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Suspect, 22, arrested in Allegany homicide

ALLEGANY -- A 22-year-old man has been arrested in the slaying of local man overnight Tuesday, state police said.

State police arrested Gregory E. Farr and charged him with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

The body of Steven L. Balser, 58, was found at an address in the Valley View Estates on South Nine Mile Road after police responded to a 911 call.

An autopsy conducted by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office determined Balser died as a result of multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.

Farr arraigned in Allegany Town Court was sent to Cattaraugus County Jail.


Driver with child in car charged with DWI

PERRYSBURG -- A Mackinaw Road woman has been arrested by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies and charged with drunken driving with a child in the vehicle.

Laurie A. Grekulak, 34, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and parking on a roadway after deputies found a car stopped on Mackinaw Road on Saturday evening.

Deputies said the driver had stopped to answer a text message. There were two others in the vehicle, one a child under 15.


Surveillance photos taken during recent burglaries

JAMESTOWN -- Surveillance photos are playing a major role in an investigation of burglaries at local businesses, Jamestown police announced Wednesday.

Police officials wouldn't say if the surveillance photos contain any recognizable images of the bandits.

Using a stolen trailer, the bandits tried to steal two snowmobiles from Robo Enterprises on East Second Street on Oct. 19 and made off with a $6,000 2012 Triton Enclosed Snowmoble Trailer from Schutt's Saw and Mower at 309 Hazeltine Oct. 22.

An Oct. 19 heist attempt ended in failure because the stolen trailer and the two snowmobiles were recovered by police near Robo Enterprises; the trailer apparently came unhitched during the getaway attempt, officers said.

Police officials said they have photos of a light colored Ford Explorer entering and leaving both businesses.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact police at 483-7531 or 483-7537. All calls will be kept confidential.


Ex-city official given discharge in theft case

The former superintendent of the City of Buffalo's fleet operations received a conditional discharge Wednesday from a Buffalo City Court judge but must complete 100 hours of community service by the end of January.

John R. Womer had pleaded guilty in May to misdemeanor grand larceny and falsifying business records for skimming money from the city's impounded-car auctions.

Womer already had paid $8,575 in restitution for the auction receipts that he had kept.

Womer, 55, who had been in charge of the city impound lot at 166 Dart St., admitted holding on to receipts in that amount from auctions conducted from Nov. 24, 2010 through Jan. 26.

He resigned his $48,659 job with the city, ending his 30-year career.

Chief City Judge Thomas P. Amodeo also imposed $200 in surcharges.

Womer had faced a possible jail term of up to one year.


Stop for speeding leads to DWI, drug charges

ELLICOTTVILLE -- An East Otto man stopped for speeding Tuesday on Route 240 was arrested for drug possession and driving while intoxicated.

Mark C. Erladson, 51, of Rohr Hill Road, was arrested by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies on charges of DWI, speeding, refusal to take a breath test and unlawful possession of marijuana.

He was released following arraignment in Ellicottville Town Court.


Guilty plea made to DWI with child in car

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Cattaraugus woman has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to driving while intoxicated with a child passenger in her vehicle.

Jackie L. Chamberlain, 43, pleaded guilty to aggravated DWI and driving with a blood alcohol count of 0.15 percent, nearly double the legal limit. She was stopped on May 22 in the Town of Ashford.

She will to be sentenced Jan. 9.


Fireplace sparks blaze damaging home in Le Roy

LE ROY -- An accidental fire started in a wood-burning fireplace Wednesday morning significantly damaged a one-family home at 7167 W. Main Road.

Spokesmen for State Police Troop A, which handled the 8:30 a.m. fire call, said there were no injuries and fire crews quickly extinguished the fire.

A damage estimate has not yet been determined, but officials said it could not be occupied until repairs are made.