The top iPost story of 2021

A report on high levels of E. coli bacteria in local waterways has been voted Investigative Post's best story of 2021.

Our best story of 2021, according to an online poll of readers, documented the contamination of local waterways by a nasty strain of bacteria.

The waterways, polluted with E. coli, include the Black Rock Canal, the Buffalo River and Cazenovia Creek. Sewage overflows are the source of the problem, according to a report by Phil Gambini, who covers environmental and public health issues for Investigative Post.

Other top vote getters included:

Here’s the final tally.

Choose Your Favorite Story of 2021

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Several of the top vote getters were also among the stories most viewed on our website last year. Here are the Top 5, in rank order:

  • Buffalo schools superintendent is often MIA. Read
  • Erie County residents charged in Jan. 6 riot. Read
  • Buffalo’s persistent poverty. Read
  • Rallying to save their patronage jobs. Read
  • Doug Jamal profile. Read.

Also worth noting is the traffic on Campaign Notes; its 60-odd posts generated more page views than anything we produced in 2021.

A story by Gambini on the cost to city taxpayers of police misconduct — $11.9 million in legal settlements since 2015 — was selected by readers as Investigative Post’s best story of 2020.

Previous winners in recent years include Marsha McLeod for her 2019 story on discriminatory ticketing practices in Buffalo, and Daniela Porat’s 2018 investigation into the drowning death of Buffalo police diver Craig Lehner.