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Driver hurt after flipping vehicle trying to avoid deer

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- A 53-year-old man was injured when he flipped his vehicle trying to avoid four deer just after 4 a.m. Thursday on Saunders Settlement Road.

Eugene L. Laubacker, for whom no address was listed, was eastbound, just east of Wasik's Curve, when he attempted to avoid the four deer in the road. His vehicle left the road, struck a culvert pipe, sideswiped some trees and then rolled over onto its roof, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

Laubacker was flown by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center with head and facial injuries. He was listed in stable condition late Thursday, deputies said.

On April 14, a head-on crash at the same location claimed the life of Richard Dunn, 32, of Lockport.

Dunn's pickup crossed the road and collided head-on with a sedan carrying four passengers shortly after 9 p.m. Drivers are cautioned to slow to 35 mph at the bend in the road known as Wasik's Curve, between Comstock Road and Campbell Boulevard.


Medina woman accused of selling painkillers

MEDINA -- An East Avenue woman was charged with possession and sale of prescription narcotics Wednesday following a two-month investigation by the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Debra L. Mercado, 52, was charged with third-degree criminal sale and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after a warrant was served at her home in the 500 block of East Avenue by the task force and Medina police.

Police seized 71 morphine pills and 67 pills of the opiate Nucynta, with a street value of $1,500.

Mercado was arraigned in Town of Ridgeway Court before Justice Dawn Kepler, who sent her to Orleans County Jail on $10,000 bail. She is due back in court on Monday.


Vehicle strikes, damages Carrabba's restaurant

The entrance to Carrabba's Italian Grill on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst was heavily damaged when it struck by a Range Rover at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police said no injuries were reported.

An 81-year-old man was behind the wheel of the Range Rover, police said. The crash remained under investigation late Thursday.


Man accused of shoplifting 128 bags of beef jerky

NIAGARA FALLS -- A North Avenue man has been charged with stealing $162 worth of beef jerky from a local supermarket Wednesday, city police said.

Paul C. Ford, 36, was charged with petit larceny after being stopped just after 11 p.m. at a Tops Supermarket on Portage Avenue.

A manager told police a customer observed Ford placing the beef jerky in the bag. The manager said Ford tried to leave the store with 128 bags of beef jerky sticking out of his pants and then ran when he was confronted.

Store security officers took him into custody.


Weapons possession nets Falls man 2 years in prison

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was sentenced to two years in state prison Thursday in Niagara County Court on his pleas to two felonies connected to a Sept. 10 weapons possession incident in the Falls.

Kraig D. Long Jr., 23, of Ninth Street, pleaded guilty on March 1 to attempted second-degree weapons possession and second-degree escape. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sentenced him to a year behind bars on each felony, to be served consecutively.

Long ran from police investigating a report of shots fired and dropped a loaded .38-caliber revolver as he ran, according to Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman.

Long was slightly injured in the ensuing fight with police and was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. He was shackled to a gurney, but managed to slip out and run to a nearby apartment, where he was arrested again after being subdued by a Taser, Seaman said.


3 Falls, Ont., residents charged with growing pot

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Three city residents have been charged with operating an indoor marijuana growing operation on Nichols Lane, Niagara Regional Police Service said Thursday.

Richard Fyfe, 41, his wife, Jean, 34, and Patrick Kelly, 47, were briefly held after a raid at 9961 Nicholas Lane, which led to the seizure of four firearms and the discovery of a basement room containing marijuana plant-drying material, police said.

Officers reported confiscating 398 plants, with an estimated street value of $398,000, and about $10,000 worth of plant-growing equipment from a house and a barn on the property.


Buffalo man accused of raping girl, 15

A Buffalo man was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl after coaxing her to his place May 3, Buffalo police reported Thursday.

Shaheed O. White, 20, of Center Lane, was arrested Wednesday and charged with third-degree rape and sexual misconduct.