Saturday, February 29, 2020

Obituary: Dennis A. “Sam” Ford, 74, of Shinglehouse

Dennis A. “Sam” Ford “beloved father, grandfather and brother”

 SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa.---Dennis A. “Sam” Ford, 74, of Shinglehouse, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport.
Born on Thursday, July 26, 1945 in Olean, N.Y., he was a son of O. Glenn and Eva Sherwood Ford.  On August 7, 1965 in the Bell Run Union Church, Shinglehouse, he married Sandra L. “Sandy” Daily, who passed away on March 5, 2016.
Sam started his school years in a one room schoolhouse on Bell Run and then attended Oswayo Valley High School in Shinglehouse.
At one time Sam ran a dairy farm on Sunnyside Road in Shinglehouse.  He retired from Stroehmann’s Bakeries in Olean, N.Y., after more than 40 years of service.
Sam attended Bell Run Union Church in Shinglehouse.  For several years, Sam and his wife were volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program in Potter County.  He enjoyed mowing lawns and handing out “Tootsie Pops” to young and old.  “Smiling Sam” always had a twinkle in his eye.
Surviving are a son, Gregory A. Ford of Shinglehouse; two grandsons, Matthew G. Ford and Joshua G. Ford; a brother, Kenneth (Teresa) Ford of Shinglehouse; a sister, Jessie Schoonover of Bradford; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, Sam was predeceased by three brothers, Orville Ford, Rollie Ford, and Jack U. Ford; and three sisters, Lorena Pratt, Loretta McCaffrey, and Agnes “Aggie” Pratt.
Family and friends are invited to call from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Bell Run Union Church, Taylor Brook Road, Shinglehouse, where a memorial service will follow at 12 noon with the Rev. Chad E. Shaffer, pastor of Bell Run Union Church, officiating.   Burial will be in Bell Run Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bell Run Union Church, 904 Taylor Brook Road, Shinglehouse, PA 16748 or to the Bell Run Community Club, c/o Becky Austin, 308 Austin Road, Shinglehouse, PA 16748.
Sam’s family has entrusted his care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences or share a fond memory of Sam, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

Incomplete Obituary: Sandra L. “Sandy” Erway, 43, of Spencer, MA, formerly of Ulysses, PA,

Sandra L. “Sandy” Erway, 43, of Spencer, MA, formerly of Ulysses, PA, died Friday, February 28, 2020 in Worcester, MA.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Crematory, Ulysses, PA.
Online condolences may be expressed at

NY delays plastic bag ban enforcement by one month -


New York officials are giving retailers another month to adjust to a plastic bag ban. The plastic bag ban still officially goes into effect on Sunday. That means retailers who charge sales taxes are supposed to stop handing out single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout.
But Friday the state’s Department of Environmental Conversation said it would not start penalizing businesses that use plastic bags until April 1, Politico NY first reported Friday. The delay in enforcement comes after a court challenge in Albany County Supreme Court from a plastic bag maker and New York City bodega owners, Marie French of Politico reported.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation is pleased that a temporary restraining order was not issued in this case so New York’s ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect as planned on March 1,” the DEC said in a written statement. “We have consistently said since the beginning of our outreach campaign that we will focus on education rather than enforcement and today does not change that.” Read more HERE.

Alma Town Board changes March meeting date

Notice of Change

Town of Alma

Board Meeting for March 3,2020 has been changed to Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 6:00 P.M.
Thank you
Ronald Staedt

Town of Alma Supervisor

February Report: Allegany County 911

February Report: Allegany County Sheriff

February Report: Allegany County Probation

DEA Social Security scam alert warning

February Report: Allegany County District Attorney

February Report: Allegany County Public Defender

Potter County: Luce case postponed until May, still faces 128 counts

The criminal case against the former treasurer of the Genesee (PA) fire and ambulance department has been delayed until May. A hearing was scheduled for February 27th for Scott Luce, 35, of Main Street in Genesee. He is accused of stealing more than $93,000 from the volunteer agency. Pennsylvania State Police leveled 128 felony and misdemeanor charges against Luce. He is currently free on a $100,000 bond. The defense had filed a motion seeking a continuance. Recently, Potter County President Judge Stephen Minor granted the motion and has rescheduled the hearing for May 7th at 9 a.m. He was originally arrested by Pennsylvania State Police in June 2019. Luce was previously convicted of stealing funds from the Independence Emergency Squad. In that case he was ordered to make restitution.

NY State Police Blotter

2/28/20 11:45am- Olean-based State Police arrested Kaine D. Bunker, 22, of Olean. He was charged with third-degree arson: intentionally causing damage, a class C felony. The charge stems from a fire in the Town of Angelica on February 13th at 5:48 a.m. Kaine was released on his own recognizance.
2/28/20 11:45am- Amity-based state police arrested Kaine D. Bunker, 22, of Olean. He was charged with felony third-degree grand larceny stemming from an incident on February 13th in New Hudson. He was released on his own recognizance.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Counties Urge State Leaders to Reject a $1.5 Billion Grab from Local Taxpayers

Today, county leaders are unanimously calling on State lawmakers to reject a budget proposal that would shift up to $1.5 billion from counties to the state general fund.

The proposal would intercept Enhanced Federal Medicaid monies (eFMAP) worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year to counties and New York City. The eFMAP funding was included in the Affordable Care Act to help all governments that funded the expansion of Medicaid.

“It is abundantly clear that the Federal government intended for a portion of these funds to be directed to local governments to help offset the cost of Medicaid. We are entitled to it,” said New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Jack Marren.

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “This attempt to intercept these funds is in direct opposition to the intent of congress when they passed the Affordable Care Act and that is why counties are urging state lawmakers to reject this proposal from the budget, and the New York State congressional delegation to hold Albany accountable,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario “It is irrational for the state of New York to intercept these funds to solve their budget crisis.”

The counties of New York State contribute nearly $8 billion every year towards the cost of the federal-state Medicaid program, more than all 3,000 counties across the country combined.

Committee named to oversee creation of New York's first State Veterans Cemetery

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the members of the committee that will oversee plans to create the first New York State Veterans Cemetery that will provide dignified burial options for the state's veterans and their eligible family members. The committee will be chaired by Ret. U.S. Army Colonel Jim McDonough, Director of the NYS Division of Veterans' Services, and oversee the site selection process for the State Veterans Cemetery, creating an action plan outlining ongoing governance, compliance and cemetery operations at the planned burial grounds.
"It is long past time for New York to have its first State Veterans Cemetery. This expert panel of leaders will create the blueprint for this important site of remembrance," Governor Cuomo said. "It is our obligation to ensure that the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this great nation are honored with a dignified place to rest alongside their fellow service members in New York."
The full committee membership includes:
  • Major General Raymond F. Shields, Jr., Commissioner, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs
  • RoAnn Destito, Commissioner, New York State Office of General Services
  • Rossana Rosado, New York Secretary of State and Chair of the Cemetery Board of the Department of State
  • Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York is one of only a few states nationwide that does not have a State Veterans Cemetery. More than 70 percent of New York State's approximately 681,000 veterans are over the age of 55, and many veterans and their families have advocated for years to have an appropriate state resting place to visit and honor their sacrifice. But an antiquated law required that the state must first set aside 15 years' worth of perpetual care costs prior to moving forward with the site selection process. On the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day and as part of his 2020 Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo introduced legislation amending the law to remove the onerous 15-year funding requirement and streamlining the process for establishing the creation of a state cemetery.
Director of New York State's Division of Veterans' Services Ret. Colonel Jim McDonough said, "The responsibilities associated with establishing the state's first-ever State Veterans Cemetery speak to the need to be collaborative not only across state government, but with our partners locally as well. We owe our veteran families nothing less than our best efforts to ensure that additional dignified burial options for New York's veterans become a reality this year. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and his commitment to ensuring that we continue to provide the utmost care for New York's veterans and their families."

Alfred - Critical injury in County Road 12 crash - UPDATED

UPDATED: State Police identify the driver as Beth A. Ueblacker, 41, Alfred Station.
ALFRED - A woman suffered serious, possibly life-threatening injuries just after noon Friday when her vehicle crashed on County Road 12, not far from the Alfred village line. According to the 911 dispatch, the vehicle rolled over and struck a tree. The driver was reportedly unresponsive and trapped. Alfred Ambulance, Alfred Station fire, MTS, Alfred Police and Troopers all responded to the scene. The first unit on scene urged apparatus to "expedite." LifeNet 7-7 responded and landed in a nearby soccer field. The woman, from the Alfred-area, was flown to a trauma center. A section of County Road 12 was closed during the rescue. New York State Police continue to investigate. No other information was available.

Steuben County Stand Up For Recovery Day set for March 13

BATH – A two-hour event looking to erase the long-held negative perception of addiction will take place on the Steuben County Office Building’s third-floor atrium. The third annual “Stand Up For Recovery” Day is set for 10 a.m. March 13.

Organizers plan a “meet and greet” opportunity for the public to speak with those recovering from substance abuse addiction, a panel presentation and information from area agencies offering support for addicts and their loved ones. The event is a collaboration of Addiction Awareness of Steuben County, Friends of Recovery-Steuben, Steuben Prevention Coalition - Opioid Committee, and Steuben County.

Statement by Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard

Sheriff Jim Allard -
In this time of constant transition in the criminal justice system in New York State by the controllers of our state government, I feel it is necessary to list the top twenty tasks accomplished in the last three years by the men and women of your Sheriff's Office during a time of change and uncertainty:
1. Embraced the culture of professionalism, integrity, leadership and service.
2. Established a re-structuring of rank and supervision.
3. Established a forensic evidence reco
very team with members on every shift.
4. Established an Emergency Medical Technician Program, currently on pace for 28 certified EMTs serving the citizens of Steuben County.
5. Established in partnership with the District Attorney's Office, Steuben County Mental Health, the Council on Addictions and the Steuben County Legislature, a Comprehensive Opioid Prevention and Education Program
6. Established a certified Peer Counseling program for debriefing and counseling following traumatic events.
7. Established a fire investigation team in partnership with the Emergency Management Office that investigated 49 fires in 2019.
8. Created a dedicated STOP DWI patrol, which received an award by NYS STOP DWI for doubling the arrests in Steuben County.
9. Delivered Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event training along with STOP the BLEED training to 10 school districts and 16 houses of worship.
10. Established with the Village of Bath PD and Family Services Society a Youth Mentoring with Law Enforcement program
11. The Sheriff's App as a central information point for Steuben County citizens to access criminal justice information
12. Established county wide school safety meetings with representatives from the school districts.
13. Expanded the School Resource Program and now every district in the county has at least one SRO.
14. Sheriff Allard appointed a member of the National Sheriff's Association School Safety Committee.
15. Undersheriff McNelis appointed the Chair of the NYS Sheriff's Association Committee on Policing and Safeguarding Schools
16. Established a digital records management system, creating a paperless case system.
17. Established the SPIRIT dog program in the jail, in partnership with the Finger Lakes SPCA and Hornell Humane Society wherein inmates are trained to re-train abandoned or abused dogs for adoption.
18. Expanded the K-9 program, entirely through donations, from 1 to 4 K-9s.
19. Updated and revised the field training and evaluation programs for the patrol, correction and court security divisions.
20. Achieved re-accreditation for the Corrections and Civil divisions.
Professionalism Integrity Leadership Service
We strive to meet the public safety needs of the citizens of Steuben County in the most effective, efficient manner possible
As always, I am extremely honored to be a part of the public service team at the Steuben County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Jim Allard

Alfred State to hold two Open Houses in April

This April, more than 1,000 visitors will converge on Alfred State College (ASC) during two events to see if becoming an Alfred State Pioneer is the right fit for their families. The public is invited to check out all the amazing things that Alfred State has to offer during a pair of Open Houses scheduled for Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 19.
Open House Programs will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Orvis Activities Center on the Alfred campus. During these events, prospective students and their families will be able to participate in a variety of sessions to learn about ASC academic programs and life on campus. An extensive list of activities is designed to provide flexibility in visiting areas of interest to each student.
Alfred State Vice President for Enrollment Management Betsy Penrose said, “We encourage students and their families to explore our 80 in-demand academic programs as well as the campus life side of the Alfred State experience by joining us on either April 4 or April 19. Open House is also a great chance for students who are undecided about a major to tour different programs and learn more about the opportunities that exist within these majors.”
Open House activities include:
-Both the Alfred and Wellsville campuses are open.
-Panel discussions and guided tours with current students describing life at ASC.
-Faculty from all academic areas will provide tours of labs and answer questions.
-Informative presentations on financial aid and campus life.
-Complimentary lunch for students and their families for a taste of Alfred.
-Information tables with representatives available to answer individual questions related to Admissions, Athletics, Student Life, Technology Services, Financial Aid, the Student Success Center, and more.
Families interested in majors at the Wellsville campus will begin their day in Alfred and travel to Wellsville beginning at 11 a.m. Accepted students and their families will have the opportunity to celebrate at the Accepted Student Celebration during the Open House and even address some enrollment checklist items.
For a full schedule of the Open House Programs or to register online, visit For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-4-ALFRED or 607-587-4215.

Obituary: Theodore E. “Ted” Zinck Sr., 82, Hornell

HORNELL - Theodore E. “Ted” Zinck Sr., 82, of 480 Maple City Drive, Hornell, died Monday morning (February 24, 2020) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, following a brief illness.
Born in Blossburg, PA on January 10, 1938, he was the son of John & Hazel (White) Zinck.
Ted grew up in Pennsylvania, residing in several locations including Blossburg, Rose Valley (where he had fond memories of his younger years), Port Allegany, Galeton and Knoxville where he attended school. 
While in his late teens, Ted’s family moved to Painted Post, NY where he worked in the foundry of Ingersoll Rand Corporation for several years.  In 1961 he moved to Corning and was employed as a truck driver for Corning Waste Material Corporation and also drove truck for the City of Corning.  From 1973 – 1978 he resided in Arkport and has lived in the Hornell area for over 40 years.
He was a member of the Methodist religion and had attended the Methodist Church in Painted Post and also Corning.  He was an avid fisherman (both lake & stream) and also enjoyed hunting (deer & rabbit).  Ted enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.  He also cherished the times he spent “cruising the countryside” with his wife, Anna.
Ted was preceded in death by 2 daughters, Tammy G. Zinck (1964) and Michele L. Zinck (1988); 2 sons, Samuel J. Zinck (1969) and Theodore “Ted” E. Zinck JR (1988); 3 brothers, Oliver Zinck, Franklyn Zinck and David Zinck; 1 sister, Marie Fry.
He was married on May 21, 1961 to the former Anna M. Griffin who survives.  Also surviving are 3 daughters, Susan Zinck of Brockport, NY, Debra (Robert, JR) Guy of Hornell and Judith Salvagin of Hornell; 1 son, Timothy (Heather) Zinck of Fairfax, VA; 3 sisters, Ruth Laughman of McSherrystown, PA, Violet Rogers of Elmira and Naomi (John) Jacobus of Beaver Valley, NY; 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews.
The family of Theodore E. “Ted” Zinck will receive friends on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.  A Memorial Service will be held at the conclusion of calling hours at 6:00 p.m. with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.
Ted’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to the American Diabetes Association, PO Box 13067, Alexandria, VA  22312 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 435 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY  14620.  Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home. To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit   

Obituary: Evalena Mae Slaght, 82, formerly of Hornell

HORNELL - Evalena Mae Slaght, 82, a resident of Elcor Nursing Facility in Horseheads, NY, formerly of Hornell, died Monday evening (February 24, 2020) at Arnot Ogden Hospital in Elmira, following a long illness.
A native & life resident of Hornell, she was born August 4, 1937, and was the daughter of Charles & Ida (Lounsberry) Slaght.  She lived in Horseheads for the past 1 ½ years.
For many years, Evalena resided at the Steuben ARC residence on Vanscoter St., Hornell.  She was always very kind and was loved by everyone.  Her favorite color was pink and she enjoyed collecting watches (usually with pink watchbands) and stuffed animals.  Evalena loved watching TV, especially the Food Network and the Hallmark Channel.  She spent time solving math problems in her workbook and her on her calculator and also enjoyed spending time knitting and going to the hairdresser.  Evalena often spoke highly of her younger years with her brothers and her friends, growing up on Conklin Street in Hornell.
In addition to her parents, Evalena was preceded in death by her brothers, Dewey Slaght and Robert Slaght.
Surviving are 2 brothers, Charles Slaght of Webster and Thomas Slaght of Elmira; nieces & nephews. At Evalena’s request there will be no calling hours.  A private funeral service was held on Saturday at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.  Burial was in Hope Cemetery, Hornell, NY. Evalena’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name be made to ARC of Steuben, 1 ARC Way, Bath, NY 14810. To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit

NY Congressman Brindisi Takes Concerns of Local Veterans Directly to VA Secretary

Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, pressed VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, Dr. Richard Stone of the Veterans Health Administration, and other top VA officials about their work to address the priorities of Upstate New York Veterans. Brindisi questioned witnesses about the lack of health benefits for Veterans affected by Agent Orange Exposure and the need for better access to VA services for rural Veterans.
“We have more than 50,000 Veterans in our area who deserve to receive all of the benefits they earned by serving our country,” said Brindisi. “We had a positive discussion with Secretary Wilkie and Dr. Stone about the concerns of Upstate Veterans. We’ll keep pushing for a budget that increases funding for State Veteran Homes and allows Veterans in small towns to receive services at locations like the Bainbridge VA clinic.”
Brindisi asked the witnesses about addressing the backlog of grant requests for State Veteran Homes and expanding access to VA health services in rural areas. Last year, Brindisi secured key language in a government funding bill to protect the Bainbridge VA clinic from closure. Brindisi, a champion for rural Veterans, inserted a provision requiring the VA to conduct a market area assessment before taking action on Bainbridge. Brindisi hosted Dr. Stone at the Bainbridge clinic in November. Last year, President Trump signed two Brindisi bills supporting Veterans: Brindisi’s Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019, and his Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act. 

Pennsylvania Officials Warn of Potential 2020 Census Scams

Harrisburg, PA – Today after news emerged that documents misleadingly labeled as official Census forms are being mailed to Pennsylvanians, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin reminded Pennsylvania residents to be cognizant and aware of potential 2020 Census scams and confusion.
“An accurate Census is a fair Census and using the 2020 Census as a way to confuse and scam residents of the commonwealth is unacceptable,” said Sec. Davin. “The real Census questionnaire is short and clear, so we encourage any Pennsylvania resident who receives a questionable document in the mail to contact their local Census hub, which is the most reliable resource for clarification, with any doubts, questions, or concerns.” 
The United States Constitution requires a Census count once every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States once and only once. The results of the 2020 Census will help provide fair representation when determining congressional districts, policy, decision-making, and distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the daily lives of Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years.
Pennsylvanians can respond to the 2020 Census by mail or online. Census Day is April 1, 2020, and as that day gets closer, the possibility of scams is increasing. Since the 2020 Census will be collecting basic information about the people living in your household, there are a few things you should remember to avoid falling victim to a scam.
Do not respond if you are asked for your social security number (SSN), bank or credit card information, your mother’s maiden name, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. The U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for this information. If someone claiming to be from the U.S. Census Bureau contacts you via email, phone, or in-person and asks for any of this information, it is a scam.
Below are helpful tips to protect Pennsylvanians during the 2020 Census collection period:
  • If you receive a survey or letter in the mail, check that the return address is from Jeffersonville, Indiana.
  • If you receive a phone call, you can call the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-923-8282 to verify whether the caller is an employee.
  • If you receive an email or are sent a URL to respond to the census, make sure the website address begins with “HTTPS” and includes a lock symbol. If you receive a suspicious email or URL, do not reply, click links, or open attachments. Forward the email to the U.S. Census Bureau at and then delete it. The U.S. Census Bureau will investigate and report their findings to you.
  • If you’re visited by a census worker, ask to see their identification. They should have an official identification badge with their photo, U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you have questions about their identity, you can call 1-800-923-8282 to speak to a local U.S. Census Bureau representative.
If you hear questionable information about the 2020 Census or are wondering whether a rumor may be true, please contact or visit the U.S. Census Bureau website.

NY State Police Blotter

2/27/20 2:55pm- State Police say one person was injured in a one vehicle crash Thursday afternoon at the intersection of State Route 417 and County Road 61 in the Town of Greenwood. State Police listed the driver as 72-year-old Dana C. Austin of Troupsburg. The Andover Fire Department responded to the scene with their Jaws of Life. The victim was extricated after about 15 minutes. Troopers did not indicate the severity of the injuries.

2/27/20 10:05 am- State Police arrested Jason B. Rynders, 43, of Elmira. He was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protect. The incident occurred in the Town of Almond and was reported February 8th. Rynders was released on his own recognizance.

Alfred Village Board schedules budget workshop

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Village Board of Trustees will hold a Budget Workshop on March 2, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. in the Village Hall at 7 West University St., Alfred, New York.

Carolyn Hasper, Alfred Village Clerk

Galeton man jailed on $50,000 in drug case

Coudersport Borough Police Thursday night arrested Robert Jon Hurd, 30, of Galeton. He was with two felony counts of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture of deliver drugs. He was also charged with criminal use of a communication facility. The alleged crimes occurred on May 7, 2019.
Magisterial District Judge Annette L. Easton arraigned Hurd at 10:45 p.m. She remanded him to potter County Jail when he couldn't post $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 9th.


The State Senate has given final legislative approval to legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) to try to increase organ and tissue donations in New York State by giving New Yorkers the opportunity to register as organ and tissue donors when they apply for or renew a hunting, fishing or trapping license.
“It’s one of the most important life-saving actions that any of us can take.  One donor can save up to eight lives and positively impact the lives of seventy-five others through eye and tissue donations,” said O’Mara, who has long supported legislative efforts to bolster organ and tissue donations.  “We’re hopeful that this latest effort to make it easy for New York’s sportsmen and sportswomen to register as organ donors can make a real difference in bringing attention to and encouraging donations.” The state Assembly unanimously approved the legislation (S7318/A7915), where co-sponsors include area Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning), two weeks ago.   The measure now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final action. More than 400 New Yorkers die annually waiting for an organ transplant.  Nearly 10,000 people are on the waiting list for transplants and more than 1,500 of them have been on the list for more than five years.  However, according to the New York State Organ Donor Network, New York currently has the second-lowest donor registry enrollment rate in the nation.  In total, only 11% of eligible donors are currently enrolled in the New York State Organ and Tissue Registry.

Alma resident responds to Deputy Town of Alma Supervisor Public Statement

Note: This opinion piece has been submitted by Paula Clayson. This letter  contained numerous "attachments" which I will not include. This letter was also edited to remove vulgar language. Finally, this site will publish no future letters regarding this ongoing dispute in the town of Alma. Each of the alleged "facts" should be determined in a court of law, not this site.

“Scrap Issue” 
The Town of Alma supervisor filed a claim for “theft” with New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) before BCI Investigator Jacob Opala’s investigation was completed. In the police report the town supervisor falsified a statement about seeing the images of two (2) Town of Alma trucks at the scrap yard and the receipts prove that only one (1) truck went to the scrapyard, the other load of scrap was picked up from the Town of Alma Highway Department and a charge of $175 was taken from the total. As the Town of Alma did not and still does not have a policy concerning revenue from scrap material Investigator Opala found nothing criminal about the handling of the scrap funds. He informed the town supervisor of his findings and the case was closed on January 30, 2019. The report then went to the Allegany County District Attorney who accepted Investigator Opala’s findings. 
NYMIR paid out $2,509.32 for the claim that the town supervisor submitted as theft despite the total from the two (2) receipts being $2,275.24.The Highway Crew not only had receipts for purchases made with money from the scrap but money left over and once NYMIR discovered this, the town supervisor was instructed to repay the claim that had been paid out. 

At the May 2019 board meeting, the Highway Superintendent and his attorney handed over the receipts and leftover money ($1,815.62 in cash) from scrap to the town clerk and bookkeeper. On June 4, 2109, the town supervisor drew a check (attachment B) from the Town of Alma Highway Fund in the amount of $1,815.62 payable to New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal as repayment for the claim he submitted for “scrap theft”.

The check that was drawn from the Town of Alma Highway Fund for payment of $1,815.62 to NYMIR was done via Claim #88. This claim number was included in the May 2019 Highway Department Abstract that was created by the town clerk and submitted for filing Claim #88 was actually paid out from the Town of Alma Highway Fund in July 2019 to Blue Cross and Blue Shield


Money from the sale of scrap material has always been used for necessities such as bottled water and shared services, NOT “personal use”.



The prior town board initiated an investigation into payroll and time cards, submitting them and the Highway Department Employee’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to an accounting firm called Stone Bridge Business Partners, a division of EFPR Group CPAs, PLLC, without providing context. This investigation was done at a cost of approximately $2,750. The Highway Superintendent maintains records of the day-to-day operations concerning the Highway Department and those records include days off, vacation days, sick days, personal days, no lunch, accidental missed punch in/punch out, et cetera. In the case of ‘no lunch’, federal labor laws state that if you are on the job site or are in your equipment, which is not considered as a lunch break. Given that information, the Highway Department Employees have worked through their lunches on many more occasions than they were paid for.   

Stone Bridge/EFPR Group found, based on the information they were provided (with no context) that there was a “potential exposure” of $44574.06.The majority of sick, personal, and vacation days used closely together and as half days, (received cancer treatment in morning and worked the second half of day), were due to two of the Highway Department Employees undergoing treatment for cancer, one of which spent six (6) months in the ICU. Other considerations for their “potential exposure” were from the improper understanding of guaranteed paid days off under the CBA (they get both Good Friday and their Birthday off with pay).
After the first firm found no criminal activity the prior town board contacted SDC CPA Global Investigation & Forensic Accounting Services on or around January 4, 2019 concerning a loss of $44,574. 06 and submitted a claim to SDC CPAs, LLC Wright Public Entity / New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal for this amount. There has not been evidence made available to the public that this claim was paid to the town for any amount.
The town supervisor altered certified payroll and withheld money for hours worked by Highway Department Employees in 2018 and 2019.
The deputy supervisor was assigned duties as “Union Liaison” yet has been very vocal about his disdain for the union and the union members. 
Despite the town supervisor’s claims that they won in arbitration, it came down to a technical issue concerning the timing of when the grievance was filed. 
“Fiduciary Responsibilities”
The former town board rejected the County Snow and Ice Contract for County Roads, a reduction in over $60,000 to the Highway Department budget.
Because of the refusal of the County Contract, the Highway Department is driving sixteen (16) miles of County Roads to get to three (3) miles of roads that are on the outer boundaries of the Town of Alma, and sixteen (16) miles back for a total of thirty-two (32) miles round trip at a cost to the taxpayers of Alma to plow those well-traveled roads. This expenditure had been covered by the County through the Snow and Ice Contract.
In 2018 the town supervisor managed to have six homes removed from the Town of Alma tax roll and we lost that tax revenue. 
Despite a 31.1% cut to the Highway Department budget, our property taxes have gone up.
The town supervisor refused to pay vouchers submitted by the Highway Superintendent for materials and services from vendors incurring late fees, penalties, and potential negative impact on the town’s credit rating.
For two consecutive years, the town supervisor, town clerk, bookkeeper and the town board has received raises.
“Illegal Resolutions”
At the February 4, 2020, Town of Alma Board Meeting, the town supervisor and the deputy town supervisor walked out of an active meeting where three (3) resolutions were legally passed by the majority vote.
 FACT 2:
The town clerk was in attendance and accepted all three resolutions but as of today’s date, it is not clear if she has filed these resolutions.
The money that the deputy supervisor claims will be a burden on the taxpayers is money that exists within the Highway Department Accounts but was moved by the town supervisor and the former deputy supervisor without authorization from the Highway Superintendent. The town supervisor willfully admitted this in a speech he gave before walking out of the February 4, 2020 board meeting. When addressing the resolution reinstating a Highway Department employee he said (about the current town board) “They can do what they want, they have to find out how to fund it”, he went on to say “...Our board moved the money to reserve accounts to head this problem right off.” 

Budgets can be amended and the changes (moving money back to their proper accounts) were filed with the New York State Comptroller.
The legal problems associated with the Highway Department are due to the decisions made by the current town supervisor and despite what he said in the following text that was sent directly from his phone to all board members on December 28, 2018 (attachment I), there were only two applicants for the vacant HMEO Highway Department position and the only qualified applicant was hired.

NYSEG and RG&E plan rate increase

NYSEG and RG&E customers can expect a rate increase in May. The Public Service Commission had scheduled an evidentiary hearing regarding the rate proposal for Monday. Earlier this week, the utilities providing notice that an agreement in principle has been reached among the Companies, the Department of Public Service Staff and other parties. The agreement, according to News 10, shows the price NYSEG customers pay for electric delivery would rise by 23.7%. That's an average bill increase of about $10 per month. For RG&E customers, electric delivery would increase by about 5% or about $3 more per month.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Obituary: Dale B. Green, 72, of Wellsville

Dale B. Green, 72, of Wellsville, NY, died Wednesday, February 26, 2020 in Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, NY. Born November 28, 1947, in Wellsville, he was the son of Arnold K. and Dorothy A. Johnson Green. A graduate of Scio Central School and Breeden School of Welding in Genesee, PA, he served honorably with the U.S. Army from 1967 -- 1968
On September 29, 1973, in Hallsport, he married the former Jo Ann Billings, who survives. He was employed as a pipeline foreman by Otis Eastern for over 45 years. Dale was a member of Morrison B. Hayes American Legion Post #702 and Operating Engineers Local #158.
In retirement, Dale’s world revolved around spending time with his grandchildren outdoors, in his shop building, and attending their sporting events.
Surviving besides his wife, Jo Ann, are: two sons, Kristopher (Allison) Green and Chad (Shannon) Green, both of Wellsville; five grandchildren, Alex, Trenton, Ella, Wyatt, and Liam; a sister, Roseanne Perry of Wellsville; brother-in-law, Terry (Theresa) Billings of Greenwood; sister-in-law, Gayle (Dennis) Clark of Belmont; nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Kenneth A. Green; and brothers-in-law, Dale Billings and Douglas Billings.
Friends may call Sunday, March 1, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY, where Funeral Services will be held on Monday at 11:00 a.m.  The Rev. Jon Schink will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellsville. Military Rites will be accorded by members of Morrison B. Hayes American Legion Post #702.
Memorials may be made to the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 206, Wellsville, NY 14895. Online condolences may be expressed at

Obituary: Robert G. Givan, Sr., 75, Olean

Robert G. Givan, Sr., 75, of Olean passed away Monday, February 24, 2020 at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Buffalo, after a brief illness. Born on February 13, 1945, in Bradford, Pennsylvania, he was a son of Paul and Bertie Yeaples Givan.  On November 18, 1968, in Ringgold, Georgia he married the former Paula Mikolajczyk, who survives.
Robert was a graduate of the Hinsdale Central School Class of 1963.  He honorably served in the United States Army from 1969-71 during the Vietnam War.  During his service he achieved the rank of SPC5 and was Helicopter Crew Chief Pilot.
He had been a Computer Lathe Machinist for Tri-Co Industries and Alcas Cutlery for several years.  He had also owned and operated Givan’s Autobody Shop in Olean with his wife.  In 2002, he started his own business Swimwear On The Go, retiring in 2015, after selling the business to his daughter.  He will be remembered as a man that was always willing to help others anyway that he could.
Robert was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening.  In his younger years he liked dirt track racing on the Olean Raceway. He also followed NASCAR series.  In later years, he enjoyed raising Sugar Glider Pets.
He leaves behind his wife, Paula Givan of Olean; a son Robert G. (Shelly) Givan, Jr. of Olean; three daughters Christina Smith of Olean, Shelli (Scott) Givan-Baker of Olean, Robin Sammis of Salamanca; five Grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; two brothers, Thomas Givan and Jerry Givan; a sister Ione Burlingame; several Nieces and Nephews.  In addition to his parents he was predeceased by a brother James Givan.  Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Online condolences may be sent to the family at Arrangements are under direction of the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., Cuba.

Wellsville: Stage is set for 75th annual Lions Club Variety Show

On February 28th and 29th, the Wellsville Lions Club will present its 75th annual Variety Show in the Wellsville High School auditorium. This year’s show will be a “greatest hits” compilation of past acts and skits, featuring members of the club and the local community performing.  The format of this year’s show is also completely different in order to accommodate the variety of acts. Please come out and support the Wellsville Lions Club and the many organizations and individuals that they help in the local community.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Wednesday February 26, 2020

Wellsville Police arrested Daniel E. Fronczak, age 44 of Bolivar, charging him with Criminal Nuisance 2nd.  The charge stems from an incident that took place on North Main Street in December of 2019.  Fronczak was additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana 2nd after Police found marijuana on Fronczak when he was taken into custody.  Fronczak was processed and arraigned before Wellsville Village Justice O’Connor.  Fronczak was released and is due to appear in Wellsville Village Court on March 17th at 4:30 p.m.

Ceramic artwork by two Alfred-Almond students receive national attention

Courtesy of Alfred-Almond school
Two Alfred-Almond high school students had ceramic artwork chosen by a juror for a national art show at the annual National Council for Education in Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference on display in Richmond, Virginia in March 2020. The competition received almost 1,000 entries and selected 150 for the annual show. It's an incredible honor to have Alfred-Almond ceramics featured at a national level.
Ben, grade 12, had a pair of interlocking handbuilt ceramic mugs chosen for the NCECA 2020 show.
Jamie, grade 11, had a stacking servingware dish set chosen for the NCECA 2020 show.

Allegany County school closings

The following schools are CLOSED Thursday:
Fillmore Central
Friendship Central
Genesee Valley
Genesee Valley Boces
Scio Central
Wellsville Central
Whitesville Central

Allegany County Office for the Aging ALERT

The Allegany County Office for the Aging has announced that:
  1. There will be NO Meals on Wheels home deliver Thursday. People should use their BLIZZARD  BOXES and,
  2. ALL Luncheon Centers are closed Thursday

Giglio announces he'll seek another term in NYS Assembly

Assemblyman Joseph Giglio on Wednesday announced his bid for re-election as the representative of the 148th Assembly District.
"Thank you all for your continued trust and faith in me,” Giglio said in a press release. “There is still work to do so that my district has a strong voice in the Assembly.“With your support we can keep our forward momentum in these uncertain economic and political times. Western New York’s specific needs and values deserve focused representation. I have fought, and will continue to fight, for the people of the 148th Assembly District.”

In the release, Giglio noted his leadership role in the Assembly Republican Conference’s efforts to repeal or modify recent bail reform legislation.
“So-called ‘bail reform’ has damaged not just the public safety of New Yorkers in general, but individual victims and their families. Bail reform continues to put our citizens’ lives in danger, and I am determined to repeal this law to avoid future tragedies.”
The district includes all of Allegany and Cattaraugus counties, as well as the towns of Greenwood, Jasper, Troupsburg and West Union in Steuben County.

Alfred State: Medical career fair gets a healthy turnout of students and employers

More than 20 professionals from a variety of medical fields converged on Alfred State recently to meet and recruit students during a medical career fair.
Altogether, 21 employers were on-hand for the event, with professional fields ranging from nursing, to radiologic technology, to sonography, to veterinary technology, and more. Also, over 65 students attended the career fair.
According to Elaine Morsman, director of the Career Development Center at Alfred State, this was the first time the college created an event to cover all health-related majors, including veterinary technology.
recruiter speaking to a student across a table “We heard several positive comments that it was effective to include such a broad scope of majors,” she said. “All employers that completed an evaluation stated that they would attend again and found the event effective.”
Employers who participated in the career fair included Arnot Ogden Health System; Catholic Health System; Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine; Dent Neurologic Institute; Endless Mountains Veterinary Center, PC; Finger Lakes VA Healthcare System; Fruity Valley Veterinary Clinic; Guthrie; Highland Hospital; Jones Memorial Hospital; New York Army National Guard; Olean General Hospital; Rochester Regional Health; St. James Hospital; Stack Veterinary Hospital; UltraMobile Imaging; University of Rochester Medicine: Imaging; University of Rochester Medical Center; Venture Forthe; WellNow Urgent Care; and Wellsboro Small Animal Hospital, P.C.
One common trait that all Alfred State career fairs seem to share is that they often feature alumni returning to campus to recruit current students. Such was the case with Mikaela Winder and Mark Daniel Cummings from the Cornell Veterinary School.
“We know that Cornell Veterinary School hires a lot of Alfred State grads, but it was wonderful to have two Alfred State vet tech alums joining us as recruiters,” Morsman said.
Reflecting on the spring 2020 career fair, Morsman noted, “I loved the interaction with everyone from all of the different medical-related fields. It was great to see this collaboration.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Obituary: Sharon Lee Hendrickson Reed, 73, of Coudersport, formerly of Shinglehouse and Portville, N.Y

Sharon L. Hendrickson Reed “beloved mother, grandmother, and sister”

COUDERSPORT, Pa.----Sharon Lee Hendrickson Reed, 73, of Coudersport, formerly of Shinglehouse and Portville, N.Y., passed away with her loving family by her side, on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, in Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, after a long illness.
Born on Friday, August 30, 1946 in Olean, N.Y., she was a daughter of Donald K. and Phyllis J. Reddy Hendrickson.  On August 27, 1963 in Portville, N.Y., she married Dennis K. Reed who passed away on March 3, 2007.
Sharon attended Portville schools and graduated from Oswayo Valley High School, Class of 1964, in Shinglehouse.|
Sharon lived most of her life in the Portville, N.Y. and Shinglehouse area.  She was employed for many years at Alcas Cutlery in Olean, where she served as union president for a period of time.  Sharon and her husband, were the owner/operators of Tavern on the Beers in Bolivar, N.Y. from 1993 to 1999.
Sharon was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Portville and attended St. Theresa Catholic Church in Shinglehouse.  A die hard Elvis Presley fan, Sharon and her sister Phyllis, were instrumental in forming the Western NY Elvis Presley Fan Club, having had the honor of speaking with Elvis.  Her greatest love was her family.
Surviving are two sons, Jeffery W. “Jeff” (Vera Kio) Reed of Coudersport and Daniel K. (Riva) Reed of San Antonio, Texas; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; four siblings, Phyllis A. Brechtel of Janesville, Wisconsin, Barbara S. (Bill Chamberlin) Starr of Ischua, N.Y., Donald C. (Patricia) Hendrickson of Ft. Pierce, Florida, and Mark A. Hendrickson of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Sharon was preceded in death by a son, Christopher D. Reed; and two brothers, Daniel Hendrickson and William Hendrickson.
Family and friends may call from 9:30a.m. to 11:30a.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12 noon at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Puritan Street, Shinglehouse, with the Rev. Thomas Brown, pastor, as celebrant.  Burial will be in Bell Run Cemetery, Shinglehouse.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sweden Valley Manor Patient Activity Fund, 1028 East Second Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.
Sharon’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L.  Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.To express condolences or share a fond memory of Sharon, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.