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City of Tonawanda

A Lockport man was charged Monday with felony driving while intoxicated after City of Tonawanda police pulled him over for driving without brake lights. Police said 22-year-old Paul O. Hylkema, who was stopped at 1:45 a.m. at Main and Niagara streets, allegedly showed signs of intoxication and told officers that he had four beers. Hylkema failed field sobriety tests …

Business

The giant coal-burning power plant on the shore of Lake Ontario in Somerset, once Niagara County's largest taxpayer, will be mothballed within 90 days. Plans are already afoot for the 1,800-acre site's future, including a $550 million data center and a lakefront town park. State funding already has been approved for the park, and a New York Power Authority power allocat…

Environment

The state Attorney General's Office has filed a revised lawsuit against the International Joint Commission, seeking more than $50 million in reimbursement for expenses incurred by all state agencies in responding to flooding and erosion damage caused by high water in Lake Ontario in 2017 and this year. The original lawsuit, announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Oct. 9, list…

Local News

The 2020 Town of Niagara budget has come in under the mandated state cap and includes a small property tax increase for homeowners and businesses. The $9,522,258 budget is $727 under the cap of 2%. The total tax levy is increased to $2,445,537, up from $2,299,829 in 2019. The average homestead tax rate will go up 37 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $5.94, or…

Crime

A woman's bank cards were used to fraudulently purchase $900 worth of gift cards within minutes of her purse being stolen Saturday morning, Niagara Falls police reported. The victim, a Pasadena Avenue resident, told police that her car was broken into around 10:45 a.m. while parked in front of the Home Decor Outlet, 8297 Niagara Falls Blvd. Surveillance cameras in the a…

Crime

A former home care aide is being sought on multiple charges after an Elderberry Place man discovered 102 unauthorized transactions against his bank card, Town of Niagara Police reported. The victim, who is on a fixed income and rarely leaves his home, told police that he went to an automated teller machine recently to withdraw some money and the transaction was declined…

Crime

A 36-year-old homeless man was beaten by a group of teenagers Friday evening after he tried to intervene in an argument between a man and a woman, Niagara Falls Police reported. The victim told police he came across the arguing pair around 6:30 p.m. at the Metro bus station on Portage Road. He said that he tried to speak up on behalf of the woman, who had apparently ang…

Crime

A Bergholz man who was arrested for impaired driving Tuesday evening reportedly explained that he was en route to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when he was pulled over, according to Town of Niagara Police. Patrick J. Zuccari, 40, of Niagara Road, initially attracted the attention of police by driving 79 mph in a 40 mph zone of Porter Road, according to arrest reports.…

Local News

An elderly woman died Friday night in a house fire in Niagara Falls, police said. The victim was identified as Bernice M. Coonan, 93, of 1165 Ashland Ave., according to police reports. The fire was reported by a person driving by the Ashland home at around 9 p.m., police said. Coonan was unconscious at the time firefighters pulled her from the burning home and began …

Health and Fitness

The Tony Hawk Foundation awarded grants of $300,000 to groups in Lockport and Ellicottville for concrete skateboard parks in those communities, according to the foundation's website. The foundation, named after the famed pro skateboarder, works with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to fund skatepark projects in Western New York and southeastern Michigan. John D. Cr…

Courts

A Niagara Falls man was sentenced Friday to six years in state prison, followed by three years of post-release supervision, for an armed home invasion in which a shot was fired and the theft of a taxicab after the driver was robbed. Davon D. Handley, 22, of Willow Avenue, asked for leniency. "I'm still young. I got my whole life ahead of me. Everybody makes mistakes," h…

Health and Fitness

Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour announced that his deputy jail administrator at the Niagara County Correctional Facility has been given a Gold Key Award from the WNY Chemical Dependency Consortium at its 30th annual awards luncheon Friday. Deputy Chief Daniel Engert has worked for the Niagara County Sheriff's Office since 1990 and has served as deputy jail admin…

Local News

The average property tax rate in the tentative 2020 Niagara County budget may be the lowest ever. It's certainly the lowest in the past 36 years, County Manager Richard E. Updegrove said Friday. The spending plan Updegrove sent to the County Legislature raises the amount to be collected in taxes by 2.58% – under the state-mandated tax cap of 3.38%. But the countyw…

Buffalo

Johnnie E. Edmundson of Lockport admitted to felony gang assault Friday in connection with a South Street brawl in which a knife slash reportedly left the victim's intestines exposed. Edmundson, 61, of South Street, faces up to seven years in prison, while three women accepted misdemeanor assault pleas. Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann sa…