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Traffic stop reveals lengthy track record

STOCKTON -- A Stockton woman stopped for speeding late Monday also had her license suspended seven times and revoked once, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said.

Erica F. Herman, 30, of Route 380, was stopped on Route 380 in the town at about 5:15 p.m.

Herman was arraigned in Stockton Town Court on charges of aggravated unlicensed operation and speeding, then remanded to Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $250 bail.


Ruling expected July 19 in Nushawn Williams case

State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski said Tuesday he will rule in a month on efforts by Nushawn Williams' latest lawyer to dismiss a reckless endangerment case and release from custody the man who infected at least 13 young women with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

After a hearing on the motion of attorney Daniel P. Grasso, the judge said he will rule July 19.

Michalski 6 ruled in May that Assistant State Attorney General Wendy Whiting had proved there was probable cause that Williams remains a threat to society. But Grasso later filed dismissal motions, arguing that his jailed client isn't covered by the now-three-year-old civil containment law.


Firefighter has date in court on DWI charge

WHEATFIELD -- The president of a Town of Niagara volunteer fire company got another court date for a charge of driving while intoxicated after an appearance Tuesday night in Wheatfield Town Court.

Robert E. Jasper Jr., of St. Joseph Road, briefly appeared before Town Justice John J. Mattio for a pretrial hearing.

Jasper, 30, had been charged with DWI after the fire company SUV he was driving struck another vehicle near Niagara Falls Boulevard and Sy Road on the early morning of June 6. He registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.11 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to a Niagara County Sheriff's Office incident report.

Jasper, who is due back in court next month, remains president of Niagara Active Hose Company but has been taken off active duty and no longer has access to the fire company vehicle, the company's attorney has previously said.


Guilty plea entered in Tonawanda slaying

A Town of Tonawanda man pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting a man on Henderson Avenue last summer.

Michael A. Campanella, 21, of Colvin Avenue, was told by Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that he faces 20 years in prison when he returns to court July 21.

Campanella killed Thomas J. Newton, 32, last Aug. 14. He initially was charged with second-degree murder.


Man's body recovered from gorge following fall

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A 21-year-old Niagara Falls, Ont., man fell to his death in the Niagara Gorge early Tuesday morning, police said.

Police were called to River Road, near Otter Street, at about 12:20 a.m. Members of the Parks Police High Angle River Team and the Niagara Falls Fire Department rappeled into the gorge and found the man's body after a brief search.

The man, whose name has not been released, was with several friends at the time he fell, Niagara Regional Police said. Foul play is not suspected.


Man ordered to prison in pedestrian fatality

A Town of Tonawanda man was taken into custody Tuesday to begin the three- to nine-year prison term State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller ordered for his fatal hit-and-run crash involving a Kenmore pedestrian.

Paul J. Modica, 42, of Bathurst Drive, had been free on bail since his March 29 guilty plea to second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and drunken driving for the death of Russell Reuman, 55.

Kelley A. Omel, chief of the Erie County district attorney's Vehicular Crimes Unit, said Reuman was struck by Modica's pickup truck as he was walking across Military Road at Victoria Boulevard in Kenmore at about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14.

Modica, who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.24 percent, or three times the legal limit, drove off but was quickly arrested by Kenmore police because of information a witness to the incident provided.


Ex-bouncer gets prison for attack on patron

A former bouncer was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison for slamming a bar patron's head to the sidewalk and leaving him deaf in one ear.

Charles Kurkowski, 30, of Derby, was ordered by Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk to be taken from court in handcuffs during the midmorning sentencing. He had been free on bail.

Kurkowski expressed remorse for the injuries suffered by Jared N. Underberg, 22, but did not admit guilt for the incident outside the former Quote bar at Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Stree at about 3 a.m. Nov. 14, 2008.

Prosecutor Amy B. Benedict said Kurkowski was convicted March 24 of second-degree assault for the incident.

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