Local News Headlines 4:50am 4/17/13
Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone was at a special meeting for first responders when the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. Leone says it's such meetings as the Western District Emergency Managers held in Batavia that helps them to be ready for such instances. He says the critical part is making sure that local agencies work together... and, coordinate their efforts. Leone says the Boston bombings are on the minds of first responders across the region. He adds the lessons learned from the "9/11" attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania have been a big help. Leone says it's created a level of "heightened awareness..." and increased "our level of preparedness." He says the agencies worked together on a regular basis since no one agency can do it on their own. They often do drills together to make sure they are ready. Leone adds that Monday and Tuesday's meetings in Batavia were scheduled long before the bombings.
Media One News has learned of at least one runner from the Jamestown-area took part in yesterday's (Monday's) marathon. That person is a competitive runner... who finished about an hour ahead of the two-bomb blasts that took place just over 4-hours into the historic road-race. He finished, and word is he should be okay. However... the runner is not being identified at this point... because the group he's involved with has not heard from him yet. Once they do... they will let us know. The Warren Times-Observer also reports two runners from Warren... one a college student... finished early and were okay.
Law enforcers say New York City remains in a heightened state of alert until more is known about the Boston explosions. More officers are working around New York, including counterterrorism units and beefed up patrols. The major focuses include landmark locations such as the Empire State Building and World Trade Center site. Subways and commuter rails are also getting an extra dose of protection. Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- and his security detail -- took the subway on Tuesday to show that it's safe.
The major fund-raiser for Jamestown's largest soup kitchen is underway. The 13th annual 'Cents for St. Susan's' campaign officially kicked-off Tuesday at the Board of Public Utilities on Steele Street. The BPU spearheads the effort... and, Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says since the BPU is a government entity... it cannot directly give money to local charities. However... Robbins they want to do what they can to help the St. Susan's Center provide a much needed service. At the same time... she says they have more than a dozen sponsors who also help out. The Media One Group is one of the sponsors involved. St. Susan's Executive Director Sue Colwell says the fund-raiser is critical because the number of meals they serve continues to rise. Last year... they provided just over 98-thousand meals. Colwell adds that they provide one meal a day to people -- seven days a week. The campaign has raised about 13-thousand dollars each of the past two years. The campaign continues through mid-June.
The county legislature is being asked to consider spending 4-million dollars to build a new Public Facilities Shop in Falconer. DPF Director George Spanos says the Falconer shop... which is one of three in the county... is also the main headquarters for the DPF. However... Spanos says it has NOT been upgraded since it was first built in 1927. Spanos updated lawmakers at the Public Facilities Committee meeting Monday night... saying it's no longer a functional structure. He made recommendations about a new facility that can handle today's bigger, heavy duty equipment. Spanos says there have been studies of the building in the past... but, the next step to upgrade and expand the building has never taken place. He says they have to leave doors open in the shop in order to maintain their vehicles and equipment... which he says is a problem in the Winter months. Spanos knows money is tight... but, is pleased a couple of committee members will soon tour the shop so a decision can be made on replacing the structure. He hopes more lawmakers will tour the facility.
A Jamestown-area woman is the winner of this year's Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick contest. The event was held again this year since there was little to no ice last Winter. The contest benefits the Chautauqua Lake Association... and, CLA President Doug Conroe says the pick was placed on solid ice around Bemus Bay early this past February. More than 500 people guessed when the ice would melt... and, the pick would go into the water. Conroe says that happened about 3:45 PM on Tuesday, April 9th. He says the person closest to picking that day and time was Brooke Sheesley. Conroe says the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick contest is based on a successful Alaskan tradition. It started as people were waiting for the ice to break on the Tanana River in the late Spring. The pick is actually a tri-pod that holds a clock that stops on the time and day the pick melts through the ice. This year's event has raised 58-hundred dollars for the CLA's lake maintenance program.