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POLICE & COURTS

Ontario man charged with robberies

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Niagara Regional Police have arrested an Ontario man on charges that he robbed or attempted to rob at gunpoint three stores here Thursday and Friday.

Police charged city resident Stewart Maxwell, 30, with three counts of robbery.

Officers said Maxwell walked into the Avondale store at 4985 Bridge St., at 10:51 p.m. Friday, displayed a pellet gun and demanded money. He fled without any cash when a customer entered the store.

About 10 minutes later, a man matching the same description walked into the Avondale at 4497 Drummond Road, threatened the clerk with the same gun and fled with cash.

Officers on patrol pulled over a vehicle matching the description of the getaway car and arrested Maxwell. He also is charged with the robbery Thursday of the Drummond Mart at 5211 Drummond Road.

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Teen accused of violating order of protection

WESTFIELD -- A village teen was ordered held in the Chautauqua County Jail after he was charged with violating an order of protection.

Ryan Sanderson, 18, of Bliss Street is accused of communicating with a minor under age 15 that he had been having sexual contact with and had been ordered to stay away from.

Sanderson was arraigned on a criminal contempt charge and sent to the county jail on $5,000 bail.

He also is facing a charge of criminal contempt and a felony charge of performing a criminal sex act.

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Man arrested, charged on multiple rape counts

GREAT VALLEY -- A Route 219 man has been charged with three counts of rape and accused of repeatedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Christopher J. Mina, 35, of was arrested on the felony charges, Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis J. John reported Saturday.

John said the three rape counts stemmed from sexual activities that took place at Mina's home during the summer of 2003.

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Fire at Mancuso leads to evacuation

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Firefighters responding to a possible chemical fire at Mancuso Chemicals on Saturday morning briefly evacuated about 25 people from a nearby mobile home park.

A crew from the Niagara Falls Fire Department determined the fire had burned only rubbish, and people were allowed to return to their homes after about 90 minutes, according to Niagara Regional Police.

Firefighters received a call at 10:49 a.m. about a fire at Mancuso Chemicals, 5725 Progress Ave. and discovered a small fire burning at the rear of the complex when they arrived.

Fire officials evacuated the mobile home park as a precaution.

Mancuso Chemicals managers helped firefighters determine there was no danger to the public. Property damage was minimal.

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