The supervisor of a small town in Cattaraugus County and his wife, the town clerk-elect, have been struck and killed by a car. In addition, the driver of the car has been arrested for vehicular manslaughter.
The Post-Journal reports that Michael and Donna Phillips were walking to town hall on Route 353 and North State Street near Salamanca late Friday when they were hit by the car, driven by 27 year-old Kevin Donaldson, Jr. of Cattaraugus.
Sheriff's officials in Little Valley say Phillips and his wife were both killed instantly. No one in the car was seriously injured but, Donaldson is now charged with two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and one count of driving while intoxicated. He was arraigned and jailed on $20,000 bail.
Michael Phillips ran unopposed for re-election last month as Salamanca town supervisor. Donna Phillips defeated incumbent Rosemary Shadden for town clerk by a vote of 117 to 41.
The GOP tax reform plan that's before Congress was the major topic of discussion during local representative Tom Reed's three town hall meetings across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties on Saturday.
The Corning Republican told the crowd in Kennedy and Silver Creek that such items as the State and Local Tax deduction or SALT, the medical expense deduction, and an increase in the children's tax credit have been included in the final tax bill, which was released last Friday. Reed says with the final plan, most residents would not itemize their taxes.
Reed was asked by a couple of residents in Silver Creek if he had read the final tax bill and why it is being rushed to a vote next week. He said he's read the many bills the GOP has worked on for the past seven years. He says if they delayed a vote to allow "everyone" to read it, he doubts they would ever act on it. During the town halls, Reed noted that a vote is expected in the House on Tuesday.
Residents during the Silver Creek session also brought up concerns about the national debt.
One person stated that the federal tax bill would increase the debt instead of lowering it. Reed said that growing the economy in addition to getting spending under control, is what is critical to solving the debt crisis. He says the $3.8-trillion the federal government spends each year must also come down.
Reed also talked about the repealing of Net Neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission, saying that law was outdated. The town hall meeting in Silver Creek was carried on Facebook Live.
The Cuomo administration says it will award another $100-million to revitalize downtowns in New York state.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding Friday in a preview of his 2018 State of the State address to be delivered next month.
The state will give awards of up to $10-million to communities in each of New York's 10 economic development regions. Nearly two years ago, Jamestown was among the first recipients of the funding, receiving $10-million for several downtown projects.
His work in sales for a former supermarket chain in western New York has helped retiring Chautauqua Region Community Foundation director Randy Sweeney raise the foundation's profile.
However, Sweeney says the raised profile has helped make the Jamestown-area "the best place it can be." He says the foundation had about 200 different scholarship and other funds worth about 30-million dollars when first arrived in 1997.
That number has grown to about 750 funds and, $94-million. Sweeney had been Vice-President of Sales at Quality Markets before moving to the foundation.
Sweeney will be replaced by outgoing United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Executive Director Tory Irgang on January 1st. He says the transition has gone smoothly, adding that Irgang has a very good understanding and knowledge of the community. He says that's important because the foundation has relationships with "hundreds of individuals." Sweeney made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
Residents of the Dunkirk City School District are calling for the reinstatement of a School Resource Officer following a recent incident involving the alleged stabbing of a Dunkirk school student.
Parent Devin Freitas addressed the school board late last week, asking them to work quickly at reinstating the position. He is calling on the school board to enhance safety in the District. Superintendent James Tracy says the district is actively looking at possibly reinstating a SRO position.
Tracy says funding does become an issue but, adds that the District is looking at ways to work around the cost factors. The alleged stabbing was not reported to local police, or the media.
A Mayville man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a motorcyclist and injuring three others in a crash last summer in Wyoming County.
The District Attorney's office there says 29-year-old Joshua Huntress pleaded guilty late last week to aggravated vehicular homicide and assault.
Prosecutors say Huntress had taken various controlled substances on July 9th and then attempted to drive from a motel in Warsaw back to Chautauqua County. He was traveling on Route 20A in the town of Orangeville when his vehicle plowed into two motorcycles. A passenger on one, a 66-year-old woman from North Tonawanda, died.