Monday, May 31, 2010


There was a big fire in Gasport tonight. The old depot-like structure on the south side of the rail line -- and on the west side of Main Street -- was engulfed by flames and a total loss, requiring the assistance of multiple local fire departments.

The address is listed as 4440 Main Street, the same street address held by Deja Vu Hair Salon. The building that houses the salon was not destroyed but did sustain damage.

More details to follow on loss, cause, etc. as they become available. At press time it is still a working fire.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The Lockport Union Sun reports on Roy-Hart football...

ROYALTON — In a comeback that could be reminiscent of Frank Reich leading the Buffalo Bills, the Royalton-Hartland School District will field a varsity football for the 2010-11 school year.

Thursday the Board of Education accepted a donation of $20,312 from the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters Club for the district’s athletic program. That donation, along with some additional cuts made by district coaches, will save the Roy-Hart Rams varisty football season.

Because of budget issues, such as a $1.5 million loss in state aid, the district had planned to cut football from the 2010-11 spending plan.

Roy-Hart had until Tuesday to notify Section VI whether or not they were going to have a football team in the fall. Superintendent Kevin MacDonald said he had already made the call.

“I’ve notified the section we will have a football team,” he said. “The coaching positions have been posted. And I don’t anticipate any issues.”

The boosters club have had a number of fundraisers in recent weeks. Earlier this month the club sponsored a dinner, a three on three basketball tournament and have been running concession stands at a number of events to raise money. On May 18 at the budget vote and school board election the club also sold items from a Schwann’s home delivery truck.

MacDonald said Roy-Hart coaches also took a look at their own budgets to see if any additional cuts could be made. Some made cuts to equipment, while others will play less games to help save money. To have varsity football costs the district about $27,000.

“Without the support of the community at large this couldn’t have been done,” MacDonald said.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


WLVL reports on some crime fighting excitement in rural Gasport...

Sheriff's deputies used a taser around 9:00 Tuesday night as they were arresting a 31 year old Lockport man for alleged drunk driving.

Colin Baker of 7350 Ellicott Road was stopped at Orangeport and Humphrey Roads after he allegedly crossed the center line.

They said an open bottle of beer was in the center console. Baker was asked several times to get out of the truck but he told them he was an American with rights and he didn't have to follow their orders. A Middleport Police 0fficer showed up to help and the two officers used a taser, pepper spray, and physical force to get him out. He was charged with DWI, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, failure to keep right, and resisting arrest.


Many district residents were upset that football was cut from the Roy-Hart school budget. To most of them...and to anyone who ever attended was a real shocker to see football let go.

A lot of citizens couldn't imagine Roy-Hart without football, so the Sports Boosters Club, with help from a small army of volunteers, have busted their butts in an attempt to procure the necessary funding to keep the program alive.

Rick DeWaters, the head honcho of the Booster Club, sent us an email with some great news for the community...

The Boosters have approved "supplemental" funding of Varsity Football!

Rick is delivering a check to Roy-Hart today that will be dedicated to reinstating Varsity Football for the 2010-2011 school year.

He is hopeful that our district's Board of Education will accept the Booster's donation and take swift action to restore Varsity Football and post the necessary coaching employment opportunities for those interested and qualified applicants.

Rick said the Boosters are also anxious to assist in funding Modified Sports and reinstating them, starting with fall sports.

This will no doubt be a topic of tonight's Board of Education meeting to be held at 7:00 at the high school.


Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour is holding a town hall meeting at the Royalton Town Hall on June 7th at 7:00. Jim will talk about crime trends, sex offenders, and citizen observer programs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


...but it wasn't for a good reason as WIVB reports...

Nathan McCall, 18, of Gasport, was arrested by New York State Police for burglary in the 2nd degree which is a class C felony.

McCall had attempted to steal a Nintendo Wii video game system from his neighbor's home on May 17th but was interrupted by the homeowner. He fled the home but was located and arrested on May 18th.

Once in custody, he revealed the location of many more stolen items including an Xbox video game system, a cell phone, walkie-talkies and a bicyble. The State Police and Niagara County Sheriff's office recovered the items.

The Xbox and walkie-talkies were identified as items stolen in a Gasport burglary. The other owners of the other items are still unknown.

If you have any information about this case, please call State Police Investigator John DiPasquale at 716-434-1245.

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Buffalo News reports on the imprisonment of a local child abuser...

A Royalton man who abused his baby son over a two-month period last year, inflicting fractures to the child’s shoulders, arms and legs, was sent to state prison Wednesday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

“Even the most base animal knows you shouldn’t injure a newborn,” Murphy told David W. Stroup Jr., 26, of Rochester Road, before sentencing him to 1 to four years in prison.

Stroup had a history of child abuse, the judge said. Besides the multiple assaults from Sept. 11 to Nov. 22 on Braiden Stroup, now 9 month 1/3 old, Murphy said the father was investigated by Child Protective Services when he was living in Virginia in 2006 for allegedly injuring another baby son, Brandon, who is 4 years old.

Read the entire story online at:


On May 23rd Zach Granzow and his crew at Chop's Shop are hosting a Chop's Shop Pizzeria Community Fun Day at Vet's Park to raise money for the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters.

The day will start off at 8am with a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. At 10:00 a Bounce House and Dunk Tank will be set up. At 2:00 the Car/Bike show starts and a few local bands have agreed to play for a few hours as entertainment.

They also hope to have a couple of pick up games of kickball/softball/basketball throughout the day. They'll have concessions open all day, serving food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Zach says the first year was a big success and they had raised money for the Royalton 4th of July Celebration in the Chop's Shop Parking Lot. He hopes to raise a substantial amount for the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters in an effort to keep the Roy-Hart sports teams.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yesterday the Royalton-Hartland voters passed the school budget by a 537-262 vote. In regard to the school board seats, Dan Bragg was re-elected with 493 votes. Newcomer Paul Guinn won the other seat with 482 votes, besting incumbent Bill Howell, who had 426 votes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The Niagara County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man who exposed himself to three young girls on Sunday in Hartland. The 3 girls were walking roadside in the 7800 block of Gill Road when a silver car (believed to be a Pontiac Grand Prix) drove by twice and, on the third time, pulled over and a naked man came running out of it.

Monday, May 17, 2010


With May halfway over, many folks are now planning for the Summer months and are curious about the Fourth of July.

Jeff Brown, of the committee behind the Royalton Fourth of July events, has sent us this tentative schedule and some information about the day's festivities. As always, it looks like a top-notch event and it is destined to once again bring people from all over WNY to our fair community.

Sunday July 4, 2010

2pm: Ravine Park is open, as is parking within the Park. The shuttle will start from Terry's Corners Fire Hall and Gasport Fire Hall

4pm: Parade will start from Hartland Bible Church parking lot on West Ave.

5pm: Kids games start, Dixieland band in kid's area, Gasport Lions Club chicken bar-b-q starts, Food Vendors open, Problem Child Band plays

6 pm: Jonsie Band

7:30pm: Strongman Contest

7:30pm Last Call Band

8pm: Kids games end

9:30pm: Red House Band

10 pm: fireworks
11 pm: Park Closed

The committee is working on some new and not so new ideas for the young ones. There will be new contests for different age groups of kids plus the original games like pig pong toss, pluck-a-duck, lollipop gambling, bowling, knock-em down, wheel of fortune, and putt & drive. There is face painting, balloon creations, crafts and more in the craft tent. They will have two street performers in the kid's area all evening, doing their tricks and acts. There will be bounce houses for the little ones and a rock climbing wall for the bigger ones. And, don't forget that their sand boxes all have a special prize to find. The kid's area will be alcohol-free.

Parking at the Ravine Park has always been an issue, so again this year they will be offering a shuttle bus from the two fire halls. This has been a big help in the past to help alleviate the traffic coming into and exiting the park. The shuttle is free, although they ask for a $1 donation per rider to help with the costs of the fireworks and the kids program.

Also, there will be NO tailgating in the parking lot due to limited space. There will be no parking on either side of the road on Gasport Rd. between Route 31 and Dale will be towed.

The Committee will be starting a donation drive in the next few weeks and any one who would like to donate time and/or money, please contact Jeff Brown at or mail to - Royalton 4th of July Committee 4457 Central Ave Gasport, NY 14067.


Linda Haley was a rural mail carrier at the Gasport post office for well over 10 years. Unfortunately, she has taken ill and hasn’t worked since December. She’s been battling breast cancer for 5 years and it recently took a turn for the worse as she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. She is undergoing the only treatment available, an experimental chemotherapy option.

Her friends and family will be holding a benefit for her on Sunday, May 23rd at Attitudes on West Ave. in Lockport from 3:00 to 8:00. The spaghetti dinner will feature a basket raffle and door prizes. There are over 200 Chinese Auction items, a 50/50 split, and the grand prize of a laptop computer donated by the employees of the Gasport Post Office. If you would like tickets ,or more information, please contact Carol Genet at 772.7937.


Royalton-Hartland's school budget vote and school board elections take place this Tuesday, May 18th from noon to 9:00 at the high school gymnasium.

The budget being voted-on features $22.1 million in spending, down 5.3 percent (or $1.2 million) versus last year's. Despite the spending cuts there have also been significant cuts in state spending on the district ($2.3 million), hence the property tax rate per $1,000 assessed value rising to $21.24, up 5 percent.

The equivalent of eight full-time positions are being cut from the budget, including four and a half retirements for which the positions are not being filled. One of those cut through attrition is a teacher’s aide, while the other three and a half are teachers. Other cuts include part-time positions in art, music, technology, speech, as well as in administration.

Beyond the academic core it should also be noted that football, modified sports, the Spanish Club, the marching band and jazz ensemble are all on the chopping block.

Voters will also get the chance to select 2 board members from 3 candidates: Daniel R. Bragg, (incumbent), Paul E. Guinn, and William H. Howell (incumbent). The victors will serve 2-year terms.

As usual, the district will try to drive up voter turnout by making the elections a family affair. Among the activities taking place at the high school on Tuesday are:

* A chicken BBQ from 3:30 to 7:00. $8 will get you 1/2 a chicken, potato salad, roll and dessert

* Middle School talent show at 6:30 in the Aud

* Kindergarten orientation at 6:30 in the chorus room

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Sports Boosters president Rick DeWaters sent us the following news items about athletics fundraising at Roy-Hart...

Chop's Shop of Gasport has so generously invited us to join the restaurant in putting on a sort of "day in the park". Proceeds from the events of Sunday, May 23, will support sports in the Royalton Hartland School District. In addition, Ms. Brittny Whitenight and her students will be selling lollipops to raise money for sports.

The Schwans Food truck will park at school all day during the school budget vote and be available for purchase of its fine products. Proceeds will support RH sports.

The RH Sports Boosters is conducting a mass phone calling event. We have begun contacting district residents to request financial donations in support of our cause. Checks can be made payable to "RH Sports Boosters" and mailed to PO Box 298, Middleport, NY 14105.

The Sports Boosters Club is selling concessions at all home track meets and will be in the booth on the following dates in May: Monday, 5/10: Tuesday, May 11 & Thurs., May 13; Wed. & Thurs., May 19 & 20 for the All-League Meet; and Tuesday, May 25 for the Freshman-Soph meet. We welcome your support!

An "emergency" meeting of the Boosters will take place on Monday, May 17 @7PM in the HS Media Center. All folks concerned about keeping sports at RH alive are invited to attend.

Please encourage all registered district residents to vote "YES" in favor of the school budget on Tuesday, May 18. There is a proposed 5% tax increase. Let us understand just what this means in terms of dollars: If your property is assessed at $100,000, you will pay $101 more in school taxes next year......We believe this is a very, very reasonable request and should probably be more, in light of programs that are being cut in order to accommodate budget constraints. We estimate that it would cost a mere approximately $15-$18 more to keep sports and music programs that are being cut. Seems a very small sacrifice to make in order to provide our kids with programs that are so very important in their development.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Today's Buffalo News breaks down the school board elections across the county, including that in our town...

There’s a three-way race for two seats in the Roy-Hart School District, with two incumbents looking to keep their seats.

Paul E. Guinn, a steam fitter and instrument and controls technician, is the challenger in the race. He said the education of children is the top priority, but nearly as equal to that is making efficient spending decisions.

“I’m just going to be a responsible, contributing member to the school board,” said Guinn, 40.

Guinn has two daughters in the district and is a little league baseball coach with Roy-Hart Youth Baseball.

Incumbents Daniel R. Bragg and William H. Howell are both completing their second terms on the board.

Bragg said he’s running again because he wants to continue working to try to change the way the education process happens in public schools. The increased use of technology and other changes are needed because students learn differently and the system has not fully adapted, Bragg said.

“We don’t give these kids good foundations so they can make life choices,” said Bragg, 55.

Bragg, a manager at Standish Jones Lumber Co. in Gasport, also serves on the Royalton Town Council and is a member of the Gasport Volunteer Fire Co. He has eight children.

Howell, a safety risk specialist with Orleans-Niagara BOCES, said he thought about not running for the board again, but the financial difficulties expected over the next couple of years drew him back.

“I just didn’t want to run away at this point in time, and I figured I’d stay for one more term,” said Howell, 59.

Howell said he wants the district to explore more shared services.

His son is a graduate of Roy-Hart.

To read the rest of the article and compare Roy-Hart against other school districts, go to:

Friday, May 7, 2010


The Lockport Union Sun and Journal has a lengthy story about last night's budget hearing...

Thursday the district formally unveiled its proposed 2010-11 school year budget at a public hearing for residents. The $22.1 million spending plan is a $1.2 million decrease in spending, but still carries a 5 percent increase in the tax levy. The bump to $8.6 million from $8.2 million in the levy could raise the property tax rate about $1 per $1,000.

Among the cuts is the varsity football team, which costs about $27,000 to $29,000.

The article highlighted some comments from the crowd, including former football players. It also noted...

Rick DeWaters, president of the Roy-Hart Booster Club, said the organization has a few fundraising events coming up, including a dance and dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday at Gasport Fire Hall, 8412 Telegraph Road.

The article also mentioned the District's dire straits..

Roy-Hart lost $2.3 million in state aid, which was helped out by $800,000 in federal stimulus funds. The district lost a total of $1.5 million in aid, which MacDonald said was a result of other school districts in the state declining in wealth faster than Roy-Hart. The Roy-Hart schools took the largest cut in aid for a Niagara County district, and the 33rd largest in the state.

Other cuts include the equivalent of eight full-time positions, field trips and buses running after 3:15 p.m.

Read the entire article online...


The guys at Terry's Corners Volunteer Fire Company are once again cooking up their world famous chicken bar-b-q on Mother's Day, this Sunday May 9th, from 11:00 until "gone".

You can have a sit down dinner or go through their speedy drive thru service. The TC crew cooks their own New York State grown chickens which come with homemade baked beans, cole slaw, and nice hard rolls from Antonios.

Cost is $8/adults, kids 5-12 are $4. Kids under 5 eat Free. All drive thru dinners are $8.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Twenty non-profit business booster groups are receiving grants from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission-funded William G. Mayne Jr. Business/Community Enhancement program. Recipients were announced Tuesday by the county Legislature. Among them was the Gasport Beautification Committee who received $790 for “welcome” banners and 10 resin barrels to line the Main Street canal district.


Zion Lutheran Church's newest women's group, WHO, will be sponsoring a basket auction fundraiser for Dan Ruppel to help with mounting medical expenses. They are looking for donations of baskets or items for the fundraiser which will be held on June 6th. Bring items to the church or contact the church at 772.2277 to make arrangements for pickup or delivery.


Frederick Fierch of Middleport, in conjunction with Arcadia Publishing, recently released a pictorial book, Images of America: Royalton, Hartland and Middleport that features a great collection of awesome pictures highlighting our community's history.

I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of the book (it's that good!) and meet Fred this weekend at his book signing. He'll be at The Book Shoppe, 519 Main Street in Medina, from 11:00 to 1:00 on Saturday, May 8th.

After you read the book you'll probably wonder what went into putting it together, what motivated Fred to do it and more. To answer those questions, Fred will be interviewed soon for this website.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CHRIS LEE TOWN HALL: JUNE 2nd reports the following...

The Royalton-Hartland Business and Professional Association (RHBPA) and Absolut Care of Gasport announce a “Town Hall Meeting” on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, from 7-9 p.m. at Absolut Care of Gasport, 4540 Lincoln Drive, Gasport, NY.

Headlining the event is U.S. Representative Chris Lee. There will be a short presentation by Representative Lee and a time for comments by other elected officials in attendance, followed by an open forum for questions from the audience.

Topics of discussion will include health care reform and education. This is the third event in the series sponsored by the RHBPA and Absolut Care and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


On May 23rd Zach Granzow and his crew at Chop's Shop are hosting a Chop's Shop Pizzeria Community Fun Day at Vet's Park to raise money for the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters.

The day will start off at 8am with a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. At 10:00 a Bounce House and Dunk Tank will be set up. At 2:00 the Car/Bike show starts and a few local bands have agreed to play for a few hours as entertainment.

They also hope to have a couple of pick up games of kickball/softball/basketball throughout the day. They'll have concessions open all day, serving food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Zach says the first year was a big success and they had raised money for the Royalton 4th of July Celebration in the Chop's Shop Parking Lot. He hopes to raise a substantial amount for the Roy-Hart Sports Boosters in an effort to keep the Roy-Hart sports teams.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Sheriff Jim Voutour has been holding meetings in each town of the county, addressing public safety issues and recent crime trends. The next installment of this outreach program will take place on May 17th at 7:00 PM at the Hartland Town Hall.


Becker Farms is having a brunch -- one of their 100-mile radius meals no less -- on Mother's Day. Seating is at 11:30. Cost is $25/adult, $15/kids. Reservations must be made by calling 772.2211.

Check out the menu at:


The Roy-Hart school district is holding its budget hearing this Thursday, May 6th, at 7:00 PM in the high school auditorium. It should be an exciting meeting as the community seems split over the cutting of football and modified sports.

If you'd like to see the budget beforehand, it is available for review on Tuesday during regular business hours at the business office and the principal's office in all 3 buildings.