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2 Seperate Fires Keep Buffalo Firefighters Busy

Buffalo, NY - It was a busy early morning for Buffalo Firefighters as they fought two separate house fires.

Three adults and two children were had to find another place to stay after a fire broke out in their Rohr Street apartment just after 1:00am Wednesday morning.  Officials say the fire appears to have started on the first floor and jumped to the second floor.

Everyone made it out of the building alright, but at first, crews were worried about people possibly being trapped inside; after neighbors said there were people in the basement.

"We committed to a real aggressive interior search were the guys went in, even before we had water to make sure nobody was inside dying in the basement or first floor.  It turned out that report was well intentioned but incorrect.  There was nobody inside."  Buffalo Fire Division Chief Scott Barry tells 2 on Your Side.

Gary Korkuc Of Suburban Buffalo Charged With Animal Cruelty, Accused Of Marinating Cat

Buffalo, NY -The Cheektowaga man accused of marinating his cat failed to show up for a scheduled appearance Tuesday morning in Buffalo City Court.

A non-appearance bench warrant has now been issued for 51-year-old Gary Korkuc.

Buffalo police believe the cat could have become a meal, however, had they not pulled over a Cheektowaga man for failing to stop at a stop sign on the 1100 block of Broadway earlier this month.

According to a police report officers in the process of ticketing Gary Korkuc, 51, discovered the cat which "...appeared to be marinating in crushed red pepper, chili powder, salt and oil" inside his car.

"From what we understand from Buffalo Police the person who owned this kitty was marinating him in order to cook him," said Gina Browning, Spokesperson for the SPCA of Erie County.

Korkuc denies he was planning to eat the cat.

"No, no that's conjecture and that's an assumption," Korkuc told WGRZ-TV.

Fear of "Snitching" Keeping Shooting Witnesses Quiet

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Some community leaders admit there's a code of sorts on the streets to not "snitch" about any crime you might have witnessed.

A police tip-line billboard on Buffalo's west side is a perfect example of that. Someone spray painted on it "stop snitchin'".

Darnell Jackson is a former gang leader who now heads up a group where kids clean-up the east side. He says everyone he has talked to about this case claims they wouldn't say a word if they saw something or had information that would help authorities.

Why? First he says people are scared of retaliation. Second, he says when it comes to the greater black community they have a trust issue with police on things like this.

"They say the police is the same way,"said Jackson. "They don't snitch on each other, they wear a blue suit. They're a gang and they protect each other."

Buffalo Police Update Other Weekend Shooting Deaths

BUFFALO, NY-Buffalo Police have now released the names of the victims of two other homicides from over the weekend.

35-year-old Robert Dumas of the Town of Tonawanda had just left a deli in the vicinity of Genesee and Doats Streets around 1:30 Saturday morning when he was shot. Dumas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ronald Walker, 20, of Buffalo was shot multiple times around 8:45 Sunday night in the area of the 200 block of Cambridge Avenue near East Delavan.

"We continue to seek the public's help in these recent homicide investigations, as well as the Main Street incident in which eight people were shot-four fatally," said Dennis Richards, Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives. "We need witnesses who are willing to come forward, and make statements to detectives and identify the perpetrators in each and every case. The assistance from the community will enable us to effect arrests, and bring the persons responsible for these heinous acts to justice."

Buffalo CarShare Motoring to New Neighborhoods

BUFFALO, NY-The non-profit group that offers people an alternative to owning a car is adding more vehicles to its fleet and expanding to new neighborhoods.

Buffalo CarShare is adding a 6-passenger Mazda 5, as well as a hybrid Toyota Prius to their offerings. Their fleet now totals ten cars and a truck.

The three new hubs being launched this week are:

-at Elmwood and Lafayette at the Lafayette Presbyterian Church

-at the Quaker Bonnet Bakery on Chenango (near Rhode Island behind the Firehouse)

-at the Canisius Parking Garage on Jefferson near the Delavan NFTA station

Buffalo CarShare members reserve cars as needed and pay by the hour. Insurance and gas are included in the price.

 

Saturday Night Shooting in Buffalo

BUFFALO-One man is in critical condition after a late-night shooting at Sattler Ave.

Ferry-Fillmore officers were called to the first block of Sattler Ave. on 11:30 pm on Saturday night. Police say that Spencer Cowart, 23, was shot in the upper body area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown Trying To Recoup $2M In Health Benefits Paid For Dead Workers

BUFFALO, NY - When they tell you that retiring from a city job comes with permanent health benefits, in some cases they're not kidding.

A new audit conducted by Buffalo City Comptroller Andrew SanFilippo reveals that the city is mistakenly paying health benefits for more than 150 deceased former city employees.

The error has cost taxpayers about $2 million, most of it coming in the last two years, SanFilippo said.

"We can sit there and allow two million dollars to just walk out the door for no reason, and we have the ability to prevent it," SanFilippo said. "That's a big deal."

The city is now trying to get the money back.