Fire officials in the north county say an ice jam at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek caused flooding in Irving on Tuesday. WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports that there were no major issues... but, Sunset Bay fire officials say some roads had three to eight inches of water on them. Due to the large size of the creek, they said they couldn’t go in and break up the cluster of ice. Officials say for now, they'll just have to wait and see if the water levels continue to recede. Fire officials and emergency management crews will continue monitoring the situation until the flood threat is gone. If the situation gets worse, residents will get a reverse 9-1-1 call notifying them about the flood status.
There has been some progress... but, more needs to be done to bring about a "Detox" facility for people seeking help in getting off addictive drugs in Chautauqua County. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says more than 260 people were on hand for Monday's latest Community Drug Forum in Mayville. Horrigan adds that -- with the number of people attending -- and, passionate discussion that took place -- showed that finding answers to the problem has not lost momentum. Horrigan agreed that the need for an Outpatient Detox Center was a major issue for those attending the forum. The nearest such centers are in the Buffalo-area... and, he says Chautauqua County tried to go through the state to get one three years ago... but, that was rejected. He says if they can find the right "combination of providers..." he's optimistic they'll have one in the near future. Horrigan says more still needs to be done regarding prevention, treatment... and, residential programs. He says their Steering Committee will follow the state budget process on transitional housing... and, work with local providers on treatment options.
(**Correction)It's Election Day in seven Chautauqua County villages. County Elections Commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram says residents in those communities will be casting ballots from Noon until 9 PM. Green says village elections this year were moved to Wednesday to legally accommodate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Since 1998... he says village elections are legally not allowed to be conducted on St. Patrick’s Day. The only other time since the bill’s passage that the collision of democracy and Irish celebration has occurred was 2009. The only contested races are taking place in Westfield... where Mayor Michael Vandevelde is being challenged by Richard Raynor. In addition... three candidates are running for two village trustee seats. They are Robert Cochran, Alan Holbrook, and David Carr. Panama will have a vote on one trustees seat... but, no one running. Write-in candidates are welcome. Otherwise... in Bemus Point... Mayor Bryan Dahlberg and village trustees Margaret Richardson and Chris Wright are running unopposed. Voters will also be casting ballots to approve moving the village election to November. The votes in Cassadaga... Cherry Creek... and, Sherman are uncontested. Late today, we have learned about a write-in campaign against the incumbant mayor in Sinclairville.
It's "Jam On" as the new Jamestown Jammers baseball team prepares to begin play in the summer collegiate, Prospect League. Team officials were on hand at City Hall yesterday afternoon to formally introduce new Business and Field Manager Anthony Barone... the team's slogan... and, promotions for the upcoming season. Barone is a Jamestown native... who played and coached at Jamestown Community College. Barone says he's proud to be a manager in one of the top five college summer leagues in the nation. Barone will also head up the business side of the organization... including promotions. Public Relations and Marketing Director Van McNeil says they have a number of promotions set for their 30 homes games -- starting May 27th. As for the make-up of the team... Barone says they've already signed more than 20 players from the college ranks for the season -- including one from the area. Barone says players range in age from 18 to 22... and, must have one-year of college eligibility left to play in the league.
Season tickets are also available now for the Jamestown Jammers season... and, the team's first customer was Mayor Sam Teresi. Teresi... who is an avid baseball fan... says he's purchased five season passes...but, adds he'll just be using two for himself and his family. During the press conference yesterday... Teresi urged residents to back the team... which he says merges the "best with the best...." Teresi was eluding to the Jammers' ownership group, MKE Sports and Entertainment... and, Anthony Barone in those final comments. He called up Max Martin, director of the Eastside YMCA... and, Jeff Kroon, director of the Jamestown Boy's and Girl's Club... which will split the remaining tickets that Teresi has purchased. Van McNeil says ticket prices start at 8 to 12-dollars... and, adds season ticket holders for the NY-P League Jammers will get first preferance on tickets until April 15th. For more information... go on-line to Jamestownbaseball-dot-COM.
The state Assembly has voted to make New York the fourth state to provide workers with paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. The bill endorsed Tuesday would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave of up to 545-dollars a week. The benefit would be funded through an employee payroll deduction that, in its first year, would be capped at 45 cents per week. The Senate has its own family leave proposal which would provide up to $424 in weekly benefits for up to six weeks. The state would initially foot the bill. Sponsors in both chambers plan to work on a compromise. A spokeswoman for Governor Andrew Cuomo says he supports the idea behind the bills... but, has concerns about the details.
The organizers of a 'Forum to Support and Respect Public Education" Thursday night at Southwestern Central School want to change the current narrative about public schools. Mark Kirsch, a teacher in the Southwestern district, has had a major role in the planning. Kirsch says the public is welcome to attend the event. He says 10 speakers will look at public education from a variety of perspectives. Kirsch says they include Southwestern Superintendent Maureen Donahue... and, Jamestown Superintendent Tim Mains. He adds community and business leaders will also be part of the program. Kirsch says the tone of the forum will be positive. Those attending will have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers. The event starts at 6:30 PM Thursday at the Southwestern auditorium. Media One's Dennis Webster will be the moderator for the forum.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is co-sponsoring one of two measures that would withhold pay for House and Senate members if they fail to pass an on-time budget. But... Reed says he's backing both a short -- and, a long-range "No Budget -- No Pay" Acts in Congress. The Corning Republican says Congress "must act..." and, Republicans must act because the American people have "put their truct in the GOP to bring Washington back to normal...." Reed the short-term bill... sponsored by Republican Rob Whitman of Virginia, calls for withholding lawmakers pay if a new budget is not adopted by April 16th... and, they would only get paid once a spending plan is agreed to. He says the longer-term bill is sponsored by Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper. With the national debt now having reached 18-trillion dollars... Reed says it's time to do what every American family has to do... and, that's live within a budget. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for a ban on outside income for state legislators, saying state ethics reforms don't go far enough to prevent corruption. In a speech at a Citizens Union forum at New York Law School Monday night... Schneiderman said the scandals involving state lawmakers in recent years have prompted ``reforms that largely tinker at the margins.'' He says he supports Governor Andrew Cuomo's pursuit of ethics reform as part of budget negotiations. But... Schneiderman says it's impossible to avoid the appearance of conflicts if lawmakers continued to be able to earn outside income. Cuomo has proposed strengthening outside income reporting but no outright ban. The attorney general also proposes increasing legislators' pay and their term from two years to four, while closing campaign finance loopholes.
Former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum says the field of Republican contenders for the White House in 2016 shows a party with diverse viewpoints and different ideas -- in contrast to what he says is a ``monolithic'' Democratic Party. Santorum said Tuesday that he's still weighing whether to run. The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania contended for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He visited the New York state Capitol on Tuesday to address a conservative gathering. Former New York Governor George Pataki is also exploring a White House bid. Santorum said he's encouraged by Pataki's interest and says the number of potential candidates represent a healthy range of viewpoints within the GOP. Santorum said that diversity of perspectives is largely missing from the Democratic Party.