The Buffalo-area woman critically-wounded when her boyfriend shot her in the head in the town of Westfield before turning the gun on himself... has died in an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital. The Buffalo News reports 29 year-old Nichole Sheehan of Lancaster died last Friday afternoon at UPMC Hamot -- a day after she was shot. Sheriff Joe Gerace told the News they believe the boyfriend... 38 year-old Sam Reynolds -- also of Lancaster -- shot her while they were on a trip to Barcelona Harbor to celebrate her birthday. Gerace says deputies were only able to interview family and friends of the couple... and, don't know why he shot her... then killed himself. The couple had rented one-side of a duplex on Route 5. Sheehan was shot about 2:30 AM last Thursday... but, was able to get to a nearby home and ask for help. Officers later found Reynolds dead near the breakwall after he shot himself.
Chautauqua Institution has begun its 141st season. At the Sunday morning worship service, Chautauqua President, Tom Becker tapped the gavel three times... the traditional act of 'opening the assembly' for the year. In his remarks, Becker said 2014 is a time in which people have the sense 'we can know what we need to know, by opening an ap.' And yet, coming to Chautauqua offers 'a way to go forward with a renewed understanding of commitment, and humility.' The Chautauqua season continues until Sunday, August 24th. Tickets remain available for all the major events there.
While the current state budget funds 20 more family court judges statewide, intended to help ease crowded dockets, legislators have approved 25 new judgeships. Most would take office next year, following upstate elections in November. One will be in Chautauqua County. The legislation, if signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, would add nine more judges in New York City, where they are appointed. Others would be elected this fall in Albany, Broome, Oswego, Schenectady, Ulster and Westchester counties upstate.
Don't be afraid to "trumpet" Jamestown as you're hometown if you leave the area for college... or your career. That from last weekend's Commencement Speaker for the Jamestown High School Class of 2014. Detroit Tigers Performance Coach George Carlo says began his career working in athletics, and as an advisor for colleges and government. Carlo told the story of becoming an advisor for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1981. He recalled his first meeting... and, others in the room told where they were from. Many were from big cities. When he spoke... Carlo just said he was from Upstate New York near Buffalo. Carlo says Clinton asked if he was from near Jamestown. He said he was from Jamestown... and, Clinton explained how he looked up for Robert H. Jackson.
Carlo told the 317 graduates at Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater "there are winners and losers..." and, by graduating... they were all winners. However... the 1971 JHS Graduate told them that winning is "not a random event." He says many who succeed in life are already champions because that's how they at what they're good at.
There was "Pomp and Circumstance..." and, a lot of tradition at last Friday night's JHS Graduation. First-year Superintendent Tim Mains congratulated the Class of 2014 for graduating... and, beginning the next phase of their lives. Mains talked to them about the meaning of "Raider Pride." He says you dont want to be viewed as arrogant and conceited... and, adds that "Raider Pride" is "tempered by humility...." Mains did have one challenge for the graduates... some of whom still have one or two Regents tests left this week because JHS Graduation was early this year due to the start of the 2014 Chautauqua season. He says while their diploma is their "ticket to adulthood..." they should never stop learning. Mains urged the graduates to especially learn how to unlock their potential... and, use the tools they have to "their advantage."
State legislators have ended a six-month session that saw votes to authorize medical marijuana, fight a growing heroin epidemic and invest in pre-kindergarten education around the state. Lawmakers adjourned Friday without voting on other high-profile initiatives, including a minimum wage increase and a package of proposals to combat sex trafficking and help domestic violence victims. Along the way... lawmakers also cut taxes for manufacturers, authorized hundreds of speed cameras for New York City and Long Island, and voted to make yogurt the state's official snack.
Another rating agency has decided to upgrade the New York's bond rating. Governor Andrew Cuomo says Fitch Ratings Friday announced that it's raising the rating from Double-A to Double-A-plus to reflect the state's overall economic strength as well as ``sustainable budgeting practices...'' and, budgets that have been approved on time. Earlier in the week... Moody's Investors Service upped the state's rating to Double-A-1, the highest level since before the financial crisis of the mid-1970s. Cuomo called the announcement by Fitch ``the cherry on the cake'' and says the upgrade is a positive reflection on New York's economy and government finances.
State lawmakers in New York have voted to outlaw the dangerous practice of pointing lasers at airplanes. The measure would make it a misdemeanor to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft. If the laser forced a pilot to significantly change course or otherwise disrupted the flight... the crime would be a felony. The Senate and Assembly passed the legislation this week before adjourning their six-month session. It's already illegal under federal law to point a laser at a plane. The lasers are hazardous because they can easily disorient pilots. Federal authorities report a big increase in the number of incidents, with nearly 100 occuring in the New York City area last year. Supporters say matching state law with federal law will make it easier to prosecute offenders.