Tonawanda News

Local News

January 1, 2013

A look back at the year in news

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — City leaders pointed to far fewer arrests as proof the early closing time worked. Canal Fest organizers said they lost as much as 50 percent of their profits as a result, but have not offered figures to back up that assertion.

4: GM lands engine

lines, adds jobs

The General Motors Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda saw a Renaissance of sorts in 2012. New engine production lines were announced, including the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. More than 500 jobs will be added and millions in technology has been installed.

This, just three years after GM declared bankruptcy and was bailed out by the federal government, putting the entire factory’ future in doubt.

3: Little League

Drive deal riles city

It’s been in the talking stages for years, but 2012 saw the City of Tonawanda make serious strides toward authorizing a housing development on former baseball diamonds near the Niagara River. 

Not everyone is happy about it, though. Residents questioned whether the city is getting a good deal, based on negotiations with Natale Builders, the group negotiating to buy the land.

At issue: The cost for selling the property and whether a proposed homeowners’ association and condo status — which would see new owners paying less in taxes while providing some of their own services like sidewalk maintenance and street lights — is fair.

2: NT woman killed, boyfriend charged

It was the Lumber City’s first homicide in nearly a decade, and a brutal one at that.

Heather Rylowicz, 34, of Lincoln Avenue, was found dead in her home Nov. 22, killed by both blunt-force trauma and cut with a knife. She was discovered several days after her death, when a neighbor called police when she noticed mail piling up, her car missing and her dog inside the home.

Police said they were seeking to interview Brian C. Lowry, Rylowicz’s live-in boyfriend, in connection with the case. Lowry was located by Buffalo Police a few days later and detectives said he confessed during the interview to killing Rylowicz.

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