State Police are investigating what they are reporting as a double-fatal house fire discovered late Monday afternoon in the town of Ellery. Troopers in Jamestown say Fluvanna firefighters were called to the scene on Greenhurst Drive about 5 PM. Police say the blaze apparently occured sometime between the previous night... and, early Monday morning. Troopers say two people were found dead inside the residence. They've been identified as 69 year-old Geraldine Dahlin... and, 77 year-old Nevon Tarbell. State Police say the two victims were taken to the Erie County Medical Examiners Office for autopsies. Investigators say the preliminary cause has been detemined to be accidental, and cigarette-related.
There will be a new mayor in Lakewood come next year... and, for the first time... a woman will be the village's top-elected official. Challenger Cara Birritieri (Beer-ah-TEE-Airy)... the endorsed Democrat candidate... has officially been declared winner over incumbant Republican David Wordelmann. The county's Board of Elections says Birritieri out-polled Wordelmann after counting absentee and affidavit ballots, 458-to-420. Birritieri tells us that the results still haven't sunk in yet. Birritieri was ahead by only 19 votes after election night, 418-to-399. The Independent candidate was endorsed by village Democrats, and two other minor parties in the race. Birritieri has been a member of the Citizens for Better Government Committee... and, says she wants to move fullspeed ahead on a new Comprehenive Plan... and, getting a new Recreation Center up and running.
The Democrat candidates in the two "too close to call" Chautauqua County Legislature races gained during the absentee and affidavit ballot counts... but, not enough to win. In District 11... incumbant Republican David Wilfong won, 371-to-333 over Democrat Bob Whitney, Junior. Wilfong led after Election Night, 347-to-305. In District 12... another GOP incumbant, Elisabeth Rankin, defeated Democrat Beth Kresge, 462-to-439. Ranklin led 430-to-399 on Election night.
The Board of Elections reports that in the Kiantone Town Supervisor's race, Keith Myers leads with 112 votes... to John Ostrander's 109. In the Westfield Town Clerk's race... Andrea Babcock was the winner there, 661-to-634 over Timothy Breith.
Parents of the Bennett High School Football Team charge discrimination by an all-white officiating team cost the predominantly black team a Section 6 Championship. Time-Warner Cable is reporting that parents took their complaints over the officiating in the game against Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake to the Buffalo School Board Monday night. Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake won the game, 29-to-28 in overtime at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Maple Grove won by kicking an extra point after a touchdown. Bennett had failed to convert. Bennett Coach Steve McDuffie told reporters after the game -- "I can honestly say and I really truly feel this way, it was the worst officiated game I've ever been a part of. We didn't lose. The refs took it from us." Bennett supporters point to the fact they were called for 14 penalties in the game.. while Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake was flagged for six. The parent's group has sent a letter to Section 6. In response... Section 6 President Brett Banker said they always strive to conduct "quality events." He adds that "if a school district calls into question any part of an event, we certainly will take time to research those concerns." The Section's Athletic Council meets today... and, the matter as been added to the agenda.
Get ready for another round of strong winds... but, forecasters say indications are it may not be as intense as last week's wind event. The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch from this afternoon through late tonight for Chautauqua and southern Erie counties. A Wind Advisory is now in effect. Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the Weather Service's Buffalo office told us yesterday that southerly winds of 25 to 35 MPH... with gusts up to 50 are possible. Hamilton added that an intense storm over the Plains is the culprit. The strong winds could make travel difficult for high profile vehicles, particularly on the State Thruway. The strong winds could also bring down shallow rooted trees and power lines.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says rejecting Syrian refugees would be akin to letting terrorists win by ``conceding defeat of the American dream.'' Responding to those urging him to block the placement of Syrian refugees... the Democratic governor told students at Harvard University Tuesday that efforts to prevent terrorism must be balanced with America's status as a beacon for liberty and tolerance. Cuomo says Washington has vowed to screen potential terrorists. He also noted that governors cannot legally block refugees anyway. Several governors have said they won't allow Syrian refugees into their states following the coordinated attacks in Paris. On Monday... Republican Congressman Chris Collines from the Buffalo-area... and, a GOP state legislator called on Cuomo to reject Syrian refugees. So far... 48 Syrian refugees have settled in New York state.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is joining with those saying there needs to be at least a "time-out" to make sure a system is in place to protect national security as the nation processs Syrian refugees. That as another Congressman and a state Assemblyman have called on Governor Cuomo to prevent refugees from being placed in the state. Reed says individuals coming from the war-torn region need to be screened for potential terrorist infiltration. Reed says he believes that given the recent attacks in Paris... the downed Russian Jetliner on the Sinai Penninsula... and, major attack in Beirut... a pause in the process is appropriate. Republican Congressman Chris Collins from the Buffalo-area cited the threat of terrorism Monday when he called on Cuomo to reject additional refugees from Syria. Reed made his comments during his weekly Telephone Conference Call with regional news reporters.
The city of Jamestown's sales tax receipts were down slightly in the third-quarter of this year... so, a strong fourth-quarter will be needed to make the budgeted figure for 2015. That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who says Jamestown received about 1.63-million dollars in sale taxes from the county for the three-month period ending in September. Bellitto says that figure was down nearly 66-thousand dollars from the same period in 2014. However... given what happened last year... he feels pretty certain they will make budget. Bellitto says the budgeted amount for 2015 is 5.87-million dollars. He adds that he's updated the 2016 sales tax projections... and, says that if the city does as well in the fourth-quarter as it did last year... it would require slightly less of an increase in the tax to meet the 2016 level. Bellitto says if they receive the same amount as the fourth-quarter of 2014... they would only need a one-percent increase in the amount they would have to raise in 2016. With that... Bellitto urged council members to make no change in the sales tax amount of 5.99-million dollars for next year.