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High Schools

Brocton baseball is heading to the state semifinals for the first time in school history. Ronald Brown threw nine strikeouts in a complete-game outing as the Bulldogs downed Avoca, 5-1, in the Class D Far West Regional at Diethrick Park in Jamestown. “It means a lot,” Brocton Coach Raymond Rosas said. “It feels cool not only for the school district, but the village a…

Food and Drink

Dragon Babies Diner and Grill reminds me of what you would get if a marauding band of renegade chefs tore the doors off an abandoned building and fired up a couple of grills. In other words, it’s awesome. Chef partners Shawn Edin and Jeremy Hardy started with a Dragon Babies food truck a year ago, then opened the brick-and-mortar location at 452 Oliver St. in North T…

Local News

The Tonawandas will begin offering walking tours of historic landmarks beginning with the Chamber of the Commerce of the Tonawanda's Heritage Tour. A ribbon cutting will be held at 4 p.m. May 19 at the center of the Renaissance Bridge at Webster and Main streets. An online narrative will feature 26 historical landmarks in both the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. …

Gusto

Like a drive-in theater, a roller rink is something to treasure. Especially an old-time roller rink, with a genuine wooden floor. Such a paradise is the Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda. It was opened in 1949 by two couples, Elmer and Mary Batt and Herbert and Ella Bale. It is currently owned by the Bales' grandson, Maurice Cooper, along with his wife and son. They al…

Food and Drink

You can go out to eat or you can go out to dine. There’s definitely a difference and it’s evident at Webster’s Bistro & Bar in North Tonawanda. Barb Hughes and her husband, Kevin, own the French bistro known for its bouillabaisse and seven-layer chocolate cake. But it’s Barb’s distinctive approach to dining that truly makes the restaurant stand out. As senior sal…

Business

The longtime CEO of shock absorber manufacturer Taylor Devices – and son of the company's founder – will step down at the end of May, yielding the top job to another company veteran. Douglas P. Taylor will retire from his active roles at the company that bears his family's name as of May 31, after 27 years at the helm. He will be succeeded as president on June 1 by Alan…

High Schools

During a timeout early in the third quarter, the West Seneca West student section began chanting: "It's too easy." The unbeaten Indians made it look as such because of pressing defense that made a North Tonawanda crew that plays reigning Class AA champion Niagara Falls twice a year uncomfortable – leading to lots of turnovers, easy baskets and a shot at the title. Th…

Colleges

A former University at Buffalo soccer star from North Tonawanda pleaded guilty this week in federal court in New Jersey to submitting phony insurance claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions, defrauding benefit programs to the tune of $45 million. Steven M. Butcher, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud and violating an anti-kickback law, th…

The North Tonawanda Department of Youth and Recreation is seeking youth to participate in its theater club for 2018. The group is open to North Tonawanda residents in kindergarten through 12th grade. Former productions include "Gran's Guide to Stopping an Ogre" and "The Quest: A Fairytale with Attitude." The group meets for rehearsals twice a week, from 5 to 6 p.m. o…

High Schools

Trevor Book entered North Tonawanda's basketball game last Tuesday against Lew-Port needing 18 points to become the fifth player to reach the 1,000-point scoring mark in program history dating back to 1925. The senior finished with 24 points, reaching the milestone early in the third quarter on a feed from classmate Kyle McNeill to the low post as the Lumberjacks went o…

High Schools

Six of the 15 sectional champions from last year were underclassmen, with most competing at the lighter weight classes. Last year’s champions from 145 pounds and up all graduated. While there are quite a few opportunities for newcomers, many of last year’s winners have changed weight classes. That includes Lancaster sophomore Ryan Stencel, the top-ranked D-I wrestler…

High Schools

For seven years, Eric Jantzi sat back and watched as some of his students walked the halls in game-day jerseys on Fridays in the fall. When the final bell rang, he was out the door traveling down to the Southtowns to coach instead of gearing up for a game on North Tonawanda’s George J. Vetter Stadium. He never got to coach Jordan Holmes, Jake Ferry or Austin Tober at NT…

High Schools

Eric Jantzi is officially back coaching at the school where he experienced his greatest success as the leader of a football program. On Wednesday night, the North Tonawanda School Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Jantzi and four of his longtime assistants to fill the openings of varsity coach as well as junior varsity. Jantzi guided North Tonawan…

High Schools

There's a chance a blast from the past will be taking over the North Tonawanda football program. Eric Jantzi is one of the two finalists for the Lumberjacks' head coaching position, according to NT Superintendent of Schools Greg Woytila. Jantzi, who teaches in the district, served as North Tonawanda coach back when the program won the New York State Public High Schoo…

Erie County

The twin cities - the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda - are in separate counties, but they are joined by bridges, a Canal Fest and a harbor on the Erie Canal. In January, the two cities will apply jointly for a state Canal Corporation grant to improve harbor tourism. The statewide competitive grants range from $250,000 to $1.5 million. City of Tonawanda Mayor R…