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Dyster repays Seneca treachery by repaving their driveway for free!

July 10, 2017 Darryl 4

By Mike Hudson

Back in March, when the Seneca Nation of Indians announced that they would end the casino revenue sharing agreement with the state, Niagara Falls and the other local municipalities where the casinos are located, it was like plunging a scalping knife into the heart of those communities that had agreed to host the smoky gambling dens in the first place.

The cost of police and fire protection, infrastructure improvements, snow plowing and other relatively big ticket items were to have been offset by the annual payments of casino revenues, a portion of the slot machine take that — in the case of Niagara Falls — ran between $16 million and $21 million a year. read more

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The cold case of Russell Mort; Child abduction remains unsolved

July 10, 2017 Darryl 0

By Mike Hudson

It remains one of the darkest and most disturbing cold cases in the files of the Niagara Falls Police Dept.

But despite national media exposure that has included television programs such as “Unsolved Mysteries,” The Forensic Files” and “America’s Most Wanted,” and despite herculean efforts by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Dept. and the FBI, the 1982 disappearance of 2-year-old Russell Mort remains an enigma.

By all accounts, May 5, 1982, was a beautiful sunny spring day in Wheatfield. Russell was out in the fenced back yard at the Lynch Park mobile home park with his mother, Ruth Mort, playing with a toy guitar. When he complained that something was wrong with the guitar, his mother took it into the residence, putting Russell into the sandbox his father, Ron Mort, had built for the boy. read more

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Lavish new Lockport YMCA a slap in the face to city of Niagara Falls

July 10, 2017 Staff 1

By Mike Hudson

A plan to build a $17 million YMCA in the Town of Lockport took a step forward last week with a Niagara County Industrial Development Agency vote.

The IDA gave final approval for tax-exempt bonding authority for the YMCA Buffalo Niagara, which will enable the organization to borrow much of the construction cost.

The bonds will be a debt of the YMCA, not the county or the IDA, but they will enable the YMCA to borrow money on terms attractive to the investors who buy the bonds, because the interest will be exempt from income taxes. read more

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Try calling Community Development; You might as well call the White House

July 10, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson

When you try to call Niagara Falls Community Development, you are answered by a robot, who proceeds to give you a number of “options.” Option one is to go to a directory of Community Development staffers, but if you go to it you are instead hooked up to a voicemail demanding to know who you are and exactly what you want.

Try it yourself. The number is (716) 286-8800.

The other way to contact Community Development is to fill out a form they have on their website.

“Do you have questions or need help with something that you couldn’t find on our website?  We’re here to help!  Fill out the contact form below and we will get you in touch with the right person,” it says. read more

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DiCienzo project to benefit from $3 million state grant to IDA here?

July 10, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson

A $3 million fund to assist new economic development projects in Niagara Falls was announced last week. State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello orchestrated the gift basket.

The money was obtained through the last two state budgets, but its original source was the state’s share of the Seneca Niagara Casino’s revenues.

The money, dubbed the Downtown Niagara Falls Tourism Target Zone program, will be administered by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. Its board will vote on all the grants recommended by a steering committee of NCIDA staffers, board members and other local leaders, according to Steve Brady, IDA chairman. read more

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Dismissal of charges against Ortt bodes well for Maziarz defense

July 10, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson

You read it here first.

How many times in the 17-year history of the Niagara Falls Reporter have we begun articles with just those words?

On May 11, we ran our last installment of what had become the saga of state Sen. Rob Ortt. State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman had indicted Ortt on three felony counts of filing a false instrument.

On Tuesday, Albany County Judge Peter Lynch dismissed the indictment in its entirety.

Ortt, the former North Tonawanda mayor, was accused of padding his mayoral salary through a no-show job for his wife, Meghan, who was indirectly paid $21,500 over four years by the Niagara County Republican Committee. The political nature of Ortt’s persecution was painfully obvious to anyone who bothered to look. read more

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Looming financial crisis debated as Dyster lives it up in Florida

July 10, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you are selling your house. Now imagine that, at the closing, you are so lame brained that when your lawyer hands you the contract, you don’t read it or have it explained to you, and find out only later that the document while obligating you to transfer ownership, it didn’t require the “buyer” to do anything, like pay you any money for your house.

That, in a nutshell, is exactly what happened to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who – in 2013 – granted the Seneca Nation of Indians a 20 year extension on the compact that allows the tribe to operate the Seneca Niagara Casino here. read more