cheers

• BACK ON THE BEAT: Falls K-9 Officer Mike Bird and Traffic Officer Walt Nichols are back on the job. They were both wounded when they responded to a man with a gun and shots fired calls in the 1000 block of South Avenue on Feb. 7. Bird, an eight-year veteran of the department was struck by flying pellets that lodged in his left cheek. He expects to undergo surgery soon to remove them. Nichols was off the job for six months, returning to the streets in late August. “It’s good to be back,” Nichols said recently. It’s good to have two heroes guarding the city streets.

• ON THE FRONT LINES OF MEDICINE: A longtime medical practitioner, Dr. Clayburn Booth, was honored last weekend at the Mount St. Mary’s Foundation Gala. “I have never turned anyone away,” said Booth of his 50-year family practice in downtown Niagara Falls. Booth also assists in surgeries at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and sits on a variety of boards for area nonprofits, consulting and overseeing care.

• EXPANDING ON THIRD: It’s great to see Wine on Third expanding. Owners Shawn Weber and David Giusiana are planning to renovate 700 square feet of property next door to use as an upscale dining area capable of hosting private parties. Though much of Third Street remains undeveloped and an eyesore, Council Chairman and NFC board member Chris Robins said the Wine on Third building has been a positive example of the entertainment district’s potential. “This is the vision we had for Third Street,” Robins said. It’s our vision, too.

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• BAFFLING LEGAL DECISION: When a domestic violence suspect repeatedly violates an order of protection, it doesn’t make sense that he was released without bail last week by City Court Judge Robert Merino. The assistant district attorney on the case asked for bail in the amount of $10,000 cash or $20,000 property. She noted the defendant violated the court of protection at least five times and had been “admonished” by a State Supreme Court justice twice. Quite frankly, we’re baffled.

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