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Greenpac fire still not out; plant to re-open by mid-week


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – With blistering winds carrying ashes as far north as Lake Ontario, a massive fire on the property of the Greenpac Mill on Saturday demanded the attention of just about every firefighter in Niagara County.

By Sunday morning, the flames had mostly turned into a haze of smoke over the facility, as more than a dozen fire companies worked around the clock to prevent the spread of the fire and salvage the $250 million crown jewel mill at the center of the property.

Miraculously, the emergency teams accomplished their mission. Except for a conveyor building, the Greenpac mill itself suffered no damage, and although the nearby Norampac mill's stock pile took a heavy hit, the property and City of Niagara Falls appeared to escape a catastrophe this weekend.

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Fire still burning but under control at Greenpac Mill site in Niagara Falls


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - A fire at the Greenpac Mill facilities is still burning more than 19 hours after it began, but it's now under control.

Firefighters say it could be a day or two before the flames are fully extinguished. About 80 firefighters were still on scene early Sunday morning.

About 50 cardboard bales of paper, each measuring about 8' x 4' x 6', started on fire at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Flames were whipped up by a steady wind out of the south. The fire soon spread to a nearby building. The mill building itself was saved.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said as of about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the flames were "mostly out," but firefighters are concerned that once they start tearing apart the smoldering bales, fires could reignite.

Greenpac Fire: A Photographic Essay


NIAGARA FALLS, NY - Photographer Adam Hudson shared with us these photos that he took during the fire at the Greenpac Mill in Niagara Falls on Saturday.

[Click here for full-size photo gallery.]

Mom Files Grievance After Son is Cut from Football Team


SANBORN, NY - Thirteen boys who tried out for the Niagara Wheatfield junior varsity football team this year did not make the cut. That isn't sitting well with at least one mom.

The mother of one of the freshmen at the high school filed a grievance with the district when her son did not make the team. She claims there wasn't a level playing field for her son, who has Asperger's Syndrome.

"Nobody felt that there was any basis, I guess, for my concern. I was just a disgruntled mom with a heartbroken kid," says Gidget Cannon.

The Niagara Wheatfield freshman was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, when he was six.

"They say that when you meet a person with Asperger's, you met one person with Asperger's. You don't know Asperger's because Asperger's is different for everyone," says Gidget.

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Niagara University Unveils ‘Niagara Global Tourism Institute’

Niagara University Unveils ‘Niagara Global Tourism Institute’

A Niagara University-led initiative to transform the regional tourism industry is officially underway.

A grand opening of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute was held today in the institute’s headquarters, which are housed in the historic Power City Building, at the corner of 3rd and Old Falls streets in the heart of the downtown tourism district in Niagara Falls.

Good Neighbors: Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue


LEWISTON, NY- If you're thinking about getting a dog, you probably think of going to a pet store, or a breeder, or maybe a shelter. There are great animal rescue organizations out there too. Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue, which has saved hundreds of dogs, is this week's Good Neighbor.

Janine and Eric and 9-year-old Samantha finally feel like their family is complete now that this summer they adopted 2-year-old Charmer and 5-month-old Bear.

"All dogs are great but rescues are the best. I think rescues know that you saved them," said Janine.

Bear and Charmer were saved by a group of dedicated volunteers from Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue.

"Our mission is to help abandoned, homeless animals find homes," said Kathy Nowakowski, Heart of Niagara Managing Director:

Rural Outreach Center Turns to Public for Help Meeting Financial Challenge

Rural Outreach Center Turns to Public for Help Meeting Financial Challenge

 

Would it shock you to know that nearly 20 percent of the rural population of Western New York lives in poverty? 

It not a surprise to Frank Cerny, executive director of the Rural Outreach Center (ROC) and pastor of Pathways Christian Fellowship in South Wales. That’s because Pastor Cerny and the staff and volunteers at the ROC work every day to offer free medical care for the uninsured, home appliances and furniture for those without the means to pay for such “luxury” items, a Weekend Snack Pack program for students who may not receive a nutritious meal at home, and much more. They also supply the basic necessities of life — such as toiletries — to those who often do without.