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STATE MONEY COMING TO FALLS AIR BASE

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base will receive redevelopment funds from Albany.

Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, D-Niagara Falls, said this week that the new state budget includes $100,000 for the air base for the second consecutive year.

The money is to be used to help the base maintain its facilities. The redevelopment fund usually is tapped to help bases that have been decommissioned or significantly cut back.

Woman accused of diverting checks

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 21st Street woman was arrested Friday afternoon after being accused of stealing more than $2,100 in checks belonging to another woman on March 25 and 26, Detective William Smith said.

Smith and Detective Frank Coney took Flecia Johnson, 31, into custody at 2:30 p.m. at her home on charges of grand larceny, petit larceny and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, police said.

Johnson is accused of taking two checks intended for the former occupant of her apartment. She used one to pay a $631 telephone bill and deposited the other, for $1,500, in her credit union account, police said.

Smith said he was able to trace Johnson and make the arrest just as she was about to move to another apartment.

Purse snatcher escapes with $200

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 61-year-old woman was robbed of $200 cash when her purse was snatched at about 12:40 a.m. Friday outside Post 381, American Legion, at 923 Niagara Ave., Officer James Tedesco said.

The woman said a man accosted her as she left the Legion post, grabbed her purse and fled. In addition to the money, the purse, worth about $30, contained several credit cards and a checkbook, Tedesco said.

Arrest follows drug dealing complaint

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Niagara Street man was arrested on felony drug possession charges at 8:40 a.m. Friday when 13 grams of suspected crack cocaine was found in his possession, Officer James VanEgmond said.

VanEgmond, Detective John Galie and Officers William Gee and Sanja R. Drinks charged Kendrick Q. Mitchell, 22, with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intention to sell, criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and criminal trespass.

The arrest followed a complaint about a man dealing drugs from a van in the 500 block of Ninth Street. VanEgmond said Mitchell ran from the scene after police started to search the vehicle. Drinks found the suspected drugs in a compartment in the rear seat area, police said.

Driver held in DWI crash injuring five

NIAGARA FALLS -- A motorist was arrested early Friday after he and his four passengers were injured in a one-car, alcohol-related accident on the north section of the Robert Moses Parkway, State Park Police said.

Ryan S. Pierson, 20, of Ridge Road, Lewiston, was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and driving at an unreasonable speed after he was treated for minor injuries in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, police said.

His passengers, Nicholas Ruggirello, David Bevacqua, Anthony Trusello and Kevin Farrell, ages and addresses unavailable, were released after treatment for minor injuries in Mount St. Mary's Hospital, police said.

The accident occurred at 3:07 a.m. when Pierson's car struck a wall and a guardrail along the parkway. Further details were not available.

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