A rough morning commute is in the forecast today for many parts of Chautauqua County today after the latest cold front pushed through the area yesterday afternoon. That from Forecaster Steve Welch with the National Weather Service... who says the area remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning through 10 o'clock tonight. Welch says lake effect bands made travel difficult late Tuesday afternoon... and, he adds they'll be back this morning. Welch says Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties were looking at between 4 and 7 inches last night... and, will look at another 4-to-7 today. He tells us that some parts of the county may see a foot and-a-half to 2-feet of snow from this latest system. Welch says the immediate Jamestown-area will see a little less than that. Again... a Lake Effect Snow Warning is in place until 10 PM tonight. The Sheriff's Department Dispatch center was busy late yesterday with several calls. There were problems with cars off the road, and several accidents -- most of them minor. One dispatcher says the roads were "terrible" during the drive home.
A portion of Interstate 90 in Chautauqua County was shut down for several hours after a multiple-vehicle pileup Tuesday afternoon. State Police in Fredonia say four tractor-trailers... and, two passenger cars were involved in the accident, which occurred in the westbound lanes of I-90 near Lake Avenue in the Town of Portland. The accident was called in about 2:30 PM. Troopers say multiple fire companies, including Westfield and Portland, responded to the scene. One person was taken to a local hospital for a minor injury. The westbound lanes of I-90 between Exits 59 and 60 were closed while officials cleared the scene. State Police are continuing to investigate.
The story of how Cummins Engine came to have a plant in southern Chautauqua County will have to wait until another day. That from one of the people who organized tonight's session in the town of Busti. Retired State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Gerace says officials decided to cancel the session due to the weather forecast. As Busti Town Supervisor in the 1960's... Gerace was working with other officials to find someone for the Baker Street plant left vacant by the collapse of Art Metal. Art Metal made desks and file cabinets... and, was a major employer in the area. Joe Gerace says job prospects were bleak when company closed... but, he says Cummin's became a "shining beacon" when it started up operations. Also at the Wednesday program... former Cummins plant manager Craig Colburn will talk about what led the company to approve a plant in the Jamestown area. And, current Plant Manager, Mike Abbate will show a video of the plant's operation today.
The state Assembly's Democrat Majority has voted down several proposed changes to legislative rules designed to reduce corruption. The proposals included term limits for legislative leadership positions... and, a requirement allowing every lawmaker to bring at least one bill to the floor for a vote. Chautauqua County's representative, Andy Goodell, proposed several measures dealing with election of the Assembly Speaker. One deals with candidates who are running for Speaker. Goodell says the key one was a provision setting the Speaker's term at no more than eight-years. A third measure called for the naming an "Acting Speaker" while a new one is being selected. He says the Majority Leader would become speaker -- temporarily -- if a vacancy occurs. In addition... the fourth would also allow the rank-and-file 2-minutes each to explain their vote for Speaker. Other reforms proposed by Assembly Republicans included having televised committee hearings. Minority Leader Brian Kolb says the changes would help ensure power doesn't become too concentrated in Albany. Ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, were convicted last year of corruption.
Advocates of medically-assisted suicide want New York lawmakers to pass legislation authorizing terminally ill patients to request drugs to end their lives. But... they also acknowledge the measure faces significant challenges. The proposal would require two physicians to certify that the requesting patient suffers from a terminal illness and is competent to make the decision. Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason. Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has safeguards to prevent abuse. Opponents say the proposal is too loose and could lead to heirs encouraging ill relatives to kill themselves. Both sides came to the state Capitol on Tuesday to lobby lawmakers. California will soon become the fifth state allowing medically assisted suicide.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to encourage local governments to award more contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women. The Democratic governor on Monday proposed extending the state's existing goal of awarding 30 percent of contracts to minority and women-owned businesses to all state-funded contracts awarded by cities, towns and school districts. Cuomo says his idea, which must be approved by the state Legislature, would help businesses led by minorities and women compete for the $65 billion in state funding that goes to local governments. The measure is expected to be one of many detailed by the governor on Wednesday when he delivers his annual state-of-the-state address to lawmakers in Albany.
A central New York village has agreed to hire federal sharpshooters to cull its deer population. The Onondaga County village of Fayetteville voted earlier this week to hire professional sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture... and, not use volunteer archers as originally planned. The village near Syracuse wants to manage the deer population in hopes of decreasing cases of Lyme disease, among other things. Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson says the sharpshooters are expected to use suppressed rifles, which are generally prohibited for hunting under state law. The village is expected to talk with an aviation company on Wednesday to choose a fly-over date to count the deer. The mayor says that the agency will let the village know when it can start once that happens. Sharpshooters will cover four sites over a couple weeks.