Local Congressman Tom Reed will play an important role in helping President-elect Donald Trump's transition into the White House. The Trump Transition Team has announced that Reed is one of several leaders named as "Vice-Chairs" of the effort. The Corning Republican says he's "both honored and humbled" to be selected as one of leaders of the effort. Reed will be joined as a Vice-Chair by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee... and, Trump's new Deputy National Security Advisor... K-T MacFarland. MacFarland was previously an American national security analyst... and is a former "designated" government security official. Another Western New York Congressman... Republican Chris Collins of the Buffalo-area... will serve on the executive committee. Collins was the first member of Congress to come out in favor of Trump getting the Republican nomination to run for president.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's confident that the recount of Presidential ballots in three states from this month's election will not affect the outcome. Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments as the recount in Michigan was formally requested Wednesday by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The other two recounts... in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin... had already been requested. Reed says he's confident in the outcome of November 8th. Republican Donald Trump won all three states. He defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by 10,704 votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast. Stein alleges that irregularities and the potential for hacking into scanning devices call into question the results. The Michigan recount could start as early as Friday. The recount in Wisconsin is to begin later today.
The month of November will go down as one of the mildest November's on record. That's according to Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Based on weather records kept in Buffalo since the 1870s... Hitchcock said Wednesday that November 2016 will wind up being in the top ten.
However... Hitchcock says enjoy the mild weather while you can. He says a pattern change is in the works. It appears much colder weather will arrive by December 9th or 10th. In the short-term... cooler temperatures will reach the area later this week, with slushy snow possible over the hilltops by Thursday evening.
Lakewood-Busti Police are asking for the public's help in tracking down several people who were part of a "flash mob" robbery at a store in the Chautauqua Mall. Officials say about eight people who appear to be African-American or had dark complexions... entered the Victoria Secret's store... and, took nearly 4-thousand dollars in merchandise. Officers have released a store surveillance video from the November 15th incident... and, say the alleged suspects apparently dropped a number of items while being chased by two store employees. If you have any information on the case... you're asked to call Lakewood-Busti Police at 763-9563... or you can leave a message on their Facebook page.
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he's "very optimistic" that the project to repower the NRG Plant in Dunkirk will begin moving forward shortly. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he was happy to see the Entergy Corporation agree to drop it's lawsuit against the state's Public Service Commission. That now allows the project to proceed. Horrigan says he took part in a conference call with all the major players -- including NRG itself -- shortly after the announcement. Horrigan says, because the NRG Plant remains "moth-balled" at this point... there will still be a reduction in the county's payment-in-lieu of tax agreement. However... he says the county is already talking with NRG about the status of that in the future. He says the state... led by State Senator Cathy Young... remains firmly committed to the project. Horrigan says he's not aware of any "hiccups" that could hurt that commitment. He says the state has also come through with about 5-million dollars in transitional aid to help the county... city of Dunkirk... and, Dunkirk School District with an 85-percent loss in PILOT Payments in 2017.
Is a roundabout -- or traffic circle -- in the future for the Routes 20 and 60 intersection? The State Department of Transportation will be hosting a public information meeting next week on an improvement project for the busy intersection. The meeting will be held next Wednesday, December 7th, from 4 until 7 PM in the Fredonia Village Hall, with a formal presentation at 6 PM. The DOT indicates that the safety improvement project involves the installation of A raised median barrier on the approaches to the intersection that currently have multiple driveways. Plans also call for replacing the existing, signalized intersection with a roundabout. The project is currently scheduled to be out for bid in fall 2017.
Two Warren, Pennsylvania men have been arrested for allegedly operating an active Methamphetime Lab in the city. Agents with the Warren County Drug Task Force tell the Times-Observer that they arrested Joshua Lambert and Joshua Wightman during a raid at 6 Terrace Street Tuesday. Task Force members say the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab was called in to assist. Police say Wightman and Lambert were charged with manufacturing methamphetime during their arraignment yesterday.