Niagara Falls

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The state's top fiscal watchdog appeared in Niagara Falls on Monday to outline an already dismal budget picture.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The budget battle in Niagara Falls continues.

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A Cuomo administration official says a deal has been struck to keep the iconic Maid of the Mist scenic tour boats running from the New York side at Niagara Falls.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The budget challenges faced by the City of Niagara Falls could be jeopardizing the efficacy of one of the city's most productive assets.

Toddler shot in Niagara Falls drive-by

Nov 27, 2012

A child believed to be around three years old was shot in the face during a drive-by shooting at a Niagara Falls convenience store Tuesday afternoon.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Niagara Falls will be getting the latest in high-tech crime fighting under a program that may eventually bring in millions of dollars to deal with rising crime.

WBFO News file photo

Residents in the City of Niagara Falls will have to wait until at least next week before getting a glimpse of the city's 2013 budget.

Mayor Paul Dyster announced on Friday that presentation of the budget will be delayed until at least Monday. Dyster claims that the financial challenges facing the Falls are making it imperative that the budget be carefully planned.

He claims that more time is needed to get the budget right.

Dyster calls it a "disaster budget" and a "dire" situation.

Photo from Wikipedia,

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency has approved tax assistance for a company that plans reopen the historic Niagara Hotel.

JSK International Corp. plans to fully restore the hotel at 201 Rainbow Boulevard in the City of Niagara Falls.  JSK was approved for a 10-year sales tax abatement program of a little more than $3 million.

Niagara IDA chairman Henry Sloma tells WBFO News the assistance will allow the company to fully restore the hotel on Rainbow Boulevard.

WBFO News file photo

The October 1 deadline came and went without a proposed budget from Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, the first late budget for the Cataract City in 11 years.

Mayor Dyster sent a letter to the City Council yesterday afternoon informing them that he needed more time to complete the budget process.    

Dyster points out the casino compact dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians has shortchanged the city nearly $60 million over the past three years.

File Photo / WBFO/ AM 970 News

The reconstruction project on Lewiston Road in Niagara Falls will soon begin again.

A State Supreme Court Judge sided with the city in a lawsuit that idled the project. Contractor Man O'Trees filed suit against the city amongst many other parties, claiming that the reconstruction project was misrepresented and should have been a remediation project because of the levels of radioactive material found at the site.

The judge's ruling will allow the City Council to select a new contractor on Monday for the work to continue.

Official ribbon cutting ceremonies were held this morning for the Niagara County Community College Culinary Center, located in part of the old Rainbow Mall in downtown Niagara Falls.

Numerous dignitaries took part in today's ceremonies for the 90,000 square-foot facility, which includes state-of-the-art teaching and demonstration kitchens and laboratories, a student-run restaurant, pastry shop, deli, and wine boutique. There is also a theater and a culinary-themed bookstore.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Voters in Niagara Falls on Tuesday will be deciding on a multi-million dollar bond issue for the improvement of the region's schools.

A project titled "Inventing Tomorrow" would provide $67 million dollars for repairs, increased security, greater energy efficiency and many other improvements to the city's schools. The money for the program will come from state coffers and not local tax money. Voters last year turned down a $130 bond issue for similar purposes.

The money, if not approved, will be spent on other school districts in the state.

Search for man continues near Niagara Falls

Sep 20, 2012
WBFO News file photo

Authorities have resumed their search for a man who reportedly was seen in the Niagara River near the brink of Niagara Falls and may have been swept over. 

New York State Park Police say witnesses reported seeing the man go into the river at Niagara Falls State Park around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

Police and firefighters searched the riverbank near the brink of the falls, and a helicopter from the  Erie County Sheriff's office searched the river below the falls. 

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Niagara Falls, Ontario police have determined that a woman whose body was found at the base of the Falls is a murder victim.

The cause of death has not been determined, and authorities are requesting help in identifying the body. The individual's age appears to be between 20 and 40. She possesses a pierced navel and a cesarean scar.

Police are reviewing missing persons files in hopes of a connection.

The Niagara County Coroner released results of an autopsy Tuesday revealing the cause of death of 5-year-old Isabella Sarah Tennant.  

Niagara County Coroner Cindy-Lou Joyce tells WBFO & AM-970 News Tennant died from "asphyxiation due to mechanical obstruction of the airway and compression of the neck."

Two teenage boys,  16-year-0ld John Freeman and 18-year-old Tyler Best, appeared in Niagara Falls City Court Tuesday morning for an arraignment on charges related to the death of Tennant.

Both entered not guilty pleas.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Daredevil Nik Wallenda is back in the City of Niagara Falls for the first time since his high-wire stunt over the Horseshoe Falls two months ago.

The purpose of the visit is to scout out possible locations for a family entertainment center.  While the attraction could end up on either side of the river, Wallenda says his heart is on the U.S. side.  

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

The Love Canal region of Niagara Falls is once again receiving scrutiny.

Students of the former 93rd Street School have begun to compare notes on a variety of health issues that have arisen amongst them. The school was located in the Love Canal Emergency Declaration Area and was razed in the 1970's.

A community meeting is being scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Evening Star Concert Hall.

Anyone who feels that they have been affected by exposure to chemicals near the school are welcome to attend.

Niagara Falls is staying about the same height while the buildings looking down on it from the Ontario side are continuing to rise.  

The Niagara Falls, Ontario City Council has cleared the way for two massive, linked hotel towers looking down on the Falls.

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati said they will be pitched to Asian tourists, a rapidly-increasing segment of the tourism crowds arriving in the Canadian Cataract City.

The mayor and other city officials went to China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai looking for investment and tourism last year. 

WBFO News file photo

Highwire walker Nik Wallenda is apparently thumbing his nose at the City of Niagara Falls.

New York State legislation that paved the way for Wallenda's stunt last month required the City be reimbursed for providing public safety.

But Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said Wallenda still owes taxpayers more than $25,000 for overtime costs.

"A total cost for us.  This is just public safety overtime stemming from the event itself," said Mayor Dyster.

Wallenda told the Buffalo News "it's just disgusting and sad [that Niagara Falls is asking for money.]"

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand hosted a roundtable discussion in Niagara Falls Tuesday morning to discuss ways for business leaders and elected officials to improve cross-border commerce.

Local stakeholders and area business leaders gathered in the City of Niagara Falls Tuesday  to attend a roundtable discussion on improving cross-border commerce hosted by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Gillibrand was joined by Rep. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Brian Higgins to discuss trade barriers and opportunities in tourism across the U.S./Canada border.  

New York Council for the Humanities / via Flickr

Niagara Falls, New York is testing a novel approach to attract new residents. City leaders are offering to pay the student debt of 20 recent graduates in exchange for two years of residency.

According to a recent New York Times study, 94 percent of recent graduates have student debt, adding up to more than a $1 trillion nationwide.

Arrest made in Falls hit and run

Jun 28, 2012

Niagara Falls police have made an arrest in connection with a June 18th hit-and-run which claimed the life of a young mother.

An arraignment is scheduled later this morning for 55-year-old Francis Maikranz for allegedly leaving the scene of the deadly crash along Hyde Park Boulevard.

Nicole Rodriguez and her six-year-old son were injured while crossing the road.

Rodriguez died later from those injuries.

Chris Caya WBFO/AM 970

Long-overdue maintenance work is in on the way for some bridges in Niagara Falls. 

Mayor Paul Dyster says the project will not only prolong the life of the spans, it will help create jobs in a region where unemployment is 8.5 percent.

"Trying to move as many of these construction projects  forward as possible is one of the ways, that we, in local      government, can contribute to try and put people to work  at this critical time," Dyster said.

Photos by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

Nik Wallenda completed his high-wire walk over Niagara Falls in a little more than 25 minutes Friday night.

Daniel Robison / WBFO

Niagara Falls, N.Y. sees Nik Wallenda’s Friday night wirewalk as its best chance in decades to revive tourism and spark economic development.

But measuring Wallenda’s long-term impact may be tough - assuming there’s an impact at all.

“Part of our mystique”

The Daredevil Museum in Niagara Falls, N.Y. is a shrine to those who have tried to conquer the natural wonder.

WBFO News photos by Daniel Robison

This is a big business week in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Anthony Annunziata, Marketing Vice President, says his customers will have the best view of the walk  from the Marriott Gateway at the Falls and the Marriott Fallsview hotels.

That's more than 800 rooms looking out at the Falls and the walk.

Perhaps the biggest event on the hotel calendar in the Ontario Cataract City is New Year's Eve. Annunziata believes this will be as big and and the hotel room rates will be high.

WBFO News photos by Daniel Robison

Law enforcement and emergency service agencies in Ontario have signed-off on an "integrated public safety plan" for Nik Wallenda's wire walk June 15.

Niagara Parks Police Chief Douglas Kane said the crowd for the rare event over the Horseshoe Falls will likely be "wall-to-wall."

As Nik Wallenda's walk across the Niagara Gorge gets closer, park authorities on both sides of the gorge are unveiling their plans for June 15.

Officials are expecting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people to show up and see what is expected to be a 35-40 minute walk by the aerialist across the gorge. That means thousands of pedestrians and the need to find space for thousands of cars.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Rescue crews from Canada and the US responded to a report of a man caught in the whirlpool currents near the Falls on Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses claim that a 22 year old Asian male fell into the water at the Niagara Glen nature preserve on the Canadian side. Crews used water craft and helicopters to search for the man. He was spotted in the water but was pulled under from the currents before he could be rescued. He never resurfaced.

The rescue effort was suspended Saturday evening.