A retired Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputy... who owns a number of adult assisted-living facilities... has announced he's running for County Executive. Democrat Ron Johnson of Fredonia said Sunday that he will seek the county's top-elected office this November. Johnson... who has also been the Pomfret Town Justice for the past 16 years... will seek the party's nomination later this week. In announcing his candidacy... Johnson said that he is "not a sideline guy... " and, wants to find solutions to the county's problems. Johnson is the owner and operator of Johnson Adult Homes in Forestville... and, Underwood Manor in Hinsdale. He says his company... Human Services Management... also owned and operated Fredonia Place in Fredonia at one time. Johnson says he believes out-going Executive Greg Edwards has done "a number of good things..." but, adds there need to be tighter controls on county finances because you operate government one way when there's a deficit... and, another when there's a surplus. But... he also says the focus of his campaign will be "about jobs." Johnson says it will be his "full-time job to convince companies to invest in Chautauqua County... and, to ensure that jobs remain here."
With his background in adult assisted-living... and, nursing homes... Ron Johnson says he has some understanding of the issues surrounding the County Home in Dunkirk. Current Executive Greg Edwards said... until recent changes were made in operaton... the home was losing -- on average -- 9-thousand dollars a day. Johnson says county officials need to get a better handle on the situation. He says he's operated facilities like those for most of his adult life... and, he doesn't believe the home needs to be a losing proposition. Johnson says it "needs to be turned around." As with the county in general... Johnson says the County Home needs to be operated "like a business..." not in a political arena.
It's official. There will be a race for the top-elected office in Chautauqua County in November after Ron Johnson's announcement. Going into the past weekend... Republican county legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point had announced his candidacy. County Democratic Party Chairman Norm Green says Johnson will be nominated... along with several others... at their June 8th nominating convention. Green says this year's nominating convention is later than usual because of a recent trip he took to Poland. With County Executive Greg Edwards... and County Clerk Sandy Sopak both announcing that they will not seek re-election this year... Green says there has been an increase in interest among party supporters. He says that's because "the dynamics" have changed because some incumbants are not seeking re-election. Horrigan was the first candidate to announce a run for County Executive. Gerry Republican Larry Barmore has announced that he is seeking the GOP nomination to run for County Clerk. There has been no announced Democratic candidate at this time, though.
An Ashville man is jailed without bail for allegedly hitting a man with a shovel... and, threatening a 14 year-old girl with a knife early this (Saturday) morning. Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene at 25-02 Route 394 just after 4 AM. Following an investigation... officers say they learned that 33 year-old James Hall had struck a 29 year-old male in the head with the shovel... seriously injuring the victim. Deputies say Hall then ran off before they arrived. However... Sheriff's officers and Lakewood-Busti Police Officers found Hall walking on Route 394 a short distance from the scene... and, took him into custody. The investigation showed that Hall menaced the 14 year-old with a knife prior to the asault. A vehicle was also damaged. The male victim was taken to WCA Hospital... and, later transferred to an out-of-county trauma center. Hall was arraigned on several charges... including first-degree assault... and, second-degree menacing... and, sent to the County lock-up.
Drivers in New York state are about to see the penalty for texting while driving increase from three points to five points off their driver's licenses. Governor Cuomo announced last weekend that the change would go into effect starting Saturday. The penalty applies to any kind of cellphone activity while driving. Cuomo's also proposing legislation that would impose tougher sanctions against probationary and junior drivers for texting. Violators' licenses would be suspended for 60 days after their first conviction.
The Cuomo administration is disputing an investigative report about day care centers statewide that shows ``shocking'' violations and inadequate enforcement of persistent violators. The state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference report says most cases involve failure to take certain precautions, leaving children unattended, and unlicensed operation. The few most egregious cases include corporal punishment of children, frightening or humiliating a child, isolating children in closets and abuse or maltreatment. The report claims only a small number of centers with multiple violations have been held accountable by the Cuomo administration. The state Office of Children and Family Services says Thursday the report is alarmingly misleading. The state says the Senate report takes data out of context and that serious violations result in immediate action.
The American Cancer Society says the marketing of little cigars in flavors including chocolate, blueberry and gummy bears is aimed at hooking kids, while avoiding federal restrictions on flavored cigarettes. The brightly packaged little cigars, chewing tobacco and loose tobacco used in water pipes are sold individually for as little as 99 cents or in packs. They avoid stiff cigarette taxes aimed at dissuading youth smoking. Fruity flavors include double apple, pink berry, peach, strawberry-banana and pina colada. Online sales include a tobacco cookie dough. The New York chapter is pushing for a state law restricting the fruit- and candy-flavored products. The proposal released last weekend would limit the sales to stores like smoke shops where more than half the products are tobacco. New York City already has a similar measure.
Kali the orphaned polar bear cub is making his public debut. The cub arrived at the Buffalo Zoo from Alaska on May 15. He has been kept out of the public eye while he got used to his surroundings and his new companion, the zoo's 6-month-old polar bear cub Luna. Now that the cubs are comfortable with each other, zoo officials will let them out daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public debut is set for this morning at 11:30. Kali's about 5 months old.