Lightning Sets Two Barns Ablaze

A couple of barn fires Friday are being blamed on lightning strikes. IT happened on Stady Road about two miles west of West Valley at the Roundoak Farm, located at 9365 Stady Road. Firefighters were on the scene for nearly six hours becaue hay in the hayloft made extinguishing the fire difficult, according to West Valley Volunteer Fire Chief Kevin Murray.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation begins replacing a Route 46 bridge in Norwich Township today. The bridge is on Route 46 about two miles north of the McKean and Cameron County line. It was built in 1931 and corsses Pigeon Hollow Run. Over 1,000 vehicles use it every day. Replacing the bridge will allow PennDOT to remove it from McKean County’s structurally deficient list.
Two people were hurt in a two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon on Rushford Road in Centerville, .

Mom Charged When Child Tests Positive for Drugs

A 24 year old Emporium mother’s facing felony charges after police say her two year old son tested positive for methamphetamine use at the hospital. Police said Shalynn Schatz kept methamphetmine in a candy jar on the coffee table. Police say they found it after the boy’d been treated for an illness at a hospital in St. Marys. Schatz has been charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of children.
If farmers want to help themselves, they should complete this year’s agriculture census, according to the Cattaraugus County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board. Five years ago the census showed a seven percent decrease in farms. The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years, with the last one issued for 2012.
The New York state university system has a new boss. Kristina Johnson’s been appointmented as chancellor. She’s taking over for Nancy Zimpher in June.

Cattaraugus County Baseball Fields Getting Upgrades

The green on the baseball diamonds around Cattaraugus County will be the color of money as well as grass this summer. The Legislature voted to spend $600 to improve baseball fields here and around the county in hopes of bringing in more green at some upcoming tournaments. A dozen or more fields in Olean, Salamanca, Portville, Allegany, Ellicottville and Franklinville will get upgrades to make them all up to tournament-level by 2018. It’s estimated that baseball tournaments will bring in $1 million to the area.
The New York state university system has a new boss. Kristina Johnson’s been appointmented as chancellor. She’s taking over for Nancy Zimpher in June.
A house fire in Horton Township’s being investated by the state police fire marshal and the local fire department. The fire destroyed a two story home on Tuesday. No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. The damage estimate is $250,000.

Reed Predicts No Government Shutdown

There will not be a government shutdown, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Reed. He says he thinks it can be avoided. He co-chairs a 40-member bipartisan group in Congress and he says they’re committed to voting for a “clean” budget resolution designed to avoid a government shutdown. He says his Problem Solvers Caucus will offset the Freedom Caucus, which stalled the Affordable Care Act.
Repair work’s begun on a bridge along Sullivan Road in Bradford Township. So be careful. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be working on it for a couple of weeks. The detour will take you to Interstate Parkway. The 31-foot bridge was built in 1940 and about 500 vehicles cross it every day. The bridge spans Bennett Brook just south of Sullivan Road and Royal Avenue intersection in Bradford Township. They expect to be done by May 10

Violent Crash Injures Five High School Students

It was a scary crash but somehow all five high school kids survived it Monday night in Portville. The kids,four of them from Olean High School and one from Allegany-Limestone High were hurt but their injuries aren’t life threatening. All but one has been released from the hospital. The car left the road on Lillibridge Road and landed upside down. eighteen year old Kayleah Keis was driving. Police said Keis was going about 75 miles an hour.
A Wellsville teenager’s been charged with making a terroristic threat. His name’s Mavrick Glover and he’s nineteen years old. Police told the Olean Times Herald that the charges are from an ongoing investigation of a Sunday incident on East Hanover Street, but they weren’t specific. Glover was arraigned and placed in Allegany County Jail where he sits on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 property bond.

Seneca Resource Corp Fined

Seneca Resource Corporation is paying a $375,000 fine violating the Clean Stream Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, the Oil and Gas Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act. Beginning in August 2013 through 2015, state inspections found violations in Forest, McKean, and Elk counties including discharging about 70 to 100 barrels of crude oil which flowed across land then into a tributary of Windfall Run, a High Quality Cold Water Fishery in McKean County. Seneca has fixed all the violations, now they just need to pay the fine.
Gas prices are on their way up in the area. In Western Pennsylvania prices inched up by about four cents this week to $2.71 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. The national average for a gallon of gasoline is 13 cents higher now than it was a month ago at $2.42, and it’s 29 cents more than it was at this time last year.

Olean Department of Public Works Director Resigns

Olean’s budget cuts are claiming a top level victim. Citing budget cuts as one of the reasons he’s quitting, Department of Public Works Director Tom Windus says he’s out before May. He says quitting also will give him more time for his family let him get back to designing roads and bridges. Windus reportedly took offense to this year’s budget cuts. He says the infastructure worries him because of the age of old sewer and water pipes that will be expensive to fix.
Work on Haskell Road should be completed by this summer.
The Cattaraugus County Public Works Department will start culvert work in June south of the new Haskell Road bridge. Three culverts in the Haskell Flats area will be replaced, and some catch basins and drainage pipes will be installed. They’ll also put a blacktop surfance down from the bridge to Route 417.

Man Charged With Attempted Burglary in Wetmore Township

He tried to break into a Wetmore Township home over weekend, according to police. Today, he’s sitting in jail. Twenty Three year old David Carley reportedly couldn’t tell police how he got scrapes on his forehead or whether he was coming from home or going home. In any case, he was arrested about about 4:30 in the morning. Accoridng to court records Carley was tring to break in through the back door of a home when the homeowner called police. He’s charged with attempted burglary and public drunkenness among other things.
Five girls and two boys will compete Thursday night to see who will become king and queen of the 55th annual Western New York Maple Festival.
The candidates are all seniors. The competition beginns at 7 p.m. in the Franklinville Junior-Senior High School auditorium.Winners will ride in the Maple Festival parade Saturday

Three Hurt in Olean Apartment Fire

Three people were hurt in an Olean apartment fire over the weekend. One female was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. She was found unconscious in an upstairs bedroom. The fire’s still under investigation. It happened at a two-story duplex at 314 N. 7th St. One of the injured was a firefighter and another occupant had minor injuries.
If you ever wanted to be a superhero, now’s your chance. CASA of McKean County will hold its second Superhero 5K Walk/Run and Kids Fun Run this Saturday, and registration is still open. The race will be held right before Kids Fest.
Everyone’s invited to take part in a 5K run/walk, followed by a short fun run for children ages 10 and under. There will also be a KaPow! Kids Fun Zone, kids can get superhero tattoos and and have their photo taken with superhero props.

South Cascade Drive-Miller Road Bridge on Schedule

The good weather is putting a major bridge construction on schedule. Crews have poured the last concrete for the deck of the South Cascade Drive-Miller Road bridge connecting Cattaraugus and Erie counties. It’s a $17 million replacement for the Old Route 219 Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek and the Zoar Valley Gorge.
The contract calls for the 650-foot bridge to be open by June 1.
Cattaraugus County’s put the reappointment of it’s director of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism on hold over a possible restructuring of the department.
The County Legislature’s Development and Agriculture Committee put a hold on the reappointment of Crystal Abers Wednesday, pending a review of the department by the committee.
A fire that destroyed a garage in Wilcox Sunday morning has been ruled accident.
The fire was caused by an overloaded electrical circuit in the interior entryway.