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Head-on Accident Takes Two Lives - January 2010

Click photo for larger view
   Stephanie M. Ali, 22, of Grand Island, NY, and her daughter, Grace Ingalsbee, 5 months were fatally injured in a two-car, head-on accident in front of 2695 Grand Island Blvd. at 6:23 p.m. Tuesday, January 5, 2009. The Grand Island Fire Company medics under the direction of Incident Command, 1st Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Osinski, extricated and treated the mother and her baby. Mercy Flight was not available. Grand Island Blvd. remained closed to traffic between Baseline and Bedell roads and the GIFC remained on the scene assisting the accident investigation until 10:24 p.m. The City of Tonawanda responded to the GIFC Headquarters as backup for Grand Island. Further details to follow as they become available.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper - Watershed Management Plan - December 2009

   Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is working on the development of a Niagara River Watershed Management Plan to determine what needs to be done to protect and restore water resources in your community and the Niagara River watershed. PLEASE COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS SURVEY BY DECEMBER 31, 2009.
See "survey/complete information."

   Niagara River Watershed Workshops
Saturday, January, 9, 2010 10:15 am to 12:45 pm
Grand Island Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island, NY 14072
Saturday, January, 16, 2010 9:30 am to 12 noon
Marilla Community Center, 1740 Two Rod Road, Marilla, NY 14102
See "Workshop Invitation."

Local Thief Spends Holidays In Jail - December 2009

    See "12/23/09 WIVB report. "

Resident Arrested on Assault Charges - December 2009

    See "12/23/09 Buffalo News Story".

2009-1010 Winter Waterfowl Drawings for NYS Parks Set - December 2009

   Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Motor and Strawberry Islands:
   The remaining Waterfowl Hunting Season (12/26/09–1/10/10), which includes duck and goose, will be done by lottery at the Grand Island Community Center located at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road. Doors will open at 5 a.m. and draw begins at 5:30 a.m. sharp each day of the hunt.
   There will be one exception: The draw for Friday, 1/1/10 will be done on Thursday, 12/31/09.
   A boat is required to be on site, “at the ready”, for use in retrieving or rescue, as necessary.
   To participate in the lottery drawings or call-ins, hunters must present a valid NYS Small Game Hunting license with a signed duck stamp, proof of registration in the Harvest Information Program (HIP), and proof of completion of a Waterfowl ID course. You may contact the Beaver Island State Park Office at (716)773-3271 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for more information.

$189,932 for Re-Tree WNY - Dec. 2009

G.I.H.S. Madrigal Singers perform in the Buffalo News Lobby for the Buffalo News Green leaf & Re-Tree WNY check presentation. Supervisor Peter McMahon is also shown.
Buffalo News Photos - Click photos for larger view.

   See 12/17/09 Buffalo News Story by Deidre Williams.

Ice Boom Installed - December 2009

   The Lake Erie/Niagara River's 1.7-mile Ice Boom was installed Wednesday, December 16. The Boom is designed to prevent heavy ice from flowing into the upper river and clogging power company intakes or damaging waterfront properties. The project is under the direction of the International Joint Commission and its Niagara Board of Control. The New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation share the cost of the operation and maintaining of the boom.

H1N1 Vaccine At GIHS - 2009

Left: Kaegebein students wait their turn for H1N1 shot.
Right: Health care workers shown screening the consent forms.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photo for larger view.

   December 17, 2009 . . . The Erie County Health Department sponsored an H1N1 or Swine Flu vaccine distribution at the Grand Island High School on Thursday, December 17. School age children were bussed in during the day to get the vaccine and all others were invited to come between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The vaccine was paid for by the U.S. Government. In the morning, Kaegebein school sent over 60 children and Huth Road School, approximately 80 students. Sidway students were scheduled for the afternoon.

Grand Island Fall Tree Planting - 2009

Click photo for larger view.

   December 17, 2009 . . . Nearly 50 volunteers gathered at Veterans Park on Grand Island last month to plant 20 trees as part of the fall ReTree WNY planting effort. It was Grand Island's 5th planting with ReTree which began in fall 2007. In addition to planting, trees trunk protectors were installed on many trees in the park to guard against damage from the deer.
   Volunteers are shown staking a tree after planting. Staking keeps the tree straight until it gets established and the stakes also keep deer from rubbing their antlers against the tree trunks which has caused some trees to die.
   Special thanks to the Cinderella Isle Garden Club and Boy Scout Troop 630 that each had numerous members on hand to help with the project.
   The next tree planting will take place in May and volunteers are needed. Watch for details.

Snowmobile Permits Available at Beaver Island Park - December 2009

   Beaver Island State Park personnel is currently issuing permits that will allow snowmobilers to use the more than 12 miles of designated and signed snowmobile trails on State park property located on Grand Island. The trails are open between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
   There is no fee for a Snowmobile Use Permit, but applicants must present a valid registration and proof of current insurance. A decal will be issued with the permit along with a copy of the rules and regulations and map showing the location of the designated trails and parking areas.
   Major Iacovitti of the NYS Park Police reminds all snowmobilers that there must be at least 3 inches of snow before the trails will be open.
   Permits will be available at the Beaver Island State Park Office on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
   For further information, contact the Beaver Island State Park office at 773-3271.

Swine Flu Shots Available on Island - December 2009

   The Erie County Health Department will sponsor an H1N1 or Swine Flu vaccine distribution at the Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road, on Thursday, December 17. The program will run from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. flu shots will be administered to school children. Information has already been sent home by the schools. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the program is open to anyone. The vaccine is being paid for by the U.S. Government. .
   Parents of students in elementary school ( grades K - 5 ) who are going to get the vaccine are welcome to receive their shot with their child. Information about the schedule for each elementary school will be sent home by the School District.
   Anyone is eligible for vaccination from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. A basic health questionnaire, required from each person receiving a shot, is available in Supervisor Peter McMahon’s office or download it from the Town website ( ). It will be available on the website Dec. 15. A completed questionnaire will save you time during the clinic.
   For additional information about school inoculations, contact the appropriate school office. For other information, contact Pete McMahon 773-9600 x616. Printable Consent Form

$75,000 Embezzlement From Island Business Brings Jail Term - December 2009

    See "12/12/09 Buffalo News Story" by Matt Gryta.

Three Arrested In Bar Fight on Grand Island - December 2009

   Erie County Sheriff's Deputies, with assistance from officers of the Town of Tonawanda Police Dept. and the U.S. Border Patrol, arrested three men after a fight broke out in the Holiday Inn, Grand Island, NY, where a children's hockey tournament was taking place over the December 4, 2009 weekend. See "12/5/09 Buffalo News Story" by Jay Tokasz.

Toll Collector Zelonis Pleads Guilty - December 2009

   See "12/3/09 Buffalo News Story" by T. J. Pignataro. See "12/2/09 Buffalo News Story" by T. J. Pignataro.
   See also November 5, 2009 story

American Red Cross Blood Drive - December 2009

   An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at the Grand Island Fire Hall, 2275 Baseline Road. All presenting donors will receive free food and a chance to win prizes drawn throughout the day including 2 tickets to the Bills/Colts game on January 3rd. Call 1-800-GIVE life for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.

Island UNICEF Campaign Raises $2,227.06 - November 2009

   If $112 can provide blankets to 37 kids in emergency situations, and if $44 can provide school supplies for 20 kids, think about what our recent effort right here on Grand Island on Halloween night will become!
   The totals are here at last! And it is good news! Having counted all the coins, bills and checks from the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF effort this year, Lee Tetkowski announces the final count at $2,227.06. This is considerably more than last year¹s, when our economy took that intense downward turn. Who of you gave that last six cents? Did you know it takes six cents to provide water for 1 kid? Maybe you were not home on Halloween night. Maybe you were home, but no kid showed up with an orange UNICEF box. Maybe you would still like to add to our total. Please send a check made out to U.S. Fund for UNICEF to Tetkowski at 1530 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island, NY. Lee Tetkowski is deeply thankful for the many in our community who have helped this very worthy cause.

Resident Receives Jail Term - November 2009

   See "11/19/09 Buffalo News Story".

Fire Co. Responds To Overturned Kayak, Report of Man In River - November 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of an overturned kayak in the area of River Lea In Beaver Island State Park and Motor Island at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, 2009. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Soluri was in charge of the call. The Coast Guard was able to talk by phone to the kayaker, David Hill, 53, of Tonawanda, who at one point was believed to be on Motor Island. Hill swam to River Lea and was welcomed into the Park manager's house. The GIFC rescue boat responded along with numerous land units in addition City of Tonawanda fire boat.
   The victim was unharmed and declined medical attention. The kayak was retrieved and brought to shore. The GIFC returned in service at approximately 6:30 p.m.
   See "11/19/09 Buffalo News Story"

Viatran On Industrial Dr. To Move To Wheatfield - November 2009

   See "11/14/09 Buffalo News Story" by Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

$72,000 Grant Includes Saving Island Dispatch Issues - November 2009

   See "11/10/09 Buffalo News Story".

Hit-Run Driver Receives Jail Time - November 2009

   See "11/7/09 Buffalo News Story" by Matt Gryta.

MVA at Fix & Baseline - November 2009

Ray Pauley Photos - Click photos for larger view

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a two-car motor vehicle accident with injuries at Fix and Baseline roads at 12:40 p.m. Saturday, November 7, 2009. First responders reported one vehicle in the ditch and one on the roadway. Mercy Flight was requested and firefighters proceeded to prepare a landing zone at Fix Road and Beaver Island Parkway. The GIFC assessed one driver who was transported to a local hospital by Twin City Ambulance for follow-up medical attention. The second driver, Francis Salvamoser, 72, required extrication, was treated by the GIFC and transported by Mercy Flight to the Erie County Medical Center at 1:15 p.m. He was listed in stable condition. The crash involved four children and two adults with four sign-off. The GIFC returned in service at 1:16 p.m.

Thruway Authority Fires Toll Collector - November 2009

   See "11/5/09 Buffalo News Story" by Robert J. McCarthy.
   See also August 13, 2009 story

School Bus, Car, Involved Accident - November 2009

Dan McMahon Photos - Click photos for larger view

   A Grand Island school district school bus was involved in a collision with an automobile on the corner of Whitehaven and Baseline roads shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, November 4, 2009. The school bus was traveling north on Baseline, and the car was east bound on Whitehaven Road. The car, driven by Fay Avarello, 81, of Grand Island, reportedly passed a red light, according to Assistant Fire Chief Chris Soluri, and collided with the bus. The force of the impact drove the bus off the roadway and into a tree in the Klingel Town Commons area. Grand Island Fire Company paramedics treated Ms. Avarello for respiratory distress and she was transported by ambulance to the Erie County Medical Center. School bus driver, Nancy Heftka, 54, was treated at the scene for non life threatening injuries and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
   Approximately 29 children, aged 4-6 years old, from Sidway and St. Stephen elementary schools were aboard the bus, with 28 students evaluated and cleared medically by a doctor with one four-year-old taken to Women & Childrens Hospital by his parents for follow-up care.
   The Grand Island Fire Company, under the direction of Chief Soluri, immediately called for a Smart Team and a separate school bus to move the students into. The GIFC also requested the status of Mercy Flight. Smart team members evaluated patients to determine transport order and authorized their release to parents who responded to the scene and took custody of their children. (Smart team is a group of ECMC doctors who respond to Mass casualty incidents to assist the local EMS in evaluating and treating patients.)
   A City of Tonawanda Fire engine crew remained on mutual aid standby at GIFC Headquarters during the incident. The GIFC returned in service at 4:41 p.m.
   Grand Island Fire Company Public Information Officer Ray Pauley contributed to this story.

Halloween - 2009 - Costume Photos

The following Halloween photos have been submitted this week.

Evan Linenfelser                                Kevin Sander & Joey Martin

Elijah, Katrina, Noelle, Annabelle Linenfelser            Sydney and Carson Hamilton

Vinny Pascucci & Mom                                Eden Mae Johnson

Morgan and Emma Santorio               Michael and Brooke Christensen

Lily Ungaro & Jennifer Johnston              Tommy Mitchell

Kaia Lynn Petrie

Isledegrande Freelancer Leads YWCA Northeast Region - October 2009

   Joelle Logue, former editor of the Island Dispatch, Grand Island Record and current freelancer for, was elected president of the YWCA Northeast Regional Council (NERC) during its annual meeting held recently. She is a 10-year volunteer with the YWCA Tonawandas, serving as president for five of those years and currently a vice president. The Northeast Region consists of 32 YWCAs in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Active in NERC since its inception, she was vice president and liaison to the Young Women’s Task Force in 2008-2009. She has also chaired the Nominations Committee and has been a longtime member of the Advocacy Committee.
   On the national level she is co-chair of the World Relations Council, attended 2003 World Council in Brisbane, Australia as an observer and was a delegate and a presenter (Domestic Violence from the American perspective) at the 2007 World Council in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to the 2007 World Council, she visited YWCAs in Zimbabwe. In 2006 she traveled with a multi-national YWCA delegation to China where she visited YWCAs in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou and Shanghai, and she recently returned from a World YWCA sponsored witness trip to Israel and the Palestine territories.
   Joelle also serves as secretary of the World Service Council, a philanthropic arm of the YWCA devoted to funding projects of the World YWCA (the International Building Fund, leadership training for young women and capacity building for new national members of the World YWCA).

Waterfowl Lottery, Beaver Island Park - November 2009

   Waterfowl Lottery drawings for Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry and Motor islands are held at 6:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Beaver Island blinds at the Grand Island Community Center located within the Nike Base Park at 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY. For more information, call 773-3271.

Motor Vehicle Accident On Thruway - October 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a one-car motor vehicle accident on the Thruway, north bound, near the Buckhorn Island exit at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2009. Fire Chief Greg Butcher reported one vehicle off the road. The driver of the car claimed no injury, however, a passenger was evaluated and treated by the GIFC and transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital by ambulance. Grand Island Fire Company returned in service at 7:35 p.m.

Candidates For November Election - Oct. 2009

   Tuesday, November 3rd is Election Day and polls around the Island will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The following is a list of the Grand Island candidates running in the November 3, 2009 general election.
Sample Ballot.

Halloween - 2009 - Submit Your Children's Halloween Photos

   Island Children's Halloween photos (children in costume) may be submitted this week for consideration in the November 5, 2009 edition of Send your child's photo and full name to
    For last year's photos, see Halloween 2008

Town Council Candidates - November 2009

   See "10/27/09 Buffalo News Story."

Turn Your Clocks Back - November 2009

   Standard Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, November 1st. Be sure to turn your clocks back on Saturday evening and don't forget to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors!
   See Daylight Savings Information

Official Hours For Tricks-or-Treating - October 2009

   The hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31st have been designated by the Grand Island Town Board as the period for children to do their tricks-or-Treating on Grand Island.

UNICEF Deserves Your Support - Oct. 2009

(left) Bee is Laura McKenna, Batman is Sean Tuohy, vampire is Maddie Nowak, pirate is Alex Melisz. The students' teacher is Mrs. Maria Seibert, grade 3 Kaegebein School
(right) Supervisor Peter McMahon and UNICEF Chair Lee Tetkowski
Click photos for larger view.

   For decades generations of Grand Island youngsters have collected coins for UNICEF when they go Trick or Treating on Halloween! This year thanks to the following UNICEF School Chairs: Lani Black at Sidway, Maria Seibert at Kaegebein, Jennifer Kropidlowski at Huth and Jillian Schneider and Mary Howard at the Connor Middle School, today¹s boys and girls have learned that in many parts of the world kids are drinking unsafe water, that many kids have never seen a doctor, that some kids don¹t have access to school, and that our students can make a difference! Grand Island UNICEF Chair Lee Tetkowski urges all Islanders to be generous when the goblins arrive with those little orange boxes. UNICEF builds wells so kids can have clean water, helps build schools, trains teachers and provides school supplies to kids around the world, and UNICEF provides immunizations in developing countries.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon has signed a Proclamation of Grand Island UNICEF DAY, October 31.
   See Proclamation.

Border Patrol Officer Attacked - October 2009

   See "10/24/09 Buffalo News Story."

Lawsuit To Raise Tolls Is Revived In Federal Court - October 2009

   See "10/22/09 Buffalo News Story" by Gene Warner.

Love Rd. Sunoco Gas Station Robbed - October 2009

   See "10/22/09 Buffalo News Story".

Candidates Night - October 2009

   The League of Women Voters will sponsor a Candidates Night for the Grand Island residents. The format is question and answer. It will be held at the Family Life Center, 1780 Love Road from 7-9 p.m. on October 22.
    The participants are candidates running for local council seats, Mary Cooke, Ray Billica and Jim Sharpe, and County Leigislative candidates Kevin Hardwick and Michelle Ianello. All are welcome Refreshments will be served.

Universal Access Blind at Spicer Creek Dedicated - Oct. 2009

Paul Leucher Photos - Click for larger view.
(left) Supervisor Peter McMahon: (center)Abby Snyder (Regional Director for the Region 9 Office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation), and Dr. Richard Thomas (Oakawanda Wildlife Foundation)

   A dedication of a Universal Access Blind in the Spicer Creek Wildlife Management Area on East River Road, Grand Island was dedicated by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Thursday, October 15, 2009. Waterfowl hunting and waterbird observation have enjoyed a long and rich history on the Niagara River. The new Universal Access Blind recently constructed at this location will help to provide current and future generations with improved access to this area's valuable natural resources.
    Partial funding for this project was donated by the Oakawanda Wildlife Foundation in memory of John Daniels, an avid local waterfowl hunter and conservationist. Through their work with the Corps of Engineers, Gary McDannell and Paul Leuchner were instrumental in getting the last bit of funding needed to acquire the wetlands parcel where the handicapped hunting and bird observation blind has been built.
   See "10/18/09 Buffalo News Story" by Will Elliott.

DEC Finds Tonawanda Coke Emitting Benzene Linked To Cancer - October 2009

    Tonawanda Coke Corporation, formerly Semet-Solvay, located across the east Niagara River from the area of Broadway on Grand Island is the subject of a feature story by Mark Sommer, published in the October 11, 2009 edition of the Buffalo News.
   See "10/11/09 Buffalo News Story."
   See also "10/18/09 Buffalo News Story."

Duck Blind Drawings In State Parks - October 2009
Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry and Motor Islands

   Niagara Frontier State Park Region announces the lottery drawings for the first half of Waterfowl Hunting Season at Beaver Island State Park. The first 3 draws will be held in the Beaver Island Clubhouse located within Beaver Island State Park as follows:
Fri.      10/23   - Sat.- Mon. - 10/24 - 10/26

Mon.   10/26 - Tues. - Fri.  10/27 - 10/30

Fri.  10/30  - Sat.- Mon. 10/31 - 11/2
   The remainder of the draws will be at the Grand Island Community Center, located within the Nike Base Park at 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY. Draws will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning Monday – November 2nd. The doors will open at 6:00pm and the draws start at 6:30pm SHARP!
   This season we will also be including a handicap blind provided by NYS DEC located on East River Road at Spicer Creek (north of the cemetery).
   To participate in the lottery drawings, hunters must be present and show a valid NYS Small Game Hunting license with a signed duck stamp, proof of completion of a Waterfowl ID course and proof of registration in the Harvest Information Program (HIP).
   You may contact the Park Office at (716)773-3271 on weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm for more information.

Holiday Inn Weekend Has Residents Concerned - October 2009

   Holiday Inn Resort & Conference Center, 100 Whitehaven Road, will host a couples event. The weekend begins on October 15 and runs through October 18 at which time the hotel will be closed to the public. According to a report at on October 13, 2009, the "convention" is nearly booked. The story also reported that the general manager said nothing illegal will take place.
   Readers, feel free to voice your concerns on this issue by submitting a Letter to the Editor at (
   See "10/15/09 Buffalo News Story" by Stephen T. Watson for update.

Terry Swain - Spam Alert - October 2009

   Numerous friends of Terry Swain have received an email, (the writer using Terry's email address) and explaining that he was in Surrey, England and that he had lost his wallet and was requesting financial assistance from his friends. He did not send this email which is possibly a virus. Delete the email.

Head-on MVA Sends Two To Hospital - October 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a head-on, motor vehicle accident on Huth Road at Wallace Drive at 1:29 p.m. Sunday, October 11, 2009. The GIFC evaluated three patients, with one sign-off and two transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital by ambulance. The GIFC returned in service at 1:58 p.m.

High Winds, High Water - Oct. 2009

(left) East River between Staley and Harvey roads
Melrose canal
Jodi Robinson photo - Click for larger view.

   Wednesday's high winds coming from Lake Erie pushed more water than usual down the Niagara River, Gusting was estimated at approximately 50 mph and water along the Island's east shoreline rose considerably. Flooding in the area of River Lea in Beaver Island State Park was especially impressive. Approximately 215 Grand Island customers were without electrical service from approximately 11:30 a.m. with National Grid's estimated restoration being about 2 p.m. Wednesday (October 7). Temperatures were in the low 50s and rain was intermitent throughout the day.

Dollars For Scholars Run/Walk Results - Fall 2009

(left) Dollars For Scholars Race Committee, Start of Race, Men's overall winner Michael Hann (left)
Click photos for larger view.

   Representatives of Grand Island Dollars for Scholars hosted the 2nd annual 5k run on Saturday, Oct 3rd in Veteran’s Park. The organization raises funds and provides financial and academic support to local students. Grand Island has made a commitment to the future of the local young people by establishing this program. The Dollars for Scholars® mission is volunteer supported and its program is volunteer operated. All dollars raised in the community are awarded to local students.
   Once again, the event was rewarded with a perfect fall morning and welcomed many new participants. Special guest former Sabre Rene Robert was on hand to welcome the runners and congratulate the winners.
   President Jim Sharpe thanked all the attendees for their support of the scholarship program. Thanks also went to the race committee, headed by Mike Hilliker with support from Dick Bessel, Laura Anderson, Bev Kinney, Joanne Kud, Irene Felicetti, Judy Schmidt, Mary Cooke, Dick Crawford and Jennifer Peresie. Appreciation went to the Town of Grand Island Recreation Depaartment for the use of the Veteran’s Park facilities, the Police Department for traffic safety, the Grand Island Fire Company for medical presence and to all the volunteers on the course and at the post-race activities.
   The organization offers its gratitude to the sponsors and their commitment to the youth of Grand Island:
Nickel City Road Runners, Rockwood Brothers Collision, Inc, Keller Insurance Group, Niagara Frontier Publications, River Oaks Golf Club, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Town Recreation Department, DeSignet International, Bubbalou’s BBQ, Double D Construction, Grand Lady Cruises, C. Galante Concrete Construction Company, HSBC Bank of Grand Island, Dr. Willard Ruth, Grand Island Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center, Boss Insurance Agency, Grand Island Sales and Service, Kaiser Funeral Home, A-Plus Quality Heating & Air, M&T Bank, Excel Marine, and Dickinson Therapeutic Massage.
   Awards were presented to the following finishers:
Overall Men   Michael Hann
Overall Women   Teresa Milbrand

Men 0-9         Jacob Neumeister          

Men 10-12     Gregory Avila-Shah        
Men 13-14     Sam Clarke                
Men 20-24     Nicholas Rossi            
Men 25-29     John Leszczak             
Men 30-34     Michael Fitzgerald
Men 35-39     Daniel Linenfelser        
Men 40-44     Joseph Norris             
Men 45-49     Samuel Serra              
Men 50-54     Jon Christiano            

Men 55-59     Michael Breier            
Men 60-64     Larry Gray                
Men 65-69     James Dunlop              
Women 10-12    Kelsey Harrigan           
Women 20-24   Stephanie Szczykutowicz   
Women 25-29   Erika DeMarche            
Women 35-39   Nicole Rolfe              
Women 40-44   Alice Milleville          
Women 45-49   Kathy Sue Pohrte  
Women 50-54   Barbara Zamerski          
Women 55-59   Louise Cadwalader  

Vehicle Crashes Into Grand Island Plaza - October 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to 2411 Grand Island Blvd., the Grand Island Plaza, for a report of a vehicle crashing through the back of what was known as the Ames Department Store. The GIFC treated one patient who signed a refusal. The call was turned over to the Erie County Sheriff's Department and the GIFC returned in service at 8:47 p.m.
   According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department, an 18-year-old Grand Island man was charged with driving while his ability was impaired by drugs.

One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free Meeting - October 2009

    One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free will meet Tuesday, October 13 at 4 p.m. in the Grand Island High School small cafeteria, 1100 Ransom Road.

CROP Walk Golden Sneaker Award Presented - October 2009

   Grand Island's 22nd annual CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk took place on Sunday, September 27, 2009. The Golden Sneaker award for the person walking and raising the most money and not on the CROP Walk planning team was recently presented to Doris Yetter, a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. Doris raised $293 from a wide variety of sponsors. She is shown with Paul Robinson, coordinator of Grand Island's CROP Walk, who presented her with the award.

Crop Walk For Hunger - Sept. 2009

Slide Show

   About 90 walkers took part in Grand Island's 22nd annual CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk on Sunday, September 27, 2009. The initial estimate collected for the CROP walk is between $3500 and $4000. The walkers started at the Kaegebein Elementary School, walked to the Beaver Island Clubhouse, and turned around to return to the school.
   New this year were two large containers of coffee and a huge bucket of Tim Bits from Tim Hortons; three day-passes from Fantasy Island for next year; three $10 gift cards and dozens of bottles of water from TOPS; two $15 coupons from the new Thai restaurant, and a bushel of apples from the veggie stand across from Tops. All of those items were recruited by John Loss of St. Timothy Lutheran Church and Father Earle King of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church. The donations were used as awards for the people who walked: The three day-passes to Fantasy Island went to the oldest (82) and the youngest (4), and the person who had a birthday closest to the average of those two (43). Three randomly drawn walkers were given the TOPS gift cards. The one who raised the most money (not yet identified) will be awarded the Golden Sneaker, plus two $15 coupons to the Thai House.
   Two Port-O-Potties were donated and conveniently located along the route. Rev. Paul Robinson coordinated the Crop Week.

Tree Down Across Road At Fix & Alt Blvd. - September 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded at 3:39 p.m. Monday, September 28, 2009 for a report of wires and a tree down across the road at Fix Road and Alt Blvd. Notified to respond to 2551 Fix Road were New York Telephone, National Grid, Verizon, and the Erie County Sheriff's Department. Fire Chief Greg Butcher reported significant damage to telephone and cable infrastructure.
   4:30 p.m. Mon., Sept. 28 . . .Power to be shut off in area at some point.

Island Resident Arrested in Connection with First Niagara Bank Robbery - September 2009

   NEW YORK STATE POLICE release . . .Sept. 22, 2009
The New York State Police arrested Christopher J. Thompson II, 27, of Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY for Robbery in the first degree, a class B felony. Thompson’s arrest is in connection with the September 1, 2009 bank robbery of the First Niagara Bank at 2435 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY. The State Police received several calls from citizens who helped identify the subject captured on the bank’s security cameras. Thompson is scheduled to be arraigned before the Town of Grand Island Court later this evening.
   See also "9/3/09 First Niagara Bank Robbed

Fundraiser for Kevin Hardwick - Fall 2009

    Friends of Kevin Hardwick will hold a Fund-Raiser to support Kevin’s campaign for Erie County Legislator in the 10th District, which includes Grand Island. The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at Fat Bob’s Smokehouse, 41 Virginia Place (Between Allen and Virginia Sts.) Buffalo. The cost is $25/person or $40/couple and will include an open bar and hors d'oeuvres. For reservations and more information call 352-0432.

Stealing Leads To Jail Term - Sept. 2009

   See "9/19/09 Buffalo News Story"by Matt Gryta.

Resident Admits Niagara County Burglary - Sept. 2009

   See "9/18/09 Buffalo News Story."

Community Leaders/Stakeholders Breakfast Location Correction - 2009

   Please note the Community Leaders/Stakeholders Breakfast hosted by NYS Senator Antoine M. Thompson will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road on Saturday, September 19, 2009 from from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Invitations incorrectly stated the breakfast would be held at the VFW.

5K Run, & 1-Mi. Fun Walk To Benefit Grand Island Dollars For Scholars - 2009

   A 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk to benefit Grand Island Dollars For Scholars will be held Saturday, October 3, 2009 at Veterans Park, Grand Island, NY. The 5K Run begins at 10 a.m. and the 1-Mile Fun Walk starts at 10:15 a.m.
   Pre registration fee is $15. Day of Race registration is $25. Entry forms are available at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce office, 2257 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY. Call (716)773-3651 for information.
   See "Dollars For Scholars Run/Fun Walk.

Walgreen’s Pharmacy Comes To Island - Fall 2009

Jodi Robinson photo - Click for larger view.

   Walgreen’s Pharmacy, a leading pharmacy chain, is in the finishing stages and should open around the Thanksgiving holiday in November. The new store, featuring a long list of amenities and services, is located at the corner of Baseline Road and Grand Island Blvd. The Town Board voted just one year ago to approve the site plan. The town board approved Special permits for drive through windows at the new Pharmacy on Monday, August 27, 2009.

National Guard Domestic Operations Conference Held On Island - September 2009

(Left) The Adjutant General of New York, Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto and Deputy Secretary Denise O'Donnell speak with Maj. Tom Benton of the NY National Guard's 2nd Civil Support Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction. MAJ Benton served at the World Trade Center on 9-11, 2001 as a member of the Civil Support Team.
(right) The New York Naval Militia provides an additional dimension to patriotic military service, military training opportunities and community service.
Dan McMahon Photos

   A National Guard Domestic Operations Conference for Grand Island Military and civilian officials is being held from Tuesday, September 15 through Friday, September 18 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. The Conference is expected to bring military and civilian professionals together to talk about emergency response and military support at home.
   The Joint Forces Headquarters, New York National Guard, with participation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the New York State Department of Homeland Security, State Police and State Emergency Management Office, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, United States Northern Command, Erie and Niagara County Emergency Services offices and county and municipal emergency response and public safety offices from across the state are participating.
   Deputy Secretary Denise O'Donnell of the New York State Office of Public Safety delivered a key note address at on Tuesday morning, September 15th and Lt. Gen. H. Stephen Blum, Deputy Commander of U.S. Northern Command gave a key note address on Thursday morning.
   The New York National Guard has been annually conducting Domestic Operations conferences as an out reach effort and a means to share information with and among civilian emergency response agencies from across the state. Last year's conference was held in New York City. Guest speakers and presenters from federal and state agencies will be featured. Nearly 200 civilian and military professionals are expected.
   The conference brings together the agencies that the state's military forces will partner with when conducting Domestic Operations and provide a clear understanding of the missions, roles and assets of each agency in the Domestic Operations environment. The conference includes presentations, equipment displays, and panel discussions centered on aspects of Domestic Operations such as natural disasters, Homeland Security, upcoming Defense Support of Civil Authority (DSCA) exercises, and the capabilities of the state's Army and Air National Guard, Naval Militia and New York Guard which comprise the military forces of New York.

Car/Bicycle Accident - September 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a car versus bicycle accident at Baseline and East River roads at 5:33 p.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2009. The GIFC evaluated three patients, with one transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Twin City Ambulance. The GIFC returned in service at 5:58 p.m.

Bookkeeper Embezzles $75,407.19 From Local Newspaper - Sept. 2009

   See "9/13/09 Buffalo News Story."

Sneak Peek At Whitehaven Campground - Fall 2009

Left: Developer Elaine Pariso, Right: Entrance to campground.
Left: Lakeside cabins, Right: RV campsites.
Left: Lake view looking north, Right: Stream bed on island.
Story/photos by Jodi Robinson - Click for larger view.

   Branches of Niagara, a Whitehaven Road campground (Niagara Falls Campground, LLC) is already very cool, even at this early stage of development. I recently was given a tour by Elaine Pariso and came away very impressed. The vision began in 2004 and after five long years, permits were in place in January 2009. The partners, Elaine Pariso, Don Benoit, Tom McLaughlin and Larry Stolzenburg, are islanders who expect to see the opening of their campground in May 2010. The 7 1/2 acre lake is just weeks away from being completed and will feature a beach at the southern end next spring. A large island that will one day have a lodge and chapel, has a recently completed man-made stream. A hiking trail will be located on the undeveloped western side of the lake. Eight log cabins with sleeping lofts are in different phases of being completed and Elaine is currently looking into lodge type furniture to decorate them. Eighty sites consisting of cabins, campsites and recreational vehicle sites will be ready for business next spring. Other activities to be offered include a swimming pool, and canoeing and fishing the stocked lake. This is a work in progress and looks to be a wonderful addition to our island.

Community Leaders, Stakeholders Breakfast - September 2009

   NYS Senator, 60th District Antoine M. Thompson will host a Community Leaders & Stakeholders Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, September 19, 2009 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Guest speakers include representatives from the Erie County Clerk’s Office, NYS Department of Transportation and the NYS Division of Veteran’s Affairs. Insulation kits will also be provided by National Fuel.

Viatran Corp. To Receive Niagara Power Project Electricity - Sept. 2009

   See "9/2/09 Buffalo News Story."
   See also "9/10/09 Buffalo News Story."

Sheriff's Deputies Make Arrest In GI Plaza - September 2009

   September 6, 2009 - Grand Island, NY - 11:15 AM - . . . Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard reports that a Niagara Falls woman is in the Erie County Holding Center following an incident on Grand Island Boulevard in which Deputy Robert Rine, who was on routine patrol, observed an altercation in the parking lot of the Grand Island Plaza. When he approached, he realized that several people were watching a fight between two women, one of whom was armed with a knife.
   Patricia Burch, 29 of 19th Street, Niagara Falls, was arrested by Deputy Rine and Deputy Brian Roussie. She was charged with attempted assault; possession of a weapon, harassment, disorderly conduct and two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.
   No one was injured in the altercation. The endangering a minor charge was added because Burch's two young children were present and witnessed the incident. Burch was taken to the Holding Center pending arraignment in the Town of Grand Island Court.

Fundraiser For Council Candidate Jim Sharpe - September 2009

   The Citizens to Elect Jim Sharpe will hold a Fund-Raiser to support Jim for Grand Island Town Councilman. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept 17, 2009 at River Oaks Clubhouse. The cost is $30/person or $50/couple and will include food, refreshments and a basket raffle.

Photos Of First Niagara Bank Robbery Suspect - Sept. 2009

Click photo for more photos.
   Press release September 2, 2009......The New York State Police in Niagara is currently investigating a bank robbery that occurred at 11:26 am September 1, 2009 at the First Niagara Bank on Grand Island Blvd. in Grand Island, NY. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6 feet tall, medium build, wearing a ball cap, large white frame sun glasses, a loing sleeve gray shirt and jeans. No weapon was displayed and the suspect got away with an undetermined amount of money.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Senior Investigator Craig Wing at (716) 434-5588.

MVA on Thruway at Whitehaven - September 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident with injuries, on the 190 south at the Whitehaven exit at 4:56 p.m. Wednesday, September 2, 2009. It was reported by a first responder that the vehicle was traveling the wrong way on the south bound exit ramp at Whitehaven Road when it rolled over. The GIFC treated one patient who was transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Twin City Ambulance. A second ambulance was requested when it became apparent that another vehicle was involved in the accident. The occupant was treated and transported to Millard Suburban Hospital by Twin City Ambulance. The GIFC returned in service at 5:30 p.m.

Islanders Attend Riverside High 50th Reunion - Fall 2009

Mary Stewart photos

    Members of the Riverside High School Class of 1959 held their 50th reunion Sunday, August 30th, at the Buffalo Launch Cliub. The committee did an excellent job in planning the reunion, which was enjoyed by all. Former Islanders Class President John Fontana, Judy Kuehling Semler and Charles Pinkow were among the out of town attendees. Also at the reunion was history teacher, Michael Anelli, who got a warm welcome from his former students. See "more RHS Class of '59 Photos

First Niagara Bank Robbed - Sept. 2009

   See "9/2/09 Buffalo News Story" by Janice L. Habuda.

Dan McMahon Photos - Click for larger view

   12:20 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 . . .First Niagara Bank at 2435 Grand Island Blvd. was robbed shortly before noon today (Sept. 1). The Sheriff's Department and the New York State Police are investigating and the FBI has been notified. Being searched is the area around the Grand Island Blvd. plaza and apartment buildings. The Sheriff's Dept. helicopter is in the air and several canine dogs are taking part in the search.

SABAH Fundraiser At Moose Lodge - Sept. 2009

   The 2nd Annual Vendor Fundraiser to benefit SABAH (Skating Athletes Bold at Heart) will be held at the Grand Island Moose Lodge, 2524 Grand Island Blvd. from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, September 13. Demostrators from Longaberger, Celebrating Home, Tastefully Simple and many more will be there. All proceeds to benefit the SABAH Auction. Dawn Gruszka of Grand Island skates in SABAH every year.

Fly Your Flag - Sept. 2009

   On Friday, September 11, 2009, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
   In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
   Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.
   Thank you for your participation.
   God Bless You and God Bless America
over terrorism of all kinds.
   Submitted by a Grand Island resident

Resident Arrested - August 2009

   See "9/1/09 Buffalo News Story."

Robbery At Noco - August 2009

   See "9/1/09 Buffalo News Story."

Early Morning Power Outage At Center Of Island - August 2009

   A power outage occurred at the center of the Island about 4:30 a.m. Friday, August 28 when a circuit breaker tripped behind 2136 Baseline Road, Island View Apartments. The breaker is located on a pole near the parking lot of Trinity UM Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road. The trip resulted in a partial loss of power to 2136 Baseline. The circuit breaker is set to automatically reset three times before remaining open. The three resets resulted in momentary power outages in the neighborhood.
   Later in the morning, while National Grid crews were attempting to restore service, the problem re-occurred. This time, the power was out for a short period (15 - 20 minutes) in a much wider area. Once National Grid crews isolated the problem, power was restored.
   Fire Headquarters operated on its emergency generator. Grand Island Highway Department crews connected generators to the traffic signals at the intersections of Whitehaven and Baseline and Baseline and Grand Island Blvd. The generators would have operated the lights if the electricity had remained off.

Paws In The Park At Beaver Island - Walker Will Be There - August 2009

      Paws in the Park Walk, a fundraiser sponsored by the Erie County SPCA will be held in Beaver Island State Park Saturday, Sept. 12. Walker, a 6-month old cocker spaniel who was dragged and then rescued on Niagara Avenue, Niagara Falls, will be there. Costs for his medical care came to $3,776. See "8/26/09 Niagara Gazette Story" by Bill Wolcott.

Thursday's Storm Causes Vets Park Damage - August 2009

Sponsor signs were damaged at the Vets Park Little League field.
Town of Grand Island Photos - Click for larger view

Pictured is a tree limb that snapped off a tree on Baseline Road across from St. Stephen's Church.
Mary Stewart photo - click for larger view.

   The recent thunderstorm that crossed Grand Island Thursday evening, August 20, brought plenty of rain and a spectacular lightening show. The storm caused between $4,000 and $5,000 to the fences at the Little League Fields on Bedell Road, according to Supervisor Peter McMahon. Otherwise, no severe damage was reported. However, wind gusts peaked at 60 mph according to the readings at the St. Stepen's School weather station. Members of the VFW post on Grand Island Blvd. had to clean up after the wind tossed about anything outside that was not tied down.

Resident Warns Of Break-Ins - August 2009

   An reader has asked that the residents of Grand Island be made aware of the recent burglaries that are occurring here. The resident's apartment in the Country Glen apartment complex on Bedell Road was broken into on Saturday, August 15 between 4:15 p.m and 7:30 p.m. Someone also broke into the apartment across the hall. These apartments were locked. In another case, it is assumed the culprit just pried the door open. Several computers, cameras, and other electronics were stolen. The week prior to that, another tenant called the police when it looked as though someone had tried to pry his door open. These events are occurring during the day, and it appears the thieves know when a person is away from home.

Body Recovered In Upper Niagara - August 2009

      FOR UPDATE See "8/20/09 Niagara Gazette Story".
See "8/14/09 Buffalo News Story."

Sex Offender Spotted At Fantasy Island - August 2009

   See "8/15/09 Buffalo News Story."

Jay The Tailgate Guy Stops On The Island - August 2009

Story/Photo by Dan McMahon - Click for larger view

   If you happened to go by Tops Markets this morning (Thursday, Aug. 13) you may have seen a strange looking school bus (kind of) with a larger than life roof. The “School Bus” is actually the new transportation for “The Tailgate Guy” who has been traveling around the country for the past few years, visiting every NFL stadium and many other sports venues, game shows and civic events.
   Friday and Saturday (Aug. 14-15) it is Buffalo’s turn for The Tailgate Guy. Jay DiEugenio is The Tailgate Guy, and he along with his crew and a cast of hundreds from Western New York will be putting on his show from the parking lot of Ralph Wilson Stadium prior to the Buffalo Bills vs. Chicago Bears pre-season game Saturday evening. Details of the show may be found on The Tailgate Guy’s web site at They have limited space and passes are necessary. Contact Maggie Macpherson at if you would like to participate in this show.

Zelonis Trial Postponed Again - August 2009

   See "8/12/09 Buffalo News Story" by Janice Habuda.

Fire Co., Border Patrol, Coast Guard, Town of Tonawanda Search For Jumper - August 2009

(left) Border Patrol - (right) Coast Guard
Jim O'Dea Photos

   FOR UPDATE see See "8/20/09 Niagara Gazette Story".
    The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a possible male attempting to jump off the south Grand Island Bridge at 7 a.m. Monday, August 10, 2009. The GIFC's marine unit was immediately launched. The Fire Company received assistance from the Border Patrol whose helicopter was put in the air, and the Coast Guard whose boat and personnel helped search for the male described as wearing brown clothing and having shoulder length brown hair. The GIFC moved its operation to Harvey Road and East River for stand-by and was joined in the east river by a City of Tonawanda boat that also took part in the search. The three boats and helicopter checked entire area with no results.

Blood Drive At St. Stephen's - August 2009

   The American Red Cross Blood Services will host a blood drive Sunday, August 9 from 8 a. m. to 12:30 p. m. at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline, Grand Island. Eligible donors will receive a coupon for a free carton of ice cream, redeemable at participating Friendly’s restaurants. Call (800) 448-3543 to schedule an appointment; walk-ins are welcome.

Fight Sends One To Hospital - August 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to 101 Whitehaven Road, River Oaks Marina for a person with a head injury, as requested by the Erie County Sheriff's Department at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2009. The Sheriff's Dept. was on location. The GIFC evaluated three combatants with two released and one transported to a local hospital by ambulance. Grand Island Fire Company was back in service at 7:45 p.m.

2-Car Accident At Love/Parkway - August 2009

Dan McMahon Photos - Click photos for larger view

      The Grand Island Fire Company responded to Love Road and Beaver Island Parkway at 3:02 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2009 for a two-car motor vehicle accident. Fire Chief Greg Butcher responded immediately and established Love Road command. The GIFC evaluated three patients with one transported by ambulance to Women and Children's Hospital, one transported to the Erie County Medical Center and one sign-off. The GIFC was back in service at 3:47 p.m.

Island Candidates File Petitions for November Election - July 2009

    The following is a list of petitions submitted by the Grand Island candidates running in the November 2009 general election, the party and date filed. The information is provided by the Erie County Board of Elections -
Michelle M. Iannello   D   07-16-09
Kevin R. Hardwick     R   07-16-09
Michelle M. Iannello   I    07-13-09
Kevin R. Hardwick     I    07-13-09
Michelle L. Strauch    I     07-16-09  
Kevin R. Hardwick     C   07-13-09
Michelle M. Iannello   W  07-14-09
Norman H. Moorhouse D 07/16/2009 
James R. Sharpe D 07/16/2009 
Mary S. Cooke R 07/15/2009 
Raymond A. Billica R 07/15/2009 
James R. Sharpe I 07/13/2009 
Mary S. Cooke I 07/16/2009 
Raymond A. Billica I 07/16/2009 
Mary S. Cooke C 07/13/2009 
James R. Sharpe C 07/13/2009 
Raymond A. Billica W 07/14/2009 
Mark J. Frentzel D 07/16/2009 
Mark J. Frentzel R 07/15/2009 
Mark J. Frentzel I 07/16/2009 
Mark J. Frentzel C 07/13/2009 
Mark J. Frentzel W 07/14/2009 
James B. Tomkins D 07/16/2009 
James B. Tomkins R 07/15/2009 
James B. Tomkins I 07/16/2009 
James B. Tomkins C 07/13/2009

GI Man Facing Multiple Charges - July 2009

   See "8/2/09 Buffalo News Story".

Drug Bust Involves Island Resident - July 2009

"7/31/09 Niagara Gazette Story".
    See "7/30/09 Niagara Gazette Story" for list of those involved in Drug Raid.

Resident Arrested - July 2009

   See "8/1/09 Buffalo News Story".

Paddles Up Niagara Under Threatening Sky - July 2009

Paul Leuchner Photo - click for larger view.

Grand Island Historical Society Docents shown out on the dock in front of River Lea are (left) Maggie Gushue, Carolyn Doebert, Marilyn Randolph, Ruth Englert and Teddy Linenfelser.
Click photos for larger view

   The 4th annual Paddles Up Niagara, with 193 people in 176 boats following a route from Little Beaver Island, around the southern tip of Grand Island, down to the East River Wetlands Restoration Project (north end of the Beaver Island Golf Course) and back to Little Beaver, was held Saturday, July 25. Activities began at 8:30 a.m. and included an introductory canoe program for children, and opportunities for participants to try out canoes and kayaks. The event was sponsored by the Niagara River Greenway Commission. The Grand Island Historical Society hosted a picnic for the participants and an open house at River Lea.

Wallace Drive House Fire - July 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a residential fire at 3295 Wallace Drive at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2009. The caller stated that the side of the neighbor's home was on fire. First firefighter on the scene reported light smoke coming from the corner of the house. Grand Island Fire Chief, on location shortly after, established operations command, and reported that the GIFC had access to the house and that it appeared to be an electrical fire. The GIFC requested National Grid to respond and closed the road to traffic. The GIFC deemed the fire was out and continued to check for extension at 2:24 p.m. The GIFC was back in service at 2:41 p.m. More information to follow as it becomes available.

UPDATED Traffic Advisory - July 30, 2009

   July 30, 2009 . . . The New York State Thruway Authority has rescheduled a pavement rehabilitation project along I-190 (Niagara Thruway) in Grand Island due to weather-related issues. The work will now begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2009, and continue through Saturday, August 8, 2009, weather permitting. Pavement repairs between Exit 18A (Grand Island Boulevard) and Exit 20 (Long Road-West River Parkway-Route 324) along I-190 will require periodic, temporary lane closures on 1-190 as well as on entrance and exit ramps for 2- to 3-hour periods. To facilitate the repairs, work is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays; and from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday. As a result, motorists may experience minor delays. The Authority will activate Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and Highway Advisory Radio 1610 AM to advise motorists of the scheduled repairs and resulting closures. The Authority appreciates motorists' patience while this project takes place.

Local Teens Arrested - July 2009

   See "7/25/09 Buffalo News Story".

Baseline Road Heritage Center Celebrates 2nd Anniversary - July 2009

Mary Stewart Photo - Click for larger view

   A summer family picnic was held Saturday, July 18, at the young people's group home on Baseline Road. The picnic not only marked the second anniversary of the home's opening but also was a celebration of all the residents' birthdays during the year. Their families plus those from several other group homes in the area also enjoyed this special day. Pictured are James Stewart 111, Tonya Stein, Tiffany Cofield, house manager Ann McCartney, Patty Olszewski, Bionca Lewis, residential rehabilitation trainer Shelly Sulek and Warren Mobley.

Paddles Up Update - July 25, 2009

   See "7/20/09 Buffalo News Story".

Fire Co. Responds To N.T. Fire - July 2009

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a request for mutual aid on River Road, North Tonawanda at 9:28 a.m. Monday, July 20, 2009. See
"7/20/09 Niagara Gazette Story" by Neale Gulley.

Multi-Car MVA On South Bridge - July 2009

   See updated
"7/16/09 Tonawanda News Story" by Neale Gulley.
   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a multi-car motor vehicle accident on the South Grand Island Bridge, north bound at 3:50 p.m. Thursday, July 16, 2009. The driver of one vehicle involved in the bridge accident drove as far as the Whitehaven overpass and was evaluated by GIFC medics. Firefighters on location on the bridge reported seven patients, and three cars involved, with six sign-offs and one patient transported to an area hospital.
   It was later reported that Twin City Ambulance transported one patient to Children's Hospital at 4:38 p.m. The GIFC returned in service at 4:45 p.m. Details to follow as they become available.

Zelonis Trial Postponed - July 2009

   See "7/16/09 Buffalo News Story".

"Reach Workcamp" Brings 100s To Grand Island - July 2009

   For the last two weeks Grand Island's Veronica E. Connor Middle School has been the home for hundreds of people who have come here from all over the country to participate in one of this year's "Reach Workcamps."
   Reach is a non-profit organization offering workcamp experiences for junior high and senior high students. Reach supports Christian churches and organizations and actively encourages all participants to adopt a lifestyle of serving those in need in their home communities. By reaching out to others, reach equips Christians with the skills and opportunities necessary to impact their world for Jesus Christ.
   Reach believes that most people come to know Jesus and/or make a deeper commitment to Him because of relationships. At each workcamp, we read scripture, pray, and talk about a personal relationship with Jesus and His call on our lives to reach out to people in need. We provide a structure for adult leaders, within their own theology and relationships with their students to extend and foster opportunities for their own youth to respond to this call.
   Reach Workcamps started in 1992 with our first camp in Madisonville, Kentucky. It all began out of a desire to give more students the opportunity to serve those in need and to help make homes warmer, safer, and dryer. Since then, we've organized 124 camps, served with over 35,000 participants, and helped repair nearly 5000 homes. See"

$400,000 Grant Goes To Cannon Design - July 2009

   See "7/8/09 Buffalo News Story" by Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

Grieved Loss of Baby
Christian Memorial Service - July 2009

   A Healing Christian Memorial Service, for any woman who has grieved the loss of a baby, will take 7 p.m. Saturday, August 1, 2009 at Veterans Park, Bedell Road. See Healing Christian Memorial Service for further information.

Border Patrol - Upper Niagara River - July 2009

   See "7/5/09 Buffalo News Story" By Lou Michel.

Burglary Arrest - July 2009

"7/3/09 Buffalo News Story".

E-ZPass System Glitch Acknowledged - July 2009

"7/1/09 Buffalo News Story" by Dan Herbeck.

Paddles Up Niagara - July 25, 2009

Event Map, Grand Island, NY.
   See Paddles Up Registration etc..

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