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The opening events of the 2014 Cody Family Reunion are underway in Jamestown.  It was "busy" during yesterday's reception... and, informal buffet dinner at the Gateway Train Station.  That from Train Station Manager Lee Harkness... who says hundreds are expected to be in the area for the events -- both in Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution -- through this Sunday.  One of the big events in Jamestown will be Saturday morning's Western Parade through the downtown.  Harkness says streets will be closed off at 7 AM... with the the line-up taking place at Prendergast and Foote Avenues.  He adds the procession will step off at 9. Harkness says they want anyone and everyone to take part in the procession... which will include a "Wild West" theme.  He says they especially want kids to take part in the fun.  Harkness says they have teams of horses... and, a stagecoach that'll be part of it... along with the Jamestown High School Marching Band.  He says once the parade is over... there'll be a smaller, scale "Wild West Show" in front of the Train Station.  A major "Honor Dinner" will be held at the Train Station tonight beginning at 6 PM.  For more information.. go on-line to Cody-dash-Family-dot-ORG.

 

The Empire Center for Public Policy reports more than 1,800 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Governor Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year.  The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31st shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.

 

Standard & Poor's has raised New York state's general obligation and appropriation-backed bond ratings.  Credit Analyst David Hitchcock says the upgrade is based on improved budget management and spending restraint with relatively modest projected budget gaps for future years.  S&P is raising the rating of the general obligation bonds to Double-A-plus from Double-A.  It is raising the appropriation-backed bonds' rating from AA-minus to AA.  That follows recent ratings upgrades of the state's bonds by Fitch and Moody's Investors Service.

 

County lawmakers have unanimously approved using 50-thousand dollars in bed tax funding for a 438-thousand dollar project to shore up a major contributor of sediment in Chautauqua Lake.  Legislature members are also pleased the county was able to obtain a nearly 300-thousand dollar federal grant from the U-S Department of Agriculture for the project.  Silver Creek Republican George Borrello says stabilizing 38-hundred feet of the creek bank is the right kind of project to deal with the invasive weed problem on the lake. Both Borrello and West Ellicott Republican Lisa Vanstrom acknowledged that other public and private entities have come forward to help fund the other approximately 88-thousand dollars to complete the project.  Vanstrom thanked the Soil and Water Conservation board for working to get the grant... and, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy... and, Sheldon Foundations for the added funding.  Vanstrom adds this addressess the main issues found in the 2012 Chautauqua Lake Watershed Plan... and, Watershed and Stream Assessment Plan for Goose Creek.  She says the condition of the streambank... and, the meandering nature of the creek were cited as the top problems.

 

The American West has great resources... but, climate change is threatening many of those resources.  Those are the feelings of Thursday's speakers at Chautauqua Institution.  Former Arizona Governor, and, U-S Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt... and, former Nevada Governor Robert List were two of the lecturers at the Amphitheater.  Our Jim Roselle asked both if they had pressed the matter with President Obama.  List feels the president hasn't been as responsive as he should be regarding the tremendous drought in much of the region. Babbitt... who served during the Clinton Administration... says he has written to the president on a couple of occasions regarding the need to use his authority to create more national parks, and monuments in the western portion of the U-S. Babbitt and List were joined on the Amphitheater stage by Washington Post White House reporter, Juliet Eilperin.  Silicon Valley Archives Project Historian Leslie Berlin of Stanford University is today's featured lecturer at Chautauqua.

 

The man who admitted to killing a manager at the Hamburg Toys "R" Us in June of last year has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars.  Time-Warner Cable News says Bernard Grucza was also sentenced to five years post-release supervision in the stabbing death of Larry Wells of South Dayton.  Grucza pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with Wells' death inside an office at the McKinley Parkway toy store.  The two were friends and colleagues -- Wells was a manager, and Grucza a regional manager.  Wells' wife made a brief tearful pre-sentencing statement.  She told the court she lost her best friend, and her children lost their father.  Grucza also faces sentencing on federal gun charges.


 

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