Erie County

Life-saving heroes to be honored

Mar 8, 2017
Erie County Sheriff's Badge & Shield Club

The Erie County Sheriff’s Badge and Shield Club has named Peter O’Brien as its Outstanding Citizen and Deputy Brian Pauly as its Deputy of the Year.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

As the sky darkened into evening, names rang out in front of Old Erie County Hall. They were the names of those who have died in the area's opioids epidemic, read during a memorial to help their families deal with death.

overdoselifeline.org

On a daily basis, neighborhoods across the country are hit with news of another fatal overdose caused by heroin or other opiates. However, often lost behind the news are the stories of families and other loved ones left behind.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

A year after India Cummings died at Erie County Medical Center, protestors were at the door of the Erie County Holding Center protesting her death and demanding changes. The lawyer for her family says the cause of death after 17 days in the Holding Center are now clear.

WBFO's Chris Caya

In a day of complicated maneuvering, Erie County legislators killed a plan to refinance the debt of Erie County Medical Center, then sent back to committee a separate plan to borrow $100 million for the hospital using the county's credit rating. It was a day of attacks - some personal - and so much parliamentary maneuvering regarding the entangled finances of Erie County and ECMC even legislators were sometimes lost.

As the death toll from opioid overdoses continues to rise, Erie County is hitting back with a lawsuit against pharmaceutical makers and doctors who prescribe the drugs. The suit alleges they helped fuel the opioids epidemic, by spreading the falsehood that the medications aren't addictive and potentially lethal.

City of Buffalo

There is a covered bridge between the Rath Building and Main Place Mall that makes walking back and forth between the two buildings easy, especially in bad weather. However, it is also a security dilemma.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is ramping up the fight against the growing opioid crisis by restoring a standalone narcotics bureau. Nineteen days into the new year, there have been 19 suspected overdose deaths in the county.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

On a cold, windy and snowy night, around two dozen people were inside the Erie County Emergency Operations Center talking about giving life, using naloxone to overcome the fatal overdose effects of opioids. As fatalities have continued to rise, the number of people wanting to learn how to use the drug spray also has increased. 

He will be remembered for his long history of public service in Erie County. Former Deputy County Executive and South Buffalo Common Councilmember James Keane has died at the age of 70.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

With Buffalo's Green Code and fair housing legislation for Erie County both in the midst of being finalized, the transition of leadership at one of Western New York's best known civil rights agencies is happening at a crucial time. Housing Opportunities Made Equal has been fighting housing discrimination for over half a decade. At the end of the year, current Associate Director DeAnna Eason will take over as Executive Director from 35-year HOME veteran Scott Gehl.


A speedy passage of Erie County's budget for next year temporarily stalled Tuesday over $100,000 to help Visit Buffalo Niagara's efforts to legalize use of ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, Upstate.

Erie County

Erie County wants to know: How good is your internet service? It is looking to find out where it is good and where it needs help or might be non-existent.

Erie County

Tuesday's budget session of the Erie County Legislature may go very swiftly, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appear united.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Evans Supervisor Mary Hosler, who took office in January, says she blames the town's former elected officials for Evans' fiscal mess.

ALICE Project

It is generally agreed that the federal poverty level is outdated, so a number of other standard-of-living measurements have come into use to help provide a more well-rounded picture of financial hardship across America. The United Way's ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Project says the latest picture of New York State is "startling."

courtesy Erie County Medicaid Inspector General

Nearly a third of Erie County residents are on Medicaid and the number is rising at an average 4 percent annually, according to the latest numbers from the County's Medicaid Inspector General. The report also shows numbers that contradict what the Inspector General says are some of the misconceptions about Medicaid and who is using it.


While opioid addiction remains a crisis in Erie County and all across America, a new report shows a positive trend in the ongoing fight. The Medicaid Inspector General indicates that an addictive opioid that often leads to heroin and fentanyl use is no longer the top painkiller prescribed by doctors in the county.


WBFO News file photo

When the snow hits this weekend, town highway crews will be out plowing Erie County roads under a new contract approved Thursday by the County Legislature.

A new survey finds that nearly three-quarters of adults in Buffalo believe opioids addiction is one of today's highest social priorities, but there are not enough community resources to tackle the problem. That is why a local health provider, that began in response to the AIDS crisis of a generation ago, has been expanding into opioids addiction and other chronic diseases that are underserved and stigmatized.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Election day is less than 24 hours away. As tens of millions of voters stream to the polls, millions more have already cast their ballots in one of the nastiest presidential races in American history. In Erie County, Democrats and Republicans are making their final pushes.


Erie County Legislators Thursday approved keeping the Sheriff Department's Air One helicopter at its current base in the Town of Evans.

Albany is continuing to put money into local emergency communications, with a new release of $45 million for emergency services across the state.

Erie County adds public space to Seneca Bluffs

Nov 1, 2016
WBFO News file photo

A park along the Buffalo River is growing. County officials maintain the addition to Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park will boost efforts to improve water quality along the Buffalo River.

Google Maps

As fall weather settles in, Erie County highway crews are starting their last major road project of the season. County Executive Mark Poloncarz says nearly two miles of Old Lake Shore Road in Hamburg will be repaved over the next week.

Western District of New York Human Trafficking Task Force

A new series of public service announcements is aiming to tackle a crime across Western New York that most residents may not know is even happening – human trafficking.


Erie County 911 call-takers have approved a pilot agreement to create a 12-hour work day schedule. A majority of the 33 CSEA call-takers voted Thursday to approve what they say will be an improvement to their work-life balance.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Three top Erie County leaders put away their political hatchets and, instead, put together a package of major changes in the county charter.

jeremyzellner.com

Jeremy Zellner will remain the Chair of the Erie County Democratic Committee.

He was unanimously re-elected on Saturday at the biennial reorganization meeting. He was first elected back in 2012.  Zellner says the unanimous vote is a symbol of the unity and strength among democrats in Erie County.

 Statement by Chairman Jeremy Zellner:

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Erie County mental health officials say suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults and 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 years. As uncomfortable the topic may make some people, they said talking about the issue is the first step necessary to prevent more lives lost. 

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