An arctic front that initially brought a quick shot of heavy snow -- and white-out conditions -- across parts of Chautauqua County has now brought frigid air to the region... and, dangerously low wind chills. That from Forecaster Dave Thomas with the National Weather Service... who says the mercury will reached the lower, single digits by last night... and we may see 5-below zero in some areas this morning. Thomas says a Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until 11 this morning... with the "real feel" temperature about 25 to 30-below zero. He says temperatures will struggle to get into the single digits during the day today... and, tomorrow... and, tonight's air temperature will drop to 5 to 10-below zero tonight.
As we get another burst of cold, Polar air over the next couple of days... the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging is reminding residents to keep an eye on the elderly. Quite often... they are not able to get out during such prolonged cold snaps... but, may also be having trouble keeping warm. Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says you should make sure they have enough food, and medication if they're taking any. Spanos says... while it may not be of immediate help... seniors should look into whether they are eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program... otherwise known as HEAP. She says there is still money available because Congress recently appropriated more money for HEAP, and LIHEAP... which is for low-income residents. If you're not eligible for HEAP... Spanos says there are other ways to get the money you need... including use of the Medicare Savings Program to help pay their insurance. She says that can help save money to pay those heating bills. For more informationi... you can call their New York-Connects number at 753-4582... or toll free in Jamestown, 661-7582.
2013 was a year of "tremendous achievement and progress" in the city of Jamestown... and, there's plenty more to come in the new year as long as city leaders work together. However... there remain several challenges to be tackled -- including high taxes, and quality of life issues. That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who delivered his 15th State of the City Address last night. Teresi says one of the top financial achievements was the city earning it's second bond rating boost in the past three years. For the first time in more than 30 years -- he adds -- that rating is back in the "A" catagory. Teresi adds that 2014 will likely see a joint City/County Task Force finalizing a draft Initial Management Agreement on consolidating the Jamestown Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department. There was also a lower profile move by city Fire officials to contain costs... and, create more efficiency. On "Quality of Life" matters... Teresi says public service officials will intensify their efforts to attack and further cut into two "scourges" in the community -- illegal drugs, and structure arsons. He also says the city will re-launch it's "highly-effective" Quadrant Residential Inspection Program to help bolster the local housing market... and, step up removal of unoccupied and "dangerous" structures.
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a major pain killer several times while she was a nurse at the county's Veteran's Affairs Outpatient Clinic. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 47 year-old Samilyn Olson admitted to stealing and forging prescription forms for oxycodone at least eight times nearly four years ago. She entered the plea in federal court in Buffalo Monday... and, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison... and, a one-million dollar fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch, who is handling the case, says the incidents occured between May and September of 2010. Lynch says she stole prescription forms from a nurse practitioner at the clinic... forged the practitioner's name... and, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone. He says the scripts were then filled by Olson or others at a local pharmacy in Jamestown... and, then sold. Several agencies... including the Jamestown Police Department... investigated the case.
A vote could be taken as early as mid-week on a new, federal Farm Bill. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says he's received word that a joint Senate-House Conference Committee is ready to issue a final committee report within the next day or so. Reed calls it "exciting news... " and, says once Congress receives the bill... they should be able to vote on it. He says the key issues have been Agriculture Policy for Dairy and Commodity Pricing. Reed adds that the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program -- or SNAP -- was not the major issue the the media played it up to be. Reed says he got an update yesterday upon returning to Washington for tonight's State of the Union Address. The Corning Republican says he received a lot of positive feedback on what's in the five-year, Farm Bill during three town hall meetings in the 23rd District last week. One of those meetings was in Jamestown, where he said lawmakers were "very close" to having a new bill.