Parts of the Jamestown-area will see up to a half-foot of snow overnight into this morning... and, the National Weather Service says at Lake Effect Snow Watch has now been issued for Thursday night through Friday evening. Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the Weather Service's Buffalo office says we remain under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 4 PM today. Apfell says there'll be heavy Lake Effect at times through this morning. Apfell says the areas of more persistant snow will see 3 to 6 inches of snow overnight tonight... but, he adds interior areas and the lower elevations won't see as much. He says the lake snow areas may receive as much at 7 to 14 inches by late tomorrow afternoon. Apfell says we'll see a little more snow late Thursday into Friday night. Then... we'll see our sub-freezing temperatures fall to zero -- and below -- by late Friday and Saturday. Apfell says after we get back to the lower teens on Sunday... we'll warm up to around 30 degrees by next Monday... which is President's Day.
With snow back on the roads, and falling across the Jamestown-area... motorists need to again brush off their Winter driving skills. Sheriff Joe Gerace says it can be difficult going from bare pavement to snow covered and slippery... then back to bare pavement again. However... he says the first rule in Winter-time driving remains the same... slow down. Gerace says... even if you have four-wheel or "all-wheel drive..." you still have just four wheels and four brakes to stop with. He says be defensive, and adjust you're speed. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department reported several cars off the road as temperatures dropped through the teens last night.
Tuesday afternoon's fatal car crash in the town of Ellicott is "a horrible tragedy" that underscores the need to pay attention to your driving. That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace on the two-car accident that claimed the life of 35 year-old Jill Hamrick of Gerry. Gerace says the department's thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved... adding that such accidents "shock us to reality...." Sheriff's deputies say the driver of a northbound car on Harris Hill Road... a 40 year-old Falconer woman... was reportedly distracted when she reached for an item in the vehicle... and, her car veered into Hamrick's car. Most of us have been distracted at one time or another... but, Gerace says you have to keep your eyes on the road. He cited the problem with taking phone calls or texts from cellphones. He says taking three seconds to glance at a text means you've traveled about the length of a football field at 55 MPH. Gerace says "that's a long time to have your eyes off the road."
Police say 11 children have been taken to a hospital with minor injuries after their school bus was struck from behind by a SUV during a snowy morning commute in western New York. West Seneca Police Lieutenant Dave Szmania (ZMAY'-nee-uh) says 35 children between the ages of five and 11 were on the bus when the accident happened about 8:30 AM Wednesday in the Buffalo suburb. After being checked by medical responders at the scene, 11 students were sent to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo as a precaution. The rest continued on to Allendale Elementary School on another bus. Szmania didn't know if the SUV driver was hurt or would be ticketed. The investigation into the crash is continuing. It was one of several accidents reported around the region as several inches of snow fell.
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he's also disappointed by word that NRG Power intends to cut it's Payment in Lieu of Taxes by 85-percent next year. Rosas adds that he continues to work with local... state... and, federal elected officials continue to work together to keep the Dunkirk repowering project alive. However... Rosas has also heard that the city of Dunkirk may not be eligible for state funding that has been set aside for municipalities facing a shutdown of coal-powered plants. He explains the situation. Rosas says he's been in touch with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell... and, adds that they are working to have the wording changed. He spoke with state officials about the city's situation when he traveled to Albany last month to attend Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message.
Members of the Fredonia School Board have overwhelmingly approved a proposal to merge the district's football program with the Westfield and Brocton school districts. The board voted 6-to-1 Tuesday night in favor of the move. Most board members felt the need to combine the football program with the two neighboring districts... adding it would spur added benefits for other programs and academics. However... Board President Mike Bobseine voted against the resolution citing injury, costs and liability as major issues. Board Member Dave Giambrone, who voted in favor of the measure, felt such moves increase programs and even educational opportunities for students. The Interscholastic Athletics Sharing Agreement is a one-year contract... and, it will take effect this Fall.
Two Assembly members and other advocates of letting the terminally ill end their lives say the proposed law would limit suffering and has safeguards to prevent mistakes and abuse. Opponents, who on Tuesday included the Senate majority leader, aren't convinced. Bills pending in the Assembly and Senate since last year are getting a new push in Albany. Assembly member Amy Paulin, a Westchester Democrat whose sister died painfully and slowly from cancer, says people in that situation should be able to choose a calm, peaceful and dignified end at their chosen time. Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, agrees. John Flanagan, the Long Island Republican who leads the Senate, says his immediate feeling is that he doesn't like it, adding any action should be approached with caution.
President Obama's final budget as president includes millions of dollars needed for the construction of a new national veterans' cemetery in western New York. U-S Senator Charles Schumer says the president's budget for the federal fiscal year 2017 includes 36-million dollars for the construction phase of the cemetery to be built on 132 acres in the Genesee County town of Pembroke, in between Rochester and Buffalo. While funding for the design and planning phases was already in place, the New York Democrat said in December that he would push Veterans Affairs officials to make sure money was set aside in the upcoming budget so construction could begin in 2017. The closest veterans' cemetery to the Buffalo and Rochester areas is in the Southern Tier in Bath, about 60 miles from Rochester and 90 from Buffalo.