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Harold McNeil

Harold McNeil is a native of Brooklyn. He previously worked as a reporter for the former WEBR 970 AM public radio station and later for the Niagara Gazette, a Gannett-owned newspaper. He has been a staff reporter for The Buffalo News since 1989.


Erie County

A group of jail reform activists who have been protesting conditions at the Erie County jails Monday took county lawmakers to task at a public hearing on cultural appropriations in the tentative budget for 2020. A spokeswoman for Showing Up for Racial Justice Buffalo – or SURJ Buffalo – complained to county legislators over what she described as the Sheriff's Office usi…

City of Tonawanda

A Lockport man was charged Monday with felony driving while intoxicated after City of Tonawanda police pulled him over for driving without brake lights. Police said 22-year-old Paul O. Hylkema, who was stopped at 1:45 a.m. at Main and Niagara streets, allegedly showed signs of intoxication and told officers that he had four beers. Hylkema failed field sobriety tests …

Health and Fitness

Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour announced that his deputy jail administrator at the Niagara County Correctional Facility has been given a Gold Key Award from the WNY Chemical Dependency Consortium at its 30th annual awards luncheon Friday. Deputy Chief Daniel Engert has worked for the Niagara County Sheriff's Office since 1990 and has served as deputy jail admin…

Courts

A Buffalo man admitted in U.S. District Court that he conspired with others to sell crack cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said 31-year-old Angelo Kidd pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess, with intent to distribute, and distributing 28 grams or more of crack cocaine. On Aug. 31, 2018, Buffalo Police executed search warrants at two Tow…

Courts

A Town of Tonawanda woman who aided her husband in several gas station robberies in Erie County has been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to five years' probation, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said 46-year-old Heather Jenkins admitted that between Feb. 25 and March 11, she assisted her husband in forcibly…

Business

To the untrained eye, the emergency room at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo would already appear to be a model of sleek design – well-appointed for the roughly 55,000 patients it receives each year. However, hospital officials on Friday announced plans for a $500,000 renovation of the space that re-imagines the flow of patients and provides for more efficiency. The result …

Courts

A Canadian resident has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to harboring an illegal alien, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said 42-year-old Jason O. Garcia of Vaughan, Ont., faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 20. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, Garcia attempted to enter the Unite…

Local News

July 19, 1935 - Nov. 9, 2019 Buffalo native and four-time Olympic medalist George Thomas Breen was a standout rower for Bishop Timon High School and the West Side Rowing Club, but it wasn't until he started swimming competitively as a 17-year-old freshman at SUNY Cortland State that Breen really hit his stride. Mr. Breen went on to represent the United States in two …

City of Tonawanda

A couple has been arrested and charged with obstruction of justice in the Dec. 28, 2018, fatal drug overdose of an employee in the City of Tonawanda, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said the charge against Kevin Toth, 29, of the City of Tonawanda, and Samantha Yeates, 27, of Depew, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Assistant U.S. A…

Local News

A family of six was displaced following a house fire Wednesday in the Village of Castile, according to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services. The Castile Fire Department was called to the scene at 7:34 p.m. and was assisted by several nearby fire companies, until the fire was put out three hours later. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. The …

Courts

An Alaska man who pleaded guilty in August to unlawfully transporting 12 machine guns to Buffalo from Alaska was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to serve five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said 26-year-old Benjamin Handley, of Homer, sold the fully automatic firearms – with their serial numbers oblitera…

Amherst

A Williamsville man and his son were arrested Friday at the Peace Bridge after attempting to smuggle marijuana into the U.S., according to federal prosecutors. Kenneth Francis Munroe, 60, and his son, Kenneth Philip Munroe, 30, had about 250 grams of marijuana with them, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan. They were charged with entry of goods by m…

Erie County

The TB Clinic at the Jesse E. Nash Health Center run by the Erie County Department of Health will be closed for cleanup Thursday as a result of a minor fire Wednesday night, according to a tweet posted by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. Poloncarz said the fire was contained and only minor damage was caused to the center at 608 William St. https://twitter.com…

Crime

A Chautauqua County man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly driving while intoxicated, according to State Police. Troopers who reported to Titus Road in Sherman for a report of a vehicle in a ditch found 25-year-old Troy Seekings, of Sherman. Seekings was placed under arrest after he failed several standard field sobriety tests. He was transported by troopers to th…