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Looking back at 2021 in Western New York: 7 I-Team investigations to read before the new year

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 17:58:18-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The I-Team is committed to holding the elected leaders and people in power to the high standards Western New Yorkers deserve. We're looking back at seven investigations from 2021.

The Price of Water

How much are Western New Yorkers paying for water, and are they getting their money's worth? The I-Team sought to answer those questions in spring. We investigated infrastructure problems plaguing Western New York water lines and ways residents can reduce their bill.

Read the investigations:

Eroding Trust: The State of Our Bridges

For months, the I-Team poured over data from the New York State Department of Transportation. Our analysis showed 87 of the 892 bridges in Erie County — just about 10% — are considered to be in poor status and structurally deficient. We made all of the data we've obtained available to viewers in a searchable database so that you know the state of the bridges over which you drive every day.

Read the investigations:

SUNY Alfred harassment allegations

Top administrators at SUNY Alfred State College are being called to question by the New York State Department of Human Rights. These are people with six-figure, taxpayer-funded salaries, each making more than $135,000 last year. The case against them is rooted in what's being alleged as systemic discrimination. As the I-Team has discovered, this case isn't stand-alone and there is much more to come.

Read the investigations:

Circle C Ranch president accused of sexual misconduct

At least 21 women have come forward to lawyers hired by The Chapel at Crosspoint to probe allegations of inappropriate touching and contact with girls by Wayne Aarum, a former employee of The Chapel who worked there in the 1990s. Many of the allegations, which have been reported by Chapel leadership to the State Office of Children and Family Services, deal with alleged conduct occurring at the Circle C Ranch youth camp in Delevan, where Aarum serves as president.

Read the investigations:

Bridging the Divide

East of Main Street is where 85 percent of Black Buffalonians live. There -- in a U.S. Census tract roughly the same geographic size as three tracts on the west of Main -- the median household income is just $24,000 per year. If it seems that people looked at a map and drew lines down Main Street dividing the “haves” from the “have nots,” it’s because they did.

Read the investigation:

The impact of gun violence on young people

Pastor James Giles said children and teens have become collateral damage in the wake of increased gun violence in the City of Buffalo. The number of children shot in Buffalo has increased every year since 2018.

Read the investigation:

The repeal of "50-a" reveals a contrast in police officer discipline

How is it that an officer of the Buffalo Police Department could be suspended two days for excessive use of force against a suspect, and suspended 45 working days for improperly tagging people's parking tickets? It's what the man who was on the receiving end of that excessive force wants to know, and it's information we're only aware of because of the repeal of Section 50-a of New York's Civil Right's Law in 2020.

Read the investigation: