Three of the four candidates in running in the Democratic primary for Niagara Falls City Council participated in a debate hosted by The Buffalo News on Friday.
Incumbents Sam Fruscione and Charles Walker, along with challenger Andrew Touma talked about issues including economic development, tourism and the city's reputation. Incumbent Kristen Grandinetti did not participate due to illness.
Watch the entire debate, broken down into segments:
A candidates forum was held Monday night at the Rapids Theatre for seven City Council hopefuls. (Read the story.)
I've got the first three hours of the event on my digital audio recorder.
Let's start with the opening statements from each of the seven candidates. (In order of speaking: Samuel F. Fruscione, Vincent M. Sandonato, Charles A. Walker, Kristen M. Grandinetti, Andrew P. Touma, Robert J. Elder and Russell F. Vesci)
A panel mostly of area history groups is being put together to help develop historical interpretation plans for the former Schoellkopf Power Station site - a place where boat docks are being built for the Maid of the Mist Corp.
A recent history of the former Rainbow Centre mall and planning efforts surrounding the empty portion of it:
September 2012: At a ribbon cutting for the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, initial ideas surface from national real estate experts on what might be done with the empty part of the former Rainbow Centre.
March: Urban Land Institute releases a report on what should be done with the vacant portion. (Read the report through link at the bottom here)
By now, you've probably heard about the selection of Intertrust Development and Uniland Development Co. on Tuesday to compete to redevelop the remaining vacant parts of the former Rainbow Centre mall.
Intertrust and Uniland, who will be working with other companies to make their proposals, were picked out of an undisclosed number of firms who responded to this request for qualifications issued by the state's economic development agency in Niagara Falls.
USA Niagara Development President Christopher J. Schoepflin declined to disclose how many other firms submitted responses to the request for qualifications, nor to identify them, citing state procurement rules. More information on who else made submissions once a preferred developer is finalized, he said.
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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.