Niagara Gazette

November 11, 2013

IN BUSINESS: New Falls toy store opens; landlords set to meet

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — staff reports

Learning Express Toys, the nation’s largest educational toy retailer, has opened its newest franchise in Niagara Falls, owned by Falls natives Bill and Nancy Payne.

The store opened its doors Friday at 2410 Military Road and the grand opening festivities will continue through today. During the grand opening, families can stop by for face painting, glitter tattoos and balloon sculptures.  

Bill Payne is the fourth generation owner of a family carpet business, and Nancy Payne worked in the Niagara Falls School District before becoming a stay-at-home mom. The Paynes, along with their two young children, are looking forward to their venture into the toy industry.

“Our goal is to become a fun and interactive neighborhood toy store,” Bill noted. “We will have a large selection of all types of toys, and we are excited to offer a large activity area where kids (and adults) can demo our toys. We plan to host activities and events for families in the community such as story hours and classes.”

The owners hope that Learning Express Toys of Niagara Falls will set itself apart from the “big-box” toy stores in every possible way. In addition to unique toys, gifts and exclusive products — all intended to inspire imagination, creativity and intellectual and physical development — Learning Express Toys will offer services such as free gift wrapping, complimentary personalization of select items, a “birthday box” registry and even a curb-side gift pick-up for those extra busy days.

For more information phone 299-0104 or visit

Area landlords meet Wednesday

A general meeting of the Landlords’ Association of Greater Niagara County will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Jetport Restaurant, 7100 Porter Road.

Landlords are invited to meet, have some breakfast and network.

The LAGN is an association of landlords who are constantly seeking to improve themselves and their communities through education and advocacy and is seeking the support of all landlords throughout Niagara County.

The group’s most recent legislative focus has been on quality of life issues and the Department of Social Services. The are seeking support to a law requiring an apartment pass inspection, similar to the inspections performed by Leased Housing, and be clean and safe, before a landlord can receive public money in the form of housing vouchers.

This and more will be topics for discussion at the next meeting.  

Health care forum on Tuesday

Those who have questions about “Obamacare” may find some answers during a public forum on the Affordable Care Act being held at noon Tuesday at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. 

The free event, being held in the Governor’s Room, is sponsored by the The Niagara Falls, New York Chamber of Commerce is open to all individuals and businesses that would like to be provided with first hand information about upcoming changes in health care.

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions about health care reform.

For more information call the chamber at 285-5345 or visit the Niagara Falls New York Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.


Carol A. Palumbo of Lewiston has been appointed the agency services director for the Food Bank of WNY. For the past 13 years, Palumbo has been the Family Development and Nutrition Supervisor for the Niagara Community Action Program in Niagara Falls.

She is a graduate of Niagara County Community College, was a member of the Food Bank’s board of directors for three years and has worked for an agency serviced by the Food Bank for 23 years.

In her new position, she will be responsible for overseeing the needs of the Food Bank’s 340 member agencies in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties; and administrating programs and services to support their clients.

Robert J. Kazeangin Jr. was appointed to the Niagara Falls Public Library Board of Trustees. Kazeangin has been the circulation division manager at the Buffalo News since 2004. He is on the board of directors for both the United Way of Greater Niagara and the Health Association of Niagara County, Inc. He is a member and past chair of the Niagara Falls Board of Education Audit Committee. Kazeangin is also a former board member of the Niagara Falls Board of Education. He previously served on the board of directors of Leadership Niagara and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara and is a past member of the Niagara Falls Planning Board.