Close to 2,500 people filled the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia Monday night to hear presentations from NRG and National Grid which were then followed by a public hearing held by the New York State Public Service Commission. In total, 80 individuals, including local and state officials, signed up to voice their concerns either for or against the NRG repowering project. Testimony began with State Senator Cathy Young, who said the possible loss of NRG would be devastating. Assemblyman Andrew Goodell says NRG's tax revenue amounts to over 40 percent to the City of Dunkirk. The majority of those who spoke, including Cassadaga resident David Wilkinson, favored the repowering project, citing long-term economic stability to the region, job retention, and a guaranteed lower tax rate for the City and Dunkirk School District. A handful of individuals favored National Grid's transmission upgrades. Senator Young is hoping the PSC will render a decision within two to three months.
Hot and humid conditions are expected to be with us through the end of this week... and, even possibly into the early part of next weekend. That from Forecaster Tom Paone with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we won't likely break any records this week. Paone says that due mainly to the amount of rain that's gotten into the ground in recent weeks. He says high pressure affecting a large area along the upper east coast is causing it all. Buffalo Sunday reached 91 degrees... just one degree off it's record of 92. As for us... we reached 89 degrees at our Media One studios late Monday afternoon. Paone says the heat and humidity is not unusual because we're into the hottest time of the year. However... he says avoid the mid-day sun if you can... and, if you have to be outside... take some precautions... including drinking plenty of liquids, wearing a hat and light-colored clothing. Paone says a cold front will move in to the area Saturday... bringing more comfortable temperatures.
The Jamestown City Council will vote later this month on accepting the low bid of a Pennsylvania firm that will build a new pumper truck for the city fire department. Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey told lawmakers at last night's Council Work Session that 4-Guys Company of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania had bid just under 398-thousand dollars. Harvey adds they not only had the lowest bid... but, also was the only one of four bidders that met all their specifications. Harvey says, though, they did have some initial concerns. Harvey says they were hoping to have a low bid of under 400-thousand dollars. 4-Guys... and, Spartan... the second-low bidder... were both under that mark. However... Spartan was unable to meet the bid specifications. Harvey adds, though, they need to ask the federal Department of Homeland Security for an extention on getting the new pumper, because, they have a year once the grant is awarded. He says... once the contract is signed... it takes between 280 and 300-days to get the new pumper built, and delivered. Harvey says they received notice of the 464-thousand dollar grant earlier this year NINE days after it had been approved. That meant the clock was already ticking... and, the department had a year to get the new engine.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover police officer several times in the city over the past three months. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... along with city police... arrested 22 year-old Cody Mason of 505 Palmer Street late last week on a warrant. Task Force members say Mason was arrested without incident... and, charged with third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. Once he's arraigned... police say he'll be sent to the county jail pending further court action. Task Force agents say they obtained additional information during the arrest... and, the investigation is continuing. If you have any information about drug trafficking in your area... call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says it's only fair that if there's a delay in the employer mandate for Obamacare... there should also be a delay in the individual mandate. That from Corning Republican Tom Reed... who is supporting on two bills that support the one-year delay for employers... and, a one-year delay for individuals. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media. He says the Obama Administration should not be picking "winners and losers" in getting the program in place.
Reed says he's pushing support of the delay in the employer mandate because they need to send the message that the president cannot unilaterally ignore the laws... even laws that he supported, and pushed to have them enacted. He also says delaying both mandates would give lawmakers more time to replace the Affordable Care Act to a more "patient centered reforms..." and, deal with rising health care costs. Reed does say that in state's where Health Care Exchanges are in place... Americans who need health care coverage... and, can't afford it... will be able to get it.
SUNY plans to take up its secret proposal to spin off its most successful high-tech campus from the University at Albany to create a statewide job-creating force. Today's agenda for the SUNY Board of Trustees includes an item described as ``relationships'' between the University at Albany... and, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which has developed alongside the university center. The idea was first reported March 13th by The A-P based on an extensive, privately circulated proposal.