More than a dozen homes along East Terrace Avenue in Lakewood remained without power last night after a severe thunderstorm passed through the area early Monday afternoon. National Weather Service Forecaster Kirk Apfell says the thunderstorm produced what appear to be straight-line winds... and pea-to-golf ball-sized hail. Several trees and power lines were taken down in that immediate area. Lakewood Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says they got several calls after the storm hit about 1 PM. The National Weather Service did issue a severe thunderstorm warning shortly before 1 PM as a cold front brought the storm through the area. Hallberg says several trees fell onto homes, or through windows... but, fortunately... there were no injuries. He said last night that the homes still without power were likely due to a damaged pole transformer and downed lines. Hallberg says there was also some severe hail damage to a few buildings. He says the old Green Farm Building at Chautauqua and Terrace Avenues had at least eight windows damaged by hail. The storm also affected about 35-hundred Jamestown Board of Public Utilities customers. However... BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says everyone had power restored by about 7:45 PM. Robbins says the affected areas were concentrated on the city's west and northsides... and, in West Ellicott. She adds there were also downed power lines on Emory Drive... Hallock Street... and Newland Avenues.
With President Obama requesting consent from federal lawmakers on launching attacks on Syria... local Congressman Tom Reed will hold six listening sessions before returning to Washington, D-C next week. Reed says three of the listening sessions will be held TODAY... and, three more will be held Wednesday. One of the Wednesday sessions will be held in Dunkirk. The Corning Republican says that'll be held at 3 PM at Dunkirk City Hall. Reed says the first listening session will be held in Big Flatts at 8 AM TODAY... while the second will be in Owego... and, the third will be held in Geneva. Reed says "While we have had many constituents calling our offices with their thoughts on whether or not the U.S. should get involved in this civil war, I also want to hear people's thoughts in person." In addition to Dunkirk... Reed's other stops Wednesday will be in Hornell, and Olean. Reed says his offices will continue to take calls... and, e-mails at www.Reed.house.gov.
Authorities say a head-on crash on a rural McKean County, Pennsylvania highway last last Saturday killed six people... including two children. State police in Kane say the crash happened at about 4:30 PM. They say an SUV driven by 36-year-old Kathy Douglas crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the front of an approaching car. The four people in the car died in the crash. They are the driver, 62-year-old Gary Beimel... and his passengers, 54-year-old David Cuneo, 55-year-old Elaine Beimel and 81-year-old Florence Donachy. All are residents of St. Marys. Douglas' 6-year-old nephew, Jarrett Costanzo, and 12-year-old daughter, Olivia Douglas, were killed. Douglas and her 10-year-old son were seriously injured. State Police Trooper Roger McCloskey says he believes Douglas was at fault and will face some sort of charges.
This is the first-day of school for two Chautauqua County districts as classes begin this week. The Southwestern and Frewsburg Central School District's begin classes today. Wednesday is the big day for most districts... as they have "in-service" days for teachers today. Those include Jamestown... Cassadaga Valley... Fredonia... Pine Valley... Clymer... Sherman... Falconer... Panama... and Silver Creek. The Warren County district also opens tomorrow. Officials say four districts open Thursday. They are Bemus Point... Westfield... Chautauqua Lake... and, West Valley. One district in the region opens Friday... an,d that's Randolph.
ALL 18 of Chautauqua County's school districts have had budgets in place as the new school year begins... but, many administrators are looking ahead to more challenges. Those include getting Common Core standards in place... and, living within their budgets doing it. Many districts had to make staffing cuts to stay under the state's 2-percent property tax cap. Fredonia School Superintendent Paul DiFonzo says his district has had to absorb some major cuts in state aid in recent years. Fredonia Central cut 3-and-a-half staffing positions for the 2013-14 school year to hold down higher tax rates. He says it won't get any easier next year... and, the district is actively working with neighboring districts including Dunkirk to find ways to share services. Dunkirk and Fredonia approved a plan a short time ago to combine their universal Pre-K programs starting this fall. Some other districts have combined sports teams because they've either lost school population... or, don't have enough students going out for sports teams.
A Lackawanna, New York woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk when he was caught speeding through the town of Ripley early last Sunday morning. Sheriff's officers say they spotted the vehicle... driven by 31 year-old Rosa Jauregui (Jowr-gee)... allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed on West Main street about 1:15 AM. After stopping the vehicle... and, conducting a further interview and investigation... found Jauregui to be intoxicated. She is charged with DWI... and, speeding in zone. She was ticketed... and, will appear in Ripley Town Court at a later date.