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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.


Local News

The state Attorney General's Office issued Tuesday the following tips to help consumers protect themselves on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Beware of misleading bargains: The “sale” price may have been marked up before it was marked down. Compare warranties: Read the terms. They could significantly affect that cost of an item over the long run. Know the layaway p…

Local News

The chief executive of convicted polluter Tonawanda Coke has collected around $40,000 a year from his family’s foundation — for working two hours a week, according to the nonprofit’s annual reports to New York 's Charities Bureau. Paul A. Saffrin of Tonawanda Coke collected $37,500 as a trustee in 2015 and $42,500 the following year, according to the documents. That wor…

Local News

Lawyers for one of Tonawanda Coke's crucial lenders, Honeywell International, say the corporation never promised to lend the convicted polluter the $2 million needed for its final court-ordered community service payment. Beginning in April 2017, Honeywell provided three loans – mortgage notes – totaling some $8 million. But Honeywell was unwilling to provide a fourth lo…

Buffalo

Four Erie County citizens have won their unusual court case, which orders Sheriff Timothy B. Howard to accurately report serious jail incidents, as a state agency requires. If he doesn't, the four can return to court to ask that the sheriff be held in contempt and compelled, perhaps with a fine, to follow the order. An attorney for Howard had argued that a legal vict…

Politics

11:48 p.m.: Rep. Chris Collins, in his victory speech Tuesday night, said he will continue to support veterans, the elderly, the Second Amendment and President Trump's agenda as he begins a new term under the cloud of federal charges linked to insider trading. He said his trial is scheduled for 2020 and he expects to be cleared. He also said he will continue to talk to …

Buffalo

Vandalism. Graffiti. Break-ins. Dumping. Some people give Buffalo's Central Terminal the wrong kind of attention. "It just breaks your heart," said Michelle Morloch of Cheektowaga, who volunteers to give the retired train station some tender loving care. Morloch, whose grandfather was an engineer on the New York Central Railroad, said she was doing some gardening on …

Business

He lives in a $400,000 house far from his company's smokestacks, which for years rained benzene over working-class neighborhoods. His CEO grandfather brought him into the coke-making business at a young age and prepped him to take over some day. The grandfather gave the young Paul A. Saffrin a great opportunity soon after he graduated from college: travel abroad to find…

Buffalo

Their sons have been indicted in a mortgage fraud case that extends from Western New York into other states. Now their fathers – two brothers from Rochester who have been central to the Morgan Management empire – are deepening their court fight over money. The company, now known as Grand Atlas Property Management, owns or manages more than 30,000 residential units and a…

Business

The Tops Market on Young Street in the City of Tonawanda will not be haunted by its neighbor, Frightworld. "Buffalo's #1 Haunted Attraction," as Frightworld bills itself, tends to draw patrons who then spill into the Tops Market around the witching hour. Because of "attendees of that event," Tops spokeswoman Kathleen A. Sautter says, the market isn't open 24 hours on we…

Education

Two bus rides and then a shuttle – it can take hours for a person with a disability to make it from Buffalo to the regional site of the state's Developmental Disabilities Services Office. It's on the campus of a mostly idle state developmental center. VOICE-Buffalo, an organization that consolidates the power of church congregations, labor unions and other nonprofits, i…

Local News

A driver from Williamsville was killed when his auto drifted across the center line late Saturday and crashed into an oncoming ambulance, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office said. Syed L. Rahman, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner, Don Coleman. Rahman's black BMW, heading north on Route 63 in the Town of Bethany, collided with the Bethany Fire…

Local News

Rep. Chris Collins and the two co-defendants in his insider trading case are asking to be excused from a routine status conference in Manhattan next week. It's a request, allowed by federal law, which has been granted to myriad defendants in criminal cases. In a letter to Judge Vernon S. Broderick, lawyers for Collins, his son, Cameron, and Cameron's future father-in-la…

Business

A small circle of people close to Rep. Chris Collins dumped their shares in Innate Immunotherapeutics just before the stock price crashed in June 2017. One who didn't get out was Collins' top aide Michael J. Hook. Hook lost money on shares he sold days after the crash. But one year later, Collins did a favor for his chief of staff. On June 25, Collins loaned Hook som…

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…