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Bus collision injuring girls track team probed

Twenty-two members of the Dunkirk High School girls track squad were shaken, but none suffered serious injuries when the bus they were on collided with a sport utility vehicle Monday afternoon.

All the girls were treated and released from an Erie, Pa., hospital, state police said Tuesday.

Amanda Winhaber, 16, the driver of the SUV, was treated in Hamot Medical Center for a broken wrist and thumb. She also suffered a concussion. She and her passenger were both released from the hospital after treatment, troopers said.

State police Tuesday continued to investigate the crash, which occurred at about 4 p.m. Monday on Route 60, between Gerry Levant and Terry roads in Chautauqua County.

Gerry firefighters had to cut the doors off the passenger side of Winhaber's SUV to release her and her passenger.

The First Student-owned school bus was driven by John Longsdon, 54. Troopers said they are investigating reports that he may have veered into the SUV as he was turning into a driveway.


Corrections officer charged in assault of girlfriend

FREDONIA -- A state corrections officer has been charged with third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing for allegedly punching his live-in girlfriend in the face and covering her nose to prevent her from breathing at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, state police reported Tuesday.

William B. Prost, 52, of Stone Quarry Road, was arraigned in Sheridan Town Court and issued an appearance ticket for further court proceedings. His girlfriend was granted a court order of protection against him, troopers reported. They did not say where the incident occurred.


Drug possession charge follows Jamestown raid

JAMESTOWN -- A city man was charged with drug possession Tuesday night after a raid at his apartment by city officers and members of the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Julien C. Johnson, 24, was taken into custody at about 6:30 p.m. after officers found two ounces of crack cocaine at Johnson's residence on Allen Street, police officials said.

Johnson was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance.

An investigation is continuing, and more arrests are likely, city police said.


Man faces sexual abuse and marijuana charges

MAYVILLE -- A Jackson Street man is being held in the Chautauqua County Jail on first-degree sexual abuse and sale of marijuana charges.

Delmar E. Aikens, 40, is accused of molesting a 17-year-old girl in his house at about 3 p.m. April 13, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Sheriff's investigators David Morton and Tim Hollern and the District Attorney's Office said Aikens is accused of supplying the girl and a 17-year-old boy with marijuana, then molesting the girl.


Ripley resident charged in burglary, gun theft

RIPLEY -- A town man has been charged with stealing a long gun that later was sold to a gun store in Erie, Pa.

Nicholas J. Hart, 32, of Route 5, made bail Monday aftering being arraigned in Town Court on second-degree burglary and grand larceny charges.

After the weapon was reported stolen during a Shortman Road house burglary in mid-April, Chautauqua County sheriff's investigators and Pennsylvania state police recovered the weapon, which had been sold to the Erie Sports Store.

Hart is being prosecuted for both the house burglary and the theft of the weapon.


Man, 54, arraigned in 1994 murder

A 54-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he murdered a woman whose body was found stuffed inside a nightstand in a backyard in 1994.

James Fountain faces second-degree murder charges in the stabbing death of 29-year-old Cynthia Epps, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III. Fountain faces up to 25 years to life if convicted.

The body of Epps, of Colfax Street, was found in the nightstand by the upstairs tenant at 142 Montana St., who noticed the nightstand in his backyard at about 9 a.m. June 30, 1994, and went outside to investigate, police said at the time. The body was wrapped in a green blanket.

Epps apparently died from several stab wounds to her upper body, police said then.


Felon possessing firearm sentenced to prison

A Buffalo man convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm was sentenced Tuesday to nine years and two months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Officers executed a search warrant on July 21, 2009, at a home on Balcum Street where Isaiah Glover, 30, was staying. They discovered cocaine and drug paraphernalia in close proximity to a firearm. Glover was previously convicted of a felony, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who handled the case.