For those who have waited patiently for snow this season... you're going to get it later this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch for Saturday evening through Monday morning for Chautauqua... Cattaraugus and extreme Southern Erie Counties. Forecasters say we're looking at 6 to 12 inches of the white stuff in the most persistant lake snow areas -- with the highest amounts over Chautauqua County. The weather service adds we'll also see northwest winds at 20 to 30 MPH... with gusts of up to 40. Temperatures will drop into the lower 30s by Saturday night... and, our high on Sunday may reach 32-degrees. Highs Monday will only be about 28 degrees.
There's a good chance that the long-running drought in parts of Western New York could persist through this Winter. However... conditions continue to improve slightly in the northern part of Chautauqua County... and, just north of Buffalo. That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service... who is the regional contact person for the U-S Drought Monitor. Apfell says rain in October helped improve the situation in dry parts of Western New York. Apfell says there are parts of western New York... and, New England that will see dry conditions continuing through next February. That's because the ground typically will freeze from late December through February. However... he says the likelyhood of some significant snow this weekend... then a projected warm-up... could be a help because the melting snow could get into the ground. The Drought Monitor says the current situation is the worst seen in more than a decade. It has been devastating to farmers and resulted in water restrictions in many places. It has dried up drinking wells and dropped lake levels.
An 11 year-old Warren County, Pennsylvania boy is being treated for serious injuries after his all-terrain vehicle struck a sap storage tank, then a tree in Farmington Township. State Police in Warren say the unidentified boy from Russell was riding the ATV eastbound on Braley Road last week when he moved to pass another ATV. However... Troopers say the child lost control of the vehicle... and, struck the tank. Police say the boy tried to regain control... but, could not... and, the ATV continued several feet and struck the tree head-on. Troopers say the boy was thrown from the ATV. Police say he was flown by Lifestar Helicopter to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment. State Police say he was wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time.
A nice bump in sales tax revenues has Jamestown city officials more optimistic about making budget for this year. That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce... who says they saw revenues in that area increase by 2.5-percent for July through September. However... Dolce says the city is still about half-a-percent behind where they were for the first nine-months of the year. City Comptroller Joe Bellitto says sales tax proceeds were up this past quarter by about 41-thousand dollars. He adds, though, that the city still trails 2015 totals by about 25-thousand dollars. Bellitto is telling lawmakers not to change their conservative projection of 6-million dollar for next year. He says those are "adequate, and certainly not inflated." Bellitto adds that the city will need to exceed it's fourth-quarter revenues of last year by about 4-percent to meet the 2016 budget.
County lawmakers tabled a resolution Wednesday night to extend a joint tax collection agreement with the cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown. A motion to table the measure was unanimous after Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon said some lawmakers wanted some additional information on the up to 5-year extension. However... Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says it's more a matter of newer legislators being brought "up-to-speed" on how the agreements work. "Chuck" is Jamestown legislator Charles Nazzaro. The joint agreements with Jamestown and Dunkirk provide for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes for the cities... and, the school district in each city. The program is similar to the one that's been used for many years to collect taxes for local towns, villages, and school districts outside the two cities. The new agreement would cover years 2017-through-2021.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady this week... holding at 2-dollars-38 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price was just over 2--38 a gallon last week... and, was about 2-dollars-40 cents last year at this time. Nationally... Triple-A says pump prices have fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching today’s national average price of 2-dollars-17 cents per gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports that drivers are benefitting from the lower price of retail gasoline... with today’s average 5-cents less per gallon than one week ago, and eight cents less than one month ago. The abundance of crude oil in the global market is contributing to lower prices, and as a result, retail averages are the same price as compared to one year ago.
New York utility regulators have approved the sale of an upstate nuclear power plant, part of the state's strategy of investing in nuclear energy while weaning itself off of fossil fuels. The Public Service Commission on Thursday endorsed Entergy Corporations proposal to sell the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County to Exelon Corporation for 110-million dollars. Federal regulators also must approve the transfer. The state has authorized up to $7.6 billion in ratepayer subsidies to keep FitzPatrick and two other nuclear plants operational. Governor Andrew Cuomo says nuclear power is preferable to coal or natural gas as New York transitions to renewable energy. The owners of other power plants are suing to block the subsidies, which critics of nuclear power say are a costly bailout for a hazardous industry.