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Susan Schulman

Susan Schulman is an investigative reporter at The Buffalo News, currently on the paper's Watchdog Team. Schulman joined the Buffalo News in 1985.


Local News

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Thursday took a preliminary step toward an estimated $1.5 million upgrade of the Langfield Homes, considered the most rundown public housing development in the city. The authority's board of commissioners awarded a $224,070 engineering and architectural contract to Trautman and Associates of Buffalo to help design a broad range of…

Local News

A North Tonawanda woman was charged with drunk driving after her 2018 Dodge SUV veered off the Twin City Highway early Saturday morning and crashed into a metal light pole that landed 60 feet away — knocking down three mile markers and two street signs in the process, City of Tonawanda police said. Natasha M. Colbert, 35, of Second Avenue, told officers she hit the pole…

Local News

It's 9 a.m., and the captain is laying out the day's plan to crew members aboard the S/V Denis Sullivan, a Great Lakes schooner docked at Canalside. "We have a tour starting at 10, then the gates open at 11," she tells her crew. Yes, that's she – as in, the commander of the 97-ton tall ship is a woman. Capt. Tiffany Krihwan, 46, has commanded the three-masted, 137…

Watchdog

Public housing complexes throughout New York are regularly inspected by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Below are the inspection scores given to complexes throughout the state in their most recent inspection, which occurred between 2015 and March 2019. A score of 60 or above is considered passing. Statewide, 15% of the 354 inspections resulte…

Buffalo

Buffalo public housing developments flunked half of their most recent on-site federal inspections and scored the equivalent of a "D" on another 20% because of bedbugs, leaky plumbing, exposed wires and other problems. Almost three-quarters of the 18 inspections at Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority properties – including 27 developments — generated lower scores than pr…

Buffalo

At 66 years old, Cheryl DeBose just wants to go home. But a mysterious odor in her Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority apartment is making her sick, according to DeBose and her doctor. Ever since the BMHA updated DeBose’s town house earlier this year as part of a $15 million renovation of its Frederick Douglass development off Clinton Street, DeBose says, her home ha…

Buffalo

Attorney Shatorah Donovan, the City of Buffalo's chief diversity officer, was named Tuesday to serve on the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Donovan will fill the unexpired term of Rishawn Sonubi. Sonubi, an architect, recently left the board after resigning from a City Hall job to take a position in the private sector. Sonubi's term expires i…

Buffalo

With corporations and out-of-town investors increasingly attending city tax foreclosure auctions, the Common Council is considering giving people interested in homeownership first crack at Buffalo's foreclosed properties. The measure, introduced at Tuesday's Council meeting by Lovejoy Councilman Richard A. Fontana, will be discussed at a Council committee meeting next m…

Erie County

The last time Democrat Mark C. Poloncarz ran for Erie County executive, he spent some $775,000. His 2015 opponent, Republican Assemblyman Raymond W. Walter, spent less than half of that, but enough to bring the total for both candidates over $1 million. Four years earlier, when Poloncarz unseated Republican incumbent Chris Collins, the two spent a combined $2.1 million …

Local News

Canadian-born violinist Nikki Chooi has been named the Buffalo Philharmonic's newest concertmaster. "Nikki Chooi is an absolutely spectacular violinist and a consummate leader," said BPO music director JoAnn Falletta. "The musicians and I are thrilled that he will be bringing his world-class talents to the Philharmonic." Chooi has appeared as soloist with orchestras …

Buffalo

The A.D. Price Courts, a vacant and deteriorating Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority complex in the Willert Park neighborhood, has been named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2019 list of 11 most endangered historic places in the United States. Placement on the nonprofit organization's annual list does not prevent the BMHA from knocking down much of th…

Watchdog

With no heat or electricity, the house at 38 Hirschbeck St. was abandoned for years, according to neighbors. But it wasn't always vacant during that time. Prostitutes would come and go. So would drug users. And for a few months in 2017, Dana L. Gidney –  a homeless former Marine nicknamed "Push Up" – slept there, they said. "Everyone around here knew him," Hirschbeck…

Buffalo

The pitted and uneven roadways partially responsible for the Langfield Homes' being dubbed the most run-down public housing complex in Buffalo are about to get a major overhaul. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Tuesday approved a $600,000 contract with Scott Lawn Yard of Niagara Falls to repave and repair roads and parking areas in the complex off Langfield Avenu…

Buffalo

Sheila Banks recalls the shooting flames, orange and yellow, reflecting in her front window as the house next door – just a few feet away – was ablaze in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2015. It was, in fact, one of her biggest fears for years, as the vacant Seneca Street house got more run-down with each passing day. "I woke up in the middle of the night, went to…

Buffalo

Of the 160 Buffalo houses flipped by Kuwaiti broker AbdulAziz HouHou and his associates, 17 have been demolished so far — with city taxpayers often picking up the tab. Half of those houses were torn down after being damaged by fire. The city is considering demolishing four more houses because of their deteriorated condition. [Related: The house next door was flipp…