Archives for October 2017

Olean Fire Ruled Arson

Olean police are looking for an arsonist. Someone intentionally set a buidling on fire early Monday morning fire in North Olean, according to police.
The fire at 114 E. Oak St. burned for several hours before it was put out. Police say it’s pretty obvious that it was no accident. Its obviously arson, they say.
Luckily, no one was hurt in the fire. It began in the bottom of a stairwell.
The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office may apply for a $177,000 state grant from the department of homeland security to improve public safety communications.
Legislator Richard Klancer, R-Gowanda, is sponsor of a resolution that he’ll introduce to the county legislature today.
Cattaraugus County Democrats are still trying to get audio recordings of county legislature meetings.
A plan to buy recording equipment was defeated last week in an 11 to 5 party-line vote.
Democrats say they’ll reintroduce the resolution to buy taping equipment for the large committee room.

Olean Fire Destroys Apartment Building

Firefighters rescued four people from an early morning fire at a North Olean apartment building.
No injuries were reported, according to City of Olean Fire Department Chief Robert Bell.
Bell said four of six people who were in the five-apartment complex were escorted out down a ladder and the others got out by themselves.
According to the fire chief, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The homicide trial for Stephen Stidd is ready to wrap up after a week of testimony in McKean County Court. Stidd’s admitted that he killed his former son in law in January 2015 with a gunshot to the chest. But Stidd says it was self defense against Melvin Bizzarro. Monday, his widow, Michelle Bizzarro, widow of the victim and Stidd’s daughter, said he was a happy man, but also a “violent monster, very scary and very intimidating” when he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Stidd Homicide Trial Continues

Testimony in the Stephen Stidd homicide trial begins again toay at 9 a.m. The Bradford business man admits to shooting his son-in-law to death in January 2015, but Stidd says it was in self defense.
Stidd’s been in jail since his arrest in April 2017. Charges were dropped once before, but then refiled.
The trial has been going on since last Monday and prosecutors expect to wrap up the case tomorrow.
Olean police’ve made one arrest in connection with a series of car burglaries, but they say there’s another suspect in the case and they want to talk to him. The first suspect is 19, but police didn’t release his identity because the investigation is still active. He’s been charged with criminal possession.
Police say four unlocked vehicles were burglarized at three different homes at Queen, Prince and Brook streets. A home security camera at the Queen Street caught the suspects on tape.

Drug Agents Get $90K to Fight Heroin

Cattaraugus and Allegany counties’ sheriff’s offices are getting $90 thousand dollars to help fight in the war on drugs. Allegany County Sheriff Ricky Whitney says he’ll use the money for computer terminals in drug investigators vehicles and other equipment to help intercept drugs coming from Buffalo and Rochester.
Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says things have changed drastically since he began his law enforcement career 28 years ago. Back then he said he never made a heroin arrest. But today, all of his deputies carry Narcan because of how often they run into heroin overdoses.
Work continues on the 6 million dollar Red House dam and bridge replacement construction.
A contractor is demolishing the 87-year-old Red House Lake dam.
The concrete replacement bridge is expected to be delivered in three sections by mid-November. Construction of the bridge began off site earlier this month. It’ll be hauled to the bridge site on three special trucks.

Olean Top Cops Get a Raise

Olean’s top cops are getting a raise and backpay.
The Common Council’s approved a five-year contract with Olean Police.
The contract covers the time from June 2015 to May 2020 and includes a 1 percent annual raise, retroactive to June 2015 for Olean’s captains and sergeants.
And the Council OKs a plan to redevelop most of West State Street.
Developer Jef Belt was the building at 106-108 W. State for $3,000 the same price he paid to redevelop the Marra building in 2016. Belt’s said he’ll spend the next two years turning the ground floor into retail space and the upper floors into four apartments.
And an Ellicottville woman says she lost $3,000 in an internet scam she paid to remove what she thought was a computer virus. A computer tech tells the Olean Tiime Herald it’s the third call he’s received in the past month from people who have been duped into providing credit or debit card and personal information to scammers.

Burglars Targeting Parked Cars

Theives are window shopping in Olean. And police say cars are the primary shopping place.
Theives aren’t needing to break into vehicles, police say it’s easy pickings because people are leaving their cars and trucks and SUVs unlocked in the eastern part of the city, At least three more vehicles were broken into Sunday night into Monday morning. four unlocked vehicles at three different residences were reported broken into. Police are looking at home surveillance video at a Queen Street residence. But they haven’t made an arrest yet.
Eight Allegany County employees are getting raises thanks to the county legislature by an 11-3 vote.
It’ll add about $15,000 to the county’s personnel costs. Seven of the staffers will see a 2 and a half percent raise. The social services commissioner gets a 3 percent hike.
The county clerk, employment and training director, personnel officer, public health director, public works superintendent, real property tax director, the sheriff, and social services commissioner all get raises.

Hinsdale Central School District’s 2nd vote

Hinsdale Central School District’s 2nd vote for the Revised Capital Project is today from Noon to 8pm in the lower lobby. So get out and vote and make your voice heard.
The district’s $6.8 million project proposal was voted down in April.
The new proposal would cost just under $5 million. The school district plans to improve sitework, security, buildings and the bus garage. The district is also buying about 14 acres of land next to the school for a soccer field.
It’ll cost billions of dollars to fix and replace bridges around the state. But Cattaraugus County’s needs aren’t as great as most. There’re 29 structurally deficient bridges in in Cattaraugus County. 14 are county bridges.
12 bridges on the structurally deficient list, and two of those have already been fixed or replaced.
Structurally deficient does not mean unsafe. According to state Department of Transportation policy, a bridge is structurally deficient “if load-carrying elements are in poor condition or prone to repeated flooding.

Cattaraugus County Heroin Deaths Unchanged

There’ve been more heroin deaths in Cataraugus County this year than last year, but fewer overdoses.
The county Heroin-Opioid Task Force held their final meeting of year to discuss the problem.
Eleven people have died from overdoes, that’s one more than last year with two months to go, but there haven’t been any deaths since Juen. The number of overdoses is significantly lower than 68 last year.
Hinsdale Central School District’s 2nd vote for the Revised Capital Project is tomorrow from Noon to 8pm in the lower lobby. So get out and vote and make your voice heard.
Four more indictments have been filed in the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club investigation, with national leaders being charged in a conspiracy in Erie and Cattaraugus counties.
The New York regional president of the club and president of the South Buffalo chapter, faces six federal charges. along with a chapter president in Florida and Tennessee; a chapter vice president in Florida and Tennessee; and the club’s national president.

Proposal Calls for Recording Cattaraugus County Meetings

Cattaraugus County Legislature committee meetings have always been on the record, now there’s a move to actualy record them. Lawmakers debated Wednesday over whether to make audio recordings of all committee sessions. The equimpment would cost around $5,000 which would including a permanent recorder in the large committee room at the County Center in Little Valley and a mobile recorder for the County Office Building in Olean. Recordings would be kept for a year.
The Stillhouse of Buffalo is starting to take shape in Ellicottville
A two-story building on Route 219 across from Tim Hortons will house a restaurant/bar with 54 taps.
An attached 5,000-square-foot room will brew beers and distill liquors.
The bar/restaurant and microbrewery/distillery will give jobs to about 10 to 14 people in its first year.
The restaurant/bar will feature a wood-fired and gas-fired pizza oven,
There is a second bar on the second floor, which can also be used for receptions.

Cuba Man’s Pickup Rolls On Top of Him

A Cuba man working under his truck was airlifted to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo after the pickup rolled over him. It happened on Bump Road. A neighbor saw the man under the truck and called 911; however, the man was already out from under the truck when first responders arrived.
Construction crews are working to make a right turning land and raised median on U.S. Route 219 near Peters Road. The project is expected to take three weeks to complete and cost up to $200,000.
Olean Aldermen are hoping a plan to remove trees in rights of way takes root in the next month.
The council’s city operations committee will see a new proposal at the next meeting to pay for removing trees that are a danger to the public. The finance committee talked about a plan to remove 13 trees and trim 26 others, but withdrew the $45,000 proposal.