The old, historic Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution came down faster than expected late yesterday after what was left of the structure threatened to crash into what holds the Massey Organ. That from Chautauqua's Chief Spokesman, George Murphy, who says crews had fully disconnected the Amp from the Organ. Murphy adds they had begun taking down the perimeter roof about 4 o'clock... but, construction supervisors became concerned... and, decided to push what was left to the west towards the old bleachers. A group of artists staying at the nearby Methodist House witnessed the Amphitheater come down. East Aurora's Donna Brott says the crews did "masterful" work... bringing down what was left "within minutes." We reported last night that crews had been working double-shifts to expedite removal of the Amp so work can begin on the new structure. Chautauqua officials hope to have a certificate of occupancy for the new structure by mid-May of next year.
State Police say an Indiana man has died after his pickup truck was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on the state Thruway in Chautauqua County... closing an eastbound section of the highway for several hours. Troopers with Troop "T" say the crash occurred around 3:30 AM Wednesday on Interstate 90 between Exit 59 and Exit 58 in the town of Sheridan. Police say a tractor-trailer rear ended 81-year-old Rush Addair's pickup, causing it to overturn. The Indianapolis man was ejected from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A 21-year-old Indianapolis woman riding with him suffered minor injuries. Police say a 41-year-old Canadian man driving the tractor-trailer wasn't injured. Troopers say the crash remains under investigation. The eastbound lanes were closed until nearly 9 AM Wednesday.
Local Republican Party chairmen in New York have picked a replacement to fill a position formerly held by a GOP lawmaker who won his primary election Tuesday, days after killing himself. GOP chairmen from Monroe, Livingston and Steuben counties Wednesday selected former state Assemblyman Joseph Errigo. Errigo will replace the late Bill Nojay on the Nov. 8 ballot in the Republican-leaning 133rd Assembly District, which represents parts of suburban Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.
State and federal officials are meeting this week to get more information to help farmer's take advantage of the recent Drought Disaster Declaration in most of Western New York. The U-S Department of Agriculture last August 30th designated 15 counties in the state as "primary natural disaster areas" due to crop losses from this year's drought conditions. Chautauqua County is eligible because it's next to Erie County... which was one of the 15 counties initially named. Local Congressman Tom Reed says representatives from his office are part of a roundtable with Central New York state Senator Tom O'Mara. Reed says he's heard from several farmers across his 23rd Congressional District about their plight. He says the US Department of Agriculture has told him that farmers and ranchers are eligible if they can prove at least a 30-percent crop loss. Reed says... if any farmers or agri-businesses impacted by the drought this Summer want to contact his office... by all means do so. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with area media.
New York state regulators have proposed new cybersecurity requirements for banks and insurers intended to protect them and consumers. The Department of Financial Services' proposal, subject to public comment, would require financial institutions to adopt written policies and designate individual security officers responsible for implementing and enforcing them next year. The regulations are intended to ensure security of computer systems and non-public information, including data accessible or held by third parties. The department surveyed more than 150 banks and 43 insurers and began conducting risk assessments of financial institutions last year, concluding "robust regulation" is needed. Key areas including access controls, customer privacy, data governance, incident responses and disaster recovery planning. Managing third-party providers would require multifactor identity authentication, data encryption, loss indemnification, warranties, incident notices and audits.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2016 General Campaign is off to a "very strong" start... led by 181-thousand dollars raised by the Pacesetter's Campaign. That from Campaign Co-Chairs Paul and Anne Hedin... as the effort kicked-off at the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club late Wednesday afternoon. Paul Hedin says their goal is 1.3-million dollars to help the community through four key objectives. Hedin says the people here "work hard, and help hard..." and, that's making a difference in people's lives through the United Way. Anne Hedin says their quick start is a credit to the collective efforts of the Pacesetter's, individual and Leadership Circle donors, and Foundation partners. Pledge cards will be sent out shortly... and, Paul Hedin says United Way staff and volunteers will be available to make presentations in local workplaces to let people know about the campaign. He says you can call the United Way at 483-1561 to learn more about having a presentation done. You can also learn more by going on-line to UWayscc-dot-ORG.
The Fisher-Price Little People and Care Bears will square off against Rock `Em Sock `Em Robots and Transformers for a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame. Whether any or all make it will be announced November 10th. Twelve finalists for the Class of 2016 were revealed late Tuesday by the hall at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York. Also making the list: Nerf, the board game Clue, card game Uno, pinball, the swing, Dungeons & Dragons and coloring books. Rounding out the list is bubble wrap, which could join the cardboard box and stick among unconventional honorees. To be recognized by the hall, toys must have lasted across generations, influenced the way toys are designed or played with, and fostered learning or creativity through play.