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Reservist Avoids Jail on Fraud Charge

BUFFALO, N.Y. - An Army Reservist who lied and used his uniform to prey on the sympathies of local bank tellers, will not see any jail time for his crime.

Steven Burns, 22, of Sanborn, was placed on probation for his guilty plea in March to scheming to defraud. He admitted that during a five month period he cashed checks on his personal accounts despite the fact that all were overdrawn.

The Erie County District Attorney's office said Burns wore his US Army Reserves Uniform to banks, lied to the tellers, telling them he was taking care of a sick relative and needed to cash the checks in order to be deployed. Burns used that money, over $4,000, for gambling.

In addition to probation, Burns must serve 150 hours of community service and pay back all of the money.

 

 

Lew-Port School District Working on Revised Budget

YOUNGSTOWN, NY -- After seeing their budget fail last week, the Lewiston-Porter School district gets a second chance to present a budget that the community will approve.

The school board began working on those changes and adjustments to the $40 million budget earlier this evening. This comes after voters rejected a proposal by the district to increase the tax levy by 5.5 percent. That increase would have required sixty percent of voters to override the state's property tax cap law.

The new proposed budget trims about $825,000 from their budget compared to last years. The district has also set a new tax levy of 3.95 percent, which will not require and override.
Lewiston-Porter school board president Jodee Riordan says that 41 positions were to be cut in the defeated budget but that number is only expected to go up. The lowered tax levy that the school board is projecting means more cuts for the district in terms of teachers, staff, and programs.

Fire Damages Historic Structure at Old Fort Niagara

YOUNGSTOWN, NY - The roof of the Gate of the Five Nations, one of the historic buildings at Old Fort Niagara and the main entrance to the park, was damaged by a fire Saturday around 11 p.m.

Lieutenant Clyde Doty of the New York State Park Police told 2 On Your Side that it appears a fireplace in an adjacent building, called the south redoubt, may be to blame.

Officials say that there were no injuries.

A group of reenactors staying in the building had lit a fire on what was a chilly and windy night. It's thought that embers carried by the wind lodged in the roof of the gatehouse and started the fire.

"I think we'll just examine the causes of this and try to take steps to protect a recurrence," said  Robert Emerson, executive director of Old Fort Niagara.

Catholic Charities to Host Domestic Violence Training Focusing on New York Model for Batterers

Social workers, advocate representatives, batterer program staff, and judiciary and domestic violence court personnel are urged to attend the National Training Institute on the New York Model for Batterer Programs, “Domestic Violence Offender Accountability ~ What, Why and How to Get it Done” set for June 20-21 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park.

No Frills Buffalo Releases ‘A Fighter’s Chance’

No Frills Buffalo Releases ‘A Fighter’s Chance’

“A Fighter's Chance” by Niagara Falls native Gabriel Gonzalez is the most recent release from No Frills Buffalo publishing company. No Frills Buffalo also published Gonzalez’s first book, “Legend of the Phoenix, Rise of Crescent,” in early 2012.

Gonzalez is a graduate of Niagara Catholic High School and Buffalo State College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2005 and minored in religious studies. When he was just 15 years old, he and a friend were hired to clean out the upstairs of an abandoned building to make way for a new boxing gym. When the gym opened, Gonzalez signed up to see how he would like it and has never looked back. Boxing taught him how to be self-confident, disciplined and patient, and changed his outlook on life.

Niagara Wheatfield District Comes up with New Budget Proposal

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. -- The Niagara Wheatfield School Board will ask voters to approve a budget with a 4.5% tax levy increase in June.

This move came after voters defeated a higher tax increase by just four votes Tuesday night. This smaller increase means the district will have to come up with an additional $430,000 to cut from the budget.

Earlier this year, the board discussed cutting kindergarten as a way to save money.

Wednesday night, the board said full-day kindergarten would be safe next school year no
matter what. Instead, administrators will cut support staff positions and a team of middle school teachers if this latest budget proposal is approved. The staff cuts would push middle school class sizes to 30 students.

Deaf Woman Gives Deaf Dog Second Chance

Niagara Falls, NY - She was a dog that no one wanted until a Western New York woman read about her online.

Jessica Czamara of Niagara Falls had to meet Maggie because they share something significant. Both of them are deaf.

The pitbull was found in need of food and medical attention. She was chained in a backyard in North Carolina.
Maria Sansone with Diamonds in the Ruff explains, "She was very skinny and you could see her ribs and you could see where she sat all the time on the concrete. All the hair was worn off of the back of her legs."
Kate Stephens with Educate-a-Bull Rescue says the pitbull was pretty much forgotten and was not given a name because she was deaf.