Niagara Gazette — Bob Emerson, executive director of Old Fort Niagara, said the designation would be a vital help to building on the success of events in 2012. "And it will provide strong momentum for the additional War of 1812 bicentennial activities continuing next year," Emerson added.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Steve Stephens, a travel writer for The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, was a recent visitor to Niagara Falls but apparently spent all of his time on the Canadian side. He explained in the article why he took his family over there: "The Ontario side seems to have avoided some of the urban blight that plagues the town of Niagara Falls, N.Y." Without setting a foot here — it's a city, by the way —he opted to camp out in Canada and pass judgment on the struggling American side.
The writer did note that from the 26th floor of his hotel overlooking the Horseshoe Falls, he had an unmatched early morning view of the level of the river rising, after the power company intakes drastically reduced the flow while the tourists slept.
THIS JUST IN ... Jodi Johnston, a news anchor and reporter with WGRZ-TV for the past 12 years, has been named director of corporate media relations with the First Niagara Financial Group. She also will serve as first vice president responsible for managing the company's external communications strategy and execution. Johnston has anchored the "Daybreak" morning show and 5 p.m. newscast. During her time at Ch. 2, the station's news programming has moved up to No. 1 rating in the Buffalo market.
TOP GRADE: A veteran observer of area running events, from 5ks to marathons, said last week that the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon between Lewiston and Porter on the Lake Park in Youngstown, was one of the best organized races in which she ever participated. Paul Beatty Jr. is general chairman of the annual event that benefits Niagara Hospice.
PLEA BARGAIN: Overheard in police court: "I may not be perfect, your honor, but parts of me are excellent" — a defendant asking the judge for a break.Contact Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.