Harold McNeil, The Buffalo News
print logo

Harold McNeil

Harold McNeil has been a staff reporter for The Buffalo News since 1989. He currently covers Amherst.


A home health care aide faces 30 years in prison after she pleaded guilty Friday to bank fraud in U.S. District Court after admitting she opened an unauthorized credit card account in the name of the elderly woman she was hired to care for and used it to fraudulently make thousands of dollars in purchases. In May 2015, Cassie Tillinghast, 32, of Buffalo was hired as an …

A Jamestown man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison and 10 years supervised release following his conviction on charges of distributing child pornography According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Christopher Whitford, 46, on May 1, 2016, used a peer-to-peer file sharing program in which he shared files with an undercover law enforcement officer. On June 23, 2016,…

A Chautauqua County man sought by authorities on an outstanding warrant for drug-related charges was arrested Thursday by deputies after he was stopped while driving on Route 20 in the Town of Sheridan, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office. Benjamin M. Gray, 26, of Sinclairville, had been wanted on charges of third-degree criminal possession of controlled…

Erie County is in line to receive $300,000 from the U.S. Justice Department, as part of a $58.8 million federal appropriation to strengthen drug court programs and address the opioid epidemic nationwide, officials said Friday. “Hopefully, this significant funding from the Department of Justice will further assist our federal, state, and local partners in our combined …

A Buffalo man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison following his conviction on drug conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court. Carlos Laboy, 45, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga, who handled the case, said that between February 2…

The Buffalo Police officer who first drew wide attention in February 2016 after he was suspended from the force for making outrageous and sometimes crude social media videos — known as “Angry Cops” — and posting them online has again been suspended for similar activity, a Buffalo Police Department spokesman said Thursday night. Officer Richard Hy was suspended…

A child riding a bicycle was struck by a vehicle Tuesday evening at Grant and West Ferry streets, according to Buffalo Police Department spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge. The incident occurred just after 8 p.m., he said. The child was treated at the scene for minor injuries, DeGeorge said. No charges had been filed against the driver of the vehicle late Tuesday.

A Chautauqua County woman was arrested by troopers on charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, according to State Police. Tonya Spallino, 39, of Kennedy, was involved in a one-car crash Sunday on Route 62 in the Town of Poland, where her vehicle ended up in a ravine, according to State Police. Spallino was extricated from her car by members of t…

A Virginia man was arrested on charges of marijuana possession after he was stopped in Chautauqua County by State Police for speeding, authorities said Tuesday. John Creager, 53, of Fairfax, was pulled over Friday on Interstate 86 in the Town of Poland, according to State Police. While speaking to Creager, troopers smelled marijuana emanating from inside his vehicle,…

Uber drivers will be doing more, starting Tuesday, than taking passengers from Point A to Point B. Drivers with the ride-sharing company also will be delivering takeout – from restaurants across the city. UberEATS, an online marketplace, will start bringing prepared meals to customers with the tap of an app on their smartphones. Jon Feldman, general manager for …

A Cheektowaga teenager was shot multiple times Monday night on Donovan Drive near the Ferry-Grider Homes, according to Buffalo Police Department spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge. The shooting occurred just before 9 p.m. in the 100 block of Donovan, DeGeorge said in an email. The 18-year-old victim was transported to Erie County Medical Center where she remained early Tues…

Grand Island firefighters Monday put out a mulch fire that ignited some vinyl siding on a house on Jamestown Road, fire officials said. Firefighters were alerted to the fire shortly before 8 a.m. by a 911 dispatcher who got reports from neighbors that flames were shooting out of a nearby house. According to Dan Mathes, assistant fire chief with the Grand Island Fire …

A Pennsylvania teenager was charged with reckless driving for his role in a crash in which he and two others were injured on Sept. 3 in the Town of Mina in Chautauqua County, authorities said. The identity of the driver, 17, was withheld by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office on Monday. He was also charged with 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, driving…