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POLICE & COURTS

Man in guarded condition after explosion at his home

ALBION -- A 92-year-old Town of Carlton man is in guarded condition in Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, after an explosion and fire at his home about 7 a.m. Tuesday, Orleans County sheriff's officials report.

Leroy D. Bannister, of Point Breeze Road, was in an adjacent room when the explosion occurred inside a camping trailer parked in a partially enclosed carport attached to the rear of the house, sheriff's officials said. Both the trailer and carport were destroyed, and the house sustained substantial damage from the fire.

Bannister's wife, Doris, 93, was not injured, authorities said.

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Police investigating fall of toddler from window

BATAVIA -- Batavia police are continuing to investigate the fall of a toddler from a second-floor window at an East Avenue home Monday night.

The 17-month-old boy, whose name hasn't been released, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The toddler, who was in the room with a 4-year-old boy, fell at about 7:45 p.m. The boy's mother was in the house but not in the room with the children, and she did not witness the fall, according to police reports.

The Genesee County Department of Social Services has joined Batavia police in the investigation.

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Head of firemen's group faces grand larceny charges

STOCKTON -- The president of the Chautauqua County Fireman's Fraternity is facing grand larceny and bad check charges for allegedly obtaining money illegally from the organization's bank account, according to Chautauqua County sheriff's officials.

Robert A. Kawski, 50, was arrested Tuesday morning at his Bowen Road home, arraigned in Pomfret Town Court and taken to Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 property bond.

Kawski, authorities said, obtained a bank debit card for the organization without permission of the board of directors and allegedly used it to obtain money from the group's bank account.

Chautauqua County sheriff's criminal investigators began looking into the loss of money from the group, leading them to Kawski. He faces two counts of issuing a bad check as well as the grand larceny charge.

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Physician sentenced to two years' probation

An Orleans County physician who took illegal advantage of a federal program to provide free vaccinations to poor children was sentenced to two years' probation Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's office reports.

Dr. Ghulam Mustafa, 48, who worked with Hassan Medical Group in Albion, also was ordered by District Judge Richard J. Arcara to pay $81,544 restitution, authorities said.

According to prosecutor Mary Ellen Kresse, Mustafa submitted numerous claims to health insurance companies for reimbursement for vaccines he administered to patients between 2005 and 2007.

But Mustafa had received the vaccines for free under the federally funded Vaccines For Children program, Kresse said.

The Buffalo FBI office and the U.S. Health & Human Services inspector general's office investigated.

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Suspicious fire does $75,000 damage to home

A suspicious fire caused an estimated $75,000 damage to an occupied home early Tuesday in the city's Fillmore-Sycamore area, Buffalo fire officials reported.

Firefighters responded to a 3:22 a.m. alarm at 193 Mills St., just north of Sycamore Street, one block east of Fillmore Avenue. The home is a two-story frame structure.

Fire officials did not explain why they have labeled the fire as suspicious.

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Gun-toting bandit fails in bid to rob gas station

A bandit with a black handgun escaped empty-handed after attempting to rob a Porter Avenue gas station Tuesday afternoon, according to Buffalo police reports.

A representative for the Citgo station at 214 Porter told officers that shortly before 2:30 p.m. the would-be robber approached the counter stating, "Give me the money," while displaying the handgun.

The gunman fled in a red sport utility vehicle, police reports said.

Evidence and photography crews from the police were on the scene along with Central District police to investigate.

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Copper fittings, cash taken from hardware store

A quantity of copper fittings were stolen along with cash from the register at a South Buffalo hardware store overnight Tuesday, according to Buffalo police reports.

A representative for the South Park Hardware store at 1866 South Park Ave. told police that an intruder pried open the front door of the building between 5 p.m. Monday and 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Once inside, the thief took the copper items and money before fleeing.

South District police were investigating.

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