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Robbery At First Niagara Bank - 2005
   A man described as of medium build, 5'5", about 185 pounds, and in his mid to late 30s held up the Grand Island branch of First Niagara Bank shortly before noon on Friday, December 30, 2005. According to Erie County Sheriff's deputies, the suspect gave a bank teller a note demanding money. The suspect, who did not display a weapon, fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. Sheriff's deputies Dennis Lorenzo and Craig Parker of the Grand Island substation, who reported the suspect was wearing a dark coat, dark winter hat, mid-to-late thirties, approximately 185 lbs., are trying to determined whether this bank heist was connected to other bank robberies in Amherst and the Town of Tonawanda. Also assisting at the scene at 2435 Grand Island Boulevard were State Police and the FBI. Those with any information may call the Sheriff's office, 667-5201.

Driver Of Stolen Vehicle
Chased For 42 Miles, Including Race Across Island - 2005
   A Niagara Falls resident used the Grand Island Blvd. as a speedway on Sunday, December 25, 2005 as New York State Troopers chased him at high speeds, as high as 95 mph. The incident began when Town of Evans police officers took off after a stolen car about 9 a.m. Sunday, December 25, 2005. The driver of a 1993 Buick, Brad Hill, 19, entered the New York State Thruway at Angola at which time the Troop T State Police began chasing him.
   Hill, who never slowed going through the toll booth at the South Grand Island Bridge, then crossed the Island on Grand Island Blvd. and again sped through the North Grand Island Bridge toll booth, getting off the Thruway at the Buffalo Avenue exit. The car nearly hit an oncoming car, then struck a police car and finally stopped after the 42-mile chase. Hill was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and other vehicle and traffic violations.

Resident Charged With Grand Larceny - 2005
   The Erie County Sheriff's Department announced the arrest on Thursday, December 15, 2005 of Island resident Timothy D. Sander, 30. Sander was charged with stealing windows and a door from a Grand Island home under construction. Sander faces charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal trespass. A contractor notified Sheriff's deputies on Thursday morning that building supplies were taken from the building site. Deputy Michael Summers and Detective Dennis Fitzgibbon found the stolen items, valued at more than $2,000, inside an attached garage at an Elmwood Road home. Sander was taken to the Holding Center, pending court action.

Industrial Accident On Whitehaven - 2005
   Grand Island Fire Company EMS personnel responded at 11:23 a.m. Friday, December 16, 2005 to a report of a 34-year-old male patient with a severe leg laceration. The accident occurred at Queen City Manufacturing, 2409 Whitehaven Road. The patient was transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center. All Grand Island units were back in service at 11:45 a.m.

Early Morning Fire On Webb Road - 2005

Photo by Ray Pauley - Click for larger view

Photos by Dan McMahon - Click for larger view
   Grand Island Fire Company volunteers responded at 6:08 a.m. Friday, December 16, 2005 to a reported fire at 1866 Webb Road. Heavy smoke was showing from an attached garage when the Fire Company arrived on location. Fire Chief Greg Butcher gave the order to tone the call out as a working fire. Occupants, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Richards, were accounted for and outside. A FAST team from Town of Tonawanda, an engine and crew from Tonawanda, an Erie County fire investigator, and an ambulance were called to the scene.
   Sally Richard, 79, was given precautionary treatment at the scene, and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital by the ambulance for further evaluation. A second ambulance was dispatched to the scene for standby. National Fuel and National Grid also responded to the fire. Damage was estimated at $40,000.00 to the structure and $20,000.00 to the contents. A preliminary report by the Erie County Sheriff's Department Fire Investigators indicated that the probable cause was an overloaded garage heating device.
   Firefighters, who shut off the gas to the house and the electric to the meter, worked with two 2 1/2" lines to fight the fire. All GIFC units with the exception of the fire chief were back in service at 7:52 a.m.

Eight-Car MVA On South Bridge - 2005
   Grand Island Fire Company EMS personnel responded to a report of the three-car motor vehicle accident at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2005. The property damage only accident that actually involved eight vehicles, occurred on the south bound, South Grand Island Bridge. Bridge conditions were reported as very icy. Fire Company officials confirmed that no one was injured. GIFC volunteers were back in service at 5:41 p.m. Immediately following the incident, a property damage only accident at the base of the bridge occurred involving two more cars.

Bedell Road Resident Struck By Car, Dies Of Injuries - 2005
   Grand Island Fire Company EMS personnel were called to the area of Bedell and Stony Point roads at approximately 6:15 p.m. Monday, December 12, 2005 for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. First responders requested Mercy Flight which landed at 6:35 p.m. in a church parking lot near the scene. Mercy Flight was airborne to a local hospital at 6:52 p.m., however, the patient, Patricia Arcouet of Bedell Road who was attempting to cross Bedell Road to visit a neighbor, died of her injuries.

Christmas Lights Around Town - Share Your Photos! - 2005

These are only a few of about ten lighted trees on Bush Road near Baseline.

Simple decorations on a Ferry Road house
By Teddy Linenfelser
Be sure to click photos for larger view

   If you would like to share your front yard holiday lights with our readers, email your photos with your name and address to The above pictures were taken on a very cold Wednesday night, December 14th. I took several other unsuccessful shots at the south end of the Island, but believe my lens clouded up from the bitter cold. Scroll down for an exceptionally pretty Fernwood area home.

Christmas Lights Around Town - Share Your Photos! - 2005

By Teddy Linenfelser
Be sure to click photo for larger view

   After spotting some gorgeous displays of holiday lights at our end of the Island, I took my camera out on Wednesday evening and snapped the one above which is in the Fernwood area. What didn't photograph as well were two outstanding displays on Bush Road just off Baseline. Would you like to share your front yard holiday lights with our readers all over the world? Email your photos with your name and address to

Readers Ask "How Long Will The Signs Stay Up?" - 2005

Baseline at Jenell Drive                                                         Whitehaven at Thruway overpass

West River and Whitehaven roads
Click photos for a complete and larger view.

By Teddy Linenfelser
    In response to several readers' questions, can someone tell me when the committees to elect Fieramusca For Sheriff and other candidates will be removing their political signs that are still standing on Grand Island? Republican Timothy B. Howard won the election for sheriff of Erie County on November 8, 2005, defeating democratic candidate Charles T. Fieramusca. "Most" other political signs were taken down the same week as the election, with some Island candidates removing theirs the same night.
   Town Code 36-7 D states that political signs must be removed within seven days after the final determination of a given public election contest. It's the law! When will it be enforced?

Deerwood Lane House Fire Out In Short Order - 2005
   The Grand Island Fire Company was called to 160 Deerwood Lane at approximately 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, 2005 for a reported dryer fire and heavy smoke in the house. Firefighters extinguished the fire in a second floor laundry room. The Fire Company reported that the fire was out and overhauling and ventilating the structure was taking place at 10:35 p.m. Firefighters under the direction of Chief Greg Butcher, determined that the fire, caused by lint build-up, was contained to the dryer and were back in service at 11:05 p.m.

Ruptured Gas Line Reported At McDonald's - 2005
   The Grand Island Fire Company was called to McDonald's Restaurant on Grand Island Blvd. at 7:23 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2005 for what was reported as a gas line severed by a construction crew working around the building. The Fire Company notified National Fuel who arrived on location at 7:38 p.m. Firefighters investigating the interior of McDonald's found it to be clear. Grand Island Fire Company personnel, who assisted National Fuel in shutting off the gas main, were successful. The hazard was eliminated and the scene was turned over to National Fuel. The Fire Company was back in service at 8:28 p.m.

Love & Baseline Scene Of Saturday Afternoon Two-Car MVA - 2005
   A two-car MVA Saturday afternoon, December 3, 2005 at Baseline and Love roads sent one patient to an area hospital with a possible head injury. The Grand Island Fire Company Emergency Medical Services team responded to the intersection at 1:15 p.m. when two people were treated at the scene. One patient was evaluated and signed off and another was treated at the scene by the GIFC before being transported. All Grand Island Fire Company personnel were back in service at 1:54 p.m.

Huth, Kaegebein, Middle School Concert - December 2005

   A Winter Instrumental Music Concert will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 13, 2005 in the Grand Island High School Auditorium. Performing will be the Huth and Kaegebein Elementary beginner bands, all-elementary strings and the Connor Middle School 6th grade band.

Home for the Holidays Crafts - 2005
   The community is invited to a Home for the Holidays event featuring original, handcrafted holiday and everyday gifts. Unique items will include painted glassware and ornaments, lighted baskets, decorations, decorated wreaths and more. Home for the Holidays, presented by Kristen Brand and friends, will take place at 41 Sturbridge Lane (off Ransom Road) on the following days:
• Friday, December 2 - 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
• Saturday, December 3 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sunday, December 4 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• SNOW DATES: Dec.. 9, 10 & 11 - same hours

Three-Car Accident On Boulevard - 2005
   The Grand Island Fire Company dispatched its Emergency Medical Services team to a three-car auto accident at 2241 Grand Island Boulevard at 6:35 p.m. Monday evening, November 28, 2005. The accident occurred in front of TC's Tavern. Four people were evaluated by the EMS squad with one patient transported to an area hospital. All Grand Island Fire Company personnel were back in service at 6:54 p.m.

One-Car Accident Disrupts Power - 2005
   A Grand Island Fire Company Emergency Medical Services team responded to a 5 p.m. one-car auto accident on Whitehaven Road at White Oak Lane on Saturday evening, November 26, 2005. The driver of the vehicle hit a utility pole causing a power outage in the area as well as on East River Road as far north as the 4000 block and on Ransom Road. Phone service was also disrupted.
   The driver, Island resident Margaret Mount, 60, was not seriously injured. Grand Island Fire Company was back in service at 5:21 p.m.
   Grand Island Fire Police were dispatched to the corner of Whitehaven and Stony Point roads where the traffic signal was out. Fire Company members installed a generator at that corner and the remaining firefighters were back in service at 5:45 p.m.

Right To Vote Denied - 2005
   Susan Osberg is the author of a Buffalo News article, regarding having her right to cast a write-in vote for Rus Thompson on Election Day 2005 denied. Click Buffalo News - Friday, November 25, 2005 edition for story.

3-Car Bridge Crash - 2005
   A Grand Island Fire Company Emergency Medical Services team responded to an 8 a.m. three-car crash on the South Grand Island Bridge Wednesday, November 23, 2005. The accident on the southbound lane of the bridge was caused by a chain-reaction and involved two vehicles and a We-Care transportation bus with ten people on board. State Police said the accident happened as traffic slowed and a vehicle braked. Grand Island resident Joseph Warden, 20, driving one of the vehicles was sandwiched between the We-Care van and another vehicle. Fire Company personnel extricated Warden from his car, and treated him at the scene for neck and back injuries. He was transported to ECMC by ambulance for further treatment. Those in the van were evaluated for injuries. Island resident, Paul McKenna, 66, the driver of the third vehicle, was not injured.

Kids Voting Results - 2005
   Once again Grand Island had the greatest percentage of youngsters vote in Erie County! The total number of kids’ ballots was 1,655, which is 46.12% of all Island kids. Some of the results were similar to the adult results, some were not! Here they are:
• County Legislator entire 10th district: Bruce Kaiser 51.39% Michele Iannello 48.61%
• Grand Island Councilman: Mary Cooke 32.34%; Susan Argy 30.06%; Dan Robillard 22.59%; Renee Woloszyn 15.0%
• Grand Island Town Justice: Michael Rossi 55.10%; Mark Frentzel 39.79%; Michael Coutu 5.10%
• Gr. Is. Highway Superintendent Ray Dlugokinski 62.34%; Edward Krecisz 37.66%
• Do you feel safe walking/biking in your neighborhood? YES 84.18%; NO 15.82%
Middle and High School Propositions
• Should the Constitution of the United States be amended to let foreign-born citizens be eligible to run for president? YES 43.93%; NO 56.4%
• Should all school board districts be encouraged to have a student representative on their Board of Education? YES 86.43%; NO 13.57%
• Should airlines and other modes of transportation be allowed to use racial profiling to search and question passengers? YES 46.18%; NO 53.82%

UNICEF Results Are In - 2005
The count for the Grand Island Halloween Trick-or-Treat collection for this year is complete. The total donations for UNICEF is $3,085.13. Checks have been submitted to the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. "This puts us in the category of UNICEF EMISSARY," longtime chair, Lee Tetkowski, said this week. "Thanks everyone who helped make this a reality," she said.

Tire Thief Arrested on Grand Island - 2005
The Erie County Sheriff's office has reported the arrest Wednesday, November 16, 2005 of Paul J. Andrzejak, 45, on Grand Island. Andrzejak was charged with a felony count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, trespass and possession of burglar tools. According to Sheriff Timothy Howard, detectives found construction bricks matching those found beneath vehicles that had been stripped of their tires and rims. The Sheriif's report also reported that approximately $13,000 worth of tires and rims were recently stolen from four vehicles at a Grand Island car dealership. Andrzejak awaits sentencing for a July tire theft from Bob Johnson Motors in Springville. A Buffalo News story of Saturday, November 19, 2005 reported that, "according to the Sheriff's Department and state records, Andrzejak has a lengthy criminal history and spent time in prison during the 1990s for theft. He remains in the Erie County Holding Center following this week's arrest."

Veterans Day Ceremonies Include Dedication Of Ball Diamonds To War Heros - November 2005

(left) South Park High School Color Guard - Joe Synakowski - Grand Island High School Bugler Joe Orsolits
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

Prast Family                                                          Luther family
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

Crowe Family                                      Mike Rogan giving benediction and the singing of God Bless America
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

   Veterans Day services held Friday, November 11, 2005 included the town board proclaiming three baseball diamonds at Veterans Park be named for Lt. Martin T. Prast, Cpl. Robert B. Luther and Lt. Col. Terrence Crowe. Family members of each of the war heros were present for the recognition. Click Little League Diamonds Named For Heros for more information.

UNICEF Holiday Cards, Unique Gift Items At M&T Bank, Town Hall - 2005

By Lee Tetkowski

   UNICEF holiday cards and unique gift items will be available on the following dates and locations:
• Friday, Nov. 18 - 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. - M&T Bank
• Friday, Nov, 25 - 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. - M&T Bank
• Wednesday, November 30 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Town Hall
• Wednesday, December 7 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Town Hall
• Wednesday, December 14 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Town Hall

Area Election Results - 2005
Cooke, Argy, Frentzel, Dlugokinski Unofficial Winners On Grand Island

   Councilwoman Mary Cooke won a fourth term on the town board Tuesday, November 8, 2005. Newcomer Susan J. Argy was also elected to a four-year term on the Island's town board. Superintendent of Highways Ray Dlugokinski was elected to his third term. Newly elected Town Justice is Mark J. Frentzel. Current Town Justice Randy White, elected in November 2001, did not seek re-election. Winner of the Erie County Legislature contest in the 10th District is Michele Iannello who ran against Islander Bruce Kaiser.
   Unofficial results follow with winners in bold:
Councilman - (4-year term):
Republican - Daniel F. Robillard 2813
Republican - Mary S. Cooke 3069
Democratic - Susan J. Argy 3060
Democratic - Renee A. Woloszyn 2365
Town Justice - (4-year term):
Mark J. Frentzel 3134
Michael Anthony Rossi 2794
Michael T. Coutu 46
Superintendent of Highways - (4-year term):
Republican - Raymond A. Dlugokinski 3695
Democratic - Edward J. Krecisz 1831
County Legislator - (2-year term):
Grand Island votes only
Bruce A. Kaiser 3222
Michele M. Iannello 2491
   Write In votes cast on Grand Island:
Rus Thompson - Supreme Court Justice - 3 votes
Rus Thompson - County Legislature - 60 votes
Rus Thompson - Councilman - 7 votes
Sue Argy - Councilman - 1 vote
Renee Wolszyn - Councilman - 1 vote
   Absentee ballot totals will be reported when they are available.

State Assembly Veterans Committee Urges All Churches To Ring Bells Veterans Day - 2005

   The NYS Assembly Veterans Committee encourages houses of worship and other institutions to ring their bells at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, followed by a moment of reflection in recognition of our veterans. The invitation also states that the Assembly Veterans Committee also asks, "that traditionally, work stop on that day and take time for a moment of silence. Observing a moment of silence at 11:00 AM on Veterans Day would provide all New Yorkers with an opportunity to honor the veterans of United States wars and conflicts and to memorialize those members of the Armed Forces, who gave their lives in the defense of the United States."

High Winds Keep Fire Co. Busy Sunday Afternoon - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company was called to a brush fire in the Pellamwood Court area at 3:20 p.m. Sunday, November 6, 2005. The caller stated the fire was moving towards Woods Creek. Fire Company volunteers moved to Garden Parkway for better access to this call which turned out to be trash burning and no apparent hazard. Moments later a call was received for power lines down due to a large tree down at 3524 Greenway. Primary, secondary and phone lines were down in that neighborhood. This was followed by a call for a power poll leaning due to high winds at 3045 Baseline Road at 3:24 p.m. First responders reported this a possible hazard. The area was secured with the arrival of Niagara Mohawk shortly after. A large tree was reported down on a car at 5650 East River Road at approximately 3:43 p.m. Additional calls came in at 4:28 p.m. Sunday with a report of wires down at 2078 East River Road, and at 4:50 p.m. with a report of a large tree leaning against wires at 5041 East River Road. The Fire Company was also called to a Calvano Drive address. The Company was called to the area of West River and Love Road at approximately 7:25 p.m. for a wind related incident.

More Halloween 2005 Photos

Thank you readers for sharing your pictures with us. The following Halloween photos were submitted this week (November 10, 2005). Scroll down for those submitted right after Halloween.

Jeff Wansart                                            Gabriel Wansart

Year old Morgan Santorio                Aidan and Madison MacNeil

Three-year-old Robert Arch                Six-week-old Megan Dzielski

Scroll down for more photos!

Halloween - 2005 - Submit Your Photos

Children and parents out in the neighborhoods on Monday, evening, Halloween 2005, enjoyed temperatures in the 50s and dry weather. Most reports were of less tricks-or-treaters than other years. Another observation was the lack of malicious mischief (smashed pumpkins, destroyed political signs etc.) of days gone by. The following photos have been submitted. Others will be accepted through Wednesday, November 9, 2005.

Evan James Linenfelser                Benny and Ava DeFranks

Kevin and Andrew Sander                9 1/2-week-old Joey Martin        Pretty Girls

Andrew Thompson                                Anna Thompson                        Pretty Witches        
Click Photos For Larger View

18-month-old Evan Banko        Jameson Hiam and sister Jaidan Hiam                Michael Christensen
Click Photos For Larger View

College Fair Points To Career Studies - 2005

Alex Missert, a GIHS junior, and winner of a computer donated by deSignet International, is shown with College Fair Chairman Harry Carter.
   Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.

Youth Board members (left) Brandon Antonelli, Harry Carter and Donna Lavallee - Click photos for full view

   A College Fair, sponsored by the Grand Island Youth Board and chaired by Harry Carter, was held in the Grand Island Senior High School Large Cafeteria on Thursday evening, October 27, 2005. Approximately 85 students attended and took advantage of representatives from numerous colleges and universities. Participants were Alfred State, Bryant & Stratton College, Niagara County Community College, Villa Maria College, Daemen College, Canisius College, St. John Fisher, D'Youville College, St. Bonaventure University, University at Buffalo, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Niagara University, Nazareth College, Trocaire College, Buffalo State College, US Army National Guard, Air National Guard, US Coast Guard Recruiting, and HSBC Bank.
   "The feedback received from those attending was very positive and many parents stated that they were glad it was held in the evening so they could attend with there son or daughter," Chairman Harry Carter said. "We hope that the Grand Island College Fair will become an annual event and continue to grow," he said.
   Youth Board members in attendance were Brandon Antonelli, Nancy Heftka, Donna Lavallee, Tim Lavallee, Reg M. Schopp, Danielle Gworek (volunteer from G I Community Enrichment Council), and Town Liaison Dick Crawford. Volunteer Kimberley Schopp also assisted.
   The Fair committee has announced the following College Fair prize winners:
Brandon Antonelli - Canisius Pennant
Kyle Patterson - Navy T-Shirt
Sean McDermott - Buffalo Sweatshirt
Sean D’Angelo - Army Sweatshirt
Kevin Holzle - Niagara Coat
Rachel Kaplan - Buffalo State Coat
Natalie Mucci - Canisius Coat
Ryan Chrostowski - Fuccillo Oil Change
Adam Heftka - Fuccillo Oil Change
Erica Raepple - Fuccillo Oil Change
Marcellus Hogan - Fuccillo Oil Change
Janeen Amantia - Budwey's Supermarket Gift Certificate
Alex Missert Grand Prize Winner Complete Computer System
   Prizes may be picked up at deSignet International, 1869 Whitehaven Road (across from the Sheriff's Office).
   The Grand Island Youth Board is dedicated to the healthy, comprehensive development of Grand Island Youth through collaborative action.
   As young people grow and develop from late childhood to adolescence, their sense of community expands greatly.
   Along with their family and school, their community becomes a potentially powerful source of:
Opportunities to become involved
Opportunities to be perceived as assets
Building skills for successful involvement
Recognition for their contributions
   The Grand Island Youth Board has openings for volunteers. Those with an interest are asked to send a letter to: Grand Island Youth Board, Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.

Fire Co. Responds To 3-Car MVA Tuesday Evening - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company was called to the scene of a three-car motor vehicle accident at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 2961 Baseline Road. First responders, reporting one car "fully involved" in flames, had the fire out within 14 minutes. Two ambulances were called to the scene with the first on location at 5:44 p.m.    The driver of one vehicle, David J. Foote, 19, of Grand Island, was transported to Erie County Medical Center by ambulance. Another patient was taken to Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
   A second EMS call, a two-car MVA, was reported at 5:38 p.m. on Stony Point between Bedell and East River roads, however Fire Company personnel deemed the call unfounded.

Veteran's Day Services - 2005

   Veterans Day services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, November 11, 2005, in Veterans Park, 1715 Bedell Road.
   The VFW Post Ladies Auxiliary will hold an open house at the post, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., following the ceremonies. Click
Veterans Day for complete information.

The Ballot - Nov. 8, 2005 General Election

"Sample Ballot"
   Click "League of Women Voter Election Guide 2005"
   Polls for the 2005 general election will be open Tuesday, November 8, 2005 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Running for Town of Grand Island positions are the following:
Councilman - (4-year term) two to be elected:
Republican - Daniel F. Robillard and Mary S. Cooke
Democratic - Susan J. Argy and Renee A. Woloszyn
Independence - Daniel F. Robillard and Mary S. Cooke
Conservative - Daniel F. Robillard and Mary S. Cooke
Working Families - Renee A. Woloszyn
Save Jobs - Susan J. Argy

Town Justice - (4-year term) one to be elected:
Republican - Mark J. Frentzel
Democratic - Michael Anthony Rossi
Independence - Mark J. Frentzel
Conservative - Mark J. Frentzel
Working Families - Mark J. Frentzel
Save Jobs - Michael T. Coutu

Spt. of Highways - (4-year term) one to be elected:
Republican - Raymond A. Dlugokinski
Democratic - Edward J. Krecisz
Independence - Raymond A. Dlugokinski
Conservative - Raymond A. Dlugokinski
Save Jobs - Edward J. Krecisz

   Two Island residents are running for:
County Legislator - (2-year term) one to be elected:
Republican - Bruce A. Kaiser
Conservative - Bruce A. Kaiser
Write-in Campaign - Rus Thompson
   Also running for the County Legislator Seat in the 10th District is Michele M. Iannello who is listed on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines.

Last Day To Mail Absentee Ballot Applications - 2005

    The last day to mail application for absentee ballot for General Election is Tuesday, November 1 . Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

GI Teachers' Association Helps Community - 2005

Shown are GI Teachers' Association members Anna Agnello (L) and Kathy Brown (R) giving United Way Representative Caryn Rasp (center) a check for $13,855 from the G.I.T.A.
Click photo for larger view

   The Grand Island Teachers' Association has been very active this fall helping others in need. $13,855 was collected from its members for the United Way of Western New York in October 2005. Over the last 15 years, the Grand Island Teachers' Association has collected over $176,000 and has maintained at least an 85% contribution rate from its members for the United Way.
   The G.I.T.A. has also been very active in other causes as well. The organization had 16 walkers in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The walkers raised $1425 for the American Cancer Society.
   The Grand Island Teachers' Association has been helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina including a donation of $200 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina through the NYS United Teachers Associating. Teachers, students, parents, staff, and administrators have worked hard at each individual school in the district as well. Kaegebein Elementary raised $3,697.73 by collecting coins by grade level. The Grand Island High School faculty and staff donated $750 to the Red Cross Hurricane Victims through its dress-down day fund. Veronica Connor Middle School students, faculty, staff and administrators made individual baggies filled with necessary supplies for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in September and donated money through its dress-down day fund. Sidway School faculty and staff donated $510 to the Salvation Army through dress-down day donations.
   The Grand Island Teachers' Association will continue to help others in need throughout the years.

Attention Vets - VA Flu Shot availability - 2005

   The VA Hospital has run out of flu vaccine as of Tuesday, October 25th, and won't have another supply until next week. Those planning to visit the VA on Monday, October 31st, should call first.

KIDS VOTING 2005 - Volunteers Needed - 2005

   Lee Tetkowski is in need of workers for this year's Kids Voting Program. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help out on Election Day is asked to call her at 773-3266 for a shift where you may be needed. A short training session will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 5 at the Grand Island Memorial Library for all captains and volunteers. At that time supplies and new ballots will be distributed.
   Kids Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fosters an informed electorate by educating and engaging students in voting! It has been a very effective voter education program here on Grand Island! Lee Tetkowski chairs the volunteer staffing of polling sites as she has done in the past. She will be assisted by Joan Droit.
   Because school will be in session on Election Day, November 8, KIDS VOTING will take place on the following hours: 6 a.m.-9 a.m., 3 p.m.-9 p.m. EXCEPTIONS: The High School and Kaegebein School will have KIDS VOTING ALL DAY, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
   The following polling places will be staffed by the following captains:
Nike Base: Sharon Osgood
Baseline Fire House: Liz Wilbert
Town Highway Garage: Judy Shorb
Town Library : Marsha Pinzotti and Sue Canavan
Town Hall: Janet Goodsell
Stony Pt. Fire House: Marie Kronenwetter and Sue Fleming
High School: Donnette Rayhill.

Free "Community First Aid and Safety Training" Program - November 2005

   A free "Community First Aid and Safety Training" Program is being held at St. Stephen's Church Music Room. The training program is being sponsored by a grant by Nancy Blundell through Niagara University. Participants must plan to attend all four (4) components:
• Tuesday, November 1 - 6-9 p.m. - Adult CPR with AED Skills*
• Tuesday, November 8 - 6-9 p.m. - Infant & Child CPR*
• Tuesday, November 15 - 6-9 p.m. - First Aid Basics*
• Tuesday, November 22 - 6-9 p.m. - Together We Prepare
(* ARC certification will be awarded at completion of training.)
   Interested persons can enroll by calling our office at 205-0070 or 205-0074 ASAP. An enrollment count is needed by Friday morning, October 28, 2005. For more information, contact:
Nancy Brennan Blundell
Project Coordinator
Border Community SERVICE
PO Box 2040
Niagara University, NY 14109-2040
Phone 716 205-0070/FAX 716 205-0078

Turn Your Clocks "Back" Saturday Night - October 2005

   Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, October 30 - the last Sunday in October. To learn more on the subject, click

Fire Company Called To Transformer Fire - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company, under the direction of Fire Chief Greg Butcher, responded at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, October 23, 2005 to a burning transformer attached to a house at 691 Alt Blvd. Niagara Mohawk also responded and cut the power while GIFC volunteers ventilated the house. The Fire Company was back in service at 5:30 a.m.

Friday Morning Auto Accident On Parkway Sends One Patient To Hospital - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded at 8:24 a.m. Friday, October 21, 2005 to a request for GIFC Emergency First Responders at an automobile accident with injuries at Broadway and the South State Parkway (Beaver Island). Three people were involved in the accident, one of which required transport to Kenmore Mercy Hospital by ambulance. Grand Island Fire Company personnel were back in service at 8:45 a.m.

YWCA After School Child Care Hiring - 2005

   The YWCA of the Tonawandas has been working diligently to bring affordable, quality before and after school child care to Sidway, Huth and Kaegebein Schools. This school based program offers the children a wide range of supervised activities including a healthy snack, indoor and outdoor sports and games, arts and craft projects, quiet time for homework and reading and enrichment activities based on the seasonal themes, topics from the classroom and the children's interests.
   These activities are successful when they are presented by a well prepared and involved staff. There are currently openings for those interested in making an impact on a child's life. Staff members prepare materials and supervise activities, offer homework assistance and help to create an environment that make the before and after school hours an important time for children. Staff will be trained in CPR, first aid, child development and planning program activities.
   Applicants should have experience working with children, be at least 17 years old and have own transportation. The morning program operates from 7:00 to 9:00 am and the afternoon program is in session from 2:30 to 6:00 pm. Staff can choose both or one session. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are retired but enjoy working with children or those who are considering entering a career that is child oriented.
   Apply by calling JoAnn Mierzwa at the YWCA of the Tonawandas at 692-5580 or by email at

Grand Island Schools Personnel Help Fight Cancer - October 2005

First and second photos show Huth Road School participation and the third is of a Sidway group
Bob Kopf Photos - Click photos for larger view

   With the large participation of the Grand Island School District teachers, students, school related personnel and bus drivers, the Grand Island Relay For Life raised over $93,500 during the 2005 relay. Awards presented at the Award Night held Wednesday, September 28, 2005 include:
• Most Team Spirit, Team Huth Road
•Best Team Theme, School Related Personnel
•Best Decorated Campsite, Buses 'R' Us
•Top Youth Team, "Polka Dot Chix", Alicia Sommer, Captain & GI High student
•Top Overall Team, "Mikes Marchers", Mandy Becker, Captain & GI High teacher
•Overall Relay Spirit, Cheryl Chamberlain, Captain & GI High teacher
•Newest Relay Superstars, Sidway School
•Heartfelt Award, Casey Carminati, Student
•“Logistically Perfect” Award, Daneen Gallagher, GI High teacher
•Best Mother & Daughter Duo, Beth & Allison Boron, Huth teacher & GI High Student
•Hero Award, Alicia Sommer
   Our community should be proud of the commitment of the Grand Island School District's employees and students for their participation in the Relay For Life.

UNICEF Helps Families Of Hurricane Katrina - 2005

By Lee Tetkowski

   For the first time since its founding, UNICEF will send 50% of all funds raised to help families suffering from Hurricane Katrina, an emergency response in the United States. Relief efforts are underway, and we hope Grand Islanders will be especially generous this Halloween, when the children arrive in costume, Trick-or-Treating with their little orange UNICEF cartons.
   You will also find larger UNICEF cartons around town, in places of business, as well as at the M&T Bank, where your contributions may be put to work. Checks can be made out to U. S. Fund for UNICEF. One of the greatest "treats" you can provide this Halloween is helping to improve the lives of children.
   UNICEF has decades of experience dealing with natural disasters around the world.
   This year millions of American children who support Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF can be Kids Helping Kids in our own country.
   Once the immediate survival needs have been met, UNICEF will support the re-establishment of educational settings. In times of disaster, getting children back to a learning environment is one of the most effective ways of helping them to feel safe, cope with trauma and begin their emotional healing.
   Our Grand Island teachers will be using new educational materials to prepare our youngsters to participate this Halloween in this special commitment. At you can learn more. Lee Tetkowski, UNICEF Chair for Grand Island, can answer questions at 773-3266.

Halloween Hours - 2005

   The Town of Grand Island has announced that hours for the celebration of Halloween will be between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, October 31st.

October Blood Drive - 2005

    A Blood Drive will be held from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old, and weigh 110 pound or more. For appointment, call 1-800-GIVE Life

GIHS Qualifies For Business First's Rankings of Best High School Sports Programs, Section VI. - 2005

   Business First, Western New York's Business Newspaper, has notified Grand Island High School Principal Dr. James R. Dempsey that the high school has qualified for Business First's rankings of the best high school sports programs in Section VI.
   "Grand Island Senior High School is No. 9 on our list of big schools, those with more than 800 students. We based our rankings on the results of sectional tournaments and meets in 30 interscholastic sports between the 2000-01 and 2004-05 school years," Business First Projects Manager G. Scott Thomas said in a letter to the high school principal.
   The 10 best schools in all three categories (big, medium and small schools) will be listed in the fall 2005 edition of Western New York Life, a glossy, full-color magazine published by Business First.

Youths Arrested At Nike Base - 2005

   Grand Island Town Police Officer Paul Gorman, while on routine patrol, observed two individuals tampering with a storage shed door at the Whitehaven Road Nike Base around 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, 2005. The suspects were arrested and placed into custody without incident. David B. Anderson of Love Road was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools, according to the Buffalo News. He was arraigned by Judge Sybil Kennedy and released to a parent at town court. The second subject, a juvenile charged with the same crimes, was directed to appear in Family Court on November 1, 2005 and also released to a parent.
   The youths entered the shed to gain access to skateboarding equipment stored inside. The Nike Base is owned by the Town of Grand Island.

Rep. Slaughter Announces $99,810 Grant For Island School District - October 2005
Government Funds Will Support Emergency Response Plans and Training

   Washington, DC - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-Fairport), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Education's Emergency Response and Crisis Management Program has awarded $99,810 to the Grand Island Central School District under the Emergency Response Plans for School Safety Initiative Program. The grant will help to fund the school's emergency response and crisis management programs.
   "We need to be able to send our children to school every day with the confidence that they will feel secure while they are there and return home safely," Rep. Slaughter said. "Emergency response programs are essential to achieving this goal, and that is why grants such as this one are so important and so appreciated," she added.
   The Emergency Response and Crisis Management Program supports local education agencies in their efforts to improve and strengthen school emergency response and crisis management plans. This support includes training school personnel and students in emergency response procedures, helping schools coordinate their efforts with local agencies and state Homeland Security Plans, producing a plan for communicating emergency response policies and reunification procedures to parents and guardians, and helping schools to take into consideration the needs of students with disabilities during an emergency situation. Emergency plans are required to address the four phases of crisis response planning: Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Pumpkin Season - 2005
Above: The Burns Family pumpkins of Staley Road
Left: GI Garden Center - Right: Giant pumpkins growing on East River Road.
      Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   Pumpkin season is here and if you look around you will see some enormous specimens. The Burns family of Staley Road grew some whoppers this year and have them displayed in their yard. Another family on East River Road has a garden on the water with many very large pumpkins. As always, Grand Island Garden Center has a HUGE display of all different size pumpkins, as well as beautiful mums for sale. If you didn't grow your own, stop and see Gene Ryshkus on Alvin Road to gussy up your yard for fall.

Project Child Safe – Free Gun Safety Lock Kits - 2005

   Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard announces that free gun safety lock kits will be distributed in October as part of “Project Child Safe” at two area locations. The first will be held in the center court area of Eastern Hills Mall, in Clarence, NY on Thursday, October 13, 2005 from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The second distribution will be at the Erie County Sheriff’s Grand Island Sub-station, 1858 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island on Thursday October 27, 2005 from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Firearm owners are encouraged to safely store and lock their firearms.
   For further information call the Sheriff’s Weapons & Ordnance Unit at 667-5247.

Pair Arrested In Connection With Island Purse Theft - September 2005

   The arrest of two men in connection with the theft of a Grand Island woman's purse and credit cards, was announced Thursday, September 29, 2005 by Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard. The theft took place about 2:30 p.m. September 14, 2005 at the NOCO Gas Station on Grand Island Blvd.
   Robert Lucas, 22, of the Town of Tonawanda was arrested near his home Thursday, September 29th by Detectives Dennis Fitzgibbons and Alan Rozansky. Lucas is charged with Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (PL155.30) also a class E Felony. John M. Macchia, 18, of the Town of Orchard Park, surrendered himself to detectives on September 28, 2005 and was charged with Grand Larceny in the 4th degree. Click "headline" "Woman's Purse, Wallet Stolen As She Pumps Gas" for September 15th story.

Former School Principal Giving Probation - 2005

   Former Sidway Elementary School Principal Frank Cannata was given a sentence of two years probation on Wednesday morning, September 28, 2005 by U. S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr.
   Click for
" 9/29/05 Story"
   Click for "Buffalo News 9/29/05 Story"

Island Crop Walk - 2005

   The Grand Island Crop Walk Sunday, October 2, 2005 will begin in Beaver Island area A2 and proceed to Kaegebein Elementary School, and returning to the Park. Registration will be taken at 12:30 p.m. with the Walk beginning at 1 pm. There will also be a "Golden Mile" for those who desire a shorter "walk."
   Walkers and sponsors are needed to help support local hunger-fighting agencies as well as the international relief and development efforts of Church World Service. For further information, call Woody Hausler, 773-2730.

Niagara Business Networking Group - September 2005

   Niagara Business Networking Group meets at 8 a.m. every second and fourth Tuesday of every month at the Niagara Sailing Club on East River near Ransom Road. Niagara Business Network is a vehicle for Professional Business People Promoting Business in our community. Click for information.

Three Island Teens Arrested - September 2005

   Three Grand Island teenagers were arrested after a Friday, September 23, 2005 robbery at an Alan Court home. Erie County Sheriff's Deputies John Davis, Daniel Walczak, Amy Klimowicz and Bert Dunn charged Christopher Pabon, 16, of Baseline Road and Jonathan Delgato, 17, of Alan Court with robbery and petit larceny. The incident took place just before 7:45 p.m. Friday.
   Charged with menacing and obstructing governmental administration was Paul Cole, 16, also of Alan Court.
   The Deputies accused Pabon and Delgato with stealing a purse and $130 from a visitor of a home on Alan Court. Cole was accused of threatening the woman with a knife following the robbery.

Official Grand Island Primary Election Results - September 2005

   All Tuesday, September 13, 2005 Grand Island primary election votes have been counted, according to the Board of Elections. The final results for Town Justice - 4-year term follow.
   Mark J. Frenzel - 646
   Michael A. Rossi - 481

   Michael A. Rossi - 388
   Mark J. Frenzel - 274
   Michael Coutu - 149

   Mark J. Frentzel - 31
   Michael A. Rossi - 28

   Mark J. Frentzel - 66
   Michael A. Rossi - 58

Working Families
   Mark J. Frentzel - 4
   Michael A. Rossi - 0

Island Resident Arrested on Burglary, Grand Larceny Charges - 2005

   A Grand Island resident was arrested at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2005 for Burglary in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony, and Grand Larceny in the 4th degree, an E Felony.
   According to Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, Steven T. Meyer, 24, was charged with burglarizing his brother Robert's house and taking a hand gun and a check card that he (Steven) used to withdraw $650.00 from Robert's account. The burglary occurred on September 16, 2005. An investigation conducted by Detective Dennis Fitzgibbon revealed that Steven had sold the gun in the City of Buffalo and used the money to buy crack cocaine. The handgun, a forty caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol, was recovered by Buffalo Police, who were responding to a 'man with a gun' call on Hampshire Street early this morning (Sept. 21). The Glock is registered to Robert, who is on active duty with the National Guard in Indiana. Steven also admitted to stealing a second gun from Robert in August. This gun, a 9mm Kel-Tec, was also recovered by Buffalo Police last month. The money Steven Meyer stole from his brother, Robert's checking account was also used to purchase crack cocaine.
   Steven Meyer, also charged in Town of Grand Island Court with two separate incidents in which he stole money from his mother's account, was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $7,500.00 bail. Additional charges are pending.
   According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department, it is a common practice for drug abusers to commit property crimes in suburban and rural localities and exchange the proceeds of these crimes for narcotics in the City of Buffalo.

Seneca Land Claim Back In The News - September 2005

   Click for Buffalo News Story 9-21-05

Donations For Katrina Victims Continue To Be Collected

   September 19, 2005 . . .The "Help The Victims of Hurricane Katrina through Feed The Children" drive, organized by the Grand Island Fire Company and the Town of Grand Island, continues.

Please click for
"Latest Information"

   Donations are being accepted at the Grand Island Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road (near West River Road) through September 30, 2005. Donations may be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the week. To arrange a drop off after 3 p.m., contact Chuck Berlinger at 773-1365 or 870-1365. The following items are being requested:
Ready to Eat foods and snacks
Bottled water
Batteries and flashlights
New blankets
Juice and beverages
Personal hygiene items
Cleaning supplies!!!
Paper products
Tarps and rain gear
Buckets and plastic containers
Clothing - only new or like new clothing and footwear accepted
   The committee's intent is to fill a tractor trailer. "We have a long way to go!" a spokesman for the drive said this week. "There are two more storms heading this way and if they hit we can direct that the items be sent to help those people also! Any help would be greatly appreciated," he said.
   Click for ""

Woman's Purse, Wallet Stolen As She Pumps Gas - 2005

   A woman was robbed of her purse and wallet as she pumped gas at a station on Grand Island Wednesday, September 14, 2005. According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department, a video tape shows a suspect driving up next to the woman's car, jumping out and sneaking up to the woman's SUV where he grabbed her purse and wallet through the unlocked passenger side door. The victim found her purse missing when she went to put her credit card away. According to Erie County Sheriff's Detective Alan Rozansky the incident happened within seconds and that the individual "waited for the right time and the right person to pull up."
   The thief was caught on camera 15 minutes later using the victim's stolen credit card at a Buffalo gas station. According to the detectives, he made stops at six other stores before the card was cancelled.
   The Sheriff's Department believes that the man shown was one of two thieves at the Island station. Anyone with information is asked to call the Warrant Watch hotline at 480-4499.

College Fair Offered by GI Youth Board - 2005

   The Grand Island Youth Board, formerly Grand Island Youth Advisory Board, will sponsor a College Fair on Thursday, October 27, 2005 at the Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road, Grand Island, NY. The Fair will feature 18+ colleges, military recruiters, financial information/HSBC Bank as well as prizes (complete computer system), and refreshments.
   Email registration is acceptable. For times, registration information and full details, click
"College Fair"

Unofficial Grand Island Primary Election Results - September 2005

   The following are the unofficial results of the Tuesday, September 13, 2005 Grand Island primary election. Confirmation on the Independence Party line will be made at a later date. Absentee ballots have yet to be included in these figures.
Town Justice - 4-year term
   Mark J. Frenzel - 626
   Michael A. Rossi - 467

   Michael A. Rossi - 382
   Mark J. Frenzel - 268
   Michael Coutu - 148

   Mark J. Frentzel - 28
   Michael A. Rossi - 27

   Mark J. Frentzel - 63
   Michael A. Rossi - 57

Working Families
   Mark J. Frentzel - 3
   Michael A. Rossi - 0

County Comptroller - 4-year term
   Robert E. Whelan - 270
   Mark C. Poloncarz - 270
   Richard C. Pawarski - 149
County Legislator - 2-year term
   Michele M. Ianello - 426
   Troy - 188

   Bruce A. Kaiser - 82
   Michele M. Ianello - 27

   Bruce Kaiser - 683
   Rus Thompson - 379

The Ballot - Sept. 13, 2005 Primary Election

"Primary Ballot"
Click for Primary Election Information.

Help The Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Through "Feed The Children" - 2005

   Grand Island residents are encouraged to "Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina through Feed The Children." The project includes the collection of emergency relief supplies to send to the regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and surrounding areas. Donations may be dropped off at the Nike Base Park, 3278 Whitehaven Road from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 18, 2005. The drive has been organized by the Grand Island Fire Company and the Town of Grand Island. Click "Help For Katrina Victims" for complete details on what is needed. Click for ""

First Day Of School - September 2005

Jodi Robinson snapped these photos at Connor Middle School yesterday morning (Sept. 7) Click photos for larger view.
Kevin Sander of Jenell Drive was ready for his first day of kindergarten at Sidway Elementary School. That's Kevin's bus on the left. Click photos for larger view.

A group of Tracey Lane children posed for this "first day of school" photo before leaving for various schools on the Island. Shown front left are Kelsey Percival, Maggie Rustowicz, MaryElisabeth Rustowicz, Alexa Territo, Maria Territo; (back) Mary Friona from Channel 2 who interviewed the Rustowicz family early Wednesday morning, Kristen Percival, Meghan Mahiques, Katie Cobello, Katie Rustowicz, and James Rustowicz. Click photo for larger view.

   Grand Island Schools opened on Wednesday, September 7, 2005. The morning temperature was a comfortable 60 degrees and sunshine prevailed as students from all over the Island boarded their school buses, biked or walked to one of the five public school buildings and St. Stephen School. The Principal's Tea took place at 8:30 a.m. at Huth Road Elementary and a coffee hour was enjoyed by Sidway School parents.

Flags To Be Flown at Half Staff For Hurricane Katrina Victims - September 2005

   September 6, 2005 . . . Proclamation by the President of the United States of America:
Honoring the Memory of the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

   As a mark of respect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, Tuesday, September 20, 2005. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

Island Break-Ins Reported By Sheriff's Department - September 2005

   The Erie County Sheriff's Department reports the following recent burglaries.
   An alarm was sounded at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club on Thursday, August 25, 2005 when burglars apparently broke in a back door and tripped the alarm. Several packs of cigarettes were taken. On the same day an ATV was removed from a barn on Staley Road and later located.
   An attempted break-in at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club was also reported on Saturday, August 27. The Sheriff's Department responded to a larceny in the 200 block of Fareway Lane on August 29 where an I-Pod valued at $500 was taken. A dozen spare tires and rims were stolen from a parked pickup truck at the Fuccillo Toyota dealership on Alvin Road on August 29. Total value was set at $3,174.
   There were also reports of two gas drive-offs, one on August 24, 2005 on Grand Island Blvd in the amount of $100 worth of diesel fuel, and another at the NOCO station on August 25 ($29 in fuel).

Motorcyclist Strikes Car, Leaves Scene - 2005

   According to Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, a Grand Island man was arrested on several felony charges at 5:15 p.m. Friday evening, September 2, 2005 following an accident on Ferry Road.
   Kevin M. Munro, 42, of Fareway Lane, was operating a motorcycle on Ferry near Baseline Road when he struck a motor vehicle. The subject then fled the scene on foot, and was located after an extensive search that include the use of the Sheriff's "Air-1" helicopter.
   Munro was arrested by Deputy Charles Burkhardt of the Grand Island substation, and charged with Felony Driving While Intoxicated. The charge is a felony due to the fact that the subject has had three previous Driving While Intoxicated convictions within the past ten years.
   In addition, a computer check of Munro's driver's license showed that his privilege to operate a motor vehicle is revoked and that he has ten current suspensions as well as ten additional current revocations of his driver's license.
   Munro, whose injuries did not appear serious, was treated at the scene by members of the Grand Island Fire Company and transported to the Erie County Medical Center.
   Munro will be arraigned on the charges in the Grand Island Court, once he is released from the hospital.
   Deputy Burkhardt was assisted in the investigation by Deputy Bradley Girdler and by Officer Keith Wood of the Grand Island Police Department.

Isle Gas Prices Skyrocket - 2005

By Teddy Linenfelser

   Friday, September 2, 2005 . . .Grand Island residents have been filling their gas tanks at a record rate this week. Today (Friday), rates are being changed from one hour to the next, and some stations have run out. Yesterday afternoon it was impossible to get into at least one station on the Island as drivers jammed the lot trying to beat the price increases that were inevitable. The day after day news of the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast area is being blamed for the alleged gas shortage panic and the stampede to the gas pumps.
   An early morning customer at one Grand Island Blvd. station today reported a higher price of $3.59 at her usual gas stop, therefore chose another whose sign advertised gas at $2.99 per gallon. As the woman entered her charge card, the price there was being changed to $3.55 but she was told she would only be charged the original $2.99. An employee taking a phone call at the time was heard to tell the caller that he hadn't even had time to change the sign to $3.55. The caller, a gas station company official, was requesting the Island station attendant to raise the rate to $3.85.
   Several off-Island stations were out of gas yesterday, and waiting for future deliveries, said to be delayed.
   Gas prices of $2.69 and $2.79 during the past summer were drawing criticism from the average commuter as well as the area's big boat owners, however, there was no threat of shortages, now inevitable due to Hurricane Katrina's disruption of oil supplies. "We've seen this before," a resident said today, "when the price of gas was up to about $1.27 per gallon in 1980."
   According to State officials, gas price gouging will not be tolerated. Residents with complaints of gas price gouging are asked to call the New York State Consumer Hotline at 1-800-214-4372.

Senator Brown Announces Continued Funding For Project Alert - August 2005

Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.

   Senator Byron Brown made a visit to the Grand Island Central School District's Transportation Center, behind Sidway School on Monday, August 29, 2005 to announce the continued funding for the successful "Project Alert" program. This program was established six years ago to remind drivers that school will be resuming soon and to watch for stopped school busses and crossing children. A Grand Island mom, Charlene Drexilius, started the ball rolling on this project that now has also been adopted by the cities of Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Tonawanda.
   Senator Brown cited statistics that 80% of student fatalities occur outside the school bus and passing motorists are at fault in 50% of those accidents. He also said that school bus safety is "better than ever" but we can change statistics by reminding drivers that schools will be back in session next week. Superintendent of Transportation Jack Burns spoke of reviewing the safety rules that are listed in the District school calendar and monitors placed on the busses of the younger students to remind them of safe bus procedures.
   Senator Brown was joined by Supervisor Peter McMahon, Councilman and Town Board Liaison to the Traffic Safety Board, Richard Crawford, Superintendent of Transportation Jack Burns, Assistant Superintendent For Business Lorraine Ingrasci, Traffic Safety Board members Dorothy Bitner and Betty Harris, and Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel and her children.

Sheriff Cautions Area Residents About Hurricane Katrina Donations - 2005

   August 31, 2005 . . .Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is advising area residents who want to monetarily help out with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy to be very careful to whom they direct their donations to, so as to ensure their funds will be used for those affected by this catastrophe.
   "Past occurrences indicate that some unscrupulous people will try to take advantage of this disaster by trying to get money for themselves by falsely claiming that donations will be used for the victims of Hurricane Katrina," said Sheriff Howard.
   Howard added: "Donors should be extra careful of telemarketers calling and asking for help because a majority of the funds raised are paid to professional telemarketers and only a small portion of the donation received is given to charity. People should send their donations directly to the charity there by ensuring their money is rightfully used to help hurricane victims."

A Battle Won - 2005

Larry Haneberg, Webmaster - WGRZ 2 News
   The BRAC Commission has voted to move the KC-135 Air Refuelers to Maine. However, only those aircraft will go. The C-130's will remain and the personnel of both units will remain. Today the commission also decided to keep open the Ellsworth Air Base in South Dakota.
   The Pentagon had recommended closing the base. The vote still needs final approval from President Bush and Congress. Senator Hillary Clinton said, "It is a great day for New York. I am so thrilled, it is beyond anything we could have expected but it is what we hoped for."
   The vote ends two days of good news for upstate New York bases. The panel on Thursday recommended not only keeping but expanding a military accounting office in Rome by about 600 jobs.
   The panel voted to remove eight Stratotanker aircraft from the Niagara Falls base, while keeping the planes' 400 or so support personnel where they are.
   The base generates about 150 (m) million dollars a year for the area. The Pentagon had proposed closing the base as part of a nationwide plan to save 48-point-8 (b) billion dollars over 20 years. The panel tonight also rejected a Pentagon plan to remove four C-130 planes from Stratton Air Guard Station in Scotia. All panel recommendations will go to President Bush next month.
   Click for for WGRZ Story.

Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) Removed from List of Closures - 2005

   Washington - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-Fairport), Ranking Member of the Committee on Rules, issued a statement today concerning the BRAC Commission's decision to keep NFARS open.
   "It is a new day for the Niagara Falls Air Base and for our entire community. The BRAC Commission's decision to keep the base open is a testament to the hard work, dedication and perseverance that went into this victory. As a result, thousands of jobs have saved and our ability to protect the homeland has been preserved.
   We will no doubt have the opportunity to work on strengthening the force composition at the air base in the coming months and years. The most important thing today is that we still have a base to build upon for the future.
   I would like to congratulate NIMAC, my hard working colleagues in Congress and the entire community for their tireless efforts and a job well done.

Slaughter Issues Statement in Anticipation of BRAC Commission Decision on NFARS - 2005

   Friday, August 26, 2005, 4 p.m. - Washington, DC . . . - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-Fairport), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, made the following statement at 3:45 p.m. in anticipation of the BRAC Commission's final consideration of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
   "Today, we are all eagerly awaiting the BRAC commission's final vote on the future of the Niagara Falls Air Base.
   "I am increasingly confident that the BRAC Commission will vote this evening to save the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, and with it thousands of local jobs.
   "We have been working hard together over the past several months to demonstrate to the BRAC Commission the critical Homeland Security value of NFARS for the entire northeast, and I believe the Commissioners have heard our call, and will ultimately vote to keep the base open and operational."
   Rep. Slaughter spent the day in Washington yesterday at the BRAC Commission hearings and has been in regular communication with various members of the Commission throughout this process.

New Mexican Restaurant Coming To Grand Island - 2005

   A new Mexican restaurant is coming to the Island and opening soon at the old Duce’s Dog on Grand Island Blvd. Hastings Cohn Real Estate along with Ziehm Real Estate brought about the lease. Jalapeño Loco will be the name of the restaurant.

Sheriff's Dept. Recovers Stolen ATV - 2005

Shown are Sgt. Mark Donohue (right) and Martin Bronisz with the recovered ATV in the forefront.
Photo and story by Dan McMahon - Click photo for larger view

   Thursday, August 25, 2005 . . . 12:30 p.m. . . .When Jim Daigler spotted two people dressed in camouflage clothing removing his ATV from a garage in the rear of his property Thursday morning, August 25, 2005, he called the Erie County Sheriff's Department. The pair fled the area of the 2300 block of Staley Road where Sheriff's Deputies Charlie Burkhart and Mike Somers immediately responded. The Sheriff's helicopter and Sgt. Mark Donohue along with Martin Bronisz with the ATV unit, also responded to search the area. In just a little over an hour the stolen ATV was located in the woods between Staley and Whitehaven roads, apparently abandoned by the thieves. The Erie County Sheriff's helicopter, ATV unit and Island patrol units are continuing to search for the two individuals who no doubt fled after hearing the helicopter in the area. The Grand Island Fire Company assisted with the initial search. More updates as the information becomes available.

Tax-Free Holiday - 2005

   A Tax-Free Week in New York State begins August 30, 2005 and continues through September 5, 2005. This means a savings on clothes and shoes under $110 as the state and county suspends the sales tax on such items for the week coinciding with the beginning of the school year.

Bail Reduced For Woman Who Allegedly Left Five-Year-Old On Roadside - 2005

   Judith Andrews, 55, appeared in Grand Island Court Wednesday evening, August 24, 2005 before Grand Island Justice Randall White, who reduced her bail to $5,000. Arrested August 21, 2005 after allegedly leaving her young son alone on Grand Island Blvd., she will return to the Island court at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 for further proceedings.    Click for
Aug. 24, 2005 WGRZ Story. Click for "Original Story - 8/21/05".

Love Road Residents' Property Damaged By Hit-Run Driver - 2005

Photo and Story by Dan McMahon - Click photo for larger view

   Elizabeth AuClair-Smith and her husband, Bob, awoke Wednesday morning, August 24, 2005 to find that an automobile traveling at an apparent high rate of speed had plowed through their yard at 1461 Love Road, damaging everything in its path. Reports indicate the vehicle, traveling south on Stony Point, failed to stop at the stop sign, became airborne as it crossed Love Road causing the driver to lose control. Scrape marks on Stony Point might indicate damage was sustained to the underside of the vehicle when it landed. The vehicle then proceeded across the lawn, the driveway, through a fence, a birdbath and out the other side of the yard. Some damage was also sustained to the neighboring property. The Erie County Sheriff's Department investigated and reportedly are looking for a Mitsubishi with considerable front-end damage and possibly other damage to the undercarriage. Anyone with information is asked to call the Erie County Sheriff's Department at 662-5554.

County Budget Cuts Force Closure Grand Island District Office - 2005

   Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick (R-Grand Island/Tonawanda) will close his Grand Island district office effective immediately citing Erie County budget cuts.
   “It is with great sadness that I made the decision to close my district office now with more than four months left in my term,” Swanick said. “However, the budget cuts left me with one full-time employee and I have decided to keep my Tonawanda district office open full time.”
   Swanick encourages Grand Island residents to not hesitate to call this office or stop by for any concerns or questions.
   “Having the Grand Island office has been a tremendous asset to me. I have enjoyed serving the residents and I don’t want Grand Island residents to think that they do not have a county representative,” Swanick said. “I just simply will not have an office on the Island and I know that this may not be as convenient for some but unfortunately it is necessary.”
   The Tonawanda office, located at 3200 Elmwood Avenue, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is 877-3986.
   “As an Erie County Legislator, I have always strived to do my very best to maintain an unparalleled quality in my constituent services and despite the closing of the Grand Island office, I will continue to do my best to keep providing excellent services to my constituency,” Swanick said.

Children At Woodstream Drive Block Party Donate To Others - August 2005

Click for larger view.

   The “Pirates of the Caribbean” may have been known for their tendency to steal others’ treasures, but the children of the Woodstream Drive cul de sac were pirates of a different kind! At last Saturday’s (August 20, 2005) yearly block party, the residents filled a treasure chest with back to school items for the Neighbors Foundation to distribute to those in need. It was their way of remembering that our education is a “treasure” but that filling backpacks can be an expensive proposition. The “bootie” is available to fellow Grand Islanders by contacting the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation.

The BBC Presents Beatles Music At The "Come Together Benefit Concert" - 2005

   An End of Summer Party! - Come Together 2005 - featuring the BBC Band will be held Saturday, September 10, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. The evening will offer live music, give aways, wine tasting and BBQ. Tickets are $13 or $15 day of event and includes one free drink. Must be 18 years and over (No Children admitted). Call 773-1111 or stop by the Holiday Inn for tickets. Sponsored By Holiday Inn Grand Island and Fuccillo Automotive Group. Click

Six-Year-Old Allegedly Abandoned On Grand Island Blvd. - 2005

   A Michigan Woman was arrested Sunday evening, August 21, 2005 after leaving her 6-year-old son alone on the side of Grand Island Blvd. Deputy Jordan Grabar of the Erie County Sheriff's Department was patrolling on Grand Island Blvd. at about 6 p.m. when he observed a small boy running alone down the side of the busy highway in the area of 2140 Grand Island Blvd. The child, who was crying and visibly upset, was being followed by two concerned citizens. Deputy Grabar located the child's mother, Judith A. Andrews, 55, of Ypsilanti, Michigan who had been visiting the area with her child. Ms. Andrews told Deputy Grabar that she had stopped her vehicle in a parking lot, and that she had then proceeded on, thinking the child was in the rear of the vehicle. However, the witnesses who were following the child reported that they had seen the mother arguing with the child outside the vehicle, and that the mother had gotten into the car leaving the child to run behind her down the boulevard.
   Deputy Grabar arrested Ms. Andrews and charged her with Endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A Misdemeanor. She has been remanded to the Erie County Holding Center pending her arraignment in the town of Grand Island Court. The Child has been temporarily placed in the care of Erie County Child Protective Services.
   Deputy Grabar was assisted in the investigation and arrest by Officer Chris Soluri of the Town Of Grand Island Police Department.

United Way's Day Of Caring Benefits Nike Base - 2005

Left photo: (front left) Jim Collins, Jennifer Sandi; (back) Jim Hollub, son Jeff Hollub, Bill Pudlewski, son Andy Pudlewski
Jodi Robinson photos - Click for larger size.

   United Way Day of Caring took place Wednesday, August 17, 2005. Erie and Niagara County saw over 6000 volunteers from almost 200 companies working on many different projects. Grand Island resident, Dave Grant of Praxair, Inc. is this year’s Western New York Volunteer Chair. Projects include building or repairing playground equipment, gardening, interacting with elders at nursing homes, painting, participating in fun activities with children at recreation centers, and other tasks. Grand Island's Nike Base area saw volunteers from Liberty Mutual Group and APP scraping and painting a recreation building and the office/Reality Cafe building.

Blood Drive August 23 - 2005

   An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. To donate, you must be in good health, at least 17 years of age and weigh 110 pounds or more. Positive ID Required. For an appointment, call the Red Cross at 1-888-317-8365 (toll free) or Vienna Haak, 774-0494.

Isle Resident Sentenced To 7-year Prison Term - 2005

   Peter Longo, 19, of 76 Ward Park Road, Grand Island was sentenced to a seven-year prison term for his involvement in the death of Eric Lloyd, 18, also an Island resident. Nicholas Hernandez, 20 of Buffalo was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Jeffrey D. Cornman, 22 also of Buffalo received a sentence of 10 years in prison. The three men took part in the shooting of Eric Lloyd during a robbery attempt January 27, 2004, in a room at the Pelican Motel in Niagara Falls. The victim died March 9, 2004, in Erie County Medical Center, from wounds he suffered from the shooting.
   The Niagara Gazette, in an August 11, 2005 article, quoted Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza who told the following to Longo before the sentencing: "I don't think seven years is enough, however, the other two individuals wouldn't have been able to have been prosecuted if you had not come forward with their names."
   Click for
July 21, 2005 Story. Click for July 20, 2005 News Story. Click for News Story 6-30-05 and Previous Related Stories

Invitrogen Receives Tax Breaks For Renovation - 2005

   Invitrogen, on Monday, August 8, 2005, received tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to assist in the renovation of the Staley Road factory. For complete story, click
Invitrogen, Grand Island, NY.

Lost Cat Comes Home! - August 2005

   Arckamedes, a small, solid black male cat returned home to his family on Orchard Road on Thursday, August 11, 2005. Scoll down for original story.

Lost Cat, "Arckamedes" - August 2005

   His name is Arckamedes and he was last seen around the family's home on Orchard Road in Ferry Village Sunday afternoon August 7, 2005. He is approximately 10 months old, small neutered male, solid black with a few white hairs on his neck and gold eyes. He does not normally respond to his name but he may if he hasn't heard it in awhile. Those with any information are asked to call one of the following numbers, 774-1372 / 818-1314 / 689-8182 x 203 or email

Attempted Suicide Prevented - 2005

   Grand Island Fire Company personnel and the Erie County Sheriff's Department were called to the Town Hall Terrace apartment complex at 10 p.m. Thursday, August 4, 2005 for a report of a distraught woman attempting to kill herself in an unoccupied garage.
   A friend of the woman made the call to the Sheriff's dispatch office saying she was in contact with the 26-year-old woman by cell phone and that she was told that the woman "was in an unoccupied garage at the Town Hall Apartments and was going to kill herself" by running the engine of her car in the enclosed garage. The victim would not give her friend any more information about which garage she was in.
   Sheriff's Deputies John Davis and Terrance Guenot along with Town Hall Apartment security and Assistant Fire Chief Chris Soluri responded to the scene and quickly searched the 172 locked garages at the complex. Security guard Colette Falter found the "locked" garage where the vehicle could be heard running. Officers managed to pick the lock and open the door at which time Deputy Guenot dragged the unconscious woman out of the garage.
   She was then treated at the scene by Rural Metro Ambulance and transported to the Erie County Medical Center where she was being evaluated.

"Politics as Usual" becomes the "hard news" for our comfortable small town.

   August 6, 2005 . . . In an attempt to resolve the mudslinging by Town Justice Candidate Michael Anthony Rossi. IsledeGrande has obtained copies of the original filings, in objection to Mr. Rossi's petitions. Here are links to the five documents clearly signed by Mark Lefler. It appears that Mark Frenzel, delivered them to the board of elections and that is why his name appears on the "receipts". The basis for all five of the "objections" to Mr. Rossi's petitions is that he failed to include the words "Grand Island" when he referred to the Town Justice position, for which he is running. Here are links to copies of the five filings;  
Conservative Party   Democratic Party   Independence Party   Republican Party   Working Families Party Here is a link to the "Itemization of Specifications" common to all five filings.
   Publisher's Comments . . .In reviewing the pieces of this controversy, it becomes obvious that "politics as usual," from both sides of the fence. Although the filings seem to be totally legal, and let us say for argument sake, politically correct, they seem to be arguing a moot point. Mr. Rossi's contention that it was an attempt to deprive the voters of Grand Island of their freedom of choice, has to be evaluated within the legal process. Petitions are challenged in most elections and this primary is no different. I find it sad to think that we are considering this normal. Both of these candidates have clearly stated credentials, we have to decide as voters if they will make qualified judges for our town court. I only hope that we can move past these "red herrings" and stick to the facts, where do they stand on issues that will affect our lives, not whether they are politically savy.
Reg Schopp - Publisher

Justice Candidate Michael Anthony Rossi Responds to Commissioner Of Elections Article - 2005

   August 5, 2005 . . .In response to an story regarding Grand Island Town Justice petitions, Michael Anthony Rossi has presented a legal document that he contends proves that justice candidate, Mark Frentzel, was the person who brought the petition irregularities to the Commissioner of Elections Board's attention. Click
Legal Document. See also Original Story

Commissioner Of Elections Responds To Justice Candidate's Accusation - 2005

   August 4, 2005 . . .Ralph M. Mohr, Commissioner of Elections, has responded to a paid political ad published last week in two Grand Island weekly publications. The ad read, in part, "Republican Committeeman and candidate, Mark Frentzel's attempt to invalidate the nominating petitions of Michael Anthony Rossi for Town Justice has been denied by the Erie County Board of Elections. The objections filed by Frentzel on July 15 were an attempt to interfere with the election process and deprive the voters of a choice in the September 13 primary election."
   The ad was paid for by Michael Anthony Rossi, candidate for Grand Island town justice. According to Mr. Mohr, Mr. Rossi "is now attacking his opponent claiming the review of his petitions to be an attempt to interfere with the election process."
   "Even more disturbing is the fact that Mr. Rossi is publicly accusing his opponent, Mark Frentzel, of interference, when the record shows Mr. Frentzel was not the person who brought the petition irregularities to the Board's attention," Mr. Mohr said. "We should expect more from our judicial candidates than attempts to falsely mislead constituents," he said.
   Mr. Mohr also stated that as a Commissioner of the Board of Elections, he felt it important to clarify this matter for Grand Island voters.

National Night Out - 2005
(Left) Chase Luthringer - Officer Terrence Guinot and Rikor - (right) Boy Scout Troop 254

Jodi Robinson photos - Click for larger view

   Under threatening skies, the Grand Island National Night Out was held on Tuesday evening, August 2, 2005. The Grand Island Fire Company had numerous vehicles on hand for an up close view. A salsa band playing in the gazebo put a glide in your stride and the smell of hot dogs provided by Boy Scout Troop 254 made for a very nice evening. There were free ID kits for the kids and a craft table where you could make your own visor. The Grand Island Citizens Corps Council was on hand to inform on disaster preparedness, and American Records Management offered free document shredding.

Isle Fishermen Save Fort Erie Pooch - 2005

By Teddy Linenfelser
Carol Roesch photo - Fluffy (right) and Fluffy and Clayton Clarke

   When Clay Clarke and his son, Mike, went fishing on Thursday, July 21, 2005, they caught more than fish. The men were fishing near the Peace Bridge when they spotted a little, white dog swimming for all he was worth. Mike brought the dog, a Bichon Frise, into the boat, and then proceeded to check the shore on both sides of the river. When they did not see anyone or any boats out looking for anything, they headed back to the Island and then to the SPCA where a representative said someone had called from Fort Erie to report that their dog, Fluffy, was missing and presumed in the river. Fluffy's family, who immediately picked him up, was extremely happy and amazed to have their pet back.
   According to a news source, Fluffy has a mate who recently delivered several puppies.
   Evidently the AP (Associated Press) picked up the story as the Clarkes heard from Mike's friend, former Ransom Road resident, Tony Madonia, in Las Vegas after he saw the story on a TV news cast.

GI Community National Night Out - 2005

   The Grand Island community is invited to celebrate the great assets of our town at National Night Out from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 2, 2005 in the Town Hall Commons. Click
National Night Out for complete information.

Island Residents Charged In Niagara River Boat Collision - 2005

   Click for
"Buffalo News/Boat Collision - 7/26/05"

Isle Resident Jailed For Involvement In Identity Theft - 2005

   Click for
"Buffalo News Story 7/26/05"

Two Receive Jail Sentences For Murder of Island Teen - 2005

   Nicholas Hernandez, 20 of Buffalo was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Jeffrey D. Cornman, 22 also of Buffalo received a sentence of 10 years in prison for the death of Eric Lloyd of Grand Island earlier this year.    Click for July 20, 2005 News Story. Click for News Story 6-30-05 and Previous Related Stories

Island Resident Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor Drug Possession - 2005

   Click for
"Buffalo News Story 7/21/05"

MVA On South State Parkway - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company EMS squad responded to a two-car motor vehicle accident on the South State Parkway at the Stony Point extention just before 10 a.m. Friday morning, July 15, 2005. One patient was evaluated and transported to an area hospital by ambulance. Fire Company units were back in service at 10:31 a.m.

Wednesday's Storm - July 2005

Teddy Linenfelser Photo - Click for larger view.

   Heavy rain and strong winds brought down a large limb of a maple tree in front yard of the Linenfelser home on Ferry Road. Another limb approximately the same size came down on the side of the home. Power was out briefly in that neighborhood. Others reported hail and soaking rain from about 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with another heavy rain storm over night. Grand Island Fire Company volunteers were called for assistance to at least three addresses where wires were down.

Three-car MVA On Boulevard - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company was called to the scene of a three-car motor vehicle accident between Tops Market and Whitehaven Road on Grand Island Blvd. at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2005. Four patients with minor injuries were evaluated and one was transported to a local hospital.

Coast Guard Recovers Personal Water Craft, Conducts Search For Rider - 2005

   The U.S. Coast Guard recovered a Personal Water Craft in the east Niagara River Monday afternoon, July 11, 2005 and conducted a search for its operator. The craft was found circling in the river following a radio report received by the Coast Guard around 3:30 p.m. Monday by an observer who spotted the craft near the Huntley Power Plant in the Town of Tonawanda. The Coast Guard, after losing radio contact with the caller, located the craft between the Huntley plant and the South Grand Island Bridge.

Beautiful Day At Grass Island - July 2005

Diane Hassan Photo - Click for larger view.

   Sunday, July 10, 2005 . . .Mark and Diane Hassan did what most boaters did on Sunday - spent the better part of the very hot day on the river. This photo was taken at Grass Island. According to Diane, someone in the crowd counted over 100 boats in the area.

Islander Injured In Boating Mishap - 2005

   A Grand Island boater was injured at approximately 5:45 p.m. Sunday, July 10, 2005 in a freak accident in the east Niagara River. Joseph P. Mash, 54, was alone in his 15' motorboat when a tube that was attached to a tow rope flew out of the rear of the boat. Mash's arm became entangled in the rope, and he was dragged overboard. His unmanned boat then began circling in the water and struck Mash three times. The victim was rescued from the water by another Island boater, Thomas McDonald, who brought him to shore where he was treated by members of the Grand Island Fire Company before being transported to the Erie County Medical Center by ambulance.
   According to the Sheriff's Department, the accident did not cause life-threatening injuries.
   The accident is being investigated by Sergeant Mark Donahue of the Erie County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit with assistance from Deputies Joseph Belden and Bradley Girdler of the Grand Island Substation. Also assisting at the scene was Officer Keith Woods of the Grand Island Police Department.

Friends of Lynnette 12th Annual Bike Tour Around Grand Island - 2005

   The 12th Annual "Friends of Lynnette" Bike Tour around Grand Island is scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2005. The event features two routes, one 10 miles, one 22 miles. Registration takes place at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road at 8:15 a.m. Bike Tour starts at 9 a.m. The day features a Chinese auction, refreshments and more. Proceeds will benefit Friends of Children with Cancer, a Roswell Park committee. For more information, call 773-3321 or 773-9483. The event is in loving memory of Lynnette Grisanti and Billy Gugino Jr. Register by July 10.

Grand Island Blvd. Plaza Sold - 2005

    The Grand Island Plaza at Baseline and Grand Island Blvd. has been sold for $4,000,000. Click for Story 7-1-05

Seneca Land Claim In News Again - 2005

   Click for Story 7-1-05

Fireworks Display At Fantasy Island July 4th - 2005

   A fireworks display at Martin's Fantasy Island will begin at dusk Monday, July 4. Grand Island residents with identification are admitted free to the park after 5 p.m.

Homeland Security Moves Boarder Patrol Headquarters to Grand Island - 2005

   United States Senator Charles Schumer announced on Thursday, June 30, 2005 that the Department of Homeland Security would be moving the Boarder Patrol Sector Headquarters from Tonawanda to Grand Island. The new headquarters will be constructed on Lang Blvd. Negotiations between the developer, Acquest, and the Federal government have been going on for about two years.
   The site is slightly less than nine acres. Approximately one third of the property will be developed. The remaining two/thirds will be undeveloped open space. There will be about 25,000 square feet of office space and another 11,000 square feet used for maintenance and storage. In addition to the Sector administration offices, the Border Patrol communications center will be housed in the building.

Defendant In Murder of Island Teen Pleads Guilty - 2005

   According to the Thursday, June 30, 2005 edition of the Niagara Gazette, Peter Longo Jr. 19, of Ward Park, Grand Island, the third and final defendant involved in the murder of 18-year-old Island resident Eric Lloyd, has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Nicholas Hernandez, Jeffrey Cornman and Longo were at the Pelican Motel in Niagara Falls January 27, 2004 with the intent of robbing Lloyd, who died March 9, 2004 after being in a intensive care unit for more than a month. Lloyd was struck in the face with a handgun then shot. He fell on Cornman who claimed the rifle he was holding went off also. Longo's sentencing will take place August 10, 2005.    Click for News Story 6-30-05 and Previous Related Stories

Berlinger Brothers Show Support of Air Base - 2005

Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for a larger view.

   Chuck and Joe Berlinger of Sandy Beach were hoping to catch the attention of the BRAC Commission on Monday morning, June 27, 2005. The evening before they painted tarps and attached them to the roof of Chuck's house along with an American flag stating "Save Our Base." The Berlinger brothers also put a sign on the dock of the Sandy Beach Park Club. With any luck, the BRAC Commission flew over the north end of the Island and got the message!

Donations of DVD's Sought For Soldiers In Iraq - 2005

Maj. Jeff Cipolla (left) pictured with Col. Bakteiar of the 4th Iraqi Army.

    Lisa Dollendorf of Grand Island recently spoke with her brother, Maj. Jeff Cipolla of Buffalo, who is in Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division from the Connecticut Street Armory. She asked what he and his fellow soldiers in Iraq needed. Maj. Cipolla mentioned that DVD's would be great as the soldiers get a couple hours free each week and there is not much entertainment on base. Mrs. Dollendorf would like to collect funds for new DVD's and postage and also collect used DVD's.
   In the process of getting the okay for this project, Mrs. Dollendorf was made aware of a great need for new T-shirts and shorts in large and X-large for injured soldiers. Cheryl Lepsch of Tonawanda started a program titled
"Jammies for GI's" through which the clothing will be distributed. Those interested in donating to either effort may contact Mrs. Dollendorf at 570-9512 or email She will be at Grand Crafts on the Island craft show at the Town Commons Saturday and Sunday, June 25 & 26. Donations will also be accepted at the Isledegrande office located at 1871 Whitehaven Road.

Town Council Leads Boulevard Cleanup - 2005

Click photo for larger view
   The Grand Island Boulevard cleanup took place during the morning of Saturday, June 18, 2005 when the following volunteers came out at 9 a.m. to clean up Grand Island Blvd. in time for the Independence Day festivities taking place on the 4th: (front left) Mike Dudley (behind), Joe Donlon, Councilmembers Gary Roesch, Mary Cooke and Dan Robillard; (back) Jane Cooke, Chelsea Robillard, Shannon Robillard and James Cooke. Missing from the photo are Paul Leuchner and Rochelle Smith.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Raises $1175 - To Be At KidBiz - 2005

   Alex's Lemonade Stand was an overwhelming success raising $1175 with $85.00 in matching funds for a total of $1260.
   "It was a wonderfully hot day on which to drink lots of nice cold lemonade," Diana Nobumoto, a parent of the children said this week. "The girls enjoyed themselves and were overwhelmed by the response. We are going to be at Kid Biz ( weather permitting) on July 2 to hopefully boost our donation just a bit more," she said.
   The girls and their parents would like to put out a big thank you to all the people who helped make the stand such a huge success. Everyone's support was truly in the spirit of Grand Island!!

Burger King Employee Robbed At Gunpoint - 2005

   According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department an investigation is taking place regarding the armed robbery late Friday, June 17, 2005 in the Burger King Restaurant, Grand Island Boulevard. As the manager was closing around 11:05 p.m. two men in bandannas confronted her, one displaying a silver handgun. The pair forced the manager into an office where she complied with their request to hand over cash in a safe. Two other unnamed Burger King employees were forced to lay down on the floor during the robbery. The Sheriff's Department requests that anyone with information call the investigators, 662-5554.

Lt. Col. Crowe - May He Rest In Peace - June 2005

Two Grand Island Fire Company aerial ladder trucks held the American Flag over Baseline Road in front of St. Stephen's Catholic Church. Jodi Robinson Photo

   Family and friends literally packed the Kaiser Funeral Home Wednesday, June 15th with a continuous long line outside the building, and many more attended a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated today (June 16, 2005) at 10 a.m. in St. Stephen's Church. Lt. Col. Crowe was buried in St. Stephen's Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The LTC Terrence K. Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund, N.U. Office of Advancement Services, PO Box 2008, Niagara University, NY 14109 or Canisius College, Alumni Advancement-Annual Giving, 2001 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14208.

Lt. Col. Crowe - Career History - 2005

   Click for
Terry Crowe Career History. See also Lt. Col. Terrence Crowe Death Notice

Service Held In Vets Park In Memory Of Lt. Col. Crowe - 2005

Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

   Friends and family of Lt. Col. Terry Crowe, as well as representatives of the American Legion, the VFW and the DAV gathered at Vets Park Monday evening, June 13, 2005 to pay tribute to the fallen soldier, killed June 7 in Iraq. Rev. Paul Nogaro from St Stephen's Church gave the invocation. Colors were presented by the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249 Color Guard.
   VFW Commander Daniel McMahon gave the welcoming remarks and made the presentation of a plaque. The VFW Commander offered the following words:
   What began as a small living memorial to Lt Col. Terrance K. Crowe, today, has grown into a Grand Island Community living memorial grove. Immediately, upon learning of the death of Terry, a group of family friends wanted to do something special for this hero. The intention was to plant a tree in his memory. Their idea, however, spread across Grand Island as fast as anything I have seen in a very long time. Other individuals, families and community organizations wanted to do their part to provide a living memorial to honor a Son, a Father, a Brother, a Cousin, a Friend, an Educator and Military Leader, Lt. Col Terrance K. Crowe. Today, not one but 10 trees will be dedicated in Terry’s memory. Not only will this grove be remembered as a living memorial to Terry by everyone here this evening, but also by the hundreds of people who will walk through Veterans Park each and every day. To Jeremiah and Clara, I know of no better way or location, to honor your father, a hero and veteran, than here in Veterans Park with this grove of trees. These trees will serve as a life time memorial to honor your father, Lt. Col. Terrance K. Crowe."
   Trees were donated by Friends of the White Family, Huth Road School, Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, Grand Island Disabled Americans Chapter #168, Grand Island American Legion Post 1346, Grand Island Court, Grand Island Town Hall Employees, Fieldstone Neighbors and Relay for Life.

   Benediction was given by Father Paul Nogaro.

NU Scholarship To Honor Lt. Col. Crowe - 2005

   A scholarship fund has been set up by Niagara University in honor alumnus Lt. Col. Terrence K. Crowe, who lost his life in Iraq June 7, 2005. Terry, 44, who was a Grand Island resident. Click NU Scholarship for complete story.

Violent Thunder Storm Leaves Residents Without Power, Phones - 2005

   Friday, June 10, 2005 . . .A series of violent thunder storms across Western New York in the early hours of Friday morning, June 10, 2005, dropped more than three inches of rain accompanied by high winds. The storm left many Island residents without power or phone service. The Grand Island High School and Veronica E. Connor Middle School were closed due to the power outage. The elementary schools were in session Friday.
   The weather bureau reported over 25,000 lightening strikes in the WNY area.
   The power at Grand Island High School is expected to be back in service by noon on Friday, June 10, 2005. The Relay For Life scheduled for 6 p.m. this evening will take place as planned.

Residents Saddened by News Of Islander Killed In Iraq - 2005

   Wednesday, June 8, 2005 . . .Devastating news circulated throughout the Island today as residents began to hear of the death of a Grand Island, NY resident in Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Crowe was killed on Tuesday, June 7, 2005. Click for
WGRZ News Story - 6-8-05 and Buffalo News Story - 6-9-05.

Supervisor Announces Boulevard Sweep - Everyone Invited - 2005

   The annual Boulevard Sweep to clean up Grand Island Blvd. in time for the town's Independence Day parade has been announced by Supervisor Peter McMahon and will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2005. Those interested in helping with the "Sweep" should meet at the Town Hall parking lot. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided for participants

Fund Raiser For Rus Thompson - 2005

   A Fund raiser for Rus Thompson - "Invitation To A Party" - will be held from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street in the City of Tonawanda (across from Walgreens). A donation of $20 per person includes Hors d’oeuvres, raffles, rally and fun. An Island resident, Rus intends to run for the Erie County Legislature, 10th district, serving Grand Island, NY. Http://

Tree Trimming Around Town, DeGlopper Park - 2005

Before and after pictures of Pin Oak with trimming crew.
Photos and Story by Jodi Robinson - Click photos for larger view

   Lewis Tree Service Inc. of Rochester, headed by Keith Stegner, is in town as a contractor for Niagara Mohawk and volunteered to trim the very large Pin Oak and Maple limbs from power lines along the streets of Grand Island and (shown) at Charles DeGlopper Memorial Park at the center of town. Shown above is Highway Superintendent Ray Dlugokinski and Recreation Department Director Linda Tufillaro with the crew of tree trimmers. Thanks to Lewis Tree Service.

Fire Company Responds To Memorial Day Blaze - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company received a call from a Schwegler Road resident at 2:31 p.m. Monday, May 30, 2005, reporting an unknown type of fire in the area of 1316 Glen Avon Road. Fire Company units on the scene extinguised the fire after it was determined that a house trailer with multiple materials was burning behind a building. Fire Company volunteers had the fire out and were back in service at 2:56 p.m.

Invitrogen Retraction - 2005

   A reported incident on Friday, May 27, 2005 of a hazardous situation at 3175 Staley Road was misinformation. The original address given to the Grand Island Fire Company, that of Invitrogen, was erroneous. regrets the error.

Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer - 2005

   Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer is a unique foundation that has evolved from a young cancer patient's front yard lemonade stand to a nationwide fundraising movement for childhood cancer. Alexandra Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, just two days before her first birthday. In the year 2000, when Alex was just four years old, she told her parents she wanted to have a lemonade stand in her front yard. Her plan was to donate the money to "her hospital" to help find a cure.
   Alex's simple idea of a lemonade stand as a venue for raising funds for a cause - the simple concept of "fighting cancer, one cup at a time" - has allowed people who would not usually participate in fundraising, especially children, to organize and raise money for childhood cancer.
   To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand has donated over $1 million to support childhood cancer research. Alex bravely lost her battle in August 2004 at age 8, but before she passed away, she had already set a goal of $5 million in 2005, the fifth year of her stand.
   Thousands of volunteers across the United States will honor the memory of a young hero during the June 10-12, 2005 weekend, by hosting Alex's Lemonade Stands in their communities, in an effort to reach Alex's goal of $5 million for childhood cancer in 2005.
   In this area, Alex's Lemonade Stand will be hosted by a group of spirited 4th grade girls from Huth Road Elementary School who feel this is a wonderful cause. It will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on June 11, 2005 at the Grand Island Plaza in front of Maria's Hallmark, Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island. Please come out and help them realize Alex's dream. For further information contact Diana Nobumoto, 773-6259 or visit Alex's website at

Teacher Aide Placed On Administrative Leave - 2005

   Parents' claims that a Connor Middle School teacher's aide may have had inappropriate contact with a child at the school is being investigated by the Erie County Sheriff's Department.
   Click "News Story 5/25/05".

BBQ To Benefit Zachary R. Zarbo Memorial Scholarship Fund - 2005

   A chicken barbeque fund raiser to benefit the Zachary R. Zarbo Memorial Scholarship Fund will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, June 24, 2005 at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Advance ticket purchases of $10 each can be arranged by calling 773-9150. Tickets at the door sell for $11.
   A Grand Island High School junior, Zachary was described by the school's Principal James Dempsey as "a first-class individual who was well-liked and well-respected by students, faculty and staff." Scholarship monies provide funding of $500 for each of two scholarships to be presented annually; to a student accepted by the New York State Summer School of Choral Studies and to a student interested in drama with plans to continue studies in college. Zachary died unexpectedly at home of an undetectable heart condition in October 2004.

Local, Organic Produce for Grand Islanders - 2005

   Perhaps you saw the article in the Buffalo News about community-supported agriculture programs (CSA’s) in the local area. Or maybe you read about them in the latest Better Homes and Gardens. If you have wondered what is available to Grand Islanders in the way of locally grown organic foods, I’d like to make you aware of our Grand Island Porter Farms (GIPF) program.
   Every Saturday morning, generally from late June to late November (22 weeks at least), someone from the GI Porter Farms Group goes to the farm near Batavia and picks up the freshly bagged veggies for all GIPF members and delivers them to the back deck of a house on Whitehaven, where other members pick up their bags during the afternoon. Each bag contains a variety of what is ripe that week—so the early part of the season brings assorted lettuces, peas, and spinach and later harvests supply a variety of squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, kale, leeks, onions, and peppers (green & hot), abundant throughout the late summer. Watermelon and cantaloupe are always popular. Each year the plantings are a little different; the Porter Farm folks ask for evaluations & preferences each year, too.
   A Share costs $270 (about $12.25/week) for 22 weeks. Half-orders are available as a full-bag every other week; two people can also split a Share. Organic meat is also available through separate Porter Farms arrangements. A newsletter with information and recipes accompanies each bag, and there are often Harvest Family Events at the farm where people of all ages can get closer to the source of food & people who grow & harvest it.
   If you would like more information, please contact June Licence (, (773-1426), or Suzanne Thomas (773-6369). Or contact Porter Farms directly:,, or Porter Farms, PO Box 416, Elba, NY 14058-0416.
June Licence, Coordinator
GI Porter Farms

Iannello Receives Independence Endorsement For County Legislator, 10th District
Legislature Candidate Receives Key Support in Race for 10th District Seat - 2005

   Michele Iannello, the endorsed Democratic Candidate for the Erie County Legislature’s 10th District, has received the endorsement of the Erie County Independence Party in her quest to succeed Chuck Swanick in the Erie County Legislature.
   Iannello, a Kenmore Village Trustee and paralegal, was backed by the Independence Party’s executive committee in a recent meeting. The endorsement is a major development in the race for the Erie County Legislature and gives Iannello strong support in the campaign.
   “I am gratified to receive the endorsement of the Erie County Independence Party and look forward to running on the Independence line this fall," she said. "My message of change, reform and independence is shared by the Independence Party and its members as we work together to bring fiscal stability and reform to Erie County government,” she said.
   “As I walk door-to-door throughout Tonawanda, Kenmore and Grand Island, I am already hearing residents who are seeking independent leadership and change in county government. I will be an independent voice in the Legislature for reform and fiscal discipline,” added Iannello.
   The 10th Legislature District includes part of the Town of Tonawanda, as well as the Village of Kenmore, City of Tonawanda, and Town of Grand Island.

District Art Show - 2005

Photos and Story by Jodi Robinson - Click photos for larger view

   The Grand Island School District Art Show entitled "Pop & Op Art" was presented on the evening of Monday, May 16, 2005. Sidway School students, under the direction of art teacher Theresa Barnack, presented op art cityscapes, artist Jasper Johns' style of numbers & letters, Keith Haring's style of pop art patterns. The kindergartners created "100 Soup Cans" in the style of Andy Warhol.
   Art teacher Alex Incao of Kaegebein had collages made by the third grade students of "product" boxes such as cereal boxes. Kaegebein was into hearts and flowers this year with clay hearts painted in metallic, heart tiles painted in pastels, Andy Warhol flowers and pop flowers to name a few. Huth Road students and art teacher Peter Sloan had two different versions of Andy Warhol's "100 Soup Cans along with a very large "Sponge Bob" holding a paint brush. Over 50 students from Huth Road had their individual art work shown.
    Students of Nora Klein and Andrew Dulak at Veronica Connor Middle School displayed pop prints, self portraits and different types of candy made from clay. The high school was represented by art students of Mark Tollner, Cindy Wynne, Megan Gaiek and Kristen Davide. Enormous soft sculptures of everyday products were hanging from the ceilings, Lichtenstein-style paintings and pop-style, popular artworks were also displayed.
The many people who voted on Tuesday, May 17th had the opportunity to view the show while waiting in line. It certainly was a nice way to pass the time.

Concerts Prove Island Musicians Are The Best - 2005

   The school district's annual Spring String Kaleidoscope Concert was held in the high school auditorium Monday evening, May 16, 2005. String students from Huth Road and Kaegebein Elementary under the direction of Mrs. Kelly Robertson, started off the program with a small group of violinists performing "Swallow Tail Jig," a difficult piece for elementary musicians.
   Miss Debra Remson directed the Connor Middle School String Orchestra, winner of a Gold at the recent NYSSMA Performance Evaluations. The students gave an outstanding performance of four selections ending with a purely delightful "Singing in the Rain."
   The Senior High School String Orchestra, also directed by Debra Remson gave a superb performance. Lindsay Henderson played a difficult solo with ease during "Romance In F" by Beethoven. Soloist Vida Rostami was equally as good in the last piece, "A Gaelic Overture" by David O'Fallon.
   The Connor Middle School spring concert featuring five band and orchestra groups was presented on Tuesday, May 17, 2005.
   The Veronica Connor Middle School 6th Grade Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mr. Alex Hughes, gave a great overall performance with accolades to the percussion section, strong and steady throughout. Deceiving is the size of these musicians and the talent they displayed.
   The large 6th grade band, also under the direction of Alex Hughes, played well. The band's presentation of "Asheville Overture" by A. McGinty showed good balance of the various instrumental sections.
   The very serious Connor Middle School Orchestra members gave a repeat performance of the previous evening, for an appreciative audience.
   Next on the program was Mr. Clarke Elliott's fabulous 7th/8th grade jazz ensemble, playing "Bringin' It On" and "Make Me Smile," the later receiving applause that went on forever.
   Clarke Elliott, recently presented with the "Outstanding Band Director Award" at the NYSBDA Symposium, led the combined 7/8th grade concert and Viking bands in three numbers. The musicians certainly proved why they received a Gold with Distinction at the recent NYSSMA Performance Evaluations.
   Parents of younger school district students are invited to an informational parent night for beginning instrumentalists at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 23, 2005 in the high school, 1100 Ransom Road.

NYSSMA Performance Evaluations By Grand Island’s Music Ensembles - 2005

Click photos for larger view
(Left) Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble and Huth Road Elementary Concert Band, both under the direction of Sherm Lyke.

   Choir, band and orchestra students from grades 5-12 recently participated in Evaluation Festival Performances with the New York State School Music Association. At these festivals, adjudication teams listen to prepared selections taken from the New York State Music Association Reference Manual, which breaks performance selections into grade levels, based on level of difficulty, with grade one being the most accessible and level six including the most difficult selections published.
   Evaluations are made via a combination of tape recorded comments, written evaluation, and an oral review by one of the adjudicators at the completion of the performance, while the students remain on stage. Evaluations range from a Festival Award, to Bronze, Silver and Gold. At the very top end of the scale, adjudicators may award the Gold evaluation “with Distinction.” This is only offered to a performance that not only demonstrates an ensemble which clearly shows the outstanding training and abilities which merit a Gold award, but whose performance has put it into an elite category that would have to be considered “rare.”
   The following are the results of performances by ensembles from Grand Island:
• Huth Road Elementary School Band (Allan Ripley): Level 1 - Gold Award
• Connor Middle School 7th Grade Chorus (Annalea Masiello): Level 2 - Gold Award
• Connor Middle School Singcopations (Annalea Masiello): Level 3 - Gold Award
• Connor Middle School String Orchestra (Debra Remson): Level 3 - Gold Award
• Connor Middle School 7th/8th Grade Band (Clarke Elliott) Level 3 - Gold with Distinction
• Grand Island High School Choir (Carolyn Lokken): Level 4 - Silver Award
• Grand Island High School Concert Band (Marty Allen): Level 5 - Gold with Distinction
• Grand Island High School String Orchestra (Debra Remson): Level 6 - Silver Award
• Grand Island High School Concert Choir (Carolyn Lokken): Level 6 - Gold with Distinction
• Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble (Marty Allen): Level 6 - Gold with Distinction
   “To give you an idea of how selectively these awards are given, on the day of our Huth Road Band’s performance and our Connor Middle School String Orchestra’s performance, only one other gold award was given, and none were given with distinction,” stated Sherman E. Lyke, Jr., Music Department Program Coordinator. The Grand Island School District congratulates these dedicated students and their gifted teachers.
High School's 70-Voice Choir - 80-Voice Concert Choir
Carolyn G. Lokken, conducting

The Grand Island High School 70-voiced Choir participated at a Level 4 and received a Silver rating. They performed Inscription of Hope by Z. Randall Stroope, Beautiful Dreamer arranged by Michael Larkin and Festival Sanctus by John Leavitt. The 80 singers of Concert Choir performed at a Level 6 and received a Gold with Distinction rating. The Concert Choir performed O Magnum Mysterium by Sally Herman, I Love My Love by Gustav Holst and a Hebrew Love Song titled Kalla, Kala by Eric Whitacre.
Connor Middle School Singcopations
Annalea J. Masiello, conducting

   The Veronica E. Connor Middle School Singcopations entered NYSSMA at a level three and received a "Gold" rating. The "select chorus" is comprised of 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
   Connor Middle School's 7th grade Chorus entered at a level 2 also received a Gold Award.

Whitehaven Road Neighbors Alert Fire Co. Of Brush Fire - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company received multiple phone calls at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 2005 by neighbors reporting a possible large structure fire on Whitehaven Road. Residents in the area of 2389 Whitehaven Road could see the fire which was determined to be a 20' by 20' brush fire. Grand Island Fire Company firefighters, who brought the blaze under control, remained at the scene till nearly 11 p.m. quelling hotspots. The property is owned by Lloyd Glasgow of Bradenton, Florida.

Hortons/Wendy's Scene Of Robbery Arrests - 2005

   A daylight robbery in the early afternoon of Monday, May 9, 2005 at Rubin's Buy & Sell Shop at 1931 Main Street, Niagara Falls ended with the arrest of two men in the Tim Horton’s/Wendy's parking lot on Grand Island Blvd. Detectives from the Niagara Falls Police Department along with New York State Troopers made the arrests which followed a day of chasing down the suspects.
   According the Niagara Gazette, Falls police arrested Steven Thomas Burns and Jarvis “Goodie” Lassalle at gunpoint in the Tim Horton’s/Wendy's parking lot.
   Click "Arrest 5/9/05" for the May 10, 2005 Niagara Gazette story.
   Click "Arrest 5/9/05 Update" for the May 11, 2005 Niagara Gazette story.

Bryan Flynn - School Board Candidate - 2005

   Bryan Flynn, a resident of Grand Island for the past eight and one half years, credits his mother, a former Orchard Park School Board member, for demonstrating the importance of education to him. He is a graduate of Orchard Park High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1994. He also earned a teaching certificate from Daemen College in 1997 and a Masters of Sciences in Special Education from Canisius College in 1999. Bryan has been employed as a high school teacher for the past eight years, currently at John F. Kennedy High School in Cheektowaga, where he teaches Global Studies 9 and is the Varsity Girls' Soccer Coach.
   Married for seven years and formerly a resident of the Southtowns, his first reason for running for the position of School Board Trustee is that he feels that the school district can do a better job of preparing the Island's students for state exams, eventual graduation, and their lives beyond high school.
   "I want to see us spend our money more wisely, while making sure that all classes are available to all students who need them, not just the honors classes that make our school look good publicly," he said this week. "I also believe that new blood and new ideas are important for any publicly run entity. I hope to offer those new ideas, based on research and sound fiscal decision-making. I would also like to see the school leadership more attuned to the feelings of all residents and taxpayers here in our district," he said.
   The school board election and budget vote will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2005 in the high school gymnasium, 1100 Ransom Road.

Richard J. Little Jr. - School Board Candidate - 2005

   Richard J. Little Jr. is a candidate for Grand Island School District Trustee in the May 17, 2005 election. Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school gymnasium, 1100 Ransom Road.
   The 32-year-old Sandy Beach Road resident and his wife Sonja are parents of three young children who attend Huth Road Elementary and Sidway schools. He is currently employed by BHNT Architects as a Project Manager and has been in the architectural field since June of 1989.
   Richard earned an Associates In Applied Science, and Architectural Technology in 1995 and attended Millard Fillmore College Continuing Education (State University of N.Y. at Buffalo) from 1992-1995.
   He attended an Erie County Association of School Boards (ECASB) workshop for prospective school board members give in March of this year and has been attending school board meetings where he has asked questions and given an opinion on issues.
   Richard, who has served as a Grand Island Little League coach for T-Ball, baseball, soft ball and soccer for the past 4+ years, lists the following reasons for becoming a candidate:
• Class sizes, Grand Island is a growing community
• Testing standards and data retrieval
      To what extent do we test and gather data before it has a negative impact on education and development of our children
• Ongoing capital project and facility maintenance
• Increasing state and federal mandates
• Rising cost and the impact on the Grand Island Taxpayer

Myrna F. Blair - School Board Candidate - 2005

   Myrna F. Blair, a Grand Island School Board trustee from 1996 to 2004, will run for one of two seats on the Board.
   A 40-year resident of Grand Island and mother of three Grand Island High School graduates, she is employed as an accountant with Christine A. Learman, CPA, PC. She has also taught high school mathematics.
   Born and raised in the City of Tonawanda, Mrs. Blair is a Canisius College graduate with a Masters in Education. She also received a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Buffalo.
   Founder and president of the Grand Island Foundation, she created the organization as a way of raising money for non-mandated school activities and material needs.
   She has taken an active part in her community through membership in the leadership Council, Grand Island Connections, American Cancer Society Relay For Life, PTA and numerous school board associations, conventions and forums.
   When asked why she is interested in running for the Board of Education, Mrs. Blair replied, "The most important responsibility of being a board member is to act as the primary advocate for children and the public. I have a true love of children, take great pride in their accomplishments, and am in awe when they fulfill their potential. As a board member, I always tried to balance this love with the responsibility to the taxpayers of the community to put their resources to the optimum use."
   The budget vote and school board election will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2005 in the high school gym.

Cat Rescued From Tree After Four-Day Stay - 2005

Mark Landroche is shown rescuing the cat. Animal Control Officer Greg Butcher is shown with him.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photo for larger view
   A half-grown kitten that made its way to the top of a large tree on Ward Park and refused to come down by itself for four days, was rescued Monday afternoon, May 9, 2005. Mark Landroche of Mark's Island Tree Service took on the job of climbing up the tree and capturing the cat. Responding to a concerned neighbor's request to bring down the family pet, Animal Control Officer Greg Butcher was at the scene and transported the kitten named Tiger, to a veterinarian after the rescue. Supervisor Peter McMahon donated $50 to the collection that neighbors took up to pay for the tree service.

East River Road Resident Involved In Identity Theft Scheme - State Supreme Court Case - 2005

   Eight area residents pled guilty on Thursday, May 5, 2005 to a computer-based credit card and identify theft scheme. The scheme netted them about $450,000 over a two-year period. Click Identity Theft for Buffalo News story.

School Concerts - 2005

Huth Road Elementary Spring Concert - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5
Kaegebein School Spring Choral Concert - 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 11
Kaegebein School Spring Choral Concert - 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11
Connor Middle School Spring Vocal Concert - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12
District String Kaleidoscope Concert - 7 p.m. Monday, May 16
Connor Middle School Spring Instrumental Concert - 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17
High School Band Spring Concert - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1

Iannello Announces Democratic Candidacy For County Legislator, 10th District
Statement By Iannello On Announcement by Legislator Charles Swanick - 2005

   The following is a statement submitted to the press Thursday, May 5, 2005 by Democratic candidate for 10th District, Erie County Legislature Michele Iannello.
   I join the residents of the 10th District from Kenmore, Tonawanda and Grand Island in thanking Legislator Charles Swanick for his 25 years of public service to the County, and in wishing him and his family happiness and satisfaction in his future endeavors.
   Legislator Swanick’s announcement that he will not run for re-election this year opens up the campaign to fresh, new ideas.
   If the residents of our County have made one message clear during the budget process and during the past few months, it has been their desire for change, openness, and responsibility in County government. We need to restore public confidence in and fiscal stability to Erie County.
   This campaign has been and should continue to be about finding new and responsible ways to address the many concerns of residents in the 10th District and Erie County in a fiscally sound and accountable manner. New faces, new approaches and new ideas are necessary to help guide Erie County through its current budget crisis and into a stronger future for our children and families.

   Michele Iannello, a paralegal, is a Democratic Trustee in the Village of Kenmore. She is the Democratic Candidate for the Erie County Legislature’s 10th District which includes Kenmore, Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, and Grand Island. Grand Island Supervisor Peter McMahon introduced the Erie County Legislator candidate Wednesday evening, April 27, 2005 at the town hall when she announced that she would be running as a candidate for the Legislature’s 10th Legislative District.

Small Boat Reporting Guidelines For Entering, Leaving U.S. - 2005

   The U. S. Customs and Border Protection, Buffalo Field Office offers the following Small Boat Reporting Guidelines. Boaters, family members and all guests entering the United States must report for inspection. Customs and Border Protection clearance may be obtained in one of three methods listed below:
• Report for inspection to the nearest Port of Entry (POE)
• Utilize a CBP Videophone station located at: Erie Basin Marina (Buffalo), North Tonawanda, Lewiston, Youngstown, Wilson, Point Breeze, Rochester, Sodus Point, Olcott, Oswego, Sackets Harbor, Clayton, Alexandria Bay, Morristown, Ogdensburg, and Waddington.
• Be in possession of a pre-approved Form I-68 or NEXUS member proximity card, and call 1-800-827-2851 to report your arrival
   Please have the following information available:

Name, Date of Birth & Citizenship of Master
Name of Boat and/or Boat Registration Number
U. S. Decal Number (if over 30 feet)
Name, Date of Birth & Citizenship of all Passengers
Home Port and Current Location

   For Canada Border Services Agency information, call 1-888-226-7277
   For other U. S. reporting information call 1-800-827-2851 -

Councilman Robillard's Steak Dinner Announced - 2005

   The Committee to Reelect Dan Robillard has announced the "Councilman Robillard's Steak Dinner," a fundraiser for Councilman Robillard's bid for re-election in the November 2005 election.
   The event scheduled from 3-7 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2005 at the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post, 2121 Grand Island Blvd. (across from Tops), will include live music, raffles, Kidzone, and a community cookout. Cost is $20/adult for a complete steak dinner & beverages. Kids may attend free of charge and hotdogs will be available. Music will feature the "About Face" band. The event is being held rain or shine.
   Robillard, endorsed by the Grand Island Republican committee, was first elected in November 2001 to a four-year term on the town board.

South Bridge Repair Update - 2005

   The South Grand Island Bridge Repair Project has been awarded to Piasecki Steel Corporation of Castleton, N.Y. Piasecki Steel was the successful contractor on the recently completed North Grand Island Bridges Steel Repair Project.
   This project will cost approximately $9 Million, and will involve removing and replacing various steel members of both northbound and southbound South Bridges. The work has begun and is scheduled for completion in November of 2006. The majority of the work, most of which will be done below the roadway surface, will be done to the older Southbound Bridge. The contractor will work mainly Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with occasional nighttime lane closures [10 p.m. to 6 a.m.+/-] to bring material to the site.

Mid May To Bring Thruway Toll Hike - 2005

   A Thruway toll increase will go into effect for the first time since 1988. By mid-May most commuters will see increases of around 25% however Island residents can expect to see the current toll-barrier discount staying at 9 cents.
   Click "Thruway Tolls 4/27/05" for Buffalo News story.
   Click "Thruway Tolls 4/28/05" for Buffalo News story.

APP Employees Clean Up During Morning Break - 2005

Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photo for larger view
   April 19, 2005 . . .On a nice day, American Pharmaceutical Partners employees Druscilla Lis and Corinne Law can be found walking to West River and back during their morning break, picking up trash on their way. These ladies are not even from Grand Island but care enough to spend their free time picking up garbage by the roadside. They are part of a growing group called "geocachers." Geocaching is a game based on the use of either an electronic positioning device (GPS), or the use of coordinates and compass to find stashes of miscellaneous objects left by other geocachers in many outdoor locations. The geocachers actively promote the Cache In/Trash Out program – leave it better than you found it. In April of 2003, geocachers celebrated the First International Cache In Trash Out Day. This is now an annual event.
   Geocaching began in May 2000, when GPS satellite signals were opened up to the public. Geocaching gives participants opportunities to see their environment in a new way. The website shows 82 caches within a ten mile radius of Grand Island. If you would like some adventure, fresh air and a way to help the environment, check out for information.

Power Lines, Pole Down On Baseline - 2005

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a call at approximately 3:15 p.m. Friday, April 15, 2005 of power lines and a power pole down across the road in the vicinity of 3363 Baseline Road. Traffic will no doubt be tied up in that area for the rest of the afternoon. The Erie County Sheriff's Department requested the Grand Island Fire Company Fire Police unit to take care of traffic control.
   The Grand Island Fire Company was back in service at 3:58 p.m.

Sheriff's Dept. Makes Narcotics - 2005

   An Arizona man was arrested on narcotics charges after a traffic stop at 8:45 p.m. Thursday, April 14, 2005 on Grand Island Blvd. in the town of Grand Island. Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Warren Luick stopped a vehicle for speeding, and requested the assistance of Deputy Terrence Guenot and his K-9 partner "Rikor." The dog produced a positive hit on the vehicle, and Sean A. Dempsey, 39, was found to be in possession of a quarter of an ounce of powder Cocaine. Dempsey was charges with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment.

Artists' Haven News - 2005

   Artists' Haven meets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Nike Base Community Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road. All artists are invited and urged to join and bring their own supplies and ideas. Plenty of space is available and there is no charge. Working artists or beginners are welcome. "We share ideas and inspire each other."
   A one day workshop in" basic drawing" for beginning artists or those interested in practicing their drawing skills is being planned. To register or for more information contact: Bettye Tabron at 774-8050.

Resident Arrested For Felony Traffic Charges- 2005

   April 6, 2005 . . .Erie County Sheriff's Deputy John Davis, responding to a complaint of an erratic driver on Crescent Road, Grand Island at 7:40 p.m. April 5, 2005, stopped a vehicle for an equipment violation. After field sobriety tests were conducted, Tim R. Wigdorski, 42, of Grand Island was arrested for felony driving while intoxicated and other traffic offenses. Wigdorski refused a breath test and is incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment. The driving while intoxicated charge is a felony due to Wigdorski having a prior D.W.I. conviction (1997).

Ice Cover Delayed Removal of Boom - 2005

   Lake Erie's eastern basin was still covered with 560 square miles of ice as of Tuesday, March 29, 2005 and was measured at 80 square miles Monday, April 4. The Army Corps of Engineers began its two-to-three-day removal operation of the ice boom on Tuesday, April 5, 2005. The ice pack must be 250 square miles or less for the boom removal. Earliest removal was on March 5, 1998 and latest, May 3, 1971.

Woman Repeatedly Run Over By Car - 2005

   A woman was tranported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital about 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, 2005 by her 26-year-old boyfriend, who ran away when questioned by hospital personnel about the woman's injuries. The victim, Susan M. Moore of Alan Court, who was conscious when brought in, explained to hospital officials that her boyfriend ran over her several times with his vehicle. Sheriff's deputies set up a manhunt on the Island on Thursday, March 31, 2005 to find Felix A. Medina, of Carolina Street, Buffalo, wanted for the alledged incident. Medina turned himself in to authorities on Thursday, March 31st. The woman was being treated for serious injuries in the Erie County Medical Center.
   Click "Medina" for Buffalo News story.

Albany Passes Final Budget
Hoyt Calls Act "One In A Row" but Good Start - March 2005

   March 31, 2005 . . .Assemblymember Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo, Grand Island) announced the passage today of the State’s first on-time budget in more than 20 years.
   "Today we passed an on-time budget that is fiscally sound and invests in New York’s future, and we have set an important benchmark to accomplish many more significant reform initiatives as we continue this year’s legislative session," Hoyt said. "Although this budget represents significant progress, there is still much work to be done. Even though today’s budget can be said to be “one in a row” I believe that it will be the catalyst for many more reforms to come.”
   Among the highlights of the budget are a cap on Medicaid expenses and an increase in school aid. The budget provides significant relief to local taxpayers through a takeover of local Medicaid growth, and moves forward by several months the state takeover date for Family Health Plus expenses. These changes will save Erie County nearly $25 million dollars in 2006, and $57 million dollars in 2007.
   “The Medicaid cap is a great starting point for comprehensive Medicaid reform and one aspect of what must be a multi-faceted approach. It will lend much needed stability and predictability to the County budget as we go forward and I remain committed to finding viable long-term solutions to reducing Medicaid’s impact on local government and taxpayers,” Hoyt said.
   Also included in the budget are significant increases over the Governor’s budget proposal for school aid. Under the final budget, Grand Island schools would receive nearly $500,000 more than the Governor’s proposal, and Buffalo Public Schools would receive almost $21 million more.
   “While the passage of the on-time budget represents real and substantial progress, there is still much reform that needs to take place. I remain as committed as ever to continuing to push for budgetary reforms and other ways of ensuring that New York State’s government is open and responsive to the people it represents. I will continue to fight for measures to achieve cost containment for our Medicaid program in order to provide taxpayer relief while ensuring that the people who rely on its services continue to get their essential health care needs met, Hoyt concluded.”

$.5 million Above Governor’s Proposal For Grand Island Public Schools - March 2005

   March 31, 2005 . . .Assembly member Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo, Grand Island) announced today that the state budget will contain a $.5 million increase in school aid above Governor Pataki’s initial proposal for the Grand Island public schools. The increase represents $1.5 million more than the school district received in state aid last year.
   Hoyt said, “This is great news for Grand Island’s school children. Hopefully this increase in school aid will help avert property tax increases and allow the Grand Island schools to continue reforming and enhancing its programs. This increase represents real progress towards providing our schools with the tools and the funding they need to provide our children with the best quality education possible.”
   Hoyt has led the charge both for increased funding for public schools as well as increased fiscal accountability. He has additionally introduced legislation designed to reform the state’s school aid funding formula.
   Hoyt concluded, “The Legislature worked hard to pass an on-time budget, which will enable the Grand Island school district to accurately project resources and establish corresponding budgets for the upcoming year. This prevents our educators from having to be fortune tellers and lets them focus on what’s really important: educating our children.”
   Sam Hoyt represents the 144th Assembly District.

Student Arrested In High School Parking Lot - 2005

   According to Grand Island High School Principal Dr. James Dempsey, the high school was found to be drug free after seven dogs and six police agencies conducted an investigation and drug sweep on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. The Tuesday morning incident brought about the arrest of one student after drugs were found in a student's car.

Turn Your Clocks Ahead - April 2005

   Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday morning, April 3rd at 2 a.m. Be sure to turn your clocks ahead on Saturday evening and don't forget to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors!

Ambassador Niagara Signature Bridge Group Locates On Grand Island - 2005

   In its effort to make known a proposal of a private international bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, the Ambassador Niagara Signature Bridge Group has opened an office in the Isle Chem Business Center on Long Road, Grand Island, New York. The four-member office on the Island is in partnership with American Consulting Engineers of Florida, according to a news story in the Saturday, March 26, 2005 edition of the Buffalo News. American Consulting Engineers is serving as consultant for the engineering and environmental assessment stages of the project, the News reported. Managing the Grand Island office is JoAnne Loughry Raab who is the senior urban planner for the bridge proposal.
   At the same time a bridge design contest is being planned by Peace Bridge officials who "contend the Ambassador Bridge proposal violates their rights in the Niagara River corridor," according to the News article.

Fire Company Responds To Early Morning Mattress Fire - 2005

By Teddy Linenfelser

   Grand Island Fire Company volunteer firefighters responded just before 6 a.m. Monday, March 28, 2005, to a report of a small fire on the second floor of a home in the 1700 block of West River Road. Fire Chief Greg Butcher reported the fire in a mattress at that address was out at 5:57 a.m. Fire Company personnel ventilated the house and were back in service at 6:25 a.m. Click "Fire Company Page" for the more complete Grand Island Fire Company report on this fire.

Tuesday Night Power Outage Leaves Island Homes In The Dark - 2005

By Teddy Linenfelser

   Several hundred homes in the south west areas of Grand Island lost power at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, March 22, 2005. The power outage was caused by a transformer which was reported to the Grand Island Fire Company as burning on Staley Road near Baseline. The Fire Company had responded to an 8:40 p.m. call for EMS on Havenwood Lane, followed by the transformer fire at 9 p.m. Volunteer firefighters received a third call at 9:05 p.m. for an alarm of fire at the Wilson Farms store on Love Road where there was smoke in the building due to a burning roof unit. Approximately ten people were in the store when power was lost. Electricity was restored at approximately 10:15 p.m.

Swanick Calls For Elimination Of Toll Barriers - 2005

   Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick (R-Kenmore/Grand Island) has called on the New York State Legislature and the Governor to compel the New York State Thruway Authority to eliminate the tolls and the toll barriers on Interstate 90 and the Interstate 190.
   Swanick, in a bi-partisan resolution to be submitted to the Governor and the State Legislature, calls the tolls an unnecessary burden on commuters and residents like those on Grand Island who are forced to pay to get on the Island.
   “The tolls across the Thruway system were intended to be eliminated once the bonds for the construction were paid off,” Swanick said. “That happened in 1996 yet the tolls are still in place.”
   The Erie County Legislature is on the record as opposed to continued tolls at Ogden, Breckenridge, North and South Grand Island Bridges, Williamsville, Depew, Lackawanna, Blasdell, and Hamburg; as well as the imposition of additional, higher tolls on roads and highways in New York State, and in particular Western New York.
   “The continued and additional tolls on other roads or highways in Erie County will only succeed in hurting the people and businesses in this area, further hampering any future economic development,” said Swanick.
   The resolution also calls for a commuter/resident discount plan, similar to the one for Grand Island residents, for residents who use the Thruway and travel through the Black Rock, Breckenridge/Buffalo City Line, Williamsville, Depew, Lackawanna, Blasdell, and Hamburg toll barriers, in the likelihood that the Thruway Authority does not eliminate the tolls.

Skyhawk Navy Jet At Super Gas - 2005

Dan McMahon Photos - Click photos for larger view
   The Navy jet that made its appearance at John Simon's SuperGas/Sunoco on Grand Island Boulevard last week is a A-4E Skyhawk, in service during the Viet Nam war. Islander Billy J. Gorrell drove to Florida with John Simon to transport the plane from the Naval Air Station in Key West. The final destination after stopping on the Island is the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post 1419, 2985 Lakeview Road, Hamburg NY. The jet will be on display at the Post in the near future.

Staley Road House Fire - 2005

(picture #1) Exterior attach to the back of the structure
(picture #2) West side of structure - Firefighters are advancing hose line for interior attach
(picture #3) Front of structure
By Teddy Linenfelser
Dan McMahon Photos - Click photos for larger view
   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to an alarm of a working structure fire at 2761 Staley Road at 11:11 a.m. Friday, March 11, 2005. The fire was reported by a passing motorist via cell phone. The two story frame structure, home of the Gregory J. Dinsmore family, was unoccupied at the time of the call. Fire Chief Greg Butcher, who took charge of the incident, requested an engine from the Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire Company which responded to the scene at 11:24 a.m. Also requested were Kenmore Fire Company's Ladder #6, on the scene at 11:46 a.m. and Tonawanda Engine #3, on the Island at 11:49 a.m.
   Firefighters were removed from the structure at 12:12 p.m. due to partial collapse. Demolition equipment was brought in just after 2 p.m. Total demolition took place about 4 p.m.
   During the Staley Road fire, a Grand Island Fire Company EMS squad and Tonawanda Engine #3 responded to two first aid calls.

Island Mobile License Bureau Continues To Be Open On Wednesdays - 2005
   The Erie County Department of Motor Vehicles Mobile Unit continues to be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays in the town hall.

“Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll” Workshop - March 2005

Submitted by Joanne Kud, School District Communication Consultant
   Parent Network of WNY; Erie 1 BOCES Regional SETRC; and WNY Transition Coordination Site offer a free workshop for parents titled “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll” from 7-9 p.m. Monday, March 14, 2005 at the Sheraton Four Points, 2040 Walden Ave. Near Galleria Mall. Call 332-4170 to register. Speaker will be Michael Nerney, a consultant in Substance Abuse Prevention and Education with more than 24 years of experience in the field. Click
"Workshop" for more information.

Felix Medina Arrested Again - March 2005

   Wednesday, March 9, 2005 . . .Erie County Sheriff's Deputies Jordan Grabar and Timothy Carney observed a car with one license plate on Interstate 190, which was driven by Felix A. Medina, 26, of Carolina Street, Buffalo. A traffic stop was conducted on River Road in Tonawanda, and deputies identified two male juvenile passengers, ages 15 and 16, as protected persons, which Medina was mandated to stay away from, by an Order of Protection issued by the Town of Grand Island Court. The order was issued for a domestic related matter. Medina was arrested and was found to be in possession of 20 tables of ecstasy, and a quantity of marijuana. The juveniles were released to their guardian, and Child Protective Services was notified of the incident.
   Medina was charged with two counts of criminal contempt, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of marijuana. He is incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment in Grand Island Court.
   Medina has been involved with the law on Grand Island before. Click
"Medina" for other reports.

Hoyt Calls On Hevesi To Audit
Erie County Government’s Finances And Practices
Calls Audit First Step To Possible Control Board - March 2005

   March 2, 2005 . . .Assemblymember Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo, Grand Island) released today a letter he sent to State Comptroller Alan Hevesi calling on him to undertake a comprehensive audit of Erie County Government’s finances and practices. Hoyt indicated that such an audit may be a precursor to introduction of legislation to create a control board for Erie County.
   Hoyt said, “As a result of the County’s inability to manage its own resources nearly 2,500 families are going to be devastated as a result of layoffs, and countless more will be impacted through service cuts, and departmental closings.”
   County Executive Giambra has repeatedly blamed Medicaid costs as the source of the County’s budget troubles. While the County share of Medicaid is clearly not the sole source of the County’s budget gap, Hoyt agrees that there is a serious and pressing need for Medicaid reform. Hoyt has long been an advocate of comprehensive Medicaid reform and has sponsored several bills that would introduce significant Medicaid reform including A.320 which puts an immediate cap on all new Medicaid expenses imposed on counties. A gradual state takeover of Medicaid expenses is another approach that must be given thorough and immediate evaluation and Hoyt is currently evaluating one such proposal.
   The audit of the City’s finances conducted by Hevesi’s office was the first step toward the legislation that created the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority. In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the structural and other contributing factors to the City’s budget crisis, it provided a blueprint for resolving the City’s problems.
   Hoyt continued, “Whether or not a control board is implemented for Erie County, a comprehensive audit will provide all of us with an independent look at the County’s finances and practices, and possible strategies for avoiding a repeat crisis situation next year. The residents of Erie County deserve no less.”

Island Resident Arrested By Deputy Sheriff - Feb. 2005

   The Erie County Sheriff's office reported the arrest of a Grand Island man for felony traffic charges after a routine traffic stop on Grand Island. Deputy John Davis stopped a vehicle operated by Michael J. Ralston, 42, of Town Hall terrace, for an equipment violation. Ralston failed field sobriety tests, and was arrested for felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, and other traffic offenses. He refused to submit to a breath test and is incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center. The aggravated unlicensed operation charge is a felony due to Ralston's license being revoked three times for prior alcohol related driving incidents.

Former Resident Fatally Shot In Fort Wayne, Indiana.- Feb. 2005

   Michelle L. Nesbitt, 27, formerly of Grand Island and Niagara Falls died on Thursday, February 17, 2005 after being shot in the head during a triple shooting at a Fort Wayne, Indiana apartment building. According to a news report, the shooting took place just after 6 a.m. during an argument in an acquaintance’s apartment. Ms. Nesbitt, who died at the scene, was born in Ohio, moved to Niagara Falls during her youth, then moved to Grand Island, attending Grand Island High School. She later received a GED. She moved to Fort Wayne about seven months ago and was working as a crew member at a McDonald’s there at the time of her death. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 26, 2005 in Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island.

Isle Teen Accused Of Involvement In January 2004 Shooting Of Eric H. Lloyd - Feb. 2005

   Peter Longo Jr., 19 of Ward Park Road, Grand Island pleaded not guilty Wednesday, February 23, 2005 in Niagara County court to various charges in the death of Island resident Eric H. Lloyd who was shot in Niagara Falls on January 27, 2004. Click
"Longo Charged" for this story.
   The following related stories were posted in 2004:
Falls Shooting Leaves Isle Teen In Critical Condition - Jan. 2004
Buffalo Man Charged In Shooting Of Isle Teen - Feb. 2004
Eric Lloyd Succumbs To Gun Shot Wounds - Mar. 2004
Man Charged In Lloyd Shooting Gives Not Guilty Plea - Apr. 2004
Man Charged With Eric Lloyd's Murder Challenges Grand Jury On Proof Issue - June 2004

Grand Island Youth Lacrosse League Information - 2005

   The Grand Island Youth Lacrosse League for grades 3 through 8 will begin on May 15, 2005. Flyers with registration forms were distributed to the students at Kaegebein and Huth Road schools on Friday, February 18. Copies for Connor Middle School students are available at the school. For more information or for a registration form, please contact Grand Island Community Education, 773-8864.

Kaegebein, Huth, Middle and High School Band Concert - 2005

   A band concert in the high school auditorium will feature the bands of Kaegebein and Huth elementary schools and the Connor Middle School sixth grade band and Grand Island High School wind ensemble at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, February 17, 2005.

Cannata Lacks State Certification To Serve As Principal
Is Suspended Without Pay - 2005

   Grand Island School District Attorney Tracie L. Lopardi, Esq. (Hodgson Russ LLP), who has been investigating information that could properly impact Sidway School Principal Frank Cannata's employment status, issued a statement through the school district, that she learned that Mr. Cannata does not possess New York State certification to serve in the position of school principal. Pursuant to New York State Education Law, his suspension has been changed to a suspension without pay.
   For Buffalo News certification story, click
"Certification 2/16/05" and "Certification 2/18/05". For a related News story, click "Town Justices Recuse".
   For previous stories on the initial arrest, click the following: Town News 2005

Blood Drive February 22 - 2005

   An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, February 22, 2005 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. To donate, you must be in good health, at least 17 years of age and weigh 110 pounds or more. Positive ID Required. For an appointment, call the Red Cross at 1-888-317-8365 (toll free).

Hoyt Grant Funds Vet's Park Improvements - 2005

   Town Supervisor Peter A. McMahon and New York State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt announced that Assembly Member Sam Hoyt (D-144th District) has been successful in his efforts to obtained a $50,000 New York State Grant for additional capital improvements in Veterans Park on Grand Island. Mr. Hoyt has been working on this Grant since late last fall.
   This grant will be used to construct lavatory facilities, which will serve the northern and western sections of the Park. These areas now contain soccer and softball fields. The existing lavatories are located at the south end of the Park near the Library.
   Assembly member Hoyt was instrumental in another Capital Grant which was used to cover a portion of the costs for improvements in 2004, and included about ninety parking spaces, construction of two new softball fields and increasing the amount of parkland which is maintained by about ten acres.
   The 2005 Capital Improvement Grant allows Grand Island to continue the Town’s history of improvements in Veterans Park.

Buffalo Man Arrested In Chimney Of Island Home - 2005

   Erie County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a Buffalo man at 4 a.m. February 8, 2005 after he was found hiding inside the chimney at this girlfriend's home.
   Earlier in the evening, Deputies Jordan Grabar and Daniel Walczak had arrested Felix A. Medina, 26, of Carolina Street after he threatened his girlfriend in the presence of her child while in the Grand Island home. Medina was charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, and was held at the Erie County Holding Center. Bail was set at $500.
   Several hours later, after Medina had posted bail, his girlfriend had heard his voice in the home and reported the incident to the sheriff's station on Grand Island. The deputies responded to the home and located Medina inside the chimney. He had entered the chimney from the fireplace and had climbed completely inside to avoid apprehension. Deputies also determined that Medina had made threats to two children at the home on this occasion.
   Medina was charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and is incarcerated without bail at the Erie County Holding Center. Child Protective services were notified of both incidents.
   Medina was also arrested on Grand Island on August 9, 2003. Click for
Medina Story 2003

News Reports Cannata's Previous Arrests
St. Stephen's Pastor Makes Statement - 2005

   According to the Monday, Feb. 7, 2005 edition of the Buffalo News, the arrest of Charlotte Sidway School Principal Frank J. Cannata on charges of drug conspiracy on December 15, 2004 is not his first brush with the law. According to the News, court records show that he was arrested three other times since 1999.
   Following his arrest, he was placed on temporary leave from the position of music director at St. Stephen's Church. Mr. Cannata was reinstated and allowed to return the weekend of January 23rd. After recently consulting with Bishop Edward Kimiec, Rev. Paul Nogaro, pastor of St. Stephen's Church, made the decision for Mr. Cannata to remain on temporary leave. Rev. Nogaro read a statement of information from Bishop Edward Kimiec at all Sunday, February 6 masses. Click
"Rev. Paul Nogaro" for statement.
   Click for "2/7/05 News Story".
   A follow-up story appeared in the Tuesday, February 8th edition of the Buffalo News regarding petitions for and against the reinstatement of Mr. Cannata as elementary school principal in the future, and quotes parents who spoke at the Monday, February 7, 2005 school board meeting. Click for 2/8/05 "News Story".
   Click for Publisher's Response.

Thompson Considers Run For
County Legislator Or Town Board - 2005

   Grand Island resident Rus Thompson is giving serious thought to running for public office in November.
   A new political group, Primary Challenge, has been formed with its goal being “to help people get on the ballot,” and Thompson was among its organizers. Fed up with party politics, Leonard A. Roberto of Batavia started the group and serves as its head. A meeting of the new organization held Thursday, February 3, 2005 drew 40 politically minded WNY residents including Thompson. According to the February 5, 2005 edition of the Buffalo News, Thompson said he is considering a run against County Legislator Charles M. Swanick, R-Kenmore, or for Grand Island Town Board. With reference to Primary Challenge’s intent on unseating incumbents in the next election, the News quoted Thompson as follows: “We should target every legislator who voted for the sales tax increase. We're taxed to the hilt already."
   The next meeting of Primary Challenge is scheduled for 7 p.m. February 5, 2005 in Veterans Park Baptist Church, 96 Meridian, Depew. For more information, click

Sheriff's Deputy Makes
Narcotics Arrest On Beaver Island Pkwy. - Feb. 3, 2005

   John R. West, 24, of Erie St., Lockport was arrested for felony narcotic charges after a traffic stop on the South State Parkway, Grand Island. Sheriff's Deputy Warren Hawthorn stopped the vehicle at 2:09 a.m. Thursday, February 3, 2005 for traffic infractions. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of West, a passenger, when over one ounce of cocaine was found in a take-out order of mashed potatoes.
   West, charged with Criminal Possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a B Felony, is being held in the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment in the Town of Grand Island Court.
   Gregory B. Greer, 27, of St. John Parkway, Niagara Falls, the driver of the vehicle, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant out of Niagara Falls for Unlawful Imprisonment in the first degree, Assault in the third degree and Menacing in the second degree. He was turned over to Niagara Falls police.

Groundhog Sees His Shadow - 2005

Click photo for larger view
   According to the February 2, 2005 edition of the "Buffalo News," Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday (Feb. 2, 2005) on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
   The more local groundhog, Dunkirk Dave, who has been forecasting winter weather for at least 40 years, also saw his shadow. Dunkirk Dave's handler, Bob Will, reports that Dave's predictions are right 90% of the time.
   An internet source offered the following information on Groundhog Day:
   On 2 February every year, the top-hatted elder statesmen of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club head to Gobbler's Knob to watch Punxsutawney Phil, a local woodchuck, emerge from his burrow to predict the weather. According to the old tradition, if the groundhog sees his own shadow then there will be six more weeks of winter. If the sky is cloudy and the day is shadowless, on the other hand, then spring is on the way.
   For history on the "holiday", click "Groundhog Day."

Have You Seen A Bigger Snowman On The Island This Year? - 2005

Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photo for larger view
   Feb. 1, 2005 . . .This huge snowman is sitting in the front lawn of the Gaiser home on Colonial Drive. Be sure to let us know here at if you have one that's even bigger than this. Click "Snowman" for a very tall "man" that was built on Love Road nearly a month ago.

GED Offered at Community Education - 2005
   February 1, 2005. . .
Did you know that most jobs require a high school diploma? This is a basic condition of employment.
   The 10-week GED (High School Equivalency) course, offered as part of the Grand Island Community Education Winter Program, is open to any person 17 or older who has been out of school for at least a year and has not graduated.
   Class begins January 31 and will continue for 10 weeks. Classes are being held Monday and Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. in the Grand Island High School library. Teachers are Elinor Wiant and Nancy Hayes. It is never too late to sign up. Contact Jenepher Banker, Director of Community Education at 773-8864 days.

Island Police Arrest Interstate 190 Driver - Jan. 2005

   A Buffalo man was arrested on multiple charges after a pursuit by police officers which began at approximately 12:55 a.m. Sunday, January 30, 2005 on the New York State Thruway on Grand Island. The chase ended after the vehicle crashed into a snow bank at Calumet Street and Aaron Griffin Blvd. in the City of Niagara Falls.
   Grand Island Police Officer Christopher M. Soluri and Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel E. Walczak attempted to stop a car driven by Antonio M. Carr, 28, of Hastings Street for speeding northbound on Interstate 190. The pursuit reached speeds of 75 miles per hour and continued through the Town of Niagara in Niagara County.
   Carr, who refused to exit the vehicle, was eventually taken into custody by Deputy Walczak and Officer Soluri. Carr was arrested on a Violation of Parole warrant, and was also charged with resisting arrest, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and numerous other traffic offenses. Carr also faces multiple traffic offenses in the Town of Niagara and the City of Niagara Falls.
   The City of Niagara Falls, Town of Niagara, New York State and parks Police assisted, along with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.
   Carr, who was arraigned by Grand Island Justice Randall White with bail was set at $10,000, was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center.

Attention Island Residents Of The RHS Class of '60

   A 45th reunion of the Riverside High School Class of 1960 is being planned for September 23-24, 2005. Members of the class should be receiving all of the information via U.S. mail and are asked to contact Barbara Mitchell, 112 Mt. Vernon Rd., Amherst, NY 14226 or to or to if you do not receive the reunion mailing. Reservations for the event are due by February 28, 2005. Any information on fellow classmates or changes in your information would be greatly appreciated.
   At least 40 Grand Island high school students were members of the Class of 1960 and transported by school bus to Riverside High School. Members of the Grand Island High School Class of 1966 were the first to graduate from GIHS.

Lost Dog Returned!

   Lola, the little papillon, lost on Thursday, January 27, 2005 was returned to her happy owner, Michelle on Saturday. (See photo below)

Lost Dog

   Her name is Lola. She is a small papillon (6 1/2 lbs.), white with tan spots. Lola was last seen on Thursday, January 27, 2005 on Baseline Road near East River, by the Water Treatment Center. Please call Michele @ 773-1778 or 603-8787, reward offered.

Fuccillo Makes HUGE Deal With Relay For Life - 2005


Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view
   Fuccillo Chevrolet gave the Western New York Relay For Life Team a jump start on Thursday, January 20, 2005 by donating a beautiful, purple (the Relay color), Roadster SSR worth over $45,000. Participants from nine local relay teams gathered at the Fuccillo dealership that day to film a television commercial with Billy Fuccillo and his side-kick, Tom Parks. Many students from Grand Island High School who will participate in the June 10th, 2005, Relay For Life are in the commercial and pictured above. For information regarding purchasing tickets for the car raffle, call 1-800-ACS-2345. The Relay For Life Kick-Off meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 8, 2005 at the Grand Island High School Cafeteria, 1100 Ransom Road.

American Pharmaceutical Partners News - 2005

   American Pharmaceutical Partners, 3159 Staley Road, will receive 2,000 kilowatts of low-cost Niagara hydropower, according to the January 26, 2004 edition of the Buffalo News. "New York Power Authority on Tuesday earmarked 2,200 kilowatts of low-cost Niagara hydropower for two employers in Western New York, to support the creation of an expected 60 jobs," the News said. American Pharmaceutical Partners is undertaking a $34 million expansion of its operations on Grand Island, according to the News. The company, maker of injectable pharmaceuticals, is expanding biologic processing operations and syringe-filling capabilities, with an expected 50 new jobs, the News reported. For previous APP article, click
APP News 2004

Island Resident, 20, Killed In Weather Related Traffic Accident - 2005
   John Stark, 20, of Grand Island was killed when the car he was riding in was involved in a head-on accident Monday, January 17, 2005 on Route 219 in the Town of Ashford. According to the news source, two cars collided head-on, after one car spun out of control on the icy pavement. Stark was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver is now in critical condition at ECMC. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Island Relay For Life Kick-off Meeting - 2005
   Grand Island's Relay For Life Kick-Off Meeting is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, February 8, 2005 in the Grand Island High School Cafeteria, 1100 Ransom Road. Captains' registration packets will be handed out at the Kick Off meeting. Committee members are asked to meet at 5:30 p.m. for set-up.
   Last year's American Cancer Society Grand Island Relay raised over $47,000 for research and services. Students and residents are urged to "gather a team together and come see what the Relay is all about." A flashback of last year's Relay of Life event will be shown as a way of putting everyone in the spirit that prevailed in 2004. Teams will gather at the Grand Island High School track on Friday, June 10th through June 11th when this thoroughly enjoyable event takes place to benefit the American Cancer Society.
   For further information, call 689-6982, ext. 116.
   The following is a calendar of meeting dates for Relay For Life 2005, including team captains and committees:
• February 8 - 6:45 p.m. - Grand Island High School cafeteria - Relay For Life KICK-OFF - Kickoff the 2005 event! everyone invited - team captains to receive registration materials - (Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m.)
• March 15 - 7 p.m. - Grand Island High School cafeteria - Team Captain Meeting I - First TC Meeting - Special: half price team registration for all team captains who turn in forms this evening! (Committee will meet at 6 p.m.)
• April 19 - 7 p.m. - Grand Island High School cafeteria - Team Captain Meeting II - Event information: survivorship, fundraising, logistics, entertainment (Committee will meet at 6 p.m.)
• May 24 - 7 p.m. - Grand Island High School cafeteria - Team Captain Meeting III - Last TC meeting: T-Shirt distribution and bank night (Committee will meet at 6 p.m.)
• June 10-11 - 6 p.m. - Grand Island High School Track - Relay For Life - Let the party begin.

Thursday, January 19, 2005 - A Mere 8 Inches - 2005


Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view
   Jan. 19, 2005 . . .Wednesday, January 19, 2005 brought eight inches of snow to Grand Island - a far different scene than last Thursday when temperatures reached 65 degrees. The forecast calls for very cold temperatures throughout the week. Photo on the left was taken in the parking lot behind deSignet Jewelry Shoppe and the office. The photo on the right is taken out in front of the building, looking across Whitehaven Road.

Conservation Tree & Shrub Seedlings Available - 2005
   Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick (R-Tonawanda/Grand Island) has announced that orders are being accepted for the Erie County Soil & Water Conservation District's annual Conservation Tree and Shrub Seedling Program sale. Orders are due March 25, 2005 and pickup will be Saturday, April 23, 2005 at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg.
   The 2005 selection has 33 varieties of trees and shrubs chosen for conservation uses and practices. The one- to three-year-old bare-root seedlings range from 6 to 24 inches tall and are available in lots of 10 to 500. Seedling combination packs and wildflower seed mixes designed to attract wildlife are also available through the Program. This year the District is also offering an expanded selection of four-year-old evergreen transplants which are more mature trees with thicker stems, more branching and more developed roots.
   Order forms may be picked up at the Legislative District Office at 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or at 1858 Whitehaven Road on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Order forms may also be printed from the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District website at

Thursday, January 13, 2005 - Sunny And Warm - 2005


Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view
   Jan. 13, 2005 . . .A jogger on the Beaver Island Parkway bike path is heading towards Beaver Island Park today (Thursday, January 13, 2005) when temperatures reached 65 degrees under sunny skies all day. (left) Walkers in Beaver Island Park are seen heading west along the Niagara River towards the Clubhouse today. At this writing, the wind is picking up and tonight's temperature is expected to go down to 30 degrees with snow in the forecast.

36-Mile Niagara River Greenway Proposed - 2005
   According to the Buffalo News a Niagara River greenway with ecological parks, nature trails, and marine-based businesses could be a reality. Planners met in the Holiday Inn Grand Island on Sunday, January 9, 2005. Click Niagara River Greenway for story.

DWI Accident Results In Assault, Leaving The Scene Charges - 2005
   Jennifer D. Barton, 30, of Carl Road was arrested Wednesday, January 5, 2005 after being involved in a two-car accident on Baseline Road near Alvin.
   Barton was driving south on Baseline when her vehicle rear-ended another vehicle driven by a 24-year-old U. S. Customs officer. The Erie County Sheriff's Office reported that after she drove away, Deputies discovered that one of her license plates was left at the scene.
   Deputy Daniel Walczak apprehended Barton, who was then identified by the other driver, and charged her with driving while intoxicated, following too closely, and leaving the scene of a personal injury automobile accident. At the Sheriff's Grand Island station, Barton refused a breath test, slipped out of one of her handcuffs and attempted to fight as she kicked Deputy John Davis, who was not injured.
   The U. S. Customs officer was treated at the scene for a neck injury by Grand Island Fire Company paramedics and transported to a hospital.

Canadian Student Pleads Guilty To Alien Smuggling - 2005
   A Canadian resident pled guilty on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 to running a rubber raft across the Niagara River to the Island in June 2004, in an effort to transport a group of illegal aliens to the United States. Click for Complete Story. Click for June 2004 Story.

DWI Arrest Follows Whitehaven Crash - 2005
   Gary A. Karaskiewicz, 30, of Akron, N.Y. drove his vehicle into a light pole on Whitehaven Road when he failed to negotiate a curve for a ramp near the Interstate 190 overpass and knocked over the light pole. The incident occurred at 11:40 p.m. Friday, December 31, 2004. The Erie County Sheriff's Office reported that he was arrested by Deputies Jordan Grabar and John Davis who responded to the scene and determined that Karaskiewicz was under the influence of two controlled substances. After they arrested him, he was taken to Erie County Medical Center for minor injuries.
   Karaskiewicz submitted to a blood test and a urine test, and then attempted to slip out of the handcuffs. Charged with two counts of driving while his ability was impaired by the use of drugs, possession of a controlled substance, attempted escape, resisting arrest, and numerous other traffic charges, he was incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment.

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