Associated Press honors iPost reporting

Investigative Post’s reporting for television and radio has been cited for excellence by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

A story on Eighteen Mile Creek, reported by Dan Telvock and co-produced with WGRZ TV News, won second place in the investigative category for large upstate markets.

Eighteen Mile Creek in Niagara County is so polluted that the state Department of Health doesn’t want people to eat the fish caught there. It’s one of only six waterbodies in the state with such a warning.

This hasn’t stopped another arm of the state, the Department of Environmental Conservation, from stocking the contaminated creek each year with an average of 160,000 of what are considered among the most desirable of fish: salmon and trout.

A series of stories on problems within the Buffalo Police Department that aired on WBFO won second place for investigative reporting in the radio category. The stories, reported by Daniela Porat, included a piece that documented abuses by the department’s Strike Force unit. 

Mayor Byron Brown established the Strike Force and Housing units to address the scourge of gangs, drugs and guns in Buffalo. While few argue with the mission of these police units, the way they go about their job is raising alarm, with some defense attorneys characterizing Strike Force and Housing Unit officers as “vigilantes” with a “cowboy mentality.”

“I think they have a complete disregard for the Constitution of the United States, and most importantly, the Fourth Amendment,” said Michael Stachowski, a Buffalo defense attorney. “They just seem to roust kids in the street, chase people, and hope they find contraband.”

“These awards underscore the power of the partnerships we have built with WGRZ and WBFO,” said Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney. “They also demonstrate the quality of reporting we are producing.”

Investigative Post is a nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Buffalo. The AP awards bring to 16 the number of times its reporting has been for excellence in journalism and other award competitions since it launched in 2012.