Local Congressman Tom Reed is adding his voice to the chorus of elected officials supporting the NRG Re-Powering proposal. The Corning Republican met with local, county and state representatives in Dunkirk last Friday afternoon to encourage the public to attend the State Public Service Commission hearing that will be held on the SUNY Fredonia campus tonight. Reed says he has reached out to the head of the state PSC to stress the importance of keeping the plant open. Reed has officially submitted his position to the PSC... and, he has also been in touch to National Grid to let the utility know that he supports the 500-million dollar NRG RePowering proposal. Plans are to continue the operation for the near term as a coal-fired plant... but, it would soon be converted to natural gas. Reed made his comments at a news conference at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk that was also attended by Chautauqua County Executive Gre Edwards... state lawmakers... and, officials from Dunkirk.
A public hearing that will play a key role in whether the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk is kept open... and, converted to a natural gas fired facility is set for tonight. The state Public Service Commission will hold the hearing at 7 PM at the SUNY College at Fredonia campus. State Senator Cathy Young says if NRG has to close the plant... it will have a "devastating impact" on the city of Dunkirk... as well as Chautauqua County as a whole. County Executive Greg Edwards says the public's voice is needed now more than ever. NRG wants to "RePower" the Dunkirk plant by converting it... over time... to being a natural gas-fired plant. However... National Grid wants to see the plant closed down... and, transmission improvements made. Some environmentalists agree with doing that. However... Young says the problem with that is National Grid would be importing power from Pennsylvania... which has some of the "dirtiest coal plants" in the country.
A Democrat from Jamestown's third-ward has been recruited to run for a vacancy on the city council being left by Councilman Michael Taylor's decision to not seek re-election. No official announcement has been made... but, Mayor Sam Teresi confirmed during this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" that the citys Democratic Committee has found a woman, Regina Brackman, who is willing and able to run. Teresi says the long-time third-ward resident is an employee of Truck-Lite. It's not known if Republicans have a candidate to run for that post. Taylor told us late last month that he would not seek a fifth-term... and, will pursue new career opportunities instead. He said that he had more or less decided after winning a fourth-term that... if his career situation didn't turn around... that it would be his last term in office.
A Jamestown man faces a number of charges for allegedly driving off from the scene of a personal injury accident in which a 6 year-old child was hurt in the other vehicle involved. City police were called to the scene on South Main Street -- near Harrison -- early last Friday night. Officers say their investigation showed that 19 year-old Tyler LeBarron was northbound on South Main when his Ford Explorer struck a newer model vehicle. Police say LeBarron's SUV apparently had inadequate brakes... and, he drove off. But... a witness to the hit-and-run crash was able to give officers and description and license plate number... and, LeBarron's vehicle was found. Officers add a 6 year-old in the newer vehicle suffered minor, non-life threatening injuries. LeBarron faces charges including following too closely... having inadequate brakes... no insurance... and, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. He was jailed on 500-dollars bail.
Three teenaged boys were arrested on drug-possesion charges early last weekend after the car they were in was stopped on West Main Street in Frewsburg for a motor vehicle infraction. Sheriff's officers say the car was found to have an expired registration sticker when it was pulled over about 3:30 Saturday morning. Deputies say the three occupants... a 16 year-old from Ashville... an 18 year-old from Panama... and, a 19 year-old from Lakewood... were smoking marijuana inside the vehicle. They add a quantity of pot was surrendered to them. Deputies also found that the 16 year-old... who was allegedly driving... was found to be driving while impaired and arrested. He was also accused of operating a motor vehicle after 9 PM when he wasn't allowed. Officers add all three occupants were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana... and, will appear in Carroll Town Court at a later date.
State health officials have awarded 27-million dollars in grants to help enroll more than one-million uninsured New Yorkers in a new health insurance exchange for coverage starting next year. The grants will go to 50 organizations that will help applicants, including individuals, families and small businesses, get into the federally required marketplace for buyers. Enrollment begins October 1st. Health department officials expect to enroll about 1.1-million people with assistance in every county and in 48 languages. There are about 2.7-million uninsured people in New York. A department spokesman says they plan to award 27-million annually for five years. Meanwhile... the state has received nearly 40.2-million dollars in federal funds for marketing and advertising over two years and has retained the firm DDB.