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More tidbits from Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Interpretive Center session

There were a bunch of things I didn't fit into my story from last night about design plans for the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Interpretive Center.

-Organizers will likely rely on donations rather than charging an admission fee, at least to start.

-The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission is having conversations with Niagara University's Castellani Art Museum about the possibility of displaying some of the museum's artifacts related to the Underground Railroad at the center.

$280k in grants for hotel, apartment projects in Niagara Falls may be approved today

Updated July 29, 8:46 a.m.: All grants were approved.

Original post: The City of Niagara Falls' banking arm today will consider making $280,000 in grants for four market rate apartment rehabilitation projects and a hotel project.

NFC Development Corp. is being asked to approve:

-A $150,000 grant to Plati Niagara, the Strangio family company building a Wingate by Wyndham hotel at 333 Rainbow Blvd.

Public meetings in Niagara Falls government this week

NFC Development Corp. will meet at 4 p.m. Monday in Room 117 in City Hall, 745 Main St.

The Urban Renewal Agency will meet at 4:30 p.m. or immediately after the NFC Development Corp. meeting Monday in Room 117 in City Hall.

'Make Your Own Park' Day in Niagara Falls postponed

Updated Sat., July 26, 2:15 p.m.: The event has been postponed due to weather.

Original post: The city and some community groups plan to turn the site of a demolished home into a neighborhood park for the day this weekend.

A vacant lot near the corner of 18th Street and Whitney Avenue will become a park from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be games and crafting as part of the event, which is organized by the city's Community Development Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Niagara Liberty Partnership and ReNU Niagara.

State unveils final design for Robert Moses Parkway - South project


Updated at 2 p.m.:

The state has published the final designs for taking out a 1-mile section of the Robert Moses Parkway along the upper Niagara River and replacing it with a more pedestrian-friendly "Riverway."

From John Daly Boulevard into Niagara Falls State Park, the parkway will be removed and replaced with two lanes for slower traffic. There will also be other changes, including new paths, crosswalks and nature areas aimed at allowing easier access to the waterfront. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

The above rendering is courtesy of Hatch Mott MacDonald. Here's the report (the appendices were not posted online, but are available at the state park and Niagara Falls Public Library, the state said):

Niagara Falls' new purchasing agent has short stay in City Hall

The Dyster administration brought in a new purchasing agent June 30 to fill a job that had been vacant for about a year.

One of the new employee's tasks would be helping to find a company to improve the city's website, City Administrator Donna D. Owens told lawmakers about a month ago. The Tourism Advisory Board had been asking about the issue, and the new purchasing agent had experience in the procurement of IT services, Owens told lawmakers.

Tara Kiene Budd spent two days working for the city as purchasing agent. Then she left.

Culinary Institute wants to put a new face on Old Falls Street


The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is planning to spruce up its Old Falls Street fa├žade.

Aimed at making the facility more alluring to local traffic, Niagara County Community College has been preparing for the upgrades since late last year.

The plans will come before the city Planning Board when it meets tonight at 6 p.m. in City Hall. The college is asking for permission to encroach on the city right-of-way, a decision that ultimately lies with the City Council.

Public meetings in Niagara Falls government this week

The City Council will hold a 5 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, followed by a regular meeting at 6 in City Hall, 745 Main St.

The Planning Board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers in City Hall.

Niagara Falls lawmakers to consider settlement with police detectives

The Niagara Falls City Council next week will consider approving a settlement for back pay for four police detectives who got promoted after a lawsuit.

Mark C. Martinez, Jason G. Sykes, Todd N. Faddoul and Shawn S. Arndt are in line for a proposed settlement of $99,093.76, which will come before lawmakers Monday night. The four were promoted to detective after they won a lawsuit saying they were already performing detective duties in their role as crime scene officers.

Gospel festival & health fair Saturday in Niagara Falls

Live gospel music, classic cars and health screenings make up some of the things to do and see at Saturday's eighth annual Good News Gospel Festival and Health Fair at the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center.

The event, organized by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, runs from 1 to 7 p.m. at the center, 1201 Pine Ave. The outdoor event will be moved inside in the case of rain.

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About The Brink

Tales of a world-famous natural wonder and the city that surrounds it. The Brink is home for all you need to know about Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.

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