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Dan Herbeck

Dan Herbeck is an investigative reporter who has been at The Buffalo News for nearly 40 years. He is a graduate of Sweet Home High School, Erie County Community College and St. Bonaventure University. He and Lou Michel wrote a best-selling book in 2001 about Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, "American Terrorist."


Buffalo

The Buffalo Police Department's longest-serving police officer is about to retire and will be honored with a testimonial party on May 25. Capt. Mark S. Antonio, 64, joined the city police force in January 1973, when Richard M. Nixon was president and Bills' running back O.J. Simpson was Buffalo's biggest sports star. Antonio said he joined the department "because the…

Buffalo

This promises to be a very memorable year for friends and family members of the late James E. "Chick" Hewson, a champion rower and former Olympic race walker. After years of lobbying, nominating and circulating his name, Hewson's supporters recently learned that the native of Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood has been selected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.…

Former Assistant U.S. attorney George C. Burgasser spent Sunday evening on his son's boat docked at Smith Boys marina in North Tonawanda. Then he disappeared. Police said his son, who was below deck, heard a sound. He came up to the deck, saw his dad was missing and went into a panic, police said. Another son, who came to help in the search, later found Burgasser'…

Crime

North Tonawanda police questioned the brother of suspect Joseph H. Belstadt about the 1993 death of Mandy Steingasser about two weeks before officers arrested Belstadt on murder charges. "I don’t know anything. I've told them that for the past 20 years," Jamie Belstadt said Friday. Authorities offered Jamie Belstadt an advantageous plea agreement on some outstanding …

Crime

Joseph H. Belstadt, the accused killer of North Tonawanda High School student Mandy Steingasser, was back at his Town of Tonawanda home Friday after he was released on a bail bond from the Niagara County Jail. "His family posted bond. He was released and he is home. He is resting and collecting himself after a couple of very stressful days," said Dominic Saraceno, defen…

Crime

Joseph H. Belstadt has known for the past 24 1/2 years that he was the prime suspect in the murder of his North Tonawanda High School classmate, Mandy Steingasser, according to his defense attorney. Now, after his arrest for the crime, Belstadt is anxious to go to trial and prove he is not guilty, the attorney told The Buffalo News on Thursday. "We anticipate that he…

Crime

For more than 24 years, North Tonawanda High School alumna Jennifer Chiaravalle wondered if police would ever get enough evidence to arrest the person who murdered her close friend and classmate, Mandy Steingasser. During all that time, Chiaravalle said she has heard only one name as a potential suspect –  Joseph H. Belstadt, the last person to be seen with Steingasser …

Obituaries

March 27, 1954 - April 4, 2018 Buffalo-born geologist Paul M. Basinski has been called "one of the pioneers of fracking" or "one of the fathers of fracking" in news articles and energy industry publications. One article called him the "mastermind" of the biggest fracking project in Texas history, the discovery of the Eagle Ford oil basin, which was one of the richest…

Business

IRVING – A couple of hours after the Seneca Nation announced that it was suing New York State over the State Thruway section that runs through the Senecas' Cattaraugus Territory, a yellow bulldozer was spotted clearing piles of dirt on the property of the Big Indian Smoke Shop, about 60 feet away from a westbound Thruway lane. To some observers, it appears that Eric Whi…

Buffalo

Najati Ay Toghlo now lives and works in Buffalo, more than 5,700 miles away from Syria, the lawless, war-shattered country where his beloved sister was murdered by a sniper, the violent land where Najati was kidnapped and held captive for 30 days before his father was able to rescue him with a ransom payment. But over the past few days, the 27-year-old refugee has felt …

State

Lawyers for the Seneca Nation of Indians sued New York State on Thursday, charging that the state broke federal laws more than 60 years ago when it built a 2.7-mile section of the Thruway through Seneca territory in southern Erie County. The lawsuit filed in Buffalo's federal court demands that the state compensate the Senecas for its use of the land, and it also seeks …

Education

A priest who taught students at two Buffalo-area Catholic high schools for more than a decade was suspended from any public ministry in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor, The Buffalo News confirmed this week. The Rev. Michael M. Lewandowski, now 71, was suspended after the allegation was made in May 2014, according to the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-…

Art

Three nationally known actors will appear at an April 14 gala to benefit the Global Concepts Charter School in Lackawanna. The school, dedicated to arts, music and entertainment, will honor actors Stephen McKinley Henderson and Keith David at the event, which will also feature musical and theatrical entertainment provided by students. Lackawanna-born actor Ruben Santiag…

Buffalo

A 63-year-old Youngstown man alleges he was sexually abused 50 years ago by a Niagara Falls priest who received many awards and honors for his work with poor people, the homeless and disadvantaged teenagers. Niagara County resident Mark V. Lynch said he was 13 years old when he was molested in 1968 by the late Rev. Joseph A. Schuster in a Niagara Falls rectory. He sa…

Local News

On an unseasonably warm night in March 2012, Patricia John and her boyfriend, Kenneth Van Aernam, parked their car on the old Red House Bridge over the Allegheny River in Cattaraugus County. Hand in hand, they set out for a moonlight stroll. It turned out to be their last happy moment together. After taking a few steps, John fell through a gaping hole in the poorly m…