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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Officials seek cause of Middleport barn fire

MIDDLEPORT -- Several fire companies battled a fire in a vacant barn at 9425 Rochester Road that broke out at about noon Tuesday, Niagara County sheriff's officials said.

The barn and was fully engulfed in flames as firefighters arrived. Because of the distance of fire hydrants from the scene, tankers were used to bring in water.

Firefighters also battled grass fires ignited by falling embers. One firefighter was treated in Medina Memorial Hospital for knee injury, then released.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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>Woman pleads to DWI and vehicular assault

LOCKPORT -- A Rochester woman who was driving drunk when she ran a pickup off Lake Road in Newfane on March 26, injuring two people, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court.
Ashley M. Reichert, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree vehicular assault and one count of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
"You're probably going to state prison," said Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, who will make the call Dec. 16. The maximum sentence is 1 1/3 to four years.

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>Prosecutors absent; Wilson case delayed

WILSON -- No one from the Niagara County district attorney's office showed up for Town Court on Tuesday night, forcing a postponement of arguments in the case of the two Wilson High School baseball coaches charged in the controversial hazing case.

Justice George R. Berger put off the case against William M. Atlas and Thomas J. Baia until Oct. 23. Berger told defense attorneys the court had received no notice from the prosecution about any intention not to attend. The coaches' lawyers said they have yet to receive any written response from the prosecution to motions the defense filed three weeks ago.

Robert J. Viola, Baia's lawyer, said he and Herbert L. Greenman, representing Atlas, have filed motions to dismiss the charges or, failing that, to obtain discovery material, including, as Viola put it, "specifics of the theory of the prosecution. . . . Our feeling is the fact pattern they are alleging doesn't rise to the level of the charges."

The coaches, charged in the wake of an April 17 incident on the team bus, face three counts each of misdemeanor child endangerment, while three of their players face misdemeanor hazing charges after felony sexual abuse charges were dropped. If convicted, the players automatically would receive youthful offender status.

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>Child porn possession brings 12-year term

A Mount Morris man will spend 12 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography while he was on probation after a rape conviction.

Stephen C. Forshee, 25, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa in Rochester.

Federal agents found out that Forshee, while on probation after a rape conviction, persuaded teenage girls to send him nude and semi-nude pictures of themselves over the Internet. U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said more than 600 illegal child porn images were found on a computer owned by the Livingston County man.

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents investigated the case with the Livingston County Sheriff's office and district attorney's office.

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