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Olcott Fire Company to Get New Fire Engine

February 16, 2017 Staff 0

Sen. Ortt Secures $130K of State Taxpayer Money for Volunteer Fire Company

The Olcott Fire Company, a volunteer fire department serving the hamlet of Olcott in the Town of Newfane in Niagara County,  pop. 1,241, will replace its 15-year-old fire truck with a new Heavy Duty Response Truck that will allow members to assist with ALS support in neighboring municipalities.

State Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,INorth Tonawanda) secured $130,000 of taxpayer money for the the purchase of the truck.

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Workshop For Chronic Disease Self-Management in Town of Niagara

February 8, 2017 Reporter 0

A Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop will be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Town of Niagara (Calvin Richards) Community Center (7000 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, 14305) from 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

There is no charge to attend.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide simple steps that help people manage symptoms of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain, arthritis or chronic anxiety, to promote active and fulfilling lifestyles and to help people feel better.

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Maziarz’s Former Treasurer Files Spending Report

February 8, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina;

Laureen Jacobs, the treasurer of former NY State Sen. George Maziarz’s campaign committee, has filed amended spending reports with the State Board of Elections covering three years (2010, 2012, 2013).

Legal sources have confirmed the filing was emailed to the board by lawyers for Jacobs on Tuesday night but the reports were not immediately available for review but are expected to be made public within the next few days.

Lawyers for the former Maziarz committee have been seeking information from Jacobs about so-called “questionable expenditures” in the $200,000 range, and those expenditures are reportedly detailed in the amended filing to the board by Jacobs.

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Assemblyman John Ceretto's not too happy about being one of the only state legislators to lose his seat last year. Luckily, his pension will continue to flower in his new State Parks position, a reward for his 2015 defection from the Republicans to the Democrats.

Former Legislator Ceretto apparently not to answer for alleged campaign ethics breaches

January 19, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

When Richard Nixon left office some 45 years ago, he was spared criminal prosecution thanks to a presidential pardon issued by his successor, Gerald Ford.

To the best of our knowledge, John Ceretto has received no such pardon from the outgoing Barack Obama. So why isn’t Ceretto being investigated for campaign law violations allegedly committed during his futile re-election bid this past fall?

In late October, 2016, less than a month before the election that was ultimately won by challenger Angelo Morinello, a former Ceretto employee blew the whistle on possible illegal activities which included, according to news reports, “several” campaign meetings held in Assemblyman Ceretto’s office, where invitations to a political fundraiser were allegedly created on government computer and printer and mailed using state postage, as well as the alleged use of an office phone to solicit campaign donors.

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Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello

Assembly Member Morinello’s Committee Roles Position Him to Fight for Local Control of Tourism

January 12, 2017 Staff 0

Newly elected NYS Assemblyman Angelo J. ‘Judge’ Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) whose district includes Niagara County and Grand Island in Erie County, has been assigned several committees for the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. This session, Morinello will serve as member of the Codes, Higher Education, Housing and Tourism Committees, and will serve as Ranking Minority Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

His Tourism Committee membership may be of particular importance, given that his district encompasses the city of Niagara Falls, one of the poorest, most crime-riddled cities in America, long under Democratic rule, and is also among the greatest tourism destinations in the world. More than 20 million tourists visit both sides of Niagara Falls – Ontario and New York.

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CAROLINE WOJTASZEK SWEARING-IN SPEECH –December 31, 2016

January 6, 2017 Staff 0

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(Editor’s note: The role of the District Attorney is an important one and in Niagara County, residents have a new person in the position. Inasmuch as Niagara County DA Caroline Wojtaszek ran unopposed last year, residents perhaps had less exposure to her plans and ideals than they might have had there been a robust, competitive campaign. It strikes us as therefore fitting to present to readers her inaugural speech, with a few explanatory notes for clarity and context as needed. Wojtaszek delivered her speech at the Lockport Courthouse to a crowd of about 150 people.)

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Assemblyman Angelo Morinello joined by his mother in taking his oath of office.

MORINELLO SWORN INTO OFFICE

January 6, 2017 Staff 0
Assemblyman Angelo Morinello joined by his mother in taking his oath of office.
Assemblyman Angelo Morinello joined by his mother in taking his oath of office.

Today, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) took his oath of office and was sworn in as a member of the New York State Legislature. Morinello was elected on November 8, 2016, defeating the incumbent of six years. Morinello will represent parts of Niagara and Erie counties, including the towns of Wheatfield, Niagara, Lewiston, Cambria, Grand Island, the City of Niagara Falls and parts of the City of North Tonawanda.

“I am thrilled to begin my service as the representative for the 145th Assembly District and get the legislative session under way,” said Morinello. “I look forward to meeting my colleagues in the Assembly, and working with them to ensure we bring change to New York State’s current economic and ethical climate. I am more than ready to go to bat for Western New York families and be their voice in the halls of the Capitol.”

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The new Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek is sworn in by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon as her husband Henry and son and daughter look on.

First Female DA Vows To Protect Crime, Abuse Victims

January 6, 2017 Frank Parlato 1
The new Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek is sworn in by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon as her husband Henry and son and daughter look on.
The new Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek is sworn in by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon as her husband Henry and son and daughter look on.

The ornate upstairs courtroom of the Niagara County Courthouse in Lockport was packed to capacity with guests spilling out into the massive building’s rotunda Saturday as Niagara County’s first female district attorney took the oath of office.

Caroline A. Wojtaszek—former assistant district attorney, wife to former Niagara County Republican Chairman and current Western Region Off-Track Betting President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek, sister-in-law of State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek—was sworn in before a crowd approaching 200, consisting largely of lawyers, judges, and police chiefs.

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Craft speaks out on Lewiston Board’s skewed view of signs, and ambiance

January 2, 2017 Reporter 1

By Ronald Craft;

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I would like to comment on the recent Lewiston Village Board’s Article in the Lewiston Sentinal regarding the Board favoring ‘ambiance’ over ‘signage safety’ – which includes the same reasoning for a ban on sandwich boards – to be appalling.

These same board members continually market the village as a great walking community, a great place to visit and promote the need for retail on Center Street, yet their actions show otherwise.

New York State’s mandate for a more safety effective pedestrian yield sign seems appropriate considering the ‘near misses’ I, and a number of fellow pedestrians, have had — not to mention a recent pedestrian fatality.

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County Legislator Rebecca Wydysh

Lewiston’s Wydysh Gains Committee Chairmanship, Seen as Rising Star

December 22, 2016 Staff 1
County Legislator Rebecca Wydysh
County Legislator Rebecca Wydysh

One majority lawmaker whose star is on the rise is Lewiston’s Rebecca Wydysh.

The freshman Republican, who runs jury selection efforts at the county courthouse, has impressed her colleagues and party brass enough that she’s being given a portfolio heading the county’s opioid-addiction panel.

That effort, begun by Bradt himself and Wilson legislator David Godfrey, who heads up the legislature’s Community Security and Safety committee, won some favorable media coverage for the majority last year, including several community meetings to discuss the heroin and opioid epidemic and what a unified county policy for deploying naloxone, the potent antidote for heroin overdoses, might look like.

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McNall Easily Fended Off Rivals

December 22, 2016 Staff 0

Sources close to the Republican caucus tell me that McNall, while the overwhelming choice of his colleagues and Republican Party leaders to continue in his post, was not the only legislator eyeing the job.

Entreaties were made on behalf of two other majority members, but party leaders are said to have shut them down.

“Of the 11 legislators in the majority caucus, Keith solidly had the votes of seven or eight, plus his own,” one party insider told me. “How do you argue with leading the first legislative majority to actually cut not just taxes, but spending too, in no-one-can-remember-how-many years?”

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Niagara County Legislature Chairman Keith McNall

McNall Stays at Top County Slot, But Others Eyeing Post

December 22, 2016 Staff 0
Niagara County Legislature Chairman Keith McNall
Niagara County Legislature Chairman Keith McNall

The unsurprising news broke late Tuesday night: the chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, Keith McNall, R-Lockport, would be keeping his job.

In the annals of Niagara County’s political news, this wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering announcement; after all, save for the on-again, off-again sacking of former chairmen Bill Ross, C-Wheatfield, and Clyde Burmaster, R-Porter, the governing GOP bloc in the county legislature hasn’t exactly made big, bold moves to dump its leadership.

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