Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cuba Police Blotter

*** Press Release ***
Following a complaint from a business in the Village of Cuba on January 30th, at approximately 9:12 a.m. Cuba Police arrested Kylie J. Wolfanger, 27, of Cuba. Wolfanger was arrested on charges of Petit Larceny (Misdemeanor). Wolfanger was processed and issued an appearance ticket to appear at a later date. Wolfanger is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

DEC Releases New York State Hunting Safety Statistics for 2018

The 2018 hunting seasons in New York tallied the lowest number of recorded hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs) and tied the 2016 mark - 13 - as the safest on record, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. DEC documented five tree stand incidents and zero fatalities in 2018, down from 12 tree stand incidents the previous year.
"The tradition of hunting is enjoyed by nearly 600,000 New Yorkers and visitors each year, and the declining number of hunting incidents prove that today's generation of hunters continue to be the most safety conscious," said Commissioner Seggos. "In large part, hunting in New York continues to be a safe and enjoyable activity thanks to the efforts of 2,600 DEC staff and volunteer hunter education program instructors that teach nearly 50,000 students each year."
Of the 13 HRSIs that occurred last year, seven were two-party firearm incidents, six were self-inflicted, and three resulted in fatalities that could have been prevented if hunting safety rules and common sense were followed. Of the three fatalities, two were self-inflicted and caused by unsafe handling of firearms and one was a two-party firearm incident caused by a failure to positively identify the target. Hunting Safety Statistics (PDF) are available on the DEC website.
Further examination of the seven two-party firearm incidents reveals that six (86 percent) of the victims involved were not wearing hunter orange, reinforcing the importance of identifying the target and beyond, and wearing hunter orange when afield-two major tenets of DEC's hunter safety courses.
"Although the number of hunting-related incidents have declined dramatically in the last several decades, we believe every one of these could be avoided if hunters follow the laws and basic rules of hunting safety," Commissioner Seggos said. "We encourage hunters to wear hunter orange and to be sure, beyond a doubt, of their target and what lies beyond."
New York's HRSI rate recorded 19 incidents in 2017, 13 in 2016, and 23 in 2015. There were 98 incidents in 1991, 110 in 1979, and 166 in 1966, 13 of which were fatal. While the number of hunters is declining, the hunting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) is falling even faster. Since the 1960s, the number of hunters has declined about 20 percent, while the incident rate has declined almost 80 percent. The current five-year average is 3.1 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 hunters in the 1960s.
DEC-trained and certified volunteer instructors teach safe, responsible, and ethical hunting and trapping practices and the important role of hunters and trappers in wildlife conservation. New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters and trappers, thanks largely to more than 60 years of dedicated efforts of volunteer Hunter Education Program instructors. All first-time hunters, bowhunters, and trappers must successfully complete a hunter or trapper safety course and pass the final exam before being eligible to purchase a hunting or trapping license. All courses are offered free of charge.
In 2017, DEC Commissioner Seggos directed the agency's Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) to begin tracking and investigating tree stand injuries for the first time. Tree stand injuries are under-reported, and DEC is not always notified when tree stand falls occur. In 2017, 12 tree stand incidents were reported and investigated, six of which proved to be fatal. In 2018, there were just five documented tree stand incidents and zero fatalities, and all five falls resulted from the hunter failing to use a body harness. Additional information about tree stand incidents (PDF) is available on DEC website.
Tree stand safety has become a regular part of the hunter education course required of first-time hunters in New York. Tree stand incidents are becoming a major cause of hunting-related injuries. The proper use of tree stands and tree stand safety equipment will help to prevent these injuries and fatalities. Used correctly, a harness keeps the hunter connected from the time they leave the ground to the moment they get back down.
Many, if not all tree stand incidents could be prevented if hunters follow the "ABCs" of tree stand safety:
  • Always remove and inspect your tree stand before use;
  • Buckle on your full body harness securely every time; and
  • Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground.
While hunting is safer than ever, DEC encourages hunters to remember that every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable. Many, if not all of these incidents could have been prevented if the people involved had followed the primary rules of hunter safety:
  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded;
  • Control the muzzle, keep it pointed in a safe direction;
  • Identify your target and what lies beyond;
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire; and
  • Wear hunter orange.
For more information, including the 2018 Hunting Safety Statistics and the 2018 Tree Stand Safety Statistics, is available on DEC's website.


WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Tom Reed blasted the New York State legislature and Governor Cuomo for the bill to give illegal immigrants free college while taxes remain far too high in the state.
Tom highlighted how people will continue to leave the state, and not because of the weather, if these oppressive polices keep coming out of Albany. 
“Giving free college tuition to illegal immigrants is not fair for the hard-working families of New York already struggling under Governor Cuomo’s oppressively high taxes and college’s ridiculously expensive tuition,” Tom said. “We care about the mothers and fathers who lie awake at night wondering how they are going to pay for both the tax bill and college for not only their kids, but now the college of others as well.
“Albany needs to instead focus on forcing colleges to contain their costs, and this is why we introduced the REDUCE Act last year,” Tom concluded.
  • Requires colleges to have a plan to keep tuition increases below the rate of inflation.
  • Mandates reporting of easily digestible information about how colleges are being managed and where their money is spent.
  • Requires the wealthiest universities to distribute 25 percent of the profits from their massive endowments to assist students from working-class families.
  • Encourages university donors to give money that will assist low and middle-income students and eliminates tax deductions for large restricted college donations.

State Police launch investigation into Binghamton school incident

The New York State Police has launched an investigation, as directed by Governor Cuomo, into allegations that four 12-year old female students were strip-searched by staff at East Middle School in Binghamton on January 15, 2019.

“Given the severity of the allegations and the unrest they are causing in the community, State Police will thoroughly investigate this incident, in consultation with local authorities,” Acting State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said.

The State Police team assigned to the case includes an investigator who is specially trained in interview techniques designed to assist victims in recalling details of traumatic incidents, as well as a second investigator with training and experience in dealing with child victims. The State Police investigation will be overseen by a Lieutenant from the Troop C Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Members assigned to this case will work in consultation with the Binghamton Police Department and Broome County District Attorney.

On January 30, Governor Cuomo directed the State Police to launch an investigation and called on the State Education Department to investigate allegations that 12-year-old girls were strip searched for drugs at East Middle School in Binghamton.

Alma Ice Races

Wellsville Redeption Center temporarily closes

The Wellsville Redemption Center is currently closed due to heating issues. They plan on reopening Wednesday, February 6th at 9:00 a.m. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Wednesday January 30, 2019

Wellsville Police arrested Thomas M. Porchia, age 37 of Wellsville, charging him with a Probation Violation.  Porchia was located on Maple Avenue and taken into custody.  Porchia was turned over to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and transported to the Town of Belfast Court for arraignment.

Belmont: ACCORD Intro to QuickBooks

Wellsville Fire Company/Dyke Street Engine Company - Spring Chicken BBQ

Catholic Charities Wellsville Site Closed Thursday

Our Parish Outreach and Advocacy Center which operates the Food Pantry and Thrift Store at 67 E. Pearl St., Wellsville, NY will be closed Thursday, 1/31/19. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

NY State Police Blotter

1/29/19 11:45pm- State police arrested Dylan C. Irvin, 20, of Olean. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protection in the town of Wellsville. Bail was set at $500.
1/28/19 3pm- State police arrested a 13-year-old boy from Bolivar. He was charged with violating a Family Court Act. The arrest was made on Evans Road.

Allegany County cancels home meals for Thursday

Allegany County home delivered meals and luncheon centers are canceled for Thursday, January 31st.

Noyes Health Auxiliary Donates $48,000 to Noyes Health to Complete Emergency Department Capital Campaign Pledge

Noyes Health Auxiliary made a final $48,000 payment on a $305,000 pledge to Noyes Health’s Mary Saunders Beiermann Emergency Department Capital Campaign at its annual dinner meeting on Tuesday, January 29.  Pictured at the presentation of the ceremonial check are (l. to r.) Pauline Shaw, RN, Director of Noyes Health Emergency Services, Noyes Health Auxiliary president Mary Ann Scharmberg, Noyes Health President and CEO Amy Pollard, Noyes Health Auxiliary past=president Gerri Long and Noyes Health Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer Tammy West.

Allegany County to collect televisions, this Saturday, in Canaseraga

This Saturday, February 2nd,  Allegany County will be holding a Television collection event at the Canaseraga Transfer Station, located at 89 Main Street, Canaseraga, NY, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This event is open to ALL Allegany County Residents and will provide for the recycling of up to two televisions per residential unit. For more information on recycling and solid waste in Allegany County, please visit us at:

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Tuesday January 29, 2019

Wellsville Police arrested Roger L. Ramsey, age 59 of Flat Rock, NC, charging him with AUO 3rd (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation).  The charge stems from a traffic stop on Coats Street in the Village of Wellsville.  Ramsey was issued a traffic citation and released.  Ramsey is due to appear in Wellsville Village Court on February 12th at 4:30 p.m.

Catholic Charities Wellsville Site Closed Today

The Parish Outreach and Advocacy Center which operates the Food Pantry and Thrift Store at 67 E. Pearl St., Wellsville, NY is closed today. 

Allegany County cancels home meals for Wednesday

Allegany County home delivered meals and luncheon centers are canceled today, Wednesday, January 30th.

Obituary: Donald B. Brink, 88, Almond

ALMOND - Donald B. Brink, 88, of Twin Valley Terrace, passed away Saturday (January 26, 2019) at Elderwood At Hornell.
Born in North Hornell, NY, December 3, 1930, the youngest son of Walter and Eleanor (Saunders) Brink, he had resided in the Almond area the majority of his life. He was a graduate of the Hornell High School Class of 1948, the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute and earned his Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1956. After college Don joined the Naval Reserves which took him to California for several years.
Don was active in Hornell as president of the Hornell Young Adult Civic Council and was part of the “It is well in Hornell” Movement, and in the Hornell Symphony Chorus under Dr. LaMan. Don was employed by the NYS DOT where he served in various capacities but retired as a Professional Engineer. Don was among the first to settle in the Twin Valley Terrace subdivision and had the honor of having the access road name after him “Brink Road”. He was a member of the Almond Union of Churches where he served as an Elder, Deacon, Trustee and in other various Volunteer positions. He was also active in the church’s choir.
He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Lorna (Schreck) Brink on February 20, 2017, a grandson; Tye Dickinson and 2 brothers: Erving and Robert Brink.
He is survived by 2 daughters; Sonja (Thomas) Dickinson Jr. of Blossburg PA, and Tara (Jeff) Rudgers of Hilton, NY, 5 grandchildren; Trace Dickinson, Cassie Dickinson, Troy Dickinson, Chloe Maytan and Scott Rudgers as well as nieces, nephews and cousins.
To send a remembrance to the family, please visit, or on Facebook @brownpowersfh. The family is being assisted by David W. Ames, Director.
The family will be present Friday April 5, 2019 from 1-3 and 6-8PM , at the Bender - Brown & Powers Funeral Home, 354 Canisteo St, Hornell. A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 6, 2019 at the Almond Union of Churches, Rev. Charles Emerson officiating. Burial will be in Rural Cemetery in Hornell at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family of Donald Brink requests that memorial donations be sent to the Almond Union of Churches.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Whitesville school closes Wednesday & Thursday

Due to anticipated arctic temperatures and increasing winds that are forecast for tomorrow and Thursday, SCHOOL IS CANCELLED FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. This includes all after school activities for Wednesday and Thursday. Tonight's activities will continue as scheduled. Please stay warm and take appropriate precautions if going out. 

UPDATE: Trooper shoots, kills suspect after gun battle

(Kirkwood, NY) - On January 28, 2019 at approximately 6:09 p.m., the New York State Police at Binghamton received a report that Nicholas P. Philhower, age 30, had taken his mother’s motor vehicle without her permission and she requested he be located and arrested. At approximately 6:20 p.m., Trooper Timothy S. Conklin, a 28-year veteran, observed the suspect vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood.
Philhower observed Trooper Conklin approaching and took evasive action, traveling through the median at the intersection with Interstate 81, and then onto State Route 17 east bound, coming to a stop shortly thereafter. At that point Philhower, who was armed with a military style semi-automatic rifle, immediately opened fire on Trooper Conklin through the rear window of the vehicle.
Trooper Conklin returned fire through the windshield of his troop car as Philhower exited his vehicle and continued to advance and fire upon the trooper. Trooper Conklin was able to reload his weapon, exit the troop car and continue to exchange fire with his attacker. During this exchange, Philhower was struck several times and died at the scene.
Trooper Conklin sustained a minor shrapnel injury to his upper right arm and was taken to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City where he was treated and released.
The Broome County Coroner released Philhower's body to Lourdes Hospital for autopsy scheduled for today at 1:00 PM. Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwall responded to scene. The New York State Police were provided assistance from members of the State Department of Transportation, The Five Mile Point Volunteer Fire Department, the Broome County Office of Emergency Management, and Superior Ambulance.
The investigation is on-going with troopers and investigators interviewing multiple witnesses and executing search warrants on the suspect’s vehicle and residence.

Nicholas P. Philhower


Hornell: Visitor restrictions in place at St. James Hospital

For the last few weeks, St. James Hospital has had visitor restrictions in place to protect patients, staff and visitors from flu transmission.  We just want to remind the public that those restrictions are still in effect as follows:
St. James Hospital reminds the public that it continues to restrict visitors to manage exposure to illnesses that are easily spread, such as the flu.  Hospital leadership carefully monitors flu activity levels in the hospital and the community, and takes actions when certain thresholds are met to halt the spread, and limit the number of visitors allowed in patient areas.
The restrictions at St. James include:
  • No more than two visitors in a patient’s room at any time
  • No visitors under the age of 14
  • No visitors with symptoms of fever, cough, body aches, or a sore throat; visitors may not visit until they are symptom-free for 24 hours
St. James will continue to closely monitor flu activity, and regular visiting practices will resume as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.  We greatly appreciate the public’s understanding and cooperation during this time, and encourage consumers to be prepared for flu season by getting vaccinated.

Peaceful end to overnight standoff in Wellsville

Wellsville Police this morning arrested Eric J. Russo, age 42 of Wellsville, charging him with two counts of Making a Terroristic Threat (Class D Felony), Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person (Class E Felony), two counts of Menacing 2nd, Resisting Arrest, Menacing a Police/Peace Officer, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th and Unlawful Growing of Cannabis.  The charges stem from a stand-off incident that took place on South Main Street following a domestic disturbance at the residence.  Russo was taken into custody after several hours of negotiations with law enforcement. Russo was processed and arraigned before Associate Wellsville Village Justice Walsh.  He was committed to the Allegany County Jail on $10,000.00 cash bail or $20,000.00 property bond.  Russo is due back in Wellsville Village Court on February 19th at 4:30 p.m. Wellsville Police were assisted by the New York State Police and Allegany County Sheriff’s Office throughout the incident.

Belmont man arrested after allegedly causing head injury to a one year old - Bail set at $100,000

On Monday the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in Amity arrested Shane E. Kranock, 25 of Belmont, for Assault 1st degree (B Felony) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Investigators and Troopers responded to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville for a one-year-old child with significant head injuries.  Due to the seriousness of the injuries, the child was then transported to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. According to a press release, further investigation revealed that Kranock might have dropped the child after changing a diaper.  Though some of the injuries could have been incurred by a fall, the child’s injuries are not exclusively from just a fall, the release said.  Kranock was allegedly under the influence of heroin at the time of the incident. 
Kranock was taken to SP Amity and processed then arraigned at the village of Belmont Court.  Kranock was remanded to Allegany County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail and $200,000 bond. Allegany County Child Protective Services was contacted.  The child is in guarded condition with possible significant brain injury.

New York State Police Investigate Shooting Involving Trooper - suspect killed

(Binghamton, NY – January 28, 2019) Shortly after 6:20 p.m. on January 28th, a New York State Trooper observed a vehicle wanted in connection with an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle complaint.  As the Trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, the vehicle took evasive action and subsequently stopped on ST-17 eastbound in the town of Kirkwood.  When the suspect vehicle stopped, the driver opened fire and exchanged gunfire with the Trooper.  During the encounter, the suspect sustained wounds that resulted in the suspect’s death.  The Trooper was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.  Identification of the suspect is pending family notification.  Additional information will be released as this investigation continues.

Wellsville - Buffalo Rose coming to Nancy Howe Auditorium Feb. 1st

Obituary: Everett C. Saulter, 101, of Coudersport

Everett C. Saulter, 101, of Coudersport, PA, died Sunday, January 27, 2019 in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport.  Born August 5, 1917, in Coudersport, he was the son of George E. and Annabel Blow Saulter.  On June 29, 1934, in Coudersport, he married the former Mary H. Leet, who predeceased him in 1989.  A graduate of Coudersport High School, class of 1934, and Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, IL, class of 1935, he owned and operated a dairy farm for over 50 years. In addition to the dairy, his farm contained a maple syrup operation, several flagstone quarries, and a sawmill. Over the course of 40 years, he devoted his spare time to build and develop a public park.  In 1999, he donated the 57-acre Saulter Preserve to the residents of Potter County.  He was a member of the South Branch Grange and enjoyed old-fashioned square dancing. Surviving are:  a daughter, Katherine (James) Pankey of Apache Junction, AZ;  a daughter-in-law, Patricia J. Saulter of North Chili, NY;  several grandchildren and great-grandchildren;  two brothers, Clifton Saulter and LaVern (Betty) Saulter, both of Coudersport;  and nieces and nephews.  In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by two sons, Francis Saulter and James C. Saulter;  two grandsons, Scott James Pankey and Marty Saulter;  a great-grandson, Maxwell Fadia;  five brothers, Clair, Donald, George, Jr., Lester, and Harland;  and two sisters, Georgianna Manning Knight and Jane Yardley.  Friends may call at Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA on Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, with Funeral Services following at 12:00 Noon.  The Rev. Michael C. Reeves will officiate.  Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery at Five Corners, Hebron Township.  Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be expressed at

Obituary: Kenneth W. Wise, 89, formerly of Cuba

Kenneth W. Wise  Beloved Father and Grandfather
Kenneth W. Wise, 89, a former resident of the Cuba area passed away Monday, January 28, 2019 at Wellsville Manor Care Center, after a lengthy illness.
Born on April 11, 1929, in Butler, PA, he was a son of Kenneth E. and Ruth Crawford Wise.  On September 17, 1949, in Emlenton, PA he married the former Mildred F. DeLong who preceded him in death on July 10, 2004.
Ken was a graduate of Butler County Schools.  He was a plumber for John V. O’Connell in Olean prior to his retirement. He is survived by two sons, Stephen W. (Cynthia L.) Wise of Cuba and David W. (Charlene L.) Wise of Cuba; a daughter Rebecca F. Wise of            Macedon, NY; a sister, Barbara Sterner of Butler, PA; 5 Grandchildren, 2 great grandsons and 2 great granddaughters; Several Nieces and Nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and four sisters. Friends will be received at the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., 9 Bull Street, Cuba on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. and on Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at which time funeral services will be held.  The Rev. David Cook, pastor of the Obi Community Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Cuba Cemetery, Cuba, New York. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Day honored as NYS Sheriff's Association's Deputy of the Year

BATH - Steuben County Deputy Joshua Day was recognized by the county Legislature Monday as the NYS Sheriff’s Association’s Deputy of the Year, for his "exceptional valor and heroism, above and beyond the normal call of duty." Day was recognized by the county board with a proclamation by county Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski, R-Campbell, after he was named by the state association as "Deputy of the Year" Jan. 22 in Albany for his actions during an incident that claimed the life of state Trooper Nicholas Clark. According to a report by county Sheriff Jim Allard: Day was among the first on scene after an early morning report on July 2, 2018 of an armed man barricaded at 10041 Welch Road in the Town of Erwin.
Positioning himself the rear of the residence, Day observed the barricaded subject leaving the house with what appeared to be a shotgun, When Day ordered the unidentified subject to show his hands, the subject immediately retreated into the residence and began firing the long gun through the rear door window directly at Day. Day returned suppressive fire, moved to cover and was joined at the site by Clark. As the two men maneuvered closer to the house, Clark was shot by the suspect. Day again returned fire, pulled Clark to safe cover and began emergency medical care while calling for assistance. Day remained at his post, until he was relieved by the state police and county tactical team. He was assisted at the position by state Trooper William Sliwy and county Deputy Jordan Walrath. Clark later died of his wounds, while the suspect was found dead of self-inflicted wounds in the residence. "Josh Day's actions, while under fire, moving Trooper Clark to safety, and maintaining tactical awareness, exhibit bravery, coolness under fire and extreme valorous conduct," Allard said, in his report. "I believe his actions may very well have stopped the suspect from flanking the front perimeter and taking up a covered wooded position. It is my strong belief his actions saved other lives."
Day is the second county deputy to be honored by the state association, Allard said. County Inv. Don Lewis received the Deputy of the Year award in 2009 for his actions in shielding a woman from gunfire during a mental health arrest in the Town of Woodhull.

Statement from Senator Young on Passage of the Child Victims Act

Statement by Senator Catharine M. Young (R,C,I-57th District)  

"The courageous survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have raised their voices and shared their devastating stories to help bring justice to those harmed by this crime, have suffered and sacrificed to get to this point. Monday’s passage of the Child Victims Act (CVA) is their victory. While the terrible crimes perpetrated against them can never be undone, a new avenue of recourse has been created and that is significant. That is why I voted in support of the bill. But in the race to check the "done" box on this issue, the Senate has missed an opportunity to deliver full justice to the majority of child sexual abuse survivors - those abused by family, step-family, neighbors or other private individuals without deep pockets to pay a settlement. Yes, this bill will give all victims the opportunity to pursue restitution in the civil court. But, in reality, most of the victims receiving financial awards will be those survivors whose abusers were institutionally affiliated. For everyone else, there will be little or no restitution to help pay for therapy, substance abuse treatment, a college education or any of the other supports that can help rebuild a life that has been derailed by trauma. Neither will this legislation make any measurable difference in locking up more of these predators so that they cannot victimize other children. With most victims unable to confront their abuse until their 40s, changing the criminal statute of limitations from 23 to 28, as this measure does, is essentially preserving the status quo. The Child Victims Fund (CVF), which I introduced, would address both of these gaps. The bill would offer all child sexual abuse victims the compensation they need and deserve from a $300 million fund drawn from the Manhattan district attorney’s nearly $1 billion cache of criminal asset forfeiture monies. Additionally, the criminal statute of limitations on child sexual abuse would be completely eliminated under this measure to make it easier to prosecute these perpetrators and put them safely behind bars.
All the victims of child sexual abuse need our help. Today, we took a giant step forward. But there is more we can and should do to ensure full justice for all. Let’s keep working until we reach that goal." 

Zippo buys Northern Lights Candles in Wellsville

BRADFORD, Pa., Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Zippo Manufacturing Company today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Northern Lights Enterprises, Inc. Northern Lights, founded in Wellsville, NY in 1978, has grown to become a leading designer of luxury candles and artisan-made accessories across the United States.

For Zippo, the acquisition adds a diversified product line, new distribution channels, critical know-how and expertise in a fast-growing, on-trend category to the Zippo family of brands. Northern Lights ranks as a leading candle company in the United States and manufactures candles for its own brands as well as for private label. Northern Lights sells to a diversified group of retailers from small and mid-size boutiques under the Northern Lights brand and to large mass market retailers under a variety of other labels. Northern Lights offers artisan candles both machine-made and hand poured in the USA using fine fragrances and essential oils, with vessels designed to be re-purposed.
The Zippo portfolio already includes W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., manufacturer of handcrafted knives since 1889, and the Ronson family of products for the United States – with both of these brands also based in Bradford, PA.
This pairing made great sense for Northern Lights founders Andy and Tina Glanzman, as Zippo and Northern Lights share aligned cultures, values, and positions. Both Zippo and Northern Lights are proud American manufacturers located in small, strong communities in the U.S., with long-standing reputations for dependable and beautifully engineered products. 
Zippo will leverage its existing international channels to begin globalizing the Northern Lights brand and product offerings, with the opportunity for additional expansion. 

"Northern Lights gives Zippo new capabilities and expertise in candles, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Northern Lights brand worldwide," said Zippo President and CEO Mark Paup. "Northern Lights is a great brand to add to the Zippo family, and we're looking forward to continuing Northern Lights' growth into an even stronger and widely recognized international brand. Northern Lights also gives us access to markets which pair well with Zippo products, and offers new segments and opportunities."
Paup said that Zippo intends to keep Northern Lights' manufacturing operations in its current Wellsville, NY location, with the Glanzmans and all employees remaining with the company.
"I am pleased to welcome Northern Lights to our Zippo family," said George Duke, Owner and Chairman of the Board for Zippo. "Andy and Tina have built a successful business, with many of the same values we hold here at Zippo and Case. Our shared commitment to American manufacturing, to supporting our local communities, and deep appreciation for our dedicated employees are why we are proud to acquire Northern Lights."
Artisan candles are a significant and growing segment of the global artisan sector. Worldwide, artisan candles remain a largely fragmented market, and currently, no single company operates across all formats on a global basis.
"The Northern Lights team is extremely excited to be joining Zippo Manufacturing Company," said Northern Lights founders Andy & Tina Glanzman. "Northern Lights is a fantastic business with committed and passionate employees, a great company culture and history, and enormous domestic and international potential. Being part of the Zippo family will enable us to take the business to the next level and grow farther and faster."
The Glanzmans continued, "We would like to send out a huge thank you to our customers and to everyone on the Northern Lights team who have helped us build this wonderful business and brand. We look forward to the next exciting chapter in Northern Lights' vision to bring creatively designed, socially responsible products to market that will inspire consumers on a daily basis. We're looking forward to brightening the world together."
About Zippo
One of the most recognized brands in the world, Zippo was founded in the fall of 1932 by George G. Blaisdell in Bradford, PA, where it has manufactured over 500 million windproof lighters. With the exception of improvements to the flint wheel and modifications in case finishes, the product remains unchanged and is backed by the company's famous lifetime guarantee – "It works, or we fix it free.™" Zippo's diverse product line includes lighter accessories, butane candle lighters, and a robust line of heat and flame products for outdoor enthusiasts. Zippo markets in over 180 countries and also owns the Ronson brand of lighters and fuel and W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, both based in Bradford, PA. For more information, visit
About Northern Lights
Northern Lights has been brightening the world and beautifying homes with the warmth of candlelight for over 40 years. Our strong roots in the art of candle making have led to an eminent reputation as a leading designer of luxury candles and artisan accessories. By sourcing materials both domestically and internationally, Northern Lights is able to support local artists and their communities around the world. For more information, visit

Monday, January 28, 2019

Allegany County Democratic Committee RESCHEDULES Due to Weather…

Belmont, NY…Frigid temperatures and wind conditions predicted for Wednesday January 30th have caused the Allegany County Democratic Committee to reschedule a meeting on that date. Instead, the committee will meet on Wednesday, February 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the meeting room at the American Legion Post 808, 29 Schuyler St., Belmont, NY.  All registered Democrats are invited to attend to learn more about the Democratic Party’s operations in Allegany County.

The agenda will include regular business items plus a review of how recent election law changes will affect Allegany County voters.  Please contact Secretary Jackie Kelly if you have an additional item for the agenda.

The Allegany County Democratic Committee is the official governing body for the County Party.  It aims to help Democrats combine their efforts to elect representatives to local, state, and national government. Learn more at or on Facebook, or phone (607) 661-8089.

Noyes Hospital - visitor restrictions

Beginning today, January 28, 2019, Visitor Restrictions are in effect at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville due to widespread influenza in New York State.  Until further notice, visitors will be limited to two per patient (excluding a care giver) and children under 14 years old  will not be allowed (except for healthy siblings of healthy newborns.)


Dr. Heather Lanphere demonstrates the new V-Scan Hand Held Ultrasound - with permission from patient Kayla Rogers - to Dr. LuAnn Kaye and Dianna Miller Emrick.
WELLSVILLE, NY (January 28, 2019) – When the Dr. F. Clifton Miller Memorial Fund was established, the purpose was clear: all funds donated would be used for projects and equipment that benefit the women and children in this community. Recently, new equipment was purchased to enhance the ultrasound services provided by the hospital’s OB/GYN providers!
“The Dr. F. Clifton Miller Memorial Fund was established as a way to continue the legacy of Dr. Miller, a physician who spent his entire 40-year career in Wellsville providing care for countless women and delivering over 8,400 babies,” explained Jodi Pearson, Foundation Coordinator of the Jones Memorial Hospital Foundation. “We are excited that the first equipment purchased will benefit both mothers and babies – two V-Scan hand held ultrasounds.”
Pocket sized and portable, the V-Scans are available for all the OB providers at the Jones Memorial Women and Children’s Health Center in Wellsville and in Hornell. “Using the hand held ultrasound assists with visualization of an early pregnancy during office visits,” explained Dr. LuAnn Kaye, who provides family practice with OB. “In the first trimester especially, it can be reassuring to the patient to be able to see the baby right away.”
“Being able to do a quick scan when the patient comes in for her appointment is very efficient and she can see her baby very early in her pregnancy,” said Dr. Heather Lanphere, adding that a traditional ultrasound can provide more detail. “Either way – handheld or traditional – we have the latest ultrasound technology at our practice and our patients are very excited that they can see their baby during their office visit as needed.”
JMH employees, providers, patients, and community members generously provided the funds to establish the Dr. F. Clifton Miller Trust Fund. The fund is on-going and donations can be made anytime.  Funding also came from donors who purchased a brick for the memorial wall outside the Maternity Unit in honor of Dr. Miller or babies that have been born at Jones. It is overseen by a committee that includes Dr. Lanphere, (Dr. Miller’s daughter); Dianna Miller Emrick, (Dr. Miller’s widow); Dr. Kaye, who shared his office; and fellow medical staff members Dr. Andres Rubert, OB/GYN, and Dr. James Edmonston, General Surgeon. It was Dr. Edmonston’s vision to honor Dr. Miller by establishing this fund.
If you would like more information about how you can support the Dr. F. Clifton Miller Trust Fund, and/or would like to purchase a brick to be added to the memorial wall, please contact Jodi Pearson at (585) 596-2053.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Sunday January 27, 2019

Wellsville Police arrested Caylebe J. Sutley, age 28 of Wellsville, charging him with DWI and DWI with BAC of .08% or more.  The charges stem from a traffic stop on East Dyke Street in the Village.  Sutley was processed, issued an appearance ticket and released to a third party.  Sutley is due to appear in Wellsville Village Court on February 26th at 4:30 p.m.

Steuben County Sheriff's Blotter

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that on January 22, 2019 deputies arrested Ashley A. Ladieu, age 30, of Geneva Street, Bath, New York. It is alleged Ms. Ladieu operated a motor vehicle while her ability to operate was impaired due to the use of an illegal drug and was allegedly in possession of marijuana while on State Route 415 in the Town of Bath, New York. Ms. Ladieu was released on traffic summons for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, and Fail to Dim Headlamps and an appearance ticket for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. Ms. Ladieu is due to appear in the Town of Bath Court on a later date for arraignment.

On January 24, 2019 deputies arrested Frederick C. Valkenburgh, age 32 of County Route 11, Bath, New York. Deputies responded to the area of State Route 960U and Selleck Road in the Town of Bath in response to a report of two car motor vehicle crash with injuries. It is alleged Mr. Valkenburgh was stopped on the shoulder of the roadway and failed to yield the right away while he was attempting to make a left hand turn. This allegedly caused a collision with another motor vehicle. It is further alleged that Mr. Valkenburgh was operating a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition. Mr. Valkenburgh was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal to take Breath Test, Consuming Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle, and Failing to Yield the Right Away. He was arraigned in the Town of Bath Court and subsequently released on his own recognizance. He is due to reappear in the Town of Bath Court at a later date.

All you can eat breakfast - Wellsville American Legion - February 3rd

Allegany man arrested for aggravated DWI at nearly triple the legal limit

On Saturday Amity-based troopers arrested Phil E. Voorhees, 35, of Allegany for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated. Troopers responded to a report of a two-car hit-and-run property damage accident at a residence on Birch Run Road in the town of Allegany. During their interview of the complainant, they discovered Voorhees had been the operator. He returned to scene in his vehicle, then again allegedly fled upon seeing the troopers. They located his vehicle a short distance away, and allegedly observed Voorhees exit the vehicle in an attempt to flee on foot. Troopers said he was exhibiting obvious signs of intoxication. He failed standardized field sobriety tests at the scene. He was then arrested and transported to SP Olean, where a chemical breath test revealed him to have a 0.23% BAC.  Voorhees was released with appearance tickets returnable to Allegany Town Court in February.

Livingston County Sheriff's Blotter


Kami B. White, 20, Wellsville, NY, was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2nd Degree and Inadequate/No Plate Lamp on January 15.  White was released on an appearance ticket to answer charges in Avon Town Court on a later date.

Davondre J. Smigalski-Jones, 20, Dansville, NY, was charged with Unlawful Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage by a Person Under 21 Years of Age on January 13, and was issued an appearance ticket to answer charges in Sparta Town Court on a later date.

Eric R. Vancuren, 36, Dansville, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree on January 18, and following LC-CAP arraignment was ordered held in the Livingston County Jail on $300 cash bail/$600 Property Bond. Vancuren will address charges in Avon Town Court on a later date.

Cassandra E. Odom, 25, Rochester, NY, was arrested January 18, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd Degree and No/Inadequate Stop Lamps.  Following LC-CAP arraignment, Odom was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff on $500 cash bail/$1,000 property bond.  Odom will reply to charges in Lima Town Court on a later date.

Phillip J. Snyder, 31, Honeoye Falls, NY, was arrested and charged with felony Driving While Intoxicated, felony Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Blood Alcohol Content .18% or Greater, Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device and Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent on January 19.  Following LC-CAP arraignment, Snyder was remanded to the Livingston County Jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail.  Snyder will reply to charges in Avon Town Court on a later date.

John E. W. Wagner, 62, Livonia, NY, was arrested January 11, charged with Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree.  Following LC-CAP arraignment, Wagner was released on his own recognizance to answer charges in Livonia Town Court on a later date.

Rodney E. Cobb, 46, Nunda, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Contempt 2nd Degree on January 22, and following LC-CAP arraignment was released on his own recognizance to address charges in West Sparta Town Court on a later date.

Crystal F. Dragone, 64, Springwater, NY, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny 4th Degree and two counts of Identity Theft 2nd Degree on January 18.  Dragone was released on an appearance ticket to reply to charges in Livonia Town Court on a later date.

Sterling W. Perry, 18, Rochester, NY and Daniel A. Sullivan, 19, Groveland, NY, were arrested January 17, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree and Failure to Signal.  Perry and Sullivan were released on appearance tickets to address charges in Avon Town Court on a later date.

Brandy L. Densmore, 34, Piffard, NY, was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Blood Alcohol Content .08% or Greater.  Densmore will answer charges in Avon Town Court on a later date.

Wendy D. Northrup, 35, Conesus, NY, was cited for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd Degree on January 18, and was issued an appearance ticket to satisfy charges in Mt. Morris Town Court on a later date.

Satnam Singh, 36, Laurel, MD, was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd Degree, Unlicensed Operator and Failure to Keep Right on January 23. Singh was released on an appearance ticket to reply to charges in Leicester Town Court on a later date.

Andrew J. Fuller, 44, Naples, NY, was charged January 23, with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd Degree and Operating a Motor Vehicle without an Inspection Sticker.  Fuller was issued an appearance ticket to answer charges in Livonia Town Court on a later date.

Victoria R. Morrison, 62, Mt. Morris, NY, was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test and Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign on January 17.  Following LC-CAP arraignment, Morrison was ordered held in the Livingston County Jail on $250 cash bail.  Morrison will respond to charges in Leicester Town Court on a later date.

Edward D. Smith, 31, Dansville, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny on January 24.  Smith was released on an appearance ticket to answer charges in Springwater Town Court on a later date.

Sheila A. Gfeller, 65, Hemlock, NY, was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Blood Alcohol Content .08% or Greater and Failure to Dim Lights on January 18.  Gfeller will address charges in Livonia Town Court on a later date.

Senator O'Mara's weekly column - “Hold on to your wallets, New York”

“Hold on to your wallets, New York”
Last November, Governor Cuomo announced that he would make a strong push in 2019 to provide New York State drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

My response at the time was this: "Here we go in the new New York State. Governor Cuomo and the new State Legislature are getting ready to blow through stop signs protecting the rights and safety of hard-working, law-abiding, lifelong, responsible residents. Buckle up, look both ways, and hold on to your wallet, this state’s about to get taxed and turned upside down at breakneck speed."

Less than one month into the 2019 legislative session, with the governor fully encouraging a state Legislature under one-party (his party) Democratic control, I’m afraid “here we go” was a serious understatement on my part.

Not long ago, Governor Cuomo proclaimed that he feels “liberated” without a Republican Majority in the state Senate around to block his vision for New York’s future.  

Consider what this vision has produced over just the past few weeks in Albany, including:

    n The “Reproductive Health Act” to significantly expand abortion in New York State;
    n The “DREAM Act” to provide taxpayer-funded college tuition assistance to illegal immigrant families;
    n Significant reform to the state’s electoral process, including early voting, an unfunded mandate that promises to increase costs for local taxpayers and enhance the risk of voter fraud;
    n A proposed 2019-2020 New York State budget that eliminates critical Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding for upstate municipalities, puts at risk critical agricultural funding, offers no serious mandate relief, raises spending on Medicaid by $1 billion, seeks higher taxes and fees, and includes many other troubling (and expensive) proposals.  

On the way? Using taxpayers dollars to finance political campaigns, commonly known as public campaign financing. Legalizing recreational marijuana and creating a big new state bureaucracy to oversee the legalization. An ongoing attack on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding, responsible gun owners. A state-level, universal health care system that many believe will simply break the bank.  

At a recent legislative hearing examining the governor’s proposed budget, I raised the specter of state borrowing and debt, and particularly the burden being left to future generations of decision makers and, especially, taxpayers. New York already has America’s highest state and local government debt per capita.

Now Governor Cuomo and his Democratic partners in the Legislature are eyeing the so-called “Green New Deal” that, among other things, seeks to make New York’s electricity 100% carbon neutral over the next two decades. They call it a new deal, however I’m not sure it’s a fair deal for future taxpayers or energy consumers for whom the cost of energy will rise. It’s a massive undertaking. It calls for a huge investment in new infrastructure. To start, the governor wants a $10 billion “Green Future Fund.” It arrives on top of what has been an ongoing, enormous expansion of infrastructure building statewide, spending the governor has proposed to raise to $150 billion this year.

Most of it’s being accomplished through state borrowing, significantly adding to future state debt and, most egregiously, being heaped onto the backs of future taxpayers who will have to deal with it long after Governor Cuomo and most current legislative leaders have left office.

I said it recently, I’ll say it again, and it needs to go on being said: The new, Democratic direction for New York State appears headed toward producing billions upon billions of dollars of short- and long-term spending requiring billions upon billions of dollars in new taxes, fees, and, especially, borrowing for future generations of state and local taxpayers.  

So, yes, buckle up. Look both ways. Hold on to your wallet.

The short-term pursuit of a hard-left, liberal political agenda appears to be the priority over a long-term, sustainable future for upstate, middle-class communities, families, workers, and taxpayers.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


Albany, N.Y., January 27—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today said that an opinion from the state Board of Elections (BOE), which he requested earlier this month and received on Friday, permits state legislators to use campaign committee funds to challenge the actions of the New York State Compensation Committee.
“I appreciate the Board’s prompt, timely, and positive response to my request and look forward to taking this opinion into account as I continue to consider a legal challenge against the Compensation Committee’s actions, which I believe clearly violate the intent of the authorizing legislation,” O’Mara said.
O’Mara has been considering legal action since the Compensation Committee moved forward with its recommendations in early December 2018.  In a letter to the BOE earlier this month, he asked for the board’s ruling on the ability of a legislator to use his or her campaign committee to fund a legal challenge.
The BOE opinion, expected to be formally released on Monday, applies applicable provisions of state Election Law and concludes that “the use of campaign funds to pay for legal fees associated with litigation challenging the actions of the Committee on Legislative and Executive Compensation would be ‘provided in connection with the execution of the duties of public office,’ and is permissible.”
O’Mara contends that the Compensation Committee was authorized only to determine whether a legislative salary increase was warranted and, if so, to set new compensation levels.  The committee’s additional actions -- including a near-total ban on a legislator’s ability to earn an outside, private-sector income and tying the receipt of legislative salary increases to the on-time adoption of the annual state budget -- fall far beyond the intended powers of the Compensation Committee, O’Mara added. 
Citing Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the authorizing legislation (Part HHH of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2018), O’Mara stressed that the legislation creating the Compensation Committee, enacted as part of the 2018-2019 state budget, is explicit that “the committee shall determine whether, on January 1, 2019, the ANNUAL SALARY AND ALLOWANCES (emphasis added) of members of the Legislature…WARRANT AN INCREASE (emphasis added).”
O’Mara, who has long practiced law as a private-sector attorney and is presently a member of the Barclay Damon LLP law firm in its Elmira office, issued the following statement today:
“The significant changes made by the Compensation Committee to the Legislature’s structure and makeup were not contemplated by the authorizing legislation.  Alterations to the part-time Legislature as established in our New York State Constitution can and should only be made by a Constitutional Amendment put forth in a referendum to the voters.
“Furthermore, the Committee’s linking of any salary increase to final budget adoption is inappropriate, at best, and more akin to extortion, while it further erodes the checks and balances, and the separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature indispensable to democratic government.  It risks a dangerous and a troubling strike at the Legislature’s independence.
“Consequently, I believe the actions of the Compensation Committee fundamentally and profoundly alter the holding of public office as a New York State legislator.  This was never intended by the Legislature in the legislation establishing the Compensation Committee and, in fact, falls far outside the Committee’s legally authorized powers.
“The Committee’s action, outside of determining whether a salary increase was warranted and what that compensation level should be, violated the law and should be challenged.  The Board of Elections opinion is therefore welcome and clearly opens an avenue for legislators like myself to consider and possibly more fully pursue a legal challenge.”

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Obituary: Geraldine R. "Gerri" Lash, 75

Geraldine R. “Geri” Lash, 75, passed away Saturday (Jan. 5, 2019) at home.
​Geraldine was born on Jan. 8, 1943 in Chicago, Ill. to Walter and Helen (Zapotoczny) Lash.
In 1966, Alfred State College appointed Geraldine Instructor in the Department of General Education of General Studies. She held that position until 1973 when she was promoted to Assistant Professor of English. Geri retired from Alfred State College in September of 2001 after 35 years of teaching.

Geri is survived by a sister-in-law, Patricia Lash of Orland Park, Ill.; two nephews, Walter (Brandi) Lash of Stow, Ohio and Andrew Lash of Orland Park, Ill; and her kind and caring neighbors of 30 years, Kathy Feldman and Sheila Holloway.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a brother, Walter Lash and longtime companion, Theodore Burakoff.

Geri was a faithful supporter of the Hornell Area Humane Society and loved dogs. When her health allowed, she had dogs of her own. In later years, she enjoyed the long daily walks with her neighbor’s dogs. She was also an avid gardener in her younger days and took great pride in her home grown vegetables. As an English professor, Geri loved books and had a passion for literature. She enjoyed reading, especially mystery novels. Geri also enjoyed eating out. A favorite pastime of hers was the many lunch dates with Theodore.

Per her wishes, there will be no prior visitation. There will be a graveside service in the spring when her ashes will be laid to rest next to her parents in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleums in Justice, Ill. Arrangements are under the direction of Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover.

Memorial contributions in Geri’s name may be made to Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, NY 14843.

PA: Tioga County woman killed in crash

Mansfield-based state police say one person was killed in a single vehicle crash just before 10 a.m. on Friday. It happened on Route 414 in Liberty Township. Troopers said Herbert Harrison Jr.,76, of Middlebury Center was driving eastbound on a snowy downhill section of highway when he lost control. His pick-up truck struck a sign and the passenger side then struck a tree...but impacting a second tree. A passenger, Darlene Harrison, 77, was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville where she died.

Wellsville Lions football coach schedules players meeting/sign ups

New Wellsville Varsity Football Coach Frank Brown will be having the first 2019 players meeting and sign ups on Monday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the high school weight room.
This will be an opportunity to come and meet Coach Brown and the new coaching staff.
It is open to all students interested in playing modified and varsity football. it is for students currently in sixth grade to 11th grade.

Allegany County deals with lightning strikes, letters of complaints and Assessor training issues

These are the draft minutes of the Allegany County Ways and Means Committee meeting minutes held on January 16th and just released:

January 16, 2019
Committee Members Present: P. Stockin, D. Fanton, P. Curran, D. Decker, D. Healy, J. Hopkins, D. Root, C. Crandall (Absent: S. Havey)
Others Present: S. Alsworth (Town of Wellsville Supervisor), L. Ballengee, G. Barnes, H. Bedow, T. Boyde, J. Budinger, J. Burdick, W. Dibble, K. Dirlam, K. Francisco, K. Graves, B. Harris, J. Henry, K. Hooker, C. Knapp, R. Lynch, J. Ricci, B. Riehle, T. Ross, T. Shaw, M. Washer
Media Present: C. Potter – The Spectator
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Ways & Means Committee Chairman Philip Stockin.
Assessor Training
Committee Chairman Stockin stated that Town of Wellsville Supervisor Shad Alsworth has attended the meeting to discuss the County’s support in the training cost associated with preparing a qualified assessor for the Town of Wellsville and other surrounding townships. Mr. Stockin continued that since this first came to his attention late last week, he has had several questions that he still has not received answers to. Mr. Stockin made the decision to postpone any discussion and/or decision regarding this until the February 20 Ways & Means Committee meeting. Legislator Fanton stated that this is an unusual request, and they typically don’t contribute to the training of an assessor. Committee Chairman Stockin stated all of that will be discussed; however, he has questions he needs answered by the County Attorney first.
Acceptance of Insurance Check for 2012 Ford F350
Clerk of the Board Brenda Rigby Riehle requested a resolution accepting a check in the amount of $2,835.67 from the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) representing the cost to repair our 2012 Ford F350 Truck (VIN #1FD7W3E60CEC27364) assigned to the Public Works Department that was involved in a motor vehicle/deer accident on December 14, 2018, at approximately 8:00 a.m. The funds should be appropriated to the 2019 Budget in account CS1931.429 (Risk Retention – Uninsured Property Loss) with a like sum placed in revenue account CS1930.2680.00 (Insurance Recovery). Legislator Hopkins asked if this vehicle is part of the leasing program, and Mrs. Riehle stated, no. This request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Fanton, seconded by Legislator Curran, and carried. Prepare Resolution
Acceptance of Insurance Check for Lightning Strike
Mrs. Riehle requested a resolution accepting a check in the amount of $118,168.76 from the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) representing the final settlement for damages to electronic equipment sustained during a May 22, 2018, lightning strike. The funds should be appropriated to CS1931.429 (Risk Retention – Uninsured Property Loss) with a like sum placed in revenue account CS1930.2680.00 (Insurance Recovery).
Full Cost of Repair or Replace of Damaged equipment: $152,104.74
Less Applicable Depreciation: $ 22,285.83
Actual Cash Value Loss: $129,818.91
Less Deductible: waived
Less Prior Payments: (NYMIR Ck #96097 dtd. 09/27/18) $ 11,650.15
Net Amount Claimed: $118,168.76
Legislator Healy asked what the damage was. Mrs. Riehle stated it was damage to electrical equipment in the penthouse. This request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Healy, seconded by Legislator Root, and carried. Prepare Resolution
Standard Office Hours
County Administrator Timothy Boyde stated that after conducting a thorough investigation and speaking with County Department Heads, it is his recommendation that effective June 1, 2019, the core hours of the County will be set to 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. year round. A few departments have requested to maintain a longer work day where employees can flex their hours accordingly, and these types of requests can be approved by the County Administrator on a case-by-case basis, but the minimum standard core hours for all offices will be from 8:30 am. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Legislator Healy asked if we have standard hours already in place. County Attorney Carissa Knapp stated it’s debatable. The County has adopted legislation setting summer hours; however, Attorney Knapp indicated that she did not see specific legislation setting the non-summer hours, although several departments are statutorily required to maintain office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mr. Boyde stated that a foot traffic study revealed that our County offices have more traffic in the morning than they do from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., and we want to continue accommodating that. Mr. Boyde stated there are a number of ways to address this; however, current practice, which is also what our employees as well as the general public have become accustomed to, is 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with some departments operating 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Legislator Healy stated our job is to serve the general public, and despite what everyone says, this doesn’t best serve them. Chairman Crandall stated there are lots of times they as a Board move something forward without doing their homework and “shoot themselves in the foot many times.” Chairman Crandall continued that it appears the homework has been done, the right questions have been asked, and Mr. Boyde has included the right people in his discussions regarding the matter. Committee Chairman Stockin indicated that he sat in on a management meeting regarding this issue and feels it’s been pretty well covered. Legislator Graves stated he doesn’t doubt Mr. Boyde has done his homework and asked how this affects the Courts. Mr. Boyde stated it doesn’t; they already have their own hours. Legislator Graves asked about Union contracts. Mr. Boyde stated they are also a part of this, and they are making sure to stay within contract terms. Legislator Barnes asked what the standard work week is for employees. Mr. Boyde stated it does vary; however, the majority of our employees work a 35-hour week. This request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Fanton, seconded by Legislator Decker, and carried. (Opposed: D. Healy) Prepare Resolution
Authorization to Purchase Software
Mr. Boyde requested approval to enter into an agreement with AdastraGov for the provision of the Labor Costing Module software service(s). This service will be used as a cost analysis service for all upcoming labor negotiations. The associated costs for this service is $56,500 over a five-year period with annual installments of $9,000. The fee includes a one-time implementation fee of $11,500. The funds necessary to finance this software will be drawn from H1680.200 – Software Upgrades in the 2019 Budget. The Contract has been reviewed and approved by the County Attorney. Mr. Boyde noted that we are receiving a $1,000 discount, and we will be the first contractor using this service east of the Mississippi. Legislator Fanton asked if other departments will be able to utilize the software. Mr. Boyde stated it will be able to tie in with payroll, tracking benefits, etc. This request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Fanton, seconded by Legislator Root, and carried. Prepare Resolution
Constituent Complaint Letters
Chairman Crandall addressed the Board stating he is not sure if it’s just that time of year, but in the last 24 hours he has received five complaint letters. He is unsure if everyone on the Board is receiving them as well, but those who are should forward them to him along with Mr. Boyde and Mrs. Riehle. Chairman Crandall continued that some of the letters contain matters that need to be addressed such as issues with our employees, local issues, property tax issues, as well as concern over proposals coming from the Governor. Chairman Crandall went on to say that he wants to make sure they aren’t sending out 15 different responses, and advised the Board to refrain from entering into social media debates prior to them talking as a group and taking a position on the issues.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:21 p.m. following a motion by Legislator Fanton, seconded by Legislator Decker, and carried.
Respectfully submitted,
Meghan Washer, Confidential Secretary to Clerk of the Board
Allegany County Board of Legislators