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Local News Headlines

Local News Update for Tues., Mar. 26, 2013


Goodell "outraged" by plan to offer people $500 to turn in others who own an illegal assault rifle...

Chautauqua County's Assemblyman says he's "outraged" at a state plan to offer a $500 reward to people who turn in others who own an illegal assault rifle.  Bemus Point Republican Andy Goodell says it's an apparent expansion of a program in New York City used to curb gun and gang violence.  Goodell says it's been a good program for the 'Big Apple...' but, the memo by the Division of Criminal Justice Services appears to be in retaliation against the 51 Upstate counties -- including Chautauqua -- which passed resolutions opposing the New York SAFE Act.  He says the program would be expanded to all of the upstate region.  Goodell says what state leaders are proposing is "completely different" than what the program was originally intended to do.  Goodell says rifles accounted for only five murders in 2011.  But... he says the SAFE Act requires more than one-million rifle owners to register their guns -- or face a potential felony charge.  He says he will work to reverse this order... but, is asking law-abiding gun owners to voice their opposition directly to Governor Cuomo... and, legislative leaders.  Goodell says he's at least hoping lawmakers vote not to fund the program.  Goodell says the recent legislation... which he voted against... also limits gun clips to only seven rounds... which inadvertantly made most police guns illegal.


Senate voing on budget bills, Assembly to begin voting Thursday, according to Goodell...

Assemblyman Goodell, meantime, says there will be an early state budget in place... but, it won't be as early as lawmakers had hoped.  He says the Senate began voting on final bills for the $135-billion spending plan late Monday.  Goodell adds they're expected to finish up their work by late today.  Goodell says the Assembly will be heading back to Albany Wednesday... but, there's still some work to be done before they begin voting on the remaining bills.  Goodell says that's likely because the bills are "complex" and will require some discussion first.  He says he's still pushing for more money to be restored to programs for the developmentally-disabled at such places as the Resource Center.  However... he adds there are a number of positives in the plan.  The biggest is restoration of a significant amount of school aid... as well as Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding.  In addition to the issue with the developmentally-disabled... Goodell says he has problem with a "cash back" program for families with dependent children.  There's a tax credit already in place for that... but, there's an expansion of that in the 2013-2014 budget.  Goodell would prefer just expanding the tax credit, and allowing those eligible families keeping the money.


Taxpayers could get part of bill to pay for provision in Minimum Wage law...

A provision buried deep in New York's tentative budget shows taxpayers will get part of the bill for raising the minimum wage.  The deal to raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 by 2015 includes a ``minimum wage reimbursement credit'' for employers.  It would make up some of the wage difference for seasonal workers ages 16 to 19 and still in school.  Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute fears adults could be replaced by teenagers so employers could claim the credit.  He says a safeguard would be hard to enforce.  He also says the credit would apply to small businesses as well as major chains.  The total cost of the credit won't be made public until after the budget is enacted.


State residents receiving Basic STAR will have to re-register for the local tax breaks under new law...

All New Yorkers receiving the STAR property tax rebate will have to re-register for the local school tax breaks because of reports of widespread abuse and fraud.  The law concerning the $3-billion STAR program is part of the state budget bills now being passed in Albany.  Last month... Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe reported his detectives found $679,000 of fraud or incorrect filing in just five towns.  He said the tax break was illegally applied to second homes and some landlords were taking the credit for their homes and for rental properties and rooming houses.  State Senator Cathy Young was caught up in the investigation regarding a second house she and her husband own in suburban Albany.  However... the matter has been cleared up.


Gerry woman stuck and killed by Jeep in Gerry...

A Gerry woman was killed when she was struck by a vehicle on Harris Hill Road in the town of Gerry Monday morning.  State Police in Jamestown tells the Post Journal that the 84 year-old woman was crossing the road to get mail from her mailbox.  Troopers say a 34-year-old Falconer woman was driving a 2007 Jeep north when the vehicle crested a hill, and observed the victim crossing the road.  The driver took evasive action, but struck the woman.  She pulled over and had a third party call 9-1-1.  The victim was transported to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania where she died from her injuries.  The driver did not face charges.


Fire causes damage to town of Stockton home...

Firefighters from two departments were called out to a house fire on the South Stockton-Cassadaga Road near Waterman Road around 10:15 Tuesday morning.  According to the County Sheriff's Dispatch Center, Stockton had help from Sinclairville firefighters.  Crews were at the scene for about an hour.  No injuries were reported.  The County Fire Investigation Team has been called in to determine a cause.


Chautauqua Institution blaze damages home on institution grounds...

Firefighters were busy battling a house fire on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution overnight that extensively damaged the home.  The Chautauqua County Sheriffs Office reports that Chautauqua Fire crews were called to the scene at 30 Ramble Avenue just after 11:30 p.m. Monday when a deputy on patrol spotted the flames.  Joining Chautauqua at the scene were Mayville... Ashville... and, Sherman.  National Grid was also called in to cut power.  The home was unoccupied, and there were no injuries.  Fire investigators were called in.  A source says the fire began in a wall... but, no cause has been determined yet.  Crews were on the grounds until just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.  A Buffalo TV station reports the fire damage is estimated at $100,000.

 

 

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