Dangerously cold wind chills will remain in western New York -- including Chautauqua County -- through mid-morning today. However... they won't be as bad as yesterday morning. That from Forecaster Tom Paone with the National Weather Service... who says they're continuing a Wind Chill Warning for the region through 9 AM. Paone late Tuesday said part of the reason is the air temperature is going to remain below zero... and, he adds the winds remain strong out of the Southwest. By later today... he says we'll begin seeing a gradual warm-up. It may reach 17 this afternoon... but, we'll be close to 50 over the weekend. He says we may be looking at ice-jamming by then. The Blizzard of 2014 has dropped a good two-feet of snow -- or more -- in parts of the north county into the Buffalo-area.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Department of Transportation are projecting that all roadways currently closed due to the extreme winter weather events in western New York will re-open at approximately 6 a.m. this morning, weather and conditions permitting. "Safety remains our top priority," Governor Cuomo said. Interstate 81 will remain closed from exit 34 to exit 48 in central New York until conditions there improve. This potential re-opening will take place only if Thruway and DOT determine that weather and travel conditions are safe for motorists. Crews have worked through the night in preparation of this potential re-opening. It is important to note that in the event of this potential re-opening, all motorists should proceed with caution as slippery road conditions may remain in certain areas. Motorists should also note that in the event of the re-opening of Thruway and DOT-maintained roads, travel bans may still be in place in some places. Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit www.Thruway.ny.gov for real-time updates.
A Buffalo man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home on Washington Street in Jamestown... and, assaulting a man and woman there Monday morning. City police say they found the suspect... 47 year-old Edward Hough... allegedly chasing the woman when they arrived at the home in the 800-block of Washington shortly after 4 AM. Officers accuse Hough of breaking in... and, assaulting the man with several household items -- destroying many of them. Police say Hough also allegedly assaulted and strangled the woman to the point where she lost consciousness. He was arrested on charges including first-degree burglary... second-degree assault... and, second-degree strangulation. Hough is being held pending arraignment.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to deliver an election-year State of the State address touting tax breaks and economic successes. Today's speech marks the start of the legislative season in Albany and Cuomo has used the days leading up to it to preview policy proposals. The governor this week gave an early look at a sweeping $2 billion tax relief proposal that includes property tax rebates for homeowners in municipalities that meet tax thresholds and a cut in corporate tax rates. Cuomo also is expected to reveal new details of his plan to allow 20 hospitals statewide to prescribe marijuana for patients with cancer and other severe ailments.
Advocates for New York's poor are calling for a minimum wage of at least $10 to address what they call a state crisis of inequality. Rallying at the Capitol Tuesday in advance of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state-of-the-state address, they say the state's richest 1 percent now account for 35 percent of all income in a disparity they say hasn't been seen since America's Great Depression. The Legislature and Cuomo last year raised the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8 this year, $8.75 next year and $9 by 2016. Assembly and Senate Democrats have proposed accelerating the increase and adding inflation adjustments. Other proposals are for New York to let municipalities set higher levels and raise minimums for workers who also earn tips.
The two newest members of the Jamestown City Council say they're excited about beginning work on the panel... although one was elected after first serving two decades ago. Republicans Brent Sheldon and Tamara (TAM-er-uh) Dickey were sworn-in with the panel's other nine members last night. Sheldon says he was pleased with the turn-out for the annual reorganizational meeting... despite the below-zero temperatures. The First-Ward representative served one term previously in the mid-1990s.... and, says even with a 5-to-4 split favoring Democrats... they're all there to work for the betterment of Jamestown. Sheldon is quick to add, though, that lowering taxes will be difficult because there are four employee contracts that still have to be settled with the city. Tamara Dickey is retired after working in the corporate world... and, is now teaching finance and economics at Lutheran Social Services. Dickey says she's excited to be representing Ward-Three. Dickey says she wants to work for change in three-areas over the next two-years. She says they are economic development, senior issues, and opportunities for youth. In addition to working in corporate finance... Dickey worked at one time for WCA Hospital in Jamestown.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he wants to simplify New York's tax code. The governor wants to rid the code of provisions he calls a nuisance, such as the boxing and wrestling exhibitions tax, a tax on agricultural cooperatives and the stock transfer tax. The proposals are part of a larger tax effort unveiled Monday that includes corporate income tax cuts and property tax freezes. Cuomo says he also wants to raise the threshold for the filing of a personal income tax return from $4,000 to the level of the taxpayer's standard deduction. He said that would eliminate the need for 270,000 taxpayers to file a return.