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>Fire heavily damages home on Newton Street

The Red Cross is assisting two adults and two children after a Monday morning fire heavily damaged their Newton Street home.

Fire officials said flames erupted at about 9:55 a.m. in the first floor of 26 Newton, a two-story home. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Damage was estimated at $20,000 to the building and $8,000 to the contents.


>Man fires shotgun at house after fight with resident

A man who was upset that he was asked to leave an East Side rooming house retaliated Sunday night by firing a shotgun into the building, police reported.

Ferry-Fillmore District officers said the assailant entered the rooming house on Sycamore Street without permission at about 9:50 p.m.

When a man inside the rooming house asked him to leave, the intruder fought with him, and a fistfight ensued, officers said. The victim suffered a cut to his right hand.

After the man left the building, police said, he returned, firing a single shot into the west side of the building. No arrest had been made as of Monday night.


>Woman held in basement after trying to buy drugs

A Buffalo woman told police she was trying to buy drugs from a Dewitt Street home Saturday night when a man forced her inside at knifepoint and locked her in the basement.

The woman told police she escaped.

Northwest District police said the woman went to the house in the 300 block of Dewitt just before 5 p.m. A man held a knife against her throat and threatened her; she fought back and suffered a cut on her right hand.
The man stole her car keys and identification. He then forced her into the basement, where he secured the door, she told police, but she escaped out the basement window.


>Two men arrested on smuggling charges

Two local residents were charged with smuggling seven birds into the United States from Canada on Friday, U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection announced.

John Beale, 59, and Frank Salvini, 65, applied for admission at the Peace Bridge last week and told customs agents they went to Canada to buy a 25-pound bag of millet -- a type of grass. After being referred for a secondary exam, seven undeclared live birds -- which included various finches -- were found. The value of the birds ranged from $50 to $200 each.

The birds were seized by Border Patrol agents and turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Beale and Salvini were assessed a $1,000 fine, and the case was referred to federal authorities for further action and possible criminal prosecution.


>Ontario car crash kills female passenger, 42

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- A Niagara Falls, Ont., woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash just before 8 p.m. Sunday on York Road at Concession 6 here, Niagara Regional Police reported.

The 42-year-old victim's name was not released by police. She was a front-seat passenger in a car driven by a 35-year-old man from Niagara Falls who suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, police said.

Their vehicle collided with a car driven by a 20-year-old man from Virgil, Ont., according to police, who said he and a 22-year-old female passenger from Niagara Falls, Ont., were taken to St. Catharines General Hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening.

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