Niagara Gazette — A Next-of-Kin Gold Star Lapel Button was presented to Blanche Lucas of Lockport on Sunday — 45 years after her husband was killed in Vietnam. A construction mechanic in the United States Navy, Richard M. Sprout was killed in action in Dong Ha, Vietnam in 1968 during an artillery attack on base. Lucas, who has since remarried, never received the Gold Star Lapel Button at the time of Sprout’s death. Congressman Chris Collins office secured the Gold Star Lapel Button for Lucas and determined that her late husband was eligible for several medals for his bravery during service. In addition to her Gold Star Lapel Button, Collins presented Lucas with her late husband’s Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon and Combat Action Ribbon. “Both Blanche Lucas and her late husband failed to receive the acknowledgement they deserved for their service and sacrifice to our great country,” Collins said. “Blanche was never properly recognized for her loss as a war widow and her late husband was not fully honored for giving his life in defense of his country. Today we pay tribute to them both.” Along with Sen. George Maziarz and Earl Schmidt of the Niagara County Veterans Service Office, Collins presented the medals to Lucas during a district meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at VFW Post 2535 in Lockport. Lucas is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of Post 2535. “The Veterans of Foreign Wars have always said, ‘We honor the fallen by serving the living,’ ” said Schmidt, director of the Niagara County Veterans Service Agency. “The Niagara County Veterans Service Agency and County Clerk Wayne Jagow have made ensuring that our heroes who served get their due, and that their survivors get proper closure."
Nik Wallenda Stay-cation in the Falls
Nik Wallenda enjoyed a day-off in Niagara Falls on Monday, taking a jet boat and helicopter ride with family, friends and cast members of his Darien Lake show. (Photos by James Neiss)
- Western New York Land Conservancy nears funding goal for Stella Niagara Nature Preserve The Western New York Land Conservancy in partnership with the Sisters of St. Francis have now secured $2.6 million of $3.2 million in proposed funding for the creation of the Stella Niagara Nature Preserve by accepting a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
- Local artist Nori Bucci's work on display at Main Street library Local artist and musician Nori Bucci's pencil art will be on display in the main floor exhibit cases at the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main St. through Aug. 3.
Electric cars will get charge out of new IBEW 237 battery station
Those who drive electric cars now have a free location to stop and charge their batteries, thanks to a new charging station recently built at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 237 at 8803 Niagara Falls Blvd. Beside offering free charging, the stations gave a class of apprentice electricians a chance to learn how to assemble the stations. "We think it's a great training tool," said Russ Quarantello, a business manager for the union.
- Skating spot will re-open in fall under Rainbow Rink owners For Maurice and Barbara Cooper, purchasing the former Skateland rink on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport seemed a little like fate.
- SUNDAY: St. Hagop's Church holds Armenian Festival on 9th St. A trio of church members were preparing a giant pan of rice recently, readying it to stuff the grape leaves for the Armenian Festival Sunday at St. Hagop's Church on Ninth Street. A bystander was lucky enough to get a sample of the stuffing, and could clearly taste the savory dill, tart lemon and sweet fresh mint that infused the rice. There were also Armenian cookies to be sampled, made from a beloved recipe that included ground cherry pits from a middle eastern tree, which gave the buttery dough a distinct sweet flavor.
- Students back at Hyde Park Elementary for week-long STEM science camp Hyde Park Elementary's halls are mosaicked with a rural scene, but the mentality of the teachers and students is decidedly technical.
- Praxair employees give $17,000 to Hospice Praxair employees donated to $17,000 to Hospice Buffalo Thursday afternoon, a press release from the company said.
- Corvettes cruisin' to Old Falls Street on Saturday There will be a Corvette summer celebration on Saturday along Old Falls Street in downtown Niagara Falls.
- Tom Darro, the voice of Niagara Falls, honored at Como on Wednesday Tom Darro's been talking into a microphone about Niagara Falls for a very long time. On Wednesday, the radio talk show host with one of the most loyal followings in the region, was celebrated by his friends, family and listeners for 50 years in the media business. "He's a good guy and it's time somebody recognized him for what he's done on the radio," said Dave Costanzo, owner of Yaseen's Jewelers, who has known Darro for more than 40 years and has joined him on his radio program, "Viewpoint" on WJJL, 1140 AM.
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- Nik Wallenda Stay-cation in the Falls