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A spokesman for a members-only warehouse store that's been part of the retail landscape in West Ellicott the past two decades is confirming that the local Sam's Club store is closing at the end of the month...  
The word comes from Corporate Communications Director Philip Keene in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin calls it a "sad" day for the town.  McLaughlin spoke with Sam's Club's Northeastern Governmental Affairs Director... who confirmed the closing will take place on January 26, and there are no future plans for the location.
The West Ellicott Sam's Club is one of 63 being closed nationwide, with three others in New York state.  McLaughlin says there are two in the Rochester-area and one is in Syracuse.  In a note to USA Today, Sam's Club President and Chief Executive Officer John Furner said they've decided to "right-size" their fleet.  McLaughlin says he did not receive a reason for the closings.
The Sam's Club at 720 Fairmount Avenue was closed without warning Thursday, with many employees finding out they weren't working when they arrived.  A flyer in the door said the store would be reopening this morning at 10:00.  Some employees referred to it as a "going out of business" sale.  
The expected closing of the Sam's Club store is a tough economic pill for the region to swallow and efforts are underway to find another retailer down the road to go into the location...  
Ellicott Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he can confirm that "no major retailers" have approached the town about possibly locating here -- right now.  He adds that, while there are no plans right now, the town is not out of the running for an e-commerce location down the road.
In addition to McLaughlin, State Senator Cathy Young says she is "alarmed and disheartened to learn of the sudden impending closure" of the local Sam's Club.  In a printed release Thursday afternoon, Young called it a "devastating blow to the store's employees and their families and to our area."  She adds that she has already heard from small business owners, including restaurants, who are very concerned about where they will buy bulk items for their businesses.
A Flood Watch remains in effect for parts of Western New York... 
Along with a Winter Storm Warning that takes effect at 1:00 this afternoon.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the warning is in place until 1 p.m. Saturday.  Ansuini says another shot of arctic air will pushing into the area by early this afternoon.
Ansuini says the early morning temperatures may get into the low 50s before the bottom drops out later in the day.  Total snow accumulations of five to 10 inches and ice accumulations of around two tenths are possible.  Difficult driving conditions are expected for tonight through Saturday morning.  The Flood Watch remains in effect through tonight.
The ice jamming situation improved later in the day Thursday in the village of Silver Creek and along Walnut Creek where ice jams were forming...
Route 5 was closed Thursday morning, but re-opened from Main Street to Parkway Avenue by late afternoon.  Silver Creek Fire Department Public Information Officer Jeff Griewisch says much of the large jam that concerned officials had cleared into Lake Erie, but they are still monitoring the situation.
Griewisch says they had a reduced number of crews in the village, but are ready if crews need to spring into action.  Local and county emergency management officials are also keeping a close watch in the Sunset Bay area where there are indications of potential flooding present.  Residents in Sunset Bay are being encouraged to prepare to evacuate in the event that flooding does occur.
State officials say 19 local governments across New York are splitting nearly $10 million for consolidating... 
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state funding through the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit has gone to towns that have dissolved a village within their boundaries.  Three other municipalities that completed a village dissolution at the end of last year will also start to receive the annual tax credit benefit. 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he thinks new City Council President Marie Carubba will be a "terrific" Council President...  
Carubba was approved 8-1 this past Monday night as new head of the panel, replacing Greg Rabb, who was not re-elected to office last November.  Carubba is a ward council member, and says she's looking forward to serving.  Teresi says Carubba has always had the city's best intentions at heart.
Teresi says everytime someone asked Carubba to stand up and be part of an important committee, or other task or assignment, she doesn't say "no".  Carrubba was previously chairwoman for the council's Housing Committee and she head's up the main office for Southern Tier Living Environments, Incorporated.  She is one of five women who are on city council the next two years.  She is joined by fellow Democrats Maria Jones, Vansssa Weinert and Vickeye James... and Republican Kim Ecklund.
There's a slight improvement in the number of boats requiring decontamination to remove invasive species around New York's Lake George...
The Post-Star says a report by the Lake George Park Commission finds 17% of the boats inspected there in 2017 required the procedure, compared to 18% the year before.  The report says a total of 6,684 boats have received a free decontamination since the program began in 2014.  The most prevalent invasive species found is a plant called Eurasian milfoil, which has also been a problem in Chautauqua Lake.  The number of boats with zebra mussels more than doubled.  The commission's executive director, David Wick, attributes that to a large number of boats coming from Saratoga Lake.  He says experts are working to address that issue.

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