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A Flash Flood Watch is being continued through this afternoon for most of Western New York... including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  A very slow moving cold front has brought widespread moderate to heavy rain... and, is expected to do so through early afternoon with one-and-a-half to two inches expected, with locally higher amounts possible.  Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone is concerned not only about the amount of rainfall, but also the timing. Leone says everyone should have a plan should flooding strike.  He urges families to take the time so they know what to do when the water starts rising rapidly.  Flooding of poor drainage areas and small creeks is possible... especially in those areas where flooding took place earlier this week.

 

Residents in the Gowanda, Silver Creek and Randolph areas remain on edge with more rain and thunderstorms in the forecast through early today.  Many in the north county who experienced the devastating floods of 2009 had a similar experience early Tuesday when water spilled over the banks of several creeks and brooks.  However... one Gowanda resident was able to escape with just lawn damage this time around.  Don Rogers tells our Lee John he shored up some parts of his property -- mainly his garage -- after losing most everything in 2009. However... Rogers says there were some anxious moments when the water spilled over the banks of the brook behind his house early Tuesday.  However... it began receeding not long after that and he was breathing a sigh of relief.  He took a ride through the village early Tuesday night, though, and saw scenes similar to five-years ago... with destroyed household items piled at the curb... and, water pumps clearing basements.  There was also a lot of damage in Silver Creek... and, Randolph -- where water closed off roads... and, forced school to be cancelled.

 

Jamestown firefighters were able to quickly snuff out flames that engulfed a vehicle... and, had started up on the side of a nearby garage yesterday on Buffalo Street.  City Fire Lieutenant Mike Garvey says crews were called to the scene at 255 Buffalo about 11:30 AM... and, found the car fully-engulfed... and, fire on a corner of the garage.  Garvey says crews quickly knocked down the fire on the garage... and, the car fire was put out a short time later.  He says the owner of the car was working on the fuel pump when some fuel apparently got in a hot part of the engine.  No one was hurt.  Firefighters were at the scene for more than an hour.

 

New York state Republican's have picked Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to lead an aggressive and united campaign against Governor Andrew Cuomo... and other Democrats.  Republicans wrapped up their state party convention Thursday in Westchester County after nominating Astorino and other candidates for statewide office.  The party is looking to repeat the successful 1994 campaign of former Republican Governor George Pataki, who ousted Cuomo's father Mario from the governor's office.

 

New York Republican's have also given their nomination for lieutenant governor to an upstate sheriff who has been a vocal critic of the state's new gun control law.  Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss accepted the endorsement Thursday at the state GOP convention Westchester County.  First elected sheriff in 2005... Moss leads the state sheriff's association and has criticized gun control measures championed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 

Six muncipal water systems will take part in Chautauqua County's annual Best Tasting Water contest at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood tomorrow.  It's been several years since a local water system took home top honors in the state finals in Syracuse... so county Water Resource Specialist Bill Boria is hoping to break the drought this year.  Boria says the last state winner from the county was 18 years ago. Boria says the six water systems involved Saturday include the city of Jamestown... and villages of Fredonia... Brocton... Mayville and Sherman.  The hamlet of Frewsburg will also take part this year.  Boria says there'll be three rounds of water tasting before they determine a winner.  He says three of the entries will square off in the first round... then the other three will compete to make the finals.  Boria says the winners will then be tasted by Mall patrons to see which one is the overall winner.  The competition runs from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Boria adds the winner moves onto regional competition.  The finals are in Syracuse around Labor Day.

 

What's likely to be a record number of people will be taking part in Jamestown's annual Spring Clean-up event through-out the city tomorrow.  The annual "Hands-On Jamestown" takes place tomorrow morning... beginning at 8 AM... and, continues through the early afternoon.  It begins with check-in at City Hall on Tracy Plaza.  This is the second-year that the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has headed up the event.  JRC Event and Programming Associate Tiffani Conti says pre-registration has gone very well. In recent years... Conti says they've gotten about 500 people on average to help out... so with volunteer walk-ups likely Saturday morning... they will easily set a record for participants.  With the JRC involved... the event has not only emphasized cleaning up the downtown area... but, the neighborhood's too.  Conti credits the efforts of the JRC's Mary Maxwell with getting them involved in the program.  A continental breakfast will be provided to begin the day.  M-and-T Bank... the Jamestown Rotary Club... the Gebbie and Chautauqua Region Community Foundations and Farm Fresh Foods are key sponsors.  For more information... call the JRC at 664-2477... or go on-line to jrconline-dot-ORG.

 

The Buffalo Bills are seeking to be removed from a lawsuit filed by five former cheerleaders complaining of unfair working conditions.  The Bills argue they should not be included in the lawsuit because the team long ago relinquished the rights to employing and managing the Buffalo Jills' cheerleading squad to private companies.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says toxic algae found in 96 upstate New York lakes could contaminate drinking water and hurt tourism.  The Democrat is asking the Environmental Protection Agency for guidance to help local water treatment plants test, and treat the toxins in the drinking water as well as criteria to help identify contaminated water.

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