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Wasserman Schultz Gives View of Political Landscape

Wasserman Schultz Gives View of Political Landscape

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida shed light on the national political scene and her personal path to public service at the Daemen College Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series event held May 13.

In an engaging and conversational style, Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, started off speaking before the overflow crowd about her introduction to politics in 1992 when she ran for the Florida State Legislature.

“The opportunity to work in public service was inspiring and presented an opportunity for me to help people, particularly young families, improve education and work on making quality, affordable health care available to everyone,” she said. “However, most of all, I knew my voice could speak for other women like me who are not represented in a political capacity.”

Man in Custody after Standoff in Lewiston


LEWISTON, NY – The man who held New York State Police at bay for 12 hours on West Lane in the Village of Lewiston is in custody.

State police arrested Leonard A. Zientara, 51, and charged him with arson in the second degree, a class B felony.

The standoff began when troopers responded to a call from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office about a possible assault early Sunday morning. Zientara refused to answer the door or exit his home on West Lane to speak with the troopers when they arrived.

Using a reverse-911 call, troopers called for a voluntary evacuation of residents of the street as they dealt with the situation. They also asked residents of a two-block area on either side of West Lane to stay inside their homes. They called for the voluntary evacuation as a precaution.

Mother, two sons shot in Niagara Falls


NIAGARA FALLS, NY – A mother and her two sons were shot in front of a gas station at the corner of 19th Street and Ferry Avenue at 12:13 p.m. Saturday.

The 50-year-old woman and her sons, ages 19 and 21, of Niagara Falls, were each shot once in the leg, Niagara Falls Police officers say. They were treated at Erie County Medical Center and released.

Detectives are looking for Rayquan Maurice Graham, 20, of Niagara Falls, as a suspect in the case. Police say the shooting may be the result of an ongoing feud between Graham and the two brothers. He is wanted on three counts of first-degree assault and criminal use of a firearm in the first degree.

Graham has a cross tattoo on the right side of his face. His photo is shown here. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Niagara Falls Police Department at 286-4711.


Interim Town of Niagara Supervisor Takes Over


TOWN OF NIAGARA, NY - An interim supervisor is in place in a local town where illegal activity by a former long-time supervisor caused him to resign.

Sylvia Virtuoso, who was the Town Clerk, will now lead the Town of Niagara until a special election is held for a new supervisor.

She takes over for Steven Richards, who resigned earlier this month.

Richards pleaded guilty to misconduct for using town equipment and workers for personal purposes. He had been the town supervisor for more than 18 years.


Wheatfield has 800 Acres for Potential Bills Stadium


WHEATFIELD, NY - One Niagara County town has hundreds and hundreds of acres of available land, and other assets, that they think would make an ideal location for a new Buffalo Bills Stadium.

There are 800 acres of vacant land in the Town of Wheatfield adjacent to the Summit Park Mall.

The same property was once considered for a "Magic Land of Oz Theme Park" before the investors fell through.

Wheatfield's Town Supervisor Bob Cliffe says it's a great location with access to the Robert Moses Parkway, which leads directly to the Rainbow and Lewiston Queenston bridges to Canada.

Cliffe says he's reaching out to members of the Stadium Working Group to let them know Wheatfield has a lot to offer.

Coast Guard suspends search for missing Lewiston boater


LEWISTON, NY - Late Friday night, the Coast Guard called off the search for missing boater John Suppel of Lewiston.

Suppel hasn't been seen since he launched from Wilson Tuscarora State Park in a 16-foot camouflage boat Wednesday afternoon.

A massive search effort included multiple agencies from both sides of the American-Canadian border, but the search came up empty.According to the Coast Guard, responders searched more than 5,000 square miles over a 49-hour period.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends," said U.S. Coast Guard Commander Joseph Higgins, Coast Guard Sector Buffalo deputy commander. "The decision to suspend a search takes extreme consideration and is one of the most difficult decisions a Coast Guardsman is ever faced with."

One Third of WNY Nursing Homes Rated "Below Average"


NIAGARA FALLS, N. Y. – Inside the walls of the Niagara Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, an old-fashioned brick building in the middle of one of Niagara Falls' poorest neighborhoods, eighty percent of the patients pay with Medicaid.

Places like this don't have it as easy as some of those suburban nursing homes, not with fewer dollars flowing into the facility and, in some cases, rapid staff turnover. But when the federal government assigns its "five-star ratings" to each Medicare-approved nursing home in the United States, a practice it first began in 2008, it offers no reprieve for external circumstances or an urban location.