It was 6 a.m. when Youngstown mom Nicole Mombrea emerged from her car in the freezing dark of a Target parking lot one recent Saturday morning. The home care nurse heard the store was getting a shipment of the season’s elusive Hatchimal toys and she hoped to get one for her daughter, Claire, in time for Christmas. Mombrea wasn’t the only one. By the time she arrived…

Buffalo Police are looking for at least two men who posed as utility workers to get into a Normal Avenue house Thursday afternoon. The victims said they the men claimed there was a gas leak in the house and let them in. Once inside, the suspects tied up one of the victims and struck him, causing facial injuries that required treatment at the Erie County Medical Cente…

Michael H. Wilson raised a few eyebrows when he arrived in town and bought a $6.3 million home in Hamburg in 2008. Only 22 at the time, Wilson had a reputation as a savvy, young investor from Cleveland. On Friday, he returned to Buffalo but, this time, as a criminal defendant accused of operating an $8 million investment scam. Wilson, who has been on the run, was …

LOCKPORT - A Wilson man could spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury convicted him Friday of sexually abusing a girl from July 2014 through March of this year. Alfonso C. Cutaia, 41, of New Road, was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child after about six hours of jury deliberations that wrapped up a two-week trial. Assistant District Atto…

LOCKPORT - A father was arraigned Friday in Niagara County Court on an indictment accusing him of assaulting his newborn son twice before the child was a month old. Eric L. Fehr, 29, of Royalton Center Road, Royalton, was living on Dysinger Road in the Town of Lockport when the crimes allegedly occurred between June 6, when the baby was born, and July 3. The baby was t…

Keri Chentfant, an English Language Arts seventh-grade teacher is one of the regulars at a hot new dining spot at Lackawanna High School run by five special needs students. “This is the best group of workers we’ve got right here,” said Chentfant, who favors the healthy breakfast wraps and lunch specials at The Lunch Box Garden Fresh Cafe, tucked into a former facu…

The pigment that gives spinach and other plants their verdant color may improve doctors’ ability to examine the human gastrointestinal tract, according to research conducted in part by the University at Buffalo. “Our work suggests that this spinach-like, nanoparticle juice can help doctors get a better look at what’s happening inside the stomach, intestines and ot…

LOCKPORT - A truck driver from Ohio who traveled to North Tonawanda to sexually molest three boys was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision. Bradley M. Heinichen, 29, of Mayfield, Ohio, victimized the children of friends between May 2014 and June of this year, prosecutors said. "I just want to say sorry," Heinichen said. …

Julie Blackman grew up on a Niagara County dairy farm before she became a University at Buffalo-trained physical therapist. She spent two decades plying her trade at Medina Hospital and a private practice in Lockport – and lived in those communities – until the family farm called her home. The call came slowly at first. It followed a trip about eight years ago to Sa…

New York State's SAFE Act gun control law requires all residents who had pistol permits before 2013 to renew them or lose them, but Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski said Thursday the state hasn't done what it needs to do to make that possible. The law says the renewals are supposed to be done by Jan. 31, 2018, via a State Police website. However, Jastrzemski …

A 38-year-old Mexican citizen who had been deported from the U.S. was arrested Wednesday at the Peace Bridge after customs officers said he produced a fake Arizona driver's license in bid to enter Canada. Jose Salazar Estrada was charged with re-entry after removal and false claim to U.S. citizenship by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Estrada presented a…

LOCKPORT - A former employee of Armstrong Pumps in North Tonawanda, who joined his brother in stealing $34,000 worth of metal objects from the plant, was placed on three years' probation Friday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon because he came up with his half of the restitution tab. Nicholas R. Pompeo, 40, of Ermann Drive, Kenmore, was allowed to plead guilty to a m…

The first public meeting of the 17-member train station committee that will recommend the location of a new Amtrak station will be held Dec. 15. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Buffalo Common Council Chamber on the 13th floor of Buffalo City Hall. “We are pleased that there is so much community interest in the train station selection project…

Everyone's going to feel pre-winter's wrath next week. The coldest air of the season is expected to grip the Buffalo Niagara region starting about Wednesday. And, it's expected to last until at least the end of the week. Daytime high temperatures might not escape the teens to mid-20s next Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service's morning for…