Tuesday, December 28, 2021


The Gasport Beautification Committee is selling $5 raffle tickets. The drawing will be held in May. This is being used to raise funds to build a Memorial Music Pavilion at Royalton Ravine Park. Tickets will be available at Drum Oil and Propane, Standish-Jones, or from any of the Committee Members.

1st prize: Walk behind Cub Cadet mower donated by Middleport Tractor).

2nd, 3rd and 4th place will be a $50 Made in America Store gift card donated by Confer Plastics.

5th place will be a custom-made wooden Tragically Hip sign.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

2022 navigation season

The NYS Canal Corporation announced that, conditions permitting, all portions of the New York State Canal system are scheduled to open Friday, May 20, 2022, at 7:00 a.m. for the 2022 navigation season. There are no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal system in 2022.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Christmas Eve at Becker Farms

If you'd like to attend an always memorable and cozy Christmas Eve service head over to the old barn at Becker Farms on the 24th for a 4:00 service led by Pastor Rod Klinzing of Zion Lutheran Church. Dress for the weather!



District addresses national issue of school threats

From the Superintendent's Desk

School and Community Members;

As you may be aware, there has been a significant uptick in the number of threats being made in schools across the country and most recently in our region. Recent posts on various social media platforms are actually encouraging students to make false threats to disrupt the learning taking place in our schools. It is important to know that the Royalton-Hartland Central School District has always and continues to make student safety a priority.

The administration and staff are proactive in our approach to school safety. We encourage all students to share with their teachers and administrators any information they have on potential bullying, threats or inappropriate behavior. When a report is made, it is immediately investigated and addressed. In each situation that may involve a threat to a child or our schools, I am immediately notified and our local, county and State law enforcement agencies are notified to assist in addressing the situation as appropriate.

When a false rumor or threat is made, the individual(s) and their families are made aware and appropriate discipline follows. False rumors or unsubstantiated threats are not communicated with families as we do not wish to create additional anxiety or panic. In the event that our students and staff were in danger, appropriate steps would be taken immediately and the community informed.

I ask that you please talk with your children about the importance of reporting any threats, or if they feel in danger please report it to their teacher, counselor or principal immediately. Please monitor your children's social media and speak with them about not making false threats to the school or community. As you may be aware, multiple children in the region have been arrested in the past two weeks at other schools in the region for making threats against several schools.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school principals or myself with any questions or concerns.


Dr. Hank Stopinski


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Why Canal is full


I keep getting inquiries about why the canal is still full (or close to it).

In a program launched last year, the Canal Corporation is delaying draining the western portion of the system in order to release water as needed into Lake Ontario tributaries during the peak of the salmon and trout runs, ensuring the best angling opportunities for locals and tourists. The impacted bodies of water in Niagara County are Eighteenmile Creek and Johnson Creek.

The last of those flow releases was Monday, meaning the canal will start to drain to its winter depths over the course of the next week or so.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Light-up Gasport


The 17th annual Light up Gasport & Christmas Party hosted by the Gasport Beautification Committee

Free Fun for the Whole Family!

When: Sunday, December 12, 2021
Place: Gasport Firehall
Time: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Festivities will include: Santa Claus, Music, Caroling, Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, Basket Raffle, Apple Cider and Sleigh rides.

Each child leaves with a gift!

If the community would like to support this popular event there are multiple ways to do so: Volunteering the day of the event; a basket raffle item; toys for the kids; or a monetary donation. Interested parties should contact Margie Granzow at 716.628.7273.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Lift bridge out of service


Lift bridge update:

The Canal Corporation has identified the problem with the Gasport lift bridge as being a hydraulic issue. They have contractors on site and hope to have the bridge back in service in the next 7 to 14 days.

Commuters and first responders, plan your travels accordingly.

Mitten Tree

When you’re out and about shopping for Christmas, please extend your giving beyond your family. Please buy a gift for a needy child in Royalton and Hartland.

This is the fifteenth year for the awesome Mitten Tree program that is run by the Gasport Lions Club.

Here’s how it works…

A tree is located out front of the Gasport post office, another is outside the Middleport post office, and there are some mittens available at the front desk of the Royalton Town Hall. Take a mitten and give a gift that is appropriate to the age/gender of the child noted on the mitten. Attach the mitten to the unwrapped gift and drop it off at Drum Oil or the Royalton-Hartland Elementary School.

The Lions Club will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays. They typically serve around 125 children.

Please participate and make Christmas a little better for a child – maybe even your neighbor – who is in need. That’s what the holiday is all about.

The deadline to drop-off your gifts is Friday, December 10th. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Hunters breakfast in Wolcottsville


Food pantry distribution

If you know of a family in need in the towns of Royalton or Hartland, the Gasport Food Pantry's monthly distribution is this Saturday (note that it's a week ahead of schedule because of Thanksgiving) 



Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Tri-Town to pay volunteers


Date: 11/16/21

Re: Staffing

It is no secret that nationally healthcare in all forms has been facing an unprecedented challenge these past few years.

Tri-Town is no exception. Tri-Town has served Gasport, Middleport, Terrys Corners and Hartland since 1968. It is our mission to continue our service well into the future as your local EMS provider.
At our last company meeting we have approved an initiative aimed at growing our responder roster and remaining a viable local solution to EMS needs.

While we will remain a not-for-profit volunteer organization; starting January 1, 2022 we will be offering a "paid-per-call" initiative.

We see it within our roster where members have dual income households, and some are holding 2 jobs to help make ends meet. With 3-4 hour calls becoming the "norm", we feel if we offer an incentive it could assist in EMS providers willing to help the "local issue" while earning a stipend to help their families.

Over the past several years we have seen a growing number of calls going to Buffalo and Rochester, where a call may exceed 4 hours.

This stipend program is aimed to assist in growing our local responder base and keeping a local EMS resource viable.

All current and future members are automatically enrolled in this "paid-on-call" initiative, and have the option to "opt-out" of payment. For those who are enrolled in the "paid-per-call" initiative, you will be paid as a vendor and will receive a tax document at the end of the year to claim on your annual tax filings.

To be part of this, you must be a member of our company and pulling 12 hours per month on our schedule. You will still earn "pay-per-call" while on the schedule, but as a minimum benchmark you must pull duty hours in addition to any "off-duty" calls you may want to respond on.

The pay schedule is as follows:

Drivers: $40.00 per call
EMT-Basic: $45.00 per call
AEMT: $50.00 per call
EMT-CC/Medic: $60.00 per call

If interested, you may apply now or anytime in the future. We have increased our new member committee to incorporate all Line Officers and several Board nenbers to tackle what we hope is a surge in applications.

You may apply on our website.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Philip Richardson
Tri-Town Ambulance

Monday, November 8, 2021

Scouting For Food


Over the past weekend, Pack 18 issued these hangtags for their annual Scouting For Food Drive. This weekend, they'll be back to collect any non-perishable foods that you set out.

Please help the scouts with this endeavor. Not only does this teach them critical lessons about community, it will help keep the food pantry stocked in this wild era of inflation and supply chain issues.

People truly need your donations, now more than ever: Because of escalating costs for consumers, 30% of families have skipped meals to save money. Let's help them and let's help the food pantry (they face the same escalating costs that we all do).

Thank you to the Scouts!

Thank you to YOU!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Bazaar and turkey dinner


Hartland race is undecided


The race for the town of Hartland council seats is up in the air. Based on the chart below, most everyone thought the election was decided because it was assumed the two write-ins split the vote of 572.

The Board of Elections has indicated that the 572 are not write-in votes per se....they are BALLOTS that have write-ins. Theoretically, they could have two write-ins each (because it was a "pick two" situation).

This won't be decided until counts of the write-ins begin on the 15th.

Roy-Hart weights SRO

Talks regarding a full-time school resource officer position (SRO) are being held by the Royalton-Hartland School District, but it won't be until next year before anything is final.


Recent Gasport themed articles from the Lockport US&J

 Town justice candidates lock horns in Hartland race: https://www.lockportjournal.com/news/town-justice-candidates-lock-horns-in-hartland/article_2ca40262-36b5-11ec-819c-cb128e30bc3b.html?fbclid=IwAR3JPiODUCWODr_GBTefmyIgkA83QiXjhfyGGmEWVH1PdsjvMbFYwNo19V4


Hartland keeps tax rate steady: https://www.lockportjournal.com/news/local_news/hartland-keeps-tax-rate-steady/article_acb5afd8-20ee-5350-b891-c1d0fa6c3095.html?fbclid=IwAR1oZTXQLgivy-heKvX1HvkYMrncCBeLqTUCeMwhptlDzjcwOekIiqdp9Z0


 Solar center pitch drives contest in Hartland: https://www.lockportjournal.com/news/local_news/solar-center-pitch-drives-contests-in-hartland/article_b180d0af-49e9-5396-806f-49952ccd54f6.html?fbclid=IwAR3sepj-de0nNWZ7O4zDLSxdpMWNxpruGO8B8ZRD9KWDsh0SYBhTvpdEmxY



Friday, October 22, 2021

Local boy diagnosed with cancer

Young Jack Waterman has been diagnosed with a form of kidney cancer. A GoFundMe has been set up for his family to help with the medical expenses. His parents, Cortlyn and Jamie, are deeply involved in the community -- Cortlyn is an aide at the Roy-Hart elementary school and Jamie is a little league coach. As you will see on the GoFundMe, the support for them has been incredible since their friend made the page 3 days ago.



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

October distribution for food pantry

 If you know of someone in need in the towns of Royalton and Hartland, the monthly distribution of the Gasport food pantry and clothing closet takes places this Saturday



More doe tags available

Effective November 1st, more doe tags are available in 9A and 9F, the Wildlife Management Units that cover the towns of Hartland and Royalton.


Hometown Heroes coming to Royalton

 The town of Royalton has launched a Hometown Heroes banner program, similar to those that you've seen in neighboring communities, including Hartland. Here are the details and forms: 



Thursday, October 14, 2021

Senator Ortt tours FMC


New York State Sen. Robert G. Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) toured FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Sciences plant in Middleport this week and presented workers with a proclamation celebrating the 75th anniversary of FMC assuming full operations of the plant.

In issuing the proclamation, Sen. Ortt noted specifically FMC’s planned future investment in the plant, the plant’s economic benefit to the community, new hiring efforts, corporate environmental goals, and workplace safety records.

“The company is an important contributor to the Middleport and eastern Niagara County economies; that economic contribution is set to grow as FMC makes major investments in new employee hiring, product offerings and capital improvements at the Middleport plant,” the proclamation stated.

Plant Manager Brent Sensenich is looking to hire seven new employees, increasing the plant’s workforce to over 70, to meet global demand for agricultural science products to protect and increase food supplies. The Middleport plant formulates and packages a number of key product lines to protect over 100 crops in more than 75 countries worldwide.

“FMC’s Agricultural Sciences Plant in Middleport plays a key role in FMC’s global leadership position in agricultural sciences,” Sen. Ortt’s proclamation further stated.

“We appreciate very much Sen. Ortt’s support for industrial facilities and his encouragement on our 75th anniversary as we continue to work hard for the betterment of our local community and to provide sustainable employment opportunities in our region,” Sensenich said.

The proclamation recognized that “FMC is also committed to the safety of its employees, with ongoing safety training to keep workers safe at home and on the job; that commitment has enabled the Middleport plant to go more than two years as an accident and injury-free workplace without an OSHA recordable incident.”

Regarding environmental goals, FMC announced in August the goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and will use science-based targets aligned with keeping the global temperature at one-and-a-half degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Transformers make their way through Gasport

Yesterday, two VERY heavy wide loads made their way through Gasport. Each load weighed 800,000 pounds. Here's the Orleans Hub report with photos:


Many people have speculated that the giant devices are batteries for local solar farms. They are not. They are transformers for outfitting a new electrical substation that manages a high-voltage line that runs from Royalton to Elma. Here's a 2017 article about that:


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Niagara County redestricting plan

The Niagara County Redistricting Commission today released its proposed map for the county’s 15 legislative districts based on 2020 census data. Redistricting takes place once every 10 years. The commission also announced two public hearings for the public to comment on the plan before it is forwarded to the Niagara County Legislature.

“The five members of the commission reviewed the initial census data and unanimously decided that, given the relative stability in population across the county and the fact the current legislative map was unanimously adopted by the Legislature 10 years ago, our focus would be to bring districts into compliance with a minimal amount of disruption to the current district map,” said Steve Brady, chairman of the Redistricting Commission. “The map we are proposing would make no changes to 10 of the districts and only slight population adjustments to the other five.”

Brady said the commission will present the map, explain the redistricting process and accept public comments at two public hearings scheduled for:

• Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.in the Niagara Falls City Hall Council Chambers located at 745 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York
• Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers, Niagara County Courthouse 175 Hawley St., Lockport, New York.

“I think it’s important for the public to understand the different parameters we have to work under to ensure the redistricting map is constitutional and how that impacts our suggested district lines,” said Brady. “I look forward to their comments.”

The maps and other redistricting information can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/8ybs4v8c.


Superintendent update on strategic plan

Dear Community Members,

During the summer of 2020, the Board of Education identified the need to develop a long range strategic plan for our District. Over the past year a committed group of citizens and District employees have spent countless hours in meetings, hosting focus groups, analyzing a community survey and considering additional information presented to them. Their service to our District is greatly appreciated and has resulted in what we believe to be a quality plan that will help sustain a continuous improvement in the quality of our educational program.

On Wednesday, October 13, the Board of Education will host a public hearing regarding the District’s proposed strategic plan. The plan includes four goals and supporting objectives and measures. The goals include:

School Safety, Security, and Learning Places: The Royalton-Hartland Central School District will create, implement, and maintain a caring, safe and orderly learning environment. The facilities and grounds will meet the current and future needs of the students, staff and community.
Academics: The Royalton-Hartland Central School District will strive to ensure that all students will receive a rigorous academic course of study.

College and Career Readiness: The Royalton-Hartland Central School District will strive to ensure that all students will receive a comprehensive K-12 course of study in preparation for college and career.

Student Supports and Services: The Royalton-Hartland Central School District will strive to ensure that all students will receive a comprehensive set of supports and services to address challenges that impact student learning.

We continue to monitor guidance that helps our schools navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. I ask you to continue to monitor your child's health each morning and if needed, keep them home if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or running a temperature of over 100 degrees. I also encourage you to regularly check our District Website to see updates on the CDC, NYS Department of Health, NYS Department of Education and Niagara County Department of Health websites. All those who are eligible should also consider obtaining a COVID vaccination.

As always, I hope that you will make an effort to reach out directly or follow me on Twitter @DrStopinski

Dr. Hank Stopinski
Superintendent of Schools

The strategic plan can be downloaded here:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Michelle's Memorial


September distribution for Food Pantry

If you know of a family in need in the towns of Royalton or Hartland, the Gasport Food Pantry & Clothing Closet will have its monthly distribution tomorrow



Friday, September 17, 2021

Class of 1996 mini-reunion

The Royalton-Hartland Class of 1996 is having a 25 Year mini-reunion at the New York Beer Project in Lockport this Saturday evening (9/18).

For more details, visit the event page:

To see that page, you must be an approved member of the Class of 1996 page:


Hartland Conservationists chowder sale and flea market


Roy-Hart potential threat

Earlier today, Roy-Hart received notice of a potential threat. After investigating with law enforcement it was determined that it wasn't credible.

The situation had escalated to a stressor for a lot of families as students heard rumors and texted parents and friends.

Monday, September 6, 2021

TC ends regular bingo


At the September meeting, the membership of the Terry's Corners Fire Company voted to discontinue their regular weekly bingo.

TCFC will hold Quarterly SPECIAL bingo events throughout the year. Information on when the special bingos will be held will be posted to their Facebook page.

TCFC would like to thank their regular attendees who have supported them throughout the past years. They couldn't have kept it going so long without you.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Running for Judy

Here's a wonderful report about Zechariah Cartledge, the young lad from Florida who runs for first responders lost in the line of duty. He ran for Judy Spencer and presented the flag to her family personally

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Aurora Genet is opening a new business


Aurora Genet is opening a new business in Gasport. Her grand opening is Saturday, September 18th from 9-3pm. After that, her hours are M-F 9-3 and Sat 9-12. She'll be closed on Sundays.

We wish her the best of luck. It's good to see a business starting-up in our community.

Splash pad and park closed during memorial service






Comment period extended for Canal tree removal program

The New York State Canal Corporation has announced the public comment period for its Earthen Embankment Integrity Program is being extended to October 15, 2021. Members of the public wishing to register a comment may do so by emailing NYSCC-

This project concerns the removal of trees that could affect the integrity of the canal bank. The Canal Corporation will remove trees and brush smaller than 3 inches in diameter at breast height that impede inspections, and trees larger than 3 inches that are dead, diseased, and imminently dangerous to property and people.

This impacts 125 miles of embankment across the state, including the entire stretch of the Canal through our community.

Details about the program can be found here:

Monday, August 30, 2021

GoFundMe for Osmer

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the young man who was struck and killed by a car this past weekend on Slayton Settlement Road: Osmer Perez-Joaquin, 26 years of age, of Mexico.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help send Osmer back to Mexico for burial:


Accident victim identified

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the young man who was struck and killed by a car this past weekend on Slayton Settlement Road: Osmer Perez-Joaquin, 26 years of age, of Mexico.

Roy-Hart back-to-school plan


From the Superintendent's Desk

August 30, 2021

Dear Roy-Hart Community:

Over the past month, we have been working to develop our opening plan that will allow for in-person learning five days a week. Our priority has been to provide a safe learning environment for all of our students within the guidance provided. On Friday, August 27, the New York State Health Commissioner issued the following directive:

“After careful review and consideration of CDC recommendations for face coverings/masks in school settings, I hereby adopt such recommendations, imposing them as requirements, where applicable, until this determination is modified or rescinded. Accordingly, universal masking of teachers, staff, students, and visitors to P-12 schools over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering/mask and regardless of vaccination status, is required until this determination is modified or rescinded.”

Effective immediately, the Royalton-Hartland CSD must adhere to the Health and Safety protocols as indicated:

Instructional Model: 5 days per week, full-time instruction for all students

Classrooms: Face coverings - Mandated (per NYSDOH order); 3 ft’ of distancing (to extent practicable)

Indoor congregate areas (e.g., hallways): Face coverings - Mandated (per NYSDOH order)

Transportation: Face coverings - Mandated (per CDC order)

Cafeteria: 3 ft’ of distancing (to extent practicable); Face coverings - Mandated when not eating/drinking (per NYSDOH order)

Outdoors: No face coverings required

Mask breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour (K-4) or period (5-12) will be recommended and strongly encouraged in all classrooms. We apologize for the late notice of these changes, and look forward to welcoming our students back on September 7.


Dr. Hank Stopinski
Superintendent of Schools

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Fatal accident on Slayton Settlement Road


Niagara County Sheriff's Office press release:

On August 28th, 2021, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Slayton Settlement Road.

The initial investigation on scene revealed that the vehicle was traveling westbound on Slayton Settlement Road when the pedestrian entered into the path of the oncoming vehicle. The pedestrian did succumb to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and is cooperating with the investigation. The names of the parties involved are being withheld at this time pending notification of family. Investigation by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office Accident Investigation Unit and Criminal Investigation Bureau are continuing.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Roy-Hart update

From the Superintendent's Desk

Dear Community Members,

This past week, on her first day as Governor, Kathy Hochul announced that her "priority number one" is making sure children are safe in school, including:

"Immediately directing the Department of Health to institute universal masking for anyone entering our schools."

"Launching a back-to-school COVID-19 testing program to make testing for students and staff widely available and convenient."

Developing a method "to require vaccinations for all school personnel with an option to test out weekly, at least for now."

As you can imagine, these priorities will have an impact on our procedures during the 2021-2022 school year. The District’s priority has been to open our schools five days per week, for in-person learning in the safest manner possible. Our decision making is based on guidance (in some cases mandates) that have come from the CDC, New York State Department of Health, New York State Department of Education and Niagara County Department of Health. We will continue to adjust our plans based on the best available information and most current guidance from those noted above.

I anticipate having our revised plans for opening our schools available for our staff, families and students no later than Wednesday, September 1. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I wish to encourage all those who are eligible to consider obtaining a COVID vaccination this summer prior to the start of school. As always, I hope that you will make an effort to reach out directly or follow me on Twitter @DrStopinski


Dr. Hank Stopinski
Superintendent of Schools


Friday, August 27, 2021

West Point honors Judy Spencer

In honor of Judy Spencer, the West Point military police and firefighters dedicated a run to her this morning.

Judy Spencer obituary


For nearly a quarter century, as a volunteer firefighter, Judy Spencer tirelessly gave of herself to serve those in need in Gasport and surrounding communities. For many of those years, she was at the top or near the top in the number of calls responded to.

Our community lost Judy in the line of duty on Tuesday. Here is her obituary:

Judy D. Spencer, 65, of Gasport, passed away unexpectedly in the Line of Duty to her community on August 24, 2021. Judy was born July 6, 1956 in Batavia, a daughter of the late Donald and Mildred (Shaffer) Lyons.

Judy was a graduate of Roy Hart Central School class of 1975. After high school Judy joined the workforce and was employed at Harrisons working in the cafeteria with Canteen. Judy had a love for animals, camping, doing crafts, and above all else, her family and friends.

Judy was a proud life member of Hartland Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. Judy served with honor and distinction. She was known to be a reliable face in the time of need of others. Judy was a top responder for several years and was honored as “Firefighter of the Year” for 2016. Additionally, Judy was a member of the Gasport Chemical Hose Company Ladies Auxiliary for many years.

Judy is survived by her loving husband, Steve T. Spencer, children, Lisa (Matt) Spencer, and Donald Spencer both of Gasport, NY. Sisters, Janet (Chris) Lyons of Gasport, NY and donna (John) Vetter of Lockport, NY. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. Judy was predeceased by her parents and father-in-law Gerald Spencer.

The family will receive friends at the Hartland Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. 8945 Ridge Road, Gasport, NY 14067, on Saturday September 4, from 1:00-3:00, where Judy’s memorial service will be held at 3:00pm. Interment will be in Hartland Cemetery.

The family would appreciate any donations in Judy’s memory be made to the Hartland Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. 8945 Ridge Rd. Gasport, NY 14067.

Judy’s arrangements are in the care of Sherrie Bream Funeral Home, 4521 main St. Gasport, NY 14067.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Hartland Volunteer Fire Company
8945 Ridge Road
Gasport, New York

Memorial Service
3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Hartland Volunteer Fire Company
8945 Ridge Road
Gasport, New York