The Jamestown-area got a coating of new, general snowfall yesterday afternoon and evening... but, that didn't even add up to half-an-inch. It was the most significant snowfall since the "Snowvember" storm -- as it's being called in Buffalo -- started late Monday. In the north county... street crews in Dunkirk and Fredonia have been busy removing the snow from Wednesday's overnight storm that dropped anywhere from nearly one to two feet of snow over parts of northern Chautauqua County. Forecaster David Church with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there is a Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for the county from NOW until Noon Friday. Church says this latest event will come to an end in Erie County by late this evening... and, parts of the north county will then see about a foot of new snow. He says the immediate Jamestown-area would be on the lower end of that 6 to 12 inch snowfall.
Chautauqua County may soon be providing some assistance to neighboring Erie County once it ultimately digs out from what may end up being nearly 100 inches of snow in some locations at week's end. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says he's been in touch with his counterpart in Erie County -- Marc Poloncarz -- about what they can do. Horrigan didn't go into specifics... but, says they may provide some help with the clean-up effort. Here in Chautauqua County... Horrigan says they were well prepared for the initial storm... and, what follows. He says there've been few problems in the south county... but, at times, blizzard-like conditions in the north county. The early snow and cold-snap is also a monitary concern with the year-end coming up. However... Horrigan says they may be spared by one key item -- gasoline prices. Horrigan says he held a conference call at the beginning of the week to develop a plan for dealing with the storm. That included opening safety shelters near the state Thruway in Ripley, Fredonia, and Irving. However...he says those are closed for now because the number of stranded motorists had dropped significantly.
State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald says the Thruway will stay closed in the Buffalo area for the duration of a lake-effect storm that has dumped 6-feet of snow since Tuesday... and, is expected to bring a couple more feet through Thursday and Friday. McDonald said at a news conference Wednesday that her agency has more than 350 pieces of heavy equipment... and, more than 800 personnel working round the clock to clear the historic snowfall.
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved three agreements to have nearby counties temporarily house excess inmates at the County Jail in Mayville. During last night's monthly meeting... lawmakers approved the agreements -- for amounts between 85 and 90-dollars a day -- with Allegany, Livingston, and Steuben Counties. County Executive Vince Horrigan... though... wants to talk with Sheriff Joe Gerace about creating a coordinating council to look at alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. Horrigan says he wants local judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys to work with him on the problem. Gerace recently brought the issue up to the legislature's Public Safety Committee... saying the jail is overcrowded by about 30 inmates. Horrigan says the mental health-drug abuse issue is a key issue that's driving up the Mayville facility's numbers. He believes get more addicts into treatment -- instead of jail -- is one of the long-term solutions. Horrigan believes there may be some help from the state in this area because Chautauqua County is not alone in facing the problem. Jamestown police officials say -- by their estimates --- about 90-percent of their crime is driven by drug abuse... or the drug trade.
The absentee and affidavit ballots have been counted in two, close races from Election Night back on November 4th... and, they didn't have much effect on the final outcome. That from Chautauqua County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says the votes were all tallied in late Tuesday. In the County Legislature District 12 race in Jamestown... Republican Elisabeth Rankin is the winner with 810 votes to Democrat Beth Kresge's 754. Abram says Rankin had a 55-vote lead on Election night. Abram adds that the four-way race for two seats on the Silver Creek Village Board has also been decided... and, again... he says there was no change in the outcome. The top vote getter, Vincent Tampio, got 343 votes... while John Burt was second with 333. Third was Anthony Pearl with 321 votes. He adds that ALL official results will be posted at VoteChautauqua-dot-COM as soon as the rest of the absentee and affidavit votes are counted.
If you quit smoking for a day... it might just be for the rest of your life. That's been the long-time theme of the Great American Smoke-Out. Today is the 39th year for the day... which is set aside each year that health officials and anti-smoking groups urge smokers to give up the habit for at least a day. Kenneth Dahlgren is the new Community Coordinator for the new group Tobacco-Free of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties. Dahlgren said yesterday it's a chance for smokers to do a self-evaluation. Dahlgren also advises people looking at quitting to call the Smoker's Quit-line at 1-866-NY-QUITS. He says the Quit-line has counselors who can given smokers advice on stopping... and, help them find nicotine replacement products. Dahlgren says the former Tri-County Tobacco Free Coalition has gone through some changes over the past year... which was the last year of a five-year grant program. He says he's one of two staff members... and, John Chaffey is responsible for the youth program, "Reality Check." Dahlgren says the local program is administered by Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Chautauqua County Sheriff's investigators say they've identified the three motorcyclists who may have been involved with last week's fatal motor vehicle accident in the town of Pomfret. Deputies said Wednesday that they've received a lot of help from the public after releasing photos of a motorcyclist on a royal-blue sports bike at the Country Fair store in Fredonia. Deputies say the motorcycle was allegedly one of the three seen by witnesses on Chautauqua Road at the time of the accident. The investigation is continuing with the help of District Attorney David Foley's Office.