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A Cattaraugus County man was killed when his motorcycle struck a pickup truck that was pulling onto Route 98 in the town of Farmersville.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 68 year-old John Hermann of B-&-S Road, Farmersville, was southbound just after 10 AM Thursday morning when the accident occured.   Deputies say the truck... operated by Richard Carson of Franklinville... was entering Route 98 from a private driveway.  However... Hermann was unable to avoid the collision... and, the bike struck the driver's side of the truck.  Officers say Hermann was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... where he was later pronounced dead.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards say his 2014 budget proposal will again hold the property tax rate below the level of the 2006 budget.  Edwards today says he and his department heads recently finished up their second-set of sessions on the spending plan... which is due later this month.  He also complimented them for the job they've done in cutting the local share of tax costs once again this year. The county's current property tax rate is 9-dollars-15 cents per thousand full value... while it was 9-dollars-22 cents in 2012.  It had dropped to 8-dollars-18 cents in 2010.   In 2006... the rate was 9-dollars-49 cents per thousand.  Edwards says they've been able to keep the rate below 2006 levels in the wake of a number of increased costs projected for 2014.  As an example... he says fuel costs are projected to increase by 1.5-million dollars next year.  Edwards says he's finishing up a first draft of the more than 230-million dollar spending plan this week... and, will have the final, preliminary budget ready for the legislature's review by the September 25th deadline. 

 

State officials are being urged this week to adopt new proposals to cut broad-based taxes for all New Yorkers instead of continuing politically targeted tax breaks for businesses and Hollywood productions.  E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute says New York's high tax status grew worse in recent years with a ``temporary'' income tax extended twice so far that takes in 2-billion dollars a year.  The national Tax Foundation's Joseph Henchman testified in the same state Senate hearing that New York is ranked last in business climate among all 50 states. 

 

One of the first Chautauqua County school districts to open this Fall was Southwestern... and, the opening has gone "smoothly... and, uneventful."  That from new Superintendent Maureen Donahue took over for Dan George late last year... meaning she was not in charge for last September's opening.  Donahue adds, though, that it went "great."  It is not her first opening as a superintendent because she headed up the Friendship district in Allegany County the past several years.  Donahue says there was one "minor" bump in the road Tuesday. The Labor Day storm... which caused considerable damage to part of the village of Lakewood... has also affected phone service the past few days.  Most school districts have been reviewing their safety plans in the wake of last Fall's tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut... and, Donahue says they spent a lot of time this summer reviewing their plans with local police and fire officials.  She says many of their provisions are being re-worked... but, visitors must still sign in at the front entrance to the schools... and, she adds they'll be monitoring that closely.  Donahue says if anyone has questions or concerns about what's happening in their child's school... they should contact the building principal.

 

Farmers from all over the area gathered in a field near Towerville Thursday to learn the latest advancements in agricultural methods and technology.  The 15th annual Ag Day was hosted for the second year in a row at Arlaine Farms... operated by the Winton family.  One of the organizers of the event is John Griffith of Z-and-M Ag and Turf.  He believes farmers need access to the latest developments. Several vendors at this year's event were encouraging farmers to generate their own power.  Rural Generation and Wind, Incorporated of Syracuse's Rodney Weaver says there are many incentives for solar installations right now.  They include grants from local electric companies... and, NYSERDA.  Meantime... Tom Fleckenstein of Niagara Wind and Solar of Niagara Falls, sees wind energy in the future of many farms because of our location.  More than 50 vendors cooperated in this year's Ag Day.

 

The New York farm family that refused to cave to a major power company and New York state is getting a powerful ally.  U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on Rochester Gas & Electric and the Cuomo administration's Public Service Commission to find a new route for a power line that won't dig into the Krenzer family farm near Rochester.  Schumer says the need for more power and the need to protect the farm tilled by the family for four generations are not mutually exclusive.  The comments Tuesday by New York's senior senator will be part of the testimony collected as part of an extended comment period.  The Krenzer family forced that in August by petitioning the Public Service Commission to reconsider its support for the power project.

 

A woman who actively volunteers in the Jamestown-area has been named as the new volunteer coordiantor at WCA Hospital.  Hospital officials say Elizabeth Derosa will oversee recruiting and scheduling more than 200 active volunteers and auxilians who support the mission of the hospital.  The WCA Auxiliary manages the Gift Shop at the hospital... and, is active in general fund-raising for WCA.  Derosa joins WCA with more than 15 years of experience in teaching and developing programs.  She is currently an adjunct English Instructor at Jamestown Community College.  For more information on WCA's Volunteer Program... call Derosa at 664-8224.  You can also fill-out the hospital's volunteer application on-line at wcahospital-dot-ORG/volunteer.

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