Chautauqua County fire investigators have determined that last Monday night's blaze that destroyed a two-story house in the town of Carroll was accidental in nature. Officials with the county's Fire Investigation Team have ruled that combustables too close to a chimney pipe is the cause of the fire at 3 Rice Avenue. Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene about 5 PM... and, found heavy flames in the garage area that had spread into the upstairs of the two-story house. The two people living there were not hurt. Frewsburg was joined at the scene by Kiantone, Falconer, Kennedy, and Lakewood fire crews. Firefighters were at the scene nearly four-hours.
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he's encouraged about Congress and the Senate working out a plan to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. But... Edwards says a long-term solution is still needed to control spending in Washington. The Busti Republican says allowing the federal government to go over the fiscal cliff would be devastating... not only nationally... but, here at home. However... Edwards says he wants to see a long term plan that would control federal spending. The latest proposal would fund the government through January 15th next year... and, averts default through February 7th of 2014.
The Lake Shore Health Care Center is set to close if a buyer is not found for the facility in Irving. That from the Lake Erie Regional Health System, which operates both the Lake Shore Health Care Center... and, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk. Wednesday's announcement was made in what is being called "An Open Letter to the Community." It announced that the Health System's board decided during a meeting on Tuesday that the facility would close its doors effective January 31st of 2014. According to the statement... Lake Shore Health Care Center... which is part of the TLC Health Network... is projected to lose another 7-million dollars by the end of 2013 on top of the significant losses it had already incurred over the past few years. The health system has notified the nearly 460 employees, including those in the administrative office building, the long-term care center and the home health division, that the anticipated last day of their employment will be as early as January 16th of 2014. A hotline is also being set up for employees with questions about the closure during the transition. Health system officials have also requested a 90-day window in which they will attempt to find a buyer for the Lake Shore Health Care Center campus and services.
The possible closing of the Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving comes as a shock to local and state representatives. County Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek says knew about the health system's struggles, but was surprised by the timing, since he had toured a new emergency department that had opened just a few months ago. Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he is working with State Senator Cathy Young... who is taking the lead in finding out what can be done to keep the health care facility from closing. Young and Goodell are reaching out to the State Health Department, which oversees the operation of all hospitals and they are seeking an emergency meeting with health system officials. Union officials were also caught off guard. Kathy Ville, a spokeswoman for SEIU 1199 says they did not receive any advance notice of the decision and she says they were "blindsided." Borrello says he understands that any closing could not take place without approval from the State Health Department.
Three city residents escaped serious injury Tuesday night in a two-car accident on Jamestown's westside. City police were called to the scene at West Eighth and Jefferson Streets just after 9 PM on a report of an accident with one roll-over and possible entrapment. Officer say they found a Jeep Cherokee on it's side on West Eighth when they arrived... and, that the three occupants -- ages 48, 35 and 11 -- had been able to get out of the vehicle. Their investigation found that a southbound car... driven by a 16 year-old girl... had failed to stop for the stop sign... and, the the car struck the jeep. Police say the 16 year-old was driving without a license. Two people from the Jeep... and, one from the teen's car... were treated for their injuries at WCA Hospital. The teenaged driver faces several charges... including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle... and, failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign. She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce has released his proposed 2014 city budget. Dolce's spending plan does not include a property tax increase... and, calls for a spending decrease of about 550-thousand dollars across all three of the city's funds. He says the budget process went well. The Dunkirk budget proposal does include an increase in the city's minimum quarterly water rate for residential users. Council members will now begin the task of reviewing the budget November 1st.