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2010 JANUARY - JUNE


Previous News Pages







Independence Day Parade - July 2010

Slide Show

All photos by Mary Stewart and Jodi Robinson



Boaters In Distress - July 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company received a request for a water rescue at 9:52 p.m. Monday, July 5, 2010 approximately one mile north of the South Grand Island Bridge. It was then reported that a 20-foot boat, color red, with three occupants had struck a barge in the area of Bicentennial Park, north of the River Oaks Marina. See "7/6/10 Tonawanda News" story.



Early Morning MVA - July 2010

See "7/5/10 Buffalo News" story.



Oak Tree In Memory of "Bud" Pritchard - June 2010



Shown from left are Edie Harsh, Sybil Kennedy, and Mr. Pritchard's wife and daughter, Ellie Pritchard and Cheryl Organ; (center) Maria Burns with camera, and Mr. Pritchard's granddaughter and son-in-law Julie Organ and Roger Organ; (right) Eric Reimann. In attendance but not shown were Jackie Pritchard and Victoria Mordaunt, Bud and Ellie Pritchard's daughter and granddaughter.
Click photos for larger view

   A sturdy oak tree was chosen for planting on the town hall property in remembrance of Francis "Bud" Pritchard, a longtime Grand Island town justice and a highly regarded attorney. Opening the ceremony was former Town Justice Eric Reimann who served the town for many years with Judge Pritchard. Mr. Reimann gave the Island history of the very abundant white oak trees as well as an overview of Bud's professional life and wonderful personality, as did family friend JP Kennedy.
   The planting took place on June 30, 2010, exactly one year after Bud's death. Court Clerk Maria Burns who spearheaded the arrangements, chose the spot due to the view from Judge Pritchard's law office window across Whitehaven Road where he practiced law for so many years. The tree is also in view from the town court chambers and is steps from the gazebo where the judge performed numerous weddings.
    SeeFrank Pritchard/Buffalo News Obituary.

Legislator Hardwick -Community Meeting - July 2010

(Tonawanda, NY) – Residents wishing to meet directly with Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-District 10, will have an opportunity in July during a scheduled District Outreach Meeting. The meeting will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 28 at the Grand Island Senior Citizen Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island.


Border Agent Honored On Island - June 2010

See "6/27/10 Buffalo News" story.



Bridge Work On Vacation - Independence Day Weekend 2010

See "6/25/10 Buffalo News" story.
See "7/1/10 Buffalo News" update by Niki Cervantes.



Holiday Inn In News - June 2010

See "6/28/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Glynn.



Lawnmower Race 2010

All photos by Dawn & Kevin Cobello



Lawnmower Race Winners

   Self propelled – Jim McGarvey, Stock class – Carl Anthloner, Modified - Pete Marston, Open Modified - Pete Marston, Most original (representing Grand Island theme) - Jim Mazza.


Grand Island Patriots Meeting - June 2010

   Grand Island Patriots Meeting (Open to public) - Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Monday, July 12, 2010 (2nd Monday of every month) Time 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Meeting Objectives:
1). Review of current local, state and national news events
2). American history education
3). Voter education regarding all parties and their candidates (what is their platform, voting history...etc.)
4). Audience participation from all points of view during Q&A/Discussion Sessions (group is intended to represent all political views)


G.I. Fire in the Sky 2010 - June 2010

   Come celebrate July 4th by enjoying one of the largest aerial fireworks displays in Western New York. This year’s display is scheduled for dusk on Sunday, July 4 at Martin’s Fantasy Island. Martin’s Fantasy Island will be the only place to view the ground display. Beginning at 5 p.m., Grand Island residents may gain free admission to the park with photo identification and proof of Grand Island residency (adults). “The 2010 display promises to be spectacular,” said Supervisor Peter McMahon.
Important Notes:
Parking Restrictions
No parking along Grand Island Boulevard between Whitehaven Road and KOA campground (2570 GI Blvd.);
No parking along Whitehaven between Trinity Church (2100 Whitehaven) and West Island Trucking (2449 Whitehaven);
No parking along the entirety of Alvin Road, from Baseline Rd. to Whitehaven;
Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and towed.
Thruway Ramp Closure
The on-ramp from Whitehaven to the I-190 northbound will be closed from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks display.


New Spaulding Trail - June 2010


New segment of Spaulding Trail
Paul Leuchner photo - Click photo for larger view


   Shown is a segment of the new Spaulding Trail in Beaver Island State Park. The trail has an environmentally friendly design employing compacted rock dust for the trail surface rather than asphalt. It is designed for pedestrian and bicycle use as well as cross country skiing during the winter months.



In Memory Of Francis Pritchard - Tree Planting - June 2010

    A Memorial Planting of "The White Oak Tree" in memory of Town Justice Francis B. (Bud) Pritchard will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Marion Klingel Town Commons.


Lawn Mower Race June 20th - June 2010

   The Grand Island Lawn Mower Race is back for the second year and taking place on Sunday, June 20th, on West River Road. The starting line is in front of 3957 West River, south of Long Road, and registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. Races will start at noon and go to 4:00 p.m. Hot dogs, pizza and soft drinks will be available for purchase and all proceeds for the event will be donated to Relay for Life of Grand Island. There will also be music by the "A List" and boat displays by Anchor Marine and Wheelhouse Marine. The race began on Father's Day in 1978 as a bet between neighbors, Floyd Doring and Patrick Murphy, as who had the faster tractor. Year after year, the neighbors raced and by 1989, 50 people signed on to race. The Father's Day race took a twenty-year break and came back last year thanks to Floyd Doring. Registration fee is $10.00 and you may register the day of the race. Thanks go to Peter McMahon, Gary Roesch, Mary Dunbar-Daluisio, Peter Marston, Skip Mazenauer, Eric Berger, Peter Zito, Bob Funk, Bob DeGlopper, Becky Sommer-Stufkowsky and Phil Buchanan for organizing this event.


Goose Droppings - June 2010

   See "6/11/10 Buffalo News story" by Dan Herbeck.


Proposed New Ballot Line - Rus Thompson - June 2010

   See "6/14/10 Buffalo News story" by Brian Meyer.


Community Leaders/Stakeholders Breakfast - Saturday, July 12, 2010

   NYS Senator Antoine M. Thompson (D-parts of Erie & Niagara Counties) is serving up valuable information at his annual Community Leaders & Stakeholders Breakfast. It will be held Saturday, June 12 at 8:30 AM at Knights of Columbus, Mary Star Of The Sea Council #4752, located at 1841 Whitehaven Road in Grand Island, NY.
   The public is invited to attend the breakfast, where experts in Education, Telecommunications and Homeland Security will be on hand to share the latest developments in these areas and answer any questions.
    Senator Thompson says, “Our goal is to have people walk away from this event feeling empowered and informed about community services in their areas and opportunities available to them.”
    The Community Leaders & Stakeholders Breakfast is free and open to the public.
    Contact: Ken Houston sk2houston@hotmail.com 716.854.8705


5th Anniversary Paddles Up Niagara 2010 - Saturday, July 24, 2010

Non-competitive paddle starts at Little Beaver Island Launch Site and continues to East River Marsh Launch Site and back, all within Beaver Island State Park.
See
Paddles Up for complete information.


Ruptured Gas Main Closes Staley Road - June 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to report of a gas leak at 1921 Staley Road at 6:07 p.m. Tuesday, June 8. National Grid struck a high pressure gas main while fixing a pole damaged in a vehicle accident earlier in the day. The Fire Company closed Staley Road between Baseline and Grand Island Blvd. with the assistance of its Fire Police unit. Fire Company personnel reported that homes were not evacuated due to the direction of the wind.
It was announced at 7:51 p.m. that the road would remain closed for six to eight hours. The GIFC returned in service at 8:30 p.m.


Pet Photo Fundraiser - June 2010

The Siberian Husky Club of Niagara Frontier will benefit from a "Furry Friends Family Foto" event - 12 noon - 4 p.m. Saturday, June 5 at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road. Information.


Good Samaritan Mows Parkway - June 2010


Supervisor Peter McMahon shakes the hand of good samaritan Gary Burkhart
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photo for larger view


   Residents of the Island have been expressing their concerns about the high grass along the South State Parkway and the West River Parkway to anyone who would listen. Safety is their major concern. One homeowner stated that the grass is so high at the corner of Broadway and the Parkway that it is unsafe to pull out on to the roadway. Budget problems have made it necessary for the State Parks Department to curtail lawn maintenance along State parkways.
   Fix Road resident Gary Burkhart, who heard neighbors talking about the height of the grass and the safety issues surrounding the situation, took it upon himself to do something about it. He began mowing at Broadway on Tuesday afternoon, June 1 and continued mowing until 7 p.m. He also mowed along the Beaver Island bike path area from Broadway to the State Park. Thus far he’s cut alongside the parkway for a few feet and the entire intersection at Fix Road. Gary was working on Bush and Ferry on Wednesday and planned to continue on Thursday, June 3, weather permitting.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon who stopped by to say thanks on behalf of the people who use the parkway and the bike path, stated that Gary's efforts have made a dramatic improvement in safety for everyone who uses the parkway. "Things are the same on the West River Parkway. The State DOT mowers have been conspicuous by their absence," the Supervisor said.
   "The situation on both the Beaver Island Parkway and the West River Parkway is disgraceful. I understand that there is a budget problem but this is a safety and a liability issue. A significant number of West River Road residents have also been out doing the State’s mowing," Supervisor McMahon said. "Everyone who has taken it upon themselves to help out in this situation deserves our thanks," he said.
   Semi retired, Gary Burkhart has been an Island resident since 1969 and owns five acres on Fix Road, hence the large mower/tractor he is using on the Parkway. He is worried about safety issues especially since a grandson was involved in an accident at the intersection of Fix and Baseline roads last year.


Memorial Day Services - May 2010


Guest speaker Timothy McCoy


Mary Stewart Photos - Click for larger view.
(left) American Legion color guard - Rifle salute by the VFW color guard - Gold Star Mothers, Shirley Luther and Mary Ann Crowe.

    Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st was celebrated across the country for the 143rd year. Grand Island residents and honored guests including Gold Star Mothers, Shirley Luther and Mary Ann Crowe and their families, gathered at DeGlopper Park at 10 a.m. for the annual remembrance of those Islanders who gave their life for their country and to honor those who served and are serving to insure our freedom.
   Vice Commander DAV/American Legion Joe Synakowski called the roll of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom (see "Roll Call.")
   Guest speaker was Col. Timothy J. McCoy, Air Force Reserve. Music was provided by the Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Marty Allen. Members of the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 gave the rifle salute and high school musicians played Taps. To close the program the GIHS wind ensemble played a special arrangement which honored each of the branches of the armed services. As attending veterans heard their "anthem" for their branch of service, they were asked to stand, a very moving closing. The VFW Post held an open house for all immediately following the service.
   In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day. He declared it to be "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land." For further Memorial Day history, see www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/recon/jb_recon_memorial_1.html.


New Kayak Launch Ramp Accessable for All - May 2010


Angela Berti, NYS Parks photos
(left) Former Commissioner Paul G. Leuchner addressing the group at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - (middle) Paul Linenfelser testing out the new launch system - (right) Ribbon Cutting Team (from left to right front row: Rob Daley, New York Power Authority, Joe McMahon representing Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, Paul Leuchner, Commissioner Emeritus, Niagara River Greenway Commission, Mark Thomas, Western District Director, New York State Parks; left to right back row representatives from Senator Antoine Thompson's office.    The Niagara River for everyone including those with physical handicaps and specials needs is one of the primary goals of the Niagara River Greenway Plan established in 2007. It was this goal that brought officials together on May 27, 2010 in Beaver Island State Park to officially open a kayak launch ramp that can be used by the handicapped.
   Former Niagara River Greenway Commissioner Paul Leuchner has chaired the annual Paddles Up Niagara event since 2005. He observed that paddlers with disabilities were having a great deal of difficulty launching and retrieving their kayaks and canoes and set about finding a more efficient way for them to gain access the Niagara River. After many hours of research and countless interviews with parks and recreation officials across the country, a prototype launch system was developed with the aid of the EZ Dock Company in 2009. The proposal was endorsed by the Niagara River Greenway Commission and soon after Greenway funds from the re-licensing of the Niagara Power Project were made available for construction.
   The new launch system allows people with physical disabilities to reconnect with their environment. There is ample evidence that paddling a kayak or canoe provides opportunities for socialization and personal fulfillment while the physical activity involved improves equilibrium and endurance leading to improved general health and wellness.
   Completing this project was a team effort involving the New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Niagara River Greenway Commission and Anchor Marine the local franchisee for the EZ Dock Company.


Former Island Resident Missing - May 2010

   See "5/28/10 Buffalo News story".
See also "5/28/10 WINK News" and scroll down.
See also "5/29/10 Recovered Body".


Holiday Inn Back In News - May 2010

See "5/26/10 Buffalo News".



Island Landmark, Long's Store Bites The Dust - May 2010


Sam Akinbami Photos - taken May 26, 2010 -Click photos for larger view


Jodi Robinson Photos - taken in April 2010 -Click photos for larger view


These photos were taken May 26, 2010. (left) An antique stove was saved from the wreckage
Photos/story by Teddy Linenfelser - Click photos for larger view


   The building above, located on West River Road at Staley Road and in extremely poor condition, was torn down on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. The 65-year-old building was originally owned by Reg Long and was a replacement for his original store that burned along with his house in the early 1940s. Bowling enthusiasts on the Island were looking forward to the time when Reg would open his new Alley that was under construction in his store in 1948. He ran the store into the 1960s.
   The building eventually became Gables Restaurant and then in 1975 it was opened as the Joncaire Restaurant. It was also known as the West River Restaurant and the Sideout. The property is owned and has been owned for many years by Ilona Lang.
   Reggie Long died on December 7, 1970 at the age of 80. He held two terms as town supervisor, was also elected town clerk and ran his Long's Store from 1920 to the time of his death
   For some of Reg's memories of local history, see "X Marks the Spot . . . If You're Lucky, a feature story at Isledegrande.com and written by Dick Burke for the Buffalo Magazine in 1967.


Legislator Hardwick Partners with UNYTS To Host Blood Drives - May 2010

   (Grand Island, NY) – Vacations, traveling, and holidays have historically resulted in summer being a slow time of year for blood donations, but the need isn’t any less great. In an effort to get donors during this time of need, Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, R-District 10, has partnered with Upstate New York Transplant Services to hold two blood drives in the communities he represents.
   “I recently heard some shocking statics related to blood donations, such as, odds are one in three that someone will need blood during their lifetime, but the odds are only one in 33 that someone is regular donor,” said Legislator Hardwick, who plans to donate during the June 14 drive. “Donating blood can be an easy task that could truly save a life. One donor has the potential to save up to three lives.”
   While the number of donations usually decreases in the summer, the number of accidents and need for blood transfusions tends to increase. If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event, Legislator Hardwick said.
   Blood drives have been planned on the following days:
• Noon to 5 p.m. Monday, June 14, at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road
• 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at the Kenmore-Tonawanda Library, 160 Delaware Ave.
   To register to donate at one of these events, call UNYTS at 512-7940.
   UNYTS ensures that local donations go to patients in need at local hospitals. Community blood banks concentrate on fulfilling the blood needs of a single region. Often as a result of this locally-driven operation, donation rates rise among the area population and costs decrease on the part of area purchasers. For additional information, visit www.unyts.org.
   Legislator Hardwick can be reached at 873-3438 or kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.


Legislator Hardwick Helps Senior Center - May 2010

See "5/22/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Spina.


South Bridge Accident - May 2010

A motorcycle and several cars were involved in an accident on the 190, south bound, south Grand Island Bridge at 7:21 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Grand Island Fire Company units responding wove around a traffic tie-up on Grand Island Blvd. to get to the scene. When the GIFC received the call, traffic was already backed up past the Baseline Road overpass. The GIFC evaluated three patients all of whom signed off.


New Adaptive Paddle Sports Boat Launch Opening - May 2010

   The opening of the new adaptive paddle sports system boat launch at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 27, 2010 at the Beaver Island State Park East River Marsh has been announced by Angela P. Berti, APR, Western District Marketing and Public Affairs. Coordinator    This boat launch, the first of its kind in Western New York, will provide easy river access for individuals with disabilities or special needs. This project was deemed consistent by the Niagara River Greenway, and funded by the NYS Parks Standing Committee as part of the relicensing of the New York Power Authority‘s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project.
   To locate the Launch, follow the Beaver Island Parkway to Ferry Road. Make a left on Ferry and follow around to the end.    See
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
   See buffalonews.com/live/2010/05/handicappedaccessible-paddle-sports-launch-opened.html


House Fire Causes Damage - May 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a fire in a bedroom at 43 Elsie Lane at 11:06 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2010 as occupants were evacuating the house. The fire was in a bedroom. The residents were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors and the owner extinguished the fire prior to arrival of GIFC. The house was quickly ventilated by firefighters. One resident was evaluated by Fire Co. paramedics and released at the scene. The cause was listed as a defective portable dvd player.


Holiday Inn - Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - May 2010

See "5/12/10 Buffalo News".



Residents Arrested - May 2010

See "5/12/10 Buffalo News".



Windy ReTree Planting - May 2010

 
 
Click photos for larger view - Paula Sciuk photos

Click photos for larger view - Paul Leuchner photos
    Almost 50 hearty volunteers came out by 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, May 8, 2010 to help in Grand Island’s sixth ReTree effort. The weather was windy and everyone got wet and muddy but 35 trees were planted by 11:30 AM. Twenty trees were placed at Ed Ball Park on the corner of Love and Stony Point roads which are shown in the photos. Fifteen trees were planted at Tower Park on Carl Road. Planting took extra effort because many of the holes had to have water removed from the heavy rains on Friday night and the mud took extra energy to handle.





State Parks Still Needs Lifeguards - May 2010

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announces that there are two lifeguard exams remaining in the Niagara Region for the 2010 season.
   Testing, which is required for anyone wishing to work as a lifeguard at any New York State Park, will take place at Niagara University, Lewiston, NY 14109 on the following days:
    Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
   Candidates may register for testing by calling the Niagara Region Administrative Headquarters at (716) 531-0497. For specific information regarding the test, please visit www.nysparks.com and once in the site, click on the “Inside Our Agency” button.
   Prior to employment, successful candidates must be at least 16 years of age and must furnish proof of completion of CPR for the Professional and completion of the American Red Cross 1994 Revised Lifeguard Training, which includes First-Aid, with a certificate for the Waterfront Module or equivalent courses. Successful candidates will also need a physician's certification of adequate physical fitness including a minimum of 20/40 uncorrected vision after receiving a conditional job offer.
   Lifeguard positions in the Niagara Region will be available at Beaver Island, Evangola, Fort Niagara and Wilson-Tuscarora State Parks.
   For further information and to register for the test, call (716) 531-0497 weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m..

Power Outage - May 2010

A power outage west of the South State Parkway and south of Staley Road at the south end of Grand Island, lasted about 45 minutes. Approximately 24 members of the Grand Island Historical Society were attending a program meeting in River Lea in Beaver Island State Park when the lights went out leaving them in total darkness. Cell phones were immediately brought out to illuminate the "living room" and refreshments were enjoyed by candle light in the dining room. Flashlights were used for the walk to the parking lot. The power failure began at approximately 9:30 p.m. and power was restored at about 10:15 p.m.


Spring 2010 Grand Island ReTree Planting - May 2010

   The Spring 2010 Grand Island ReTree Planting takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 8, 2010 and will finish by 12 noon. The trees are being planted in Ed Ball Park at the corner of Love and Stony Point roads. Those volunteering are asked to dress for the weather. Heavy rain or lightning will postpone planting to Sunday, May 9 at 1:00 p.m. "If possible please bring gloves, clippers, shovel, soil rake and wheelbarrow and label all equipment with your name," Mary Cooke has advised. For more information contact Mrs. Cooke at 773-9600 x702 or 773-7058 or mcooke@grand-island.ny.us.


Resident Arrested for Illegal Dumping - May 2010

See "5/6/10 Buffalo News".



5th Anniversary Paddles Up Niagara 2010 - Saturday, July 24, 2010

Non-competitive paddle starts at Little Beaver Island Launch Site and continues to East River Marsh Launch Site and back, all within Beaver Island State Park.
See
Paddles Up for complete information.
See Paddles Up Registration Information.


Re-Decking Project On Hold - May 2010

   Town Supervisor Peter McMahon reported that the South Bridge re-decking project will remain on hold until overnight, Monday, May 10th. A meeting was held and a holiday schedule was announced. There will be no work scheduled May 27-31, June 30-July 4, August 1-2, September 2-6, October 10-11 and November 10-11.


Wednesday Traffic Jam - April 2010

 
   The photos (left) looking south from Staley, (right) looking north from Staley, were taken at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday from the Staley Road overpass.
Jodi Robinson photos - click for larger view

Wednesday, April 28, 2010. . . A Wednesday morning traffic jam on the 190 southbound caused a severe backup for travelers on or off the Island via the Grand Island Bridge. The cause of the tie-up was the south bridge (north) deck replacement. It was stated at a NYS Thruway Authority informational meeting on Friday, March 5th at Grand Island Town Hall that the construction company will be fined $1,000 per minute if the bridge is not open at 6 a.m. each day.
   According to Councilman Dick Crawford who drove over the north Grand Island Bridge Wednesday morning and took the LaSalle Expressway to Williams Road and then to River Road, traffic was just as congested on that route, as many drivers attempted to avoid the original traffic jam.
    See "4/28/10 Buffalo News" story by Denise Jewell Gee.
See also "4/28/10 Niagara Gazette" story by Eric Duvall.


Round-About Work Begins - April 2010


Click photo for larger view

Councilman Dick Crawford took this picture on Friday, April 23 as wires were being passed by the utility company for the new round-about, in its early stages of construction at Grand Island Blvd. and Staley Road. "I was returning to the Island and stopped at the traffic light as the two employees were tossing a line from one bucket truck to another," Crawford said. Work on the round-about began earlier this month with the untility installation first on the list. "Actual construction is expected to follow almost immediately," Supervisor Peter McMahon reports. "There will be a truck detour which directs trucks to use the Whitehaven Road exit from the I-190 to avoid the construction zone. Once the construction is complete, trucks will have no problem negotiating the roundabout," the Supervisor said.

Beaver Island To Host Child Seat Check - May 2010

Beaver Island State Park will be the site of a child safety seat check from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 in the main parking lot of the park. Representatives from the NYS Police will be on hand to ensure that child safety seats are properly installed in vehicles. In addition, there will be displays featuring the Town of Grand Island Fire Company, the United States Border Patrol, a police K9, Fuccillo Chevrolet and other family friendly activities. Light refreshments will be provided by Tim Hortons. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the park office at 773-3271.


Warme Faces 10-Year Prison Term - April 2010

See "4/23/10 Niagara Gazette" story by Rick Pfeiffer.


Blood Drive - April 2010

American Red Cross blood drive, Grand Island Fire Hall, 2275 Baseline Road from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment. Double Red Cell Donation is available at this drive.


Holiday Inn In Receivership - April 2010

See "4/24/10 Buffalo News" story by Matt Glynn.


Victim Identified In Fatal Bedell Road Apartment Fire - April 2010


   The victim has been identified as 60-year-old Miriam Notaro.

   The Grand Island Fire Company responded to smoke in an apartment building at 2145 Bedell Road, Apt. 12 at 10:15 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2010. Upon arrival, the GIFC deemed the call a working fire and Sheridan Park Vol. Fire Company's FAST Team was requested to the scene. The fire was knocked down at 10:42 p.m. at which time a victim who was trapped in an apartment and died in the fire, was located and extricated. The fire was out at 11:10 p.m. followed by extensive overhaul and the Erie County Fire Investigator was requested.
   See "4/23/10 WIVB.com".
   See also "4/23/10 Buffalo News Story."
   Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Koch was in charge of the call. Further details will be posted as they become available.


Beaver Island State Park Golf Course Is Open - April 2010


Click photo for larger view

The Beaver Island State Park Golf Course opens Thursday, April 22. See "Golf Course Information".


Traffic Report - April 2010

See "4/18/10 Buffalo News" story.


Jail Inmate's Story - April 2010

See "4/9/10 Buffalo News" story by Matthew Spina.


HEAP Outreach April 21 - April 2010

    A Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, 2010, at the United Way Office, 34 Seymour St., Tonawanda. See HEAP for complete information.


Lang Blvd. Property Sold For $2.5 Million - March 2010

See "3/31/10 Buffalo News" story by Jonathan D. Epstein.


Instant Regional Traffic Information - April 2010

   NITTEC - Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition, making the regional bi-national transportation system more safe and efficient, provides all kinds of travel information that may be personalized to Island commuters. See www.nittec.org and click "MY NITTEC" to receive up-to-the-minute personalized regional traffic and border crossing information on your Mobile Device or computer.


Vehicles Entered On Baseline - March 2010

It has been reported that unlocked cars from the 500 block of Baseline Road and South Colony were rifled through in the early morning hours of Monday, March 29th. Please make sure your vehicles are locked and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. The Erie County Sheriff's Department is investigating.


Pharmaceutical Drop-Off - 2010

A Drive-through Community Pharmaceutical Drop-Off program for unused household medications will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 10th at St. Joseph Hospital, 2605 Harlem Road
See "DropOff"
See "Further Information."


Arrests Made
Missing Teenager Found - March 2010

Ashley Johnson, 15, of Grand Island has been found with John Douglas, 29, the boyfriend of the teenager. See "WIVB.com/Teen Found".
See "3/20/10 Buffalo News".
See "ARREST - 3/21/10 Buffalo News story" by Jay Rey.


Lanes Closed - March 2010

Lanes Closed on Ramps Between Youngmann Highway and Niagara Thruway
Two construction projects at major highway interchanges in Erie and Niagara counties will cause delays and headaches for motorists and require many drivers to use local streets for detours — until the construction season ends in November. See
Details


Prayer Service For Missing Mother, Son - March 2010

According to ABC Good Morning America reports, the family of the missing Washington mother, Shantina Smiley, fears that she may have asked for help from the wrong people, endangering herself and her young son, who have now been missing for nearly four days. A prayer service for the missing mother and son, with ties to Grand Island, is being held in the Grand Island Plaza parking lot at 4:30 p.m. today. See ABC News for 3/17/10 story.


Blockbuster Closing In April - March 2010


After many years at the Grand Island Plaza, Blockbuster video will be closing April 19, 2010. At this time the store is selling all of its inventory. Rentals are no longer available. Blockbuster stores on Young Street in Tonawanda and Niagara Falls Blvd. in the Falls are now the closest for Islanders.


Auction of Surplus Town Equipment - March 2010

An auction of surplus Town equipment will be held on Saturday, April 10 starting at 9:30 AM at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road. Review of items will start at 9:00 AM. Items may include office equipment, exercise equipment and miscellaneous equipment. All items are used. Items are sold "as-is", no personal checks: cash or money orders only. Items are to be taken no later than 12 noon that same day.


NYS PARKS ANNOUNCES Boat Slips available - March 2010

-Slips available at Big Six Mile Creek Marina-
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that seasonal slips at Big Six Mile Creek Marina located at 3219 Whitehaven Road in Grand Island, NY are still available. The price of the slip is based on the registered boat length and includes electric and water hook ups. The marina also has a boat launch ramp, sewage pump out, and gas, oil and ice for sale. There are currently nineteen (20) – 19 foot and thirty five (36) – 30 foot slips available. For more information, please contact the Beaver Island State Park office at (716) 773-3271.


Mail Truck Involved In 3-Car MVA - March 2010


Click photo for larger view

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles and a US Mail Truck in front of 783 West River Road at 1:41 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 2010. The GIFC, under the command of Fire Chief Greg Butcher, requested the status of Mercy Flight, however, it was deemed not necessary. Two patients were evaluated with one sign off and one transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Twin City Ambulance. The GIFC remained on location until 2:55 p.m., standing by while vehicles were removed from against a house. More information will be added as it becomes available.


Assemblymember Sam Hoyt Holds Town Hall Meeting - March 2010

Assemblymember Sam Hoyt will hold a town hall meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18 in the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road. See http://assembly.state.ny.us for complete information.


Proposed Cell Tower Information Meeting - March 2010

A public information meeting, hosted by the Town Board and Verizon, concerning the proposed cell tower in Veterans Park, will be held in the Town Hall courtroom on Tuesday, March 16th at 7:30 p.m. Verizon representatives will be present to answer any questions regarding the proposed location including the site selection process.


Thompson To Host Community Leaders/Stakeholders Breakfast - 2010

Antoine M. Thompson, NYS Senator, 60th District, will host his quarterly community leader’s breakfast at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This event is free and open to the public.


Daylight Saving Time Begins March 14 - 2010

On Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States. See Daylight Saving Time


South Bridge Construction Meeting Held - March 2010


Left: NYSTA Division Director Tom Pericak and Traffic Supervisor George White
Jodi Robinson photo - Click photo for larger view.

   The NYS Thruway Authority held an informational meeting on Friday, March 5th at Grand Island Town Hall to discuss the upcoming South Bridge (North) deck replacement. Division Director Tom Pericak and Traffic Supervisor George White outlined the construction and answered questions from the audience. The project start-up date depends on the air temperature, as a grout being used will not set-up in lower temperatures with mid April being mentioned. Information is available from the most recent flyer. The intent is to notify commuters two weeks before the construction begins through the stationary sign boards on I-190 and I-290 and movable sign boards in the region. When construction is in full swing, the bridge will be closed Sunday - Thursday nights from 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. The construction company will be fined $1,000 per minute if the bridge is not open at 6:00 a.m. each day. The town of Grand Island is hoping that if a problem occurs and the bridges are not open at the appointed time, movable information boards can be utilized to inform commuters before they attempt to enter at the Grand Island Blvd. and Beaver Island Parkway entrances. You may register to receive email alerts from the TRANSalert system at the Thruway Authority website.


Thunder On The Niagara - 2010

Thunder on the Niagara boat races will take place August 21-22 (tentative dates) off Gratwick Park, North Tonawanda. For more information contact Luanne Monette, 716-693-7117 or Liz Barker, 716-773-1191. See www.nfbra.com
See also "Thunder On Niagara Flyer"


Primary Challenge TEA Party Meeting at SereniTea Cottage - March 2010

A TEA party meeting at SereniTea Cottage and Gift Shoppe, 2014 Grand Island Blvd. takes place at 7 p.m. Monday March 8th. Speakers from TEAnewyork.com, Primary Challenge and Rus Thompson will be covering state issues and how the citizens can get involved in taking back State government for the people. This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome. "If you are tired of taxes, fees and state government in general, please come early," said Rus Thompson. This is the first meeting to be held on Grand Island and if there is enough interest, thre will be more.


Morning MVA On I190 - March 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a motor vehicle accident involving a bus and a van on the I190 south, near the South Grand Island Bridge at 7:47 a.m. Thursday, March 4, 2010. Three patients were transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital by ambulance. The GIFC returned in service at 8:34 a.m. More information will be added as it becomes available.


South Bridge Construction - March 2010

For information regarding the road construction project that will effect traffic during the evening on the South Grand Island bridge (both directions), see http://www.gigov.com/bridge-project-2010.htm.


Resident Charged - March 2010

See "3/1/10 Buffalo News".


Embezzling & Restitution - March 2010

See "Buffalo News" story by Matt Gryta


NYS Lifeguard Tests - February 2010

   See State Parks To Hold Lifeguard Tests.



Volunteers Needed For "Meals On Wheels" - February 2010

    The Golden Age Center is in desperate need of volunteers to deliver Meals On Wheels" to homebound elderly. Those interested are asked to call the Center at 773-9682.


Canadian Goose Season Extended - February 2010

   Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Motor and Strawberry Islands:
The blind assignment for the Extended Canada Goose Season (3/1-3/10/10) will be done by call-in ONLY. Calls will be taken at 773-2010 between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm on the following dates: Thursday 2/25/10 for Monday and Tuesday, 3/1 & 3/2; Tuesday 3/2/10 for Wednesday-Friday 3/3–3/5 and Thursday 3/4/10 for Saturday-Wednesday 3/6-3/10. All call-in permits must be picked up at the Park Office by 4pm prior to the day of the hunt.
   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 8:00am and 4:15pm for more information.


Paddles Up Kick-Off - Summer 2010
Paddles Up Niagara Celebrates Its Fifth Year


February 25, 2010 . . .Island residents Paul Leuchner and Rob Belue, representing the Niagara River Greenway Commission, kick off Paddles Up Niagara 2010 at the Marine Trades Association Boat Show held this past weekend at the Ralph Wilson Stadium Fieldhouse.
Click photo for larger view.

    Though there is ice in the Niagara River and snow on the ground, the public gave Paddles Up Niagara 2010 a warm reception at the Marine Trades Association Boat Show this past weekend (Feb. 19-21). Additional activities are planned as part of the fifth anniversary of Paddles Up Niagara that will take place at Beaver Island State Park on July 24, 2010. There will be an early morning Kayak Poker Run and a Paddlesports Sprint Competition in addition to the traditional early afternoon paddle on the Niagara River. Throughout the morning the public will have an opportunity to try out canoes and kayaks and visit the various exhibits and displays. As in the past, the Grand Island Historic Society will be offering participants the opportunity to enjoy lunch at historic River Lea (advance reservations and payment are required). Since Paddles Up Niagara began in 2005, more than 750 people have paddled the waters of the Niagara River in their kayaks and canoes and thousands of others have circulated through the event demonstration and exhibit areas. For more information about Paddles Up Niagara 2010 check out the Niagara River Greenway Commission website at www.niagaragreenway.org.


NYS Boat Slip Lottery - February 2010

Beaver Island State Park and Big Six Mile Creek Marina slips available -     The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that applications for the lottery to establish a waiting list for 2010 seasonal slips at Big Six Mile Creek Marina and Beaver Island Marina are now available.
    Applications are available at the Beaver Island State Park Office, 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island, NY 14072, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. or by calling (716) 773-3271.
   Completed applications, a copy of the current boat registration and a $5.00 non-refundable fee are required to be eligible for the lottery drawing. Applications will be accepted by mail or in person at the Beaver Island State Park Office until Monday, March 1, 2010. Applications delivered or postmarked after March 1 will not be accepted.
   The public is invited to attend the lottery drawing which will be held at the Beaver Island State Park Office on Thursday, March 3rd at 10:00 a.m.
    For more information, contact the park office at (716) 773-3271.


Resident Draws Jail Term - February 2010

See "2/20/10 Buffalo News Story".



World Day of Prayer - March 2010

Grand Island's World Day of Prayer will take place at 10 a.m., March 5, at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, 2587 Baseline Road. All are welcome to this worldwide event, with an emphasis on music and celebration in praise to God. This year's service was prepared by the women of Cameroon, on the west coast of Africa with the hope of shining a light on Africa and on the rest of the world.



Island Motorist Dies of Heart Attack - February 2010

See "2/11/10 Buffalo News Story".



Resident Released From Jail - February 2010

See "Buffalo News" story.


School Bus Accident - February 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a report of a car/school bus accident on East River at Ransom Road at 7:15 a.m. Monday, February 8, 2010. The GIFC was notified by the school district bus garage that there were no injuries, however, they were advised to respond and confirm the report. The two drivers signed off and the 16 children were to be examined by a school nurse. The Grand Island Fire Company returned in service at 7:41 a.m.


Purse Thief - February 2010

See "Buffalo News" story.


State Troopers Removed From School - February 2010

See "Buffalo News" story.


Roll-Over Baseline/Bedell - February 2010

The Grand Island Fire Company responded to a motor vehicle accident at the corner of Baseline and Bedell roads where a car had rolled over at 2:46 p.m. Saturday, February 6, 2010. The GIFC evaluated one patient who was transported to the Erie County Medical Center by ambulance. All GIFC personnel returned in service at 3:15 p.m.

Father's Day Lawnmower Race Planned - February 2010


Left to Right Seated: Gary Roesch, Peter McMahon, Mary Dunbar-Daluisio, Mark Leffler, Bob DeGlopper, Phil Buchanan and Floyd Doring.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.

The lawnmower race committee met on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 to begin the planning of the once annual event, now resurrected as the 2nd annual. The race is planned for Father's Day, Sunday, June 20th, located at the north end of West River Road. Relay For Life teams are being encouraged to sell food and novelty items at the race. This year's chairman is Floyd Doring, assisted by co-chairs, Gary Roesch and Mary Dunbar-Daluisio. The next meeting is planned for Tuesday, March 16th at the Town Cafe.



Erie County Legislator Hardwick To Visit Town Hall - February 2010

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick will be available for questions or concerns at Grand Island Town Hall on Tuesday, February 23rd between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Mr. Hardwick is scheduling the 4th Tuesday of each month for island residents' concerns, locations will vary.



Property Tax Exemption Deadline Approaching - February 2010

March 1, 2010 is the deadline for all Basic STAR, Enhanced/Senior STAR and Veterans property tax exemptions to be added to the assessment roll for School tax year 2010/2011 and Town/County tax year 2011. If you have not already done so, please bring your paperwork to the Assessors office at Town Hall on or before Monday, March 1, 2010.



Monday's Flooding - January 2010


Flooding due to overnight rain that continued into the morning of Mon., Jan. 25 caused major flooding in areas throughout the Island. The photo was taken from Klingel Town Commons looking across Whitehaven Road.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.



Flu (H1N1) Clinic - January 2010

A Flu (H1N1) Clinic will be held Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 9am – 3pm at the Grand Island High School (rear Gym). The clinic is being sponsored by the Erie County Health Dept in cooperation with the Grand Island School District and the Town of Grand Island. It is free to the public.



Golden Age Center Members Assist Town - January 2010


Left to Right Seated: Chris Bihler, Martha Muller, Hank Carroll, Nonnie Carroll
Left to Right Standing: Dorothy Lew, Gloria Diringer,Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel, Betty Marinell and Bernie Callahan
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view.

Eight members of the Grand Island Golden Age Center helped out Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel on Monday, January 11th by taking over the job of sending out the Erie County tax bills. These super seniors enjoy a nice lunch and visiting with friends in early January and again in the fall when the school taxes are sent out.



Head-on Accident Takes Two Lives - January 2010

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, 2010. 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.