Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cuba: Police dump uniforms to become super hero's - wow the kids

You know it's gonna be a fun story when the Cuba Police Chief sends you an email that begins with the statement "You’re never to old to have fun!"
Most days, Cuba police officers are patrolling the Town of Cuba - stopping speeders, scooping up the 'bad guys' and generally keeping the area safe. It was a different scenario today when officers stepped up their community outreach. Today, some of the Cuba Police department members volunteered their time to attend the Cuba-Rushford Elementary Halloween parade. The police department partnered with the Cuba Fire Department and the National Child Safety Counsel to provide glow sticks and reflective trick or treat bags to every student in an effort to help them be more visible tonight during trick or treating hours. Members of the department dressed as super hero’s, a K9 officer and a SWAT team member. 
Although the Cuba police department likes to be tough on crime...the officers are human and enjoy some quality, fun time with the community. The proof is in the evidence...

Andover Ambulance prepares for new building

Press release from Andover Ambulance:

On Friday, October 13, the Andover Ambulance Corps hosted a groundbreaking event for the new 3-bay facility.  Local officials were invited to view plans for the new structure.  The Andover Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. is in the process of beginning construction of a 60’ by  60’ building to house two ambulances.  The building will also have a meeting/training room, two offices, and a small kitchen. The property for the building, which is adjoining the Fire Hall, was given to the Ambulance Corps by Carl Atwell. The building project was started this spring when Kevin LaForge came with his equipment and donated the demolition of the old house, which was on the lot.  LaForge had previously donated the demolition and haul away on another house next to the property for the Andover Fire Department.  The house was hauled away and close to 30 loads of gravel fill was brought in.  Engineering for the project was done by Hager Engineering of Arkport. The drawings were given to several local contractors as well as two from out of the area.   The building committee has been reviewing and evaluating all the bids and hasn’t decided on a contractor yet.  Construction is slated to start this fall.

Black Creek man jailed on $50,000 bail

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Monday October 30, 2017

Wellsville Police arrested Jeffrey M. Pringle Jr., age 27 of Wellsville, charging him with Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  The charge stems from an incident that took place on Hamilton Street on October 26th.  Pringle was processed, issued an appearance ticket and released.  Pringle is due to appear in Wellsville Village Court on November 21st at 4:30 p.m.

Wellsville: Festa Italiana meal to benefit veterans group

In support of the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization and Camp, Alfred State will be hosting a Festa Italiana dinner from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Culinary Arts Building on the Wellsville campus.
The cost of the meal is $17 for adults and $8 for children 10 and under. The menu will include:
  • Made-to-order pasta stations
  • Brick oven wood-fired pizzas
  • Chicken parmesan
  • Lasagna roll-ups
  • Stuffed Italiana pork loin
  • Cheese-stuffed meatballs
  • Eggplant ragout
  • Pasta fagioli soup
  • Spinach tortellini soups
  • Fabulous Italian desserts and much more.
All proceeds will benefit the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization and Camp. For more information, call 607-587-3170.

Alfred University: Italian Pianist, Francesco Attesti in Concert

Italian Pianist, Francesco Attesti in Concert
Saturday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Miller Theater, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

The Italian pianist, Francesco Attesti returns to Western, NY for a solo recital of J.S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations." This seldom heard work is one of Bach's most important and celebrated keyboard works.Born in Cortona, Italy in 1975, Attesti is an Italian pianist of international acclaim. He began his studies at age 6 and gave his debut recital at 11, going on to win competitions and taking advantage of many opportunities to perform around the world. Francesco Attesti is an extraordinary professional who greatly combines musicality and enormous talent, all of which makes him belong to the elite of the young Italian concertists.
CDs will be for sale following the concert and there will be a meet and greet reception in the lobby of Miller Theater. The recital is sponsored by Mayor Shawn Hogan and the City of Hornell, as well as support from Alfred University Division of Performing Arts. This concert is free and open to the public.

Allegany County: Prescription Drug Take Back Event Successful

Pictured left to right: Erika Kreamer of the Friendship Police Department, Jones Memorial Hospital Pharmacist Kerry Clark, Executive Director of ACASA Bill Penman and PPAC Coordinator Jon Chaffee.
Friendship and Fillmore, NY – This past Saturday, October 28, was the Drug Enforcement Administration’s second National Prescription Drug Take Back of 2017. Like so many communities across the country, Allegany County had two locations at the Friendship Ambulance Squad and Fillmore Pharmacy where community members could drop off unwanted or unused medications.
The pill drop events have been taking place in Allegany County since 2008. This has been a partnership between the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Inc.(ACASA), and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC). “These events are an outlet for community members to get rid of old or unused medications in a safe manner,” said Coalition Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “We hear from people all the time that they are so grateful for these events because they did not know what to do with their unused medications otherwise,” said Chaffee.
This year, 32 cars participated, for a total of 148 pounds of medications turned in, which included 1259 pills and 1000 milliliters of controlled substances.  The street value of these controlled substances is estimated at well over $15,000. “Utilizing the DEA’s Take Back Day twice a year allows us to reach out to communities without pill drop boxes and help educate the community about proper disposal of medications,” said Undersheriff Kevin Monroe.
Allegany County has seven pill drop boxes throughout the county at: Alfred State University Police, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office in Belmont, Cuba Police Department, Fillmore Pharmacy, Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar, and Wellsville Police Department. “Pill Drop boxes throughout the county are an asset and are being used quite often,” said Monroe.

The group would like to also thank the Fillmore Pharmacy, Friendship Police, and volunteers from Jones Memorial Hospital for partnering with them on making the Take Back Day a successful one. For more information on Take Back Day or pill drop box locations, please visit

Monday, October 30, 2017

Exclusive: Wellsville village offices proposed to move to former Burrous Building - Senior housing as well

L-R: Earl Johnson, Village Treasurer; Bill Whitfield, Director of Public Works;
Mayor Randy Shayler; Susan Kimmel, President, Two Plus Four; Peter Wilson, VP, Two Plus Four; Bob Sobeck, Executive Director, Alfred Housing
Wellsville Regional News learned exclusively today that the Village of Wellsville wants to sell the Municipal Building and relocate its offices to the former Burrous Building - rebranded as "23 North." It's far from a done deal, but Mayor Randy Shayler is confident. Shayler admits the concept is "quite a ways down the road." However, the local government appears to be moving at warp speed. Here is the plan - The village wants to sell (at market value) the "Burrous Building" to Two Plus Four construction company in East Syracuse which has a long history of development locally, including extensive work with Alfred Housing. The construction company, in turn, would lease at $0 (less utilities) the property back to the village. If funding is obtained, the sale would close in the summer of 2018 with occupancy in 2019 - potentially. Susan Kimmel, president of Two Plus Four, said she was "confident" outside funding sources could be obtained. She said this project has been "on the state's radar."
Shayler said, "movement of the village offices into the first floor commercial space will provide advantages and efficiencies of new construction as well as make Village Hall ADA compliant.  The current village offices need to be renovated at considerable cost to meet those codes. The village would enter into a long term lease for the 23-33 North Main space with Two Plus Four Companies.  The Village would be required to pay only utility costs. The upper floors would consist of 16, single unit apartments. A new elevator would be installed.
Mayor Shayler was quick to applaud former Mayor Judy Lynch. He said "none of this would have happened without (Judy's) involvement." 

In a press statement, Shayler said, "At this time the village is faced with two options: Option 1 is to demolish the 23 North Main building which is estimated to cost roughly $750,000.  Option 2 would be to sell 23 North Main to Two Plus Four Companies recouping funds already spent to stabilize the building, utilizing awarded grant funding and saving the iconic structure.  The Village has already received commitments from New York State for $1,000,000 of Empire State Development funds, $500,000 of Restore NY funds and $500,000 of CDBG-Main Street funds.  These funds can only be used to reimburse costs associated with the renovation of 23-33 North Main Street. If the renovation project does not move forward these funds would be forfeited back to the state."The press statement further said,"as a result of these options the Village of Wellsville Board of Trustees is considering an option offer from Two Plus Four Companies to purchase the building which is contingent upon Two Plus Four Companies garnering the additional funds they need to complete the project.  This option would likely be exercised in 2018 when they have received notification regarding these funds. At that point the sale would take place, and the development would proceed as proposed.
Public Works Director Bill Whitfield told us about a proposed traffic change. He said the current thru traffic behind the 'Burrous Building' would end under the plan. He said it would become a parking area with no thru traffic.
What about town government?
Shayler says the town, which rents space in the current Municipal Building, has been informed of the plan. Shayler says they (the town) can move or stay and have a new owner.
If the Village leaves the Municipal Building, what will happen to that space?
Mayor Shayler said a local business has expressed interest in assuming the property, but beyond that, he couldn't comment.
Mayor Shayler noted to us that that the big victory is putting two properties back on the tax rolls.
The village plans to hold a public meeting next month to discuss the project.
Senator Cathy Young
Village officials told us today that NY Senator Cathy Young played a role in the project. Senator Young issued this statement late today -
“I applaud today’s exciting news that the redevelopment of the iconic Burrous Building is set to move forward. This renovation, in the heart of downtown Wellsville, will transform the face of Main Street and serve as a catalyst for further revitalization of this historic community,” said Senator Catharine M. Young (R, C, I – 57th District). “I’ve been working alongside the Mayor and local officials for years to bring this project to fruition, including advocating for the $2 million in New York State funding that was awarded to assist with renovation costs.
Today, we are seeing our vision begin to take shape. This is a great day for Wellsville.”

The village says it plans to hold a public meeting to explain the issue early next month.

Obituary: Barbara H. Bassett, 81, Lyndon

Lyndon - Barbara H. Bassett, 81, of 7733 Rawson Rd., Town of Lyndon, passed away Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Cuba Memorial Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit after a brief illness. Born on December 1, 1935, in Philadelphia, PA, she was a daughter of David and Helen Rompala Hartz.  She had been married to Edmund D. Bassett who predeceased her on May 10, 2017. She was an English Literature major and graduated from Monmouth University.  She worked for the former Worthington Biochemical in Freehold, New Jersey and Biozyme Laboratories in Olean.  She also owned and operated Marketing Tangibles a sewing company making custom designed tote bags and aprons. She is survived by Karl Bassett of Cleveland, OH; Carol (Bill) Bassett of Rochester; Laura Faulring of Caneadea; 10 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild; a brother, Ralph (Loretta) Hartz of New Jersey; 3 Nieces          Laura, Judy and Diane. A private family Memorial Service will be held at the convenience of the family at Christ Episcopal Church, Cuba. Arrangements are under direction of the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., Cuba.

Georgia man goes to prison for attempted drug sales in Allegany County

 An Allegany County Judge has sent a Georgia man to a NY prison for trying to peddle drugs in the Fillmore area and beyond. Joseph J. Campbell, 32, of Douglasville was ordered to serve 3-5 years in prison followed by three years post release supervision. Douglas had been accused of two counts each of felony sale and possession of drugs, but agreed to plead to 'attempted' charges. The crimes occurred two years ago. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Keith Slep.

Cuba Police Blotter

On October 29th at about 2:30 p.m. Cuba Police arrested Edward A. Bulkeley,51, of Cuba on a bench warrant. Bulkeley was processed and released.

On October 29th at approximately 5:00 p.m. Cuba Police arrested Leonardo L. Colon, 24, of Wellsville for a violation of probation warrant. Colon was processed and released.

On October 29th at about 7:00 p.m. Cuba Police arrested Brian J. Treusdell,36, of Belfast for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle 3rd, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle without insurance. Treusdell was processed and released.

Allegany County Sheriff's Blotter

Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney reports that on October 25, 2017, with the assistance of the Wellsville Police Department, Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office arrested Mark H. Pitts, age 49 of Wellsville, on an Allegany County Violation of Probation Warrant.  Pitts was arrested without incident at the Wellsville Police Department and transported to the Sheriff’s Office where he was processed and later transported to the Allegany County Jail without bail. Pitts is scheduled to reappear in Allegany County Court at a later date for additional court action.

On October 24, 2017, Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office arrested Alexander Herring, age 19 of Auburn, charging him with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. Herring was issued an appearance ticket directing him to the Town of Andover Court on November 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Olean: people evacuated after fire races through Olean home

Several people were rescued shortly after 1 a.m. today when flames raced through a multi-story story home at 114 East Oak Street in Olean. According to radio reports (unconfirmed by fire officials), at one point, a stairwell was blocked by fire, and four people were trapped on a rear fire escape. Word came later that everyone had been safely removed from the home. Interior firefighters encountered smoke and flames on the upper stories of the building. Westons Mills, Portville and Allegany all provided assistance to the city. National Grid reported more than 50 customers without power. No word on injuries. The cause remains under investigation.

UPDATE: A total of six people were safely evacuated from the apartment house that contained five apartments. There were no injuries. The building sustained severe damage.

Immaculate Conception Parish, Wellsville hosts a Wine-Tasting Fun(d)raiser

All are welcome to an evening of socializing and wine tasting as Immaculate Conception Parish, Wellsville hosts a Wine-Tasting Fun(d)raiser, Saturday, Nov. 4 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Immaculate Conception School  (ICS) cafeteria, 25 Maple Ave. “Fruit of the Vine Wine Tasting” featuring premium Finger Lakes wines hand-crafted by O-Neh-Da and Eagle Crest Vineyards, Hemlock Lake will include samplings of 10-12 wines and hearty hors oeuvres, a basket auction, and specialty wine raffle, with all proceeds going to the Immaculate Conception Church (ICC) activity fund.
Tickets are $15 or two for $25 and are available from the multi-parish Business Office (585.593.4834) or the ICS office (585.593.5840), or Debbie Clark, chair, 585.593.6048. Attendees must be at least 21. Tickets are limited to 150. If there are remaining tickets they will be sold at the door.
The casual wine-tasting will be presented by Eagle Crest employees and allows you to arrive any time throughout the evening. The wines will be available for sale at the event.
Basket raffle items are on view to the public and $5 sheets of 25 “chances” are on sale Monday, Oct. 30-Friday, Nov. 3 in the main hall of Immaculate Conception School during regular school hours, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. Wine-tasting ticket holders will also be able to participate in the raffle the night of the event.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Antibiotics: Proceed with caution!

WELLSVILLE, NY - Cold and flu season is on its way. With it comes the question: When do I need an antibiotic? Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs and they need to be used properly. However, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary. Over prescribing antibiotics is one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance and is a threat to global health.
“Antibiotics are not always the answer because they only treat bacterial infections,” said Dr. William Coch, Medical Director at Jones Memorial Hospital. “Your provider may run some tests to determine if you have a viral or bacterial illness and – if needed – which antibiotic will work best for you.” A viral infection – such as a cold, bronchitis, flu, sore throat – will not be helped with an antibiotic. “You can find plenty of over-the-counter remedies to help with the symptoms,” he said. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, including whooping cough, strep throat, and urinary tract infections.
If you are not feeling well, your provider can determine if you have a virus or if it is a bacterium that has laid you low. “Blood, urine, and other tests can determine if the illness is caused by bacteria,” said Dr. Coch. “If these tests show that the illness IS caused by bacteria, the tests can also determine which antibiotic will work best for that illness.” Your healthcare provider may start you on an antibiotic if a bacterial infection is suspected, but if the tests results show that a different antibiotic – or that it is a bacterial infection – adjustments will be made. “Staying on an antibiotic when you don’t need one is more harmful than helpful,” he added.
There are side effects from antibiotics, some very serious. “But the most serious side effect of taking antibiotics is the risk of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection later,” added Dr. Coch. “These are often more difficult to treat and can lead to very serious complications.”
If you have questions about antibiotic treatment, talk to you provider.

Jones Memorial awarded Manley Trust grant

WELLSVILLE, NY –  Ron Sutton, Senior Vice President & Trust Officer at Key Bank, stopped by JMH recently to present a $8,251 grant from the F.T. & Anna C. Manley Memorial Trust to Donna Bliven, RNC BSN MHA, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at JMH. 
The funds will be used to purchase of two vital signs machines and two portable CO2 monitors. “All of us at Jones Memorial truly appreciate the continued support of the Manley Trust,” said Mrs. Bliven.  In previous years, the grant funding from the Manley Trust has been used to purchase patient care items including a portable neonatal resuscitation unit for OB, an Accuvien illumination system, two vital signs machines, an end tidal CO2 monitor, a pediatric glidescope to intubate infants and children, and two fetal monitors and carts.
“Keeping up with the latest patient care equipment can be a challenge,” said Mrs. Bliven. “We at Jones truly appreciate the support that we have received from the Manley Trust over the years.”

NY State Police Blotter

10/28/17 5:15pm- During a traffic stop on State Route 19 in Caneadea, State Police arrested James P. Wilson, 53, of Medina. He was charged with drinking alcohol in a vehicle, DWI, BAC above .08%, speeding and an equipment violation. He was released to a third party.
10/28/17 11:15pm- During a traffic stop on State Route 305 in Clarksville, State Police arrested Patti H. Romo, 42, of Cuba. She was charged with driving while intoxicated and BAC above .08%. She was processed and released on appearance tickets for court.
10/28/17 10:05pm- During a traffic stop on Meads Creek Road in Campbell, State Police arrested Kimberly L. McPherson, 53, of Campbell. She was charged with DWI and BAC above .08%. Bail was set at $1,000.

New York Firefighters Return Home From California - Steuben, Cattaraugus Assisted

Steuben, Cattaraugus assisted 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Saturday welcomed home a team of 20 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers who helped battle and contain wildfires in Sonoma County, California. This is the third New York firefighting crew dispatched to fight wildfires in western states this year.
"These brave New Yorkers stepped up to help our neighbors at their time of greatest need and after battling dangerous wildfires in California, I'm proud to welcome them back home," Governor Cuomo said. "New Yorkers are tough, but they are caring and these courageous men and women truly encapsulate the very best of this spirit." 
When the New York crew arrived in California, 23 lives had been lost and hundreds of homes were destroyed or threatened by the worst wildfire in California history. By the time the crew departed, a total of 7,010 structures were destroyed and another 487 structures damaged. Currently, the fire is 95 percent contained and full containment is expected by the end of the month. 
The firefighting team is made up of DEC employees and volunteers, including State Forest Rangers that joined crews from other states to help battle the wildfires. When the New York crew arrived, they were assigned to the Nuns Fire and later transitioned to the Tubbs Fire during their two-week deployment. More than 700 firefighters and support personnel continue to work to suppress these fires.
The returning crew of New York Forest Rangers, employees and volunteers from across the state include:
• David Kallen, Forest Ranger, Crew Boss, Fulton County
• Nancy Ganswindt, Forest Ranger, Squad Boss, Putnam County
• Gary Miller, Forest Ranger, Hamilton County
• Hannah O'Connor, Forest Ranger, Rensselaer County
• Zachary Robitaille, Forest Ranger, Chautauqua County
• Eric Kasza, DEC Volunteer Firefighter, Saratoga County
• Aaron Graves, DEC Lands & Forests, St. Lawrence County
• Scott Sabo, Forest Ranger, Squad Boss, Franklin County
• Adam Baldwin, Forest Ranger, St. Lawrence County
• Andrew Lewis, Forest Ranger, Fulton County
• Joseph Hess, Forest Ranger, Saratoga County
• Tyler Briggs, DEC Volunteer Firefighter, Albany County
• Lawrence Day, DEC Volunteer Firefighter, Steuben County
• Charles Kabrehl, Forest Ranger, Squad Boss, Warren County
• Howard Kreft, Forest Ranger, Sullivan County
• Jared Booth, Forest Ranger, St. Lawrence County
• Nathan Sprague, Forest Ranger, Cattaraugus County
• James Canevari, DEC Fish & Wildlife, St. Lawrence County
• Steven Jackson, DEC Volunteer Firefighter, Albany County
• Samuel Griffis, DEC Volunteer Firefighter, Washington County
The crew created control lines with hand tools, chainsaws and intentional fire to contain the wildfire and protect threatened homes. They worked in difficult terrain near local communities and endured daily temperatures hovering close to 90 degrees.
"I commend our Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers for their bravery over these past two weeks in helping to contain this wildfire and protect precious natural resources and private homes," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "All New Yorkers should be proud of work our fire crews do to battle these blazes. For nearly 40 years, New York has stood ready and willing to assist our sister states in their time of need." 
The team of firefighters began their assignment in California on October 15, and arrived back in the Capital Region on October 28.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, of Juneau, Alaska, died Oct. 27 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained when he was involved in a helicopter crash. He was assigned to 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The incident is under investigation.

Reader reminds of ongoing scam

Can you add this to your blog....Everybody be on the alert - there is a computer scam floating around. Remember if you get a phone call from someone pretending to be some sort of tech support and they ask for personal info +/or money....don't give anything out & hang up. When you need tech support you make the phone call not someone pretending to be tech support. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Wellsville: Quinn leaving Daily Reporter

Wellsville Regional News has learned that next week will be the final week for Brian Quinn at the Wellsville Daily Reporter. Quinn told us today that on November 6th, he'll begin new duties at The Daily News in Batavia. Interestingly, it's the same media outlet that now features John Anderson as the new Managing Editor. Until last month, Anderson had been the regional editor for Gatehouse media, which included the Wellsville Daily Reporter.
Quinn has been on the job with the Daily Reporter for the last seven years. He's been a fixture at Wellsville area government and school board meetings, as well as Allegany County meetings. He's also been the guy crossing a fire line to snap a photo...or gain access to a crime or accident scene for details. Sometimes, it was quite a race to get a story posted before he did.
Quinn started professionally in journalism in September 1998 at The Times Herald, went to The Salamanca Press in September 2001 and was there until August 2007 when he moved to Wellsville. The journalist said he anticipates a very similar role at The Daily News as he has had at the Reporter. Quinn said this afternoon "It's been great to be in Wellsville and I've been fortunate to receive, individually or with other staff members, awards from the New York News Publishers Association over the last few years. I'm excited about going to The Daily News."
I certainly wish Brian continued success.

Obituary: Carol L. Carpenter, 54, Canaseraga

Canaseraga - Carol L. Carpenter, 54, of Depot St., passed away at home on Friday evening (October 27, 2017) after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Hornell, NY, October 1, 1963, the daughter of James and Kathryn (Parker) Renwand Sr., she had resided in Canaseraga her whole life. Carol was a graduate of Canaseraga Central School and attended BOCES where she earned her LPN. On September 11, 1982 she married David Carpenter who survives. Carol was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Canaseraga and was a life member of the Canaseraga Fire Department.
She was predeceased by her father; James Renwand Sr., and a brother; Joseph Renwand.
She is survived by her husband David of Canaseraga, a son; Eric (Amy) Carpenter of South Carolina, a daughter; Carrie (Matt Reynolds) Carpenter of Nevada, 3 grandchildren; Gregory Carpenter and Megan and Ryan Lewis, 2 brothers; James (Wendy) Renwand Jr. of Greenwood and Jerry Renwand of Massachusetts, 2 sisters; Carla (Gerry) Brzezinski of Honeoye and Cindy (Buddy) Getman of Hartsville, 2 grandpups; Teller and Houdini as well as several nieces and nephews.
To send a remembrance to the family, please visit  The family is being assisted by David W. Ames, Director.
The family will be present Monday (October 30, 2017) from 6-9 p.m., at the Bender - Brown & Powers Funeral Home, 354 Canisteo St, Hornell. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Canaseraga on Tuesday at 11 a.m., Father John Cullen officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Friends may make memorial contributions to: Melanoma Cancer Research. 

Flood WATCH for Allegany County - points East

Flash Flood Watch
National Weather Service Buffalo NY

4:02 AM EDT Sat Oct 28 2017 


The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for a portion of western New York...including the following counties...Allegany...Livingston...Monroe...Ontario and Wayne.

* From Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

* Numerous rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall are expected across the Genesee Valley and western Finger Lakes Sunday  through early Monday. Rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches are possible over a 48 hour period.

* Excessive runoff from the heavy rainfall may result in flooding of low lying areas and also small streams and creeks. Drainage   inlets clogged by leaves may increase the risk of street flooding.

Wyoming County: Man with ax in car pleads guilty to five charges - Daily News

Courtesy of The Daily News
By Scott Desmit
WARSAW — A town of Java man arrested four times in July, including driving high on drugs in a field car with an ax impaled in the roof, pleaded guilty to five charges Thursday in Wyoming County Court.
Jared T. Price, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mischief, a D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison; third-degree burglary, also a D felony, misdemeanor criminal contempt of court; and misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired by drugs and driving while impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol.
District Attorney Donald O’Geen said the plea comes with no sentencing promises, with Judge Michael Mohun having discretion. Read more here...

Four in custody after Steuben County Probation Sweep

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Blotter

Alfred State: No. 1 US college for court reporting and architectural technology

When considering colleges, many students are searching not only for the right school but also for the right career path. Alfred State College (ASC) has seven programs ranked at the head of the class in the fields of architecture, art and design, and business.
US News and World Report’s 2018 Best Colleges list ranks Alfred State No. 1 for architectural technology. For court reporting, the college is not only No. 1, it is also the only ranked school offering the major. Three business programs take the No. 3 spot.
“Alfred State has many strong programs and career-ready options for students with technical, financial, or artistic interests,” said Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology.  “With the great search tools available from objective sources like US News, nowadays it’s even easier for students to find rankings for quality programs in their area of interest.  Our graduates are successful and in demand and this is yet another indicator of the quality faculty and programs in the school.  We are very proud to hold so many spots at the top of the list.”
When students and parents search US News and World Report for certain majors, the 2018 Best Colleges list shows ASC ranked very highly in many categories:

The top-ranked court and realtime reporting program is in high demand both for legal proceedings and for video captioning. The Court Reporters Association cites 5,500 job vacancies due to a lack of qualified applicants and an aging workforce. Alfred State offers classes in court reporting 100 percent online or on campus for earning either a certificate or associate degree. Recently a Rochester television station focused on the high demand for court reporters and estimated that the position may provide a $100,000 paycheck.
ASC offers students many tools to help discover which major is a good fit. One approach is to narrow down possibilities by evaluating the likelihood of landing a job in the chosen field. Dozens of the college’s degrees traditionally have more employers ready to hire than there are graduates. Students can see the list of majors with more jobs than graduates at
US News ranks Alfred State among the top 10 schools in the nation for a total of 41 different majors. A full list of recent accolades is available at

NY State Police Blotter

10/28/17 2:45am- During a traffic stop on State Route 417 at County Road 12 in Wellsville State Police arrested Andrew J. Lehman,24, of Wellsville. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a BAC above .08%. He was processed and released on appearance tickets for court.
10/25/17 11:27am- After investigating a larcent from a building in the Town of Belfast, State Police charged two people from Friendship with petit larceny. Bail was initially set at $500 for Tiah L. Damerst, age 20. Bail was set at $1,000 for Brian J. Truesdell, age 36.
10/26/17 12:46am- State Police arrested Thomas M. Porchia, 35, of Andover. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a BAC above .08%. The charges were filed after a traffic stop on State Route 19 in Belfast.
10/27/17 11am- State Police arrested Jeffrey W. Travis, 35, of Bath. He was charged with criminal trespass and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

State Police to target impaired and reckless drivers through Halloween

The New York State Police will increase patrols to crackdown on drunk driving and underage drinking through the Halloween holiday.  The effort will begin on Friday, October 27, 2017 and continue through Wednesday, November 1, 2017. 
In an effort to keep this Halloween safe and prevent needless tragedies caused by impaired and distracted drivers, the New York State Police will conduct a special traffic enforcement effort during the upcoming weekend and through Halloween. Troopers will be vigilant in keeping drunk and reckless drivers off the roadways.  State Police will also conduct underage drinker enforcement details statewide. 
Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Halloween can be a fun holiday, but it can also be deadly when someone makes the wrong choice to drink and drive. Children and their parents will be out walking and we urge drivers to be aware of this and exercise caution. Our message is simple: Never drink and drive. Troopers will be out in force to ticket and arrest those who threaten the safety of our roadways and endanger the lives of those who travel them.”
Motorists who are traveling this weekend can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road. State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors. 
Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations.  These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationwide pedestrian fatalities are at their highest in 26 years with 5,987 fatalities in 2016. Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of impaired drivers on the roads.

During last year’s initiative there were 1,142 accidents, more than 166 of which resulted in someone being injured. Four people were killed.  Troopers also arrested 245 people for DWI and issued more than 12,327 tickets for speeding, distracted driving and other traffic violations.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Obituary: James E. "Jim" Drake, 77, Arkport

Arkport - James E. “Jim” Drake,77, of 31 Oak Hill St., Arkport, NY died October 26, 2017 at Elderwood at Hornell, following a short illness.
Born in Jasper, NY on June 6, 1940, he was the son of Burdett & Viola (Davis) Drake.
Jim grew up in Jasper and was a graduate of Jasper Central School (class of 1958) where he participated on many sports teams. Throughout the years, Jim resided in several locations, including Jasper, Hornell and Arkport.
Following high school graduation, Jim was employed for a time by the Town of Jasper as a member of the Jasper Highway Department. He was later employed in many capacities including conductor & brakeman for the former Erie Railroad, Erie-Lackawanna Railroad, Conrail & Norfolk Southern Railroad. He retired in 2002 following 40 years of service.
Jim was a member of the Arkport American Legion, past member of the Arkport Fire Department and former Zoning Officer for the Arkport Village. He was an avid sports fan, enjoyed hunting and watching NASCAR racing.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Joyce Paddock; his brother, Lyle Drake; and sister in law, Joanne Drake.
Jim was married on October 7, 1961 to the former Brenda Dennis who survives and still resides in Arkport. Also surviving are 3 daughters, Yvonne (Tom) Rechichi of Arkport, Dawn (Steve) Mess of Arkport, Jodi (Ryan) Howe of Arkport; 1 son, Dennis (Wendy) Drake of Arkport; 3 brothers, Harold Drake of Canisteo, Charles (Carolyn) Drake of Las Vegas, NV and Edsel (Marla) Drake of Salamanca, NY; 1 sister, Marilyn (Paul) Harvey of Salamanca, NY; 12 grandchildren; Chelsey Wyant of Rochester, Kyleigh (Justin) Recktenwald of Arkport, Ashley, Jordan, Austin and Bryar Drake of Arkport, Jaden and Jenna Mess of Arkport, Bradley Mess of Wellsville, Steven Mess of Norridgewock ME., Logan and Kaleb Howe of Arkport, and several nieces & nephews.
At Jim’s request there will be no calling hours. A private memorial service for family will be held at the convenience of the family.  Family & friends are invited to a “Remembrance Dinner” held on Saturday (November 4, 2017) at 1:00 p.m. at the Arkport American Legion.  
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.
Jim’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to either the Hornell Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, NY 14843 or to the Arkport Central School Library Fund, 35 East Ave., Arkport, NY 14807.
To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit

Catholic Health to pay $6 million to settle false claims act allegations

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that the Catholic Health System, Inc. has agreed to pay $6,000,000 to resolve allegations that its subsidiary, Home & Community Based Care (formerly known as "Continuing Care"), violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to government health care programs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Lynch, who handled the case, stated that between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2014, Catholic Health submitted or caused to be submitted, false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services. The services were provided by Catholic Health at long and short-term skilled nursing care and post-acute care facilities including Father Baker Manor, St. Francis Williamsville, and the McAuley Residence. The services were administered to beneficiaries at levels that were unreasonable, not medically necessary, and unsupported by the medical records. Specifically, Catholic Health submitted false claims for payment related to Ultra High Resource Utilization Group (“RUG”) levels during the relevant time at these facilities. “A healthcare system that is infected with dishonesty is susceptible to one of the worst afflictions known to mankind—human greed,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “Today’s settlement demonstrates our unwavering commitment to eradicating this cancer from our federal health care programs.”

“When health care companies charge federal government health programs for medically unnecessary services just to boost profits, taxpayers are victimized and the health care industry’s reputation takes a hit,” said Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Scott J. Lampert.  “Our agency will continue to hold companies accountable for such greed-fueled schemes.”

Catholic Health System, Inc. was named as a defendant in a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the proceeds of any settlement or judgment awarded against a defendant.

As part of the False Claims Act settlement agreement and in exchange for a release of OIG’s permissive exclusion authority, Catholic Health has agreed to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with OIG.

The settlement is the result of an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Scott Lampert. The claims resolved by these settlements are allegations only, and there have been no determinations of liability. 

Obituary: Robert W. "Dobro Bob" Norton, 85, Whitesville

Whitesville, NY - Robert W. “Dobro Bob” Norton, 85, of 2062 Route 248A, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at home. He was born February 13, 1932 in Jasper, NY, the son of the late Chester and Katherine (Mattison) Norton. On November 27, 1954 in Whitesville, he married Lucy Ray who predeceased him on December 26, 2000.
Dobro was a 1950 graduate of Wellsville High School. He was initially employed at General Motors Corporation in Tonawanda and later for the Town of Willing. In 1966, he joined Dresser-Rand Corporation, where he was employed until his retirement in 1994. He was a lifelong member of the Southern Tier Bluegrass Association, and was well known for his Dobro and yodeling skills. He and his wife Lucy, hosted the infamous “Norton Leek Dinner” every spring for 50 years. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends as a caring, hardworking man who loved life, his family, and an occasional beer.
He is survived by four children, Kitty Pratt and her husband Richard of Whitesville, Chester “Chet” Norton and his wife Susan of Whitesville, Michele Norton and her husband Steven Weisman of Williamstown, New Jersey and Lewis “Louie” Norton and his wife Karen of Whitesville, five beloved grandchildren, Xandria, Lily, Ian, Grace and Chloe Norton, three step-grandchildren, Jason and Matthew Burns and Richard Pratt III, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in addition to his parents, by a brother, Hoyt Norton and two sisters, Lena Madison and Lila Johnston. 
Friends are invited to a Memorial Mass on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church in Genesee, PA, with Rev. Joseph Dougherty as celebrant. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville, the Genesee Emergency Squad in Genesee, PA or the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103, or visit  To leave online condolences, please visit  

Obituary: Bruce Leroy Burr, 85, Wellsville

Wellsville, NY - Bruce Leroy Burr of Wellsville, NY, died on October 25, 2017 at the age of 85. He was born on April 13, 1932 in the family farmhouse located by the dam at Rushford Lake in the town of Caneadea, NY. He was the 6th of 10 children of the late Alanson Andrew Jackson Burr (born on June 25, 1897 in Burrville, NY) and Lucy Belle Patterson (born on April 4, 1902 in Caneadea, NY). Bruce aka "Dreamy" graduated from Belfast High School Class of 1950, after graduation he served our country in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1954.  For many years Bruce and his family owned and operated the Wellsville Bake Shop. Anyone who has ever enjoyed Salt Rising Bread can tip their hat to Bruce as he maintained the tradition through the 1960s and 70s before sharing the recipe with those who bake it now. His children fondly remember working in the bakery and the nightly ritual of "setting the salt". Bruce loved all sports - the Yankees, Bills and Bonnie's, not necessarily in that order. Golfing with his brothers was one of his favorite pastimes.  Every August before the Burr Reunion a golf outing was held with his children and grandchildren at the Vanderview. He spent more time looking for wayward balls than Columbus did searching for the new world. There was never a lost ball, just one he had not found yet. He loved to hunt and fish, in particular the time he spent in the woods with middle daughter Jewel, as well as his hunt for ginseng with oldest son Bruce. Jewel's pond at her Addison home hosted many family fishing derbies, stocked by her Dad with his catches from Allegany County.  His catches were handed off to Jewel in Greenwood (their meeting spot), about as smooth an exchange as any Pony Express rider ever made. The fish kept alive by an aerator powered off his car engine. Making due was one of his greatest talents.
He was a life long gardener, a tradition passed on from his early childhood. A visitor during the summer months never left without some of the fruits of his labor. Swiss Chard, tomatoes and of course his homemade jam. All his children have jars of his jams and preserves on their pantry shelves. It will be hard for them if and when they open the last jar.
No world traveler, he still managed to rack up the miles on his trusty VW, the majority of those coming from his many trips to the OTB in Hornell. Anyone who ever accompanied him on that ride can testify to his driving skills. Mario Andretti would have been proud.
Preceding Bruce in death were brothers Alanson Andrew Jackson and Burton Jewette; sister Elizabeth Lillian; son Daniel Brian, second wife Shirley and granddaughter Naomi Emily.
Bruce lived a simple life, and did not want for much. Visits from friends and family were always tops on his list. As long as there was wood for the stove and the cable worked he was a happy man. So 85 years, more than many get, most of them good with a few hiccups in between. An ordinary life lived by an extraordinary man who will now be sorely missed and fondly remembered by many friends, neighbors, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Bruce's surviving siblings, Crystal Michel of Niagara Falls, NY, Myrtle Koleszar of Caneadea, NY, Grover Stewart of Caneadea, NY, Mary Mountain of Belfast, NY, Donald of Wellsville, NY and baby sister Judy Mills of Wiscoy, NY. They all shared a special bond through music, laughter and family stories. To quote Stew "we had a ball".
His children Kathy, Jewel, Bruce, Brenda and Rod send a tremendous heartfelt thanks to the nurses and doctors at Guthrie Troy Community Hospital in Troy, PA.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Burr Cemetery in Burrville, NY at a future date.
To leave online condolences please visit

Senator O'Mara's weekly column

 “Raising awareness of a public health crisis”
By Senator Tom O'Mara
If, as we so often say, raising awareness is an absolute cornerstone of
combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic ravaging too many lives across
America, then last week was a hopeful, positive, and productive week across
the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

Public forums focusing on the epidemic – how to recognize it, prevent it,
respond to it, and treat it – were held in Chemung, Steuben, and Yates
counties. Raising awareness is fundamental work. It’s difference making. I
can’t do enough to commend and encourage all of the local law enforcement,
education, government, health care, media, and civic leaders undertaking
it. To say nothing of every concerned citizen engaged in this battle.

Additionally last week, there were the official openings of the TC Commons
Youth Clubhouse in Elmira and a new recovery center in Binghamton – both
coming on the heels of recently announced new funding to expand treatment
services in Tompkins and Yates counties.

Last Saturday, regional law enforcement agencies participated in another
“National Drug Take-Back Day” to operate numerous drop-off centers allowing
for the safe and responsible disposal of unused prescription drugs. Another
critical piece of the response strategy. Prescription drug abuse is, in so
many ways, directly responsible for the burgeoning heroin crisis.

In fact, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
identifies prescription drug abuse as one of the nation’s fastest-growing
abuse problems with nearly 15,000 annual overdose deaths attributable to
prescription painkillers.

Moreover, this epidemic recognizes no boundaries. The CDC last week
reported that overdose death rates in rural areas of the country are now
higher than in cities. According to the just-released findings: In 2015,
drug overdose was the leading cause of injury-related death in the United
States -- with 52,000 fatalities attributed to opioid painkillers, heroin,
and other potentially deadly drugs. In 1999, drug overdose death rates were
6.4 per 100,000 in urban regions and four per 100,000 in rural areas. By
2015, the rate was 17 per 100,000 in rural areas and 16.2 per 100,000 in

In short, we all need to be aware of what’s occurring.

The New York State Senate created our Task Force on Heroin and Opioid
Addiction in 2014. While our work has helped develop and enact important
new laws, services, and other responses, the heroin and opioid crisis has
grown increasingly urgent. The input we continue to receive from the local
front lines of this public health and safety crisis has targeted the
necessary responses. Nevertheless, there can be no let up, at any level.
This epidemic poses far too great a risk to overwhelm and destroy
individual lives, families, and entire communities, along with local
systems of health care, law enforcement, criminal justice, and social

This year’s state budget includes nearly $215 million in new funding to
establish state-operated addiction treatment centers, enhance
community-based providers, and expand other programs and services,
including law enforcement. The Senate this year also continued to act on a
comprehensive legislative response, which I co-sponsor as a member of the
task force. We will keep working to build on existing state-level laws and
programs enacted over the past several years to strengthen awareness and
education, prevention, and treatment and recovery.

Awareness and education, and prevention and treatment are fundamental
responses. Tough laws and law enforcement are too, especially when it comes
to heroin traffickers and dealers. I agree that we will never arrest our
way out of this crisis, but we should not hesitate to throw the book at the
pushers and suppliers of these deadly drugs.

CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said, "We need to understand why this is
happening so that our work with states and communities can help stop
illicit drug use and overdose deaths in America."

This critical work of understanding moved forward in the Southern Tier and
Finger Lakes last week. That is at least some bright news in an
overwhelmingly dark state of affairs.

Allegany County Undersheriff heads to FBI Academy

Allegany County 911 Center Monthly Report - October

Allegany County Sheriff Monthly Report - October

Allegany County Probation Department Monthly Report - October

Allegany County District Attorney monthly report for October

Allegany County Public Defender Report - October

Houghton College Makes Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education 2018 List

HOUGHTON, NY - The Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education 2018 College Ranking has listed Houghton College as 274th among higher education institutions in the nation.
Of the 117 Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) full-member schools, Houghton was ranked third among the 63 colleges that made the list of more than 1,000 higher education institutions. Additionally, Houghton also ranked as second among 11 schools included from the 21-college Western New York Consortium of Higher Education. This report includes small private schools as well as large public colleges and prestigious Ivy League institutions.
“It is a privilege to be included on a list that seeks to recognize the range of excellence within American higher education,” remarks Houghton College President Shirley A. Mullen. “We are pleased, for the sake of our students, when others affirm the exceptional value of a Houghton education.”
The WSJ/THE ranking was compiled from data pertaining to four major areas: resources, engagement, outcomes, and environment. Resources includes information on an institution’s ability to provide facilities, tuition, and support needed for student success. Engagement focuses on student ability to interact with other students and faculty, opportunities for critical thinking, and recommendations. Outcomes looks at graduation rates, ability to repay student debt, and academic reputations of colleges, while the environment section surveys the proportion of international students on campus, student diversity, and diversity of the faculty.
Report data was sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Times Higher Education’s U.S. Student Survey. The survey data was gathered from a sampling of current U.S. students and aimed to answer questions that matter to students and parents pertaining to campus life, quality and value of education, and long-term investment.

To learn more about the ranking, visit

Cuba: British Invasion- THIS SUNDAY!

Contractor Scams

Once again, contractors are going door to door in Allegany County cheating frail and elderly seniors out of their hard earned money.  They promise to do work on their homes that don’t need to be done and charge outlandish costs to do this so–called work.  The Allegany County Office for the Aging wants to remind everyone that while most contractors are honest, hardworking professionals, a few bad apples can spoil it for everyone.  Please remember, honest contractors do not go door to door. 
These are some of the more common scams these contractors are using.
Scam 1: I’ll Need the Money Up Front - This is the most common ruse reported to the Better Business Bureau. Your contractor explains that because he has to order materials and rent equipment to get the job started, he needs, say, 30%-50% of the project price up front. Once you’ve forked over the dough, one of two things happens: He disappears on you, or he starts doing slapdash work knowing that you can’t really fire him because he’s sitting on thousands of your dollars.
How to protect yourself: Never prepay more than $1,000 or 10% of the job total, whichever is less. That’s enough to establish that you’re a serious customer so the contractor can work you into his schedule — the only valid purpose of an advance payment. As for the materials and rentals, if he’s a professional in good standing, his suppliers will provide them on credit.
Scam 2: Take My Word For It - When you first meet with the contractor, he’s very agreeable about doing everything exactly to your specifications and even suggests his own extra touches and upgrades. Some of the details don’t make it into the contract agreement, but you figure it doesn’t matter because you had such a clear verbal understanding. Pretty soon, you notice that the extras you’d discussed aren’t being built. When you confront the contractor, he tells you that he didn’t include those features in his price, so you’ll have to live without them or pony up additional money to redo the work.
How to protect yourself: Unfortunately, you have few, if any, legal options against your contractor because you signed a contract that didn’t include all the details. Next time, make sure everything you’ve agreed on is written into the project description. Add any items that are missing, put your initials next to each addition, and have the contractor initial it, too, all before you sign.
Scam 3: I Don’t Need a Permit - You’re legally required to get a building permit for any significant construction project. That allows building officials to visit the site periodically to confirm that the work meets safety codes. On small interior jobs, an unlicensed contractor may try to skirt the rule by telling you that authorities won’t notice. On large jobs that can’t be hidden, the contractor may try another strategy and ask you to apply for a homeowner’s permit, an option available to do-it-yourselfers. But taking out your own permit for a contractor job means lying to authorities about who’s doing the work. And it makes you responsible for monitoring all the inspections since the contractor doesn’t answer to the inspector, you do.
How to protect yourself: Always demand that the contractor get a building permit. Yes, it informs the local tax assessor about your upgrade, but it weeds out unlicensed contractors and gives you the added protection of an independent assessment of the work.
Scam 4: We Ran Into Unforeseen Problems - The job is already under way, perhaps even complete, when this one hits. Suddenly your contractor informs you that the agreed-upon price has skyrocketed. He blames the discovery of structural problems, like a missing beam or termite damage, or design changes that you made after the job began. The additional fees might be legitimate, but some unscrupulous contractors bid jobs low to get the work and then find excuses to jack up the price later. If you’re unsure whether your contractor is telling the truth about structural problems, you can get an impartial opinion from a home inspector, the local branch of the National Association of Home Builders, or even your local building department.
How to protect yourself: Before signing the contract, make sure it includes a procedure for change orders.  These are mini-contracts containing a work description and a fixed price for anything that gets added to the job in progress. The extra work, whether it’s related to unforeseen building issues or homeowner whims, can proceed only after the change order is signed by both homeowner and contractor.
Scam 5: I’ve Got Extra Materials I Can Sell You Cheap - This hoax is usually run by driveway paving companies whose materials can’t be returned to the supplier. So the crew pulls up to your house with a load of leftover product and quotes a great price to resurface your driveway on the spot. Even if it’s really a bargain (by no means a sure thing), taking them up on the offer is risky if you have no idea who they are and haven’t checked references. And if the driveway starts cracking next year, you can bet you won’t find this bunch again.
How to protect yourself: Never hire a contractor on the spot.  Take your time to check contractors out to make sure they have a good reputation and do quality work.
Here are some very important tips to ensure you are getting fair and honest work that you know needs to be done to your home. 
1. Know what work you want done. Make a thorough list and be specific. This will enable you to easily negotiate with various contractors, lock in firm prices and avoid surprises. Having a written list will also help in ferreting out unscrupulous contractors who might try to convince you to have additional work done that you don’t want or need.
2. Know what permits are needed. Even though a qualified contractor should be aware of necessary permits and inspections, you should know them too. Check with your local building and codes office before beginning a project.
3. Shop around. Look at multiple contractors. Get quoted prices for the work you want done and compare. Also, find out the proposed timeline for when each contractor can start and finish the project.
4. Get references and check them. Ask your friends and neighbors which construction contractor they used for home improvement projects and whether or not they were satisfied with the results. Get references from the contractor directly and speak directly to former customers. Check your local Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor is accredited.
5. Get proof of insurance. If a worker is injured, or damage is caused on your property, you could be held liable if the contractor does not have the proper insurance. So make sure the contractor is insured.
6. Never pay the full price upfront. Establish a payment schedule and stick to it. Often this could include an initial down payment and subsequent incremental payments until the work is completed. Withhold final payment until all the work is completed and all required inspections and certificates of occupancy are finalized.
7. Put it in writing. New York state law requires a contractor to provide a written contract for home improvement work. The contract should include a timeline for work to be completed, a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible about the project, such as types or brands of materials. On larger projects, architect or engineer plans should specify virtually every detail of a project.
8. Know where your payments are going. Contractors are required by state law to either put your payments into an escrow account and use it only for your job until it is substantially complete (contractors are legally required to disclose where money will be held in escrow) or to prove they have bond insurance to protect your money. Ask for proof of which option they use before hiring them.
      9. Never do business with a contractor who is unwilling to abide by any of the conditions above. If the contractor doesn’t meet the above criteria, look elsewhere. Even if the contractor seems reputable, it’s simply not worth the risk.
If you are working with a home improvement contractor and something has gone wrong, you should follow the steps below:
1.      First, speak with your building contractor. Let the contractor know your concerns with the project and try to reach a resolution. The goal, of course, is to have the work finished to your satisfaction. 
2.      If a resolution is not possible, you can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. Download a complaint form at Print out the form, complete all sections, make a copy for your records, and please don’t forget your signature. If you have any difficulty accessing or filling out the form, call 1-800-771-7755 for assistance. 
3.      Compile all documents relevant to your home improvement project, i.e., contract; receipts; cancelled checks; photographs of the work site, etc. You should make copies of these documents for your records.
4.      Fax or mail all documents along with your original complaint form to the proper regional office.
5.      Or call the Allegany County Office for the Aging at 585-268-9390 or 1-866-268-9390.  We can help you file a complaint with the NYS Attorney General’s Office.