Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins’ response to the Union-Sun & Journal's recent editorial (Aug. 11):

My bill would restore New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights and doesn’t supersede states’ rights.

I do believe in States' rights, the need for local control and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing state rights. However, I want your readers to know my steadfast belief that states like New York should not have the ability to take away the Constitutional rights of their citizens. Under no circumstances should these basic rights be denied, and federal action is warranted in a situation where a state is infringing on the rights of any American.

The Constitution is the law of the land, and the Founding Fathers produced a document with a clear vision regarding Second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment can only be interpreted one way, and that is it guarantees that Americans have the right to own a firearm.

My proposed legislation, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), has sparked a needed conversation about the Second Amendment rights granted to Americans in the Constitution. In 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act infringed upon the rights of law-abiding New Yorkers by instituting strict rifle and shotgun regulations. As you pointed out, these regulations were put in place purely for political purposes.

SAGA focuses specifically on protecting Second Amendment rights, and in no way is taking away the rights of states. When a state crosses the line and starts to implement regulations that are in stark contrast to the basic rights given to Americans, action needs to be taken. That is exactly why I am proposing my law to rein in the unconstitutional policies that Cuomo forced into law.

Cuomo overstepped with the SAFE Act, and my proposal to repeal much of the law has had a great deal of support. SAGA isn’t hypocritical; it is a sincere effort to bring back the freedoms given to New Yorkers by our Constitution when it comes to owning a firearm. Law abiding citizens should not be punished because of onerous and unconstitutional state regulations.

It is my duty as an elected representative to make sure my constituents are protected, and that includes protecting the basic rights granted to them in the Constitution. The SAFE Act only curbed the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding New Yorkers, instead of providing them with a safer place to live as promised by the governor.

The SAFE Act has done nothing to help our communities and has only taken away our freedoms. It is time we end this disastrous law for all New Yorkers and revert back to what the Founding Fathers intended for our nation.

See related: Collins proposes new measures for protecting Second Amendment rights

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, government, education.

Press release:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signed legislation putting into place additional protections for students and expanding anti-tampering laws. The legislation prohibits unlawful alteration of any official student record in any primary, intermediate, high school or college in the state.

"These records can set the course for a student's entire future and New York must make every effort to protect their integrity and privacy," Cuomo said. "With this law, we are ensuring protections under the law keep pace with our evolving education system and authorities have the tools they need to protect New Yorkers."

The prior law prohibited the unlawful altering of grades, credits and awards on a student's record. However, other records that are now commonplace – including test results, disciplinary proceedings, and disability determinations – are not covered. This bill, (S.5273-A/A. 2093-B), makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly alter any official student record. Additionally, those certified or licensed by the State Education Department who are found to be in violation of this new law would be subject to further disciplinary action.

"This new law will help preserve the private nature of a student's official record, allowing young New Yorkers and their families to rest assured that their information and records are protected,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan. “I’m proud to have sponsored this bill, and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation into law."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Pike, heroin.

Richard Gargula, 34, of Pike, was charged Aug. 11 with: tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor; and driving while ability impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, both as misdemeanors. Following a traffic stop on Shearing Road, Gainesville, Gargula is accused of driving with a suspended license. During the stop he was asked to perform field sobriety testing, which he allegedly failed. Additionally, deputies say he was found to be in possession of suspected cocaine and heroin. After being evaluated by a drug recognition expert, who determined him to be impaired by multiple drug categories. Also during the stop, Gargula allegedly attempted to conceal evidence by getting out of his car and tossing suspected cocaine inside a nearby residence. He was arraigned in the Village of Warsaw Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. He is due in court at a later date.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, accident, Genesee Falls.

Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of a car-versus-motorcycle accident on Route 19A at Denton Corners Road, Genesee Falls, Sunday evening.

According to reports, Royal E. Bailey, 77, was stopped at a stop sign on Denton Corners Road and turned his vehicle right onto Route 19A into the lane of an oncoming motorcycle.

The bike, driven by 32-year-old Jeremy M. Mellin, of Hume, was forced off the road after colliding with Bailey’s car.

While Bailey nor Mellin was injured in the accident, Mellin’s passenger was ejected from the motorcycle. The victim was taken to Wyoming County Community Hospital, then transferred to ECMC, Buffalo, via Mercy Flight for a back injury.

Bailey was ticketed with failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign. He is due in the Town of Genesee Falls Court Aug. 23.

During the investigation, deputies say Mellin was driving without a motorcycle license. Additionally, he was asked to perform field sobriety testing, which he allegedly failed. 

Mellin also refused to submit to a breath test at the scene.

He was taken into custody and charged with driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle, and refusal of a breath test -- roadside prescreen device.

He was arraigned in the Town of Genesee Falls Court where his license was suspended for refusal to submit to a chemical test.

He is due in the Town of Genesee Falls Court Sept. 12. Mullin is also scheduled for a Department of Motor Vehicle Refusal hearing at the Batavia Town Hall Sept. 15.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing and further charges are possible.

Assisting at the scene were the New York State Police, New York State Park Police, Pike and Nunda fire departments, Medic 80, Mercy Flight, and Barber’s Automotive.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Pike Fair, Pike, firefighters.

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A couple hundred firefighters from 38 fire departments from Wyoming and surrounding counties, of which 19 hail from Wyoming County, showed off their finest at the annual Fireman's Parade Tuesday night at the Pike Fair. 

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Pike Fair, Pike, Wyoming County Fair.

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A throng of spectators lined Main and Water streets Monday night for the Wyoming County Fair Grand Parade. 

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Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Perry.

Burke M. Hawkins, 53, of Perry, was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Hawkins was arrested Aug. 10 following an investigation into allegations of him picking up prescriptions for his wife after she had passed away. Perry Police say he picked up hydromorphone, diazepam, and alprazolam from the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Perry. He was arraigned in the Village of Perry Court and sentenced to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 cash bail until his court date Sept. 12.

Joey M. Safford, 48, of Perry, was charged Aug. 10 with displaying a forged inspection sticker. Safford was arrested after Perry Police allegedly found him driving a vehicle with an alleged forged inspection sticker. He is due in the Village of Perry Court Sept. 5.

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, arts, ACWC, announcements.

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Information sourced from a press release, photo submitted

The Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) is hosting a homecoming of its 2017 poet-in-residence, writer and poet Luke Daly. The poet-in-residence program includes readings, workshops, writing of new works, and a poem trail to debut next April.

Daly is deeply rooted in Wyoming County, having grown up in the Silver Lake area and graduating from Perry High School.

The 2017 ACWC theme, “Close to Home” inspired Pilar McKay, associate director of the organization, to reach out to Daly, as they both attended Perry Central School together before they went into the arts.

“Writing helps to clarify thoughts, work through emotions positive and negative, and writing connects us through the sharing of stories,” McKay said. “In order to cultivate literary skills in our area, I thought bringing Luke back home would be a great opportunity for us to learn from someone from here.”

After High School, Daly went to college at SUNY Fredonia for both English and Psychology and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato. While at Minnesota State, he studied Creative Writing and Poetry.

In addition to being a published writer, he teaches at Daemon College, SUNY Fredonia, and has been an artist-teacher at the Just Buffalo Literary Center.

This four-part program will include readings of Daly’s work, hosting workshops, commissioning Daly to write poetry inspired by Wyoming County, and creating a place-based poem trail that will publish a poem on landscapes.

Daly, along with the ACWC, is also looking for artists interested in collaborating in creating large outdoor art works that incorporate a word or phrase from one of the Wyoming County inspired poems. Additionally, they are also looking for places throughout the county to host these pieces of art – about a dozen in all – for the poem trail, which launches in April for National Poetry Month.

Scheduled workshops include:

    • Aug. 21: Expression 101 at the Warsaw Public Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.;

    • Aug. 23: Botanical Rhythms at Creekside Fabrics, Quilts, and Yarns, Main Street, Arcade from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.;

    • Aug. 26: Atomic Metaphors at ACWC, Main Street, Perry, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and

    • Aug. 26 with “Wyoming County: Works in Progress,” including works inspired by people and places in the county, at the ACWC from 7 to 8 p.m.

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Press release:

In the aftermath of the violent and deadly events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation allowing prosecutors to increase penalties against those who make bomb threats against community centers.

This legislation was in direct response to the significant number of bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers in New York and across the country.

"These despicable acts spread fear and terror across entire communities, and by signing this measure, we will give law enforcement more tools to prosecute hate-mongers and treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve," Cuomo said. "The horrific events in Charlottesville this weekend demonstrate that now, more than ever, we must stand united against bias and hate in all of its forms and this new law is one more step toward a more just and more equal New York for all."

Although, according to Sheriff Greg Rudolph, there have not been any threats made against community centers in Wyoming County, this legislation will make it clear that individuals that falsely make bomb threats to a community center can be charged with a public order offense which is, at a minimum, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Previously, this charge pertained to offenses that took place on highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds, and hallways, lobbies and other portions of, apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence. This bill (A.7198A/S.5512) expands that list to include community centers.

"We should not tolerate acts of racism or hatred or those cowards who make unfounded threats on community spaces,” said Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “This legislation clarifies and extends the penalties for these appalling actions. Cracking down on threats to public spaces will create a greater sense of security and safety for our children and our families. I am pleased that Gov. Cuomo took swift action in signing this bill into law."

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:40 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Pike Fair, agriculture, events.

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It was a pleasant start to the Wyoming County Fair this weekend.

Before getting ready for the Grand Parade at 7 p.m. check out the midway, vendors and animal displays.

For more information and a listing of events visit http://www.wyomingcountyfair.org/

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Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, arts.

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Tommy Tinker was a scoundrel. He hadn’t started out that way but fast-paced city living changed the small-town country boy and he died a scoundrel.

Or so they thought.

This is the opening of the musical performance of “A Tinker’s Tale” during the second annual Silver Lake Experience in Perry.

Written by local authors Jim and Jeanne Morey, the story is based loosely on the life of Robert LeRoy Ripley. The musical was produced by Josh Rice and directed by Chad Bradford, both founding members of the theater company Shake on the Lake in Perry.

“We were looking for a place to stay in March to get away from the snowflakes,” Jim said. “We went to a few places in Florida and Georgia and we ended up in St. Augustine (Fla.) and went to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. When we came out of there we thought what a quirky, interesting guy he was and wondered why no one had written a musical based on his life. He had such an interesting life and so we said, ‘All right. Let’s do it.’ “

That was about seven years ago.

However, after learning that it would cost a couple of million to buy the rights from the Ripley estate, “A Tinker’s Tale” was born.

Jim and Jeanne are no strangers to the theater. Jim, a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Modern Drama, had been in the advertising business, writing and producing commercial music for radio and television. One such jingle was even written for Batavia Downs “years and years ago.”

Jeanne was in theater in high school and college and after she had retired, decided to try out for a role in Genesee Community College’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I got the role of Nurse Ratched and I had the time of my life,” Jeanne said.

Her role in the production put her in contact with Maryanne Arena, a Theater professor at the college. In turn, she had asked if she would be interested in reading the play and working with them to refine the work. The couple worked with both Arena and Rice. After looking over their notes, Rice had asked the Moreys if they could put together an hour-long production of the play.

“I think one of the exciting things is having half the cast being professionals,” Jeanne said. “Because when Jim and I were writing -- this is a full-length play -- he said we didn’t have enough jokes, but because I have done theater work, I told him we needed to depend on the actors to bring themselves into the part and see what they do with it.

“That was the fun part, to see the life they breathed into them.”

Tommy Tinker, a cartoonist from a small town in Ohio, made his way to New York City. As the story unfolds, Tinker finds himself developing and growing in his career and he decides he wants to do something different with his life so he creates Tink’s Incredible Kingdom – a show of misfits and incredible oddities. Over time, he gets sort of cocky and begins to exploit the people who are making him successful.

His montage of misfits got tired of being exploited and band together to go against him. However, on the way to start a career in television Tinker has a “heart attack” in his car and “dies.”

Thursday’s performance featured just 16 of the 36 songs in the musical. Jim was even able to work with the composer he had worked with in the ’60s and ‘70s. Although they had worked on the play sporadically for the past seven years, they completed composing and recording all 36 songs in one year.

“We needed a composer and I wanted to work with the guy I had in the past,” Jim said. “He is living in South Carolina so it was all done long distance.”

“It was interesting to see the progression of the characters,” Jeanne said. “What an empty spot we will have because where the characters were just figments of our imagination in our head, they are now flesh and blood before us and now they are gone. Seeing it live brings a reality to it.”

In the end, the play is about a boy who rides a wave of good, to exploiting the people who have helped him along the way, to his untimely “demise.” Those who he’s exploited end up missing him and become relieved when they find out he isn’t dead.

“The boy makes good but leaves some corpses along the way,” Jim said. “In the end, it’s about reconciliation.”

And the underlying theme is about diversity – accepting people for who they are, Jeanne says.

However, the production in Silver Lake was just a sampling of the play. A full performance is anticipated at GCC next April, tying it into the college’s 50th anniversary.

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Friday, August 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

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In September a fundraising committee was formed. By March they had raised close to $63,000. And in May, the Stevens Memorial Library in Attica was awarded $303,233 in funding for construction projects and upgrades to the building.

With construction looming on the horizon, Library Director Nancy Burns, members of the fundraising committee, local dignitaries, and community members gathered for a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday at the facility.

See related: Big changes in store at Stevens Memorial Library in Attica

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, agriculture, 4-H, announcements.

Press release:

Legislation is currently being debated in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that would lower the tax burden for students involved in 4-H programs and provide them with an opportunity to invest their earnings in future projects, college funds, or savings accounts. Congressman Chris Collins released the following statement, in which he highlighted his support for the bipartisan legislation titled the Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017.

“4-H programs offer constructive ways for students to expand their knowledge of agriculture and animal sciences,” Collins said. “With agriculture being the largest industry in New York’s 27th Congressional District, those who participate in local 4-H programs will soon be amongst the primary contributors to Western New York’s economy. For this reason alone, it’s critically important that incentives are set in place that will drive up participation and spread awareness of 4-H programs.”

If signed into law, the Act would create a tax exemption for the first $5,000 of revenue earned by students 18 years old or younger from either the sale of livestock or agriculture projects completed through 4-H or Future Farmers of America programs. In effect, it will eliminate the tax-filing burden for eligible students and allow them to invest their earnings in future projects or college funds.

“Plain and simple, the Student Agriculture Protection Act is an investment in the next generation of American farmers. This bill will have a direct and positive impact on New York’s 27th Congressional District and will ensure the U.S. remains the world leader in agriculture. As a proud cosponsor, I will continue my advocacy in support of this legislation to ensure it is put up for a vote on the House Floor.”

For more information on H.R. 1626, the Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017, click here.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Sports, hunting.

Press release:

New hunters and trappers planning to go afield this season must first complete a mandatory hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education course before obtaining the appropriate sporting license or hunting privilege, says New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos.

With state licenses now on sale, first-time hunters and trappers are encouraged to sign up for courses, as they fill quickly. Each year, more than 45,000 New Yorkers take DEC's hunter and trapper education courses.

"Hunting and trapping are proud traditions in New York State that continue to be safely enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors each year and hunting opportunities have never been better," Seggos said. "DEC's Sportsman Education Program is effective in producing safe, ethical hunters, and we are grateful to the volunteer instructors that serve as the backbone to deliver our program. I encourage all prospective hunters to sign up early for one of the hundreds of courses offered all across New York."

DEC works closely with thousands of dedicated DEC-certified instructors statewide to provide these training courses free of charge. Courses are offered for Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education, and Waterfowl Hunter Education.

DEC's online registration system makes it easy to view a list of all available courses with the student's proximity to course locations. Students can register from any device 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Courses are added continuously throughout the year. To locate a nearby hunter or trapper education course click here or call (716)372-0645.

All courses require students to review course materials and complete a homework sheet prior to attending the classroom and field session. The homework portion of the course provides an introduction to the subject and enhances the students' understanding of the course material. Proof of the completed homework is required to attend the course.

Students should register for the course well in advance of the course date in order to allow time to complete the homework requirement, which takes approximately three hours. All courses will require successful completion of an in-person field day to earn certification.

Access to the homework materials and online homework options can be found by clicking here or follow the guidelines listed in the various course announcements when you register.

Actual course manuals and homework sheets are always available from DEC wildlife offices and sportsman education instructors.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Warsaw, WCCH.

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Press release, photo submitted.

In October 2015, Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCHS) received approval from the New York State Department of Transportation for $37,527 in grant funding for the purchase of a vehicle with wheelchair and occupant restraint system. The vehicle is essential to transport health system patients and residents to medical appointments and community outings, and on July 25, the long‑awaited bus was delivered.

The funding was made available under the Federal Transit Administration's Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program. The bus has a seating capacity for four passengers and three wheelchairs and will improve accessibility and mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities where public transit services are unavailable, insufficient or inappropriate.

Skilled Nursing Facility residents and Adult Day Health Care registrants are extremely excited to have the new bus in time to go to the Wyoming County Fair, hospital officials say. It will also be used to transport residents to other special activities such as visits to local parks, scenic tours, watching the Warsaw Fourth of July parade, and more. The new bus allows WCCHS to provide the best quality of life for its residents and give them the opportunity to connect with the community.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Sports, hunting, DEC.

Press release:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced the release of a draft New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan for public comment.

The plan describes proposed regulatory changes and actions that DEC will take to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) entering or spreading in New York. It was designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.

DEC biologists worked with the State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets veterinarians and wildlife health experts at Cornell University to craft a comprehensive set of steps that are the most advanced CWD prevention strategies in the nation.

"New York is leading the way in protecting our valuable deer and moose herds," Seggos said. "Not only does this horrible disease kill animals slowly, but wild white-tailed deer hunting represents a $1.5 billion industry in the state.

"Our CWD Risk Minimization Plan is in the best interest of all of us who care about wildlife and especially about the health of our wild white-tail deer herd. Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo's commitment to high-quality hunting opportunities in New York also supports our taking action now to prevent a serious problem down the road."

Disease prevention is the only cost-effective way to keep CWD out of New York. Together with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York is using cutting-edge science and common sense to ensure that everything possible is done to protect the state's herds from CWD.

"The Department's veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians were responsible for the early detection of New York's only CWD incident and played critical roles in the response to the discovery of CWD in 2005,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

“Our staff continue to work hard to control the risk of this serious disease and maintain our early detection system. This plan will further support these efforts to protect our wildlife."

CWD, an always fatal brain disease found in species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County’s wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 47,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there has been no reoccurrence of the disease since 2005. New York is the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio, and two Canadian provinces.

CWD was first identified in Colorado in 1967 and is caused by infectious prions, which are misfolded proteins that cannot be broken down by the body's normal processes. They cause holes to form in the brain. Prions are found in deer parts and products including urine and feces; they can remain infectious in soil for years and even be taken up into plant tissues. It is in the same family of diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as "mad cow" disease in cattle.

Millions of cattle were destroyed because of mad cow disease in England and Europe in the 1990s and the disease also caused a fatal brain condition in some humans that ate contaminated beef products. Although there have been no known cases of CWD in humans, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that no one knowingly eat CWD-positive venison.

The proposed plan would streamline operations between DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and strengthen the state's regulations to prevent introduction of CWD.

Some examples of the proposed changes include:

    • Prohibit the importation of certain parts from any CWD-susceptible cervid taken outside of New York. Require that these animals be deboned or quartered and only the meat, raw hide or cape, and cleaned body parts, such as skull cap, antlers, jaws, and teeth, or finished taxidermy mounts be allowed for import into the state;

    • Prohibit the retail sale, possession, use, and distribution of deer or elk urine and any products from CWD-susceptible animals that may contain prions, including glands, or other excreted material while allowing New York captive cervid facilities to continue to export deer urine outside of the State;

    • Maintain and reinforce the prohibition on the feeding of wild deer and moose in New York State;

    • Provide DEC Division of Law Enforcement the necessary authority to enforce Department of Agriculture and Market's CWD regulations;

    • Explore possible penalties or charges to defray costs associated with the removal of escaped cervids from the environment or the response to disease outbreaks;

    • Require all taxidermists and deer processors (people who butcher deer for hire) to dispose of cervid waste and waste byproducts in compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 360, such as in a municipal landfill;

    • Promotion of improved fencing methods for captive cervids to further prevent contact with wild deer or moose;

    • Partner with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to enhance captive cervid testing while continuing DEC's rigorous surveillance testing in hunter-harvested deer;

    • Improve record keeping and data sharing between departments through joint inspections of captive cervid facilities, electronic reporting, and animal marking;

    • Improve handling requirements, record keeping, and disease testing of wild white-tailed deer temporarily held in captivity for wildlife rehabilitation; and

    • Develop a communication plan and strategy to re-engage stakeholders, including captive cervid owners and the public, in CWD risk minimization measures and updates on CWD research.

The New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan has had extensive outreach and vetting by sporting groups in the state to address the concerns of myriad stakeholders while maintaining the strength of purpose to protect the public and the environment. The plan updates reporting requirements, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting our natural resources.

The draft plan is available for public review on the DEC website

Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through Sept. 1. Comments can be submitted via email at wildlife@dec.ny.gov, subject: CWD Plan or by writing to NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany 12233-4754.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) supports President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will declare a national emergency on opioid abuse:

“I stand with President Trump in recognizing the extreme severity of the opioid crisis in America and applaud the steps being taken to find solutions to this devastating problem. Far too many lives have been lost and we have seen firsthand the tragedy that so many families in Western New York and across America face.”

Collins is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee that crafted the 21st Century Cures Act, which provided $1 billion in grants to address the crisis. Of those funds, $25.3 million was awarded to New York State. In May 2016, Collins voted in favor of 18 bills that address addiction among our veterans, to babies infected with this disease, to current pain management best practices.

“I applaud (New Jersey) Gov. (Chris) Christie and his team for their diligent work in finding solutions for treatment and prevention. Opioid addiction can impact anyone, and we will continue to combat this crisis as a team because more needs to be done."

As a member of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees, Collins has participated in six subcommittee hearings discussing the government and states responses to the crisis, fentanyl, and professional and academic perspectives.

For more information on the work of the Energy and Commerce Committee on opioids, click here.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Kevin M. Johnson, 32, of Gainesville, was charged Aug. 8 with: driving while intoxicated as a felony due to a previous conviction within 10 years; circumventing an ignition interlock device; aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree; and speed exceeding 55 mph. Johnson was stopped on Route 238, Attica, for allegedly speeding. During the investigation, Troopers say they detected an odor of alcohol, subsequently field sobriety testing was conducted as well as a breath test. His BAC was allegedly .08 percent. He is due in the Town of Attica Court Aug. 21.

Michael S. Slocum, 29, of Silver Springs, was charged Aug. 8 with: driving while intoxicated as a felony due to a previous conviction within 10 years; circumventing an interlock device; aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the first degree; drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway; moving from lane unsafely; and unlawful possession of marijuana. Troopers responded to a vehicle in a ditch on Wethersfield Road, Gainesville, in which Slocum allegedly appeared to be intoxicated. Additionally, Troopers say a small bag of marijuana was found. He was given field sobriety testing, which he is said to have failed. He was taken to the State Police barracks in Warsaw for processing where his BAC was allegedly recorded at .17 percent. He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond.

Matthew J. Wesolowski, 23, of Cowlesville, was charged Aug. 6 with driving while ability impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. State Troopers say they responded to a 9-1-1 call of someone screaming and a loud bang on Church Road in the Town of Bennington. When police arrived on the scene they located a vehicle in a ditch. Troopers say the driver, Wesolowski, allegedly appeared to be under the influence of drugs and a small bag of marijuana was found in the vehicle. He was given field sobriety tests, which police say he failed and taken to State Police barracks in Warsaw. He was evaluated by a drug recognition expert and charged with the above offenses. He is due in the Town of Bennington Court Aug. 14.

Nicholas J. Kinmartin, 31, of Arcade, was charged Aug. 9 with 20 counts of petit larceny. Troopers say Kinmartin was seen on video approximately 17 times shoplifting merchandise from the 7-Eleven, Route 16, Yorkshire. The value of the items he allegedly stole was approximately $1,438. He was processed at the State Police barracks in Machias and released. He is due in the Town of Yorkshire Court later this month.

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