In case you may have missed any of these articles. Covering mainly Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, but WNY regional, state and national topics of interest are also added.
SNI to receive grant for court improvements
SALAMANCA – The Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) will receive a $250,000 grant to fund improvements to its daily court operations and court staff additions.
U.S. Representative John R. “Randy” Kuhl, Jr. (R-Hammondsport) Wednesday announced that SNI will receive the grant from the Department of Justice Tribal Courts Assistance Program.
Suit may jeopardize Falls casino
WASHINGTON – The Seneca Nation’s casino in Niagara Falls would have to close if gambling opponents win their federal lawsuit aimed at stopping a Buffalo gaming hall, the tribe acknowledged in a report this week.
“If the plaintiffs are successful, the Nation would be unable to conduct any gaming upon lands acquired pursuant to the [Seneca Nation Settlement Act],” the documents said. The 1990 act of Congress was used by the tribe to acquire its casino land in Niagara Falls.
Mayor wants to borrow to bury debt
OLEAN — Mayor David Carucci plans to ask Common Council members Tuesday to borrow up to $7.2 million to retire city debt and erase deficits between the city’s water and sewer and general fund budgets.
Mayor Carucci was tight-lipped Friday on the exact amount he’s going to ask the council to borrow, but aldermen have confirmed the number is $7.2 million.
Spraying draws protests in city
OLEAN — The city sprayed Round Up weed killer along city curbs and streets Thursday, sparking protests from residents worried about the danger to children and pets.
County mulls working with STW to identify sites for development in Salamanca, Olean
LITTLE VALLEY – Cattaraugus County legislators are considering working with Southern Tier West (STW) Regional Planning and Development Board to look for possible development sites in the cities of Olean and Salamanca.
New jail can finally take prisoners
BELMONT – The certificate of occupancy for the new Allegany County Jail has been issued, and soon the county’s Budget Committee will get hard numbers to look at concerning sheriff department overages.
City considers charging flat rate for water
OLEAN — For as long as Olean has charged people for water, those who use the most water pay less than those who use the least.
The sliding scale was meant to reward those who use city water for business and industry. But even homeowners pay less the more water they use.
Hinsdale to conduct hearing on curfew
HINSDALE — Continuing problems with youth vandalism and disorderly conduct in the town of Hinsdale prompted the Town Board Monday to schedule a public hearing on a potential curfew.
Town Supervisor Jeffrey VanDeCar said the hearing will take place Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m., before the start of the regular monthly meeting.
County gets $419,000 in back taxes sale
BELMONT -The public sale of private property for back taxes brought $419,000 to the county.
Wellsville PD goes high tech with Army grant
WELLSVILLE – The village police department is going high tech with a heat seeking flashlight worth over $12,000.
At the village board meeting Monday night, Police Chief Steve Mattison asked for approval for Lieutenant Tim Walsh to travel to Orlando, Fla. to learn how to use the department’s new ThermoVision Scout.
Cost of sending rebates will total $3 million
SYRACUSE – Delivering rebates to taxpayers just before Election Day will cost the state $3 million, according to the state tax department.
The state will pay about $1 million in postage to send 3.4 million checks – averaging approximately $250 each – to property owners starting next month. An additional $2 million will be spent on administrative costs such as processing the checks and bank costs, said Tom Bergin, spokesman for the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
Reservation tax bill among Pataki’s 70 vetoes
Gov. George E. Pataki on Thursday vetoed a legislative plan to collect tobacco taxes on Indian reservations, as well as several bills that would have sweetened pensions for a plethora of public employee unions.
The most significant move, though by no means surprising, was yet another Pataki rejection of efforts to collect taxes on reservations. Possibly recalling incidents of violence on Indian reservations several years ago in the wake of tax collection efforts, the governor said he had many concerns about the bill, including its failure “to respect tribal sovereignty.”
Rivals present priority issues
ALBANY — Candidates for governor pushed on Tuesday new proposals for campaign finance reform, homeland security, and combating domestic violence. Meanwhile the race drew the involvement of Rudolph Giuliani and a slate of Socialist Workers.
Pataki vetoes pay raises for ‘bad faith’ bargaining
ALBANY – Gov. George E. Pataki said Wednesday he will veto a pro-union bill that local government and school district officials said would give automatic raises to public workers and drive up taxes.
Pataki opts for a new judge
ALBANY — Gov. George Pataki on Friday nominated a Buffalo appellate justice to an impending vacancy on the state Court of Appeals, declining to reinstate its lone African-American member despite widespread calls to preserve the high court’s diversity.
Law boosts freedom of information
ALBANY (AP) – Gov. George E. Pataki said Wednesday he will strengthen the state Freedom of Information Law by allowing citizens to collect legal fees when they are wrongly denied public documents from government officials.
The law will allow courts to force local and state governments and school districts to pay attorney’s fees to a citizen, group, business or news organization denied access even if there isn’t a broad public interest in the records.
Clinton sees flaws in U.S. security
SCHENECTADY – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, on Monday criticized the Bush administration for failing to do enough to protect the country from terrorists.
Pataki sees potential in Asia
Pataki, who leaves office at the end of the year, is discussing another trip to China and perhaps to Japan and India, although his office won’t confirm the travel, which could begin as soon as the end of September.
The governor, who is also traveling the country as he explores a potential run for the White House, may be considering opening a trade office in China with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Bacteria-killing viruses approved to treat meat, poultry
WASHINGTON — A mix of bacteria-killing viruses can be safely sprayed on cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, federal health officials said Friday in granting the first-ever approval of viruses as a food additive. The combination of six viruses is designed to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey, said John Vazzana, president and chief executive officer of manufacturer Intralytix Inc.
Consumers won’t be aware that meat and poultry products have been treated with the spray, Zajac added. The Department of Agriculture will regulate the actual use of the product. The viruses are grown in a preparation of the bacteria they kill, and then purified.
Democrats’ dispute may fall on candidates
CHICAGO – The Democratic Party is moving to enforce its rules in the battle between states over who goes first in the presidential primaries, taking aim at candidates in case the states themselves won’t go along with the party’s rejuggled 2008 schedule.
Katrina aid debacle tied to race, class
INDIANAPOLIS – New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Friday blamed racism and government bureaucracy for hamstringing his city’s ability to weather Hurricane Katrina and recover from the disaster that struck the Gulf Coast nearly a year ago.
While tens of billions of dollars in federal aid have flowed to Louisiana and other states devastated by Katrina, much of it has gone to developers and contractors, Nagin said.
Katrina dispersed 75 percent of New Orleans’ pre-hurricane population of about 460,000 people, and today it’s a city of about 250,000.
Katrina insurance ruling is latest blow
GULFPORT, Miss. – A federal judge ruled Tuesday that an insurance company’s policies do not cover damage from floodwaters or storm surge in a decision that could affect hundreds of upcoming cases related to property damage from Hurricane Katrina.
Bush signs law revamping pension rules
WASHINGTON – President Bush signed a broad overhaul of pension rules Thursday, giving millions of people a better chance of getting retirement benefits.
The law is not without its critics. Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said lawmakers may look back at the law as the “Trojan horse that brought the end of the defined benefit pension system.”
Against study’s data, TSA says X-raying shoes works
WASHINGTON – The government sought to assure airline travelers Tuesday that X-raying shoes at security checkpoints was a reliable way of detecting improvised bombs, a claim contradicted by a Department of Homeland Security study.
No more write-offs for junk
WASHINGTON – Donating an old toaster or television to a local charity won’t count as a tax deduction if it’s not in good condition.
Alaskan soldiers told to return to Iraq duty
WASHINGTON – About 300 Alaska-based soldiers sent home from Iraq just before their unit’s deployment was extended last month must now go back, the Army said Monday, setting up a wrenching departure for troops and families who thought their service there was finished.
The soldiers – all from the 172nd Stryker Brigade – are among the close to 380 troops who had gone home to Fort Wainwright and to Fort Richardson when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered the unit to serve four more months. The remaining 80 will not have to return to Iraq.
The 300 soldiers recalled from Alaska on Monday got to spend between three and five weeks at home and will head back to Iraq in the next week or so. Most of the brigade is expected to leave Iraq by the end of the year, although Army spokesman Paul Boyce said Monday there are no assurances the unit’s stay will not be extended again.