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Buffalo School District Among Worst In U.S. In Graduating Black Males

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) -- A new report that examines black males in public education ranks Buffalo the 5th worst large school district in the country when it comes to graduation rates among African American men.

"Yes We Can: The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education" analyzes data from 2007-2008 and shows only 25 percent of black males in the Buffalo City School District graduated on time.

"That means that three quarters of the black male students in Buffalo do not graduate with the kids they entered ninth grade with," Michael Holzman, research consultant with the Schott Foundation, said. "That's very bad. That's very bad for them. It's very bad for the country."

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Fear of "Snitching" Keeping Shooting Witnesses Quiet

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Some community leaders admit there's a code of sorts on the streets to not "snitch" about any crime you might have witnessed.

A police tip-line billboard on Buffalo's west side is a perfect example of that. Someone spray painted on it "stop snitchin'".

Darnell Jackson is a former gang leader who now heads up a group where kids clean-up the east side. He says everyone he has talked to about this case claims they wouldn't say a word if they saw something or had information that would help authorities.

Why? First he says people are scared of retaliation. Second, he says when it comes to the greater black community they have a trust issue with police on things like this.

"They say the police is the same way,"said Jackson. "They don't snitch on each other, they wear a blue suit. They're a gang and they protect each other."

Metro Fare Information Meetings Scheduled

BUFFALO, NY-The NFTA has scheduled six hearings over the next two weeks to help the community understand Metro's new fare structure that takes effect on September 1st.

Metro is eliminating zones and zone charges, as well as moving from 12 different passes to two-the Metro Monthly pass and the Metro Day pass.

The first hearing takes place on Tuesday, August 17th from 10 AM- 1 PM at the Old First Ward Community Center on Republic St.

The schedule for the remainder of the hearings is as follows:

-Friday, August 20th, 2-4 PM at the University Rail Station at the South Campus on Main Street in Buffalo

-Monday, August 23rd, 9-11 AM at the Metropolitan Transportation Center located at 181 Ellicott Street in Buffalo

-Monday, August 23rd, 1-3 PM at the Niagara Falls Transportation Center located at 2250 Fashion Outlets Blvd. in Niagara Falls

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown Trying To Recoup $2M In Health Benefits Paid For Dead Workers

BUFFALO, NY - When they tell you that retiring from a city job comes with permanent health benefits, in some cases they're not kidding.

A new audit conducted by Buffalo City Comptroller Andrew SanFilippo reveals that the city is mistakenly paying health benefits for more than 150 deceased former city employees.

The error has cost taxpayers about $2 million, most of it coming in the last two years, SanFilippo said.

"We can sit there and allow two million dollars to just walk out the door for no reason, and we have the ability to prevent it," SanFilippo said. "That's a big deal."

The city is now trying to get the money back.

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Little League Football Shed Vandalized; Equipment A Total Loss

BUFFALO, NY-- An act of vandalism has some little league football players and their families looking for answers.

The West Side Little League football shed was burned and everything inside was ruined, including all of the children's football equipment.   The items the parents use for concessions to raise the money they need to pay the referee's for each game were also destroyed.   Coffee pots, fryers and coolers are just a few of the items that are a total loss.

One parent who spoke with 2 On Your Side with Friday night says, "We're very disturbed by it, we can't see how someone could vandalize it, especially when it has to do with our kids, this keeps them off the streets and motivated, they look forward to coming,"  says Linda Mejias.

If you can make a difference with a donation, you can call 864-3013 or email our Tipline through the Talk 2 Us section.  

Near Drowning Averted at Buffalo Centennial Pool

BUFFALO, NY - Witnesses say a near drowning at a city pool was averted by an alert teenage swimmer and the life saving skills of an army of city lifeguards.

The Buffalo Fire Department says it was summoned at 3:19 PM Thursday to Centennial Pool at LaSalle Park for a non-responsive child.

Julian Colon, 14, of Connecticut Street, tells 2 On Your Side he was swimming with several of his fellow City Summer Youth Program workers from a nearby community center to celebrate their last day on the job.

"I looked down, and I saw a little kid under the water," Colon reported. "I ended up picking him up and he was not moving at all ... so my first reaction was to run straight to land and start yelling for the life guards."

Colon also recalled the lightning fast response of the lifeguards.

Ways 2 Save: Erie County Fair

HAMBURG, N.Y. - The Erie County Fair opens Wednesday afternoon and it is Channel 2 Day. That means, $2 for parking, $2 for tickets and $2 for midway rides.

In some cases you can save up to three bucks beforehand, by buying pre-sale tickets at Tops.

Getting to the fair can actually be pretty inexpensive. On certain days there's a free shuttle.

"On Saturdays and Sundays you can park at Erie Community College South on Southwestern Boulevard and they'll drive you, drop you off right at gate one," said Holly Smyczynski, Marketing Coordinator at the Erie County Fair.

And with that we started our journey to savings.

We first found some ride deals.

"Every weekday, Wednesday through Friday and next Monday through Friday we have one price ride days," said Smyczynski.

A ride pass for those days is only $20 with a Tops register receipt, a $5 savings.