Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's been able to secure upwards of 5-million dollars for Lake Shore Hospital through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 23rd District Representative Tom Reed late yesterday said he spoke with FEMA's Regional Administrator by phone Wednesday... and, was assured the FEMA application for disaster funds has been approved earlier in the day. The Corning Republican says "the funding we've secured is a hugely positive development for the hospital and more importantly its long-term viability." He adds that the funding will make the hospital "more attractive" to potential investors and buyers. Reed made his comment during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media. He says he spoke with the Regional FEMA administrator prior to last weekend's rally in Silver Creek to save the hospital. Reed adds he's been keeping the pressure on FEMA to approve funds to the TLC Hospital Network in response to damage caused by severe flooding in 2009. The money was initially to go to the TLC Network in response to the 2009 north county floods.
Talks are continuing 'behind the scenes', meantime, over the future of Lake Shore Health Care Center. State Senator Cathy Young provided an update earlier in the day Wednesday on the efforts to keep the north county facility open. Young says the TLC Health System got some help from a judge hearing the case in Buffalo on Monday. Young says another hearing will be held later this month to decide whether the hospital... which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year can use one-million dollars in emergency funding. Young remains hopeful about the hospital's future. The Olean Republican says she will continue to work with the State Health Department, the hospital's Board of Directors and local leaders.
A Dunkirk man accused of shooting and killing a Fredonia man during a dispute at the victim's residence last September has pled guilty to manslaughter in the case. Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 46 year-old Theodore Wickham entered the plea in County Court Wednesday afternoon after being indicted for second-degree Manslaughter -- a "C" Felony. Foley says Wickham entered the plea in connection with the September 14th death of Frank Slate shortly before the case was to go to trial. Foley says Wickham's co-defendant... Christopher Grant... has already pled guilty to a similar Manslaughter count. He says Wickham faces some significant jail time when he's sentenced. Foley says Grant faces 3 or 4 years in state prison when he's sentenced. Sentencing for Wickham is scheduled for March 17th. Foley says the case was investigated by Fredonia Village Police Department.
The Lakewood Village Board's Zoning Committee will begin looking at recommendations to deal with adult novelty stores, used car lots, storage sheds and electronic signs next week. The village board held it's fourth, and final public hearing this week on the adult novelty, and entertainment issue. Mayor David Wordelmann says no one spoke during the hearing on proposals to heavily-restrict where such businesses could be located. Wordelmann says, under the First Amendment, local governments can't ban such businesses -- but, they can restrict where they're located. Wordelmann says such business also cannot face the road. The amendment reportedly would limit such establishments to the area surrounding the Chautauqua Mall. Wordelmann says... with the hearings now completed... the Zoning Committee will begin reviewing the code -- and proposed changes -- next Monday night at 6 PM. Outside of the adult novelty stores... Wordelmann says the most discussion was over the electronic signs. Moratoriums have been in place on all four items because none of them have been addressed in the village's current zoning law.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says an end may be in sight to the increasingly lengthier waits at the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo and Canada. Lawmakers have agreed to boost spending for Customs and Border Protection, including the hiring of more border agents. And... Schumer says that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has promised to send some of the new hires to the Peace Bridge. The bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, is one of the busiest commercial and passenger crossings along the northern border.
A Buffalo-area Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing female staffers has left office. Dennis Gabryszak (GAB-ruh-zak) has been accused by seven former and current employees of making unwanted advances and other abusive behavior. The 62-year-old Democrat announced his retirement Sunday. He formally stepped down this week.