Niagara Falls

With two apparent suicide attempts in two days at Niagara Falls, mental health experts say more may be forthcoming.

Every year, a large number of people use the waterfall to kill themselves, with the attempt by a 40-year-old man on Monday one of the few where the jumper survived. Police say there are many suicide attempts at the Falls each year, but not all are reported.

For the second time in two days, there is a report of a person going over Niagara Falls, this time on the American side.

New York State Park Police are investigating the report of a second person going over just after 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.  Police say they are interviewing witnesses, who say the person who went over was an adult, but police tell WBFO and AM 970 there is no further information at this time.

Authorities say due to the rocks below the American Falls, chances of survival are slim. However, a search for a body continues.

Daniel Robison / WBFO

Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda concludes his public practices Tuesday in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Over the last week, Wallenda has invited spectators to watch him prepare for his June 15 wirewalk over Horseshoe Falls.

But almost a month before the main event, Wallenda's presence is already inspiring an eclectic atmosphere in this hard scrabble city of 50,000.

"Great for the city"

Niagara County's political wars aren't being suspended while Nik Wallenda readies for his walk above the Niagara Gorge.

State Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman John Ceretto were sponsors of legislation to allow the Wallenda walk to take place.

Both have criticized City Hall and Mayor Paul Dyster, saying they aren't properly supporting the event.

Dyster found a defender in City Council Member Kristen Grandinetti.

mike desmond/wbfo news

Some improvements still need to be put in place, but some Niagara Falls residents and public officials took time yesterday to celebrate the new LaSalle Waterfront Park.

Built on what was once the Century Club on Buffalo Avenue just south of the Grand Island Bridge, the park gives the public some rare access to the river.
"Finally, this park has come to fruition," said Niagara Falls Councilman Charles Walker.

Man survives jump into Niagara Falls

May 21, 2012

A man is alive, but badly injured, after plunging into Niagara Falls.

Niagara Parks Police says witnesses saw the man climb over the retaining wall above the Horseshoe Falls and enter the waters below without any sort of protective device around 10:20 this morning.  He was then seen surfacing in the lower Niagara River.

An officer located the man near the shoreline as the Niagara Falls Fire Department, the Niagara Regional Police Service and Niagara E.M.S. arrived at the scene. He was extricated at 12:16 p.m. and taken via  ORNGE air ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital.

At network's insistence, Wallenda to be tethered

May 21, 2012
Daniel Robison/WBFO

Daredevil Nik Wallenda says he's not happy about it but he'll probably be tethered to the tightrope that he plans to walk over Niagara Falls next month.

Wallenda says Monday that ABC is adamant about making him wear the safety device out of concern for viewers who tune in to the network's three-hour, prime-time special on June 15.

He says he's upset by the condition because he's never worn a tether during a performance and it will give him another thing to contend with as he walks through the mist and wind over the waterfall.

Wallenda's wire walk to be televised nationally

May 11, 2012

The daredevil walk of Nik Wallenda over Niagara Falls has been turned into a primetime network event.  

ABC announced today that it will devote its entire primetime schedule on June 15 to a three hour special as Wallenda attempts to walk over the falls on a tightrope. 

Meanwhile, in Niagara Falls, outside the Seneca Niagara Casino, preparations are underway for the high-wire walk.  Construction of a 1,200- foot high wire and spectator seating is underway. 

A Niagara Falls man is safely in custody after authorities talked him down from the roof of a 7th Street home.

The man is a suspect in stabbing incident, and he barricaded himself on the roof as police closed in on him. SWAT team members were called in to handle the situation. After more than eight hours and a near fall from the peak, the man was safely convinced to surrender.

The identity and condition of the suspect have not been released.

File Photo / WBFO, AM 970 News

A Niagara Falls police officer, who is appealing a criminal conviction, is suing the city for the loss of his job.

Mark Feldhousen was 58 years old when he was transferred from a streets detail to a desk job two years ago. His suit alleges that the city discriminated against him based on age in the transfer.The suit, however, makes no mention of his 2011 conviction on third-degree assault charges filed by an ex-girlfriend.

Motions for the transfer began shortly after that conviction.

The suit was filed just this past week.

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

A local food pantry is celebrating its 30th anniversary Thursday night at its annual recognition dinner.  Heart, Love and Soul Food Pantry and Dining Room in the City of Niagara Falls was started by a prayer group from Sacred Heart Parish. 

But as WBFO & AM-970’S Eileen Buckley reports, the center’s mission of feeding the hungry has grown into several outreach services to improve quality of life for those in need.

Date set for Niagara Falls wire walk

Apr 26, 2012
WBFO News file photo

Nik Wallenda will make his tightrope walk across Niagara Falls on June 15th.

According to the Buffalo News, the date was selected after lengthy negotiations with officials on both sides of the falls.

Tourism groups in Niagara Falls, New York, were pressing for a September date for the event which is expected to draw thousands to the region.

The city's 2,000 hotel rooms are typically full in the middle of June.

Wallenda will walk 1800-feet on a wire from Goat Island to Table Rock in Canada.

mike desmond/wbfo news

It's a fight over a restaurant sign, a large and not turned-on electronic sign over the door of the Hard Rock Cafe just across the street from Niagara Falls State Park.

Some local state legislators say it's a victory for local control over Albany control.

"It's the local government, in this case Niagara Falls, that makes this type of determination," said State Senator George Maziarz.

That's the issue since state law gives Albany control over signs within 500 feet of a state park.

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

The national numbers portray an improving employment picture, but the count of hundreds at a Wednesday job fair in Niagara Falls shows a gloomier, more desperate reality.

WBFO and AM970's Mark Leitner visited the fair and spoke with many of the attendees.

The day, perhaps, offered a microcosm of the nation's changing economy.

Daniel Robison / WBFO

Only seven percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.

It all starts with a machine affectionately known as the "Plastic-Eating Monster." Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. This waste comes from landfills and dumps from all over the United States.

Alberto Mari / via Flickr

Niagara Falls has banned the treatment of fracking fluid.

The move comes after the Niagara Falls Water Board was openly considering treating fracking fluid from wells in Pennsylvania and Ohio in order to boost the city’s finances.

 The liquid is a toxic mix of chemicals and heavy metals used during the controversial natural gas drilling technique.

Opponents of fracking argue there is no safe way to purify the liquid before it is discharged into public water sources.

Unanimous vote

photo by Michael Mroziak

There's excitement on both sides of the border, now that professional daredevil Nik Wallenda has cleared the final hurdle to proceed with a high-wire walk over the Niagara Gorge Canadian park officials clearing the way for tightrope walker Nik Wallenda to perform the stunt over the Niagara Gorge later this year.

Canadian regional parks officials gave their approval on Wednesday, meaning Wallenda and his team can now with plans.  Official suggest Wallenda and his team were aiming for late June but with planning just starting, no firm date is set.

Effort underway to keep Niagara air base off closure list

Jan 31, 2012
photo by Michael Mroziak

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base serves a critical role in military missions abroad, in domestic emergencies such as natural disasters, and provides work to an estimated 3,300 military and civilian employees.  So says Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, who was on the local base Tuesday morning to announce that leaders were united and already campaigning on behalf of the base in anticipation of a new Base Realignment and Closing commission, or BRAC, to be formed as part of the Pentagon's recently released 2013 budget.