Local News Headlines

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The Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats are verbally sparring over who won in the 2017 budget battle. 


However the western Southern Tier faired pretty well in the new spending plan which runs through September. 


Local Congressman Tom Reed says a number of programs and projects under threat in the 2018 spending plan are included in this year's budget deal including the Great Lakes Initiative. President Trump has proposed cutting funding for the Great Lakes Initiative by 97% in the 2018 budget blueprint. 


However Reed believes this appropriations bill will help prioritize what will be funded in the 2018 bill.  He says that should "bode well" for the 23rd Congressional District.  He adds that funding for the Appalachin Regional Commission was at least continued at 2016 levels 


But he says the ARC was given an additional 20-million dollars for the year.  President Trump touted the budget deal declaring: "This is what winning looks like."  Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says they did find 347-million dollars to begin work on the border wall.

A New York program that allows court-ordered therapy for thousands of seriously mentally ill people will expire next month if the Legislature doesn't renew it.   


Advocates say research supports making the 18-year-old policy permanent, but opponents say involuntary psychiatric treatment violates rights and stigmatizes the mentally ill.  More than 4-thousand New Yorkers are treated annually under Kendra's Law, which passed in 1999 after Kendra Webdale was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with untreated schizophrenia. 

The Fredonia native died in the attack. 


The measure  proposed by State Senator Cathy Young has been temporarily reauthorized twice, but New York lawmakers have balked at making the law permanent.  The Republican-led Senate this week passed a bill to make the law permanent, and it is now up for consideration in the Assembly.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to help communities hit by flooding along the Lake Ontario's southern shore in western New York. 


The Democratic governor says Tuesday a state response team has been created.  It consists of the National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and Monroe County Sheriff's Office. 


Cuomo says equipment including generators and pumps will be made available to suburban Rochester towns where wind-driven floodwaters have been affecting hundreds of homes.  The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings for Lake Ontario's southern and eastern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River.

The numbers are in and arrests from the non-Fred Fest celebration in the village of Fredonia were down from last year's event and, that pleases Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers. 


The village's top police official says they have compiled the figures from the three-day event that wrapped up late Saturday night and there were signs of improvement. Fredonia Police announced changes in the way they were handling the event last week.  Among the changes, police used body cameras for the first time and they promised that the arrests would be posted on the department's Facebook page. 


Meyers believes the changes helped to make a difference and he is hopeful the weekend event will eventually fade away though he says that wasn't the case this year. 


For those who are wondering, Meyers says they will be posting the names of all 67 people were arrested on Facebook.

New York lawmakers are questioning the cost and motives of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to bail out three aging upstate nuclear reactors. 


Members of the Assembly used a legislative hearing on the subsidies Monday to question state energy officials about the need for the state subsidies, which will cost ratepayers up to $7.6-million dollars over 12 years.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money will ensure the plants continue to operate and prevent greater reliance on fossil fuels as the state shifts to renewable energy. 


At Monday's hearing state officials said that while $7.6 billion is the top estimate, the subsidies are likely to cost energy consumers far less as the plan proceeds.  Projections now indicate the average electricity consumer will pay about $2 more per month.

The new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue in the village held it's official grand opening this morning. 


The diner has actually been open for a few months now but, the downtown eatery held it's official opening today with village officials, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on hand.  Morgan Hetrick and his wife, Sara, bought the former Mindy's Place as one of seven buildings he recently purchased. 


Morgan Hetrick says they decided to fill the void when the previous owner decided to close.  He says they have a lot of good, hearty dishes but, have several healthful ones as well. Hetrick says they still specialize in different kinds of pancakes and, other breakfast specials. 


Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri says she was sad to see Mindy's close but, adds the Hetrick's have created a terrific, new restaurant to get great coffee, and a variety of breakfasts and lunches.  Morgan Hetrick says they are open seven days a week from 7 AM to 2 PM and, he says business is picking up after a lull over the Winter months.

An effort to ban the declawing of cats in New York is back before lawmakers. 


Legislation to prohibit the procedure for aesthetic purposes has been introduced in the Senate and Assembly.  Supporters include animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians who say declawing a cat is inhumane since it involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle. 


The state's largest veterinary association opposes a ban, however, arguing that the procedure should remain a last resort for felines who won't stop scratching furniture or humans.  The bill failed to get a vote last year. 


 On Tuesday supporters including the Humane Society and several veterinarians who oppose the procedure plan to lobby lawmakers at the state Capitol.