Maki Becker, The Buffalo News
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Maki Becker

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Maki Becker is the breaking news and criminal justice editor at The Buffalo News.

The pickup truck that State Police investigators believe struck a Grand Island woman in a hit-and-run incident June 13 is registered to a state correction officer, his attorney confirmed to The Buffalo News. The pickup is registered to Edward J. Kuebler III of the Town of Tonawanda, Kuebler's attorney Barry Covert, said Thursday. Kuebler has not been charged. Sta…

A U.S. citizen was turned over to Buffalo Police Saturday after he allegedly turned his vehicle around on the Peace Bridge and then failed to stop in the primary inspection lane, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday. The driver, Luis Cruz Figueroa, 33, was driving a vehicle reported stolen in Buffalo when border protection officers saw him turn the …

A $1,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of writing racist graffiti at the parking ramp at 343 Washington St. in downtown Buffalo. Crime Stoppers released on Monday two surveillance camera images of the man in a ball cap and carrying a yellow duffel bag. It was not clear when the man was in the parking ramp, located betw…

When troopers found Dana Papaj critically injured on the side of a Grand Island road Tuesday night, after being struck in an apparent hit-and-run collision on East River Road, they couldn’t identify her. She had no ID with her. But her dog, Molly, had gone to find help, according to Papaj’s daughter, Brittany Gruttadauria. Papaj remained at Erie County Medical…

A "reading invasion" is planned for Tuesday, June 13 in Bidwell Parkway, between Elmwood Avenue and Potomac Avenue. The informal reading event is set to start at 7 p.m. The organizers explained how a reading invasion works: "Participants bring something to read and “invade” one of our many beautiful public spaces around Buffalo. This isn’t a book club; just a t…

The signs are bright yellow and the lettering couldn't be clearer. "11'-6" As in 11 feet, 6 inches from the surface of Young Street to the underside of the steel and concrete bridge that holds up the CSX railroad tracks above. The diamond-shaped signs have big, black arrows, one pointed up, the other down. Some versions have two extra orange diamonds, like Mickey…

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has condemned President Donald J. Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. "Climate change is a global challenge requiring immediate attention," Brown said in a statement posted to Facebook and Twitter. "I am proud to have signed on to the US Climate Alliance and the US Conference of Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. I…

Firefighters rescued a woman early Friday morning from the roof of a burning house at 337 Crowley Avenue in the Riverside section of Buffalo. The fire was reported just before 5 a.m. and was estimated to have caused $115,000 in damage. No injuries were reported. The cause was under investigation. Red Cross volunteers were aiding four adults and a child followin…

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies are asking the public's help in finding a 28-year-old woman missing from Sanborn. Andrea Swartwood was last seen Tuesday in the area of Hoover Road in Sanborn. Officials said she has family and friends in the Niagara Falls area and may be operating a black 2007 Toyota Corolla with New York license plate GKS9540. She was described…

Town of Tonawanda police are asking for the public's help in locating a 15-year-old girl last seen Tuesday. Lizsandra Rivera, 15, is 5 foot 7 and weighs about 175 pounds. She has wavy, dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and gray jumper and gray shoes. Police said she has friends in the Riverside area of Buffalo. Anyone who may have s…

A car that jumped the curb on a residential street in Batavia struck a mother who managed to push her 8-year-old son away, but the vehicle killed two dogs she was walking, Batavia police said Tuesday. A gold Ford Taurus headed east on Allen at 3 p.m. Saturday left the roadway, went over a curb and struck a woman and her dogs. The woman, identified only as a 32-year-old …

A Canadian truck driver crashed a tractor-trailer into the Young Street CSX bridge Tuesday morning, causing substantial damage to the rig, City of Tonawanda police said. Kirisanthan Senathi, 24, of Scarborough, Ont., told investigators it was "his first day on the job." No injuries were reported, and trailer was empty when the crash occurred at 10:15 a.m. Senathi …

For nearly nine months after he was brutally beaten on the front porch of his home in Niagara Falls, Cameron M. Weingartner lay unresponsive in a hospital bed at Erie County Medical Center. Someone from the family made sure to be by his side every day at Erie County Medical Center. On Friday, after developing complications from the traumatic injuries to his brain, he…