A $10,000 reward was announced by Erie County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan for the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for killing a Sardinia man five years ago today.
The body of Frank Dennies, 64, of Genesee Road was discovered lying face down at the bottom of his basement steps by the deceased's wife on Feb. 15, 1996.
Dennies was clad in outdoor clothing, leading detectives to believe a fight might have occurred outside his home or just after entering the residence.
"Our detectives are anxious to speak with anyone who may have seen anything on or around the Dennies' farm from Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, through the morning of Feb. 15," Gallivan said.
The sheriff said the reward has been made by an anonymous donor.
$750,000 settlement made in collapse during demolition
A former Hamburg heating and air-conditioning technician who suffered career-ending injuries when he fell 15 feet off a collapsing staircase at a Walden Avenue demolition job eight years ago has received a $750,000 insurance settlement, his Buffalo attorney said Wednesday.
Wayne Sponholz, 45, received his payment from carriers for Benderson Development Co. of Buffalo and J.A. Wiertel Construction of Lancaster, said attorney Edward J. Murphy III.
Murphy said Sponholz, who now lives outside Dallas, suffered disabling hip injuries when attic stairs of an office building on Walden near Dick Road collapsed at about 11 a.m. on Oct. 19, 1993.
Sponholz was part of a crew renovating the building. Carriers for Benderson and Wiertel split the cost of the settlement, which was worked out on the eve of jury selection for a trial before State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita Jr., Murphy said.
Four arrested in vehicle seized during a carjacking
Ferry-Fillmore District police arrested four men who were driving a vehicle taken in a carjacking Wednesday night, authorities said.
Brad Gladden, 19, of Sweet Avenue; Billy Webster, 43, of Fougeron Street; Harvey Stroud, 20, of Brinkman Avenue; and Jermol Gray, 43, of Fox Street were charged at 10:15 p.m. with car theft by Officers Ken Szyszkowski and Robert Joyce.
Barry Lane, owner of the 1998 Mercury, had reported his car was stolen in a carjacking at 6 p.m. on Walden Avenue at May Street, police said.
Youth arrested in vandalism at school in Lackawanna
An estimated $1,500 vandalism damage occurred Wednesday afternoon at Truman Elementary School in Lackawanna, police said.
Mark A. Berdych, 16, of Willett Road, Lackawanna, was charged with felony criminal mischief by Officers Christopher Lalka, Jeffery Welsh and Anthony Catuzza.
Berdych was accused of tearing up the school lawn by riding an all-terrain vehicle on it, according to Detective Frank J. Purifoy.
Five arrested on counts of unlawful drug possession
CAMBRIA -- Five people, including three juveniles, were pulled over and arrested late Tuesday when they were found with a small quantity of suspected marijuana in their possession, Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Brian D. Grear said.
Matthew A. Corraine of Applewood Drive, Town of Lockport, and Marcus R. Huttenmaier of Shawnee Road, both 18, were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana shortly before 9 p.m. on Lower Mountain Road.
The juveniles, including a 15-year-old girl, will face unlawful possession of marijuana charges in Niagara County Family Court, Grear said.
Four Falls residents face charges of welfare fraud
NIAGARA FALLS -- Four city residents were arrested on welfare fraud charges Wednesday for allegedly stealing a total of $7,770 in public assistance money and food stamps.
Gerald D. Zimmerman Sr., 42, and his wife, Diane R. Zimmerman, 30, both of Lockport Street, were charged with third-degree grand larceny, misuse of food stamps and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, Sheriff's Investigator Scott Barnes said.
The Zimmermans are accused of lying about their household income and other resources to obtain $2,198 in public assistance and $1,638 in food stamps from Aug. 1, 1998, through Feb. 28, 1999, Barnes said.
Mariselly Rivera-Medina, 32, and Gerardo R. Rivera-Perez, 35, both of South Avenue, were charged with third-degree grand larceny, misuse of food stamps and one count of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, Barnes said.
They are accused of lying about their finances on welfare applications so they could collect $2,003 in public assistance and $931 in food stamps from June 1 through Oct. 31, 2000, Barnes said.
Traffic safety blitz results in 36 seat belt violations
TOWN OF NIAGARA -- State troopers gave motorists 36 tickets for seat belt violations during a four-hour traffic safety blitz Wednesday, zone Sgt. Thomas Kozacki said.
Eight troopers handed out the tickets after they were assigned to roving patrol duty from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along local, county and state roadways in the town, Kozacki said. The blitz was conducted in conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Man accepts $2.5 million in workplace-injury lawsuit
A Medina man who was injured four years ago while working on a paving job has accepted a nearly $2.5 million settlement, his Buffalo attorney said Wednesday.
Martin Hobbs, 23, will get a $500,000 payment in several weeks from insurance carriers for both Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. and Hartford Paving Corp. and then periodic payments totaling nearly $2 million, according to his attorney, J. Michael Hayes.
Hobbs, on a Hartford Paving crew renovating Delaware Avenue, was directing a truck in the 1400 block when a wheel broke through a plywood sheet covering a manhole, the truck tipped and a block of curbing fell onto his foot, crushing all his toes at about noon on Oct. 27,1997, Hayes said.
Hobbs suffered multiple fractures to his left foot, has undergone corrective surgery four times and has been left with only limited use of his foot, which will force him to seek employment outside the construction industry, Hayes said.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert E. Whelan had been scheduled to begin jury selection in about three months in Hobbs' lawsuit against both firms on the basis of an unsafe workplace, his attorney said.