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Maki Becker

Maki Becker has been a staff reporter at The Buffalo News since 2005. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer.


Local News

David Kazmierczak, a veteran firefighter with the Buffalo Fire Department, is signing copies of his new book "Bring Me the Balance" on 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mutual Riverfront Park Boathouse, 41 Hamburg St. Kazmierczak's book features photos from the scenes of fires and other emergencies, dating back to the Larkin Fire of 1954, the City of Buffalo's only gene…

Crime

The Buffalo father on a 5-year probation sentence in the 2018 fire death of his 7-year-old son pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for violating an order of protection for his estranged wife, the Erie County District Attorney's Office said. Joseph Conti, 55, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of second-degree criminal contempt before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. H…

Local News

A month and a half after two cars – including a Maserati – crashed on Seneca Street in the middle of the night, leaving two people dead, the investigation is continuing and no arrests have been made. It's led to some wild conspiracy theories. But Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said there's nothing nefarious about the case. "This is a complicated inves…

Courts

A former student at the Gow School has filed a Child Victims Act lawsuit against the private school in South Wales, alleging that a teacher there repeatedly sexually abused him in 1991-92 when he was a minor. The accuser, identified as John Doe in a lawsuit filed Friday, was a "learning-disabled youth" from Ohio who attended and resided at Gow, which specializes in educ…

Local News

Buffalo Police Officer Tony DiSarno was responding to a fight call in the Ferry-Fillmore District at around noon June 28 when he pulled up to the scene and got out of the patrol car. A rookie cop on his first day on the job was with him. Then DiSarno did something strange – he got right back in the cruiser, closed the door, locked it and began staring off while rubbing …

Local News

An off-duty Wyoming County sheriff's deputy noticed a vehicle parked all day past dark on Sodom Road in front of the Wyoming County Forest Tuesday and worried a hunter might be lost in the woods. It turned out the deputy was right. Members of the Sheriff's Office and Office of Emergency Management responded to the scene at about 6 p.m. and made contact with the vehic…

Crime

Call it the pushback to the pushback. After law enforcement leaders held simultaneous news conferences across the state last week, calling for a moratorium on new bail laws set to go into effect Jan. 1,  Buffalo advocates for criminal justice reform countered "misconceptions" about those new laws. The new laws will end the use of cash bail for most misdemeanors and n…

Crime

A Buffalo parolee and a woman were arrested Tuesday following a raid at a house on Roslyn Street that also turned up about 16 ounces of cocaine, packing materials, scales and other drug paraphernalia, the Erie County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday. With a warrant authorized by Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, the sheriff's Narcotics and Intelligence Unit …

Crime

Two men wearing ski masks robbed a person at gunpoint just before 2 p.m. on Monday on Florida Street at the corner of Main Street, across from the side of the Koessler Athletic Center, Canisius College Public Safety officials said in an email to students. The victim, who is not connected to Canisius, flagged down a Canisius public safety officer after the incident. The …

Crime

Fredonia police are on the lookout for a naked baby statue – and whoever stole it from the top of a historic downtown fountain. Authorities say that at about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday, two people are believed to have removed a cherub that tops a fountain in the West Barker Commons. They said the cherub thieves came from the west side of the park and then fled in the same dire…

Crime

The teenager who was at the target of a massive manhunt in Allegany County Thursday after two bodies were found in a burned house has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree manslaughter. State Police had been searching for 17-year-old William J. Larson Jr. after he was spotted at the scene of the fire at 8472 Courtney Hollow…

Crime

A complaint about minors drinking alcohol in Alden Town Park sparked a two-month investigation that led to the arrest of a Darien man on a felony count of an attempted criminal sex act with a minor and a misdemeanor count of attempt to endanger the welfare of a child, the Erie County Sheriff's Office announced Friday. When deputies responded to the complaint call, they …

Crime

Joining law enforcement groups in simultaneous news conferences across the state, Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour called for a delay in the implementation of laws that would end cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies and speed up the timeline for prosecutors to turn over evidence. Voutour, joined by West Seneca Police Chief Dan Denz and Assemblyman…

Crime

Law enforcement agencies across the state on Thursday plan to call for a delay in the implementation of laws that would end cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies and require evidence to be turned over to defense attorneys within 15 days of arrest or indictment. The new criminal justice reform laws, passed earlier this year as part of the budget, are se…

Crime

An Orchard Park father was hit with a slew of charges after he allegedly rear-ended another vehicle that was stopped in traffic Friday evening, Orchard Park police said. At about 5 p.m. Friday, town police were called to a two-car accident on North Freeman Road near East Quaker Street. Police determined that Thomas P. Quinn, 35, of Orchard Park had been driving a black …