Monday, September 30, 2019

FMC statement about Monday's incident

FMC's statement about this morning's incident...

Here is what we can confirm at this time:

At approximately 8:00 am this morning, a small electrical fire occurred within a groundwater pump house on the property of FMC’s Agricultural Sciences Plant in Middleport. The pump house supports the water treatment plant and is not part of the plant’s operations and no chemicals were involved.

The fire was quickly contained by the Middleport Fire Department as FMC’s emergency plan was implemented and notification of the incident was given to the Village of Middleport, the Royalton-Hartland School District and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

There were no injuries and the plant did not cease operations. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Shed fire at FMC

If you see fire trucks racing to FMC this morning, don't be scared for the kids at Roy-Hart. A plastic shed behind the plant is now on fire. Dispatch says there are no chemicals involved.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Half Baked Cookies

In Sunday's Buffalo News is October's glossy Buffalo Magazine. The cover story is about the six best places to get a chocolate chip cookie in WNY. One of them is Gasport's Half Baked Cookies:

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dining spotlight to debut

As a rolling project over the next 18 months I will do a "dining spotlight" on every single establishment that serves food in the towns of Royalton and Hartland (not only Gasport, but also the village of Middleport and the hamlet of Wolcottsville).

They won't necessarily be hoity-toity food reviews that you'd expect out of a big city newspaper. Instead, they will look at each place and its prices and menus and offer some basic opinions on the food and service, focusing on the value and quality they bring families.

The spotlight will help encourage residents to eat local while offering to visitors who do a quick Google search some ideas on where to eat. From Becker Farms to the Erie Canal to the wine trail, we get a lot of passer-bys...let's get them to stuff their faces here!

Every establishment will be spotlighted, whether it's a sit-down place like Cup & Saucer or B&B BBQ or a take-out joint like Crosby's or New England Seafood.

Believe it or not, there are at least 22 places to try out in Royalton and Hartland!

Pheasants released in Royalton

Pheasant season is around the corner and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has announced they will be releasing 30,000 pheasants for hunters across the state and have provided a list of release sites. Some birds will be released in Royalton at the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area. Here is the list of all release sites:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Homecoming events

WIVB photos of pole barn fire aftermath

Updated homecoming parade route

Hartland garage fire

Niagara County Sheriff's Office Press Release: Town of Hartland,NY -

On September 24 2019 at 0113 hours, the Niagara County Sheriff's Communication Center received a 911 call from the resident at 2916 Johnson Creek Rd. reporting the detached garage at that address was on fire.

Upon arrival of sheriff deputies and fire personnel, a 30 X 40 Ft pole barn style structure was found with fire and smoke showing from inside. Inside the building were several classic cars and motorcycles as well as UTV's.

Once inside, Hartland Volunteer Fire Co. was able to quickly extinguish the fire.

At this time the cause of the fire is undetermined, as is the amount of damage sustained. One classic car was a total loss and other vehicles inside were damaged.

The Niagara County Fire Investigation Unit responded and the cause is under investigation at this time. There were no injuries reported.

This year's apple crop is a good one

WIVB did a story about this year's apple crop. They went to the pros: Becker Farms:

Monday, September 23, 2019

This weeks's Superintendent's message

One of the District priorities for the school year is to focus on literacy.  It is expected that students will read and write across all curriculum areas with a focus on reading comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, writing and phonics. 

This past week, I was very pleased to observe our teachers teaching these skills through multiple methods and more importantly the students learning through the application of these skills.

I am often asked what families can do to support their child’s reading and writing skills.  The simplest response is to have them practice. Much like learning how to ride a bike, play an instrument or throw a ball, reading and writing are skills that improve each time you use them. Begin by having your child read what they enjoy.  It could be a graphic novel, magazine or biography. It simply does not matter what to begin with. As your child becomes comfortable, perhaps consider reading the same book and have a conversation. Encourage your child to read one of your favorite titles and share your personal experience with the literature.

The United States Department of Education provides many resources including a Guide for Reading Tips for Parents.  I encourage the community to explore opportunities to help our young people grow.  If not the parents guide, consider visiting the community library, or call your Building Principal or your child’s teacher for assistance.  It is never too late to improve our reading and writing.

As always, I hope that you will make an effort to reach out and say hello when you see me around the schools and town, by email at or follow me on Twitter @DrStopinski

Dr. Hank Stopinski

Superintendent of Schools

Friday, September 20, 2019

Caroline Stoddard Go Fund Me campaign

The Stoddard family of Middleport could use the community's help to bring veteran and Roy-Hart alumna Caroline Stoddard home. She was electrocuted in a small town just outside Cancun, Mexico. Sixty percent of her body is covered in 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The family needs to bring her back to the states to get the medical care and family support she needs. She can't be transported via a commercial airline, so the Go Fund Me campaign would help fund an air ambulance:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Splash pad to close for season on 9/22

From the Town of Hartland's facebook...

Well Hartland, this summer has been amazing! The weather was great, our Recreation program was fun filled and the Splash Pad was a big hit. However, Fall is quickly approaching bringing our summer fun to a close. That being said, this will be our last weekend for the Splash Pad ending our water fun for this year. It looks like we will have beautiful weather in the 80's so this will be your last chance for some "Fun in the Sun" to Splash! Enjoy everyone, we will see you in the Park next year

8th annual Michelle's Memorial

The goal of Michelle's Memorial is to provide a scholarship at Royalton Hartland for graduating Seniors, encourage sports in our community as well as the remembrance of Michelle Bewley (Schuler) who, in 2006, passed away at the age of 29 in a car accident.

The scholarship rewards a student that took part in music and sports, excelled academically and portrayed a whole lot of heart both on and off the field, just as Michelle did.

The 8th annual Michelle's Memorial 5k will take place on Saturday, November 16th at 9:00 AM at the fire hall in Middleport. Registration begins at 8:00 AM.

Runners who register by November 1st will receive a free pint of syrup from Wolf Maple Products. 

You can register here for $20:

You can also register the day of the event for $25.

For more information, the Michelle's Memorial Facebook page can be liked here:

The Facebook event page for this year's event is:

For questions about sponsoring, volunteering, donating or running, please contact Brooke Gypson at

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Quaker settlements in Niagara County

If you like history, a recent Niagara Discoveries column in the Lockport paper looked back at the Quaker settlements in Niagara County, including those in Hartland:

Canal bridge needs help

A significant number of bridges statewide and in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area are rated in poor/structurally deficient or fair condition, according to a new report from TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, DC.

Bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.

TRIP's report lists 25 Buffalo-Niagara Falls area bridges with the lowest average rating for deck, substructure and superstructure.

One Gasport bridge shows up on that list: the Slayton Settlement Road bridge over the Erie Canal, which comes in as the 24th-lowest rated bridge in the region.

The full report can be downloaded here:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

What's happening at the Park?

Many people, including yours truly, have been wondering what project was underway at or around Royalton Ravine Park with the massive culverts that were recently stored on site and the opening of the access road to the north of the old Gasport reservoir where Red Creek flows through.

I reached out to Niagara County today and below is the response from Garret Meal, Commissioner of Public Works. I appreciate what he and his team are doing to maintain the integrity of Gasport Road and the creek.

Here's his response:

The work that you are seeing is repairs to the culvert carrying Gasport Road over the creek. The original stone arch bridge was constructed around 1915, the culvert was extended both east and west in the 1950’s using steel plate arch pipe to raise the profile of the road. This culvert was showing signs of age and was damaged in a few spots, requiring repairs.

In order to fix this situation, we installed a continuous liner pipe through the entire length of the culvert and filled the annular space between the old and new pipe with concrete grout. This liner pipe is what you saw stored at the park. This project will provide a permanent fix to protect the road.

Gottman gets 100 career wins as a coach

Gasport's own Mike Gottman is doing awesome things coaching high school football in Florida:

Open house pic

Open house was at the elementary school in Gasport last night. We're big fans of Royalton-Hartland School District superintendent Dr. Stopinski. He's a great guy whose vision, leadership, collaboration and actions are perfect for our school and community.

Gasport's old playground

Yesterday, my daughter asked me if the big playground was there at the Elementary School when I was her age. Nope. That got me thinking -- do you remember the play area at Gasport Elementary back in the day? It was where the BOCES wing is now. It was bare bones -- swings and a metal slide, a set of steel monkey bars to the north, and best of all, that simple area of play and hanging out that consisted of a half dozen maple trees in a circle around an area so worn down -- and shaded -- that grass would never grow, like a little dust bowl. Ah, the good ol' days!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sportsman's dinner with Lance Krueger

Hartland Bible Church at 8110 West Ave. Gasport will be hosting a Sportsman’s Dinner with special guest Lance Krueger on October 18 from 6-8:30PM. Program includes dinner, giveaways and a presentation by one of the top whitetail deer photographers in the world.

Lance's knowledge of the Whitetail is sure to both educate and inspire as this world class photographer shares some of what he has learned over his past 25 years as a wildlife photographer.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity and join HBC October 18th to hear from one of the most decorated wildlife photographers of our time.

Don't wait to secure your ticket as space is limited. Tickets are available for the suggested donation of $10.

Follow this link to secure your ticket online:

The Facebook event page is: