We're expecting a "very slick" morning commute today in the Jamestown-area... as Winter has returned following a brief warm-up last Saturday. The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warming through 1 PM today for about 6 to 11 inches total for the most persistant lake snow areas of Chautauqua County. That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the Weather Service's Buffalo office... who says the heaviest of the snow fell during a drop in temperatures late last night. Apfell says there are two concerns with this storm... the first being the snowfall totals... which will be the highest in the higher terrain and persistant lake snow areas. He says the other concern is with the strong winds... which will cause blowing and drifting snow. Sustained winds are predicted to be about 25 to 35 miles per hour. With that... Apfell says visability will be cut to about a quarter-of-a-mile or less. The complete forecast is coming up.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection during a Gun-Involved Violence Eliminiation -- or GIVE Detail in the city late last week. Jamestown Police assisted State Parole with the detail in conducting home visits of paroles to ensure they are complying with their programs. Officers saw they checked on 43 year-old Anthony Ford at his home at 207 Spring Street... and, found him with a woman that he was mandated to stay away from. City Police say they arrested Ford for Felony Aggravated Family Offense... and, second-degree criminal contempt. He was also charged with a parole violation... and, arraigned in city court. He was sent to the County Jail without bail.
It looks like the Dunkirk City School District may be looking at it's first proposed tax rate increase in several years... due mainly to two major hits to it's revenues. That from Superintendent James Tracy... who says he was "disappointed" by the amount of state aid the district is projected to get from the intial school aid runs for Dunkirk's 42.4-million dollar spending plan. Dunkirk School Business Manager William Thiel presented a preliminary draft of the budget during the school board's meeting late last week. He says he's concerned about the loss of funding under the NRG Payment-in-lieu of tax agreement... and, says a tax rate increase may be needed. Thiel says that gap is about 1.3-million dollars. The proposed budget has a tax levy increase of 4.33 percent.
State and federal inspectors found four critical defects and 42 non-critical ones in the latest round of oil train and track inspections across New York state. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the targeted inspections of tank cars and tracks are critical to maintaining public safety. Inspection teams examined 104 crude oil tank cars, 184 miles of track and 89 switches. The inspections focused on track, track hardware and tank car mechanical safety equipment. Critical defects involve important maintenance issues that must be addressed immediately, but do not necessarily indicate safety lapses. Non-critical rail defects must be repaired within 30 days. Since the Democratic governor initiated the inspection campaign in February 2014, the Department of Transportation and federal partners have inspected 11,231 crude oil tank cars and 5,508 miles of track.
There's a new place to get into shape in the Jamestown-area... and, it's in downtown Lakewood. The Fitness Bunker held it's grand opening last Saturday at the former Lakewood-Busti Recreation Center on West Summit Avenue. The operation is run by Laurie Shults and "Tori" Rachuna... and, is another place where people can go "24/7" during the week. Shults says they had already been up and running for two-weeks... and, adds they've been well-received. Rachuna says he and Shults initially looked at starting up a place in Raleigh, North Carolina where her mother now lives. However... he says he got involved with a fitness place in Erie, Pennsylvania before he and Shults decided to open The Fitness Bunker here. Rachuna says they are signing people up for one-year commitments... for basically two reasons. One is they want the person to be committed to coming to the gym, but, adds they in turn are committed to you the member. The Fitness Bunker is staffed from 9 AM to 7 PM Mondays through Thursdays... and, 9 to 6 on Fridays. For more information... go to their Facebook page.
Lawmakers in the village of Fredonia are looking at possible increases in water rates... whether they decide to join the North County Water District, or go it alone. Thathat from an engineering study outlined by Mayor Athanasia Landis during a special meeting of the Village Board late last week. The report cites a huge increase in the water rates should the Village join the district. It says rates would jump by nearly 8-dollars per thousand gallons of water. If the village continues to provide water service, the study indicates an increase of nearly one-dollar per thousand. A decision from the village board could be coming soon. Dr. Landis says the study gives trustees some numbers to work with. Kathy Tampio of the North County Water District attended the meeting. She said the district's board was getting a chance to see the report late last week. Dr. Landis says trustees could take up the matter as early as tonight.
State conservation officials say bear hunters in New York state killed one-thousand-539 black bears during the 2016 hunting seasons. The Department of Environmental Conservation reports that hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone. That's about 10 percent less than in 2015, but slightly more than the five-year average. In the Northern Zone... 514 bears were killed, approximately 12 percent fewer than in 2015 but on par with the historical average. The heaviest dressed-weight bear reported to DEC in 2016 was 555 pounds, taken in the Franklin County town of Brandon.
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week is expected to decide whether the state should block New York City's impending fee on non-reusable shopping bags. The Democrat has until February 18th to act on legislation that would postpone the fee until at least next year. But he's likely to act sooner, because the fee is scheduled to go into effect Wednesday. City leaders approved the fee, of a nickel or more, on plastic and paper shopping bags as a way to reduce litter. But state lawmakers voted to overrule the city, saying the fee would be a burden on the poor and middle class. Meanwhile... the Legislature will take its deepest dive yet into Cuomo's $152-billion dollar state budget proposal, holding a series of hearings on education spending, transportation and environmental protection.