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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Teenager given probation for graffiti crimes

A City of Tonawanda high school student was spared a criminal record Friday but placed on probation for the next three years for a series of graffiti crimes.

Timothy VanLear, 17, of Bellhurst Road, was granted youthful offender status by State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller, which will clear him of a future criminal record. VanLear had pleaded guilty July 3 to misdemeanor criminal mischief and making-graffiti charges.

Boller also fined VanLear $40 for his "stupid" actions in defacing street signs and a privately owned trash bin with graffiti.

The judge also imposed a curfew of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the next three years and ordered him to remain in school.

Prosecutor Nora Robshaw said VanLear's adult relatives made full restitution totaling $640 to the city and a private waste company for the damage.

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>Smoke spurs evacuation at Williamsville East

Students were evacuated shortly before 11 a.m. Friday when a burned out ventilation motor triggered a fire alarm at Williamsville East High School.

In a letter sent to parents, Principal Neal S. Miller said smoke from an second-floor unoccupied classroom triggered the fire alarm and brought emergency crews to the school.

Students and staff waited outside near the tennis courts as firefighters traced the odor and smoke to a ventilating unit in a science classroom, said Miller, who emphasized that there was no actual fire.

Students were allowed to re-enter the building at about 11:35 a.m.

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