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Local News

John Flickner, the disabled 78-year-old man who was evicted from his Niagara Falls apartment for using medical marijuana, said Wednesday that he will return to that apartment, although the timing of the move depends on logistics in his personal life. Flickner's attorney, Kevin Quinn, said Tuesday that he had received written assurances from LHP Capital, the Tennessee co…

Local News

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission members and other local dignitaries participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a $91 million upgrade of the customs inspection plaza on the American side of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. The project, expected to last 4 1/2 years, includes construction of a new customs building and six new inspection booths for traffic entering…

Crime

The theft of four tires from an auto shop in Niagara Falls over the weekend took some extra effort. The thief or thieves smashed the windows on three vehicles to get access to tire jacks in the trunk, which were then used to lift a fourth vehicle, which had its tires taken, according to a Niagara Falls police report. Police learned about the theft Monday morning, whe…

Crime

A man with a gun robbed the Sunoco gas station at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Military Road early Tuesday morning, according to a Niagara Falls police report. An employee told police the robber approached her at about 2:10 a.m. while she was in a back room, pointed the gun at her and demanded money. They walked back toward the front counter and the robber put a white…

Local News

For 14 years, a Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Niagara County Courthouse has been surrounded by gifts for families and children in local shelters, but this year's donations have been the most ever, according to Beverly Weber, a confidential secretary in County Court. Many county employees and visitors left presents, but lawyers in the Niagara County Bar Associatio…

Crime

Ennis E. Ruffin Sr., whose criminal record includes multiple convictions for selling crack cocaine in Niagara Falls, will serve seven years in state prison for two felonies. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon gave Ennis a three-year sentence Monday, but ordered it to be served after he finishes a four-year term he received a few weeks ago in Niagara Falls City Court. …

Crime

A homeless sex offender from Niagara Falls pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of failing to report a change of address. Robert E. Draper, 58, was rated a Level 3 offender for having sex with an 11-year-old girl in the Falls in 1996. He served seven years in prison for that, according to the state sex offender website. Draper didn't report a move he made in Augu…

Crime

Brandon A. Ortiz, 20, of McKoon Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday to a 28-count indictment accusing him of robbing 7-Eleven stores in the Falls and North Tonawanda and participating in a home invasion where six people were robbed. Ortiz allegedly joined Joshua A. Carr, 18, of Ontario Avenue in the Falls, in a store holdup Oct. 6 a…

Education

A $215,000 federal grant announced this week will mean enhanced security at several Niagara County schools. The grant, obtained through the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, will pay for new security equipment at schools in the Starpoint, Barker, Royalton-Hartland and Newfane districts, as well as at the Niagara Charter School and the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative…

Crime

The man accused of murdering North Tonawanda teenager Mandy Steingasser in 1993 will be allowed to keep the attorneys he hired. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon has decided against an effort by the Niagara County District Attorney's Office to oust defense lawyers Dominic H. Saraceno and Michele G. Bergevin. Prosecutors cited a perceived conflict of interest stemming fr…

Crime

Vintaun D. Weathers accepted a plea bargain Monday stemming from a May 18 robbery in which a man was shot in the knee at 17th Street and Pierce Avenue in the Falls. Weathers, 33, of South Avenue, Niagara Falls, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III promised to limit his pri…

Local News

A 78-year-old man who was evicted from Niagara Towers last week because he used medical marijuana has been told he's welcome back. John Flickner has been in homeless shelters since his eviction last Tuesday from his federal government-subsidized apartment in Niagara Falls. An official from LHP Capital, the Knoxville, Tenn., company that owns the 201-unit apartment bu…

Local News

June 22, 1930 – Dec. 5, 2018 Dr. Henry P. Merletti, a Niagara Falls podiatrist for 55 years, died Dec. 5 in Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence, Lewiston. He was 88. Born in Niagara Falls, he was a 1948 graduate of Niagara Falls High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Niagara University in 1952. He completed studies at Long Island University College of P…

Crime

What was termed as a "small kitchen fire" caused heavy smoke inside a home at 323 Ferry Ave. in Niagara Falls early Sunday, according to reports. Emergency crews arriving at the scene just after 12:30 a.m. found heavy smoke pouring out the open front door and a 46-year-old woman standing outside, coughing. She told police she had been awakened by a smoke alarm, and upon…

Crime

A young Niagara Falls man was arrested along with a juvenile companion Saturday evening, accused of shoplifting $154 worth of clothing from the Super Walmart store on Military Road. Zauvon O. Chappell, 17, of Ashland Avenue, was taken into custody shortly before 6 p.m. after store security personnel said he tried to steal 12 articles of clothing from the store. Chappell…