Melinda Miller, The Buffalo News
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Melinda Miller


A former Catholic school science teacher admitted in State Supreme Court to sending sexually explicit text messages to a 12-year-old earlier this summer. Scott Schaefer, 44, of Getzville pleaded guilty to disseminating indecent material to minors in the second degree, a felony.  Justice John L. Michalski allowed Schaefer to remain free on $50,000 bond and set sentencin…

A Cheektowaga woman will spend time in jail for helping others file false state income tax forms, along with reimbursing New York for revenue lost. Shonnel Harris, 48, was sentenced in Erie County Court to eight months in jail after pleading guilty plea to criminal tax fraud. Judge Kenneth F. Case also ordered her to repay $19,011 that was illicitly taken in the scam. …

A 74-year-old man who lives in his vehicle is charged with arson in the third degree for allegedly setting fire to another person's house in Allegany County. State Police based in Amity report that Gary R. Marvel was arrested Thursday in connection with a residential fire on Karr-Valley Road in Almond. Marvel has previously purchased a tractor and a van from the own…

With a state Supreme Court justice restoring 21 names to his designating petitions on Tuesday, David Martinez regained a place on the ballot for the County Legislature’s District 2 Democratic primary. After elections officials ruled last week that he didn’t have the required 500 valid signatures on his petitions, Martinez took the matter to court. Justice Paul B. Wo…

Human error caused the black discharge from the Niagara Falls waste water treatment plant last Saturday, according to a statement released Friday night. The employee  monitoring the discharge at the plant left to help with work elsewhere in the plant and returned to find the discharge was dark, according to the  statement from Rolfe Porter, executive director of the …

The Niagara County Legislature is calling a special meeting next week to consider four resolutions connected to the city's wastewater treatment plant's discharge of inky wastewater into the Niagara River near the base of the American Falls during a weekend afternoon at the peak of tourist season. One resolution directly calls on Niagara Falls Water Board Chairman Dan O…

With the help of a witness who recently came forward, prosecutors have indicted a man in a double shooting from 2013 that killed an innocent woman and wounded a friend of hers. Leron Bailey, 35, was arraigned Thursday morning on charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Authorities said they believe Bailey was the gunman who fired repe…

Judge Sheila A. DiTullio decided that the heroin dealing case against Eric Mitchell had taken long enough. Despite a defense attorney's request that Mitchell’s sentencing for two felony drug convictions be adjourned for two weeks, the judge sentenced Mitchell to six years in prison, to be followed by five years post-release supervision, on Tuesday. Mitchell, curren…

A Buffalo man convicted of possessing an illegal handgun and cocaine was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison. Michael Billups, 38, pleaded guilty in June to criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. When Erie County Sheriff’s narcotics officers executed a search warrant at Billups…

A 64-year-old man who set fire to a 10-unit apartment building because he was angry at his son was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison. Roger Cornell previously pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to a reduced charge of second-degree attempted arson, a felony, for starting the blaze at 437 Bailey Ave. in the early morning of Jan. 21. According to his attorney, C…

A 46-year-old man was severely injured Saturday in a hit-and-run in a Main Street parking lot, according to Buffalo Police. Accident investigators say a woman was backing her vehicle out of a parking spot in the 2500 block of Main Street at 12:30 p.m. when she struck a man who was behind the vehicle. The unidentified man was transported to Erie County Medical Center …

A 78-year-old Elma man had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease long before he shot his son in the kitchen of his Clinton Street home on Oct. 26. On Thursday, State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia accepted Thomas L. Manuszewski’s plea that he was not responsible for the shooting “by reason of mental disease or defect.” The younger Manuszewski, 3…

A judge awarded $172,312 in pay, damages and legal fees to a former Jamestown police officer and detective who accused the City of Jamestown and its Police Department of unfairly treating him over his service in the Army Reserves. Timothy Wright, now police chief in the Town of Carroll, filed a claim in 2007 under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right…

A young East Aurora man pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter in the second degree in the shooting death of a friend last fall. Jake Klocek, 20, was house-sitting for acquaintances at a home on Dorris Drive in Elma on Nov. 6 and invited Anthony C. King and another friend to come over. Investigators said the men found an unloaded .45-caliber handgun along with ammunit…

Will Fowler is retiring. Again. When the longtime director of Erie County’s Pistol Permits Office hung up his holster Friday, it was the fourth time that he had signed off on a career. This time it might stick. “This was his retirement job,” said Alan Brown, Fowler’s colleague in the permit office. Brown pointed out that the “retirement job” lasted for…