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Matthew Spina

Matthew Spina, a staff reporter at The Buffalo News since 2004, has worked in daily newspaper journalism for more than 30 years. He's a graduate of SUNY Buffalo State and grew up in Schenectady, N.Y.


Politics

Fei Yan was a research scientist at MIT when he bought stock options in a Colorado mining company. Just three weeks later, news broke that the company was being taken over by a large South African firm. The stock price spiked, and Yan made more than $100,000. But pure luck did not account for his windfall. He had bought his options based on insider information gleaned f…

Crime

The state Attorney General's Office will investigate the 2016 death of an Erie County Holding Center inmate who spent her final days babbling on the floor of her cell, laying in her urine. India Cummings would be alive had she received adequate medical care, the state Commission of Correction said in a June report, which deemed her death a homicide due to medical neglec…

Featured

"There is nothing to do when you're lieutenant governor," Alfred DelBello groused in 1985 when he resigned from the state's No. 2 spot because the governor he served didn't want him around and never really did. DelBello had won the Democratic primary in 1982, defeating the man Mario Cuomo hoped would become his governor-in-waiting, H. Carl McCall. Cuomo and DelBello wer…

Crime

Someone sprayed paint on at least a half-dozen autos parked in a Buffalo neighborhood sometime between late Friday and Saturday evening, the owners told police. The autos were parked on Vernon Place, which runs between Main and Fairfield streets, not far from the Buffalo Zoo. In at last one of the cases reported to police, the vandal, or vandals, did more than spray …

Crime

An unwanted guest created hundreds of dollars in damage Saturday evening when a Buffalo woman asked him to leave. The woman, who lives on Winter Street, told police that he broke a 50-inch television set, a smaller TV, the cable box and a microwave oven. He also damaged a stereo system and a room fan, causing a total $1,570 in damage, police estimated. Police charged…

Local News

Volunteer firefighters and emergency responders will show children and adults Saturday how fires are fought and people are freed from damaged autos. The free demonstrations, which also will cover various safety measures, run from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Doyle Hose Co. 1 Fire Station at 2199 William St. in Cheektowaga. The Red Cross will present information on disaster pre…

Directors of nonprofit organizations can learn Wednesday how to advocate for policies they consider important while remaining within the legal limits placed on 501(c)(3) organizations. Sam Magavern, executive director of the Partnership for the Public Good, will share the laws and rules regarding advocacy and lobbying by nonprofit organizations, including election-relat…

Buffalo

A pizza deliveryman was robbed of $400 late Saturday when he was pulled from his car and accosted by three men, the victim told Buffalo police. The victim said he had just finished a delivery on High Street for Avenue Pizza when he stopped around 8:45 p.m. to use his GPS, at High near Mulberry Street. That's when three men descended on his vehicle, pulled him out and de…

Crime

A Jamestown man driving with a suspended license jumped from his moving vehicle Saturday as officers chased him at high speeds, Jamestown police said. Officers eventually caught up with Christopher L. Thomas, 43, after his driverless auto continued on and crashed into a building, police said. Thomas faces a host of charges including felony reckless endangerment, flee…

Lancaster

Bowmansville firefighters spent Sunday morning beating back the flames that consumed a ranch-style home in Lancaster and extended to three cars in the driveway. They were parked near the garage where the fire seemed to originate. When the first units arrived soon after 8:42 a.m., they were told occupants were still inside 125 Pleasant View Drive, a ranch-style home in a…

Local News

Rep. Chris Collins and his staff spun out a number of statements about Innate Immunotherapeutics as news outlets, including The Buffalo News, dug into the congressman's involvement with the company and his efforts to talk up the stock on Capitol Hill. Many of the statements look like they were falsehoods now that the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosec…

Crime

Rep. Chris Collins was ordered to do more than post a $500,000 bond in exchange for his freedom as the criminal case against him moves forward. The congressman, who has pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges, must limit his travel to the continental United States and let his defense attorneys hold his diplomatic passport "for safekeeping until further notice," ac…

Local News

His first political comeback came at an opportune time: the summer and fall of 2007. Erie County government had just been crushed by a financial crisis. Taxpayers, annoyed by another sales tax increase, were looking for a new county executive. Christopher Carl Collins, who had made a fortune acquiring distressed companies and turning them around, convinced voters the…

Local News

Rep. Chris Collins was at the White House when he committed the act that triggered a federal indictment alleging he, his son and a friend of the family engaged in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud. It was June 22, 2017, and Collins was at the congressional picnic on the White House grounds. At around 7 p.m. he received an email from the chief executive officer of …

Featured

Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence was arrested on insider trading charges Wednesday, federal prosecutors in New York announced. Collins' son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins' fiancee, also were arrested. All three surrendered to federal authorities in New York City, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York s…