Local News Headlines

News Headlines for Tues., May 3, 2016

Randolph native found murdered with fellow missionary in Jamaica...

A Cattaraugus County native has become the second U.S. National found dead in Jamaica after being reportedly attacked and killed last weekend.  We have learned that 53-year-old Harold Nichols of Randolph worked for many years at New Directions Youth and Family Services in Randolph.  Officials at New Directions -- which includes the Randolph Children's Home --  say they are "devastated" by the news that Nichols has died.  In a printed statement... Development Director Brad Sande says "the entire Randolph Children’s Home and New Directions community mourns the tragic and senseless death of Harold Nichols."  Both Nichols and fellow American Missionary, Randy Hentzel, were found dead in the St. Mary-area of Jamacia.  Both did outreach work for the TEAMS for Medical Missions.  Nichols served as a liason for all Mission teams in St. Mary.  The Salamanca native is survived by his wife, Teri.  More on this developing story as it becomes available.


Teenaged girl found dead after fall down embankment on Cattaraugus Indian Reservation...

Authorities are investigating the death of a teenage girl who fell down an embankment on an Indian reservation in western New York.  The Erie County Sheriff's Office says the teen fell early Sunday morning about 100 feet down an embankment along the Cattaraugus Creek on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation... just northeast of Silver Creek.  Officials say deputies and other emergency responders tried to revive the girl, but she was already deceased.  The girl's name and other detail haven't been released.


Power Drives, Inc annouces move to Buffalo this Summer...

A Falconer-based maker of custom hose and tube assemblies has announced that it's phasing out it's local plant operations... and, moving to Buffalo.  The Jamestown Post-Journal today reports that Power Drives, Incorporated... located at 2148 Allen Street... is moving operations to 801 Exchange Street in Buffalo this Summer.  The companies 98 employees were notified Monday of the move... which will take about three months to complete.  Company officials say about two-thirds of the employees will be given a chance to move with the company to Buffalo.  The need for a larger facility for their operation was given as reason for the move.


Reed votes in favor of increased funding for annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative...

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the majority that recently voted in favor of the Great Lake Restoration Initiative.  Reed says the $300-million measure helps protect the lakes because it is "critically important" to preserve these natural resources for future generations.  The Corning Republican says it allows eight members states -- including New York -- to come together to implement a 'science-based and outcomes-focused plan' of action for restoring and protecting the Great Lakes and their watersheds.  Reed says he's confident that once the measure gets through the Senate, he's confident the president will sign the bill.  He says President Obama had proposed $250-million in his budget plan... but lawmakers wanted to maintain it at $300-million.  He says the funding has been a "on-going issue..." and, is a step in the right direction.  Reed says the measure -- which now goes to the U-S Senate -- also cuts through bureaucracy to accomplish it's goals and objectives.  Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with regional media.


Horrigan and Schuyler comment on budget shortfall caused by DHHS, Medicaid miscalculation...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is not too concerned at this point with a nearly half-million-dollar budget shortfall.  Horrigan says he doesn't blame the County Legislature for rejecting a proposal the take $495,000 from the fund balance to offset a shortfall involving the line-item to pay the county's share of Medicaid.  Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human Services, admits they made a mistake.  Schuyler says her office and the county's Budget Office missed the fact that 2016 has 53-weeks in it... not the normal 52.  Last week... legislators rejected the proposal to make up the difference through fund balance by a 19-0 vote.  Horrigan says they will continue to monitor the situation... because the county still wound up with a slight budget surplus last year.  He says there are other issues including a slight budget gap caused by the reduced NRG PILOT payment.  He says they are also keeping an eye on sales tax revenues for the year.