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Council Majority Still Threatening Niagara Falls Hotel Plan

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - There's a man in Western New York who wants to help spur the Falls' economy.

This man is willing to pay the majority of the $25 million needed to build a downtown hotel in a region infamous for its woeful economy. The state of New York will cover the rest of the money. The city will pay nothing. And under a previous agreement with the Niagara Falls City Council, this man would actually pay $100,000 to the city in exchange for the land to build a hotel. The city received the land as a gift, free of charge. Right now, it's a parking lot.

The man's name is Mark Hamister.

Deadly Wilson Propane Explosion One Year Later

WILSON, NY - If not for a faded bit of crime scene tape remaining on a utility pole, or the flowers someone recently tied to a post nearby, you'd never know what happened along Chestnut Road one year ago.

The wild flowers ...blue devils and Queen Anne's lace ...now sprouting among the tall, waist high grass that hasn't been mown, provide a peaceful scene, hiding the scars of a tragedy which took place when a teenager was killed and her family's home was destroyed in propane explosion.

A source tells us the Johnson family continues to live in a house donated to them in Wilson, along the Lake Ontario shoreline, several miles from this place.

No one we attempted to contact who was closely associated with the Johnsons in the days after the tragedy, when people poured out their hearts, their wallets, and their prayers, like Pastor Bill Lowery, has returned phone calls to say anything more about how they're faring.

Strong Storms Bring Dark Clouds & Lightning to Northtowns

BUFFALO, NY - Strong storms brought lightning and ominous dark clouds to much of the Northtowns Tuesday evening.

Watch Daybreak's Andy Parker share some viewer photos and explain what happened.

WEB EXTRA: Storm Photo Gallery

Niagara Falls Residents Request Aid for Storm Damage

NIAGARA FALLS, NY-- Home and business owners in Niagara Falls can begin the first steps to get state aid for storm damage caused by heavy rain and high winds over the weekend.

A state damage assessment team has set up shop in the Falls to help. That team is here to get the ball rolling on potential claims, but filling out paperwork doesn't necessarily mean you will be entitled to a portion of state aid.

They will tally damage costs to both public and private property. Those strong storms late Friday and early Saturday morning downed trees and power lines and left streets and basements flooded. This process is similar to the one people in Lockport have been going through to try and get a portion of the state flood recovery program dollars.

Business owners, or property owners who suffered significant damage, should talk to the representatives so officials can compile a record of what the total damage to both public and private property was.

Werenski Returns to Defend Porter Cup Title

LEWISTON, N.Y.- There's tradition in the Porter Cup from the last 55 years and it even exists in individual families. For Scott Harvey, this isn't just another amateur golf tournament, but something that runs in the family.

"My dad played forever and when I was a kid I'd come up here and watch him play until I got old enough to caddy. Then I caddied for him until he stopped playing and now I'm playing myself so it's pretty special to me," Harvey explained.
Scott Harvey,35, is making his fifth Porter Cup appearance and doesn't plan on stopping in this year. "It's my favorite tournament every year and I'm going to keep coming back as long as they have me," Harvey said.

Last year, Harvey finished 12th in the tournament and hopes to build off that success from 2013. "I expect to compete, last year I played pretty well made it to the final group. I didn't play that bad I just didn't play that good on Sunday so I'd like to improve on that," Harvey said.

Governor Cuomo Meets With Flood Victims in Lockport

LOCKPORT, NY - "Government is public service and we're there to serve the public," proclaimed NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a visit Tuesday to Niagara County's 3rd largest city, hit hard by heavy rains and flooding on June 28th.

The Governor visited Lockport to deliver a message that the state would be pitching in money for relief where the federal government will not.

Michelle Landscheft and Sharon Bartlemus were among many residents who shook hands with the Governor at Lockport's Municipal Building, where they had come to apply for state aid for the damage sustained to their Pine Street homes.

I'm surprised he's here," said Bartlemus." It's gotta be an election year for somebody...we've never been helped in our lives."

Niagara Falls Council Majority Against Hamister Project Proposal

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - A proposed $25 million hotel project set for the heart of downtown Niagara Falls may be in jeopardy.

The project has been more than 18 months in the making and now just needs a final sign off from the city council but it looks like the council will not approve the deal when it meets Wednesday evening.

The proposed five story building housing a hotel, apartments and retail space on a prime piece of land on Rainbow Boulevard right near the entrance to the state park.

Right now the property, which the city got for free a few years ago is being used as a surface parking lot.

Developer Mark Hamister has agreed to spend close to $23 million on the project with the state kicking in about another $3 million.

Under the deal, the city would not have to contribute anything toward the project and would received $100,000 for the property.