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Two killed, one hurt at Westfield rail crossing

WESTFIELD -- Two young men were killed and another was seriously injured when they were struck by a train at a rail crossing near North Gale Street about 6:26 p.m. Friday.

All three, described as in their 20s, were hit by a 45-car Norfolk Southern freight train. Two were killed instantly. The third victim was taken initially to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., then transferred to the Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo.

The Westfield police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office are investigating.


Cloud of smoke is beacon in arrest of pot suspect

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police who followed a cloud of smoke recovered 28 bags of marijuana from a vehicle Thursday, authorities said.

Lecheay A. Renford, 20, of 16th Street was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to signal a turn after he was stopped at 5:30 p.m. at 18th Street and Niagara Avenue.

Police in an unmarked car said they detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and then followed it. Renford was stopped when he failed to signal, police said.


Laptop caper lands man in federal prison

A Niagara Falls man was sentenced to a year in federal prison this week by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White said James Stewart, 35, executed his fraud by falsely promising to sell 2,409 laptop computers to an unnamed victim and then receiving $162,875 in payments.

Stewart's conviction was the result of an FBI investigation.


Pine Avenue restaurant target of window smashing

NIAGARA FALLS -- A rock was used to smash a large window of a Pine Avenue restaurant overnight Thursday, police said.

Police said El Casino Restaurant, 2001 Pine, was targeted between midnight and 6 a.m. Damage was placed at more than $500.


Teller handed note in Pavilion robbery

PAVILION -- Genesee County sheriff's deputies are investigating the Friday holdup of the Five Star Bank on Cato Street.

About 3:30 p.m., a man who implied he had a gun handed a teller a note and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash in a pickup. The bandit was described as a black male, 5-foot-8 to 6 feet tall, wearing a red baseball hat, blue and white button-down shirt, blue jeans and reflective sunglasses.


Roving Anti-Crime Unit in Falls arrests three

NIAGARA FALLS -- Three people in a car were arrested just before 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 1700 block of 18th Street.

The driver, Suzanne M. Cruz-Perez, 34, of 12th Street, was found to have a suspended license and was allegedly carrying several small white pills in a vial, as well as crack cocaine.

Jenirio M. Chapman, 18, of Jordan Gardens, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and Demetrious J. Gray, 19, of St. John Parkway, was charged with giving police a false name.


Guilty plea entered in theft from 401(k) plan

The owner of a defunct Lockport industrial design company pleaded guilty Friday to a federal embezzlement charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said Thomas J. Barnes of Buffalo admitted taking money from a 401(k) plan for Franbilt, the company he bought in 2005 and later closed, and converting it to his own personal use. Barnes, a lawyer, admitted stealing $69,894, money that was intended for the plan.


10th conviction means jail for 'serial drunk driver

A Williamsville man denounced as "a serial drunk driver" for his 10th DWI conviction was sentenced Friday to a year in jail.

John Haberman, 66, of Highland Avenue, was scolded by Cheektowaga Town Justice Paul S. Piotrowski, for having "escaped punishment for all these years." Piotrowski also revoked Haberman's driver's license and told him he will have to seek court permission to get a new license after emerging from jail.

Haberman, who will likely spend the next eight months in custody under the state sentencing provisions, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated a month ago for his arrest by Cheektowaga police on Beach Road about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Haberman had posted a blood-alcohol reading of 0.18 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit.


East Side shooting victim is in critical condition

Jason L. Hawkins, 32, shot in the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue about 4 a.m. Friday, remains in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center.

Homicide squad detectives said the shooting by an unknown attacker occurred near Foster's Bar, 694 Jefferson Ave.