Friday, December 19, 2014

Allegany County: 12 Days Remain To "Sell" Allegany County

Request For Proposal

Allegany County, a rural community of approximately 50,000 people located in the westerly portion of New York State's southern tier, has issued this Request for Proposals for services encompassing the sale and marketing of economic development opportunities within Allegany County to out of County businesses and individuals. The County is seeking an independent contractor to provide such services for an initial term of sixteen months with the possibility of extending the contract for additional one year periods. The individual(s) providing such service would work with the Allegany County Economic Development Team under the direction of the Planning and Economic Committee of the County Board of Legislators. In particular, it is anticipated that such services would, at a minimum entail the following:
• Serving as the County's contracted first point of contact for out of County economic development related activities - including, but not necessarily limited to, working directly with:
-Allegany County Economic Development Team Leader
- Allegany County Director of Economic Development
- Allegany County Industrial Development Agency and Commercial Incentive Board
• Chamber of Commerce
- Allegany County Tourism
- County Planner
- Business Advisory Group(s)
- Others as directed by the Allegany County Administrator
• Assisting with internal efforts to identify and leverage opportunities to locate new businesses and industries to Allegany County;
• Delivering programs, procedures, policies and promotional materials on a regional, national and international basis each designed to make Allegany County an attractive place for businesses and industries to locate;
• Developing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with local, regional, state and federal economic development councils and entities engaged in economic development;
• Developing and regularly reporting on the progress of annual business and industry activity and growth objectives;
• Assisting the Allegany County Economic Development Team Leader in developing monthly and quarterly economic development progress reports and presentations to the Allegany County Planning and Development Committee. Services will be compensated on a monthly basis based upon an agreed upon fee. Various pre-approved expenses incurred in the delivery of such services will be reimbursed.
A masters or bachelors level degree in business is preferred. Demonstrated experience in marketing and sales is an essential requirement for such work. Familiarity with municipal economic development issues and initiatives is highly desirable.
Interested parties should submit their proposal to include a description of their job qualifications, work history and references to:
Mitchell M. Alger, County Administrator
Allegany County
7 Court St.
Belmont, NY 14813
The last day for receipt of a proposal is: Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Allegany County Lawmakers Vote On Reappointments, Other Matters Monday


1.              That Gary Fries, Jimmy Joyce, David Roeske, Charles Stout and Shawn Whitney are reappointed to the County Traffic Safety Board, with term of office for each to commence January 1, 2015, and expire December 31, 2017.


1.              That the reappointments of Kenneth David Porter of Wellsville, New York, Robert Riber of Alfred Station, New York, William Emrick of Scio, New York, Rita Sibble of Andover, New York, and Dawn Young of Belfast, New York, to the Citizens Advisory Council to the Office for the Aging, with term of office for each commencing January 1, 2015, and expiring December 31, 2017, are confirmed.
1.    That the Board of Legislators shall meet on Monday, January 5, 2015, at 2:00 P.M. in the Legislators’ Chambers in the County Office Building, Belmont, New York, for the purpose of organizing the Board, selecting a Chairman and such other officers or appointees as may be desired, and for the transaction of any other business which could properly come before any regular meeting of the Board.

1.              That the sum of $21,300 of federal grant funding for period October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2017, to be used with the Probation Department Sex Offender Treatment Program and supervision of sex offenders, is accepted.

1.              That the agreement between the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, (GTSC Ignition Interlock Device Monitoring Program), providing for the payment of a fee to Allegany County of $135 for each Probation Department client with a discharge sentence that includes an Ignition Interlock condition, up to a maximum amount of $6,885, is approved.

1.              That the Agreement between the County of Allegany and the County of Wyoming in relation to the housing in of Wyoming County male and female prisoners in the Allegany County Jail for period January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015, is approved.

PA- Rep. Harper Proposes Competitive Shale Tax to Help Fund Public School Pension Costs

HARRISBURG – Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) is introducing legislation to place a severance tax on natural gas drilling in the Commonwealth.  
The tax rate would be competitive with nearby shale drilling states, and the revenue it generates would be directed to public school employee pension costs. The Public School Employees’ Retirement System currently has an unfunded liability that exceeds $32 billion.

“As this industry continues to grow, we have an opportunity to generate much-needed revenue to meet the ongoing economic challenges facing our state,” Harper said. “My proposal strikes the appropriate balance between keeping this job-creating industry competitive and capitalizing on the opportunity to protect our school taxpayers from skyrocketing pension costs.”

The tax would be in addition to impact fees assessed on drilling under Act 13 of 2012. Those fees are used to address infrastructure and other impacts in communities where drilling takes place, and to contribute to several statewide environmental programs. So far, the impact fee has generated more than $630 million.

“The impact fee has been very effective in meeting the needs of drilling communities and the Commonwealth’s environment overall, and my plan would not change one thing about the collection or distribution of these funds,” Harper said.

Harper’s proposal would assess a tax of 3.5 percent of the gross value of units severed at the wellhead. It is estimated the tax would generate more than $400 million annually.

Harper is currently seeking co-sponsors for the measure and will formally introduce it in early January.

Pitt-Bradford: Nursing students score above average pass rate on licensing exam

Students in Pitt-Bradford’s associate of science in nursing program scored a 90 percent pass rate on the national nursing exam – eight points higher than the national average. 
            The Pitt-Bradford pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam – or NCLEX, as it is commonly referred to – was also seven percentage points higher than the pass rate at other programs in Pennsylvania.
            Most programs have seen a decline in scores this year, explained Dr. Tammy Haley, associate professor of nursing and director of the nursing program, because the test is changed every three years. This was the first year for students to take the new test, but Pitt-Bradford students continued to outperform state and national averages.
            For the previous three years, Pitt-Bradford students averaged a pass rate of 98 percent compared to a national average of 87 percent.
            “We’ve done a good job preparing our students and helping to maintain a high pass rate,” Haley said. “But it is truly the success of the students, who have done the hard work.”
            Nursing is one of the most popular majors at Pitt-Bradford, which offers a 2-year ASN leading to the NCLEX and a four-year BSN degree.
            Many of Pitt-Bradford’s nursing graduates have stayed in the area to work at health care facilities in the region, according to figures from the Economic and Community Impact Survey conducted by officials from the Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh. From December 2000 to August 2010, 548 Pitt-Bradford nursing graduates were employed in the six-county region of Cameron, Elk, McKean, Potter and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, and Cattaraugus County, in New York.  Additionally, of the total number of nurses employed in the region, 55.6 percent were Pitt-Bradford graduates.

Obituary: Carol E. Smith, 61, Fillmore

FILLMORE - Carol E. Smith, of 10058 Dutch Hill Road, died Monday (Dec. 15, 2014) in Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester.
She was born Oct. 26, 1953, in Nunda, a daughter of the late Emmette and Marion Jones Smith. As their caregiver, Carol was committed to caring for her parents in their later years.
Carol was a graduate of Fillmore Central School, class of 1971, and received her bachelor's degree in microbiology from Cornell in 1975. She received her master's degree in 1980 and her Ph.D. in 1984 from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was a certification manager for the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan.

She enjoyed gardening, photography, bird watching and traveling. She was also a member of the Wide Awake Club of Fillmore.
Surviving are two brothers, Ken (Janice) Smith of Webster and Lowell (Kathryn) Smith of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; and five nieces and nephews, Christopher, Hilary, Jonathan, Zach and Chloe.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Belfast.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to Wide Awake Club Library Building Fund, P.O. Box 199, Fillmore, NY 14735. Online condolences may be made at

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, 21 N. Genesee St., Fillmore.

Covered Wagon Tours Announces Southern Tier Expansion

Covered Wagon Tours with locations in Hornell, Olean, and Avon, NY has recently expanded business in the Southern Tier region by purchasing a facility on Coryell Road in the town of Nichols, NY.

Covered Wagon Tours, the largest privately-owned motor coach company in Western New York, has been a leader in group travel arrangements in New York State for more than 20 years. Company officials say the expansion validates Covered Wagon’s commitment to the area and its ability to deliver on its vast array of transportation offerings. The new facility will allow customers in the Binghamton and Elmira area local access to services available through Covered Wagon.

“As our business grew, we started to look at additional property in the Southern Tier,” commented Dave Parmley, Owner of Covered Wagon Tours. “Covered Wagon Tours welcomes the opportunity to work with new and existing motor coach charter customers. We are committed to the area, and this new terminal allows us to service our customers more efficiently.” Parmley noted.

Customers may call Covered Wagon Tours at 607.324.3900 or 800.643.1700 or visit their website at for a list of upcoming tours and to begin making travel arrangement plans for 2015.

NY High School Graduation Rate Shows Continuing Gains

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch and New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. have released high school graduation rates for the 2010 cohort (students who entered 9th grade in 2010).  The overall graduation rate increased to 76.4 percent from the previous year’s 74.9 percent.  The graduation rates announced today reflect the achievement of the first group of students who entered grade 9 following New York’s adoption of the Common Core standards in July 2010.  At the end of the 2010-11 school year, the Department began posting statewide and school/district graduation rate Aspirational Performance Measures (APMs) for college/career readiness.  The majority of students who graduated in 2011-12 or later did not have a local diploma option for graduation.  
Despite the higher standards, the graduation rate for the 2010 cohort is more than ten percentage points higher than it was for the 2001 cohort (65.8 percent), which means that more than 20,000 more students graduated in June 2014 than in June 2005.  However, King noted that many students still exit their fourth year of high school unprepared for college or the workforce, large achievement gaps remain, particularly on the Advanced Designation diploma, and the percentage of students performing at the college-ready level in English Language Arts and Math increased only slightly from 37.2 percent to 38.1 percent.
“The reforms we started in 2010 are being put into practice every day in classrooms across the state, and we’re starting to see the benefits,” Tisch said.  “It is clear, however, that the work of implementing the higher standards is not done. The percentage of students earning Regents Diplomas with Advanced Designation remains flat.  The Board of Regents is committed to making sure that all students have the opportunity to graduate ready for college or a career.  That’s why we’re moving forward to create multiple pathways to graduation, each focused on a rigorous coursework and program of study.”
“While the increased graduation rates are encouraging, nearly one in four students is not graduating after four years,” King said.  “It is imperative that we continue to support districts as they fully implement the higher expectations the Board of Regents has set for students and educators.  We must make sure that we build on the progress the State has made since the adoption of the Regents Reform Agenda in 2009-10 -- including the Common Core standards in July 2010.  Students must be given every opportunity to meet those increased expectations.   The Board of Regents 2015-16 state aid proposal, released this week, is designed to do just that, through increased support for operating aid, full-day prekindergarten, Career and Technical Education pathways, English Language Learner success, and expanded regionalization of school district services, including regional high schools.”
Graduation rates reported statewide and for Big 5 Districts have generally increased, particularly in New York City, for the 2010 cohort.  Graduation rates in the Big 5 for the 2010 cohort are as follows:
  • New York City: 64.2 percent (61.3 percent for the 2009 cohort)
  • Buffalo: 52.8 percent (53.4 percent for the 2009 cohort)
  • Rochester: 43.4 percent (43.0 percent for the 2009 cohort)
  • Syracuse: 51.1 percent (48.8 percent for the 2009 cohort)
  • Yonkers: 68.8 percent  (66.4 percent for the 2009 cohort)

PA Auditor General DePasquale Releases Special Report Calling Attention to Potential Lost Revenue from Tax Exempt Properties

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today released a special report on property tax exemptions that might be costing local municipalities, counties and school districts billions of dollars a year.
The special report found that more than $1.5 billion in property tax revenue is potentially lost in the 10-county sample examined for the report. Data is included for the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Bucks, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, and Montgomery. The report reflects potential property tax liability in the county, municipality and school district where each property is located.
“We are at a major crossroads in the decades-long debate over how to define and review the property tax exempt status of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said, noting that legislation is moving forward that could put a constitutional amendment on the ballot as early as May for voters to decide how charitable entities can gain tax exempt status.
“There is no denying that counties, municipalities, and school districts across the state continue to grapple with mounting financial challenges, while many nonprofits’ charitable work is financially dependent upon their property tax exemption,” DePasquale said. “Before the issue comes to voters I want people to be informed and know how their vote may impact their local community.
“This report should stimulate interest in this important issue that could be put to a public vote shortly after the General Assembly returns to Harrisburg next year,” DePasquale said.
The “Review of Potential Lost Revenue Due to Property Tax Exemptions” report is available online here.

Houghton Named a 2015 Best Value College by Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Houghton College has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in liberal arts colleges for 2015. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.   
According to this year’s rankings, Houghton placed 89 as a best value among liberal arts colleges and 234 for best value out of all colleges and universities nationally.
Houghton has shown consistent commitment to ensure financial affordability and recently added the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for all incoming students which assists or completely repays a student’s loans after graduation when he or she earns less than $38,000. 
In 2012, Houghton also teamed up with SALT, a groundbreaking educational program designed to motivate financial literacy in college students and recent alumni.
Along with supporting financial responsibility to its students, Houghton has also consistently shown its dedication to providing outstanding academics.  Recently the college added a new music industry major along with being one of the first Christian liberal arts schools to offer data science courses.
Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Many schools have appeared on the list multiple times including Houghton College, a testament to the consistent value these colleges provide.
“We salute this year’s top schools,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy...”
The complete rankings, including the top schools overall as well as the best values in public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges, are available online at The rankings will also appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015.

Obituary: Charles "Charlie" Jones, JR, 81, Hornell

Charles “Charlie” Jones, JR – 81 – of 7 Hakes Ave., Hornell, died Friday morning (December 12, 2014) at his home, following a brief illness.
A native of Piper, AL, he was born February 10, 1933 and was the son of Charles & Eva Jane (Coleman) Jones.
Charlie grew up in Piper, AL and was a graduate of Bibb County Training School in Centerville, AL (class of 1950).  At the age of 17, he joined the US Air Force and served his country for about 10 years.  While in the Air Force, Charlie was stationed in several places including Japan, Guam & Panama.
Living most of his adult life in Brooklyn, NY, Charlie was employed for about 30 years as a Union Representative for the AFLCIO, retiring in 1998 after 30 years of service.  He has resided in Hornell for the past 10 years.
Charlie was a member of the Jehovah Witness Organization and a member of Kingdom Hall in Canisteo. He enjoyed watching sporting events and was a Chicago Bears Football Fan and an LA Lakers Basketball Fan.
He was married to the former Lillian Whitehall who died 15 years ago.  Charlie was also preceded in death by 2 sisters and 3 brothers.
Surviving are 4 brothers, James, Sylvester, Clayton & Curtis; 2 sisters, Gaynell & Alma; many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces & grand-nephews.
At Charlie’s request there will be no prior calling hours.  A private Memorial Service was held at Kingdom Hall. Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.

$300K worth of corn lost in Gainesville fire - The Daily News Online

GAINESVILLE — More than 25,000 bushels of corn were lost in an early morning fire at T.J. Marquart & Sons.

According to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services, the fire occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Friday after a grain dryer’s burner malfunctioned.

The corn lost in the fire had an estimated value of $300,000. No injuries were reported.

Fire companies from Gainesville, Silver Springs, Bliss, Castile, North Java, Perry Pike and Warsaw responded and were at the scene for eight hours, preventing further damage to storage bins located alongside the inflamed grain dryer.

Further assistance came from Wyoming County Emergency Services, National Fuel, state Department of Transportation, the Town of Gainesville Highway Department and Hulme Construction.

$300K worth of corn lost in Gainesville fire - The Daily News Online: News

Across NY: Audit Reveals Theft of Cash, Questionable Spending by Minetto Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief

The chief of the Minetto Volunteer Fire Company in Oswego County spent nearly $6,000 in public funds on personal purchases such as guns and motorcycle parts, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The audit revealed a total of $22,000 in misused funds, questionable spending and missing cash.
Joseph Smegelsky Jr., was charged in July with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, by the State Police and Oswego County District Attorney based upon DiNapoli’s examination.
“This individual had keys to the cash register and went on a spending spree with the fire company’s money,” said DiNapoli. “Residents trust public officials to safeguard their tax dollars and spend them appropriately. Far too often we find that without proper oversight in place, it can be easy for public funds to be misspent or go missing. My team of auditors and investigators will continue to work closely with law enforcement to hold individuals like this responsible for their actions.”
DiNapoli’s office found that, from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013, Smegelsky used the department’s debit cards and checks to make more than $5,800 in improper purchases, including guns, motorcycle equipment and items to support his personal landscaping business. Auditors also identified $4,300 in questionable payments that had no supporting documentation to indicate that they were for valid business purchases.  
In addition, Smegelsky claimed to have “sold” items to the department and received $8,500 in payments for things such as used helmets, jackets, pants and boots.
The audit also revealed that Smegelsky:
  • Cashed a $1,863 refund check due to the fire company for overpaying a vendor;
  • Failed to deposit $1,100 in cash from company vending machines; and
  • Made $982 in fuel purchases in excess of what was authorized for his personal vehicle using company funds.
DiNapoli said this theft went undetected because the company did not maintain records and reports that accurately reflected the company’s financial activity. For example, the company treasurers did not maintain any cash balances in the records and did not perform bank reconciliations. Auditors also found that the treasurer’s monthly reports to the board were not adequate for monitoring financial operations because they did not provide budget-to-actual results, did not list individual disbursements and did not account for all revenues.

PA Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.1% in November, Lowest Rate in More Than Six Years

Harrisburg – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its employment situation report for November 2014.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate declined by three-tenths of a percentage point in November to 5.1 percent, the commonwealth’s lowest rate in more than six years. The rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 5.8 percent. The commonwealth’s rate was down by 1.8 percentage points from last November while the national rate declined by 1.2 points over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – expanded by 5,000 in November. Resident employment was up 27,000 while unemployment was down 22,000.

Total nonfarm jobs were up by 200 to 5,798,300, the highest level since September 2008. Private sector jobs were essentially unchanged (-100). Among industries, the largest movement in November was an increase of 2,600 in construction. Financial activities had the largest decline.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 33,200 (+0.6%). The growth was almost entirely within private industries, with the largest gains in trade, transportation & utilities, construction, and other services. Only two supersectors declined from last November – information and government.

St. Bonaventure University adds new major in environmental studies

St. Bonaventure University will offer a new major in environmental studies beginning in fall 2015.

The New York State Department of Education approved the bachelor of arts degree program earlier this month.
Dr. Ted Georgian, biology professor and longtime instructor in St. Bonaventure’s environmental science program, will serve as program director. The environmental science program will be phased out May 31, 2015.

Unlike environmental science, which is meant to provide substantial depth in the technical aspects of the discipline, the environmental studies program gives students the flexibility to select courses that approach environmental issues from a perspective of interest to them, from business to natural resources conservation to philosophy and theology.

“St. Bonaventure, with its Catholic Franciscan tradition, mission, and value of the care for Creation, is singularly called to initiate such a degree,” Georgian said. “The program will also put to good use the natural setting of the campus and surrounding areas, as well as their built environments.”

Students who are passionate about sustainable development can combine this major with a minor or even a second major in an area that reflects their skills and career interests.

The breadth of this program will prepare students for a wide range of careers, such as “green” business initiatives, environmental law and policy, natural resource conservation, environmental education, environmental journalism and marketing, and work with governmental and other organizations working to build a more sustainable future.

Although housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, St. Bonaventure’s environmental studies program will be interdisciplinary, with the degree built upon existing and new courses in the schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Journalism and Mass Communication.

The major will require 33 to 35 credit hours, depending on lab components.

The program encompasses and integrates study in three core areas: principles of ecology and environmental sciences; environmental ethics and aesthetics; and environmental social policy and science.

Wyoming County Sheriff-Deputy injured, man arrested

Wyoming County Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Tisdale, assisted by Perry police patrolman Ferry, responded early Thursday to a residence on Lower Reservation Road in the Town of Castile. Deputies said 23-year old Edward P. Koziel, from Leicester, was reported to be “trashing a residence.” During the investigation officers attempted to take Koziel into custody. Police said Koziel "actively resisted and caused injury to Deputy Tisdale’s right shoulder.” Koziel was charged with Assault 2nd , a class D Felony, for causing physical injury to an officer, Resisting Arrest, a class A Misdemeanor, and Criminal Mischief 4th, also a class A Misdemeanor. Koziel was arraigned later in the day in front of Wyoming County Court Judge Michael Mohun. Bail was set at $25,000.00 cash or $75,000.00 bond. Koziel is scheduled to appear in Castile Town Court at a later date.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: December 18, 2014

Following an investigation into a stolen motor vehicle from the village, Wellsville Police assisted by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office arrested Paula M. Miller, 34 of Wellsville. She was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th for allegedly possessing the stolen vehicle. Miller was processed and arraigned in Wellsville Village Court where she was remanded to the Allegany County Jail on $7,500.00 bail. Miller is due back in village court at a later date.

Pennsylvania Governor-Elect: New York’s fracking ban is “unfortunate”

By Kati Colaneri - Pennsylvania Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf says New York made the wrong move by banning fracking.
New York State health officials say there isn’t enough evidence to show whether or not gas development has an impact on public health. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote in a report released Wednesday that “absolute scientific certainty” is “unlikely to ever be attained,” which is why his department said it could not recommend allowing natural gas development in the Empire State.
At a press conference Wednesday in Northeast Pennsylvania, which is home to some of the most lucrative gas wells in the state, Wolf called New York’s decision “unfortunate.” He says he believes fracking can be done safely.
“I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I don’t want to do what New York did,” he said. “I want to do what I think we can do here in Pennsylvania and that is have this industry, but do it right from an environmental point of view, from a health point of view.”
It is a position, Wolf said, that has not gotten him credit from either hard-lined environmentalists committed to a ban on fracking or with the state’s natural gas industry.
Marcellus Shale Coalition President Dave Spigelmyer said in a statement that while he appreciates Wolf’s support for the industry, the coalition “looks forward to working with the governor-elect on common sense policies that will help bolster Pennsylvania’s position as a top natural gas-producing state.”
Click HERE to read the complete story written by Kati Colaneri, StateImpact

Livingston County Deputy Sheriff receives Award for Valor

(Pictured from L to R: Sergeant Joseph Zambito, Captain Norman Zeh, Deputy Ryan Swanson, Chief Deputy Matthew Burgess and Sheriff Tom Dougherty)(Pictured from L to R: Sergeant Joseph Zambito, Captain Norman Zeh, Deputy Ryan Swanson, Chief Deputy Matthew Burgess and Sheriff Tom Dougherty)
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Swanson was presented with the Livingston County Sheriff's Office Award for Valor Thursday.
On May 14th, 2013 Deputy Swanson responded to a 911 call for a man with a gun. As reported, the gunman was threatening the general public in the Village of Nunda. Upon his arrival, the Deputy found several people seeking cover in fear, running for their lives. Deputy Swanson put himself in harm’s way and confronted the armed individual. The Deputy was faced with the decision to use deadly physical force to protect him and the public or attempt to otherwise resolve the issue. Although justified, Deputy Swanson chose to quell the disturbance with sound police procedure and negotiations in order to peacefully resolve the situation while having the subject at gunpoint. The incident ended the very best way possible, with the gunman in custody and no one injured.

Congratulations Deputy Swanson and thank you for your service.

Steuben County warrant sweep nets six

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obituary: Mary C. Manning, 78, Wellsville

Wellsville, NY - Mary C. Manning, 78, passed away on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Jones Memorial Hospital following a brief illness. She was born September 8, 1936 in Manhattan, the daughter of the late Sam and Helen (Holdasevich) Ferrante. On June 2, 1962 in Brooklyn, NY she married Thomas C. Manning who predeceased her on May 9, 2014.
Mary and Tom resided in Brooklyn before moving to Wellsville in 1996. She was a graduate of Pace University in 1990. She was employed as an executive Secretary for U. S. Trust on Wall Street for 28 years; retiring in 1996. She was a past senior regent for the Woman of the Moose # 248, a member of the Immaculate Conception Church, the Altar & Rosary Society and the Wellsville Rod & Gun Club. She enjoyed photography, musical instruments, computers and animals; but most of all she loved spending time with friends and family.
She is survived by one brother, Alex “Al” Ferrante of Florida and several nieces & nephews. She was predeceased by a sister, Anna M. Wade on November 14, 2007. 
Friends are invited to a Memorial Mass on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:00 am at the Immaculate Conception Church; Wellsville. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. The family requests memorial donations are made to the SPCA Serving Allegany County. To leave online condolences, please visit

Allegany County GOP Caucus nominates new Legislature head - Olean Times Herald

By Darlene M. Donohue, Olean Times Herald                                     

BELMONT — In less than three weeks, there could be a change at the helm of Allegany County government.
Following a secret ballot vote, the Allegany County Board of Legislators learned Dwight “Mike” Healy was selected by the Leadership Allegany County Republican Caucus to serve as the legislators’ new leader.
On Jan. 5, as part of the board’s reorganizational meeting, the legislators are scheduled to vote for a chairman and vice chairman of the board. However, on Nov. 24 the caucus — led by Legislature Majority Leader Ted Hopkins, R-Fillmore — called for nominations and a vote for the two leadership positions.
Legislator David Pullen, R-Fillmore, nominated the current chairman, Curtis Crandall, R-Belfast, to serve a 10th consecutive year as chairman. Legislator Scott Burt, R-Scio, nominated Legislator Dwight “Mike” Healy, R-Belmont, for the role.
“I selected him based on his track record,” said Mr. Pullen regarding his nomination for Mr. Crandall. “When he took over as chairman nine years ago, we were $5 million in the red. Now, we’re $25 million in the black, we’ve reduced taxes and improved our bond rating. It’s a team effort to accomplish things like that, but he’s been a critical factor.”
Mr. Pullen continued, “(Mr. Crandall) has put us in a good direction. He’s a calm and stable leader and decision maker … The saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ applies to (his chairmanship).”
Mr. Burt said he agreed that things are not broken, per se, but that there are improvements and fresh ideas that can come to fruition under new leadership,
“I believe Mr. Crandall used his expertise and shifted us in the right directions. However, with new leadership comes new ideas and a different view on things,” said Mr. Burt. “Mr. Healy is the standing chairman of the county's Republican Party and is well suited to handle the position of board chairman.”
“Mr. Healy would represent the county well, has no personal agendas to later advance to higher political positions, promotes (Interstate 86) development, is open and transparent, and would be an excellent representative of the taxpayer. I believe he will take a fresh look at things and offer new ideas. I also believe everyone should have the opportunity at this type of service.”
Mr. Healy said he was aware through discussions prior to the caucus meeting that there was a desire for change, but that he never expected he would be nominated to serve as the board’s chairman.   
“I was surprised and honored by the nomination and caucus vote to assume the chairman's position in 2015. I’m ready to take on the challenge. I have both the time and willingness to assume that position in the coming year if confirmed by the full Board of Legislators’ vote,” said Mr. Healy, a retired state police investigator.
Mr. Crandall didn’t wish to comment on the caucus vote, noting the Jan. 5 vote is the decision that matters to him. He added that he believes that some of those in the GOP caucus who initially voted for Mr. Healy to accept the position as their new leader may change their mind.
“I sent a letter to each of the board members outlining my interest in continuing in the chairmanship position and outlined what I felt my strengths are and what I brought to the position,” said Mr. Crandall. “I’ve had a majority of the board express interest in supporting me at the organizational meeting. I think what needs to be done is to wait and see what the decision of the board is at that meeting.”
Mr. Healy agreed that the Jan. 5 vote is the conclusive vote, and he hopes those who supported him during the caucus vote will carry that same support for him into the reorganizational meeting vote despite the rumors he’s heard that Mr. Crandall was attempting to sway those who voted against him.
“I understand that since the Nov. 24 caucus, Chairman Crandall has engaged in a campaign to overturn the results of that caucus and retain the leadership position for himself. Apparently, this may have resulted in one, or more, legislators changing their original caucus vote,” said Mr. Healy. “The chairmanship is scheduled for a full vote of the Board of Legislators at its reorganizational meeting, at which time I am confident that the leadership positions will be determined and we will all move forward in unity to do the people's business.”
In addition to the vote for the chairmanship, the caucus also decided who they would like to serve as vice chairman.
Legislator Tim O’Grady, R-Wellsville, nominated Mr. Burt for the position, and there were no other nominees, said Mr. Burt. He noted the current vice chairman, Dwight Fanton, R-Wellsville, didn’t want to seek re-election to the spot.
"I’m honored that my peers selected me,” said Mr. Burt, noting he’s only been in office for 11 months. “I’ve been told they enjoy the questions I’ve asked, and often they tell me they wished they would have thought to ask those questions I’m honored that I’ve received their respect.”
Allegany County GOP Caucus nominates new Legislature head - Olean Times Herald: News - Allegany County GOP Caucus nominates new Legislature head: News

Second arrest in Avoca incident-Deputies say more arrests & charges possible

Allegany County may inherit former state police barracks in Wellsville

When the Allegany County Legislature meets Monday afternoon, the Board will consider accepting a donation valued at about $100,000. The estate of Arthur Devenport wants to donate to the county a building and land located at 4459 Bolivar Road in Wellsville. For years, that building housed the main barracks for the New York state police in Allegany County. Most recently, Time Warner Cable has operated from the site. The building has 2,824 square feet, two paved parking lots and sits on 1.9 acres of land. It has an assessed value of $125,200. The property had been listed for sale with Middaugh Realty for $99,000.
In 2005, Allegany County lawmakers considered leasing the space.  The Health Department wanted to relocate their three off-site offices under one roof. However, after discussion, no action was taken.
Under consideration Monday is the following resolution:

            1.         That the Allegany County Board of Legislators hereby agrees to accept the donation of the land and building located at 4459 Bolivar Road, in the Town of Wellsville, from the estate of Arthur Devenport, subject to various conditions imposed by the estate and upon satisfactory review of the title by the County Attorney.

Coaches vs Cancer basketball tournament

A 1998 graduate and former member of the Haverling Lady Rams basketball team, Jennifer Murray, passed of cancer in 2004. In honor of her memory Coach, Randy Abrams and the Lady Rams basketball program have started a Coaches vs Cancer basketball tournament. The tournament will act as a fund raiser with money from the admissions ($2 for adults and $1 for students) along with other fundraisers being donated to the America Cancer Society. The team has also set up a website at: where people can make a donation. The tournament will run Saturday, December 27th  and Tuesday, December 30th. The games on the 27th are: Bath vs Penn Yan JVs at 2PM; Wellsville vs Owego JVs at 3:45PM; Wellsville vs Owego Varsity at 5:30PM and Bath vs Penn Yan Varsity at 7:15PM. On the 30th the JV consolation game will be at 2PM, JV championship game at 3:45PM, Varsity consolation game at 5:30PM and the Varsity championship game at 7:15PM.

Info courtesy of-
Randy Abrams, M.S. Ed, Haverling High School Business/Computer Teacher
Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach
Haverlinguist Yearbook Financial Advisor

Wyoming County District Attorney Report

First Ugly Sweater Contest Held at Noyes Health-Dansville

On Friday, December 12th Noyes Health Employees participated in their first Ugly Sweater Contest. Eleven departments participated in the contest and the winning department of the 2014 Ugly Sweater Contest was: MEDICAL RECORDS, CODING AND TRANSCRIPTION!!!
A special THANKS to the 2014 contest judges: Sue DeMuth, Dansville Stationers and Dogwood Trading Company, Shannon Mays, Shenanigans Children’s Store, Jennifer Howe, Genesee Valley Penny Saver all located on Main Street Dansville. And thank you for your time and talent to Noyes Health employees, Deb McCray, Dick Whitenack and Ray Weidman for creating the beautiful award plaque

Former Rite Aid Vice President and New Jersey businessman charged in $14.6 million fraud & kickback scheme

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a former Rite Aid Corporation Vice President and a New Jersey businessman have been charged in connection with a $14.6 million dollar, surplus inventory sales/kickback scheme.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jay Findling, age 54, of Manalapan, New Jersey, is charged in a Criminal Information filed today in the United States District Court in Harrisburg with Conspiracy to commit Wire Fraud.  Former Rite Aid Vice President Timothy P. Foster, age 65, of Portland Oregon, is charged in the same Criminal Information with making False Statements to Authorities. 
The charges are based upon Foster’s and Findling’s alleged 9 year conspiracy to defraud Rite Aid, a publicly-owned national drug store chain with its headquarters located in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, via a surplus inventory sales scheme that took place between 2001 and 2010. 

Allegany County: Critical injuries in Amity crash

At least one woman was reportedly critically injured Thursday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash on state route 244 in the town of Ward. The patient, unreported age, sustained serious chest injuries, with head and neck pain.  She was rushed to Jones Memorial in Wellsville. A second 47-year old woman was also transported to Jones Memorial and needed a critical care intercept for a possible chest injury while a third person was also injured and brought to Jones Memorial by Alfred ambulance, but the patient status was unclear. At least three vehicles crashed on what responders called "treacherous" road conditions. Responders said the jaws of life were needed. Belmont fire and Amity Rescue responded as did ambulances from Wellsville and Alfred. State troopers were investigating the crash. Medical helicopters declined to fly to the scene because of inclement weather. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 1pm-7pm today because freezing rain and drizzle was possible.
One first responder said state route 244 was a sheet of black ice.

Wellsville: Jones Memorial eyes formal affiliation with UR Medicine

University of Rochester Medicine and Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville announced they are considering a formal affiliation. Leaders from both organizations emphasize that talks are still preliminary and a decision to affiliate is still months away, but say that a closer relationship could allow the organizations to work together in more efficient ways that would help them strengthen services to the Southern Tier. The institutions currently collaborate to bring UR Medicine specialists such as cardiologists, neurologists, and otolaryngologists to Jones, giving local patients access to specialized care close to home. A formal affiliation would add Jones to UR Medicine’s hospital network, alongside Strong Memorial, Highland, and Thompson Health. In September, UR Medicine announced that it is in similar affiliation discussions with Noyes Health in Dansville. Representatives from UR Medicine and Jones have been meeting for several weeks to explore the potential benefits of such an affiliation. The systems are trying to determine whether an affiliation could maximize the capabilities and resources of both systems, better preparing them amid shrinking reimbursement and other changes that are being driven by the Affordable Care Act. It is expected to take several months before each side will be able to make a recommendation to their respective Boards and seek necessary regulatory approvals.

NY Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.9% in November 2014, Reaching Lowest Level in More Than Six Years

The statewide unemployment rate in New York declined from 6.0% to 5.9% in November 2014, reaching its lowest level since September 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor.
New York State’s private sector job count remained near its record-high level, falling by only 100 jobs out of more than 7.6 million, or less than 0.1 percent, in November 2014. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, the state’s economy has added 506,100 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 40 of the past 47 months. This period included 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth, the state’s longest streak on record (current data go back to 1990).

11 stricken from carbon monoxide poisoning in Bath

This morning at 9:36am the Bath Volunteer fire Department was dispatched to 5 Liberty Street for a Carbon Monoxide alarm going off with the occupants having trouble breathing. Steuben 911 dispatchers told the callers to leave the building.  Bath Gas & Electric utility also responded to the emergency. The Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps was dispatched on the original call with the Fire Department and additional assistance was called from Hammondsport Ambulance, Bath VA Ambulance and Paramedic as well as Rural Metro Paramedic from Corning.
Assistant Chief Joe Washburn said all together 11 people were transported to Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath with elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their system. Nine from the apartments and 2 from a beauty shop in the building. Bath Gas and Electric officials are working to find the cause.

Wyoming County: Deputies say man kicked at cop, charged with felony

Wyoming County Sheriff deputies say James R. Allen,30, of Silver Springs, was arrested Wednesday following a complaint at 49 Railroad Avenue in the Village of Silver Springs. Allen had been taken into custody after a welfare check was conducted at his residence. As police walked Allen to a patrol vehicle they say he became combative and began screaming and trying to get away. Police were able to get Allen into a patrol vehicle, however Allen then allegedly forcefully kicked at police, making contact four times. Allen was criminally charged with Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, a class E felony, and Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor. Allen was arraigned in the Town of Warsaw Court where he was committed to the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $2,500.00 cash bail or $10,000.00 bond. Allen was scheduled to return to the Village of Silver Springs Court on January 12, 2014 for further proceedings.

Two men arrested on drug charges after traffic stop in Livingston County

GENESEO:  Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of two men relating to Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and drug possession charges.
On December 17, 2014 at approximately 7:10 PM, Deputy Shawn Whitford of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office, conducted a vehicle stop on Lakeville Road in the Town of Geneseo.
The operator of the vehicle stopped was identified as 20 year old Mario A. Ramirez of Mount Morris, NY.  Further investigation discovered that Ramirez was allegedly in possession of a hypodermic needle. Deputy Michael Wade of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Offfice STOP DWI Unit responded to assist and later placed Ramirez under arrest for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs.
The passenger in the vehicle stopped was Blayne C.P. Ippolito, age 19 of Groveland NY.  Ippolito was charged with one count of Criminal Possession of Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree and Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic needle, both class A misdemeanors.
Ramirez did submit to a drug evaluation that was administered by Chief Deputy Jason Yasso of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.  It was concluded, according to Deputies, that Ramirez was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of heroin.  Ramirez was charged with Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Needle as well as Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, both misdemeanors.  Ramirez was also charged with other Vehicle and Traffic Law violations.  Both were later released, each are due back in Geneseo Town Court on January 21, 2015.

Obituary: Pauline E. Basolt, 88, Wellsville native

Picture Rensselaer- Pauline E. Basolt, 88, of Forbes Ave, died on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the Barnwell Nursing Home in Valatie after a long illness. Born in Wellsville, Pauline was the daughter of the late Kenneth W. and Grace Dodge Horton. Pauline was an Army veteran serving as a financial clerk and nursing student during the Korean War. She graduated from Hudson Valley Community College in 1973 with a associate's degree in respiratory therapy and had worked at Samaritan Hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital and the former Leonard Hospital. Pauline was a longtime resident of the Averill Park area and had also resided in Greenport and had been living in Rensselaer for several years. She was a former volunteer with the Hoags Corners Ambulance and ran the youth program at the Dunham Hollow Community Center. Pauline started the library at the Van Rensselaer Heights Apts. and was named the Pauline Basolt Community Library in her honor. She also enjoyed collecting miniatures, history, plants, and reading. Pauline was the former wife of the late John W. Basolt Jr. and the sister of the late Arnold and Paul Horton and Richard Dodge. Survivors include her children, John W. Basolt III of Averill Park, Melody (Randy) Howarth of Nassau, Mary (Timothy) Komdat of Averill Park, Joan Basolt of Troy, Stephen (Kelly) and Albert Basolt of Averill Park; her sister, Fern Brule of Okla., her grandchildren Shannon Howarth, Jenai (Dom) Southard, Joshua (Krissy), and Rachael Howarth, Courtney and Morgan Kanopka, Katie Komdat, Ashley Basolt, Jared, Jacob, Jennifer, and Dustin Basolt, and her great-grandchildren Ashlee, Zachary, Charles, Brandin, Jackson, Gavin and Valerie. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the West Stephentown Baptist Church, 1672 NY 43, West Stephentown, on Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 10-11 a.m. followed by a service at 11 a.m. Pauline's wishes were donations in her memory be made to the Hoags Corners Ambulance, P.O. Box 90, East Nassau, NY 12062. Visit for directions and private guestbook.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Wednesday December 17, 2017

10:00 hours

Wellsville Police acting on an Arrest Warrant issued by the Amity Town Court arrested Dyllan M. Coats, age 19 of Leola, PA for failure to appear in court.  Coats was processed and turned over the New York State Police.  Coats was due to appear in Amity Town Court at a later time.

New license plates for Pennsylvania? One lawmaker wants them "simpler"

(Rep. Mike Regan-right- is shown here holding a test license plate with the manufacturer Gary Richard, founder of Banner Industries and EZ-ID Company of Massachusetts. The photo in the background is that of the late Molly Bish of Warren, MA, who was kidnapped and murdered. She was the inspiration for the creation of EZ-ID license plates.)
HARRISBURG – Following two recent informational meetings, Rep. Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland) said he is preparing to introduce legislation that would make general issue license plates simpler to identify by using fewer numbers and adding symbols.

“I have hosted two meetings on this issue with representatives from law enforcement, PennDOT and others, and we are continuing to map out the feasibility of making license plates easier to identify,” said Regan. “I am working on a bill now to present to the General Assembly in the upcoming session.”

The concept of EZ-ID was developed by Gary Richard, founder of Banner Industries and EZ-ID, Inc. of Massachusetts. That state has already seen unanimous passage of legislation to move toward implementing the EZ-ID license plates.

Richard explained that 70 percent of all crime involves a motor vehicle, and fewer than 1 percent of crimes witnessed are able to properly report the plate to law enforcement. Richard said that he developed the concept following the abductions of Molly Bish in Massachusetts, and the high-profile kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, which gained national attention.

During the informational meeting this week, it was stated that the EZ-ID program would also be an aid to the current Amber Alert system in that it would make license plates easier to read and remember.

“Adding a symbol allows for fewer characters on the license plate which will make the fonts larger and more readable,” said Regan. “Additionally, if the witness of a crime only remembers the symbol and one other character, it greatly reduces the number of suspect vehicles which would aid police agencies in their investigation.”

NY Attorney General investigation reveals retailers illegally selling prohibited toy guns-Stores include Walmart, Kmart

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office sent cease and desist letters to several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, K-Mart, and others for allegedly selling prohibited toy guns online to residents of New York State, and, in at least one case, in a K-Mart store in suburban Rochester. The letters, stemming from an ongoing investigation, call for retailers to immediately stop the in-store and online sale and shipment to New Yorkers of toy guns that violate New York State law pending the resolution of Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation. 
“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “New York State law is clear: retailers cannot put children and law enforcement at risk by selling toy guns that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.”
The Attorney General’s investigation is focusing on ensuring compliance with state law to prevent the purchase of prohibited toy guns both in stores and online. State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, unless it has a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel.
One of the retailers sent a cease and desist letter, Wal-Mart, was the subject of an earlier investigation by the Attorney General’s office into in-store sales of such toys, which resulted in a court order prohibiting them from selling toy guns in New York State. It now appears that those sales have moved to the online marketplace. This new investigation reveals that many prohibited toy guns, priced from less than $10 to as much as several hundred dollars, can be easily purchased online and shipped into the state. The recent investigation also uncovered that at least one retailer is selling illegal toy guns in its stores.
Some of the toy guns discovered during the investigation are advertised as “realistic looking” and “full size.” Since they lack the orange striping down both sides of the barrel as required under state law, these imitation assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols closely resemble dangerous weapons, and could be easily mistaken for real weapons by law enforcement and civilians alike. 
The Attorney General sent cease and desist letters to the following online retailers for selling illegal toy guns:
  • Wal-Mart
  • K-Mart
  • Sears
Since 1997, at least four individuals have been killed in New York State, and one child was seriously wounded, when law enforcement officers mistook toy guns for real guns. To report the sale of illegal toy guns, consumers are encouraged to contact Attorney General Schneiderman’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

Christmas snowstorm? Computer models disagree

From the National Weather Service in State College: Our forecast models are starting to hint at big changes in the weather pattern over the eastern US next week, just in time for Christmas. This chart shows the expected development of a significant storm that could affect the region Christmas Eve into Christmas day. The ECMWF model is on the left and the GFS is on the right. This is a great example of the kind of uncertainty we have to deal with on a routine basis. The GFS track would bring a significant snow storm and a white Christmas to much of western and central Pa while the ECMWF track would make for a breezy rain storm. It's still a week away so we have many more days and model runs before it gets here, but the pattern is showing signs of change and definitely becoming more interesting.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Geneseo Tops Kiplinger's National List of 24 Best College Values Under $30,000/Year

GENESEO, N.Y. -- SUNY Geneseo is at the top of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s 2015 list of the 24 best colleges in the nation that cost less than $30,000 per year to attend. The college is also ranked third for out-of-state students and 24th for in-state students on the Best Value in Public Schools list; 13th on the 25 Best Values in the Mid-Atlantic list, which combines both public and private schools; and 57th Best Value on the magazine’s combined national list of public and private colleges and universities.
The rankings recognize four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. Kiplinger includes tuition, fees, room and board and books in calculating attendance cost figures.
“The fact that the college is on the Kiplinger list multiple times illustrates Geneseo’s value and corroborates what we often see and hear about our value,” said SUNY Geneseo interim President Carol S. Long. “A student attending Geneseo receives a very high quality education at a reasonable cost. Many of our alumni tell us they would not have had a better college experience anywhere else – public or private – than they had here, regardless of the cost. That’s pretty impressive.”
Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admissions rate, the percentage of students who return for the sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

The annual list is available
online and will be published in Kiplinger's January 2015 issue.