Local News Headlines

A devastating fire has destroyed much of a block of businesses and residential apartments in the village of Falconer.

 

Crews from upwards of 15 fire departments remain at the scene of the blaze at a three-story structure from 29 to 35 West Main Street.  

 

Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel says Falconer firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 7.30 AM when someone living in an upstairs apartment called in the blaze to Streets Superintendent Pete Fuller who then called in the alarm. He says they appreciate all the help at the scene.  

 

Crews found fire coming through the roof of the building and immediately closed off West Main Street from Phetteplace to South Work Street. Fire police have been keeping people away from the building because of further threat of collapse.  

 

Shortly before 9 AM Rensel says the center part of the structure collapsed. He adds fire crews have also been battling unseasonably cold temperatures and water freezing up,however no one has been hurt.

 

Wednesday morning's huge fire in downtown Falconer is likely the worst the village has seen in more than 50 years.  

 

That from Mayor Jim Rensel who is a lifelong resident. Rensel says he's been the mayor for four years now and in talking with people yesterday he's learned about a major fire the village dealt with just over 55 years ago in 1960 or 1961.  He says it'll be difficult but he believes they "will recover from this."  

 

Owners involved with the structure at 29 to 35 West Main Street were being contacted yesterday morning about the blaze.  At least one confirmed full insurance coverage. With the fact officials were working on demolition of the remaining structure because of safety issues there has been no talk yet about re-building.



 

A Sinclairville woman has been charged in connection with the escape of her husband earlier this month.  

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says 30-year-old Kelsey Raynor was arrested on a warrant when she appeared in Charlotte Town Court on an unrelated matter Tuesday. Gerace says she allegedly assisted her husband, 34 year-old Jacob, who had escaped during arraignment on charges of third-degree unlawful manufacturing methamphetamine back on March 7th.

 

Jacob Raynor was captured on March 14th. Gerace says Kelsey Raynor is also facing drug related charges after an investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  She was arraigned and sent to the county jail on $15,000 bail.

 

A Dunkirk man who was considered the "co-leader" of a drug trafficking ring in the north county city has been sentenced to eight years and a month in federal prison.  

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 40 year-old David Jesus Pagan who was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm received 97 month from U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  

 

Prosecutor Michael Adler says that Pagan and co-defendant Rafael Burgos were the leaders of a drug trafficking organization that distributed illegal narcotics in the Dunkirk area between 2013 and June 10th of 2015. 

 

During that time they allegedly distributed multiple kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dunkirk area. Four others were also arrested at that time and an AR-15 assault rifle, a 30-round magazine, and about $175,000 in cash was also seized.


 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady this week with a very slight increase of just under a penny a gallon.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is $2.47 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. AAA says that's about 2-tenths of a cent more than last week. Nationally the Fuel Gauge says pump prices also remain relatively stable with today’s national average price for regular, unleaded holding at about $2.29 per gallon.  

 

The average price is down by a fraction of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved one cent higher compared to last month.  Drivers are paying 31 cents more per gallon at the pump compared to this same date last year. The East Coast saw a decline in gasoline supplies last week as refiners prepare to switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline.



New York state is launching a program to provide electric cars buyers with rebates of up to $2,000.  

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the $55-million rebate program is designed to spur more electric car use in New York and help reduce carbon emissions.  

 

The rebates are available to New York residents who buy eligible cars through participating new car dealers. The rebates of up to $2,000 will go toward purchases of new plug-in hybrid electric cars, all-electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars.  

 

An additional $15 million will be spent on consumer education, charging station installation and other efforts to increase electric car usage.