Several Chautauqua County lawmakers... with their votes... have voiced their frustration with changes in state law regarding use of the 2-percent bed tax funding for lakes and waterways. The legislature this week voted 11-to-10 in favor of amending an earlier resolution to eliminate 25-thousand dollars for required engineering inspections of the Conewango Watershed Dam. However... the measure needed 13 votes -- a simple majority of the full legislature -- for approval. The most frustration was voiced by Frewsburg Democrat Tom Erlandson... who says the state has separated north flowing streams from those flowing south. However... Erlandson says the problem is that ALL streams and tributaries flowing south, and away from Chautauqua Lake... are no longer eligible for those funds. The retired biologist and environmentalist says that leaves a significant part of the county's 960-thousand acres of land ineligible for the funding. The amended resolution kept in 124-thousand-500 dollars in funding... including 90-thousand dollars for the Chautauqua Lake Association... and, 25-thousand for the Lake Erie Management Commission.
Documents show a gas drilling company tied to state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox is authorized to do business in New York and is concerned about opposition to hydraulic fracturing here. However... the company says it has no plans to use the technique in New York. The state Democratic Committee says the documents show Cox has a conflict of interest and has misled New Yorkers as he criticizes Governor Andrew Cuomo for not lifting a long-standing moratorium against fracking. But... Cox and Noble Energy continue to say they aren't interested in drilling in New York even if fracking is approved. Officials at the agencies where the documents are filed say the records support that assertion. Cox says the Democratic Committee is trying to deflect attention from Cuomo's indecision.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen another penny... and, now stand at 3-dollars-59 cents per gallon this week. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... that says nationally, the price has inched up over the past week. Triple-A says the price was at a "multi-year low" of 3-dollars-18 cents a gallon last Tuesday. However... it's now 3--21 as the pump. That's 3-cents more than one week ago. The Fuel Gauge reports drivers in more than 30 states... and, Washington, D.C. are paying more for gasoline compared to one week ago. That's led by several Midwestern states where the price increases were supported by the heavy, and dangerous storms that swept through the region. That raised concerns of potential refinery disruptions. On the other hand... Triple-A says five states currently post a state average price at the pump that is below 3-dollars per gallon.
Volunteers and equipment from the American Red Cross has been sent to the Midwest to help with relief efforts following last Sunday's severe tornado outbreak. Director Bill Tucker with the Southwestern New York Chapter in Jamestown says they haven't deployed any local volunteers... but, adds that could change. Tucker says the Red Cross is facing a major challenge...colder weather has moved into the area where the twisters hit. Area residents can help the Red Cross by sending donations to the local chapter's office at 325 East 4th Street in Jamestown. They can also do it online at Redcross-dot-ORG.
The Union Gospel Mission on West Main Street in Jamestown is looking for contributions of Turkeys to be distributed to local families in need. The Reverend John Steinhauser says people are coming to the mission looking for Turkeys for the Holiday Season... and, he says one entity that used to help them in the past no longer is able to. Steinhauser says any size turkey will do and they must be frozen. He says donations of canned goods are also needed and would be appreciated. Steinhauser says you can drop donations of food off 7 days a week up until about 10 PM evenings. The Union Gospel Mission is located at 7 West Main Street in Jamestown.
Two Jamestown residents are in jail after an early morning traffic stop Thursday. City Police say 39 year old Donald Dean Sr. and 34 year old Donald King were pulled over by officers just after 3 AM for having imporper/switched license plates. Further investigation led to the discovery of 4.5 grams of cocaine. Both Dean and King were arrested and taken to the city lockup and face a number of charges including Criminal Posession of a controlled substance, aggrivated unlicensed operation.
Ground has been broken on a 14-million dollar project at a racino the owners hope will become one of four full-fledged casinos in upstate New York. Officials at Tioga (tee-OH'-guh) Downs... which is just off Interstate 86 just west of Binghamton... say they plan to add a three-story parking complex that can hold about 275 vehicles. A larger expansion would occur if Tioga Downs is selected by the state as the site of one of four upstate Las Vegas-style casinos approved by New York voters in a November 5th referendum.