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Car's plunge into lake from ferry kills driver

STOW -- A 64-year-old man died Thursday morning after his station wagon plunged into Chautauqua Lake at the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry Launch, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies reported.

Authorities received a report at 5:43 a.m. about a vehicle that had driven into the lake. It was found approximately 40 feet beyond the ferry, submerged in about 4 feet of water, deputies said.

Its driver, Mark T. Swanson, of Stow, was taken to WCA Hospital, Jamestown, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies said it appears that Swanson was driving east on Stow Ferry Road when he drove through a barrier, onto the ferry and into the lake. It's believed he may have suffered a medical condition before the accident.

Firefighters from Ashville and Bemus Point, as well as the county's Water Emergency Team, responded to the scene. An investigation continues.


Public's help urged in probe of man found dead in park

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The body of a 22-year-old man was found in a city park, and police are looking for help as they investigate.

David C. Brandl, of Lockport, was found dead late Friday morning in Mayor's Park, off Sweeney Street. Police said an autopsy was performed, but the results are pending.

Anyone with knowledge of Brandl's whereabouts between last Thursday and Friday is asked to call North Tonawanda police at 692-4312.


Jamestown man, woman arrested in meth lab probe

JAMESTOWN -- An investigation of local meth lab operations by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and federal drug agents led to the separate but related arrests of a woman and a man Thursday.

Margaret L. Stanford, 51, of Collins Avenue, and Brian Lewis, 43, of 144 Broadhead Ave., are being held on meth manufacturing and related drug charges following execution of a search warrant signed by Chautauqua County Judge John Ward.

Stanford also was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

After Stanford was arrested at her home, agents seized a quantity of cash and evidence that led them to Lewis' apartment and his arrest. Stanford and Lewis were both also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.


2 questioned and released in shooting of 2 in Lockport

LOCKPORT -- Police have located, interviewed and released two people wanted for questioning in a Lockport double shooting.

City Police Chief Lawrence Eggert said media attention allowed police to track down Becca R. Bliemeister and Brandon M. Howard, who live in the home at 271 Locust St., where two men were shot late Monday night.

"They have not been charged, at this point," Eggert said.

Eggert said that a man shot in the abdomen, Stanley B. Brown, 23, of Lockport, is now conscious and alert in Erie County Medical Center and was to be questioned by investigators Thursday. Anthony Tweed, 20, of Niagara Falls, was treated and released after being shot in the hand.

Eggert said the investigation is continuing and police are unsure whether it was drug-related as earlier stated.

"It's just a matter of getting the story straight from everybody," Eggert said.


Falls man jailed in attack, robbery of 92-year-old

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Cudaback Avenue man was jailed on felony robbery charges Thursday, accused of attacking and robbing a 92-year-old man who lived in his apartment building last month.

Darius L. Washington, 42, was arraigned in City Court on second-degree robbery charges and remanded to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The victim told police on April 12 that he had been drinking beer in his kitchen with Washington. He said Washington excused himself and then a man returned, wearing all black and a mask. The victim said he recognized the masked man as Washington.

The 92-year-old man said he was attacked, thrown to the ground and choked, then Washington reached into his front pocket and took $700 in cash. The struggle continued for 15 minutes, injuring the older man. He was treated for pain in his jaw, neck, shoulder and back, police said.

Washington was apprehended by police at 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of 19th Street.


Buffalo man, 25, accused in home invasion, burglary

A Buffalo man was arrested by Cheektowaga detectives Tuesday night on first-degree burglary charges for his alleged role in a Joseph Street home invasion on April 4.

Douglas D. Williams, 25, of Beverly Drive, is accused of being one of four people who broke into the home and tied up four family members before ransacking the house and stealing an undetermined amount of cash and jewelry, police said.

Cheektowaga Town Justice Paul L. Piotrowski on Wednesday ordered Williams jailed in the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $50,000 bail.

An investigation into the home invasion is continuing.