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Matthew Spina

I'm a staff writer at The Buffalo News and a graduate of SUNY Buffalo State who grew up in the great town of Schenectady, N.Y.


Cheektowaga

A Cheektowaga police officer who months ago helped chase down a shooter at a Dollar General store has been fired, a town police spokesman said Thursday. Officer Dominic Schwartz, who had been with the department about 15 years, was terminated this week after an internal investigation, Assistant Police Chief James Speyer said. While neither Speyer nor Police Chief Dav…

Erie County

A second state lawmaker has introduced a bill to curb so-called golden parachutes at New York's public authorities after the Erie County Water Authority gave its executive director a deal guaranteeing him up to $400,000 if he's fired without cause this year. “Six-figure golden parachutes that guarantee a payout of more than double an employee’s salary are a wasteful use…

Erie County

The leading candidate for a seat on Erie County's politically driven water agency assured county lawmakers Thursday he will make decisions on behalf of ratepayers, not party leaders. But even as the candidate, Democrat Mark S. Carney of Amherst, spoke in his public job interview, some lawmakers worked behind the scenes to impose a 90-day freeze on the naming of any new …

Erie County

After years of operating as a political captive, the Erie County Water Authority should either be folded into county government or privatized, former County Executive Joel A. Giambra said Tuesday in the midst of his long-shot campaign for governor. Bringing the authority into the county's Department of  Public Works won't end the awarding of patronage jobs, Giambra said…

Erie County

Three Democratic sources say an Amherst lawyer who donated almost $25,000 to the party organization over the last five years has the inside track to serve as the newest commissioner on the Erie County Water Authority. Mark S. Carney and his law firm gave $24,950 to the Erie County Democratic Committee and to party Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner's own political fund. Carney …

Obituaries

Nov. 23, 1946 -- Feb. 24, 2018 Jack R. Alexander, former senior manager for Westinghouse West Valley Nuclear Services, died Feb. 24 at his home in Hamburg after a battle with brain cancer.  He was 71. Mr. Alexander, a native of McKeesport, Pa., was a Westinghouse Electric Corp. employee for 37 years.  He served as strategic planning and project control manager at the…

A group of youths broke into the office at a used car lot, lifted the keys on a number of cars and drove off with them, Buffalo police said in a report. Stolen days ago from the lot at 2618 Bailey Ave. were a 2008 Cadillac, a 2011 Buick Regal and a 2012 Ford Fusion, police said. Officers said they spotted the Cadillac on Lang Avenue on Thursday and soon arrested five…

Crime

Buffalo police are seeking the public's help in solving a shooting that occurred early Saturday. A 28-year-old woman told police she was hit by gunfire during an outside gathering in the 600 block of LaSalle Avenue. She was then driven in a private vehicle to Erie County Medical Center around 4: 20 a.m. The woman, who police did not identify, was listed in stable con…

Crime

Jamestown police say they seized methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana after pulling over a car Friday. Almost 3 ounces of methamphetamine, seven bags of heroin, 4.2 grams of marijuana, about $2,000 in cash and a digital scale were found in the car, after it was stopped at Allen Street and Foote Avenue around 7:30 p.m. A passenger, Jeffrey L. Myers, 50, of Jamestown,…

Crime

A driver from Lockport faces several charges after a head-on crash Friday on Robinson Road in the town, Niagara County Sheriff's deputies said. Andrea Lang, 34, is being held in the Niagara County Jail on $2,500 bail. She's charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs; driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol; child endanger…

A Batavia resident tried to slip contraband into the Genesee County Jail, the Sheriff's Office said after the man's arrest Friday. Charged with a felony count of promoting prison contraband is Jason Lee Perry, 23, of Maple Street. He's being held on 10,000 cash or $20,000 property bond after being arraigned in Town of Batavia Court.    

Local News

NYSEG and National Grid crews are still at work restoring power to thousands of customers in Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, after a storm dumped several inches of wet snow Thursday night and Friday morning, downing trees and power lines. NYSEG, according to information on its website, said it had some 3,500 Western New York customers without electr…

Buffalo

A state legislator intends to introduce a bill which would ban golden parachutes as generous as the one that the Erie County Water Authority recently packed into a contract for its executive director. Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, D-Lancaster, wants to change the law that governs public authorities in New York so that public authority employees who serve at will, su…

Erie County

With Democrats about to reclaim the Erie County Water Authority, the Republican-controlled agency gave its executive director a golden parachute if Democrats oust him. The Water Authority would pay Executive Director Earl L. Jann Jr. between $300,000 and $400,000 under a new contract if he is forced out this year once control of the agency flips from Republicans to Demo…

Local News

The Buffalo chapter of the National Lawyers Guild filed suit Tuesday against the Erie County Sheriff's Office to obtain documents sought under the Freedom of Information Law. The group, represented in part by students from the University at Buffalo Law School, says it filed a request nearly a year ago seeking documents that might indicate whether Sheriff Timothy B. Howa…