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An electrical fault in a combination fan/heat lamp sparked a fire that significantly damaged a house in the Town of Tonawanda on Sunday night, police and fire officials reported.Elwood volunteer firefighters responded to a 7:49 p.m. alarm at 200 Center Ave., south of Sheridan Drive, a few blocks west of Lincoln Park. The blaze was declared under control 28 minutes later.Th…

Thirty-year-old Justin Crouse is expected to be sentenced next month to between 20 and 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty in State Supreme Court on Friday to having killed his girlfriend’s son on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in March, court officials reported.Crouse pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfg…

PERRYSBURG – A car accident about 2 p.m. Sunday along County Line Road has left one person dead, according to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office.A vehicle left the road and crashed, killing the driver, the Sheriff’s Office reported.No other vehicle was involved, and there were no passengers in the car, investigators said.The sheriff’s department was withholdin…

LOCKPORT – The attorney for the Kiwanis Club of Niagara Falls, which in March lost a lawsuit attempting to take control of the former Oppenheim Zoo property, was back in Niagara County Court on Friday, trying to convince Judge Matthew J. Murphy III he made a mistake.Attorneys for the virtually defunct Oppenheim Zoological Society and Niagara County assured Murphy that he…

LeROY – A teenaged motorcyclist died and his passenger suffered serious injuries Sunday afternoon after a car drove into the path of their oncoming motorcycle in the Town of Leroy, State Police reported. 19-year-olds Derek K. Sheldon and Ashley M. Stillwell, both of Bergen, were headed north on West Bergen Road riding a 2005 Suzuki motorcycle at around noon when a southb…

A Pembroke teen was rushed to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight after the all-terrain vehicle he was driving struck a bush and overturned Saturday night, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office reported. Benjamin L. Falker, 16, was heading west on West Main Street in the Village of Corfu around 11 p.m. when he attempted to enter the sidewalk off the road’s south …

A man was robbed Saturday night by a suspect on a bike after leaving a store at 1351 Kensington Ave., according to Buffalo police reports. The victim told police he was leaving the store around 9:40 p.m. when a suspect approached and asked if he wanted to buy drugs. When the victim declined, the suspect demanded he hand over all his money. The victim handed over $360 and r…

A man walking down Hodge Avenue late Saturday was robbed of $80 by five or six men, according to Buffalo police reports.The victim was walking away from a gas station around 11:40 p.m. when he turned onto Ashland Avenue and the group of men surrounded him. One demanded money and emptied the victim’s wallet of the cash. All the suspects were dressed in khaki cargo shorts …

Shots were fired into a home on Langfield Drive around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a Buffalo police report. A mother told police an unknown person fired two shots through an open back door at the home, narrowly missing her son. The shots left bullet holes in the kitchen walls.The son left the home without providing any details about the suspects, according to the repo…

WHEATFIELD – A man who crashed his motorcycle on Lockport Road about 5 p.m. Saturday was listed in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said.The man, whose name has not been released, was attempting to reduce his speed to turn onto Diller Road when the motorcycle spun 180 degrees and ejected him, authorities said. The…

The police academy taught Deputy Benjamin Pisa and his class of recruits how to handle someone with a serious mental illness.Real life was different.Pisa was fresh out of the academy and in his second day as a full-fledged patrol deputy when sent to check on an outdoorsman in Springville named Roger S. Duchnick.Duchnick, an avid churchgoer with local roots, had been slippi…

As a teen, Sam stole a handgun and was disarmed by a police officer in an event that could have ended far worse. Later, he landed in prison for a bizarre crime. Now in his 30s, he is gracious, earnest and attuned to his illness: paranoid schizophrenia, which causes disturbances in thinking, emotions, behavior and perception. With medicine, he does well. If not identified f…

BATAVIA – A man who burglarized the home of an off-duty police officer was arrested Saturday afternoon, according to the state police.Aaron W. Clark, 24, of Batavia, was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, obstructing governmental administration and violating his parole for a previous robbery conviction, officials said.Clark ran from the crime …

NORTH TONAWANDA – A Gary Drive man was charged with driving while intoxicated early Saturday after police found him on Ohio Street in a car with three flat tires and front-end damage, authorities said.Ryan P. Shumate, 24, who posted a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent, said he was unsure what he had hit, police added.