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February 15, 2018

C.H.A.N.T. looking to change norms in N.T.; county land bank could fight blight

Lisa Peterangelo, above, of the Community Health Alliance of NT owes its existence to a five-year federal grant to help fight teen drug and alcohol abuse.

“If you have a child, you have a vulnerable population,” she said.

The program is looking to change the cultural norms in the city regarding drug and alcohol use.

“I hear people say, ‘It’s OK if my kid drinks at the house because at least he’s not behind the wheel of a car.’ It’s not OK.”

“My job is to grow this coalition,” Peterangelo said.

Councilman Robert Pecoraro is the group’s government representative along with 11 other [...]

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February 15, 2018

Secretary scandal can’t go away soon enough for Falls council; summer traffic snarls need solution

There’s one council member who doesn’t have to worry about blinking on the controversial hiring of Mark Diodate as council secretary.

Although Kenny Tompkins said he thinks the council secretary position is necessary since all council members except Chris Voccio have a full-time job, he definitely thinks there were other qualified candidates that interviewed for the position.

“This is not going away,” said regular council commentator Tim Huether during Wednesday’s common council meeting.

In addition to being granted permission to re-submit his resume after errors were brought to light, Diodate’s resume still contained [...]

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February 15, 2018

Niagara Falls hires “cruise director” to bolster unreached tourism potential

If Niagara Falls is going to roll the dice on any industry, without a doubt it’s tourism.

“Tourism is our new industry,” said councilman Kenny Tompkins. “We have to focus making it grow.”

To that end, the council voted unanimously Wednesday to spend $40,000 on a new tourism specialist in the city administration.

The city will be matched by the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. for another $40,000 covering salary and benefits.

While that marketing entity promotes Niagara Falls all over the world, the new hire will focus on what tourists who come to Niagara Falls, USA, will do when they get here. [...]

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February 15, 2018

City assessor’s $10,000 stipend tabled again; $500k paid out to victim of “dark side” cop

In a surprise move Wednesday, the mayor pulled his resolution to grant a $10,000 stipend to city assessor James Bird.

The council is looking to keep his stipend at the current rate of $5,000 a year for the six hours a week he spends working in Wilson under a shared-services agreement.

Since Bird took on extra duties as Wilson’s real property appraiser, Niagara Falls is now getting an additional $20,000. Mayor Paul Dyster wants Bird to keep $10,000 of that and said he completes some of that extra work during nights and weekends.

The council wants the city to retain the entire windfall. Bird makes $73,000 a year and uses [...]

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