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Feds Charge Tonawanda Coke with Environmental Crimes

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Tonawanda Coke Corporation and its Environmental Control Manager Mark Kamholz are charged with 20 federal crimes; most of them are violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the violations happened during a five year period beginning in 2004.

Five of the charges are alleged to be related to the release of coke oven gas into the air that contained benzene, a human carcinogen known to cause leukemia, damage to bone marrow and excessive bleeding.

People who live by the plant have been complaining of air quality and high cancer rates for years.

"There are a lot of people I know up and down the street that have breathing problems or respitory problems", said Joseph Waschensky, who lives near the plant.

People like Tom Ryan.

"I've had skin cancer on my left hand," said Ryan, who also lives near the plant. "My wife has breast cancer."

Tonawanda Prepares for Dog Census; Other Towns Could Follow Suit

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y.- On Thursday another census begins.

But this one's for the dogs.

If you live in the Ken-Ton area, expect a visit from uniformed teenage volunteers with the Explorers program this month.

They're working for the police department, and they'll be knocking on doors making sure dogs are licensed.

"Those people that aren't home, they'll use basic methods, listen to how many dogs are barking to try and determine how many animals are there," said Lt. Nick Bado, with the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.

In the Town, residents are allowed two dogs per household.

Each pup over four months old must have a license that is renewed each year

Those who don't comply face tickets, fines and court.

In order to get a license, your dog must be up to date on its Rabies shots.

Not Guilty Plea Entered in Tonawanda Coke Case

TONAWANDA, NY--The Tonawanda Coke Corporation and Mark Kamholz, the Corporation's Environmental Control Manager, pled not guilty to 20 federal crimes in court on Tuesday.

Most of the charges are violations of the Clean Air Act, and according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, happened over a five-year period starting in 2004.

Five of the charges are alleged to be related to the release of coke oven gas into the air that contained benzene, a human carcinogen known to cause leukemia, damage to bone marrow and excessive bleeding.

2 On Your Side's Josh Boose spoke to a man who lives nearby the plant and has been effected by the benzene emissions.

NT Man Among Passengers in Plane Crash

WILSON, NY - Christian Herboth, age 38 of North Tonawanda, NY, was among those injured when a small plane carrying five people, plus the pilot, crashed at the Hollands International Airport in the Town of Wilson on Sunday. He was treated and released from ECMC following the accident.

Officials say the plane crashed about 50 ft. from the Frontier Skydiving Club runway. The plane took off around 2:20 p.m., developed trouble, and came down upside down, breaking into several pieces.

A spokesperson from Frontier Skydiving says that the plane that crashed was a Cessna 185 6-seater aircraft. It was being piloted by 68-year-old Paul Gath, company founder.  Gath has more than 30 years of experience as a pilot and has completed 5000 jumps, according to spokesman John Huber.