The National Weather Service is continuing a Flood Watch from now through this evening for all of western New York... including Chautauqua County. Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says a storm system was moving in through Pennsylvania... bringing the rain, and some of it could be heavy at times. Reynolds says the rain will cause creeks and rivers to rise through today. He says expect some ponding of water on roadways... especially in low-lying areas. There was a lot of that in the Buffalo-area yesterday. The heaviest rain should move out of the area later Friday... but, showers remain in the forecast through much of the coming weekend.
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards confirms that a German-based company that wanted to locate a pet food company in the Ashville-area has decided against locating in the county. Edwards says the former AFA Foods building was one of two sites Saturn's parent company was eyeing as a location to establish a U-S-based manufacturing facility for pet care products. But, Edwards says the property did not have existing public water and very limited private water resources. While disappointed... he says they will continue to market the property. Edwards says... with Saturn's analysis... they found out much more about the property... and, what challenges need to be dealt in future marketing of the site. The Ashville location... and, another in Michigan... were finalists for the new pet food company plant. Saturn had expected to begin with 25 employees at the facility and create more than 100 jobs within five years.
A company with a vested interest in developing the local workforce has made a major contribution to the Jamestown area's "Dream It -- Do It" education program. The Cummins Engine Company... and, Cummins Foundation... yesterday morning made the 235-thousand dollar presentation at it's Jamestown plant. Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Tranum accepted the check... which will be used to increase educational opportunities for local students to learn about the skills they need in the high-tech world.
The county chamber... along with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier have developed the Education Coalition... which includes local manufacturer's who are looking for young people to fill highly-skilled positions locally. One of Cummins' Operations Directors... John Osborne... says that's where the STEM -- or the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiative -- comes into play. Osborne says the idea is to show that engineering is a viable career right in the student's own backyard. The STEM educational initiative's new executive director, Dr. Peter Beeson, says he -- too -- appeciates Cummins contribution.
The state has 13.1-million dollars in grants under Operation IMPACT to dole out to 17 counties to fight violent crime. The funding allows municipalities to enhance police patrols and increase investigations to target high-crime areas. They include Chautauqua County... and, Jamestown. The city is getting about 94-thousand dollars. Police departments in the 17 IMPACT counties reported that index crime was down 9 percent for the first four months of 2013, as compared to the same time-frame last year.
Two Warren County men are jailed on 50-thousand dollars bail each after State Police found them with a large amount of drugs and drug paraphernalia in a hotel room in Mead Township. Troopers in Warren say there were sent to the Rest Stop 6 Inn late Wednesday with a search warrant on an unrelated matter. However... once they entered Room-7 at the hotel... police found what they called an "abundance" of drugs in plain sight. They also found 21 year-old John Snyder, Junior... and, 19 year-old Raymond Snyder... both of Warren. While executing the search warrant... numerous additional drugs and drug paraphernalia were found and seized. Both men were arrested... and, face several charges... including possession of a controlled substance. They were arraigned... and, sent to the Warren County lock-up.
There was little debate on the floor... but, Chautauqua County lawmakers Wednesday night rejected Executive Greg Edwards' appointment of a north county woman to the Industrial Development Agency board. Edwards says Katie Geise of Fredonia was his only choice for the panel because of her business experience. However... even before the meeting... lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle expressed concern over potential conflicts of interest. Edwards later defended the choice... saying the IDA currently has a south county woman... Doreen Sixbey... who's with M-and-T Bank. Katie Geise heads up the county's Workforce Investment Board. Her husband, Mark, is Deputy Director of the county's Planning Department. Mark Geise's boss, Bill Daly is also the director of the IDA. The vote was 15-to-9 against the appointment -- even though most lawmakers acknowledged that Geise is highly qualified. Ellicott Republican Mark Tarbrake voted for Geise... and later expressed his disappointment because she's very qualified... and, it's hard to fill those volunteer positions these days.
The Prendergast Library in Jamestown will soon be completely free -- including parking. The city's Public Works Department will be in next Monday morning to remove the parking meters that are currently there. Library officials say the DPW will remove the digital coin collectors from 7 to 9 AM next Monday, July 1st, to convert the lot from metered parking to free parking. Library Board President Tom Price says -- "This action will be beneficial. It's in the best interests of the library, its patrons, and the city."