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Niagara Falls announces improvements at two city parks

After hearing public outcries from neighbors in one case, the City of Niagara Falls announced Sunday it will be making improvements to two parks.

The planned work at Caravelle Drive Park, at Caravelle and Marine Memorial drives, and Legends Park, located near 11th Street and Portage Road, is being done before a citywide parks planning process is officially completed, the city said in a news release.

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Funding and transparency at the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.

If the city of Niagara Falls does not extend it contract with the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. on Monday, as some lawmakers have threatened, the city's bed tax revenue will still flow to the agency.

That's because under state law, as long as Niagara County has a contract in place with the agency, the bed tax money still gets collected from the county, Niagara Falls and Lockport, said John H. Percy Jr., president and CEO of the NTCC.

So no agreement to extend the contract between the city and tourism agency does not stop the bed tax funding from flowing during the contract period.

An incorrect statement about the potential for funds to be immediately cut appeared in an earlier version of the above-linked story.

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Fridays on Old Falls concert series kicks off tonight

A free concert series on Friday nights in downtown Niagara Falls kicks off tonight.

Old Falls Street will host singer/songwriter Christina Custode from 7 to 10 p.m. (Listen to samples of her songs at her website.)

Check out the series' full schedule.

Niagara Falls lawmakers wary of Hamister hotel deal (read the full Council agenda)

A $25.3 million proposal from the Hamister Group to build a five-story mixed-use development, including a 100-room hotel, in downtown Niagara Falls looks like it will face some resistance from the City Council.

Council Chairman Glenn A. Choolokian said this morning the council's three-member majority is looking to table an agreement to transfer the city-owned parcel at 310 Rainbow Blvd. for the project.

Choolokian said he believes the proposed $100,000 sale price for the parcel is too low and the Council has never been told about the six other proposals the state received for the property.

"It's just too shady for me, too shaky," Choolokian said.

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Now hiring: Secretary jobs for Niagara Falls School Board members' wives

Here's the job description for the secretary position that the wives of two Niagara Falls School Board members just got:

Job description - School/Office Secretary I


New Niagara Falls School Board member wants more background information on hires, promotions

One of the two newest Niagara Falls School Board members wants the board to be presented with more timely information about the backgrounds of employees being hired or promoted.

Before the first item of business was taken up at Tuesday's Niagara Falls School Board meeting, new board member Ronald J. Barstys saw a problem.

It was the first regular meeting of the new school year - the first meeting for him and the other newly elected board member, Anthony F. Paretto.

Just after the meeting was called to order shortly after 5:30 p.m., Barstys made a motion to go into executive, or private, session to talk about personnel matters that may involve the hiring or firing of employees.

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Rockin' in the Park kicks off tonight

A free concert featuring Soul Committee will happen from 6 to 8 tonight in Schoellkopf Park as part of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's Rockin' in the Park series.

The band, which plays a mix of classic R&B, reggae, blues and soul, is a past winner of Blues Beat Magazine's band of the year award.

Food and beverage vendors will be available.

Schoellkopf Park is located at the east end of the medical center's campus, along Portage Road between Pine and Walnut avenues.

The A-List Band is scheduled to perform at the park on Aug. 22.

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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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