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POLICE & COURTS

>Workers using torch spark church fire in Kenmore

Careless use of a torch on the roof of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 576 Delaware Road, Kenmore, sparked a small fire shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, causing $20,000 damage, according to Kenmore Fire Chief David J. Barrett.

Workers were replacing the roof when the fire broke out, spreading into the eaves and a crawl space in the rear of the 1 1/2 -story building, Barrett said. Damage was limited to the roof and crawl space of the church. There was also some water and smoke damage in the vestibule of the building.

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>Partial collapse injures county sewer worker

A county sewer worker was injured during the partial collapse of an excavation, and the incident remains under investigation, an official said Thursday.

The worker, who was not identified, was injured at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hamburg when "a large chunk of soil" fell on him and it took about 15 minutes for fellow workers to get him out, according to Glenn Absolom, supervisor of the wastewater treatment facility in Hamburg.

The worker was treated in a hospital emergency room and released. He remained home Thursday, Absolom said.

"It shouldn't have happened, and we intend to look into it and take whatever steps are necessary to increase our safety program and make sure proper procedures are being followed," Absolom said.

He said that before he was freed, the worker told the site supervisor, who is a paramedic, that he was fine and the supervisor determined that it was not necessary to call 911, Absolom said.

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>Police accuse three of home repair swindle

Three men were arrested on charges of swindling an elderly Cheektowaga resident on repairs to her homes, Cheektowaga police reported.

Phillip P. Frustino, 60, of Williamsville, and Vincent F. Balsano, 29, and Joseph A. Balsano, 46, both of Buffalo, are facing charges of grand larceny, criminal mischief and conspiracy.

The three were apprehended after Officers Nathan Frank and Kevin Schmitt investigated a complaint on Zoerb Avenue last Friday.

One of the men came to the woman's door offering to clean her gutters for $20.

After she agreed, he then told her there were problems with her chimney and he knew two other men who did chimney work. They led the woman into her backyard, where she saw her chimney in pieces with a large hole in it, police said. The victim paid the three men $8,500 for supposed repairs.

Other neighbors also told police they paid the men $20 to clean their gutters.

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>Woman assaulted, robbed of Sabres season tickets

A Yale Place woman was assaulted and robbed of her Buffalo Sabres season tickets late Wednesday evening near her home, Buffalo police said.

The victim told police that an acquaintance punched her in the face several times, and stole the tickets and a white Sabres sweat shirt. The robbery occurred at about 11:30 p.m. near the victim's apartment.

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>Woman on bus charged in knifepoint robbery try

A Colvin Avenue woman is facing several criminal charges after she tried to rob another woman with a knife Thursday afternoon on a Metro Bus, NFTA police said.

Diana L. Green, 36, was ordered to surrender to police at gunpoint at about 3 p.m., after she threatened them with the same knife she used in the robbery in the 2700 block of Main Street near East Morris Avenue, police said. Green confronted a 61-year-old Northland Avenue woman on the NFTA's Fillmore bus.
A youth riding on the bus intervened, distracting Green long enough for the victim and another rider to leave the bus. The youth was not identified.

Green fled and was apprehended by NFTA Officers Charles Loubert and Mike Insalaco. She displayed two two knives, prompting the officers to draw their guns and order her to surrender, police said.

Green was charged with attempted robbery, reckless endangerment, menacing, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon.

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