>Pivotal week ahead for racketeering trial
The racketeering trial of Niagara County tree-trimmer David Cain Jr. and two co-defendants is expected to wrap up this week in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara will hear legal arguments on Monday on efforts by defense attorneys to have the charges dismissed against Cain, his brother, Christoper Cain, and their cousin James Soha.
Unless Arcara agrees to dismiss the entire case, defense attorneys will have the opportunity to present their witnesses on Tuesday, with closing arguments to be heard later in the week.
The three men are accused of using threats, vandalism and arson to intimidate rivals who ran logging and tree-trimming businesses in Niagara and Orleans counties. They deny the allegations.
After presenting more than 40 prosecution witnesses, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony M. Bruce and Charles B. Wydysh rested their case last week.
David Cain, 37, and his 34-year-old brother are from Somerset, and their cousin, 31, is from Lockport.
The charges against them resulted from a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and other agencies.
>Man in wheelchair beaten, robbed in home invasion
A 52-year-old Kenmore Avenue man who uses a wheelchair was the victim of a violent home invasion and robbery overnight Friday.
Both bandits were armed with silver handguns and one of them also had a Taser. The victim was pistol-whipped and Tasered before the bandits made off with his fanny pack containing $200 and a debit card, a lock box with personal papers and a cell phone.
When the two left, the victim banged on his wall and cried out to a neighbor to call 911.
Police said a witness saw two young men on BMX bikes carrying a lock box fleeing the area.
The victim, who suffered pain and swelling around both his eyes and his head, refused treatment from paramedics.
>Sherman St. man critical after being ejected from car
A Sherman Street man was listed in critical condition Saturday at Erie County Medical Center, a day after he was ejected from his SUV on the Kensington Expressway. Tyron Aaron, 23, was traveling outbound at 6:10 a.m. Friday when his 2001 Ford Explorer rolled over several times.
>Buffalo woman accused of setting apartment fire
A Buffalo woman arrested on arson charges Saturday is accused of setting fire to an upstairs apartment on East Ferry Street about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
Brenda Fernandez, 42, of East Delavan Avenue caused $10,000 in damage to the apartment, police said. She also was charged with giving a fake name to Buffalo police and fire investigators.
>Robbers take man's $230 near Bailey and Minnesota
A Walden Avenue man was mugged at gunpoint by three robbers near the intersection of Bailey and Minnesota avenues at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Police said the muggers pointed a gun at the victim and hit him in the face with a bottle before taking $230 from him.
The victim was treated in Buffalo General Hospital. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.
>Woman claims check stolen during Thanksgiving dinner
MIDDLEPORT -- A Johnson Creek Road woman told police someone stole a paycheck from her purse during a family Thanksgiving dinner Thursday afternoon.
The woman told Niagara County sheriff's deputies the check totaled $449.