It's still going to be cold... and, very Wintry over the next couple of days in the Jamestown-area. The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Chill Advisory until Noon today. However... late yesterday... forecasters issued a Winter Weather Advisory beginning at 2 this afternoon... and, continuing through 7 PM Saturday. Meteorologist John Hitchcock in Buffalo says it will be a similar situation to a few days ago... as wind chills will reach 20-below early THIS morning. Hitchcock says the Winter Weather Advisory is for a combination of a few inches of snow... but, very windy and blustery conditions that'll make travel difficult. Hitchcock says the worst of the snow, blowing and drifting will be very late tonight into mid to late morning Saturday as a new wave of Artic air moves in. He says we'll only see about 2 to 3 inches of snow in most spots during the overnight... but, up to six-inches along the Chautauqua Ridge. While temperatures will rise to around the 20-degree mark Saturday afternoon... the mercury will fall below-zero again in many areas by Saturday night.
The frigid weather has resulted in Lake Erie becoming almost completely covered with ice. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is reporting that the lake was 95-percent ice covered as of Wednesday. Forecaster Tom Paone with the National Weather Service says it won't be long before the entire surface is covered -- possibly this weekend. While having an ice covered lake significantly reduces the amount of lake effect snow... it doesn't completely shut it off according to Paone. Paone says this is the first time in several years that Lake Erie will become completely covered by ice. It will also become one of the earliest times in recent memory.
Authorities now say a 38-year-old man fatally shot his estranged wife and her boyfriend after she showed up at the couple's former home in a small Cattaraugus County community to get some of her belongings. Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says 43-year-old Kimberly Podolski, 51-year-old Dennis Larweth of Olean and another man had gone to the home in the tiny hamlet of Limestone Wednesday. Whitcomb says Podolski and Larweth were shot and killed by her estranged husband, Daniel Podolski, who then shot himself in the head. Whitcomb said Thursday that he's in critical condition at the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. He says the other man ran away and called police. Whitcomb says the Podolskis had two children. Limestone is located on the Pennsylvania border.
A dozen state senators are urging New York's education commissioner to delay the further rollout of the new Common Core learning standards... citing frustration and complaints by parents, teachers and administrators. They're also threatening to force changes by law if there's no relief. At a hearing Thursday... Commissioner John King Jr. says some complaints are merging the curriculum itself adopted by 45 states with other issues like teacher evaluations and data collection security. King says the need for the academic improvement the standards offer is still ``urgent.'' He acknowledged ``uneven'' implementation by the state's 700 school districts and promised adjustments in state guidance. King was on hand for a public forum in Jamestown last December attended by several hundred people on the Common Core roll-out.
The Jamestown School Board will hold a public hearing prior to it's February 4th meeting to get input on whether to allow a partial tax exemption for local veterans. Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow explained the proposed exemption... which the state is allowing local districts to implement this year. School Superindent Tim Mains says the hearing will begin at 6 PM on the 4th at Washington Middle School. Mains says it's a "Catch 22" for districts... because veteran's are "very well deserving" of such an exemption. Weatherlow estimated that if ALL eligible veterans took advantage of the exemption... which is granted based on their military record... it could raise taxes on other property owners by about 1.17-percent. Mains says the other issue is that New York school districts have been financially-stressed for the past 5 to 6 years... and -- in some ways -- can't afford the exemption. Up until now... Mains says the state had only allowed the veteran's tax exemption for local municipalities. School districts now have that option available to them. Again... the public hearing will be on Tuesday, February 4th, at 6 PM at Washington Middle School... prior to the board's regular 7 PM meeting.