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Hydropower Rate Freeze to Continue

LEWISTON, NY-Good news for anyone that pays an electric bill. The New York State Power Authority announced Tuesday they are maintaining the hydropower rate freeze adopted by their Board of Trustees in March 2009.

Since that time, power customers, including businesses in western and northern New York, have saved about $20 million. With current rates staying put, those savings will continue to grow.

"New York State and the nation continue to face difficult economic conditions," said NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kessel. "The Power Authority sought to ease some of the impacts of the economic stress being felt by businesses and consumers by adopting a freeze on its hydro rates for low-cost power from the Niagara and St. Lawrence-FDR power projects. We suspended a scheduled rate increase last year in light of those conditions and will continue the freeze for now."

Over 180,000 residential and 130 businesses will benefit from the rate freeze.

Seneca Niagara Casino Revenues Up; Buffalo Project Update

BUFFALO, NY - The Seneca Niagara Casino Corporation reported a revenue of 2.8 percent over the last year, which has some wondering when work will resume on the Buffalo Creek Casino project.

Monday evening a casino spokesperson told Channel 2's Maryalice Demler that revenue is just one factor that effects the interest rate they would have to pay on the $200 million they need to borrow to finish the project.

In 2007 the rate was 7 3/4 percent, then last year it shot up 20 percent.

The corporation is regularly evaluating finances and they will re-start the project when credit markets improve.

ASPCA's $100K Challenge

BUFFALO, NY - This Sunday marks the official start to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals $100K Challenge to Save More Lives.

Back in April, shelter contestants across the country started working tirelessly to save at least 300 hundred more animals than they did over the same three month period in 2009.

The shelter that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during that three-month period over the last year will receive a $100,000 grant from the ASPCA to continue its life-saving work. A second grant of $25,000 will be awarded to the shelter that does the best job of engaging its community in helping to save more lives.

SPCA of Niagara to Caring for Puppy Rescued

Niagara Falls, NY- While a puppy that's touched Western New Yorkers recovers from surgery, the case against the man accused of torturing her was in court.

Chester Harris of Niagara Falls is accused of beating 3-month old Daisy with the leg of a dining room table.  Harris is charged torturing an animal.  Harris is representing himself.  Bail was reduced to $2,000.  The case is scheduled to be back in court in Niagara Falls City Court in early September.

Daisy needed an expensive surgery to rebuild a shattered shoulder and leg.  An anonymous donor covered the entire surgery to give Daisy a second chance. 

Niagara SPCA Seeks Aid To Pay For Dog's Surgery

WHEATFIELD, NY - "This is the victim, Daisy," said SPCA of Niagara Executive Director John Faso, as he tried to calm an excited puppy outside the Rainbow Animal Shelter on Lockport Road in Wheatfield.

Outside of the telltale cast on her right front leg, the 3-month old Pointer-Lab mixed breed appeared the picture of health, and probably was, until an incident that sent SPCA investigators into action last Thursday.

Faso says authorities, acting on a complaint from a neighbor, responded to 709 Townsend Place in Niagara Falls where they encountered a disturbing scene.

"A man had used a wooden dining room table leg and struck the dog multiple times. The dog suffered a fractured leg and a fractured shoulder," Faso told WGRZ-TV.

Bill Cosby Performing at Seneca Niagara Casino Friday

Buffalo (WGRZ)-- Actor and comedian Bill Cosby will be performing two acts at the Seneca Niagara Casino on Friday, August 6th.

The shows start at 7 p.m and 10 p.m, and tickets range in price from $35 to $45.

 Watch Cosby hamming it up with the Channel 2 News Daybreak crew this morning in the accompanying video.

Which Twin Did It - the Question in a Falls Murder Case

NIAGARA FALLS, NY -- Niagara Falls police and Niagara County prosecutors are faced with an unusual dilemma. It concerns a murder and identical twins.

Police believe one is a suspect, but which one?

In May, Joshua Hayes, 23, was shot to death on Michigan Avenue in Niagara Falls.

No one has been charged, but police say a witness gave them the name of a suspect, but picked the suspect's identical twin brother in a photo array.

Attorney Phillip Dabney, Jr. represents one of the suspects, Edward Nickens. "They are identical, they look exactly alike, said Dabney."

The twin, Raymond Nickens also has an alibi according to his attorney E. Earl Key.

Both men cooperated with police and had their pictures taken. On Wednesday, the Niagara County District Attorney's office won the right to photograph the twins with their shirts on and off to see which one matches a witness' description.