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HSBC branch robbed by pair Friday morning

Two bandits robbed the HSBC Bank branch on Grant and West Ferry streets just before 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Police said one robber waited by the door as the other handed a note to a teller demanding money. Both robbers fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.

The robbers were described only as black males, one wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans, and the other, a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Those with information on the incident are asked to call or text the Buffalo Police Department confidential tip line at 847-2255.


Two families affected by Dartmouth Ave. fire

A kitchen fire in a Dartmouth Avenue apartment early Friday left two adults and three children homeless, fire officials said.

The blaze was reported shortly after midnight in the upper unit of 423 Dartmouth, a two-story frame house. Firefighters contained the fire to the kitchen. Damage was estimated at $35,000.

The Red Cross was helping two families find shelter.


Falls man arraigned in latest felony DWI case

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man, already under indictment on one felony drunken driving charge, was arraigned in Niagara County Court on a second one Thursday. The new indictment stems from an arrest that occurred the day he was arraigned on the first indictment.

Michael D. McKenna Jr., 34, of Sunnyside Drive, pleaded not guilty to felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, running a stop sign and having an inadequate muffler.

He was arrested in the Town of Niagara on the night of May 20, hours after posting $2,500 bail on a DWI indictment pertaining to an April 24, 2010, arrest in that town.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, who revoked McKenna's bail six days after the latest arrest, said he will be held without bail to await trial on both indictments.

"He's too much of a risk," the judge said.


Karaoke deejay loses job in terms of probation

LOCKPORT -- A Robinson Road man accepted a three-year probation sentence for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated Wednesday even though it means he will have to give up his job as a karaoke disc jockey in the Ski Lodge, a Lockport bar.

Last month, John L. Wanderlich, 52, had considered withdrawing his guilty plea because the terms of probation required him to stay out of bars.

Judge Matthew J. Murphy III also imposed a $500 fine. Wanderlich, who could have been jailed for a year, was pulled over July 30 on Robinson Road.


Raid yields 2 arrests, cocaine worth $50,000

Two men accused of trafficking cocaine out of a Hayden Street residence were arrested following a raid Wednesday, Erie County sheriff's deputies said.

Vincent Burks, 33, and DeShawn Houston, 29, face multiple felony narcotics charges, authorities said. Cocaine worth more than $50,000 in street value was seized, said Senior Narcotics Detective Alan Rozansky.

Burks, deputies said, was pulled over in a traffic stop shortly before deputies executed a search warrant at the Hayden Street address, where both suspects lived.

Investigators said he was found with more than four ounces of cocaine. Deputies said they recovered 30 ounces of cocaine at the Hayden address.


Woman being questioned in attempted robberies

LOCKPORT -- An unidentified woman was being questioned Friday night in connection with attempted robberies at two Niagara County Rite Aid drugstores earlier in the day.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies said a woman entered the store in the hamlet of Wrights Corners shortly after 11 a.m. and told a clerk a man outside with a gun would enter the store shooting if she did not get the pills she wanted.

The woman fled the scene in a vehicle before police arrived.

At 12:55 p.m., a similar incident was reported at a Rite Aid on Ransomville Road. Witnesses told officers a white passenger car left the area about that time and headed east on Youngstown-Lockport Road, deputies said.


2 drug dealers sentenced to 18 months in prison

LOCKPORT -- Two drug dealers drew 18-month state prison sentences in separate Niagara County Court cases Wednesday.

Ronnie H. Chandler, 25, of Niagara Street, Niagara Falls, had .13 of an ounce of crack cocaine on June 17, 2010, when Falls police chased him on foot from 19th Street to Welch Avenue, where Chandler threw a bag of crack onto the roof of a house.

Chandler had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, as did Joseph A. Tagg, 22, of Dysinger Road, Lockport, who sold heroin to a police informant Aug. 13 in a South Transit Road parking lot.

Judge Matthew J. Murphy III recommended Tagg for the boot camp-style shock incarceration program.