Investigative Post

WGRZ

Earlier this year, former Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda resigned suddenly from his post as top cop in the Buffalo Police Department. New commissioner Byron Lockwood has since taken his place. Our partners at Investigative Post looked into the process, or lack thereof, that got him there.


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Investigations are underway into the death of Buffalo Police officer Craig Lehner, who lost his life during a training exercise with the Underwater Recovery Team. Using Freedom of Information requests to gain access to department records, Daniela Porat of Investigative Post has raised concerns about the officer's death in the Niagara River. Porat discussed the story during her appearance on WBFO's Press Pass.


Joed Viera

Bringing IBM to Buffalo was one of the big projects funded by the Buffalo Billion, Governor Cuomo's signature initiative to revitalize Western New York's economy. It was meant to be an innovation hub. But so far, the project appears to be headed in quite a different direction.


Avery Schneider/WBFO News

Officer Craig Lehner’s death in October during a training dive for the police Underwater Recovery Team in the Niagara River brought about an outpouring grief. Investigative Post’s reporting suggests inadequate training and equipment contributed to Lehner’s drowning.


WBFO file image

A special unit formed by the Buffalo Police Department is disbanding. The Strike Force was formed to tackle drugs, guns and gangs in the city's high-crime neighborhoods but came under fire for its tactics and was criticized by some who claim it unfairly targeted minorities.

 

State officials and residents don't agree on how to proceed with a town of Wheatfield landfill. The state Department of Environmental Conservation recently tested nearby soil and determined that toxic waste from the landfill was not leaking into adjacent residential properties. On WBFO's Press Pass, Dan Telvock of Investigative Post outlines how homeowners are grouping together to file a lawsuit to challenge the state's findings.


With assets in excess of $1.1 billion, the UB Foundation has enjoyed great success raising funds in support of the activities at the University at Buffalo. However, a foundation investment in a fund that profits from natural gas and oil industries is raising controversy in some university sectors. As Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post discusses on WBFO's Press Pass, some see the investment as a contradiction to the university's values on sustainability.


As it distributes millions of state dollars to its winners, the 43North business competition has drawn attention to Buffalo from startup companies from around the world. While that notoriety possesses debatable value, the competition has not been as successful at finding companies willing to stay in Buffalo on a long-term basis. In her review of contest winners, Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post finds that out-of-town winners often leave after staying here for the mandatory one-year term.


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She's a Buffalo native and Pulitzer Prize winner. Sarah Cohen, whose work includes leading a team of investigative reporters at the New York Times, will appear in Buffalo Thursday night to discuss the importance of data journalism.


43North

Cory Rosenfield knew the deal: in exchange for up to a $1 million state investment in his fledgling company, he would have to move the business to Buffalo for at least a year – and hopefully much longer.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

They don't meet often. So when the Buffalo Common Council's Police Oversight Committee held its latest meeting Tuesday in City Hall, they got an earful about several concerns. They include two deaths involving Buffalo Police officers, the city's Strike Force and whether checkpoints are being carried out fairly throughout the city.


In her recent story on the Buffalo Police Department, Daniela Porat of Investigative Post brought to light how two units have been focusing on high-crime areas. Some of the units' tactics, including police checkpoints, are drawing concern. One critic views the tactics as "bullying the community."


WGRZ

The Buffalo Police Department’s Strike Force and Housing units are the vanguard of Mayor Byron Brown’s campaign against the scourge of guns, drugs and gangs in Buffalo. But the tactics used by officers in the two units have come under fire by members of both the public and the legal community.


Investigative Post

Dozens of property owners sitting on radioactive waste in Niagara Falls and Lewiston have been left in limbo.

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Expanding Metro Rail into Amherst could bring drastic change to the region, providing an easy connection from a bustling suburb to the rejuvenated city of Buffalo. During her appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post outlines the plan's benefits while noting the many obstacles that it faces.


Thousands of older homes in the city of Buffalo are considered to be at-risk for lead paint hazards. It's a problem that health officials consider to be a crisis. But according to Dan Telvock of Investigative Post, city efforts to combat the problem are not making much progress. He outlines the issue on WBFO's Press Pass.


Dan Telvock

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s plan to combat lead poisoning is off to a slow start. As Investigative Post environmental reporter Dan Telvock found, the pace of execution for the mayor’s plan is slower than many residents expect.


At a cost of over $600 million, the SolarCity project in Buffalo's Riverbend section represents one of the costliest efforts ever for New York taxpayers. The costs, however, didn't stop with construction. After sifting through thousands of pages of documents, Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post has placed a spotlight on how the public has been footing the bill for a wide array of expenses.


Joed Viera

New York State spent more than $600 million building a factory for SolarCity at the RiverBend site in South Buffalo. You might be surprised at what some of that money went for.


Joed Viera/Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Eighteen Mile Creek in Niagara County is badly polluted, so much so that the state health department doesn’t want people to eat the fish. But the toxic hotspot hasn’t stopped the state Department of Environmental Conservation and local governments from promoting the creek as a fishing destination.


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The relationship between Buffalo’s minority communities and the police is strained and a recent decision to buy rifles for officers has amplified that divide.


Daniela Porat

Last fall, Investigative Post exposed the subpar training Buffalo police receive in the use of force and firearms, the exact kind of training needed to prevent a Ferguson-type tragedy. Those concerns have grown in the wake of the deaths of two men of color, Wardel Davis in February and Jose Hernandez-Rossy last week, after encounters with police.


Though it may be a worst-case scenario, residents living near a Wheatfield landfill may be unwitting victims of Love Canal. On WBFO's Press Pass, Dan Telvock of Investigative Post discusses the history of the landfill, which at one time contained hazardous material from Love Canal. Now, there are concerns that some of the waste may have migrated onto nearby residential properties.


Residents of the Delavan-Grider neighborhood are fed up with the stalled cleanup of the former General Motors plant on East Delavan Avenue. Underground the plant are toxic chemicals that may be impacting the neighborhood and the already badly-polluted Scajaquada Creek. Neighbors want the state to end its tug of war with the property’s owner and fix the problem.


While Governor Andrew Cuomo has hailed his administration's multi-billion dollar economic development investment in Upstate New York, the number of jobs produced by the effort sits well below national averages. That's part of the findings from a series of reports led by Investigative Post. Editor Jim Heaney discussed the series with WBFO.


As is the case in most police departments, Buffalo's Internal Affairs unit reviews complaints against its officers. Beyond that, however, the type of independent oversight found in many communities is lacking in Buffalo. As Daniela Porat of Investigative Post outlines on WBFO's Press Pass, a citizens review commission has been rendered ineffective and city lawmakers appear to have little political appetite for the issue.


Dan Telvock

Greenleaf Development has a less-than-stellar reputation as a landlord. But that didn’t stop SUNY Buffalo State from entering into an exclusive agreement that helped the company build off-campus housing to accommodate students. The deal prohibits seniors from living in the college's dorms in an effort to fill Greenleaf’s development. One good government advocate says the deal raises red flags.


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Monitoring police conduct has become a pressing issue in recent years across the nation. Many cities have responded by increasing civilian oversight. But as Daniela Porat with our partner Investigative Post has found, there is little effort to hold police accountable in Buffalo.


Investigative Post

The presence of radioactive waste in Niagara County may be more widespread than originally thought. That's the concern uncovered by Dan Telvock of Investigative Post. On WBFO's Press Pass, Telvock shares findings that highlight the troubling reality that property owners may be unaware of the presence of the radioactive waste.


John Raymond was about to sell his home in Lewiston until Environmental Protection Agency officials showed up last spring armed with radiation detectors.


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