Authorities say a freight train carrying hazardous liquids has derailed and forced the evacuation of several homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the train was traveling on the Norfolk Southern line near the town of Ripley when about 15 cars derailed around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The governor says in a statement that there are no immediate reports of injuries or fire. But at least three of the derailed cars contain hazardous liquids, including ethanol, and at least one is leaking. He says that as a result emergency crews evacuated several homes, while other residents near the site have been urged to remain inside their homes. WGRZ-TV put the number of evacuated homes at 45. The Buffalo station says firefighters reported about 4:30 a.m. that the leak had been contained.
The sentencing of the two men who have pled guilty to state and federal charges stemming from the murder of a Westfield area woman has been delayed. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that both 44-year-old Jonathan Conklin and 31-year-old Charles Sanford will appear in County Court on March 10th to receive a new sentencing date. Swanson tells us that they are trying to work out a date so that members of Mary Whitaker family don't have to make multiple trips to western New York. Sanford was originally scheduled for sentencing Monday... and, Conklin on March 10th. The victim, who was a concert violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, was found dead in her Titus Road home in the Sherman-area in August of 2014.
"Super Tuesday" went pretty much as predicted... and, there is more clarity as to who has the inside track for both the Democrat and Republican nominations. However... on the eve of Tuesday's primaries... Chautauqua County's Congressman said he's "still looking" at the Republican candidates who remain before deciding who he may endorse. Corning Republican Tom Reed initially backed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush... but, Bush dropped out of the race last week. While he believes any of the GOP candidates would be better than Democrats Hillary Clinton... or Bernie Sanders... Reed did admit that he's troubled by some of the recent rhetoric coming out of the campaign. He says the candidates need to "carry the weight of that office and decorum of the office on their shoulders." Reed says he does not fear the possible impact of Donald Trump being the Republican candidate on Congressional and Senatorial races. He says ALL GOP candidates have a better "vision" for America. There were 23 primaries in all Tueday... including big ones in Texas.
New York's junior U-S Senator is calling for passage of new legislation that would close domestic violence gun loopholes... and, prevent domestic abusers from possessing firearms. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says now's the time for such discussion because a "divided" U-S Supreme Court is considering a gun ban for domestic violence convictions. Gillibrand says in most states right now, convicted domestic violence abusers are able to keep or buy a hand-gun. Gillibrand is urging fellow lawmakers to pass the Lori Jackson Domestic Survivor Protection Act. She says that would close the temporary restraining order, and dating violence loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of more abusers. Gillibrand is also pushing for passage of the Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act which would give states the resources to take guns away from violent, domestic abusers. Gillibrand says both pieces of legislation were introduced last year in the Senate by Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal. She says both are "common sense" pieces of legislation which don't undermine Second-Amendment rights for law-abiding gun-owners.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling for more federal spending to help homeowners pay for lead paint removal. The Journal News says the New York senator made the announcement Monday after visiting an older home in Yonkers. He said it was an example of a property that benefited from a federal program that helps eligible homeowners decrease lead-paint contamination. Schumer called on lawmakers to increase the 110-million dollar budget for the Lead Hazard Control and Health Home grant program to 230-million dollars. He says he's also introduced a bill that would create a 4-thousand dollar tax credit to assist homeowners in paying for lead paint removal. Lead was commonly used in house paint until 1978 when it was banned... and, it has been an issue in the city of Jamestown.
The tragic death of a young Jamestown man will be the focus of a candlelight vigil tonight in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. It's being organized by resident Patti Lamb-Reed... who's family had known 26 year-old Alex Foulk for some time. Foulk died unexpectedly in his home just outside the city last Friday.
Holding the vigil in front of the arena seemed appropriate because Foulk spent a lot of time there as a mult-sport athlete. He was recently part of the Shults Adult Hockey League. Reed says they'll have a speaker... but, they want people to come and remember, and speak about what Alex meant to them. Again... the vigil will be held at 6:30 PM. Reed says for more information... go to her Facebook page... or call her at 490-4924.
A father and daughter from out-of-state spoke in favor of the Jackson-Springs housing project involving Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality during Monday night's City Council meeting. 14 year-old MacKenzie Watson says... thanks to CODE... they got housing. Her father says they were homeless after fleeing a domestic violence situation involving Watson's former wife. Steve Watson says everything has turned out okay in their new home. The Watsons say they are now living at Euclid Gardens in the former Euclid Avenue School. Steve Watson is on disability. His daughter attends Washington Middle School in Jamestown. Both spoke in favor of the proposed Jackson-Springs apartment development... which would be located off Eighth Street between North Main and Spring Streets. The Cleveland-area developer is still arranging financing for the 10-to-11-million dollar project.
Citizens Union says the Cuomo administration's proposed budget for the coming year contains 2.4-billion dollars in 78 lump sums that allow spending decisions by officials after budget bills are passed. The reform advocacy group says that's $200 million lower than the current budget has, but it contains 12 more ``ambiguous'' pots of money, while the Assembly and Senate have yet to add their own discretionary funds. Citizens Union says those funds present ``a risk for corruption'' that needs to be fixed. State Budget Division spokesman Morris Peters says the budget contains ``flexibility to react to needs that emerge during the fiscal year.'' He says every dollar must be spent according to provisions in the law and appropriation language, and is subject to agency reviews. Total proposed spending is $154.6 billion.