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News Update for Mon., April 1, 2013


Colder, snowy weather to prevail over Jamestown-area through mid-week...

Colder air moving in from Canada will make it feel more like February than early April.  Lake Effect Snow is expected to coat the hilltops tonight... and, tomorrow.  That from Forecaster John Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Hitchcock says some of the higher elevations, inland, interior areas may see 1 to 2 inches during the overnight, and another inch tomorrow morning.  There will be lesser amounts inland.  Hitchcock says April snow is not very rare in Chautauqua County... in fact we usually get a couple of shots each years.  He says that's not surprising for the first half of April.  Hitchcock says in fact that while last March was unusually warm...there were some accumulating snows that occurred late last April.  The good news is the snow won't last long since we'll see temperatures rebound into the 40s on Thursday and Friday.


Flames that destroyed downtown Frewsburg business apparently triggered by malfunctioning space heater...

An apparent short in a space heater triggered Sunday's smokey fire that destroyed the Hollenbeck's Antiques store in downtown Frewsburg.  Frewsburg Fire Chief John Lindsey says the owner... Ellis Hollenbeck... was at another business across the street about 15 minutes before he spotted smoke coming from the building.  Lindsey says fire crews were called to the scene at 30 West Main St. about 10 a.m.  He says Hollenbeck saw smoking coming out from the windows and doors.  Lindsey says the smoke was even more prevailent when firefighters arrived.  Lindsey says they immediately called in manpower from five fire companies to help put out the blaze.  He says the biggest problem was the fact there were three roofs over the office area... and, flames were able to get in between each layer.  He says it took about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to bring the blaze under control... and, they had to protect exposure sides to two businesses, an insurance company on on side, and a computer place on the other.  Both got some smoke inside.  Lindsey says they had about 100 firefighters on hand to put out the blaze... and, overhaul the scene.  He says they were assisted there by Kiantone... Falconer... Kennedy... Busti... and, Lakewood.  Most crews cleared the scene by about 1:30 p.m.  No one was hurt.


Cuomo postpones two Monday signing ceremonies for new state budget in Buffalo and Rochester...

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has postponed his trip to western New York to sign the state budget that was approved last week by the Legislature.  Cuomo's office says Monday morning that weather conditions have forced the postponement of the trip.  The governor was scheduled to hold ceremonial signings of the spending plan at Noon Monday at the University of Buffalo's South Campus... and, at 2:15 p.m. Monday at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.  There's no immediate word on when the trip will be rescheduled.  Lawmakers completed passage of the $135 billion budget late Thursday night, three days before the March 31 deadline.  That gave the state its third-consecutive on-time budget.  Cuomo and legislative leaders call the spending plan a family-friendly, business-friendly and middle-class-friendly budget.


Giglio sees good, bad from new state budget...

There's both good and bad in the 2013-2014 state budget.  That from the region's other Assemblyman, Joe Giglio.  The Gowanda Republican says the best part of the spending plan for Cattaraugus County is the fact it includes two-years worth of payments to the city of Salamanca due to the state's ongoing dispute with the Seneca Nation of Indians.  Salamanca has been hurt by loss of revenues from the Seneca Allegheny Casino.  He says the city will get $5-million dollars... $2.5-Million each of the next two years... because it's received no share of casino revenue dollar promised in a compact with the Senecas.  Giglio says the bad part of the budget is a major cut to developmentally-disabled programs for such agencies as The Resource Center in Chautauqua County... and, the ReHab Center in Cattaraugus County.  He says he doesn't believe that "the most vulnerable among us" should bear the burden of mistakes made by bureaucracies.  Only about $30-million of the $120-million cut to those agencies is being restored.


Gerace says Sheriff's Department ready to go forward with getting new Emergency Communications Center up and running...

Chautauqua County lawmakers have cleared the way for a new, emergency radio system in the county by accepting a $6-million dollar state grant for the project.  Legislators voted unanimously to accept the funding that Sheriff Joe Gerace says comes from a surcharge that cell phone users pay.  Gerace says the 30-cent surcharge, he argues, the state has not shared with municipalities up until this point.  He says they're "thrilled about that."  Gerace says work on the system will begin once the County's Purchasing Department approves a contract.  He says they... with advice from the Law Department will determine who the successful bidder is.  Once that's complete, Gerace says they'll award the contract, and talk about rolling out the system.  He says it will take more than a year to build the new system.   Gerace says the grant should cover most of the costs involved... and, allow the county to avoid having to borrow funding for the project.


Monday is opening day of trout and salmon fishing season...

It's opening day for trout and salmon fishing in New York.  The Department of Environmental Conservation plans to stock more than 2 million catchable-size trout in 307 lakes and ponds and 3,000 miles of streams statewide this spring.  About 2,000 of them are being released in Albany's Six Mile Waterworks Monday morning during a free fishing event.  Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens will be there to talk about other upcoming free fishing days. The environmental agency also plans to stock about 2 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, salmon and splake this spring to provide angling opportunities over the next several years.  Stocking begins in late March and early April in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and western New York, and moves to the Catskills and Adirondacks as weather permits.

 

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