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Archived stories from Tuesday, April 7, 2009 through Saturday, June 6, 2009
6/3: Update on Guy Maybee, the man who was convicted of killing his infant daughter Ianna last March... he has been sentenced to 28 years. (Hat tip to Gary Nease of WPIG)

5/15: NEW FEATURE: Now that I'm getting up early on a fairly regular basis every morning, I'm going to add my daily weather forecasts to the site (as you see above).

5/15: Chrysler closings update... Rock City Chrysler is SAFE, it will not be closing. Nearest closures are Signature Jeep in Jamestown (one-brand dealer, something the company is targeting in the closures), Marra Brothers in Olean, and Rink Brothers in Bradford. Rink Brothers is the oldest existing Chrysler dealer in the United States, and it plans to appeal. Marra Brothers will continue to operate without Chrysler branding, most likely as a used car outlet. Signature plans on switching to Nissan.
5/16 GM Closings update: There are no plans to close any GM dealers in Western New York. See update 5/26 in main newslog.

5/13: Traffic heads-up... the state Department of Transportation has closed off Route 353, 7 miles north of the village of Cattaraugus. This does not affect most transportation routes, as Broadway Road (3 miles north of Cattaraugus) is generally used as the shortcut into Gowanda and can still be accessed. So, in general, unless you're driving a semi-truck, disregard the detour. (That detour, by the way, extends the existing detour resulting from bridge problems in Salamanca. While we appreciate trying to keep Little Valley on the route, the detour now extends about 15 miles perpendicular to the regular road. There are more efficient ways of doing things, you know...)

5/2: RIP Andrea Morton... I was quite shocked to read this weekend that Andrea Morton, an accomplished 21-year-old from Salamanca, died this past week while at college in Ithaca. Apparently she got sick a few weeks ago and some time this past week was rushed to the hospital in Syracuse, but by the time they got there her brain was dead, so they pulled her off life support and salvaged several organs for transplant. As I heard it, a combination of pneumonia and mononucleosis is what killed her. I knew Andrea, not like "best buddies" well, but I know the name, probably from the All-Counties or the county fairs. It just is such a stunning thing, going from a whole load of potential and a great life ahead of her, to within a few days, being dead and gone with no clear reason. So, today, thank God that you're still alive, because something like that can happen to just about anyone. My condolences to the Morton family.
UPDATE 5/7: I've noticed that the Andrea Morton story is driving a lot of people to this site. I am very surprised at the lack of coverage her death has drawn from the local papers; they have published nothing other than her official obituary. Considering her accomplishments, the silence is deafening. I don't know all of the details, but I know some people that probably do know, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, stick around and enjoy the site. ~ Jerry

4/20: HEADS UP: The Village of Little Valley will begin collecting lawn waste today... nothing more than 4 feet long and no sticks more than 4 inches thick. No garbage. Place the lawn waste curbside and it will be collected each Monday from today through May 18.

Little Valley apartment building fire
Fire is in the apartment above the vacant office space at 128 Main St. (formerly the thrift shop and the Chronicle). Four departments were called in, Little Valley, Cattaraugus, Otto, and Ellicottville, as well as the sheriffs' department. The fire alarm went off about 9:40 this morning, and the entire block, from the bank to the Island Tan, was evacuated.
Little Valley apartment building fire
As of 10:45 a.m., smoke was still emanating from the back of the building. Eyewitness accounts state the fire began in the ceiling, which would likely indicate an electrical fire. The apartment was one of many owned by Tim Zimbardi. This is the second fire in a Zimbardi-owned apartment in less than a year. Zimbardi, by the way, is an electrician...
UPDATE: Apartment was that of Charles "Buck" Baynes. Only one apartment sustained serious damage, and the two businesses in the building (Island Tan and Tina's Place Hair Care) will re-open Friday morning.

Good God, it's an Amish crime spree: Second crime involving an Amish person in Cattaraugus County in three weeks (Buffalo News)... 6/3 this one seems pretty weak, though.

The home of Ashley Mazurcyk (sp?) and family of Napoli burned effectively to the ground this morning, the vast majority of material possessions were lost. Arson is suspected... developing... 6/3

Governor starts bumping companies from the Empire Zone program... of those on the list, only Olean General Hospital is in Cattaraugus County, but there are several in Jamestown, Dunkirk and Buffalo. The list... 5/29

Hold the phone: judge files injunction on water-bottle deposit law, foresees the bill being struck down. The law WILL NOT take effect June 1 as planned (AP)... 5/27

THE FEDERAL ASSET TAX IS BORN (Business First)... 5/27

TALK ABOUT SLOPPY REPORTING: A whole week and a half after every local news outlet in Buffalo boasted that no GM outlets would be closing in Western New York, it turns out they were wrong. Two GM outlets will have their contracts yanked, and one is right up the road in Cattaraugus. Illig Chevrolet-Pontiac, the only car dealership in the village of Cattaraugus (and one of only two within a ten-mile radius of that village), had its contract yanked and nobody reported it. John Wiggers and Son of Clymer was the other. Both plan to continue in the used car business. The Buffalo News is conveniently in CYA mode, claiming they only meant Erie and Niagara County. Gee. Last I recall, your coverage area covers more than just that. Be a little more thorough next time, OK? Oh, and that goes for all the TV stations, too. (Buffalo News)... 5/26
Second thoughts: Yes, I know I probably could have done some research into this one myself. However, at the time, I was going through some rather tough times psychologically, and had a lot of work (the kind that pays the bills). I often rely on accurate reporting by newspapers in these cases, and when something gets missed like that it reflects poorly not only on me, but on the people that originate the story.

Mansfield's Scott Reinhardt, 47, drowns in Allegheny Reservoir (WKBW)... 5/26

Schumer ditches Chautauqua County for New York City and Ithaca (AP
fourth item down )... 5/26

Memorial Day parade in the village at 10 a.m. I got some video coverage, thanks to some perfectly tinted sunglasses. But that speech by Hizzoner... wow... rambling on about soldiers' pay and greedy CEOs and how it's not fair? Was that really necessary?

Details from the four-car pileup at the red light here in Little Valley (Buffalo News) (WESB)... 5/24 And by the way, Buffalo News, it's Cattaraugus County, not Chautauqua County. Let's get our geography straight.

Do-gooders in the county legislature want to control your smoking in your own private property (Olean Times Herald)... 5/22

The fundamental problem with the current approach to "consolidation" in New York State (see this AP article) is that they see the only solution as sandwiching two districts together. What is needed is a fundamental redistricting, so that these various specialty districts (and yes, I include school districts) correspond to existing municipal boundaries. Municipalities, by and large, are the best available boundaries, in that they have a regular shape and fit within the bounds of counties. Compare that to a school district: it has no regular shape, its boundaries are jagged and generally unrecognized, the mass of school mergers have left many looking like kidney beans or worse, and there is no regard to county boundaries (while some spill over multiple counties, others jut into a county for only a few homes). 5/22

It's not working, Governor! Three billion more dollars added to the state deficit (AP)... 5/21

Caleb Winship, 1, of Napoli, drowns in pond at home, dies moments later (Buffalo News)... 5/21

Hospitals: Recession? What recession? (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 5/21

Not so fast: water bottlers not happy with the state's demands regarding the upcoming bottle deposit law, moving to block it in court (AP)... 5/21

What is it going to take for these people to reject a school budget?? Every single budget in the area passes (Jamestown Post-Journal)... CLV results: 283 to 200. Who is voting for these things, anyway?? BTW, for those interested, Kent Joesel, with 34 votes, won the open write-in seat. NOTE: I spiked my write-in ballot with a person I knew would never take the position, and one probably nobody else would vote for, to see if my vote was counted... heading uptown early this morning to see if it was, I'll report back early this afternoon. 5/20
UPDATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: The results posted by the school show only two persons getting write-in votes, Joesel (34) and Heather Eaton (9). They did not post the candidate I wrote in. I asked the secretary if there were any other vote-getters and she told me she didn't know and I'd have to ask "whoever's in charge of the voting." Something is really fishy here...

Well, if they can't nickel-and-dime people, the legislature has a better idea: tax 'em a penny at a time! Paterson says it wouldn't be enough (New York Daily News)... 5/20 (Oh, and they're planning on putting sales tax on gold. That'll tick off the goldbugs.)

Things that make you go hmm... Erie County Executive Chris Collins pondering a run for governor (Fred Dicker)... 5/19

Meddling: President Obama forces Steve Israel to drop out of Senate primary against Gillibrand (Albany Times-Union)... 5/17

First ethanol fuel pump between Buffalo and Pittsburgh is now open in Bradford (WESB)... 5/16

Congratulations, New York State!* Thanks to your income taxes, Tom Golisano has now moved to Florida (AP)... 5/15 (* Sarcasm.) UPDATE 5/20: Golisano's full explanation, in which he directly blames the unions, and the "three men in a room" that listened to them.

Harassment and intimidation of state bureaus, to criticize harassment and intimidation... brilliant! (sarcasm) (WESB)... 5/14 However, I must note, I have a tendency to side with Senator Young on this one somewhat. The people of New York deserve to have a consistent enforcement of the laws and regulations of the state, and not have to worry about getting nailed one week for something they haven't enforced in years.

Rank this as one of the dumbest decisions a person can ever make: get liquored up, then go to work-- driving a school bus full of kids. This actually happened in eastern Allegany County last week, and naturally, the driver is under arrest (WLEA)... 5/13
...and one more from the Beer Files: from Conewango, an 17 year old Amish kid is charged with possession of alcohol, even though roadside tests (yes, he was driving a buggy) showed him sober. Apparently an elder called the cops after they heard him listening to a radio (WESB)... 5/13

What's Byron Brown's favorite achievement as mayor of Buffalo? Increasing the government workforce. Classy. (WGRZ)... 5/10

Sheldon Silver's top lackey, Richard Brodsky, going to court to do what he can't manage to do as an assemblyman. Your New York State legislature at work (AP)... 5/9

Is this really necessary? Stimulus money will go to resurfacing I-86 (Randolph to Steamburg) and Route 219/417 (Salamanca to The Junction) in Cattaraugus County... I've ridden those roads and particularly, the 219 is not in bad shape. (WESB)... 5/6

Oh, so NOW Governor Paterson proposes the spending cap (AP)... now, let's have a reminder: Paterson proposed cutting $10 billion from the budget LAST YEAR, and look where that promise ended up. Straight on its head. 5/4
...oh, and some related news: I'm not a guy who normally reports on polls, but there's one out from Marist right now that shows both Paterson and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand getting shellacked in theoretical elections. Most notably, Gillibrand, considered a heavy favorite at first, is now trailing former Governor George Pataki by 8 percentage points, exacerbating a consistent slide in the polls. Considering the political reporters like Cook and Rothenberg were calling this one a safe seat... yeah... I'm thinking there may be some reconsidering of that position now.

Now, I'm never against property tax breaks, especially here in New York, but come on, Cathy Young's latest project, "I Want My STAR Check.com" is the equivalent of whining for a handout. 5/3

Cops run down four 20-somethings of four on Whig St. south of the village, all of the passengers were injured in some way, charges pending-- against the passengers (WESB)... 4/27

Heads up: Eric Massa to be at the Little Valley VFW this Sunday, April 26, 12 noon to 1 p.m...

Your government at work: Plans to build the high speed rail line from New York City to Buffalo, then from Cleveland to Kansas City... hmm... you think it would make sense to, you know, connect those two lines or something and get a nice line going halfway across the country? The US Department of Transportation don't see it that way (WESB)... 4/23

Looks like we have ourselves a soap opera: A member of the Cattaraugus County DA's office was fired after considering a run against DA Ed Sharkey, who's looking to milk two more years out of the system so he can get free lifetime health care on your dime (Olean Times Herald)... 4/23

Lisa Munro must have done something to tick off the teachers' union, because now the unions want the superintendent of Allegany-Limestone Central School fired (Olean Times Herald)... 4/23

Sam Hoyt says: Ban Wal-Mart from selling cigarettes (AP)... 4/20 UPDATE 4/23: The proposal, pardon the pun, is up in smoke after the bill is voted down in committee. Apparently it'd threaten tax revenues too much... yep, they said it. It's not about health, it's about the money.

A study that claims thousands of jobs will be created in Cattaraugus County as a result of the Route 219 expansion... I am somewhat skeptical (Springville Journal)... 4/20

Senecas are apparently scared that their children might become "good New Yorkers and good Americans" so now they want their own little indoctrination center with the help of the tax dollars they don't pay but you do (Buffalo News)... 4/20

Eric Massa in Ellicottville (Ellicottville Special E-Fects)... 4/17

Tea party wrap-up: Nothing of note in Little Valley, but Jamestown, North Harmony (!), Olean, Hornell, Corning, Buffalo, Warren PA, and Sugar Grove PA all report protests... 4/16

Former state Republican chairman Stephen Minarik found dead at 49 (WYSL)... 4/16

Spitzer eyeing a return to the AG post? It's possible-- after all, this is the same state that elected Alan Hevesi AFTER it was revealed he used state funds to shuttle his wife around (New York Post)... 4/14

HEADS UP: 2009 NFL schedule to be released tonight at 7:00 p.m., on NFL Network. ESPN/ESPN2 will also have coverage.

Well, we know one less candidate that will be running against Eric Massa in 2010. Assemblyman Brian Kolb of Geneva, considered to be the leading Republican contender, announced he would not run for the post. He will instead serve as Minority Leader of the state assembly, succeeding James Tedisco, who is awaiting the results of his run for congress. I'm particularly intrigued at the speculation that Cathy Young may run... 4/13

Woman who was wrongfully arrested in Ralph Phillips manhunt in 2006 will be allowed to sue (WESB)... 4/11

Now this is what I'm talking about: if you don't negotiate, your department risks layoffs. If you do concede some things, you will be spared. Naturally, the unions are not happy that their non-union counterparts chose the latter, and are crying foul, to the point of threatening to sue, when they chose the former (Albany Times-Union) (Buffalo Business First)... 4/8

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