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ANDOVER – A 79-year-old man died Wednesday afternoon when he was by hit steel components that fell from a hydraulic oil rig in Allegany County, State Police reported.The victim, Douglas L. Wightman of Bolivar, was supervising a four-person crew servicing the rig on property off Fulmer Valley Road in the Town of Andover. Troopers said that during the work, steel pulleys and…

Crime

When volunteers left a small donation center in the Town of Tonawanda on Thursday afternoon, the cupboards were fully stocked with school supplies destined for needy kids.When they returned Tuesday morning, staff at the Ken-Ton Closet discovered one or more back-to-school grinches had gotten into their second-floor rooms in the Parkside Village Community Center via an unlo…

A car plunged into Tonawanda Creek Wednesday afternoon in Amherst, but the two people in the vehicle got out safely before police and volunteer firefighters arrived, authorities said.The car was northbound on Sweet Home Road when the driver failed to turn and headed into the creek at about 1 p.m. Firefighters said neither the driver nor the passenger was harmed. Sweet Home…

Buffalo

Vandals armed with a BB gun damaged two bus shelters on Grant Street and a dozen vehicles in a nearby West Side neighborhood, police said Wednesday.The bus shelters are situated on Grant at Auburn Avenue and West Delavan Avenue, and the automobiles were parked in the Arnold Street-Parkdale Avenue area, police said.Surveillance camera video is being reviewed in an attempt t…

A Montana Street man faces seven years to life in prison when sentenced Sept. 23 as a persistent felony offender on his guilty plea to a felony gun charge.Terrell Hale, 32, pleaded guilty, as charged, before Erie County Judge Michael L. D’Amico to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for having a loaded pistol under the driver’s seat when pulled over by police Jan…

The owner and manager of a Chinese restaurant in Cheektowaga has pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretney Jr. to harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reports.Prosecutors said Department of Homeland Security investigators discovered that Wan Qin Lu, of Cheektowaga, was em…

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man who pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge Tuesday will be given a chance at six months of probation, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said.“If you don’t dazzle me in those six months, you’re looking at between two and seven years in state prison, plus three years of post-release supervision,” Farkas told Lecheay A. Renford, 21, of…

LOCKPORT – A man who collected $2,080 worth of unemployment benefits while he was actually working at two jobs entered a guilty plea Tuesday in Niagara County Court.Christian M. Ham, 25, of Fairfield Avenue, Niagara Falls, was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of petit larceny. He collected the benefits between July 2009 and May 2010 while working at Foot Locker …

A judge Tuesday acquitted a father and his two sons of second-degree gang assault charges that followed a bar melee in which a bouncer’s leg was broken.In a bench trial, State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns found Sylvester Elmore, 52, Christopher D. Elmore, 28, and Peter Elmore, 25, all of Buffalo, not guilty after he heard closing arguments in the Buffalo cour…

Buffalo police today confirmed that a woman driver was extricated from her car by a Buffalo Fire Rescue Squad after she lost control in the westbound lane of the Scajaquada Expressway between Parkside Avenue and Delaware Avenue about 3 p.m. Monday.The car hit a puddle of water and then went off the road and struck a pole and a tree and crashed into a fence at the city tenn…

NIAGARA FALLS – Two stores reported damage by someone stealing copper from outside of their businesses.A store manager for T.J. Maxx in the 7400 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard told police that sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Monday someone shut down the outside main electric breaker to the trash compactor and cut about 20 feet of copper wiring, valued at $100. …

Buffalo homicide detectives today were still searching for a man who was wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and grey sweatpants when he fatally shot 21-year-old Christopher Iverson of Buffalo at St. Mary’s Road and Walden Avenue about 1:40 a.m. Saturday.After Ferry-Fillmore police responded to a “shots fired” call in that vicinity the still-alive Iverson was found in a ca…

Crime

State Supreme Court Appellate Justice Salvatore R. Martoche, one of Western New York’s best-known jurists, will retire from the bench this week to join the Hodgson Russ law firm.Martoche, 72, said that although state regulations allow him to remain a judge until 2016, he decided to leave now and accept the offer of Hodgson Russ, where he will start Tuesday.“Although it was…

West Seneca and Cheektowaga police began a search of the Buffalo River area about 7:45 p.m. Monday for an alleged shoplifter who was chased out of a Harlem-Clinton area supermarket after he allegedly stole beer and cookies.The unidentified man was last seen jumping off the Harlem Road Bridge about 30 feet into the river. The search continued into the evening. West Seneca …

A 22-year-old West Valley man was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to serve a ten-year prison term and then five years of supervised release on his conviction for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. said Michael Lee Reed, Jr. tried to entice a young victim to send him provocative pictures through te…