Local News Headlines
A Sinclairville man who escaped from police custody last week as he was making a court appearance on drug and other charges has been caught hiding in his home.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies and State Parole officers found 34 year-old Jacob Raynor hiding in an area under the floor of the house at 9 Reed Street.  Gerace says his department used suveillance and intelligence gathering to finally nab Raynor just after 3 PM yesterday. Gerace says Raynor was otherwise taken into custody without incident.  He escaped police custody while being arraigned a week ago Tuesday.  Gerace says they are now investigating the likelyhood that Raynor was helped by one or two people in the escape, and eluding police for a week.  Raynor was arraigned yesterday on the original charges of unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, a parole violation.  He is now also facing a Felony second-degree escape charge.  Raynor is being jailed without bail, pending further court action.
 
 
It will be a cold and blustery end to the March Nor-easter today across Chautauqua County.  That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for all of Western New York through 8 this evening.  Hibbert told us late last night that winds were becoming favorable for more our most significant shot of snow during this two-day event. Hibbert says the Nor-easter in western New York has taken place as they expected it would.  The immediate Jamestown-area had received about 5 inches of snow by last night.  Hibbert says the wind will be a secondary issue today... with sustained winds about 15 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 45.  He says that'll drop wind chills into negative numbers.  However... conditions will lighten up some by later tonight.  Generally... Hibbert says we're still looking at 10 to 18 inches of snow through to night.  However... the weather service is now looking at less than a foot along the Lake Erie Shoreline.
 
 
A powerful nor'easter began lashing the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast Tuesday, prompting flight cancellations, school closures and warnings from officials to stay off the roads.  The National Weather Service had issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and other parts of New England.  The storm is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on the New York City metro area with wind gusts of up to 55 mph.  Coastal flood warnings are in effect from Massachusetts to Delaware.  According to the airline-tracking website FlightAware, more than 5,000 Tuesday flights have been canceled.
 
 
Governor Cuomo late Tuesday morning also announced a tractor-trailer ban on the state Thruway... along with other major highways... across New York state.  Cuomo says -- in addition to the Thruway -- the big rig ban is also in effect for Interstate 86-and Route 17 across the Southern Tier.  There is also a full travel ban in effect for Broome County.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's supporting changes at the federal level that would lessen the property tax burden across upstate New York by eliminating the county share of Medicaid costs.  Corning Repubican Tom Reed says that he is backing an amendment by Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins to eliminate that 25-percent share that's picked up by the local governments.  If approved in Congress... he says the state would pick-up the entire 50-percent cost going forward. Reed says "for too long... Albany has pushed its responsibility to fund Medicaid onto local county governments."  In some cases... he says counties are dedicating nearly 70-percent of their local tax dollars to the portion of Medicaid they are mandated to pay.  Here in Chautauqua County... Reed's office says the local share of Medicaid is almost 50 percent of the county's tax levy.  He adds that the annual local share across the U-S is 10-billion dollars... 7-billion of which is paid by for by New York's counties.  Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
An annual event in Jamestown that challenges the skill of local middle and high school students from across the region in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math has been postponed a week.  The annual STEM Wars at Jamestown Community College's Physical Education Complex was to be held this morning.  However... due to yesterday's closing of JCC due to the Nor-easter... there wasn't time to prepare the facility.  It will now be held next Wednesday, March 22nd at 9 AM.  Some 900 students are expected to compete in the program.
 
 
Female lawmakers in New York say early voting would make it easier for all New Yorkers - and particularly women - to cast a ballot.  Several legislators on Monday urged Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to include early voting and automatic voter registration in the state budget expected to be approved by April 1.  Cuomo supports the proposals, which he says would allow more New Yorkers to participate in their democracy.  Compared to other states New York has low voter turnout rates and is one of a minority of states that still doesn't allow early voting.  The women lawmakers say that while the goal is increasing turnout rates for all voters, early voting would be particularly helpful for many women who must juggle work and family obligations.