friday for posting their financial disclosure forms on the city's website. "This is yet another small but important victory of our effort to bring more transparency to local government," coalition president Paul W. Wolf said. Wolf's group ha…

Crime

The former Niagara County probation officer who stole prescription painkillers from criminals offenders under his supervision was placed on probation Friday for three years. Matthew V. Fender, a Lockport resident, suffers from an incurable disease, Lewy body dementia, which erodes his mental and physical capacities. "He's having a real difficult time speaking, so he …

Business

The City of Lockport has $78,000 that it wants to give to small businesses. Planning and Development Director Brian M. Smith said this week that the money is left over from a $200,000 state Community Development Block Grant that the city's development agency obtained for its micro-enterprise assistance program. New or expanding businesses with five or fewer employees…

Environment

Krull Park Beach in Olcott was closed to swimming Thursday because of high levels of E. coli bacteria found in Lake Ontario water samples taken Wednesday morning. Ronald Gwozdek, principal public health engineer for the Niagara County Health Department, said the lake's waters were churned up by thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday. He said he believes that action caused …

Environment

Tractor-trailers Thursday hauled some 200 tons of dirt laced with low-level radioactive waste out of Niagara Falls State Park on the first day of what's expected to be a weeklong removal process. About a dozen tractor-trailers each hauled about 15 tons to a disposal site in Ohio. The contaminated dirt was discovered in May by the contractor building a new entrance pa…

Business

Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston announced this week it has completed a two-year, $1.7 million renovation that made over every patient room and added 16 new private medical-surgical rooms on the third floor, bringing the available total to 65 private rooms. The hospital is licensed for 175 beds, spokesman Frederick P. Caso Jr. said. Catholic Health paid for buil…

Crime

D'Vonne T. Clark, who has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection with a Lockport stabbing, would be safer in the Niagara County Jail than in the community, County Judge Sara Sheldon said in denying him bail Wednesday. Clark, 17, of Lock Street, is charged with killing Elijah L. Wedington, 16, with a knife to the side July 22, as Clark allegedl…