Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for the lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. The declaration means that state resources, like snow plowing equipment, will be permitted to assist local cities, towns and villages with snow removal. The declaration also allows the state to provide local municipalities with salt and other supplies to help with the effort. Cuomo said Thursday in a conference call about the snowstorm that there are treacherous conditions on highways throughout the region. He says highway crews are out plowing, but the snow is falling at a rate of 2 to 3 inches in some areas. That's making it difficult to keep up. Cuomo says many New Yorkers are heeding his call to stay off the highways.
The city of Jamestown now has enough road salt for the foreseeable future. That from Public Works Director Jeff Lehman... who says they have now received a few truck loads of salt. Lehman said earlier this week that the city only had enough salt to make it through the end of the... and, they were using sand to "ration" out what was left. He says they received the first part of a shipment from the state's Canadian contractor at the salt barn on Steele Street this morning. Lehman says his crews have gone through a lot of salt already this Winter... and, he says they're expecting more because February's not half-way done yet... and, there's still March left to go. Lehman says the state went with a new contractor this year... which offered a price of 45-dollars a ton for road salt... and, the ontractor has been slammed with shipment orders due to the harsh Winter. He says the city has been remaining within it's salt budget for this year. While Jamestown has had it's problems... city officials say it's nothing like what communities in the downstate region have gone through.
Jamestown police have now identified the city woman is the person who died in an apartment house fire that occured on the northside Wednesday morning. Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 25 year-old Toni Brosius died of acute smoke inhalation at WCA Hospital after she was pulled out of her bedroom by firefighters. Fire crews were called to the scene at 105 Stowe Street just after 7 AM. Samuelson says a neighbor to the apartment that caught fire called in the alarm. When crews arrived... he says Brosius was found, unresponsive, in a back apartment. Samuelson says investigators determined late Wednesday that "unattended cooking" triggered the flames. The fire was ruled accidental.
It's not uncommon to have unattended cooking fires... but, they usually don't make news because they end up being put out quickly by homeowners -- or, by firefighters. However... a city fire official says you should never leave food cooking on a stove unattended. Lieutenant Andrew Finson is also a fire investigator for the department. Finson says that -- if you have to leave for a moment -- there are safety measures you can take to alert you that there's a problem. First... he says you should have working smoke detectors inside the house or apartment. Secondly... he says it's good to have a working fire extinguisher handy. Finson says the apartment Toni Brosius had on Stowe Street had a smoke alarm... however, they're not sure yet if it was operating as it should have. He also says you shouldn't leave yourself in a position where you can fall asleep.
"We're thrilled" that there will be a full ice-castle for this year's President's Day Winter Festival in Mayville. That from Community Coordinator Debbie Marsella with the Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce on tonight's start to the annual event. Our cold -- and often frigid -- Winter has created maybe the best ice blocks ever to come out of Chautauqua Lake for this years' castle. Marsella says it will make Friday's 6 PM lighting ceremony one of the weekend's highlights. She adds there'll be a couple of other activities going on. Marsella says they would hand out the 250-dollar prize for finding the Festival Medallion to Mayville's Tom Cole, Junior just before the lighting. However... Cole has a work commitment. With that... she says the chamber will present the prize Saturday afternoon. Marsella says Saturday has a full-day of activities... starting at 10 AM. Marsella adds they'll also have the chain-saw sculptors that were in Mayville this past Summer on hand... along with horse drawn rides. She adds they'll also have the annual Bonfire at 6:30 PM Saturday... followed by the Snowmobile Parade at 7 PM... and, fireworks by Sky-Lighters of New York at 8. The festival continues Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM. For more information... go on-line to Mayvillechautauqua-dot-ORG.