Distracted driving is being blamed for a two-car, head on crash yesterday afternoon in the town of Ellicott that caused the death of a Gerry woman. Sheriff's officers say 35 year-old Jill Hamrick of Herrick Road was southbound on Harris Hill Road about 1:40 PM when the accident occured. Deputies say the driver of an on-coming car... 40 year-old Kerry Jo Mitchener of Falconer... was reportedly distracted when she reached for an item in the vehicle... and, her car veered into Hamrick's car. The "jaws of life" were brought in to free Hamrick from her vehicle. She was then taken to WCA Hospital... where she was pronounced dead. Mitchener suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to WCA for treatment. She is charged with failure to keep right. Harris Hill Road was closed for about 3-hours while the Sheriffs Department's Accident Reconstruction Team investigated the scene.
A burning gold Ford Explorer found in a remote location "off of Murray Hill Road" in Youngsville, Pennsylvania was last associated with 18 year old Marcus Matson. The Warren Times Observer reports that a passer by spotted the fire around 11:30pm Sunday. Lt. Wayne Kline with the Pensylvania State Police is "comfortable saying the fire was set". Police are trying to develop leads, but no one was in or around the vehicle at the time of the fire. Matson has not been seen since last Friday. His mother has set up a Facebook page as a way to share information. According to that page there will be a prayer service at 11am this Saturday at Lander United Methodist Church. State Police ask for anyone with information to please contact them.
Governor Andrew Cuomo will be in Dunkirk this coming Thursday morning to make what officials call a "transformational" economic development announcement. According to a letter from Empire State Development to the county's Chamber of Commerce... the governor will be at Dunkirk HIgh School to make the announcement at 10:30 AM. No other information was made available... but, the governor has included a line-item in his 2016-17 budget for a 200-million dollar project to locate a "commercialization center" in Chautauqua County. The Buffalo News recently reported that sources indicated it would be a plant for a drug manufacturer.
The county's Congressman is co-sponsoring legislation he says would allow local manufacturing communities to be designated for federal grant funding to encourage job creation. Corning Republican Tom Reed says the 'Make It In America Manufacturing Communities' Act makes a program started by the Obama Administration permanent. Reed adds that existing manufacturing communities with a geographic region would be allowed to apply for a two-year federal designation that makes them eligible for grant funding. Reed reiterates that advanced manufacturing will play a role in any effort to boost the economy of the western Southern Tier. He says it's a natural progression after lawmakers, and President Obama, approved Reed's "Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act" of 2014. He says it's another piece of the puzzle that shows how he and the other sponsors care about a manufacturing rebirth. Reed is encouraging coordination between different levels of government, business, and education to help manufacturers succeed. He made his comments for his weekly telephone Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.
State, local and county officials are continuing to work together as they deal with the uncertain future of the NRG Power plant in Dunkirk. The county, city, and Dunkirk City School District recently got notice that the company intends to reduce its PILOT payment by 85-percent. That would have a major impact all three entities as NRG completes work on "mothballing" the plant. State Senator Cathy Young says she was disappointed by the news, but remains determined to deal with the short-term impact. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he will continue to work closely Senator Young, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to get transition funding for the city, and school district if -- and when -- they need it. Young says the group also continues to push NRG to move ahead with repowering. The Olean Republican says there is still some hope for the project... provided NRG can be part of a solution to deal with power "congestion" issues in Western New York. NRG Spokesman David Gaier pointed out that this past December and in January of this year, NRG made the full $8.1-million annual tax payment even though it wasn't required to under the PILOT agreement.
A new poll shows Hillary Clinton favored by registered New York Democrats... while Donald Trump leads among Republicans voters in the state. The Siena poll has Clinton beating Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 34 percent if the primary were held now. In a Republican primary... the poll shows 34 percent would vote for Trump. Florida Senator Marco Rubio... and, Texas Senator Ted Cruz both were the choice of 16 percent of the voters. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has 11 percent support, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 7 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 4 percent. The poll of 434 registered Democrats has a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points. The poll of 235 Republicans has a margin of 7 percentage points. New York's primary is April 19.
Republican Representative Chris Gibson is moving closer to a run for New York governor with the formation of a committee that allows him to raise money for a possible campaign. The three-term congressman from the Hudson Valley filed papers for an exploratory committee today with the state Board of Elections. The former Army colonel said that while he won't decide whether to run until after his final congressional term ends this year, the committee will allow him to raise money. Gibson has traveled around the state as he mulls a run. Democrats hold a 2-to-1 enrollment advantage in New York. Republicans have not held a statewide office since Governor George Pataki's term ended in 2006.
A Dunkirk man is jailed on 30-thousand dollars bail after being arrested during a traffic stop early yesterday morning on Eagle Street for allegedly being in possession of a significant amount of Methamphetime. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says that an officer observed 34-year-old Dale Miller, Junior, driving away from the 100-block... an area known for Meth dealing. Ortolano says police officers then searched Miller... and, found several bags containing Methamphetime. He was then arrested on one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly receiving public assistance while not reporting income he was getting from self-employment. Sheriff's officers say their investigation with the Department of Health and Human Services Program Integrity Unit led to the arrest of 42 year-old Jason Farrar. Deputies say Farrar allegedly applied for Medicaid and food stamp benefits... but, not reporting income. Farrar was arrested on two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Farrar was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court. Deputies say cases of suspected welfare fraud may be reported by calling 1-800-388-5365.
The 2016 Winter Festival is coming up this weekend at Lakeside Park in Mayville... and, there is a winner in the annual Treasure Hunt Medallion search. Officials with the Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce say "veteran" treasure hunter Jay Young of Jamestown found the medallion after the seventh clue was given. Chamber Spokeswoman Debbie Marsala says Yong found the Medallion behind a rock in the State Fishing Access Point... just off Main Street in Findley Lake. Marsala thanked this year's clue writers... Taylor Lehman and her grandmother, Janet Henderson of Busti. Young will receive his prize at the start of the Winter Festival Friday night.