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Secret Mammal, Secret Life

Western New York is indeed blessed with an abundance of wildlife, both rural and urban, and much of it is fairly visible even to the casual observer, but a lot of our native animal life remains deeply hidden.

The Fisher is an elusive member of the weasel family that few people are fortunate enough to observe in the wild. The NY DEC, in conjunction with Medaille College, is currently conducting an extensive study of this secretive, yet fascinating mammal.

Once almost completely extirpated from the state, the Fisher is now making a comeback. Ken Baginski is a Wildlife Biologist with the NY DEC. "Over several years, maybe last five years or so, we've noticed an increase in the number of observations and sightings we're getting from hunters and trappers and from the general public, so we wanted to get a better understanding of what's going on with our Fisher populations across the Southern Tier."

Bishop Kearney 62-Niagara Falls 52

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-It was a tough weekend for the Niagara Falls Wolverines. Sunday afternoon they lost to Bishop Kearney 62-52. It was the second loss in Rochester in as many days for the Wolverines.

The Falls lost to Webster Schroeder by two Saturday afternoon, 74-72. Sunday the Wolverines were tied with the Knights at halftime and trailed by five after three quarters. In the fourth quarter Kearney iced the game at the free throw line.

For the second straight a team was able to hold the Falls # 10 Jermaine Crumpton in check. He finished with ten points. Ramir Burton # 13 was one of  the Falls top scorers with 12 points. Senior # 12 Steffon Caffe also had 12.

Webster Schroeder 74-Niagara Falls 72

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Webster Schroeder beat Niagara Falls 74-72 Saturday evening in Rochester.

 Schroeder did a good job on the Falls top player, #10  Jermaine Crumpton as they held him to just four points. #13 Ramir Burton led the Falls with 23 points. # 33 Tikere Ralands had 11 points for the Wolverines. 

Niagara Falls will play Bishop Kearney in Rochester Sunday afternoon. The Wolverines won their first meeting this season at the Cataract Classic in Niagara Falls 62-57.

Roy-Hart Coach Fired Following Bullying Incident

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Veteran Royalton-Hartland girls basketball coach Don Baker has been fired for not reporting a bullying incident, according to the school district superintendent.

The January 18th incident reportedly happened in the girls locker room during an away game at Barker Central involving some members of the team and a former player. 

The incident was reported to coach Baker by a parent the night it happened, but he did not report it to his superiors in a timely fashion as required by law, according to Superintendent Kevin MacDonald. 

MacDonald said Baker, a long time coach, has done a wonderful job, but policies and laws regarding these types of incidents have changed and the district has to make sure they are taking them seriously.

Falcons Smith Reaches Milestone

SANBORN, N.Y.-The element of surprise was alive and well on a special night for Niagara-Wheatfield and Melissa Smith on Friday.

In a 72-50 win over Kenmore East, two Niagara-Wheatfield players, Rachel Pawlak and Melissa Smith combined for 62 points.

Even more impressive than the Falcons victory, Smith recorded her 1000th career point with 4 minutes left to play in the game.

Smith unknowingly scored her 1000th point, and had no idea she was that close."She was totally surprised she had 1000 points" said Niagara-Wheatfield's Head Coach Diane Fegatilli.

Smith finished the game with 32 points and 8 assists, and fellow guard Rachel Pawlak added 30 points and 10 assists on this memorable night. Coach Fegatili added "Melissa is a flat out fast guard, with quick hands and can get to the basket. She also developed an outside shot this year."

State of the City Address in Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - Mayor Paul Dyster gave his State of the City Address Thursday night.

He said he is hopeful the dispute with the Seneca Nation can be resolved in the coming months, but said that the lack of casino revenues would not hold the city back.

"We're going to do the best we can with the limited resources we have available to us without casino revenues to continue major initiatives," Dyster said.

Dyster outlined initiatives in the area of crime prevention and housing that he said he believes will be game changers for the city in the coming year and for many years to come.

In his address, Dyster also highlighted several recent grant awards the city has received and he spoke about the importance of tourism and how it is a key economic driver in Niagara Falls.

Infant Hurt in DWI Accident

LOCKPORT, NY - A one-month-old infant was seriously hurt following a rollover accident in Lockport.

The accident happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday evening at Robinson and Old Beattie roads.

Troopers say when they responded to a rollover accident, the vehicle was empty. Troopers found the occupants at a nearby convenience store, all with injuries from the accident.

The infant was taken to Women and Children's hospital and is in critical, but stable condition.

The other three occupants -- Thaddeus Nicpon, Brandon Nicpon and Heather Eagan -- were all taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Thaddeus Nicpon was charged with DWI-Leandra's Law, Speeding, Moving from Lane Unsafely and Passing a Red Light.