The state's Public Service Commission says it will terminate the 10-year contract between NRG and National Grid to repower the Dunkirk Generating Station. That's pending a public comment period... but, it now appears the Repowering project is dead. That "very disappointing news" from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who confirmed the news Monday. Horrigan says the decision was based on three factors. Entergy Corporation... which owns a downstate nuclear power plant that's in jeopardy of being closed... sued the PSC over allowing the repowering of NRG's plants in Dunkirk and the town of Tonawanda near Buffalo. Horrigan adds that they are thankful that the state will be providing mitigation funds to the county, city of Dunkirk... and, Dunkirk School District to stem the loss of tax dollars. He says the county will be losing 175-thousand dollars this year... and, 250-thousand next year. Officials for both Dunkirk entities say they are going to have to make major cuts in order to deal with the expected loss of tax dollars from NRG. The company announced earlier this year that it was cutting it's PILOT payments to all three by 85-percent... beginning this year.
The state Public Service Commission's decision to terminate the contract between National Grid and NRG to repower the Dunkirk plant is being blasted by the area's Congressman. Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments after County Executive Vince Horrigan confirmed that the PSC is requesting public comment on discontinuing the contract. Local media asked Congressman Reed for his reaction to the latest development... which he calls part of the "War on Coal...." State Senate Cathy Young... who has been on the front-line in the fight to keep the NRG plant open... and, be repowered by natural gas... also issued a statement. Early this afternoon... Young said it's -- quote -- "upsetting and disappointing," noting that the community worked so hard to rally for repowering.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says he will pursue "all possible avenues" to get 74 names -- including one from Chautauqua County -- on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall. Schumer met Tuesday afternoon with the family of Terry Lee Henderson in Mayville... including Henderson's mother, Maryann Buettner, and brother Randy Henderson. Schumer updated his effort to enshrine the names of Henderson, and 73 others on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D-C. Schumer also heard first-hand from the Henderson family on how Terry "bravely served his country" during the Vietnam War and died tragically in a war-related training exercise in the South China Sea in 1969. He says "by withholding these names from the wall, we are continuing to deny individuals who perished while valiantly served our nation the tribute they deserve." The names were reportedly left off the wall because the deaths occured outside the Vietnam War "theater" area. He introduced an amendment to include the names.
Flames have extensively damaged a room and it's contents in an upstairs apartment on Jamestown's east side. City fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 303 Crescent Street shortly before 4 PM Monday. Officials say there was fire damage to a wall and up to the ceiling. The two adults and two children living there got out safely... and, are being helped by the local Red Cross. Crews were there until 5 PM. No one was living in the downstairs apartment. No firefighters were hurt. Officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Two kayakers who went missing in Zoar Valley near Collins Monday have reportedly been found safe. Media reports say the kayakers, who weren't identified, apparently went missing Monday evening. Several police and fire agencies became involved in the search including the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office. The search lasted about four hours, with the kayakers being located without injury around midnight.
Baseball returns to Jamestown's Diethrick Park tonight as the Jammers begin play in the 2016 Perfect Game League against rival Newark. It's the first of two games against the Pilots... and, Manager Anthony Barone says the first pitch will be at 7:05 PM. Barone and four of his players were on the Dennis Webster Show Tuesday morning... and, the manager pulled no punches about their intense dislike for Newark. Victor will be in on Friday night before the Jammers take their first road trip to Elmira on Saturday. One of the players from the University of Texas -- at San Antonio on hand this morning was second-baseman C-J Pickering... who has played every infield position in College. Pickering says he takes pride in the ability to play all four positions... but, he says second will be his "main position" at Jamestown. Outfielder Skylar Valentine plays most outfield positions... but, will be a centerfield for the Jammers. Valentine is another player from U-T San Antonio.
The chancellor of New York's public university system says the next school year will be her last at the helm. Nancy Zimpher announced Tuesday her exit plan from the State University of New York system that she has led for seven years. SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall says a national search for her successor will begin soon. McCall credited Zimpher with making SUNY a national model of higher education and positioning the 64-campus system as an economic engine in the state. The 69-year-old Zimpher says she will spend her final year as chancellor focused on increasing college completion... improving teacher preparation programs and securing an extension of "SUNY 20/20..." a program of tuition increases and investment in SUNY.
Members of a community band in downstate New York didn't let the cancellation of a Memorial Day parade stop them from paying tribute to a recently stricken World War-Two veteran. The Middletown Times Herald-Record says 90-year-old Walter Hughes donned his old uniform before dawn in anticipation of attending Monday's parade in Port Jervis. But, the event was cancelled because of severe weather warnings, leaving the former paratrooper disappointed. Hughes suffered a stroke in March and had been regaining his health so he could attend the parade. Friends in a local band came to the rescue, giving Hughes an impromptu concert of patriotic songs on the front lawn of his home as neighbors and friends gathered around. Hughes said it was "one of the best things" to ever happen to him.
The annual 'all-county' music festival is this Saturday, and it will be at the regular location- The Chautauqua Amphitheater in Chautauqua Institution. That's Alicia Laska, Spring Festival Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association. Considerable 'prep-work' for the new Amphitheater has been going on this spring, but that will be wrapped up in time for the 'all-county' event that starts at 7:30 PM, Saturday. The program brings some 800 Chautauqua County music students to the stage, performing in five separate groups... including the elementary, junior high and senior high choruses... and the junior high and senior high bands. The concert will conclude with the traditional finale "Battle Hymn of the Republic"... to be conducted this year by a long-time Cassadaga Valley music teacher- John Cross. Tickets for the CCMTA festival are $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens. They'll be available at the Amphitheater gate... or in advance at CCMTA.net. Alicia Laska says the 2017 festival is being planned for SUNY Fredonia... as constuction of the new Chautauqua Amphitheater will be finishing up in early June, next year.