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Authorities issue alert on missing teenage girl

Erie County sheriff's deputies are searching for a missing 15-year-old girl who was last seen near Grand Island High School at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and may be with an adult male, according to police.

Police are searching for Ashley Johnson, described as a white female, 5-foot-3, 145 pounds with red hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact sheriff's officials at 858-2903.


Bailey bank branch is held up yet again

A Bailey Avenue M&T Bank branch was held up for the second time in four days Friday; this time, the robbers made off with the loot, according to Buffalo police.

Police said that at about 2:30 p.m., two bandits -- one armed with a handgun -- ordered everyone to the floor. After a teller handed over a quantity of cash, the two fled the bank and made their getaway in a four-door maroon sedan last seen going south on Suffolk Street, police said.

The same branch was robbed about 11 a.m. Tuesday, when the robber lost the cash after leaving the bank and a dye pack exploded. Police recovered the cash and the robber's stained sweatshirt.


Springville EMT accused of fondling young girl

Charles Porterfield, an emergency medical technician from Springville, was indicted Friday on charges of repeatedly fondling a young girl who had been one of his parents' foster children earlier this decade.

Porterfield, 23, of Waverly Street, will be arraigned Thursday before Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III and prosecutor Garrett Grieser. He is currently free on a $50,000 bail bond.

Porterfield, who is charged with sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, was arrested last October by Erie County sheriff deputies. Prosecutors allege the fondling occurred between Aug. 1, 2003, and Nov. 30, 2006, while the victim and her two siblings were foster children in the Springville home Porterfield shared with his parents. Porterfield could face a prison term of up to seven years.


Hamburg man charged in child porn case

A Hamburg man arrested Thursday by state troopers was accused of possessing child pornography, state police said Friday.

Nicholas E. Small, 26, was charged with promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child. Further information was unavailable.


Man charged in theft of unemployment benefits

A Minnesota Avenue man is accused of stealing $13,744 in unemployment benefits from the state Department of Labor between September 2005 and July 2008, state police said Friday.

Vernon L. Gibson, 40, was charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records.

Police said Gibson filed 71 false claims with the Labor Department.

Gibson was taken to the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment in Buffalo City Court.


DWI suspect also faces traffic infractions

Erie County sheriff's deputies charged an Orchard Park man with aggravated driving while intoxicated early Friday, after accusing him of having a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

Dennis J. Spelman, 37, was charged with aggravated DWI after he recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent, according to police reports.

While on patrol, Deputy Tom Meredith stopped Spelman's vehicle for traffic infractions on Transit Road in the Town of Elma at about 3:20 a.m. Friday.


Brick hurled into window of Slaughter's Falls office

NIAGARA FALLS -- A brick was hurled through the front window of the Pine Avenue office Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport.

The damage was discovered at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, city police said. The brick put a hole in the outermost window at the office, at 1910 Pine Ave., but did not damage a second interior window, police said. Damage was estimated at $350.

Victoria Dillon, a spokeswoman for Slaughter, said the motive is unknown. U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI also are investigating, she added.

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