Another day... another Wind Chill Warning and frigid temperatures for the western New York region for the next day or so. The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Wind Chill Warning now through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says... while temperatures were in the lower 20s early last night... they fell as another Artic cold front came into the region from our north and west. Reynolds adds that wind speeds will be about 5 to 10 miles per hour... bringing the Wind Chills during the day down to about 20 to 25-below zero. Reynolds says... while we're expecting a bit of a warm-up during the day Tuesday... we won't see the Freezing mark this week. He says the highs will get to about 20 on Tuesday... and, 15 on Wednesday.
For the second straight winter... bitter weather threatens to turn the surface of the Great Lakes into a vast frozen plain. The federal Great Lakes research laboratory in Ann Arbor reports Friday that nearly 81-percent of the five lakes' surface area is ice-covered. On Thursday... the ice cover exceeded 85 percent. The lab's George Leshkevich says the small drop-off probably happened because winds broke apart some ice, creating open spots. Still... satellite imagery shows this year's ice cover has nearly doubled over the past couple of weeks.
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency can now begin working on finding a new business -- or businesses -- to occupy the former ConAgra building in Dunkirk. The IDA closed on purchasing the Talcott Road facility late last Friday. Agency Executive Director Kevin Sanvidge announced the acquisition... adding that the IDA had issued a 2-million dollar bond that was bought by the county last Fall. Sanvidge says the IDA now has "the opportunity to control the future use of the facility, thus allowing us to insure that manufacturing jobs are returned to this Dunkirk facility." ConAgra closed both Carriage House plants at the end of 2014... putting about 450 people out of work.
Cummins Engine's Jamestown plant won out over overseas competition for the new engine block manufacturing line that'll be constructed later this year. That from the Chief Financial Officer with the county's Industrial Development Agency... who says they were made aware of Cummin's plans to install the line about eight months ago. Rich Dixon says the IDA and state's Empire Development Corporation were brought into see what kind of incentives they could provide. He says the agency was able to provide some tax relief for project. The 94-million dollar project includes 40-million in new construction, and materials. Dixon says the other 54-million is for creating 40-thousand square feet in new space... and, building the new line. Since there are multiple kinds of engines constructed there... Dixon says Cummins will still be receiving some other engine blocks at the Ashville facility. Dixon says Cummins local plant... which is the company's main heavy-duty engine builder... won out over a German proposal to house the new engine block production line. The new production line should be ready for use in early 2017.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says Congress should reject President Barack Obama's plan to cut funding for a program that targets high-intensity drug trafficking. The New York Democrat says Obama's proposal to cut more than $50 million from the program would set back efforts to fight heroin abuse. Schumer says the spread of dangerous opiates shows the need to boost funding for the initiative. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program teams federal law enforcement with local police in designated areas. Chautauqua County -- and mainly Jamestown -- received such a designation last year. There are now 28 such areas in 46 states. Schumer says he'd like to see a 100-million dollar increase.
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly engaging in a "course of conduct" with a child under the age of 10 following a weekend incident on the city's eastside. Sheriff's officers served an arrest warrant on 32 year-old Amber Johnson on Anderson Street last Friday night. Deputies say the arrest stems from an investigation conducted by Child Protective Services... and, the Sheriff's Office. Johnson was taken into custody... and, arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on one count each of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child... and, reckless endangerment. She was sent to the county jail, where she posted bail. The warrant was served with the assistance of Jamestown police.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing detailed ethics reforms meant to restore trust in state government by requiring officials to detail all outside income and everybody who pays them more than $1,000. Current annual reporting consists of broad income categories and little about work done. The governor would require reporting all actual services performed and any connections to state government. Lawyers, real estate agents and certain other professionals would have to report. Legislators would be barred from any compensation in connection with pending legislation. Violators could be prosecuted and lose longstanding state pensions. Only documented travel expenses would be reimbursed, instead of broad per diems. The proposals in budget amendments Friday follow ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's indictment on charges he took $4 million in kickbacks as legal fees, which he denies.
The top Democrat in the New York Senate says the state's 5-billion windfall from financial settlements should pay for housing, transportation and school upgrades and tax rebates for low-paid workers. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the plan Thursday. The rebate would go to workers currently making less than 10-dollars-10 cents per hour. The specific amount would vary based on the worker's wage, with those making the least getting a maximum of 28-hundred dollars. The rebate would cost $900 million. Another $1.2 billion of the surplus would pay for building and improving affordable housing units. One-billion dollars would fund public school upgrades and $1.1 billion would go to transportation projects including the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Stewart-Cousins calls the proposal a smart investment in New York's economy and its people.