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Multi-vehicle crash kills woman, downs power lines

A 34-year-old woman was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer and four other vehicles this morning on Campbell Boulevard at Schoelles Road, Amherst police said.

Some power lines also were knocked down in the crash, which occurred a few minutes after 7 a.m.

Campbell Boulevard was closed from North French Road to Tonawanda Creek Road, as emergency workers tried to clean up the debris strewn across the road.


Man arrested, suspected of murder, hiding body

NIAGARA FALLS -- Four police agencies worked through the day Wednesday, resulting in the arrest of a city man on a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of an unnamed man on Dec. 10.

City police charged Christopher M. Faieta, 44, of 30th Street, after surrounding the home of his parents on Joanne Circle in the Town of Niagara.

Detective Capt. Ernest Palmer said police were assisted by town and state police and the Niagara County Sheriff's Department.

Police said Faieta killed a man in his home at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and disposed of the body later that day somewhere near the border of Erie and Cattaraugus counties.

Palmer would not say where they believe the body is because he didn't want people interfering with their search.

Police learned of the crime after friends of Faieta in Wellsville told police he came to visit after dumping the body. One friend called police to turn Faieta in, said Palmer.

Niagara Falls police believe there was a dispute over drugs between Faieta and the victim. Palmer said he would not release the victim's name until the body is found.


Child molester sentenced to 8 years in prison

David Franks, still proclaiming his innocence and complaining about former lawyers preventing him from testifying, was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for molesting a Buffalo girl.

Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury told Franks, 44, of Doat Street, he was convicted of 11 counts of rape, sex abuse and child endangerment because his victim "was credible" and the jury heard a tape-recording the girl made of a talk she and Franks had about the molestations.

As the victim, now 15 and living out of state, and various of her and Franks' relatives sat in the courtroom, Franks said that several years ago he "was all mixed up on" drugs and alcohol.

But he insisted "I've been convicted of something I didn't do."

Prosecutor Roseanne McMorrow said Franks, who is now a registered sex offender, was arrested July 30, 2004, after the victim turned over to authorities a confession secretly tape-recorded during a meeting with Frank and members of her family.


2 more banks held up as robberies continue

The recent string of bank robberies continued Wednesday as two more Buffalo banks were held up.

At about 11:45 a.m., a man handed a note to a teller at Key Bank, 52 Amherst St., which read: "Give me all the $100, $50, $20s you have now! No dye pack or this place gets shot up! And don't panic!"

The suspect, described as a 5-foot-5, 175-pound man with brown eyes and a goatee, made off with a sum of cash and fled on foot east on Amherst Street.

At about 2 p.m., the HSBC Bank at 1017 Broadway was robbed when a 6-foot-tall man in his 30s entered the bank and handed a written note to the teller that stated: "No funny moves, give me the money, $100, $50, $20, no bag or dye pack, don't look funny, give money fast, I got my gun, put money in envelope, OK?"

The man kept telling the teller to "hurry up." He never displayed a weapon and made off with a quantity of cash, police said.

The robberies followed Tuesday's robbery of an M&T Bank branch on Hertel Avenue and Monday's robbery of an HSBC Bank on Abbott Road in Lackawanna.


Bank robbery suspect caught by alert officer

An alert Lackawanna police officer seized a robbery suspect accused of stealing thousands of dollars early Wednesday afternoon from the HSBC Bank branch at 1248 Abbott Road.

The robber entered the bank at 12:28 p.m. and handed the teller a note demanding all the money and claiming he had a weapon, Lackawanna police said. He then fled on foot with an envelope containing the money.

Officer Rodney Pietras, who was on Abbott Road, heard the bank-robbery call and knew from experience that the robber might have headed east, behind the bank. He drove there and quickly captured the suspect on foot.

Police said a dye pack had exploded in the robber's pocket.

Derek J. Vanmeter, 24, of Ridge Road, was charged with first-degree robbery and grand larceny. But police doubt there is any connection to Monday's robbery of the same bank.


Adult, child given assistance after Gibson Street fire

The Red Cross is assisting one child and one adult today after their home was damaged by a fire blamed on an electrical problem.

Officials said flames erupted at 78 Gibson St. just before 7 a.m.

Damage was estimated at $2,000 to the building.

No injuries were reported.

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