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Lou Michel

Lou Michel is the main crime reporter for The Buffalo News and co-author of the best-seller, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing." He has received numerous state and national journalism awards.


Buffalo

The state-appointed receiver for a troubled Delaware Avenue nursing home confirmed Monday afternoon that the facility will be closed. An exact date for the closing of Emerald South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has not been set, but the priority is to make the closure as seamless as possible for the residents and staff, according to Jay Lawrence, a spokesman for rec…

Buffalo

A Buffalo nursing home considered one of the most troubled in the state will be closing, three sources familiar with the shutdown plans told The Buffalo News on Friday. The recently appointed receiver of Emerald South Rehabilitation and Care Center is expected on Monday to reveal plans to close the 122-bed facility and relocate residents and workers, the sources said. …

Buffalo

For Joy Elizabeth Catalano, the breaking point came the night more than a dozen nurses and aides called in sick. Then the director of nursing at Buffalo’s Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, Catalano recalled only three licensed practical nurses and one certified nursing aide on duty that night in June 2017 to care for about 150 residents. Normally, she …

Crime

A man and woman met to exchange possessions at Easton and Edison avenues Monday night and it turned violent, according to Northeast District police. During the exchange, Israel Simmons, 24, of East Ferry Street, began throwing the woman's possessions into the street, police said. When she attempted to gather her items, he allegedly grabbed her and threw her to the gr…

Watchdog

Buffalo News reporter Lou Michel and Watchdog Team editor Mike McAndrew spent six months investigating nursing homes in Erie and Niagara counties. The resulting stories began appearing in The Buffalo News on Oct. 21, and more are on the way. They found that out-of-town investors had bought 16 of the 47 nursing homes in the two counties in the past 11 years, and many of …

Watchdog

Buffalo Diocese officials, acknowledging a recent "tsunami" of new claims of child sex abuse, said Monday they added 36 priests' names to a list released in March that identified clergy who had been credibly accused of abuse. The diocese's list of credibly accused priests now stands at 78 priests – and includes 16 priests who are members of religious orders, a category …

Featured

Bishop Richard J. Malone was surprised and saddened every time he saw an article or TV story about his handling of the priest sex abuse scandal in his diocese, as well as when prominent leaders went to the media to call for his resignation. “The truth is every day, I wonder what I’ll see in the paper, or letter to the editor, or editorial or what they put out on the tel…

Crime

Cheektowaga police are trying to identify individuals involved in two attempted arsons in recent days at an East Delavan Avenue convenience store. In both attempts to set fire to the Eggert Express, 1558 East Delavan, fuses to Molotov cocktails were extinguished before the devices could ignite, police said. The first incident occurred at 2:05 a.m. Oct. 27. A man is s…

Crime

An Elmwood Avenue woman was beaten and dragged as she attempted to hold onto her purse while being robbed late Friday night at the intersection of Breckenridge and Putnam streets, Northwest District police said. The robbery began when a man who was the passenger in a car got out, threatened her with a gun and demanded her purse. When the woman refused, the robber punche…

Crime

Two men and a 17-year old who robbed a man at gunpoint of his 2007 BMW and wallet early Friday morning on Midway Avenue near Bailey Avenue were later arrested in Amherst after using the victim's credit cards at Walmart, according to Buffalo police. Northeast District police said the trio was apprehended at the Walmart on Sheridan Drive. The BMW was recovered on East Amh…

Politics

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn will not file criminal charges against members of former State Sen. George D. Maziarz’s office or campaign staff over the questionable spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds. Earlier this year, Maziarz accused his chief of staff, campaign treasurer and a few lower level staff members of stealing more th…

Buffalo

The future of a troubled Buffalo nursing home remains uncertain days after the state Department of Health appointed a receiver to temporarily run it, according to three sources familiar with the situation. The sources said the state and receiver may decide to close the Emerald South Rehabilitation and Care Center or merge it with the nearby Emerald North nursing home, w…

Buffalo

Nursing home resident Sally Keller looked forward to cataract surgery on her left eye. Days earlier, the cataract in her right eye had been removed and her vision dramatically improved. "I went down the hallway saying, 'I can see, I can see,' " the 70-year-old Keller recalled. But after her second cataract surgery, Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, a nu…

Local News

The youngest of four children, Mike Sformo had no interest in formal education, dating back to his days at Pembroke Intermediate School, where his father served as principal. When it was time to go to high school, Sformo said his parents pulled him out of public school and sent him to Notre Dame Catholic High School in Batavia. “I think my dad got tired of seeing me …

Local News

Three years ago, Long Island resident Benjamin Landa and a group of downstate partners came close to buying seven nursing homes, including five of the Buffalo area's top-rated facilities. But the deal fell apart, and Landa is now suing the McGuire Group, the suburban Buffalo company that refused to sell him the homes. Landa alleged in his 2016 lawsuit that F. James M…