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A collision involving two pick-up trucks in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville has left an elderly Niagara Falls man dead.  

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say one of the trucks operated by 21 year-old Ryan Holmes of Henrietta, New York was northbound on Route 219 about 5:15 yesterday morning when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say Holmes' pick-up crossed the center line and struck an on-coming truck, driven by 90-year-old Charles West.  Officers say West was pronounced dead at the scene while Holmes was taken to the Erie County Medical Center near Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.  

 

The Cattaraugus County Accident Reconstruction Team was called into investigate at this time.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

It's a long-shot but, Chautauqua County now has the same exact number of registered Republicans as Democrats.  
 
That from County Elections Commissioner Norm Green who says the numbers were updated in the county back on April 1st.  After having a majority for the past eight years Green says the number of local Republicans increased to 26,057.  
 
He says that's the same number as Democrats have in the county.  Green says Democrats held the edge while President Obama was in office.
 
Green says state Election Law requires each of New York's 62 county boards to set it's official enrollment totals by party each April 1st.  
 
Fellow Elections' Commissioner Brian Abram also said he "can't imagine the odds of the Republicans and Democrats of being absolutely tied for 2017."  
 
Both Green and Abram say Chautauqua County is a "competitive county, where any candidate can win any election."  
 
After the Democrats and Republicans the next largest registration is for the Independence Party which has 4,719 members followed by Conservatives with 1,904.  The number Independent voters is just over 18,000.  The county now has 77,628 registered voters.
 
New York's free tuition for middle class students does have one-string attached: Students must stay in the state after graduation or else pay back the benefit.  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday who says that requirement was added to protect the state's investment in a student's education by ensuring they don't take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York.  
 
The tuition initiative, which Cuomo says is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less.  Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit.
 
If they take a job in another state they must pay the money back as a loan.  Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations.
 
The American worker has become a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge.  
A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job. They are also helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.  
 
Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.
 
A program being offered through Massachusetts' workers compensation system provides expedited hearings to resolve disputes with insurers over medication.  Ohio is cracking down on doctors who fail to follow best practices in treating injured workers.  New York's workers compensation board will allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.
 
State Senator Cathy Young says there are several aspects of the new state budget that will help her 57th District and Chautauqua County.  
 
One of the key items for the county is inclusion of 5-million dollars in economic development "gap funding" for the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Young says it's part of the "Buffalo Billion-2" legislation an intiative pushed by Governor Cuomo.
 
Young says she also made sure that the Mitigation Fund she started last year to help local communities affected by the closing, or mothballing of "coal-fired" power plants, was included.  She says 45-million dollars has been set aside to help plug the gap in revenues coming from the NRG Plant in Dunkirk.  Young adds that would be extended from 5 to 7 years... if needed before the new, natural gas-fired plant's in place.

 

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