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Ken-Ton schools host 36th annual Jerry Starr SleepOut

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Students and staff in the Ken-Ton school district have been sleeping out in cardboard boxes for almost forty years, and program organizers said it’s all about creating a culture of service.

This is year 36 for Ken-Ton’s SleepOut program. Usually, students and staff would sleep outside in boxes to understand the struggles of the homeless. But with a below-zero wind chill this year, it was light on students.

“It started as a sleep-out, it’s stayed a sleep-out,” said longtime organizer Stephen Ash. “We certainly have more awareness that we do the sleep-out. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen increased participation.”

Stephen Ash has been involved in the sleepout since it began decades ago. With frigid temperatures, organizers will spend time around the fire, but will not be sleeping outside.


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He just hopes more students will get involved down the road.

“The more the community can get involved, the more we can show kids at an early age that there are people in need in their own community and maybe get them involved in an activity that will help those people,” Ash added.

Though turnout was down, donations poured in from the community. Food and monetary donations support the Ken-Ton Closet and Ken-Ton Family Support Center.

“They have the best soul, they have the best core and that’s really what Ken-Ton is all about,” said Superintendent Sabatino Cimato, Ken-Ton UFSD.

To learn more and make a donation, click here.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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Hawley Street fire causes over $300K in damages

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A fire in the City of Buffalo caused around $310,000 in damages early Saturday morning, officials said.

Buffalo fire responded to the call to the apartment complex at 86 Hawley Street around 12:15 a.m. Saturday. Investigators say the fire started on the second floor of the building. The Red Cross is assisting five people.

The cause is still under investigation.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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Teens charged after multiple vehicles stolen

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two teens are facing charges after multiple vehicles were stolen early Saturday morning, according to the Niagara County Sheriff.

At approximately 3:56 a.m. Saturday, a deputy located two vehicles operating on Deborah Lane without lights on. According to authorities, both vehicles fled from the deputy as he attempted to investigate the suspicious activity.

The vehicles, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer appeared to be fleeing together, authorities say.

According to authorities, four parties fled on foot after the two vehicles crashed into each other at the intersection of Walmore and Jagow Roads.

Authorities say, after further investigation, that the two vehicles had been stolen from Samantha Court minutes prior. A third vehicle, a Kia Forte, that, they say, was stolen from the City of Buffalo was located abandoned on the roadside of Lancelot Drive.

Following an investigation by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Bureau and Road Patrol, a 16-year-old Tonawanda female was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a felony, and false personation. According to authorities, she was remanded on an Office of Children and Family Services warrant.

A second 16-year-old female, from Buffalo, was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. The teen, due to raise the age legislation and bail reform, was released on an appearance ticket to her mother.

Authorities say another vehicle was stolen from Osprey Lane and later recovered, unoccupied, in the City of Buffalo.

The incidents are under an ongoing investigation.

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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Two minors ejected in vehicle accident, arrest made

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Police announced Saturday that an arrest has been made in connection to a two vehicle accident that occurred Wednesday.

At approximately 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to the area of Broadway and Sobieski Street where, they say, a two vehicle accident with injuries had occurred. Police say the Accident Investigators Unit was called to the scene.

Police say the driver of the first vehicle fled the scene and it is unknown how many occupants were in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to police, the second vehicle had six occupants, including four minors. Two of the minors were ejected from the vehicle upon impact. The four minors, ages 2-years-old, 3-years-old, 6-years-old, and 11-years-old, were transferred, by ambulance, to Children’s Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police say, the adult passenger was taken to ECMC for non-life threatening injuries by ambulance.

The driver of the second vehicle, 26-year-old Tiarra Davis of Buffalo, was arrested Thursday and charged with the following charges:

Aggravated driving while intoxicated, one count

Endangering the welfare of a child, four counts

Driving while intoxicated, one count

Operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, one count

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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40k Take 5 ticket sold in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you bought a Take 5 ticket in Buffalo for the Feb. 3 evening drawing, you may be a top-prize winner.

The ticket, worth $40, 804.50, was sold at the Tops Market on Maple Road, the New York State Lottery announced Saturday.

Take 5 numbers are drawn from a field of one through 39, twice daily. To check your numbers, click here.

Game prizes, of any amount, can be claimed up to one year from the date of the drawing.

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Wake Up! Wags: Katana

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Saturday, we met Katana!

She is a 4-month-old shepherd mix who loves tummy rubs! She is available for adoption through Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue.

For more information on how you can bring this cuddly pup home, click here or view the full segment above.

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Fatal Saturday morning crash under investigation

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Amherst Police Department say they are investigating a fatal vehicle crash that occurred early Saturday morning.

At approximately 3:35 a.m., police responded to a one vehicle crash on Main Street where, they say, a 2005 Subaru, traveling westbound, left the roadway and struck a utility pole.

The driver, a 27-year-old Buffalo man, suffered serious physical injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Police say the identity of the driver is being withheld until family can be notified.

The crash is currently under investigation. Investigators will be canvassing for video and witnesses. Local residents, businesses, and drivers who may have security or dash-camera footage of the area or incident are asked to contact the Amherst Police Department at 716-689-1311.

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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Pembroke High School takes shot to fight cancer

PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local high school is taking their shot to help fight cancer.

The Pembroke High School girls’ basketball team held their annual ‘Shooting for a Cure’ game on Friday night.

The fundraiser started when the team’s coach wanted to support a former coach’s wife in her fight against breast cancer. Now, in the past 12 years, it’s turned into a tradition that has raised more than $227,000.

“It chokes you up to watch these kids that they care about putting service over self and getting involved in their community and doing the right thing. You know the teams change but the mission remains the same.,” said Mike Wilson, the event’s coordinator.

Wilson says when the girls play to help others, it has a positive and lasting effect on them. Some former players have gone on to pursue careers in the healthcare field.

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Longtime Forest Lawn Cemetery president steps down

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The longtime president of Forest Lawn Cemetery, Joseph Dispenza, has stepped down from his role, according to a spokesperson for the cemetery.

Dispenza, who was in the role for 32 years, was placed on paid administrative leave last June, the cemetery saying it was hiring outside counsel to “ascertain facts about his [Dispenza’s] personnel management as Forest Lawn’s president.”

He also resigned from his position on the board of trustees.

Forest Lawn did not provide a reason for his resignation.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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Niagara man accused of rape, assault

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara man was arrested and charged with rape and assault, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

36-year-old Richard Felvus is accused of physically and sexually assaulting two women in an incident that is said to have occurred on Thursday.

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Felvus is charged with first-degree rape, assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, criminal mischief, forcible touching and harassment.

He was arraigned through centralized arraignment.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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