Woman pulled from pool at UB dies in hospital
An Amherst woman found unconscious Thursday night in a pool at the University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena died Friday morning, university officials said.
Hua Ge, a native of China, earned a master's degree in economics in 2009. She was 27. UB lifeguards found Ge unresponsive in the pool at about 7:45 p.m. They performed CPR and contacted UB police, who also provided first-aid, UB officials said. She died at 6 a.m. in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst.
UB police are conducting an investigation.
3 plead guilty in scheme to hire illegal aliens
Three men have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with hiring illegal aliens to work at Mexican restaurants, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported on Friday.
Sergio Resendiz, 42, now of Henderson, N.C., and Javier Banda Mireles, 38, of Williamsville, pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens for private financial gain. Jesus Escalante, 32, of Dunkirk, pleaded guilty to employment of illegal aliens.
Illegal alien workers typically worked "off the books" at eight restaurants that were investigated, including one in Cheektowaga and one in Allegany, said Lev J. Kubiak, a supervisor of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The employees often worked 60 to 70 hours a week for wages of $250 to $300, which put them far below the required minimum wage, authorities said.
Airport security worker charged in trafficking case
A suspended Homeland Security employee was indicted Friday on charges that she helped suspected drug traffickers to avoid scrutiny at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
A federal grand jury indicted Minnetta Walker, 43, on felony charges of aiding another individual in avoiding airport security procedures, and obstructing government security measures.
Walker denied any wrongdoing last month when she was arrested on a criminal complaint. Friday's indictment is the next step in the prosecution of her case, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said.
Her arrest followed an investigation by the Buffalo offices of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
Walker worked as a "behavioral detection officer" for the Transportation Safety Administration. Prosecutors said her job was to roam around the airport and watch people for signs of possible criminal activity.
At times, according to the indictment, Walker helped certain airport travelers to travel under false names and bypass security checkpoints. She is also accused of alerting alleged drug traffickers to the actions of law enforcement personnel.
White Buffalo firefighters get appeals court victory
A state appellate court Friday upheld the right of 13 white Buffalo firefighters -- 10 still on the force -- to sue for financial damages because the city canceled the results of civil service promotion tests on racial grounds several years ago.
The unanimous decision upholds the Oct. 29 ruling by State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek. The five-judge Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester rejected the city's appeal.
Andrew P. Fleming, counsel for the 13 firefighters, who lost promotional opportunities when the city canceled tests result in 2005 and 2006 after minority firefighters did poorly on the exams, estimates the city owes each of his clients "in excess of" $200,000.
Michalek has scheduled an August trial on the damages, officials said.
City recreation official busted while on the job
A City of Buffalo recreation director was arrested Tuesday for cocaine possession while driving a city youth van less than a mile from the community center where he worked, Buffalo police said.
James E. Dempsey, 38, of Melrose Street, was pulled over at 4:45 p.m. after he failed to signal while driving the van on Niagara Street near Forest Avenue, police said. Police said they noticed a straw inside the van containing crack cocaine residue and arrested Dempsey for criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The next day, Dempsey was suspended without pay from his $38,280-a-year job as a full-time recreation director, Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak said. Dempsey was hired in March 2003 and became a city employee when the county transferred maintenance duties of city parks to the city in 2004.
Dempsey worked at the city-run Asarese-Matters Community Center on Rees Street, where he worked with children, police and mayoral spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.
Man, 22, accused of using Internet to lure minor
A 22-year-old Lancaster man faces federal charges of using the Internet in an attempt to induce a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Kevin Martis was arrested Friday after an investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura O'Donnell said. Police were alerted by the parents of the victim, whose age and gender were not released.