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Last updated: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 07:26:37 GMT

  Lenten Luncheon hears plans for Family Justice Center satellite Sat, 24 Feb 2018 10:08:06 -0500
Islanders enjoying the first Lenten Luncheon of the season Wednesday heard about plans to build a facility to counsel Island victims of domestic violence.
Islanders enjoying the first Lenten Luncheon of the season Wednesday heard about plans to build a facility to counsel Island victims of domestic violence.
During a luncheon discussion at Trinity United Methodist Church titled "Justice for the Victims of Domestic Abuse," guest speaker Mary Travers Murphy, executive director of the Family Justice Center, and domestic violence victim advocate Connie Foster said plans are in the works to build a counseling center on church property.
Travers Murphy said a year ago last December she met with Islanders who advocated for the Island's own satellite office similar to FJC satellites in other towns. Advocates for the satellite location include clergy of the Grand Island Ministerium, who organize the Lenten Luncheons.
A meeting in the summer was followed by a well-attended meeting at the Buffalo Launch Club.
"We want this to happen on Grand Island," Travers Murphy said. "What we're looking for now is a space, and the team thought that maybe rather than renovating an existing space, it might be less expensive or the same amount to build a structure."
Two possible locations for a satellite are near church properties, at St. Stephen R.C. Church on Baseline Road or Island Presbyterian Church on Huth Road.
Travers Murphy noted an estimated cost of $130,000 for the project, similar to the costs of other satellites.
Foster said she would counsel victims of domestic violence on the Island at an establish facility. "I'm very excited that the community wants this," she said.
An open community meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in St. Stephen R.C. Church to present information about this project.
Schedule
•The Grand Island Ministerium will hold Lenten Luncheons at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road. Lunch begins each week at noon, with a different church on Grand Island providing the meal. Then, at 12:30 p.m., there is a half-hour presentation. This year, the theme is "Justice for All God's People." The cost of the meal is $5 per person. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call Trinity United Methodist Church at 773-3322.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28 - "Justice Among People with Various Cultures" with Rev. Dr. Sung Ho Lee, Trinity United Methodist Church.
  • Wednesday, March 7 - "Justice and the Opioid Crisis" with Rev. Earle King, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.
  • Wednesday, March 14 - "Justice for Creation" with Rev. Kris Bjerke-Ulliman, St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  • Wednesday, March 21 - "Justice for Immigrants" with Rev. Carla Kline, Island Presbyterian Church.
  Section VI hockey holds annual presser at KeyBank Center Sat, 24 Feb 2018 10:07:29 -0500
On Friday morning, eight Section VI hockey teams came together for an annual press conference. The conference was held to present the eight teams playing in the girls, small schools, large schools and private schools championships.
By David Yarger
Tribune Editor
On Friday morning, eight Section VI hockey teams came together for an annual press conference. The conference was held to present the eight teams playing in the girls, small schools, large schools and private schools championships.
Also on hand was former Buffalo Sabres player Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta gave a speech to the teams and told them to enjoy the moment.
"Cherish the moment," Kaleta said. "Take pictures, have fun with your friends, because I know your coaches and everyone talks about how it ends just like that. There's not a day that goes by that I think about and wish that I could still play hockey. ... So, what I want you all to do is really cherish the moment, have fun with it; it'll be something you'll remember the rest of your lives."
The girls portion included the CASH team of Clarence, Amherst and Sweet Home. They'll be facing the FLOP team of Frontier, Lake Shore and Orchard Park in the Federation championship. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Sunday at the HarborCenter.
Next, the large schools were called up to the podium. Niagara-Wheatfield and Williamsville North brought up members of their team to talk about the upcoming Section VI finals game. The rivals will face off in the finals for the seventh time in 11 years on Monday. The small schools final begins at 4 p.m. at the KeyBank Center.
Next, the small schools were called up to the podium. Representing the conference was West Seneca West and Sweet Home. There game will follow the large schools at 6:15 p.m.
Lastly, St. Joe's and St. Mary's represented the private schools conference. St. Joe's has been in the finals every year since 2013 and have won the last two private school championships. There game will follow the small schools final at 8:30 p.m.
Following the introduction of teams, everyone scattered over to the HarborCenter for a lunch.
For more information on the teams or games, visit the Section VI hockey website at www.section6.goalline.ca. 
  2 events to battle winter doldrums: Lions Swim for Sight, NACC Art of Beer coming up in Niagara County Sat, 24 Feb 2018 10:06:39 -0500
One is next Sunday with the Olcott Lions 49th annual Polar Bear Swim for Sight, on the Lake Ontario waters off Krull County Park in Olcott Beach.
By Terry Duffy
Editor-in-Chief
You had enough of it?
Let's face it, the winter of 2017-18 has had its share of ups and downs. We saw a return of what many rate as a normal one, weather-wise, with average snowfall and temperatures - the kind we knew from years back.
But winter by now has also entered the doldrums of misery. What many may have actually enjoyed earlier on - a very wild Bills-Colts snow bowl game last December; the joys of actually having a white Christmas; some cool outdoor skating in the area; the thrills of boarding or tubing in the southtowns and more - has now become a winter of drag and wear. Over the past month, we've been battered with cold spells, warm-ups, bouts of heavy snow, freezing rain, those rough driving experiences, etc., etc.
February now moves into March, and with it hopefully an early spring. But don't fret; there are also some pretty fun events coming up on the calendar in northern Niagara to look forward to.
One is next Sunday with the Olcott Lions 49th annual Polar Bear Swim for Sight, on the Lake Ontario waters off Krull County Park in Olcott Beach.
County officials report the Lake Ontario beach areas at Olcott have sufficiently recovered for limited use from last year's flooding, and Olcott Lions officials are putting their best foot forward for what they hope to be another banner event this year. Their event is held to benefit numerous area organizations and Lions sight programs.
" 'Swim for Sight' is a fundraiser and community 'fun' day that is WNY's oldest charity swim. At 49 years young, it is where thousands gather in Olcott to watch up to 1,000 happy and zany souls who swim in the frigid water, enjoy tailgating with family and friends, the events vendors, music, restaurants and bars of this beautiful, friendly community that is located on the southern shores of Lake Ontario - all to help those less fortunate," reads a Lions post.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 4, Olcott Beach will reawaken from winter, with a full slate of outdoor fun, including tailgating, food sales and vendor services on the hamlet's streets, DJ music, an all-new "Official Polar Beer Tent" by Corey McGowan Productions of Grand Island and more, all leading to the mid-afternoon swim.
Area fire companies will join in a tug of war to determine the Polar Bear Championship starting at 10 a.m.; swim registrations - now underway online at https://goo.gl/zLwBCd - will continue throughout the morning and early afternoon; and the always-popular Polar Bear Queen competition, starting at 1:45 p.m. on the beach, will lead to the annual swim that is expected to draw hundreds.
"There are no polar bear swimmers more dedicated than those that head to Olcott Beach to plunge into the icy waters of Lake Ontario to raise money for the blind and visually impaired!" the Lions post read.
For more on this year's Swim for Sight, visit the listed registration link, and check out the Olcott Lions on Facebook, or online at the club's website: www.olcottlions.org.
Down in Niagara Falls, another good one is on the calendar.
Come Friday evening March 9, stop by the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., as "the NACC" puts on its 12th annual Art of Beer. The venue's largest fundraising event runs from 6-9 p.m. Visitors will experience what is perhaps the most elaborate celebration of suds in Niagara. How elaborate? How about 75 tasting stations scattered about the three-plus floors of the NACC, offering visitors a truly wide variety of beer, cider, wine and culinary pairings.
And that's only part of this year's "FUNdraiser" experience, proudly dubbed by the NACC as "WNY's Original Beer Tasting Event."
Vendors on tap for this year's Art of Beer read like a "who's who" among WNY brewing and vintner circles. Included are 12 Gates Brewing Co., 1991 Hard Cider, Big Ditch Brewing, Blackbird Cider, Black Willow Winery, Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q., Buffalo Brewing Co., CB Craft Brewers, Cider Creek, Chateau Buffalo Ciderhouse, Community Beer Works, Consumers Beverages, Ellicottville Brewing, Empire, Flying Bison, Founding Fathers, Four Mile, Hamburg, Leinenkugal, McKenzie's Hard Cider, Mister Goodbar, Niagara Craft Spirits, NY Beer Project, Ommegang, Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Pan American Grill and Brewery, Resurgence Brewing, Southern Tier, Thin Man, Traveler and Woodcock Brothers.
Complimenting the beer and wine samplings will be culinary tastes from such Niagara-area favorites as Bella Vista, Craft Kitchen and Bar, Dispenza's Meat Market, Hard Rock Cafe, Power City Eatery, Tim Hortons locations in the Falls, Niagara Honeymoon Sweets, Parkway Prime, Rise Up Bakery, the Village Bake Shoppe, the Brickyard Pub and B.B.Q., the Red Coach Inn and Soliday's Bar and Grille.
But wait, there's more. Visitors can view a homebrewing demonstration by Niagara Tradition Home Brew, check out an interesting collection of beer art along with some interesting "live art" in the NACC gallery, and partake in some Art of Beer "fun and games" provided by Niagara Tradition Home Brews, Blackbird Cider, Simon Pure Collectors, Brewed and Bottled Craft Shop of Lewiston, King of the Keg and the Clean Beer Initiative, WNY.
And then there's some pretty varied entertainment on schedule throughout the evening. Included will be performances by WhatheFolk, Bobby Skrzypek and the Pedestrians, PANGEA, Rad Bromance, Billy Draws 2 and a "silent disco" by In Your Ear Events.
Sounds like another pretty good one to check out. Advance tickets are priced at $35 per person and include a signature collectable Art of Beer tasting glass. Free parking is available, as well as overnight accommodation packages at Niagara Falls hotels. There's also a safe and sober taxi service offering.
For more, visit the NACC's Art of Beer Facebook pages, on the web at www.thenacc.org, or call the NACC at 716-282-7530.
  HS Hoops: Book leads North Tonawanda past West Seneca East Fri, 23 Feb 2018 21:55:39 -0500
Trevor Book has been the anchor of the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks offense all season. Friday night versus West Seneca East he showed how he can take over a game at any time. The Lumberjacks defeated the Trojans, 59-43, in the Section VI Class A-1 quarterfinals.
Senior's 29 points push Lumberjacks to Class A-1 semifinals
By David Yarger
Tribune Editor
Trevor Book has been the anchor of the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks offense all season. Friday night versus West Seneca East he showed how he can take over a game at any time.
The Lumberjacks defeated the Trojans, 59-43, in the Section VI Class A-1 quarterfinals.
The game for Book, who had a game high 29 points, was the last he'd ever play in the Lumberyard at North Tonawanda High School. Book said he enjoyed the night and the moment hadn't sunk in.
"It feels good," Book said. "Honestly, it hasn't hit me yet that it's the last game (here). I'm sure later tonight it will but, some great memories in this gym."
The Jacks controlled the game early, as Book drained the first 7 NT points. Book finished with 9 in the quarter and the Jacks led after one, 16-7.
In the second quarter, the Jacks controlled a 19-11 lead. From there, Book scored 11 more points, as the Jacks went on a 14-5 run to end the half. They led, 33-16 at the break.
In the third quarter, East began to make a comeback.
The Jacks scored the first 4 points of the quarter, then failed to score for the rest of it.
The Trojans took advantage of Book and Dante Moultrie being on the bench for a portion of time and embarked on a 20-0 run to cut the NT lead to one after three quarters. Meanwhile, the Jacks still led after three, 37-36.
North Tonawanda has been keen on playing team basketball and they've moved the ball efficiently throughout the year. In the fourth quarter, that style came back to fruition, and the fourth was much like the first and second quarters.
Book scored the first 5 points of the final quarter, highlighted by a 3-pointer to get the Jacks lead back to 6 points.
With the score 42-38, the Jacks closed the game on a 17-5 run, highlighted by two Sean Ferry 3-pointers and 5 Moultrie points.
The score was not indicative of the game, as the Trojans put up a tough fight versus the reigning Class A champions, but in the end the Jacks walked away the victors, 59-43.
Going into the third quarter only up by 1 point, NT coach Ryan Mountain said he told his team to keep focusing on the task at hand.
"We just always focus on the present," Mountain said. "Nothing really mattered up to that point. Bottomline, it was 1-0 us going into the fourth on our home court and we were very confident with where we've been all season long in close, tough games and I think that definitely helped us ... being in that situation all season long. We really just focused on poise and composure and worried about what we needed to do offensively and defensively in order to succeed."
As the defending Class A champions, the Jacks will get every team's best fight. Mountain said he believes being reigning champs didn't have much to do with the effort from West Seneca East.
"I think it's more of the branding of our program over the last eight to 10 years. They know they're going to get that tough game no matter what, whether were struggling during the season or not.  
"I think West Seneca East played like a caged animal, and a caged animal can be dangerous. That's how they played in the third quarter and we knew they were going to, but fortunately we came played the same way in the fourth," Mountain said.
With the win the Jacks return to Buffalo State College to play in the semifinals. Mountain said the accomplishment feels good, especially with this year's team.
"This year it's just as equally rewarding as last year. Whole fresh team; again, we were struggling to score 25 to 30 points in summer league and now here we are, we're heading back. I think we're such a young team, they don't understand how difficult it is to get there and it was a goal to get there and now we have a fresh new goal to get there and succeed and hopefully play for a sectional championship," Mountain said.
Standing in their way is undefeated and No. 1 seed West Seneca West. The Jacks will have to go through all of West Seneca to get back to the Class A-1 finals and Book and Mountain looked forward to going up against one of Western New York's best teams.
"I'm honestly excited to play them," Book said. "They're 21-0 and that means it'd just be that much greater if we could get the win and we play our team basketball."
Mountain said, "From my understanding, they're a trapping and pressing team and we've done an amazing job all year at handling pressure. ... We're a passing team first and again, it goes back to our league that's prepared us. We like our ability to attack their pressure and we feel we can play with anyone in Western New York, because we have one of the best players in Western New York."
For NT, along with his 29 points, Book had 9 rebounds. Moultrie also chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and six assists.
The Jacks battle the Indians in the semifinals at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo State College.
  Chamber Awards Gala 2018: Lakeside Quarter Horses named Youngstown Business of the Year Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:11:14 -0500
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Lakeside Quarter Horses as the 2018 Youngstown Business of the Year. The Youngstown Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business honoree. Lakeside Quarter Horses offers lessons to children through adults and offers activities that benefit the community.
By Jennifer Pauly
President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Lakeside Quarter Horses as the 2018 Youngstown Business of the Year. The Youngstown Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business honoree. Lakeside Quarter Horses offers lessons to children through adults and offers activities that benefit the community.
Lakeside Quarter Horses was formed 20 years ago with one barn on the 40-plus acres of land off Lakeside Lane, just outside the Village of Youngstown. Owners Chris and Terri Diez first started their business by breeding horses, as Terri always had a love for them. The land was perfect for either apples or horses, and Chris jokes the horses won!
Breeding horses involves the marketing and trading of them. Over the years, they added an additional barn and grew their business by shifting from primarily breeding to offering lessons.
Lessons in English and Western styles, as well as showmanship and horsemanship, are taught year-round to all levels in the indoor 60-by-90-foot arena and outdoor 90-by-160-foot arena (weather permitting). There is also a 60-foot outdoor round pen in addition to the two barns.
Most of the horses are owned by Chris and Terri and are used for lessons and riding. The horses are well taken care of and loved by the students. Many of the students enjoy coming during the week after school and on weekends to help with the feeding and grooming of the horses. Some come right off the bus for the afterschool program twice a week. Students are also eligible to come for the all-day Saturday "Work-To-Ride" program at the barn.
Lakeside Quarter Horses participates in an average of two horse shows per month from May through September. It participates in local AQHA shows and is involved in the 4-H shows and programs, which provides students other opportunities to learn about health, science, agriculture and citizenship in a positive environment.
Every year on the Saturday before Halloween, Chris and Terri host a "Halloween Haunted Hayride" event that is open to the public. The day includes games, pony rides, face and pumpkin painting, haunted hayrides, a basket raffle and food for sale. All proceeds collected are raised for the Miracle League, an organization that helps promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities.
This organization provides opportunities for able-bodied people to learn about and interact with individuals with disabilities, and develop community awareness and support for the individual athlete with disabilities through organized sports leagues.
The Lakeside Halloween event has grown each year with approximately 500 people coming through to participate. Terri and Chris are always looking for volunteers to help, as the event is a success due to the generous donations, local support and kindness of the volunteers.
One can also find Lakeside Quarter Horses every year at the annual Youngstown Business and Professional Association's "Here Comes Summer" Street Dance held in June. Pony rides are offered to attendees for a small fee, which benefits the students' 4-H activities, with students and parents assisting in bringing the joy of riding to the community.
Lakeside Quarter Horses is a place where everyone is welcome. The kids love coming to the barn, as Chris and Terri have created a family-like atmosphere with a positive environment for the youth. They enjoy having their business in Youngstown, as the community is truly one that is focused on family and kids. Word of mouth and positive experiences is how most know of the stables locally.
For information on lessons, stop by Lakeside Quarter Horses at 420 Lakeside Lane in Youngstown, find them on Facebook, or call 716-523-2512.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Youngstown Business and Professional Association proudly congratulate Lakeside Quarter Horses, the 2018 Youngstown Business of the Year.
  NT: Pappas hosts 8th annual Snowflake Ball Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:10:02 -0500
On Saturday, North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas and his wife, Linda, hosted the eighth annual Snowflake Ball at Gratwick Banquet Hall.
Proceeds from event donated to Boys and Girls Club
By David Yarger
Tribune Editor
On Saturday, North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas and his wife, Linda, hosted the eighth annual Snowflake Ball at Gratwick Banquet Hall.
The annual ball collects proceeds and later donates it to a local charity or organization.
For 2018, the charity of choice was the Boys and Girls Club, which the organization currently runs at eight different sites in the Tonawandas including Spruce School, Drake School, North Tonawanda Middle School, the Newman Family Club, Fletcher School, and Tonawanda Middle School.
Pappas continued the tradition set by former NT Mayor and current New York State Sen. Rob Ortt and his wife Meghan. Ortt was unable to attend this year due to a family vacation.
Pappas said to continue the tradition wasn't more about him; it was about the good of the event.
"It's what it means to the different organizations and whom they represent. It provides some extra funding for them, which they're able to take on another project or complete a project. It certainly benefits all the people involved with whatever charity it happens to be and that's our goal; to help the people around us," Pappas said.
Pappas credited his wife for the continuation of the event saying, "We didn't know if at first we were going to continue, because the timing wasn't just right, it was a little late, but we did and my wife said we're going to continue this and if the wife says you're going to continue it, you're going to continue it. ... I have to say, if it wasn't for my wife Linda, probably this wouldn't happen."
The event included a special music presentation from the Matt's Music vocal performance team, a dinner, open bar, dancing, raffles and presentations from Pappas, Robert O'Brocta, CPO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns; and Paul Schmidt, a longtime member of the club who flew in from Colorado for the event.
O'Brocta thanked everyone for the generous donations that would benefit the club.
Schmidt spoke about his experiences with the club, including winning New York Youth of the Year and how the club changed his life. Pappas called Schmidt's presence "extra special."
"He really feels that kind of saved his life and made him a better person, because he spent an awful lot of time in there. ... It's been so influential in the Tonawandas between our locals here in Tonawanda and the City of North Tonawanda. It's benefitted so many youth that we can't say enough about them," Pappas said.
The turnout for the event was strong, and with attendees knowing where the proceeds were going, Pappas said it reflected well on the area.
"People in our area are very giving people and whether it's a benefit for someone or a telethon of some kind or just these smaller local groups; they turn out and they do give very generously. They're just super about giving to other people," Pappas said.
Mayor Arthur Pappas and his wife, Linda, pose for a picture during the eighth annual event. (Photos by David Yarger)
  Niagara Falls: Hard Rock hosts Pints for Progress Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:04:30 -0500
On Thursday night, residents from around Niagara Falls gathered at Hard Rock Cafe to hear presentations in the 23rd Pints for Progress event.
Attendees vote to improve Hyde Park Rose Garden
By David Yarger
Tribune Editor
On Thursday night, residents from around Niagara Falls gathered at Hard Rock Cafe to hear presentations in the 23rd Pints for Progress event.
Pints for Progress is an event run by #LiveNF, where citizens hear project ideas from locals and groups of Niagara Falls that would benefit the city. Attendees pay $10 to enter the event, which gets them a free glass of beer, food and open ears to hear proposed ideas. After all the projects are proposed, attendees get to vote on which one they believe is the best. The money raised from the event is granted to the victor of the presentations.
New York State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello was on hand for the event and praised what the event does for the city.
"It's the entire project that I'm impressed with," Morinello said. "It energizes the youth of the area and highlights and focuses creativity and in my mind, it brings people from different walks of life and different ages groups together for a common cause: the betterment of Western New York."
In all, three groups presented, including Niagara Track and Field Club, Silence Breaker Series and Laura Rotella from the Niagara Beautification Commission, speaking on behalf of the Hyde Park Rose Garden remediation.
Rotella's presentation seeking funds to fix the garden off of Robbins Drive ended up being the winning presentation. The project was awarded $490 from proceeds during the night.
Rotella said the garden was in need of funds to clean up the area and make it look presentable and more appealing than it stands currently. Rotella was blown away by the backing from attendees and said if anyone would be willing to help, the group would welcome them with open arms.
"I'm thrilled ... I'm just so happy," Rotella said. "It's more than money, which is a great thing. Community partners would be great; people to help us maintain that garden, because it truly is wonderful place."
Rotella said if the garden were to be improved it could attract weddings, parties and much more.
With the funds, Niagara Falls residents can count on the Hyde Park garden becoming a site to see and a general attraction for people to visit.
For more information on the Niagara Beautification Commission, visit its website at www.keepniagarabeautiful.org.
  Joan Wolfgang honored for her work at NCCC Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:03:07 -0500
Joan Wolfgang, the second-longest-serving member of the Niagara County Community College board of trustees, was honored posthumously for her dedicated work at NCCC at the February board meeting.
Joan Wolfgang, the second-longest-serving member of the Niagara County Community College board of trustees, was honored posthumously for her dedicated work at NCCC at the February board meeting.
Trustees passed a resolution to honor Wolfgang for her service to the college. Joan's husband, Jerald I. Wolfgang, accepted a plaque on her behalf to recognize her 28 years of distinguished service to NCCC as a trustee, as well as her commitment to the success of students.
Joan joined the college board in 1982 and served as chairperson of college trustees three different times during her tenure on the college board. As a member of the NCCC board of trustees, she served in leadership positions on numerous committees and represented the college on several national boards.
Joan and Jerry served as co-chairs of the annual Foundation Gala, as well as lead volunteers in the NCCC Foundation major gifts campaign. She also was a major supporter of the student housing initiative and the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute project.
Joan died in 2010.
In accepting the plaque, Jerry said, "Joan loved NCCC and she loved the fact that everyone at the college cares about the students - the trustees, the faculty and the staff."
The plaque will be on display in the Robert Michael Sdao Memorial Board Room in the Notar Administration Building, on the college's Sanborn campus.
  'The Chew' is serving up tasty treats, timesaving tips & movie night delights as hosts countdown to Oscar Sunday Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:01:24 -0500
"The Chew's" Emmy Award-winning co-hosts Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall are counting down to Oscar night with time-saving meals, tasty treats and movie night delights; plus, "The Chew's" Cooking School: Winter Edition and mash-up mania to kick off March.
"The Chew's" Emmy Award-winning co-hosts Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall are counting down to Oscar night with time-saving meals, tasty treats and movie night delights; plus, "The Chew's" Cooking School: Winter Edition and mash-up mania to kick off March.
"The Chew" listings for the week of Feb. 26 through March 2 are as follows (1 p.m. weekdays on ABC; lineup subject to change):
Monday, Feb. 26 - "Monday Meals in Minutes" - Michael is making a can't-miss meal in real time; Clinton is recreating a viewer's timesaving dish; Carla's Oscar-inspired snack.
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - "The Chew's Cooking School: Winter Edition" - Carla is teaching a viewer how to make a delicious dish; Clinton's taking viewers back to school with amazing tips; comedian Sebastian Maniscalco (book, "Stay Hungry") joins Michael in the kitchen; "Where Are They Now?" with an update on favorite cooking school students.
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - "Tasty Trends" - Michael's tasty "5 in 5"; Clinton is cooking the latest tasty trend; Carla's Oscar-themed desserts are ready for their close-ups.
Thursday, March 1 - "March Mash-Ups" - Margo Martindale ("Sneaky Pete") is in the kitchen with Clinton mashing up a delicious meal; "America's Most Wanted Meals" with ingredients suggested by our viewers; Michael is mashing up some popular recipes.
Friday, March 2 - "Oscar Party" - "The Chew" is celebrating cinema - who will take home the awards when hosts hand out The Chewies; Clinton is showing off cocktails and bar snacks perfect for movie night; Michael's award-winning main course; Carla is cooking an extravagant dish with Christina Tosi ("MasterChef Junior").
  TobyMac Drops 'I just need U. [REMIX]' Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:00:12 -0500
Seven-time Grammy winner TobyMac surprised fans with the release of "I just need U. [REMIX]" today, a fresh version of his current hit remixed by Capital Kings.
Seven-time Grammy winner TobyMac surprised fans with the release of "I just need U. [REMIX]" today, a fresh version of his current hit remixed by Capital Kings.
Dropping in January, "I just need U." is currently top 10 on the Christian airplay and AC indicator charts, top 15 on the AC monitored chart and No. 2 on the "Hot" AC chart. The early smash marked the multiplatinum-selling artist's first debut at No. 1 on Billboard's "Hot" Christian songs chart.
Helmed by TobyMac, the "HITS DEEP Tour" features a lineup including Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Ryan Stevenson and Finding Favour. The 2018 "HITS DEEP Tour" is a partnership with K-LOVE, Air1, Awakening Events and Food for the Hungry, and will wrap in mid-March after sold out stops in Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Omaha and Phoenix. For all ticket information, visit www.TobyMac.com.
TobyMac will headline Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake this summer.
To listen to "I just need U. [REMIX]," click HERE.
About TobyMac
With more than 11 million units in career sales, TobyMac's career continues on the fast track. His most recent studio album, "This Is Not A Test," garnered a Grammy and Billboard Music Award nomination, on top of a high-marking debut at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200.
Get connected with TobyMac
  Passion's 'Whole Heart,' out digitally Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:59:38 -0500
Passion unveiled their newest collection of intentionally crafted songs, "Whole Heart," today to critical acclaim. The album is available on all digital music platforms (with the CD release following on March 23), and includes new live versions of the hit songs "Reckless Love" and "All My Hope."
Live 'Whole Heart' video gives glimpse of Passion 2018 experience
Passion unveiled their newest collection of intentionally crafted songs, "Whole Heart," today to critical acclaim. The album is available on all digital music platforms (with the CD release following on March 23), and includes new live versions of the hit songs "Reckless Love" and "All My Hope." 
Recorded live with the backdrop of three sold-out arenas (Atlanta's Philips Arena, Infinite Energy Center and D.C.'s The Anthem), "Passion" 2018 brought together more than 32,000 students from 700 universities and 35 countries to three arenas in Atlanta and, for the first time, Washington, in addition to a simultaneous live stream. Coinciding with the digital album release, Passion has released a video for the song "Whole Heart." Recorded live at the conference, the video gives a glimpse into the "Passion" 2018 experience.
Worship leaders and bands featured on the live recording of "Passion" 2018 include Passion (helmed by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone), Crowder, Matt Redman, Sean Curran and Tauren Wells.
To celebrate "Whole Heart," Passion is inviting everyone to join them for an album release celebration at 5 p.m. ET March 4. The event will live stream on passionmusic.com from Passion City Church in Atlanta. It will be a special evening with these new songs as Passion and more lead the night. RSVP at passionmusic.com/wholeheartrsvp/
" 'Whole Heart' is a collection of songs that calls for the listener to lift their eyes above the heartbreak and hurt of life, to a King who is reigning and speaking unparalleled love over us," said Passion's Stanfill.
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  Musicians share thoughts and memories of Billy Graham Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:59:00 -0500
Amy Grant, Matthew West, TobyMac and others reflected on the death of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Personally impacted by his ministry, they took to social media sharing memories and recalling the impact of his legacy.
Amy Grant, Matthew West, TobyMac and others reflected on the death of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Personally impacted by his ministry, they took to social media sharing memories and recalling the impact of his legacy. 
Amy Grant: "The last crusade I did with Billy was in San Antonio in 1997. As always, I was honored to be invited, but I also knew that my marriage was falling apart and that it might not survive. ... Billy knew what was going on with me personally, so I asked if I could speak with him before my performance. I nervously explained what was going on in my life and he listened without ever losing the kindness in his eyes. He then said to me 'Amy, I have children and grandchildren who love the Lord ... but some of them take the long way home.' He asked to pray for me and my struggling family. I never shared the stage with him again after my performance that night. Billy is now home where he has longed to be ... reunited with his beloved Ruth and in the presence of the Loving God he proclaimed around the world. We are all heading home too ... some of us just take the long way. I look forward to seeing Billy again on the other side."
Matthew West: "Billy Graham, a spiritual giant, a voice to the masses, a man who filled stadiums with hungry souls and reached countless people with the life-saving message of a God who loved them. And the first thing I thought of was root beer. At the age of 13 I was a preacher's kid who was pretty sure he would just get to Heaven because he had family connections. I remember sitting down in the basement of my childhood home one afternoon and turning on the TV in the hopes of finding a Chicago Cubs game. Instead, I found a Billy Graham crusade. I remember the choir singing, 'Just as I Am.' I was sitting on that old blue couch ... with the feeling that this would be the moment I would answer the question Rev. Graham had just asked, 'What will you do with Jesus?' My mom was doing a load of laundry and walked past me with a basket on her hip. 'Matthew, do you want me to pray with you?' I whispered, 'Yes.' Together we prayed and that was the hour I first believed. Now here I was, all these years later walking into Billy's home and shaking his hand. I was invited to sit at a large, round, wooden table in the kitchen. ... Billy's drink of choice? Root beer. That afternoon a singer and a preacher sat and swapped stories over a couple of root beers. Well, mostly I just listened. I'll end this with words from a text message I received from Billy's grandson. He reminded me of something Billy used to say. 'One day you will hear that Billy Graham is dead. But don't you believe it. For on that day I will be more alive than ever.' Tonight, I'm going to drink a root beer with my family at dinner and I'm going to tell my daughters about the life of this man who is now seeing the Heaven he has showed so many the way to. A man who is now more alive than ever."
Bart Millard of MercyMe: "Finally home. I loved Dr. Billy Graham so much. Mostly from afar, but @themercyme had the privilege of playing at his last 3 crusades. The one at the Rose bowl in Pasadena stands out the most. My 2-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a week before, and I struggled with wanting to stay with my son rather than heading to Pasadena. We informed Dr. Graham's people of my dilemma, and they totally supported my decision to stay home. Then we got a call back asking if I'd be willing to have a plane fly to Texas and get me because Dr. Graham wanted to 'hug my neck and pray for my son." I looked at my wife who said, 'You've got to go!' So off I went. We watched Dr. Graham's security team congregate on the opposite side of the stage. I remember thinking 'I flew this whole way and they're bringing him in from the other side?' Then all of a sudden, from behind us, a voice said, 'Sometimes you've got to create a distraction to get a second to yourself.' And there he was. This spiritual giant. It didn't matter how frail he was at that point in his life. To me, he stood 10 feet tall. He shook all of our hands, then placed his hand on the back of my neck, pulled me close and started praying over my son's life. I don't remember everything he prayed, I was too overwhelmed with what was taking place. But I'll never forget when he finished praying and looked up at me, he had tears in his eyes. I then walked on stage, sang 'Imagine,' walked off stage, headed back to the plane and was back with my son just after midnight. Of all the amazing things Dr. Billy Graham has done for the kingdom of God, nothing will resonate more with me than that single moment. Thank you, God, for Billy Graham. And I rejoice knowing, after so many years of faithfulness, he is now truly seeing as Christ sees."
TobyMac: "I was invited to do many festivals alongside Dr. Billy Graham (though he told us to call him Billy). ... It was my honor to have gotten those opportunities and I was always so moved by the way in which he operated. Humility and class and focus and grace are the words that immediately come to mind. One of my heroes without a doubt. He will be dearly missed by myself, our nation and even the world. But I can hear the choir in heaven singing 'welcome home!!' "
Colton Dixon: "Billy Graham received a 'well done good and faithful servant' yesterday. I'm inspired by his life and legacy, because he truly pointed those to Jesus' life and legacy."
John Cooper of Skillet: "Billy Graham was a real hero. Not just to me, but millions of people. He was unafraid to speak what God told him to speak, regardless of what others thought about him. A fiery preacher who spoke truth and love."
Kathie Lee Gifford: "Rejoicing with my precious friend, Billy Graham. Without a doubt, the finest man I ever knew. So grateful that I am among the millions that he led to faith in Jesus and the promise of eternal life."
Rend Collective: "This man was the major inspiration behind our new album 'Good News.' He preached the clear undiluted gospel of Jesus. ... May his life inspire us to dream for more."
  Worship leader Mack Brock releases debut song 'Greater Things' Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:58:14 -0500
Sparrow Records/Capitol Christian Music Group announces the release of "Greater Things," the debut song from newly signed recording artist and worship leader Mack Brock. Co-written by Brock along with Jacob Sooter and Jonathan Smith, the song officially releases today to all digital outlets.
Featured on 'The Good News Tour' this spring with Rend Collective
Sparrow Records/Capitol Christian Music Group announces the release of "Greater Things," the debut song from newly signed recording artist and worship leader Mack Brock. Co-written by Brock along with Jacob Sooter and Jonathan Smith, the song officially releases today to all digital outlets.
Brock will hit the road this spring for 33 dates with labelmates Rend Collective on their "The Good News Tour," beginning March 1 in Orlando and wrapping April 29 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The tour visits Buffalo on April 25.
"My greatest passion is to lead people into a heightened awareness of the presence of God, and to see individuals experience the breakthrough God has for them through worship," said Brock, who served as the music producer and a key worship leader with Elevation Worship for a decade. "I am so excited about this moment in time - to be releasing my first solo song, to be part of the Capitol CMG family - and to see what God does with all of it."
Brock has been a worship leader for over 15 years and landed three songs in the Top 50 of the CCLI chart, co-writing "O Come To The Altar," "Resurrecting," "Here As In Heaven" and "Do It Again" - all songs which have had a significant impact on the church worldwide. "O Come To The Altar" was a multiweek Top 5 hit at both Billboard AC monitored and national Christian audience charts.
"We are thrilled to have Mack Brock join our Capitol CMG family," said Peter York, chairman and CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group. "With his experience in leading worship and writing songs that are impacting people around the world, we could not be more honored to stand alongside Mack and support him in his career."
  Higgins announces application period for federal fire prevention & safety grants Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:57:39 -0500
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now accepting applications for grants through the fire prevention and safety (FP&S) program.
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now accepting applications for grants through the fire prevention and safety (FP&S) program.
"These grants continue to support America's national and regional emergency preparedness and enhance community safety," Higgins said. "We encourage local organizations and departments to apply."
This year, $34.5 million has appropriated for the FP&S program, aimed at specifically targeting projects and programs that mitigate incidences of death and injuries caused by fire among high-risk populations including children, seniors and firefighters.
Grant information is available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website at: www.fema.gov/fire-prevention-safety-grants. Features include key programmatic updates and application requirements, as well as an application checklist and answers to frequently asked questions.
The window to submit grant applications will close at 5 p.m. Friday, March 16. Applicants with questions or in need technical assistance can contact the FP&S grant help desk at 1-866-274-0960 or via email at firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.
  Construction industry leaders come together to support Warm Up WNY Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:56:22 -0500
Several local construction companies have teamed up to support Warm Up WNY, a drive launched by New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy to collect new blankets for children at Oishei Children's Hospital (OCH). Arc Building Partners, Allied Mechanical, D.V. Brown and Associates, Ferguson Electric Construction, Frey Electric Construction, J.W. Danforth and Mader Construction Co. have joined forces to help push the drive toward its goal of gathering 8,000 blankets.
Drive launched by Sen. Kennedy to gather blankets for Oishei Children's Hospital gains additional boost from local contractors
Several local construction companies have teamed up to support Warm Up WNY, a drive launched by New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy to collect new blankets for children at Oishei Children's Hospital (OCH). Arc Building Partners, Allied Mechanical, D.V. Brown and Associates, Ferguson Electric Construction, Frey Electric Construction, J.W. Danforth and Mader Construction Co. have joined forces to help push the drive toward its goal of gathering 8,000 blankets.
The companies are encouraging other local contractors that are active in the Western New York construction industry to get involved and donate new blankets to provide comfort to children during unexpected hospital stays. 
"Being rushed to the hospital to fight an illness is a scary experience, especially for children. Simple things that help recreate the comforts of home, like a warm blanket, can make a world of difference," said Frank L. Ciminelli II, president of Arc Building Partners. "Through our personal experience, my family and I learned that blankets not only provide warmth and comfort, but also - and most importantly - alleviate children's anxiety and eases the stress of a hospital stay." 
"Since the beginning, #WarmUpWNY has been a community project," Kennedy said. "We've received thousands of donated blankets from individuals, community groups and the business community. I want to thank Arc Building Partners and their colleagues in the construction industry for stepping up to help us once again reach our goal of providing a blanket for every child who goes through the doors of Oishei Children's Hospital."
The Warm Up WNY drive, which encourages the use of the hashtag #WarmUpWNY on social media, has helped spark increased awareness of the need for new blankets for children at OCH. 
All of the blanket supplies at OCH are donated by the community, as well as local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Each year, including this one, supplies begin to run low, and the community's support is once again needed to replenish the stock. 
"Every child deserves a blanket, but they are only handed out when there are supplies. That means, each year, it's up to all of us to help ensure there are enough blankets at OCH to support the need. I'm grateful for everyone coming together to support this cause," Ciminelli added.
"As contractors, we get the opportunity to work on some important projects for our community, but there may be no project more important than making sure every child has a warm blanket when they're in the hospital," said Kent Frey, CEO of Frey Electric Construction. "We appreciate Frank and the team at Arc Building Partners rallying everyone together to help."
"So many of us have had to endure the difficult experience of seeing one our children, or the child of a friend or family member, in the hospital," said Michael Modrzynski, president of Allied Mechanical Inc. "We can prove that we're the City of Good Neighbors by being there for each other and donating a blanket - or many blankets - to provide comfort to children experiencing an unexpected hospital stay."
"Local children need our community's help, and we're proud to be among those encouraging our colleagues in the construction and business communities to join us in participating in the Warm Up WNY drive," said Angelo A. Veanes, president of Ferguson Electric Construction.
"Few people know what it takes to stay warm during the winter like people who work in the construction industry. When you're on a jobsite in January or February, the cold and snow can be brutal," said Robert Beck, president of J.W. Danforth. "That's why we were eager to support this effort to Warm Up Western New York. A blanket can make a big difference in providing warmth to those in need."
"Contractors are known for building things, and now we're trying to build support for the Warm Up WNY drive," said Donald V. Brown Jr., president of D.V. Brown and Associates. "We're striving to achieve the drive's goal of 8,000 blankets and, by working together, I'm confident our community can get the job done." 
"We're excited to see so many local contractors stepping up to support the Warm Up WNY drive," said Kevin G. Biddle, president of Mader Construction Co. "It takes a lot of cooperation and collaboration to complete big projects alongside other contractors - and while we might not be on a jobsite this time, we're seeing it here with this coalition working to help children in our community."
Blankets must be new, due to the threat of infectious disease. Many of the children at OCH are dealing with weakened immune systems, so used blankets cannot be accepted since they could be carrying potentially harmful germs.
While this coalition of construction industry leaders is specifically focused on encouraging local contractors and businesses to get involved, the community can still drop off blankets at OCH or Kennedy's office until March 8.
About Arc Building Partners
Arc Building Partners is a full-service project delivery firm focused on complex, fast-track deliveries serving private and commercial clients in numerous vertical sectors, locally, regionally and nationally. As part of its suite of professional services, Arc offers delivery types such as construction management at-risk and design-build. To learn more, visit www.arcbuildingpartners.com
  90th Oscars performers include Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Common, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle & Sufjan Stevens Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:55:21 -0500
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony, show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced Friday. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live Sunday, March 4, on the ABC Television Network.
90th Oscars performers announced
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony, show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced Friday. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live Sunday, March 4, on the ABC Television Network.
"We're excited to have these talented artists showcase the powerful contribution music makes to filmmaking," De Luca and Todd said. "It's a privilege to welcome them to the 90th Oscars stage."
The 90th Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 8 p.m. The Oscars will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Additionally, "The Oscars: All Access" live stream from the red carpet and backstage will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on Oscar.com.
  Art of illusion takes center stage when ABC's new drama 'Deception' premieres Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:53:25 -0500
"Pilot" - When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion: the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world's most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career, on "Deception," premiering Sunday, March 11 (10:01-11 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
Sunday, March 11
"Pilot" - When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion: the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world's most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career, on "Deception," premiering Sunday, March 11 (10:01-11 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
"Deception" stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as FBI Agent Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as FBI Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen
"Pilot" was written by Chris Fedak and directed by Michael Lehmann.
  VFW working to restore Academy Park memorial Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:35:48 -0500
On Wednesday, representatives of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Downriver Post No. 7487, accepted a donation from DiMino Tops Lewiston. The money will go toward the restoration of the veterans memorial monuments inside Academy Park - a project the local VFW will spearhead this year.
On Wednesday, representatives of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Downriver Post No. 7487, accepted a donation from DiMino Tops Lewiston. The money will go toward the restoration of the veterans memorial monuments inside Academy Park - a project the local VFW will spearhead this year.
Each Memorial Day, the VFW holds a ceremony in front of the walls of remembrance and eternal flame. Post members pay tribute to their fallen comrades who died in service of this country.
Pictured inside the supermarket are, from left, Matt Zarosl, John DiMino, Anthony DiMino, Bill Justyk and Harry Raby. (Photo by Joshua Maloni)
  Lewiston contingent at Art of Beer Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:34:02 -0500
The Art of Beer is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. The 12th annual event is set for 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 9, at 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.
The Art of Beer is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. The 12th annual event is set for 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 9, at 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.
This year's Art of Beer will have a strong Lewiston connection, as nearly a half-dozen merchants will line the former Niagara Falls High School gymnasium. Included will be the Brickyard (Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q., the Brickyard Brewing Company, Tin Pan Alley and Center Cut: The Village Steakhouse), the Village Bake Shoppe, Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer, and Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces, Etc.
The Brickyard is pouring "White Bronco" New England IPA and "Bustle In Your Hedgerow" German pilsner. Brewed and Bottled will offer a mango jalapeño hot sauce-infused version of the BBC's "White Bronco," in partnership with Sgt. Peppers, plus a cookies and cream variant of the BBC's Gary Arthur milk stout. The Village Bake Shoppe, meanwhile, is preparing cupcakes infused with the cookies and cream milk stout.
In total, the Art of Beer will offer guests more than 75 tasting choices from 30-plus breweries and almost a dozen eateries.
Live music will be provided by WhatheFolk, Bobby Skrzypek and The Pedestrians, PANGEA, Rad Bromance and Billy Draws 2.
Advance tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at www.theNACC.org or in person at Brewed and Bottled, 402 Center St., Lewiston. Art of Beer admission at the door is $40. For more information, visit www.theNACC.org or the event page on Facebook.
All Art of Beer proceeds will benefit the NACC, a Niagara Falls venue that provides cultural experiences for the public, and training in classical music, fine art, dance and theater. NACC students and artists perform in-house and throughout the region.
  Summer of '69, LEC donate to Lew-Port students Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:30:08 -0500
The Lewiston Event Center was the site, Saturday night, for a fundraiser to benefit the Lewiston-Porter High School Summer of '69 Music Scholarship. The event featured a performance by the Summer of '69 All-Star Band with special routines by Lewiston-Porter High School students.
The Lewiston Event Center was the site, Saturday night, for a fundraiser to benefit the Lewiston-Porter High School Summer of '69 Music Scholarship. The event featured a performance by the Summer of '69 All-Star Band with special routines by Lewiston-Porter High School students.
The scholarship will be awarded in May.
The LEC is the home lanes of the Lew-Port bowling team. (Photos by Joshua Maloni)
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