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POLICE & COURTS

Woman, 40, accused of child endangerment

GOWANDA -- A woman who threatened suicide at her home on Route 62 following a domestic incident Saturday has been charged with child endangerment after she displayed a firearm before them, officers said.

Minnie A. Hansen, 40, was arrested by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies on charges of endangering the welfare of a child at about 10 a.m.

Following arraignment in Dayton Town Court, she was released to appear today in court.

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Guilty plea entered in firebombing case

LITTLE VALLEY -- A man involved in a firebombing in Allegany on Oct. 17 has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to arson and assault and faces sentencing May 23.

Andrew J. Piccirillo, 23, of Portville, entered guilty pleas this week to charges of fourth-degree arson and third-degree assault for his role in the incident at an apartment occupied by college students.

In all, seven were charged in connection with throwing a Molotov cocktail into a second-floor apartment at about 4:30 a.m.

Also, May 2 has been set to sentence Steven O. Sprague, 22, of Olean, who also pleaded guilty in County Court in the same incident to arson and assault charges.

Charges against others are still being processed.

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Teens connected to fire in restroom of school

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Two youths -- ages 15 and 17 -- were arrested for mischief in connection with the Feb. 25 fire in a Fort Erie secondary school restroom, Niagara Regional Police said Wednesday.

The youths, whose names were not released because of their ages, were arrested Wednesday and accused of the starting the Feb. 25 fire.

Police said the 15-year-old was also charged with an additional mischief count stemming from an unrelated incident and was held in custody pending a bail hearing in St. Catharines. The 17-year-old youth was released pending a future court appearance.

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Olean man pleads guilty to robbing cab driver

LITTLE VALLEY -- An Olean man who tried to rob a cab driver and admitted stealing items has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to two charges and faces sentencing May 23.

Jordan D. Stebbins, 22, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny in connection with an April 26 incident in Olean in which he stole items valued at more than $1,000. Stebbins, also pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted robbery for a Sept. 23 incident in which he took a cab from Olean to Hinsdale and tried to rob the driver, who was hit in the face and head.

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Buffalo State College probes alleged frat attack

Buffalo State College is investigating allegations that a student was beaten by a group of fraternity members.

The off-campus incident happened at about 3 a.m. Sunday in the neighborhood of Forest Avenue and Baynes Street.

The 19-year-old victim -- who required four stitches after suffering an injury to his left eye -- allegedly was chased and assaulted by 15 members of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, according to Buffalo police.

"My office, Greek Affairs and Student Judicial Affairs are investigating this incident," said Charles Kenyon, Buffalo State's dean of students. "Students involved have been asked to provide written statements that will serve as the basis for a disciplinary review by the appropriate hearing boards."

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Man, 31, pleads guilty to carjacking, holdups

A former North Tonawanda man who went on a crime spree last summer that included a carjacking and two bank robberies has pleaded guilty to felony charges in a federal court in Las Vegas.

Gregory A. Young, 31, admitted to bank robberies in Niagara Falls and Las Vegas, and a carjacking in the Town of Tonawanda. On Aug. 27, Young robbed the Citizens Bank on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls of $1,674, after handing a threatening note to a bank employee. On Sept. 1, he pointed a gun at a woman's face and stole her 2008 Ford Focus at a gas station on Sheridan Drive and Parker Boulevard.

Then, after driving the car to Las Vegas, Young -- wearing camouflage and a mask -- used a gun to rob $1,010 from a Chase bank. Young was arrested Sept. 14.

Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to the three charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. said. He faces at least 57 months in prison when sentenced in Las Vegas on June 15.

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Fraud alert issued on paid research survey

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office has issued a fraud alert for a letter purported to be from Surveys4Income.com -- inviting participation in a paid consumer research survey at a salary of $300 a week.

The Sheriff's Office said that in an elaborately designed ruse, victims send them cash via Western Union. Those receiving such letters should contact the Sheriff's Office.

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