Tom Dinki

Reporter

Tom Dinki joined WBFO in August 2019 to cover issues affecting older adults.

Tom is a Buffalo native and 2016 University at Buffalo graduate, holding a B.A. in English and journalism certificate. While at UB, he served as editor in chief of the university's independent student newspaper, The Spectrum.

After graduating from UB, Tom spent three years as a reporter for the Olean Times Herald, where he covered mostly crime and education throughout Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.

His three-part education series, "The state of New York rural schools: Left behind," won a 2018 New York Associated Press first-place Enterprise Reporting Award, second-place Investigative and Watchdog Reporting Award, and first-place Data Visualization Award.

When he’s not eating, sleeping and breathing the news, Tom likes to ride his bike and watch — and more importantly, discuss and debate — movies and television.

You can follow him on Twitter, @tomdinki.

Ways to Connect

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

The Erie County Holding Center inmate who deputies say hanged himself Friday has died at a local hospital. Erie County Legislature Chair April Baskin confirmed the inmate was Robert Ingalsbe.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Brandon Carrizales, 33, volunteered at Thursday’s Project Homeless Connect Buffalo, wearing a uniform blue t-shirt and directing homeless people to service providers set up around the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

 

Two years ago, he was one of those homeless people attending the event and looking for services.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Nursing homes are speaking out against New York state’s Medicaid re-calculation they say will cost them millions of dollars in funding.

 

Nursing home officials and advocates, as well as their state lawmakers, gathered at Garden Gate nursing home in Cheektowaga Wednesday to urge the New York State Department of Health to reconsider the recent change to the Medicaid reimbursement model.

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Carri Milch of Williamsville considers herself part of the Woodstock Generation. She listened to plenty of music while attending concerts and dances as a young person in the 1960s and ’70s.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Some were in their 90s. The oldest was 104. Many needed the assistance of a walker or a wheelchair. 

 

That didn’t stop residents of Blocher Homes from making sure their voices were heard in a protest Monday over the proposed sale and closing of their Williamsville assisted living facility.


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Vernadine Hinton has lived at Piotr Stadnitski Gardens, a 100-unit affordable senior housing complex on Buffalo’s East Side, for 15 years. She said she’s seen the apartment building when “it really wasn’t too much.”

Now she has new windows to keep the heat in and a bigger stove for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

 

UB Living Stipend Movement

The University at Buffalo is lifting its stoppage on Ph.D. student recruitment, saying it will provide additional funding so programs can afford to take on new students.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

A college campus is the new place for Erie County senior citizens looking to get care and socialization while avoiding going into a nursing home, as Catholic Health officially unveiled its new day facility at Villa Maria College in Cheektowaga Wednesday.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Nate McMurray is doubling down on his campaign following the resignation of Rep. Chris Collins, expressing confidence he can win Collins’ heavily Republican 27th Congressional District as a Democrat.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Repairs are finally coming to the deteriorated, pothole-ridden stretch of the New York state thruway that runs through the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Cattaraugus Territory.

 

The New York State Thruway Authority and the Seneca Nation, long at odds over how to repair the three-mile portion of Interstate 90, announced Wednesday they’d reached an agreement and work will begin immediately.

 

 


UB Living Stipend Movement

University at Buffalo doctoral students seemingly got a victory last month when the university announced it would increase their minimum stipend to $20,000 a year.

 

But now, Ph.D. students are learning that the raise is coming at a cost.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

When it comes to taking care of an aging loved one, health experts warn it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. That’s why Erie County is once again offering Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Libertarians finally gained automatic ballot access in New York state last year, but you won’t see any Libertarians on the ballot for Erie County races this November.

WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo Bills and their fans will get their first real look at the new Tailgate Village during the team’s home opener Sunday, and whether it has any impact on bad behavior.


 

Absolut Care

Less than a week after announcing the facility’s closing, Absolut Care is moving residents out of its Orchard Park nursing home.

A few thousand people walked around Canalside for suicide awareness earlier this month as part of the annual Out of the Darkness Walk. Two weeks ago, Niagara Falls was illuminated in yellow, the color for suicide prevention.

 

Amongst all the outreach happening in Buffalo and throughout the country this month for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, suicide prevention experts say it’s important not to forget about one group in particular: the elderly. 

 

Jacquie Prenatt

Buffalo’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns this weekend, as thousands are expected to walk around the Outer Harbor in the name of fighting the cognitive disease.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Nearly two decades removed from 9/11, it’s possible some motorists on the Scajaquada Expressway Wednesday morning didn’t even realize it was the 18th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever carried out on U.S. soil.

 

A group of community members, police officers, firefighters and military members made sure that wasn’t the case.

 

Absolut Care

Absolut Care will close its Orchard Park nursing home amid filing for bankruptcy. 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

As students throughout Western New York head back to class this week, the cost of school supplies is likely on the minds of many parents. 

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

The Buffalo Fire Department is getting some help from FEMA. 

 

City officials announced Wednesday they’ve received a $322,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to obtain new equipment and training for firefighters. The funding is part of more than $33.6 million awarded to 166 fire departments nationwide by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

 

Empire State Development

Demolish the Skyway Bridge to make way for housing along the waterfront.

 

Enclose the Skyway in glass for a year-round “Skybeach.”

 

Or keep the Skyway, make improvements and reroute traffic.

 

Those are just some of the ideas submitted for New York state’s “Aim for the Sky” competition, which challenged urban planners and architects to reimagine the Buffalo Skyway Corridor as a more recreational waterfront.

 

 

Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

International wings, beverages, blue cheese and yes, even ranch, will be on hand this weekend for the National Buffalo Wing Festival. 

Organizers held a sneak preview event Thursday at the Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, as London-based wing maker The Orange Buffalo provided free samples to community members. 

 

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

The columns of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site are an iconic part of the Delaware Avenue building where Roosevelt took his oath of office. They were draped in black fabric to signify mourning after the assassination of President William McKinley.

 

On Thursday, the columns were removed — at least temporarily.

 

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO

Fort Niagara has been a lot of things throughout its 300-plus-year history.

 

It was a crucial military post for France, Great Britain and eventually the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a training ground for Polish soldiers during World War I, as well as an induction site for the U.S. Army and even a camp for German prisoners of war during World War II.

 

On Wednesday morning, it was also the beginning for 20 of the United States’ newest citizens, as Old Fort Niagara hosted its first naturalization ceremony in nearly three decades.

 

 

Erie County Sheriff's Office

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and standing before a judge in Erie County Court Monday, Brianna Valenti admitted to causing the death of her boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter. When Judge Sheila DiTullio asked Valenti if she caused the death of Raelynn Rose Fuller last September by shaking her, Valenti quietly responded, “Yes.”

 


Cornell Cooperative Extension

Firm, greasy-looking smears. Dark spots with fuzzy white spores. 

 

Farmers should be on the lookout for these warning signs after late blight — the plant disease best known for causing the Irish Potato Famine — was detected on crops in Cattaraugus, Allegany and Genesee counties over the last week. 

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Jadalynn Diaz is one of 1,000 freshmen now living in dorms on Buffalo State College’s campus. The criminal justice major and her family made the drive to Buffalo Thursday from their home in the Bronx. For Diaz’s mom, Grace, it’s both exciting and a bit heartbreaking.


Nick Lippa/WBFO News

The University at Buffalo has lifted its Greek life suspension while also imposing new anti-hazing and oversight regulations on fraternities and sororities.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

The city of Niagara Falls will receive $10 million to help transform its Bridge District. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was there Wednesday to announce the funding, which is part of the fourth round of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.