News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013

County Legislature fails to approved County Home sale for second-straight month; overwhelmingly approves motion calling for NY SAFE Act repeal...

For the second month in a row... Chautauqua County lawmakers have rejected the sale of the Chautauqua County Home.  Fifteen of the 24 legislators who attended Wednesday night's meeting supported the sale to Altitude Health Services of Evanston, Illinois, but that’s two votes short of the 17 needed for the sale to be approved.  Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore says the facility will eventually have to be sold.  He says the home will be sold at some point... it's just a matter of who we're going to sell it to, and when we're going to sell it."  But... Democrat Tom DeJoe of Brocton says it's not just about dollars and cents.  DeJoe says that's all he's heard -- nothing about the welfare of the residents, and quality of care.  In his State of the County message... County Executive Greg Edwards had pledged that he would develop a county budget next year that would have no increase in the property tax or sales tax rate if the legislature voted to sell the County Home.  That pledge apparently was enough sway any new votes in favor of the sale. 
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On a related issue... county legislators rejected a proposed local law that would allow the Legislature to sell real property with a simple majority vote.  The proposal was rejected 14 to 10.  And... county lawmakers approved a motion urging the State to repeal the NY SAFE Act overwhemingly 21-3.  Paula DeJoy, Robert Duff and Timothy Hoyer voted against the proposal.


Gov. Cuomo and legislature looking at amendments to NY SAFE Act...

New York will change its newly-toughened gun law so military-style rifles and high-capacity semi-automatic handguns can be used on the sets of TV shows and movies.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders said Wednesday they'll exempt the productions in New York from bans they rushed into law as the first in the nation after the Newtown school massacre.  They must also quickly fix another error that could soon put police officers carrying high-capacity magazines in violation of the law.  The need for a ``clean-up'' bill means the fight over the law may not be over after all.  An estimated $10,000 opponents of the new restrictions will descend on Albany Thursday as legislators consider additional amendments.


New CARTS Hub open and in use at Gateway Center Train Station...

The county's bus system has moved it's Jamestown hub back to West Second Street at the new Gateway Center Train Station.  The Chautauqua Area Rural Transit System had a partially enclosed, outdoor area near the old Erie-Lackawanna Train Station for several years... until it moved to Baker Park during the station's $11-million renovation project.  The CARTS hub is now back on West Second... in the foyer of the east entrance of the station.  Gateway Center General Manager Lee Harkness says the move is a good one for anyone using CARTS... because they have a nice waiting area that's heated, and indoors.  Harkness says the new, indoor CARTS Hub began operations on Monday... and, he says it's been well-received so far.  In fact... he says one of the bus system's drivers said "we're right back where we started."  He says the passenger waiting area is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.  County Executive Greg Edwards says he's pleased that CARTS services will now be available in front of the train station... and, adds that his team committed -- six years ago -- to being "part of the historic train station site."  For more information on the new location... call CARTS... or the station at 483-3041.


Gas prices up again slightly this week...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up slightly this week to just over $3.90 a gallon.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge reports the average price is up about half-a-cent from last week.  But... prices are ranging in some areas from $3.93 to just short of $4 for regular, unleaded.  The AAA says the recent surge in retail prices has only been "somewhat" driven by rising crude oil prices.  They say it's actually been the product of refinery maintenance... and, other issues.  This has resulted in less gasoline being produced and fewer supplies, which has squeezed prices higher.  The average, national retail price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is up 3.4-cents a gallon to $3.78.  That's 43.5 cents more than one month ago.  State-wide... the average price is now $4.01 a gallon.


Teresi appoints Councilwoman Maria Jones to Jamestown BPU...

For the second-time in it's history... the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will have a woman city council member on the panel.  Mayor Sam Teresi has named At-Large Councilwoman Maria Jones to the BPU to replace Vince DeJoy... who was approved this past week as the city's new director of Development.  DeJoy had served as one of two council members on the board since he was first elected.  Teresi says he had two reasons for naming Jones... who is also a pastor... to the Board of Public Utilities.  One is her background in manufacturing work at Cummins Engine, and the second is her involvement in the community.  The other is that she's a woman.  In addition to Jones... the only other woman to serve on the BPU was retired City Councilwoman Dr. Lillian Ney.  Teresi says having more female representation on the board is something "we need to correct."  However... he quickly adds her background in manufacturing... and, city issues were as important in her appointment.  The other City Council representative on the BPU is Council President Greg Rabb.  Also at this past Monday night's meeting... Rabb officially appointed ranking Republican Tony Dolce to chair the council's Finance Committee.  Dolce has accepted the appointment... and, with that... will replace Vince DeJoy as a member of the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.


Two hurt in two vehicle crash in town of Gerry...

Two people were hurt in a two-car crash at a town of Gerry intersection after one of the drivers allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign.  Sheriff's Officers say 37 year-old Brenda DeCastro-Barton of Gerry was northbound on Herrick Road just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday... when she allegedly ran the stop sign at the intersection with the Gerry-Ellington Road... and, struck the second car.  Deputies say 49 year-old Margaret Dillard of Union City, PA was westbound... and, had one passenger in her car.  Officers say Dillard and 22 year-old Donald Herrmann of Erie, PA were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of leg injuries.  They say Barton was not hurt... but, has been charged with failure to stop at a stop sign... and, for having an uninspected motor vehicle.

 

 

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News Update for 2/28/13

Legislature defeats proposal to sell county home for second time...

For the second month in a row... Chautauqua County lawmakers have rejected the sale of the Chautauqua County Home.  15 of the 24 legislators who attended last night's meeting supported the sale to Altitude Health Services of Evanston, Illinois, but that’s two votes short of the 17 needed for the sale to be approved.  In his State of the County message... County Executive Greg Edwards had pledged that he would develop a county budget next year that would have no increase in the property tax or sales tax rate if the legislature voted to sell the County Home.  That pledge apparently was not enough sway any new votes in favor of the sale. 

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On a related issue... county legislators rejected a proposed local law that would allow the Legislature to sell real property with a simple majority vote.  The proposal was rejected 14 to 10.  And county lawmakers approved a motion urging the State to repeal the New York SAFE Act overwhemingly 21-3.  Paula DeJoy, Robert Duff and Timothy Hoyer voted against the proposal.


Gov. Cuomo and legislature looking at amendments to NY SAFE Act...

New York will change its newly-toughened gun law so military-style rifles and high-capacity semi-automatic handguns can be used on the sets of TV shows and movies.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders said Wednesday they'll exempt the productions in New York from bans they rushed into law as the first in the nation after the Newtown school massacre.  They must also quickly fix another error that could soon put police officers carrying high-capacity magazines in violation of the law.  The need for a ``clean-up'' bill means the fight over the law may not be over after all.  An estimated $10,000 opponents of the new restrictions will descend on Albany Thursday as legislators consider additional amendments.  More on these stories later.


 

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News Headlines for Wed., Feb. 27, 2013

Wintry mix of snow and rain cause slushy driving conditions in Jamestown area...

Roads across the Jamestown-area are slush-covered and slippery as wet snow has fallen in Chautauqua County over the past couple of hours.  There remain no watches or warnings... but, a combination of rain and wet snow began falling overnight across the region... with more snow and sleet to the south and east.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo is calling for the snow to combine with rain from late this morning on... with accumulations of up to 2 inches.  Temperatures will be in about the mid-30s.  Main roads have some slush on them... but, the real problems are on secondary and tertiary roads where driving conditions are difficult.


Two weather-related accidents reported due to slippery road conditions...

Tuesday night's slushy conditions are being blamed for at least two accidents in Chautauqua County.  Sheriff's officers were called to Buttermilk Rd. in the town of Villanova just before 10 p.m.  Deputies say 21 year-old Courtney Ellis was southbound... and, lost control of her car on the slippery pavement.  Ellis’s vehicle veered of the road into a ditch and wound up on its roof.  She was able to free herself and seek help... but, she was later taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of apparent minor Injuries.  Meantime... the Post-Journal is also reporting another weather-related accident near the intersection of South Main Street and Garfield Rd. Tuesday night.  According to the paper... the driver lost control of his or her vehicle and it rolled into a roadside ditch.  The driver was not injured.


Warren, PA woman killed in accident in Pine Grove Township...

A Warren County, PA woman seriously hurt in a single-car accident in Pine Grove Township has died of her injuries.  State Police in Warren say 54 year-old Cheryl Nuhfer of Warren was southbound on Conewango Avenue Extension about 3 p.m. Monday when she missed a curve in the road... and, struck a ditch.  Troopers say the vehicle traveled about 15-feet along the ditch before rolling onto the passenger side.  Nuhfer was rushed to Warren General Hospital where she later died.  State Police say Nuhfer was wearing a lap and shoulder belt at the time of the crash.


County Chamber says look at the facts, and you find that perspective buyer of county home has a good track record...

The county's leading business group says data shows the perspective buyer of the Chautauqua County Home is reputable... and, has nursing homes that are highly-rated.  County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says their motivation is to keep the county home open, and a viable operation.  However... Tranum says they feel the time has come for a private entity to take it over.  He says the chamber has checked sources such as Medicare.gov to see how well Altitude Health Services' nursing homes are run.  Tranum says the information is pulled together by the government, and shows "this purchaser has a sound track record of managing and operating a nursing homes... equal to, or even greater than our current County Home."  He says they've been working to get the information they've found "out there..." because they feel there's been a lot of "misinformation" provided by opponents to the sale.  The information provided shows four of Altitude's five nursing homes have better "overall ratings" than the county home does now.  He adds that many of the home's Altitude's Principle Owner "Avi" Rothner is involved with as an associate with his father are also highly-rated.  Tranum says private investment should be given a "fair shot" in Chautauqua County.


CSEA official surprised that sale of County Home to Altitude is coming up again...

The president of the union that represents workers at the Chautauqua County Home says he was surprised by the move to hold a second vote on selling the Dunkirk-area facility.  County lawmakers are preparing to hold a second vote on selling the home again Wednesday night in Mayville.  Civil Service Employees Association Local Unit-6300 President David Fagerstrom says they had thought County Executive Greg Edwards would look at other alternatives to selling the facility to Altitude Health Services.  Fagerstrom says Edwards said he was going to "going back to the drawing board" with Marcus and Millichap to find a new buyer.  In the meantime... they want to the county to begin implementing the cost-saving recommendations of the report by the Center for Governmental Research.  Fagerstrom is also concerned about a proposed local law that would allow the county to sell real property with a simple majority vote.  Currently... the County Legislature must have a two-thirds... or "super" majority vote... to sell property.  Fagerstrom says he's "outraged... " and, feels it would open the door to "political favoritism."  He says he won't speculate as to whether any legal action would result should the proposed local law get the 13 needed votes to pass.


Two men arrested for allegedly selling heroin in downtown Jamestown...

Two street-level drug dealers in Jamestown are jailed following their arrests for allegedly dealing heroin in the city.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 28 year-old Luis DeJesus-Colon... and, 49 year-old Neftali Cintron were taken into custody during a raid on their residence at 31 Barrett Ave.  Samuelson says Monday afternoon's arrests followed a several-month long investigation by city police... and, state and federal agencies.  He says they received information that sales were taking place at the residences, and found that to be the case.  Samuelson says the residence was being used to sell and package heroin... and, a significant amount of the packaged narcotic was found.  Cash was also seized.  Samuelson says both DeJesus-Colon... and, Cintron were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Both were still awaiting arraignment this morning... and, will then be taken to the county jail without bail.  Samuelson says the investigation is ongoing... and, anyone with information on the illegal sale of narcotics in the city is asked to call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... or 483-8477.


Three people file lawsuit against Olean General Hospital over alleged misuse of Insulin Pens...

Three former patients of a western New York hospital say they contracted hepatitis because the hospital misused multi-dose insulin pens.  A lawsuit announced Tuesday against Olean General Hospital and several insulin pen manufacturers comes after authorities say at least 12 people tested positive for hepatitis C after being screened by the Cattaraugus County hospital.  The hospital last month notified 1,915 former patients that they may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis B or C through the sharing of multi-dose insulin pens from November 2009 through January this year.  Hospital spokesman Dennis McCarthy says the hospital hasn't yet seen the lawsuit. 


Indian Casino Revenues down in NYS in 2011...

A new report shows the eight gambling facilities run by Indian nations in New York saw falling revenues in 2011.  Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report to be released Wednesday says the gambling halls run by three tribes -- the Oneidas, Senecas and Mohawks -- had 2011 revenue of $921 million.  That's down about 3 percent from 2010.

 

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New Headlines update for Tues., Feb. 26, 2013

DeJoy officially sworn in as new Jamestown director of Development...

Jamestown's new director of Development has hit the ground running in his new position.  Former Fourth-Ward City Councilman Vince DeJoy concluded a full, first-day on the job by being officially confirmed to his new position at last night's City Council voting session.  DeJoy first resigned his council seat Sunday.  DeJoy joined Mayor Sam Teresi at a meeting at SKF Aeroengine Monday with Empire State Development Corporation President and CEO Kenneth Adams.  He says he had previously met him at an Amherst Chamber of Commerce meeting in Buffalo... and, he says several initiatives were discussed about how to bring new economic development to the state and region.  DeJoy's appointment was approved... along with several others... by a 7-1 vote.  Teresi says he was pleased with the overwhelming vote of confidence DeJoy received... because he maintains that DeJoy was the best person for the job.  The mayor says he likes his "background, experience and knowledge of the position."  Teresi also likes the energy he brings to the post.  DeJoy replaces Steve Centi... who stepped down from the post early last month.  DeJoy... who has left a marketing position with a major health care provider in the Buffalo-area... says he was "very excited" to have his first full-day on the job Monday. 


Mayor Teresi also appoints Marie Carubba to Fourth-Ward Council seat...

Mayor Sam Teresi has named woman who has been very involved with the community to replace Vince DeJoy on the city council.  At last night's meeting... Teresi appointed Marie Carubba to the council seat... and, city lawmakers then approved the appointment.  The mayor says Carubba is a Dunkirk native who has lived... and, helped raise a family in Jamestown.  He says she is currently the Executive Director of the Southwestern Independent Living Center... and, has been part of -- or headed up the board's of several community organizations.  Teresi says she brings a "lot of relevant experience here as a neighborhood advocate, (and) as a professional in this community."  He adds she already serves on a number of local boards and panels.  Teresi says he's especially pleased that Carubba agreed to serve on the city council at a time where it's often difficult to get well-qualified people to run for office.  Carubba will attend her first meeting next Monday night.  Teresi says he's known Carubba... and, her family... for many years.  Once she was confirmed... City Council President Greg Rabb appointed her to the council's Finance Committee.


Former JPD officer pleas guilty to Official Misconduct...

A former Jamestown Police detective accused of taking prescription drugs from the department's evidence room has pled guilty to Official Misconduct.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says Eric Corey entered his plea to one-count in County Court.  Foley says he initially filed the charge last November after receiving a final report from State Police... who headed up the investigation with city police.  He says it covers all such illegal actions "while he was evidence custodian."  The case against Corey... a 14-year JPD veteran... came to light during preparation for the kidnap and rape trial of Jamestown's Eric Chant.  Foley says Corey was in charge of the JPD evidence room at that time.  But... he says Corey took the pain killers mainly from cases that had been tried... and, closed.  Foley says a pre-sentencing hearing will be held before Corey is sentenced.  Foley says Corey faces up to 3-years of probation.  Corey headed up the evidence room for nearly one-year before he was suspected of tampering with evidence... and, reassigned.


State tax collections for the first 10 months of 2012-13 fiscal year up more than 3-percent from previous year...

New York's comptroller says state tax collections for the first 10 months of the state fiscal year total nearly $56-billion, up 3.3 percent from the same period a year earlier and $538-million dollars more than projected.  Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the boost in personal income tax receipts, up 4.7 percent or $1.6-billion dollars from a year earlier, is partly due to high-income taxpayers shifting income into 2012 in response to federal tax increases in 2013, including bonus payments and asset sales at the end of December.  He says the state's general fund had a closing balance of $7.1-billion on Jan. 31.  That was $1-billion higher than the latest projections.


Cuomo pension plan proposal allowing local governments to "bank now" on projected pension fund grow could endanger them... says budget watchdog group...

A budget watchdog group warns that Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to allow local governments to bank now on projected future pension savings will endanger communities.  The non-partisan Citizens Budget Commission joined a growing number of critics on Monday.  The plan would allow local governments to use a fixed, lower rate for current pension costs based on projected savings over 25 years through a new pension system.  It counts on lower costs years from now.  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner had raised concerns about Cuomo's proposal as risky and ineffective for hundreds of local governments statewide facing fiscal crises.  She says other options are needed.  The Cuomo administration disputes those analyses as based on incorrect data and assumptions.


Reed confirms that NYS will take some big hit's if sequestation cuts take effect...

New York state stands to lose nearly $43-million in funding for primary and secondary school programs if major, federal budget cuts take effect this coming Friday.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he has seen that in a study done on sequestration cuts by the White House.  However... as Reed heads back to Washington... he still wants to hear what the President wants to do about it.  He says these cuts are less than one-percent of the total federal budget... and, 5.8-percent in discretionary spending.  He says there's no reason why the cuts would shut any federal operation down.  Reed says there isn't a business owner -- including himself -- that haven't had to deal with such a situation before, and adjust to keep the operation going.  However... Reed later admitted that some of the sequestration cuts were to be "across the board..." and, not discretionary.  While the House Ways and Means Committee hasn't presented a new budget that includes cuts... the Corning Republican says Congressional Republicans would back either of the budgets passed in the last two Congresses.  He says the Senate hasn't even done that... and, adds neither has the president.  Reed made his comments during his Monday morning media conference call.


City police investigating "pop bottle bomb" incident...

Jamestown Police are investigating an apparent "pop bottle" bomb explosion on a porch on the city's southside early Monday morning.  City police Captain Bob Sameulson says officers got a call from residents in the Broadhead Avenue area shortly after 1 a.m., and, found "small blast marks" on the porch at 39 Myrtle St.  No one was hurt... but, some windows blew out of the residence.  Samuelson says the incident apparently stemmed from a relational dispute... but, they are continuing to investigate the origins of the incident.  If you have any information... call city police at 483-7537... or the confidential TIP-LINE at 483-TIPS.

 

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Local News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 25, 2013.

One-year-old from PA dies from injuries in last week's pick-up truck and tractor-trailer accident on I-86...

A Pennsylvania toddler who was a passenger in a pick-up truck that slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 86 last Wednesday morning in the town of Mina has died of his injuries.  Sheriff's officers say one-year-old Achilles McBride of Westfield, PA was initially taken to the Hamot Medical Center with his parents for treatment.  Authorities say Achilles was later transferred to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh... where he died Saturday.  Deputies say the accident occured shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday when Achille's father, 39 year-old Matthew McBride, struck the big rig.  The operator of the tractor-trailer... 52 year-old Dale Legg of Medina, Ohio... was eastbound when he pulled off to the side of the road due to white-out type conditions.  McBride was treated at Hamot... and, later released.  28 year-old Esmeraldo McBride was later transferred to Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh... where she is still being treated.  No charges will be filed.


Three hurt in Westfield car accident after driver falls asleep...

Falling asleep at the wheel is the apparent cause of a one-car accident last Saturday afternoon in the town of Westfield that left al three in the vehicle injured.  Sheriff's officers say 57 year-old Cynthia Marx of Rochester was traveling on Route 5 about 3 p.m. when she fell asleep... and, the car went off the road... and, struck a utility pole head on.  Deptuies say one of the passenger's tried to get Marx's attention... but, the car was already into some gravel and snow on the shoulder.  They say the car then went down a small embankment... and, struck the pole... sheering it off at the base.  Marx and her passengers, 97 year-old Elizabeth Marx of Westfield... and, 61 year-old Norrien Snyder of Lyons, New York... were all taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.  No charges have been filed.


State Business Council leader says there's a lot to like about Cuomo's budget plan... but, adds they are concerned about added $1.3-billion to deficit in 2013-14 budget...

The state Business Council's man in charge of lobbying for economic development says there's "lots to like" in Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed 2013-2014 budget.  However... Vice-President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky says there are also some concerns in the coming year -- and, beyond.  Speaking to members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown last Friday... Pokalsky says the $143-billion proposal holds the line on spending... and, includes some "pragmatic reforms" you wouldn't expect.  They are reforming and restructuring the unemployment insurance program, and making cost savings reform in workers compensation.  However... he says they are concerned about some others... including an extension of a $500-million a year energy tax... and, increasing the minimum wage.  However... he says the state is on the "right track..." and, may even show budget surpluses a few years down the road.  There is a problem, though, involving the federal government... which is changing it's formula for reimbursing states for Medicaid.  He says that's going to add another $1.3-billion dollars to the state's deficit.  Pokalsky adds, though, that the federal government is also claiming that the state overbilled Medicaid in recent years by $15-billion... and, wants it repaid. 


Pokalsky says there will likely be an increase in the minimum wage, but, Business Council believes it will have "adverse impact" on job market...

One of the top leaders with the New York state Business Council believes there will likely be an increase in the minimum wage... but, he adds it will have an "adverse" impact on jobs.  In fact... Vice-President of Government Affairs, Ken Pokalsky, believes the "upward push" on wages will also impact hiring for manufacturing jobs that currently pay $9 to $12 an hour.  Who enacts it depends on whether federal lawmakers act on a proposal by President Obama to raise it nationally to 9-dollars an hour.  However... during last Friday's breakfast session with the county's Chamber of Commerce... he declined to call such a move a "job-killer..." especially in youth employment, and part-time hiring.  Pokalsky says the Business Council estimates the impact of a state minimum wage increase will be one to $1-billion to $1.5-billion.  Governor Cuomo recently called for increasing the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour... while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has called for an increase to $8.50 an hour... with indexing for inflation.  However... the push for an increase has waned since Obama's call for increasing the national minimum wage.


State ESD official says NYS tring to send message to businesses that state is "open for business," but, not all seem to be responding...

The state is trying to send the message to businesses that they are ready to do work with them to locate -- or stay -- in New York.  But... not everyone seems to be responding.  Sam Hoyt, the Regional President of the Empire State Development Corporation, told community and business leaders late last week during a visit to Dunkirk that the state is trying to reach out to companies about retaining jobs and developing news ones.  But, some companies don't seem to be willing to work with the state.  Hoyt says they would like to "get to them" before decisions are made on lay-offs, or moving to another state, but, that doesn't always happen.  Hoyt says his agency has reached out to Ralcorp and the new owner ConAgra in dealing with Carriage House in Dunkirk and Petri Baking in Silver Creek.  Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce says he has seen this first hand... and, he says "we are losing that local touch "with these sales.


Sherman man hurt in weekend snowmobile accident...

A Sherman man escaped serious injuries when his snowmobile crashed into some trees on a trail in the town of Chautauqua last Friday night.  Sheriff's officers say 54 year-old James Weise was traveling on Trail C-4 between  Hannum Road and Route 430 about 8:20 p.m. when the accident occured.  Deputies say it appears Weise lost control of his snowmobile... and, it struck a few trees before he was ejected from the machine.  Weise was taken to WCA hospital for treatment of injuries to his arm.


SWCS Senior takes second at state Distinquished Young Woman of New York competition...

Southwestern Central School Senior Veronica Schuver has been named first runnerup in the Distinguished Young Women of New York contest.  The event was held Saturday in Albany... and Veronica was elated with the results.  Schuver says she "couldn't be happier" with the outcome.  Veronica was named Distinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area last November, after wowing the judges with her performance of a Chopin Nocture.  She played the same piano piece for the state event... and, says it went "really well."  Veronica is the daughter of Bill and Dee Dee Schuver.  She is still weighing her college options... but would like to study math or business.  Veronica believes being a part of Distinguished Young Women has been a great "growth experience."  The winner of this year's Distinguished Young Women of New York competition was Brittany Egnot of Albany. 

 

 

 


 

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News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 22, 2013

Pokalsky talks state budget with local Chamber of Commerce; enlists they're help in lobbying...

The state Business Council's man in charge of lobbying for economic development says there's "lots to like" in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2013-2014 budget proposal.  However... Vice-President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky says there are also some concerns in the coming year... and, beyond.  Speaking to members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown Friday morning... Pokalsky says the $143-billion proposal holds the line on spending... and, includes some "pragmatic reforms" you wouldn't expect.  Those are reorganizating unemployment insurance... and, workers compensation.  Pokalsky says one of their concerns includes an extension of a $500-million a year energy tax... and, increasing the minimum wage.  However... he says the state is on the "right track..." and, may even show budget surpluses a few years down the road.  There is a problem, though, involving the federal government... which is changing it's formula for reimbursing states for Medicaid.  He says Gov. Cuomo is looking at filling another $1.3-billion deficit.  Pokalsky adds, though, that the federal government is also claiming that the state overbilled Medicaid in recent years by $15-billion... and, wants it repaid.  He says that could have a major impact on the state budget over the next two to three-years.


City Planning Commission approves abandonment of one-block of Lafayette St. around ice arena...

The Jamestown Planning Commission has approved the abandonment of Lafayette Street between West Second and Third Streets to provide more parking to the arena... and, two businesses.  However... Principle City Planner Bill Rice says the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... the BWB Group and Shawbucks Tavern will have to have the site plan approved for the changes.  Rice says the abandonment was needed because the three entities want to have diagonal parking there... but, the city only allow parallel parking.  Rice says that was one of a number of issues that have to be addressed.  Those include access to adjoining properites, and dealing with utility easements under the street.  Rice says how the parking issue is regulated is up to the arena, BWB Group, and Shawbucks once they take over the property.  He says traffic patterns will also have to be addressed for traffic flow.  Rice says the number of parking spaces in that one-block stretch aren't exactly known yet... but, they will once they seek site plan approval for the parking area.  City Public Works Director Jeff Lehman is dealing with the easement issues.  He says a public hearing on the proposed abandonment will be held next month.


NYS homeowners receive $1.8-billion in loan relief from banks in foreclosure settlement...

Thousands of New York homeowners have gotten an estimated $1.8-billion in loan relief from five U.S. banks as part of the national mortgage settlement over foreclosure abuses.  So far... 21,535 New York homeowners have received assistance, including $1.2-billion in principal reductions and refinancing that lowers interest rates on their mortgages.  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released the information Thursday just before a monitor's report was released in Washington.  In 2012... Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial agreed to a $25-billion penalty under a state-national settlement, with at least $17-billion directly to borrowers.


Gas prices up another 7-cents a gallon this week in Jamestown-area...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area continue to climb this week.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says local motorists are paying an average 7-cents more at the pump.  The average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded is now up to just over $3.90 a gallon.  One service station in Lakewood was charging $3.99 a gallon Thursday morning.  The Fuel Gauge reports that prices are continuing to rise across the country.  The national average is now up to nearly $3.75 this week.  That's a 45-cent increase this month.  High oil prices, regional refinery issues, speculation and the approaching switchover to summer-blend gasoline have played a role in the rising gasoline costs. 


Officials say Lake George Eurasian Milfoil elimination making good progress...

A state commission says in a new report that ``great strides'' have been made in reducing an invasive species in a popular Adirondack lake.  The Lake George Park Commission says more than 85 percent of Eurasian milfoil sites in the 32-mile-long lake have been cleared, and plans are in the works to eradicate the remaining sites.  Milfoil was first discovered in Lake George in 1985.  It has also caused problems in Chautauqua Lake for many years.  The aquatic plant typically grows in thick mats that can clog boating lanes and make swimming and fishing difficult.  Park Commission Executive Director Dave Wick says while it's unlikely milfoil will ever be completely eliminated, the plant can be reduced to levels not seen in decades.


Blood supply low after northeastern storm, other inclement weather...

The need for blood donors in the northeastern U.S. is high right now.  Due to cancellations of blood drives due to weather... especially during the major, northeast storm of earlier this month... the American Red Cross is putting out a call for donors.  The director of the Southwestern New York Chapter of the Red Cross... Bill Tucker... says they always need most types of blood... but, says they really could use donors now.  Tucker says they are ultimately responsible for the nation's emergency blood supply.  In fact... he says they cover about 50-percent of it.  Tucker says -- in general -- only about 3 to 4-percent of those people eligible to donate blood do give.  All types are needed... including O-Negative and O-Positive... and, O and B Negative.  To be eligible to donate blood... you must be at least 17 years-old, and in generally good health.  There are some other basic requirements for giving.  To learn more... call 1-800-RED CROSS... the local chapter at 664-5115... or go on-line to www.redcross.org.


Waste water from oil and gas well drilling operations now headed to northwestern Warren County...

Wastewater from oil and gas operations is headed to Warren County's Columbus Township.  The Warren Times-Observer reports that Bear Lake Properties has officially begun operations at a wastewater disposal well site in conjunction with another Warren County business.  The Observer says Waste Treatment Corporation of Warren began hauling water from Marcellus shale production sites to the disposal facility near the New York State border last week.  That from Bear Lake Properties President Karl Kimmich... who says only a few trucks a day are expected at the site until the winter weather breaks.  The EPA has also issued draft permits for injection wells in Elk and Clearfield counties.

 

 

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New Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 21, 2013

Lake Effect ends late Wednesday... some snow flurries still in forecast, but, cold is the story...

The Lake Effect Snows that dropped more than a foot of snow on some parts of the Jamestown-area has moved out... but, cold temperatures remain.  The National Weather Service dropped a Lake Effect Snow Warning late yesterday afternoon... but, another couple of inches fell before the snow let up late last night.  Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County wound up with about 14 inches of snow... while Sinclairville had about a foot.  Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service said late Wednesday the snow should wind down this morning.  But... the cold air will stay in place at least another day.  In fact... with the wind chills... Wood says tonight's lows will drop to the single digits.  He says the next storm system moves in Friday... when a warm front moves in.  However... Wood says this time... we'll see some rain with this one.  He says we'll start the day with some snow...but, as the front moves though... it'll turn to rain and sleet.  Temperatures will move into the upper 30s.  By Friday night... Wood says we'll see mixed precipitation with freezing rain and rain overnight into Saturday.


Three people -- including toddler -- hurt when pick-up truck slams into tractor-trailer in white-out conditions on I-86...

Three people from Pennsylvania were hurt early Wednesday morning when their pick-up truck ran into the back of a stopped tractor-trailer on Interstate 86 in white-out conditions.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say the big rig... operated by 52 year-old Dale Legg of Medina, Ohio... had stopped alongside the eastbound lanes around Midnight in the town of Mina.  Officers say there were "zero-visability" conditions due to the weather.  Deputies say the driver of the pick-up, 39 year-old Matthew McBride of Westfield, PA, came up from behind the tractor-trailer, and, slammed into the vehicle.  McBride... and, his two passengers... 28 year-old Esmerelda McBride... and, a one-year old child... were taken to the Hamot Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.  We have no word on their conditions.  Deputies say no charges are pending at this time.


Foley receives most evidence involved in weekend death of city man while in police custody...

The Chautauqua County District Attorney's office has most of the evidence in the case of a Jamestown man who died last Saturday while in police custody.  Jamestown Police say 30 year-old Charles Baker, Junior died at WCA Hospital following the second of two seizure he suffered after being arrested on drug charges.  Baker also had to be tasered when he became combative with officers at police headquarters.  D.A. David Foley says he's received a lot of material evidence from city police over the past two days.  Foley says he's received most of the "paper" information... and, video footage from JPD.  He adds city police have been "fully cooperative."  Baker was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for an alleged traffic violation shortly after Noon Saturday.  City police say the driver allegedly gave officers a false name... and, they investigated further.  They detained Baker... who was later arrested for allegedly being in possession of a signficant amount of powder, and "crack" cocaine.  Foley also tells our Terry Frank that he's received all the video surveillance tape from when Baker was in custody -- including when he allegedly fought with officers -- and, the taser was used "on one occasion."  Police say Baker had just been put in a holding cell when he had his first seizure just after 3 p.m.  He was rushed to WCA Hospital... and, had another seizure just before 5 p.m. Saturday.  He then died about half-an-hour later.  Foley says there would be no determination of cause of death until the toxicology report was received.


North county man arrested for allegedly dealing pot -- after getting it through the mail...

A 22 year-old Fredonia man is facing criminal possession of marijuana following a joint investigation by Fredonia Police... the U.S.Postal Service... and, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  Justin Black of Brigham Road is accused of receiving large quantities of marijuna through the mail and allegedly distributed it throughout the Fredonia-area.  Black has been charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree and will be arraigned on the charge in Village Court. 


Two elderly people escape injury after their car strikes town of Hanover restaurant...

No charges have been filed against an elderly man who lost control of his car as he was pulling into a parking space at a north county restaurant... and, the vehicle crashed into the front of the building.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to Tom's Family Restaurant on Routes 5 and 20 in the town of Hanover just after 11 AM Tuesday.  Deputies say their investigation revealed that the man, from Perrysburg, lost control of the vehicle for an unknown reason... and, it crashed into a front dining area of the restaurant.  Officers say there was a lot of damage to the "sunroof" area of the restaurant... but, no one was hurt.  Restaurant operators planned to re-open Wednesday.  Neither the elderly man... nor his female passenger were hurt... however... they were taken to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for observation. 


State lawmakers to return to Albany next week to deal with a number of items, including proposed increase to New York's minimum wage...

When New York legislators return to Albany next week, they will face new challenges in the proposal to raise the state's minimum wage.  The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.  Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes raising that to $8.75 an hour... while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants it raised to $8.50... then linked to inflation.  But... a year's worth of rallying and negotiations has at least been given pause now that President Barack Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.  The battle in New York will be in the Senate.  Republicans who share control of the majority want to see how Obama's effort fares first.  Cuomo also prefers a nationwide minimum wage increase so states are not pitted against each other.


Wegmans recalls house brand of Flour because they may contain small balls which are used to "sift" the product...

Wegmans Food Markets has recalled its house brand of flour because it may contain small, blue polyurethane balls.  The supermarket chain says the 5-pound bags its All-Purpose Bleached Flour may contain the balls, which are part of equipment used to sift the flour.  The company says they're made of food-grade material that doesn't contaminate the product and are easily seen because of their bright color and size, about half the diameter of a dime.  The flour was sold between Dec. 24 and Feb. 15.  A company spokeswoman says Wednesday there have been no reports of injury or illness.  Packages may be returned to stores for full refunds.  Wegmans has 81 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

 

 

 

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News Headlines for Moday, February 18, 2013

Investigation underway into death of man tasered by Jamestown Police last weekend...

A Jamestown man has died after Police hit him with a tazer over the weekend. The Buffalo News reports today that 30 year-old Charles Baker, Jr. was arrested last Saturday following a traffic stop... and, taken to the city jail. While being booked... he allegedly fought with police and an electric taser gun was used to subdue him. Two hours later Baker had what authorities are calling "a medical event" and was sent to WCA Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy is set for later this morning in the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office in Buffalo. Baker, a former Buffalo resident, had been sent to state prison three times for selling narcotics in Chautauqua County. More information may be coming forth later today.


Jamestown girl killed in "terrible, tragic accident" when her sled goes out onto Foote Ave. and his hit by car...

Jamestown police have identified the 5-year-old girl who was killed last Friday night in what one official called a "terrible, tragic accident." City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says Isabella Sanford died from injuries suffered when her sled went down a hill off Foote Avenue... and, into the roadway... where she was struck by a car. Samuelson says the accident occured near 532 Foote Ave., just south of the Arterial. He says there was a hill at the back of the apartment building there, and there were a group of young kids sledding. Samuelson says young Isabella... who was a Kindergartener at Fletcher Elementary School... was rushed to WCA Hospital... where she later died of her injuries. He says the unidentified man driving the Sports Utility Vehicle that struck the girl had "zero to no chance" of avoiding the accident... and, will not be charged. Samuelson says Isabella was one of at least four small children out sledding on the hill -- unsupervised. He says an accident like this is "avoidable..." because the kids need to be supervised. Samuelson says their "hearts go out to the victim's family... " and, the driver of the vehicle involved.


Roberts to speak at Jackson Center's 10th Anniversary of it's dedication...

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be in Jamestown this coming May to be part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Robert H. Jackson Center. Jackson Center co-founder, and board member Greg Peterson confirms that Roberts will deliver an address from the steps of the Jackson Center on May 17. Peterson says they tried to get Roberts to visit the center shortly after he was named Chief Justice in 2005. However... he was in high-demand everywhere at the time. But... Peterson says Roberts was a law clerk for former Justice William Reinquist... who was a clerk for Jackson. He says Jackson was a "role model" for both... and, continues to be one for Roberts. Peterson says that he and the Jackson Center remained persistant in trying to get Roberts... and, he says one of the Chief Judge's staffers said an appearance for the 10th Anniversary of the dedication may be workable. Chief Justice Reinquist gave the keynote address at the Jackson Center's official dedication on May 16 of 2003.


"Have a Heart" fund-raiser for Chautauqua County 4-H a huge success...

More than 1,100 people attended the second annual 'Have a Heart for 4-H' Dinner Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds. Emily Kidd, the 4-H issue leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County, says the money raissed exceeded her expectations. Kidd says her goal was originally $20,000... but, by the end of the day... she believed they would be closer to $30,000. 4-H has seen significant cuts in its county funding in recent years, though some dollars have been restored. The proceeds from Sunday's dinner will go directly to the new Four-H endowment at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The goal is to make the essential 4-H program self supporting in five years. Ted Card, one of the organizers of the Have a Heart fundraiser, said people from all over the county came to this year's dinner because they realize that "agriculture is very important in our county." 4-H is a youth development program that serves over 500 young people in Chautauqua County.


Two county lawmakers propose motion calling on state to repeal NY SAFE Act...

The New York 'SAFE Act' needs to be repealed... and, gun control legislation needs to start from scratch. Those are the feelings of two Chautauqua County Legislators who have introduced a motion that would urge state lawmakers to repeal the tougher gun laws that were recently enacted. Legislators Fred Croscut and Robert Stewart have sponsored the measure that will be taken up by the local legislature's public safety committee this week. Croscut recently attended a meeting of the New York Association of Counties... and, says a number of groups are pushing to have the law repealed. But... he emphasizes there are parts of it that they do like... and, need to be addressed. Croscut says he hopes to get the support of enough county legislators to pass the motion. He's hoping to have at least 13 signatures on the measure... and, that a good majority will approve passing the motion.


Findley Lake man crashes car into commercial building; charged with DWI...

A Findley Lake man faces a drunk driving charge after his vehicle allegedly went out of control... and, struck the side of a business building last Saturday afternoon. Sheriff's officers say 58 year-old Gary Rafaloski of Gaswell Road was driving on Main Street just before 3 p.m. when his car struck the Findley Lake Market building in the Town of Mina. Following an investigation... deputies arrested Rafaloski for driving while intoxicated... Aggravated DWI... and, unlicensed operation. Rafaloski was processed in Mina Town Court... and, later released pending a future court appearance.


"Help Yourself" anti-smoking program kicks off at St. Susan's Soup Kitchen in Jamestown...

Lower-income people who use Jamestown's largest soup kitchen are now being given a new incentive to quit smoking if they want to kick the habit. Several agencies... and, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... teamed up Friday to announce the "Help Yourself" campaign at the St. Susan's Center. The effort is being spearheaded by the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs. St. Susans... Community Helping Hands... and, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell are all part of the effort. Tri-County Project Director Laurie Adams says it involves a display at St. Susans explaining how quiting smoking can help them buy an appliance... or even food. Adams says they're asking people to fill out a "quit-line" form so they can get help from the NYS Smoker's Quitline, and save their money so they can buy items they need at any store, or at Community Helping Hands. Adams calls it a "great incentive" for people to sign-up at St. Susans... and, begin saving money. In fact... she says they've worked out a deal with neighbor Community Helping Hands in the Gateway Center to allow people to double their money at the Thrift Store. Community Helping Hands Director, the Rev. Amy Rohler says the program allows people to "double what they save" to buy items there. For more information... call the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs at 665-2310.

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News Headlines for Friday, February 15, 2013

Edwards supports vote on making sale of county-owned property being made to need Simple Majority of legislators...

A proposed local law that would allow a simple majority vote of the Chautauqua County Legislature to sell county property has the support of County Executive Greg Edwards. Lawmakers are looking at the measure as a possible way to sell the County Home if a 17 vote "supermajority" cannot be attained. Edwards said Thursday that the county has sold real property before... although it has required that "supermajority" vote. He says it's an "unusual scenario..." but, he says in the past year the county sold a building in Ashville to the local fire department. Edwards is also pleased that the County Legislature will once again be taking up the sale of the County Home to Altitude Health Care of Evanston, Ill. when it meets in Mayville later this month. He is still hopeful they can find a 17th vote needed to pass it. Edwards says a follow-up vote on just selling the home last month garnered 18 votes... so he found that encouraging. If the sale of the County Home is not approved... Edwards feels there should be enough support for the proposed local law to pass since only 13 votes would be needed for passage.


County officials present $930,500 loan to Rand Machine for major expansion project...

The first part of what is expected to be a multi-year expansion project at a Jamestown-area machine company has been completed... and, the county played a role. County Executive Greg Edwards and Industrial Development Agency Director Bill Daly recently presented a $930,500 check to officials with Rand Machine Products on Allen Street Extension in Falconer. Daly says the Ruhlman family... which owns Rand... has completed a $4.6-million structure between their two main buildings. Daly adds the $10,000 square foot structure includes a huge machine... a Mori-Seiki CNC Mill Turn Center. He says that will allow them to machine several kinds of large parts... and, they also have a new measuring machine. Daly says the machine... which is 40-feet long and 15 feet wide... and, 15-feet high... will hopefully bring them more business from other machine shops that can't do the measuring part. He says there will reportedly be a Phase-Two and Three over the next 5 to 10 years. Daly says if all goes well... Phase-two should happen within a few years. Daly says the county loan came from the Al Tech Trust Fund... and, the new project will create 10 new hires at Rand Machine.


Upstate NY Cities say Cuomo's budget includes measure that could bankrupt them...

The co-chairwoman of the state Democratic Party says Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget should be rejected because it doesn't include measures to save upstate cities from insolvency. Stephanie Miner, who's also the mayor of Syracuse, says Cuomo needs to show leadership by holding a meeting with legislators and local government officials to find ways to ease the burden on local taxpayers. Miner's strongest criticism yet came in an opinion piece in Thursday's New York Times. Cuomo has offered a plan that would allow governments to bank on projected future savings, but Miner and others have said that's risky. Cuomo has held what he called ``summits'' to boost the Greek yogurt and the beer and wine industries, but has so far not called for one on the local government crisis.


DiNapoli says there are some big question marks in Cuomo's Budget plan...

New York state's comptroller says there are some big question marks in Governor Cuomo's budget proposal. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says it would increase debt, rely on one-shot revenues, and includes overly optimistic projections of tax revenues. DiNapoli did credit the budget as a move toward long-term fiscal balance. Cuomo's $143-billion proposal is boosted by anticipated federal disaster aid. The current budget is $134-billion. DiNapoli criticized the 2013-14 spending plan for relying on $1.4 billion in temporary revenue. DiNapoli also says Wednesday it increases so-called ``back-door borrowing'' that isn't subject to voter approval. The Cuomo administration says DiNapoli's review was based on misunderstandings and misrepresentations of a balanced budget that controls spending and borrowing. Senate Republicans have criticized Cuomo's plan to renew a business tax due to expire.


President's Day Weekend Winter Festival set to begin Friday night; runs through Sunday...

There won't be an Ice Castle again this year for the annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival... which begins tonight at Mayville's Lakeside Park. However... there will be a snow castle that'll be the centerpiece of activity. That from Festival Chairman Ken Shearer with the Chautauqua/Mayville Chamber of Commerce. Shearer said late Thursday that they've gotten a number of volunteers from across the area... and, are trying to make a "similar structure" out of snow. He says their volunteers have been hard at work on the snow structure... as well as a slide for the kids they can sled or tube down behind it. Shearer says the three-day event kicks off with the castle lighting at 6 p.m. tonight... and, they'll present a $500 savings bond to the winner of the ICE Medallion Contest. He says a full slate of events begins at the park at 7 tonight with the annual Snow Ball Dance at the "big tent" in Lakeside Park. Then.. they'll have a first-ever "Toga Party" at the Lakeview Hotel across from the park following the Snowball Dance at 9 p.m. Events Saturday begin at 8 a.m., and, for more information... call 753-3113... or go on-line to www.mayvillechautauqua.org.


ICE Medallion found in Jamestown...

As mentioned... after about a week of clues and hunting around the county... the President's Day Weekend Winter Festival's ICE Medallion has been found. Ken Shearer... who is also President of the Mayille/Chautauqua Chamber... says the people putting the clues together did a really good job in making people have to work to find it. Shearer says the Medallion had been hidden away in an urn at Russell E. Diethrick Park in Jamestown. The winner will be announced at tonight's start to the festival. The Medallion has become a tradition at the Winter Festival... with residents having to register... then hunt for the specially made medallion to win the $100 cash prize and weekend stay at the Maple Inn at Chautauqua Institution.


PA A.G. rejects Lottery Contract...

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is rejecting Governor Tom Corbett's contract to hire a British firm to manage the $3.5-billion Pennsylvania Lottery. Kane said Thursday that she won't approve the 20-to 30-year contract with Camelot Global Services because parts of it contravene the state constitution and other parts aren't allowed by law. Corbett and Camelot both say they're disappointed with the decision, and Corbett says he's reviewing his legal options.

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Local News for 2/8/13

**(Updated @ 12:45 p.m.)Winter Storm begins in Chautauqua County, but, forecasters say we are on the "weaker side" of storm...

A major winter storm has moved into the Northeast... and, all of western New York will be impacted. However... it will be to varying degrees. The National Weather Service late this morning discontinued our Winter Storm Warning... downgrading it to a Winter Weather Advisory through 5 a.m. Saturday. Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo says this Nor'easter is actually the combination of two storms... and, we'll be on the weaker side of it. Hitchcock says we'll be impacted by a system moving through the Great Lakes. The precipitation began about 7:45 Friday morning with very light rain in and around Jamestown before it became sleet. It then turned to mainly all snow about 8:30 a.m. Hibbert says were may still see 3 to 6 inches of snow by the time the storm winds down here late tonight. He adds, though, that if you plan to travel to Buffalo or Rochester... you'll see more snow. Those places are expected to see snowfall totals will be 6 to 10 inches.


Upstate NY region bracing for brunt of Nor'easter; some areas may see up to 16 inches of snow by Saturday....

Most schools across upstate New York are closed or plan to send students home early and airports are cancelling flights ahead of a major storm that's expected to dump a foot or more of snow in some parts of the state. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings from the eastern end of Lake Erie to the Hudson Valley, where forecasters say snowfall totals could top 16 inches by Saturday. The snow began falling early Friday morning in some upstate areas and is expected to increase throughout the day, with the heaviest accumulations expected in eastern New York later Friday night. Many schools began announcing Thursday that Friday's classes are cancelled, while other districts have announced early dismissals. The state is activating its Emergency Operations Center in Albany to coordinate storm response.


Three local groups announce inaugural Lucy Town Half-Marathon and 5 K event for next October...

Three different Jamestown-area organizations have partnered up to put on a major running event in the city and surrounding area next Fall. The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... Chautauqua Striders... and, the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy Thursday afternoon announced the inaugural Lucy-Town Half-Marathon and 5 K run next Oct. 12-13. Arena Director of Operations, John Faso... and, Strider's Program Director Dave Reinhardt began talking about the idea last Summer. Reinhardt says the event will be unique to this region. Reinhardt says there's nothing else like it in the western Southern Tier, and tying the event in with the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center gives it "strong name recognition." There will also be a Sports Expo that weekend at the arena. Reinhardt and Faso spoke with Arena CEO Kurt Silcott... and, hammered out the details. They then approached Univera Healthcare President Art Wingerter with the idea... which he liked. Lucy-Desi Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they came on board for three reasons... one of which was the potential economic impact. She looked back on comments from businesses they got from this past August's Lucy-Desi Festival. Gunderson says those businesses wished there were more weekends like it. The Lucy-Desi Center will also be involved in putting on a "Night of Comedy" during the Columbus Day Weekend event. For more information... including registering for the race... call Phil Genco at the arena at 484-2624... or go on-line to www.LucyRace.com.


Reaction from local leaders very positive about Lucy Town Half-Marathon and 5K...

An number of local officials were on hand for the announcement. Celoron Mayor Jack Keeney was pleased to see that Celoron... as well at Lakewood... will be part of the 13.1-mile course. Celoron was Lucille Ball's Childhood Home. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was unable to attend... but, later issued a written statement... calling the Half-Marathon and 5K Weekend a "great package of events that brings together many of the aspects that make the City of Jamestown a great place to have fun." He expressed his appreciation to the Striders organization, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, and Univera for their collaboration on the event.


Fire destroys home in town of Portland...

Firefighters were busy fighting an overnight blaze in the town of Portland. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reports the call came in just before 3 a.m. Friday for a house fire on Pecor Street. There were no injuries, but the home is described as a total loss. The Red Cross has been called to help one person living in the home. Eleven different agencies were called in to assist the Portland Fire Department in battling the blaze. Crews are still on the scene along with fire investigators.


Sheriff's Department investigating reports of man posing as "Dog Warden" in towns of Portland and Pomfret...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department is investigating several reported incidents of a person posing as a dog warden in the towns of Portland and Pomfret. Officers say a male suspect is approaching homeowners... and, trying to confiscate or impound their dogs. Deputies are describig this man as being a white male in his early 30s. They add he was driving a small brown-colored sedan... and, identifies himself as the "Dog Warden" for the town of Pomfret. Anyone with any information on this person is urged to contact Sergeant Investigator Peter Pett at 753-4498... or the Sheriff's Office dispatch center at 753-4232.


Second-annual WCA Heart Bowl-a-thon set for next Monday...

The second-annual "Strike Out Heart Disease" Bowl-a-thon is set for next Monday night at the Fountain Bowl... just outside of Jamestown. The event is put on by WCA Hospital as a way to raise money to help prevent heart disease... and, have a good time doing it. WCA's Director of Development... Karl Sisson... says the bowl-a-thon begins at 5 p.m. at the Fluvanna Avenue bowling lanes. Sisson tells our Jim Roselle the event also recognizes those who have battled the disease... and, promotes healthy exercise. He says it's an opportunity to practice "good heart health" by getting exercise... and, they pay tribute to family members lost to the disease, or are battling it. Sisson says there'll be a basket auction following sign-in at 5 p.m., and, the bowling begins at 6 p.m. He says it's a Scotch-Doubles format... which proved to be a lot of fun last year. He says the cost is $15 per person... and, includes the cost of three games of bowling... shoes... and, snacks. For more information... and, to pre-register stop by WCA Hospital... or call Sisson at 664-8423. You can also go on-line to www.wcahospital.org.

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