The Rural Patriot

November 5, 2006

Weekly News Roundup – 11/5/06

Filed under: Weekly News Roundup — theruralpatriot @ 9:48 am

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.

LOCAL

Seneca official disparages lawsuit by political opponent as ‘frivolous’
A Seneca Nation official Tuesday described Robert W. Jones’ lawsuit against the Senecas as an election-year stunt, insisting the nation is not facing a harmful lien as Jones claims.

Dispatchers respond to save 911
OLEAN — Mayor David Carucci hopes the city can save some money by having the county’s emergency dispatch center in Little Valley handle 911 calls from the city of Olean.

Belmont was never in favor of new jail; Plans in place to save county $500,000 a year, continues on-the-job training
BELMONT – Sheriff Randal Belmont says his experience makes him the right man for the job.
Belmont took the office of Allegany County Sheriff Jan. 1, 1999, and has more than 34 years of law enforcement service in this county. Belmont called the job of sheriff a “professional job” that requires a “large knowledge base.”

Tompkins has major plans for sheriff’s department; Wants to reassign nine cops not doing anything, add part-time and a time clock
BELMONT – The general election for Allegany County Sheriff may be four days away, but Republican challenger William Tompkins is spending a lot of time preparing for his potential new job.

Landfill fees discussed again; Steps taken to sell county-owned land
BELMONT – The Public Works committee discussed landfill fees, extra space and selling county-owned property during Wednesday’s meeting.

West Valley contractor to continue, officials say
ASHFORD – West Valley Nuclear Services Co. will continue to be the contractor at the West Valley Demonstration Project for up to 12 months, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday.

STATE

Edwards calls for actions to eliminate poverty
Former Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards called Monday for eliminating poverty within 30 years by enhancing savings, raising the minimum wage, giving people more access to education, housing and jobs and cracking down on abuses.

Pirro pledges to target Medicaid fraud
BATAVIA – Jeanine Pirro, the Republican Candidate for state attorney general, said if elected, her first priority would be aimed at Medicaid fraud and its burden on taxpayers.

The anti-politician
Jack Davis is running as a Democrat for the House of Representatives, but party labels don’t mean much to him.

Probe finds Hevesi owes double what he has repaid
ALBANY – State Comptroller Alan Hevesi owes more than double what he belatedly reimbursed the state to cover the services of a government employee assigned to his wife as a chauffeur, an investigation by State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office has determined.

Abuse report still stalks Sweeney
ALBANY – Rep. John Sweeney brushed off questions Friday about why he has failed to follow through on a promise to authorize the release of records he said would refute reports that he physically abused his wife last December.

Deadly fish disease found in more lakes
ALBANY (AP) – Testing has confirmed a deadly disease among fish in two more New York lakes, following an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

New law tackles ID theft
ALBANY – A new state law taking effect today allows New Yorkers to freeze their credit reports at the three major reporting agencies, effectively stopping identity thieves from opening charge accounts or loans in their names.

Plan to move remnant of WTC is opposed
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s the only piece of the World Trade Center still standing exactly where it was before terrorists destroyed the twin towers.

In a couple of months, the “survivors’ staircase,” a path to safety for countless workers on Sept. 11, 2001, will be moved from where it has been since the buildings crumbled around it. A developer says it’s not safe to return to the same place.

State surplus put at $1.1 billion
ALBANY – The state will end its current fiscal year with a $1.1 billion surplus, mostly because of better-than-expected economic growth and increased tax revenue, the state budget office said.
In a midyear report, state officials said reserves in various accounts are expected to total $3 billion when the fiscal year ends March 31.

NATIONAL

GOP, family values seem to disconnect
The Republican Party, priding itself on family values, may have a hypocrisy issue – but its effect on the election won’t be known until Tuesday. With the Mark Foley scandal still troubling Republicans, one of the nation’s top evangelical leaders is now accused of paying for gay sex. Heading into Tuesday’s election, when voters in eight states will decide on same-sex marriage bans, liberals and some conservatives are saying the party that prides itself on family values has a hypocrisy problem.

Foley looms large as past cash source for GOP
The House ethics inquiry now under way focuses on a disgraced Florida congressman who nonetheless was a big contributor for the Republican re-election effort directed by Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds of Clarence.

Red Cross plans drastic reforms
NEW YORK – The American Red Cross, stung by criticism of how it handled Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 attacks, announced plans Monday for a major overhaul that would include slashing its 50-member board and reducing the influence of presidentially appointed overseers.

Ney finally resigns from Congress
WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who pleaded guilty last month in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, resigned from Congress on Friday.

Last-minute contributions pouring in
WASHINGTON – Wealthy Americans and legions of small donors are helping finance an onslaught of last-minute political advertising and a fierce voter turnout drive over the next three days, closing out a midterm election that is projected to cost more than $2.6 billion.

Soldier guilty of abuse won’t return to Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) – A soldier convicted in connection with prisoner abuse in Iraq was sent this week with his military police unit for another tour in Iraq, but the Army on Friday stopped him before he got there, a spokesman said.

Detainee commissions challenged
WASHINGTON – Lawyers for dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to declare a key part of President Bush’s new military commissions law unconstitutional.

Bush says he wants Rumsfeld, Cheney with him until end of term
WASHINGTON – President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most vilified members of his administration

Pentagon launches new PR effort on Iraq
WASHINGTON – As concern in the Defense Department mounts over increasingly negative coverage of the Iraq War, the Pentagon has launched a new rapid-response public-relations effort to rebut news stories that officials say are inaccurate or misleading.

Coulter balks at probe of where she voted
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County’s elections chief said Wednesday

State Dept. tells of vetting for speaker dissent
WASHINGTON – An internal State Department review has found that U.S. officials screened the public statements and writings of private citizens for criticism of the Bush administration before deciding whether to select them for foreign speaking projects.
The screenings amounted to “virtual censorship” in the State Department’s selection of speakers, said a report by the department’s inspector general’s office.

Rep. Hunter exploring run for White House
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said Monday he was taking the initial step in a 2008 presidential bid.

Many U.S. arms given to Iraq are listed as missing
WASHINGTON – Nearly one of every 25 weapons the military bought for Iraqi security forces is missing, a government audit said Sunday. Many others cannot be repaired because parts or technical manuals are lacking.

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