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POLICE & COURTS

Arrest of Salamanca man tied to child custody case

SALAMANCA -- A child custody incident Thursday has led to the arrest of Mark D. Pierce, 31, of Summit Street, on charges of second-degree harassment and second-degree criminal contempt.

Arrested by city police, Pierce was arraigned in City Court and held in lieu of $200 bail.

Also, Nadine E. Pierce, 26, was charged with trespass in the same incident and is to appear in City Court on Jan. 21.

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Judge reserves decision in beaver-trapping case

ALFRED -- No decision was reached Monday in Alfred Town Court in the case of an Independence woman who was ticketed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for trapping a beaver without a license.

Town Justice Sandra Cameron reserved decision after listening to arguments for about two hours. She asked both parties to return to court March 14 but could issue a written decision before then.

Gudrun Scott said she captured the beaver to move it and other beavers from a dangerous situation along a state road. The beavers were later killed by vehicle traffic.

Ross Scott, her husband and attorney, said a statute in environmental conservation law allows the capture of an animal in distress -- unable to survive in the wild without human intervention.

But prosecutor Amanda Finn said the conservation officer who found and released the beaver felt it seemed fine and didn't need help.

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Seven jurors sworn in for Hassan murder trial

Seven people -- five men and two women -- were sworn as jurors at the Muzzammil S. "Mo" Hassan murder trial by the close of the second day of jury selection Tuesday. A third day of the selection process, to choose five additional jurors and four alternate jurors, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today.

Hassan, 46, a former banker and cable television entrepreneur, has been jailed since he turned himself in to Orchard Park police an hour after he allegedly beheaded his third wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, 37, in their

Orchard Park cable station office at about 5 p.m. Feb. 12, 2009.

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Death of man, 61, becomes first homicide of year in city

A 61-year-old man who lived alone in the Clinton-Spring Street area of the city is Buffalo's first homicide victim of 2011 after an apparent burglary at his apartment, Buffalo police reported Tuesday.

Paul Anderson Sr., 61, was found dead at about 9 a.m. Monday by family members checking on his welfare at his apartment at 40 Mary B. Talbert Blvd.

"The victim had not been heard from since sometime on Friday," Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives, reported.

Richards said no signs of forced entry were present, but there were signs that a burglary did occur.

"Homicide detectives are continuing the investigation, attempting to find out who last spoke with the victim, and what property may have been taken," Richards said.

Police did not reveal any details surrounding the nature of Anderson's death. The investigation is continuing.

The city recorded 55 homicides in 2010.

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Police say Ontario fare cheated cabbie out of $190

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Grimsby, Ont., fare was charged with theft of services after stiffing a cabbie out of $190, then became aggressive as he was booked Monday, police said.

Dennis R. Thomson, 64, was arrested in the parking lot of Tim Hortons on Pine Avenue at 10:45 a.m. after the Blue United Taxi driver told police that after driving Thomson to a variety of locations throughout the city, he said he had no money on him and would pay up next month.

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Kenmore man faces prison in federal marijuana case

A Kenmore man faces four years in prison and a $250,000 fine for using a telephone to commit a drug offense, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said Tuesday.

Jeremie Jones, 29, admitted to the crime, stating that in April 2004 he engaged in telephone conversations involving the sale of quantities of marijuana weighing in the pounds and said he was involved in discussions of the sale of up to 2.5 kilograms of marijuana, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25 before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

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Elderly woman in pajamas discovered lying in snow

GASPORT -- With temperatures in the teens, a 90-year-old woman in pajamas was discovered lying in the snow at about 7 a.m. Monday in the 7600 block of Slayton Settlement Road, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said. A neighbor on his way to work said he was backing out of his driveway when he saw the woman.

Gasport firefighters said the woman, who lives about a quarter-mile away with a son, suffers from dementia and was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, for treatment. Her condition was unavailable.

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