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South Dayton man accused of leaving scene of accident

SOUTH DAYTON -- A local man who left an accident scene Tuesday was later arrested by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Martin D. Woltz, 42, of Oaks Road, was arrested on charges of DWI, leaving an accident scene and failure to keep right. Following arraignment in South Dayton Village Court, he was released to return at a later date to answer to the charges.


Franklinville woman charged with welfare fraud

FRANKLINVILLE -- A Dallas Road woman was arrested Wednesday on charges of welfare fraud for not reporting her husband's income, according to Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies.

Brenda F. Forrester, 26, was charged with fifth-degree welfare fraud, petit larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing between September and December when income her husband earned working on a farm was not reported to the county Department of Social Services.

Authorities said Forrester received $898 in food stamps to which she was not entitled and is to answer to the charges Sept. 13 in Olean City Court.


Convicted trespasser sentenced to year in jail

LITTLE VALLEY -- An Olean man convicted of trespassing has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court to serve one year in the county jail.

Robert J. McClain, 38, was sentenced for his conviction of second-degree trespass Dec. 13 at a house in Olean.


Food-stamp scheme brings charges in Jamestown

JAMESTOWN -- A Jamestown woman was arrested Thursday on a charge of welfare fraud and five counts of filing a false document for allegedly receiving $8,418 in food stamp benefits that she was not entitled to, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies report.

Barbara K. Silvis, 34, allegedly failed to report to the Department of Social Services that her stepson was working from August 2008 through last May. She was issued appearance tickets.


Fire heavily damages home being built on Grand Island

Fire caused an estimated $325,000 damage to a Grand Island home under construction -- for a firefighter, town fire officials reported Thursday.

Following a neighbor's report of heavy smoke coming from the eaves, firefighters responded to 303 Park Place shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. They found the two-story dwelling fully involved in flames, according to Kevin Koch, chief of the Grand Island Fire Company.

Firefighters had to evacuate the interior when it was discovered the floor joists on the first floor were weakened by the fire.

A ladder truck from the Brighton Volunteer Fire Company in the Town of Tonawanda played a critical role in fighting the fire on the second floor, officials said.

The fire was declared out at 9:44 p.m. Fire Investigator Chuck Berlinger reported that it started in the basement and quickly spread upward.

The cause remains under investigation by Berlinger and his counterparts from the Erie County Sheriff's Office, Steve Merboth and Shawn Hediger.

Authorities said the house is owned by Joel Kruppa, a Niagara Falls firefighter, who wasn't home when flames broke out.


Attorney seeks suppression of suspect's statements

LOCKPORT -- The defense attorney for Kim I. Tipton, a Lewiston man accused of cutting a 10-year-old girl's throat after he sexually assaulted her, will try Sept. 7 to suppress Tipton's statements to police.

The Niagara County Court hearing was scheduled after a pretrial conference Thursday between Assistant Public Defender Robert Viola and prosecutors Holly E. Sloma and Elizabeth R. Donatello.

Tipton, 32, of Jarrett Drive, allegedly entered the girl's Niagara Falls home about 5 a.m. May 21.

Tipton has pleaded not guilty to a 16-count indictment accusing him of attempted murder and a long list of sex offenses, including predatory sexual assault against a child, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.


Eucharistic minister accused of fleecing woman

A South Buffalo man who befriended an ailing 86-year-old woman by bringing her Holy Communion while she was hospitalized has been charged with stealing from her bank account, police said.

Robert J. Hooper, a Eucharistic minister, met the woman at a local hospital last spring and struck up a friendship that continued after she was released, police said.

Hooper, 57, of South Park Avenue, managed to obtain the woman's bank card and made two withdrawals totaling $2,500 from an ATM machine at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, according to authorities.

South District Officer James Reese, assisted by district Detective Thomas McCarthy, charged Hooper with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property.