Categories for Investigations

Oct 20

2021

Violent crime in Buffalo is declining, but still high

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Statistically speaking, Buffalo is safer today than it was when Mayor Byron Brown took office in 2006. But it doesn’t feel that way to Gayla Ross.  Ross lost her only son, Amir Jemes, in 2018. Jemes, 19, an aspiring musician, was shot and killed while being robbed on Littlefield Avenue on the city’s East Side. “Everyday somebody’s shooting, or somebody is getting shot, or somebody is dying, or somebody is getting robbed or mugged,” Ross told Investigative Post. “It’s not getting safer.” Citywide, however, violent crime is down substantially, as it is across the nation. An Investigative Post analysis shows[...]

Posted 11 months ago

Aug 11

2021

Buffalo’s absent schools superintendent

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Updated: 4:52 p.m. Where does the superintendent of Buffalo schools live? Kriner Cash’s employment contract requires him to live in the city. But he’s told the state of Massachusetts that his primary domicile is his million-dollar home on Martha’s Vineyard. That’s where he votes, holds his driver’s license and registers his cars.  Investigative Post looked into his residence in the face of persistent rumors Cash spends a good deal of time away from Buffalo in Martha’s Vineyard, including long stretches during the pandemic. Cash, through the district’s spokesperson, refused interview requests from Investigative Post. His only comment, when asked about his[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Aug 2

2021

Popular waterways contaminated by bacteria 

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E. coli is a nasty waterborne bacteria that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Authorities close beaches when levels exceed safety limits. But they’re doing next to nothing about unsafe readings in other local waterways. There’s a particular problem with the Black Rock Canal, popular with fishermen, the occasional swimmer and, most notably, the West Side Rowing Club and high school and college crew teams. E. coli readings consistently exceed safe limits — by up to 14 times — established by the federal government. “There are people coming in contact with water with E. coli from human feces every single day,”[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Jun 27

2021

Brown effort to gin up support

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Updated: 5:15 p.m. Mayor Byron Brown told reporters Friday he has received “an outpouring of support” encouraging him to wage a write-in campaign in November’s general election rather than concede his loss to India Walton in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary. According to text messages acquired this weekend by Investigative Post, the mayor plans to repeat that claim on Monday. But the support, rather than being spontaneous, is being orchestrated by his supporters, including associates of Carl Paladino. According to those texts, at least some of that “outpouring of support” is being solicited and coordinated by top Brown lieutenants in City[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Jun 1

2021

Jemal: A salty but savvy operator

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Douglas Jemal is not your prototypical, button-down developer.  He prefers jeans, cowboy boots and baseball caps and isn’t shy about using salty language. Years ago, he taught a pet parrot — a bird he named “Eagle” — to say the mother of all bad words, the one that starts with an F and rhymes with luck. And there was the time — the night before he was to meet with bankers to discuss financing his family’s bid to purchase the Baltimore Orioles baseball team — when he got into a fistfight with a fan sitting in the stands behind him[...]

Posted 1 year ago

May 27

2021

The politics of Doug Jemal

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Douglas Jemal may be an unconventional developer in some ways, but he also engages in a practice common to many in the real estate business: giving money, sometimes lots of it, to politicians in position to support his projects. Jemal is unusual in another way: He’s the recipient of a presidential pardon. His political contributions in Buffalo began when he started purchasing local property. Records show Jemal or his company, Douglas Development, have made $39,160 in donations to local Republicans and Democrats alike. Jemal’s WNY campaign contributions Candidate Contributions State Senator Tim Kennedy $11,000 Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul $10,000 Erie[...]

Posted 1 year ago

May 27

2021

Jemal: Big portfolio, unconventional methods

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People in the commercial real estate business look at all the properties Doug Jemal is buying around Buffalo and ask: How is he going to pay for all the work he’s taking on? Jemal isn’t saying. He wouldn’t talk to Investigative Post for this story. But in an interview with WGRZ, he gave what some might consider an unnerving answer to the question. “We’re all going to run out of money. I’m going to die broke. There’s nothing that I’m taking with me,” he said. “Look, needless to say, you know my M.O. I’m a riverboat gambler. I’m a shooter.[...]

Posted 1 year ago

May 20

2021

Buffalo’s abysmal school attendance

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Students missing two classes a month is a sign of trouble.  A lot of students in Buffalo schools are in a world of trouble. They’re simply not showing up for online classes. Only one-third of students had satisfactory attendance from the start of the school year until the first week of March, shortly after the district began phasing in classroom instruction.  Another third of students missed online classes often enough that their frequent absence put their academic achievement at risk — or worse. The last third were severely absent, meaning they typically missed school at least one day a week,[...]

Posted 1 year ago