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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:23 am

Rescuers put themselves at risk to save stranded hunter in Iroquois refuge

At 4:38 p.m., Bill Schutt, Alabama fire's assistant chief, is reminded the sun sets in three minutes.

"That's what I'm worried about," he says. "It's not just light. It gets colder."

His chief is out on an island in the midst of frigid water with a hunter who became stranded in the swamps of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on a day when temperatures dipped into the teens. One firefighter, who was with the chief, is at risk of frostbite after his boots filled with water while trying to reach the hunter.

It's too risky for the firefighters to walk out, even though they've located the hunter and he's in good health.

The hunter called for help at 2:30 in the afternoon. He started hunting at 12:30. He called for help, he said later, having spent an hour in the icy waters of the swamp tracking a deer he'd shot.

"At first the water wasn't too deep," said Colin Phillips, here from Vermont to hunt. "I was hopping from island to island out there and then it started getting deeper and deeper and I'm breaking through the ice. Finally, I reached an island and went about 50 yards and I couldn't go any further. I was exhausted."

His hands were freezing because he didn't have any gloves, but was otherwise appropriately dressed for the conditions. It was so cold that after his gun got wet it jammed with ice. He couldn't even fire a shot to alert rescuers to his location.

He was found with the help of a State Police helicopter and good tracking by Alabama Chief Gary Patnode.

As sunset neared, a hovercraft from Clarence Center returned from its crew's effort to reach the stranded hunter and the two firefighters. 

The sticks and logs popped nearly ever single floatation tube from around the boat. 

One of the crew members said that when they were about halfway to the location, the boat's stern took a nosedive into the water and that's when most of the damage was done.

The crew decided to be safe and make its way back to the shore.

"We realized, it's just a machine," he said. "It can be repaired."

As the sun's light wanes outside the command center, Jim Bouton, a coordinator with the Office of Emergency Management, learns that the weather had cleared enough for the State Police helicopter to return to the scene.

The helicopter isn't really equipped to hoist people from the ground, so the plan is for the chopper to hover right on top of the ice and pull one person at a time into the craft.

Bouton relays the plan to Schutt and looks skeptical.

"We need a plan C," he says.

A little later, scene commanders learn the helicopter from the Erie County Sheriff's Office will attempt the rescue. The two-man crew can deploy a hoist.

"I'm usually the type to remain calm and I was confident enough in our resources and our fire companies that I knew we were eventually going to get out," Patnode said after he returned safely to Casey Road. "We were already working on plans B, C and D."

When the rescue effort first started, Schutt noted, it seemed straightforward enough. Dispatchers were able to provide coordinates of the stranded hunter and he wasn't too difficult to find.

But getting him out safely proved to be harder than expected.

"The amount of water they had to go through, lightly frozen over, was the problem the hunter ran into in the first place," Schutt said. "Our firefighters could not have safely gotten back because they would have had to walk back through the water."

Alabama firefighters have all recently been through wilderness rescue training and Patnode had Thompson carrying a backpack equipped with what rescuers would need in a wilderness situation.

Except for a kit to start a fire.

"If I could have started a fire, I would have," Patnode said.

The idea of a nighttime rescue in the wilderness certainly carried an innate sense of risk.

"Any time you have a helicopter operating in the dark close to trees and people, it's definitely an elevated level of danger," said Andy Merkle, who worked the scene during most of the incident as operations manager.

His job was to keep an track of all the people and resources going in so they could be accounted for coming out.

"We want to make sure we don't come up with any more victims," Merkle said.

The first person rescued was Ryan Thompson, the firefighter with the cold feet. He was fine and was out walking around after a few minutes of rehab in an ambulance.

Thompson expressed nothing but confidence in his chief and his fellow firefighters. He said he never felt like it was a desperate situation.

"I knew it was our job and they would get us out some how," Thompson said.

Phillips was the next one brought back to the command post on Casey Road.

Upon his return, the demeanor of his brother and a friend who had been pacing the road for more than two hours went from fretful to joyous.

"You go from being absolutely terrified to utter rejoicing in the matter of two hours," said friend Matthew Laflair.

Laflair had some familiarity with the swamp area and knew what firefighters were up against.

"I know how tough it is to get back there, so to see the effort is good," Laflair said. "It's impressive to see a helicopter pulling some people out of here."

Patnode was the third person airlifted out of the swamp. He was also impressed by the effort of the Erie County pilot.

"I think he went above and beyond," Patnode said. "Maybe he went out of his comfort zone doing a night rescue like that, but he got the job done."

There were two other members of the Alabama team who got stranded in the woods. They were brought out by members of the Clarence Center Fire Department who were dressed in cold-water rescue suits.

In all, volunteers from fire departments in Genesee, Orleans, Erie and Niagara counties assisted in the rescue of Phillips.

"I owe them my life," Phillps said. "If they didn't come out and get me, I'd be dead tonight. I appreciate every second of it. They're great people."

Patnode, Thompson, Schutt, all said, "this is what we do."

So what can we say about that?

"I think you say 'Thank you,' " Schutt said. "I don't know what more you can say than that.

"These guys are out here, no paycheck," Schutt added. "They've been out here in the cold for hours, but it's something you do for your community. When you're part of a volunteer fire department, somebody calls for help, you go help. It's not something you complain about. None of these guys are going to complain about being out here cold and away from home for hours."

The initial post on this incident by Billie Owens contains a lot of details in chronological order of how the rescue went down. If you haven't read it, read it.

Bill Schutt, communicating with dispatchers early in the incident.

Patnode, center of the picture, after being airlifted from the swamp.

Top photo, Colin Phillips escorted to an ambulance after being rescued.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hunter needs to be rescued from Iroquois wildlife refuge swamp

post by Billie Owens in Alabama

A hunter is reportedly stranded in the middle of the swamp in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. He called dispatch on his mobile phone seeking help and they used GPS to track his position. "He's obviously cold," and not injured, but possibly has hypothermia. The man, whose vehicle has out-of-state license plates, shot a deer and tracked it well into the swamp. He has fallen down in the swamp several times and is now chest-deep in icy water. Rescuers are staging at 968 Casey Road. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with reps from the Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service. Mercy Flight is on ground standby.

UPDATE 2:36 p.m.: The State Police helicopter is available if needed.

UPDATE 2:37 p.m.: The hunter has been tracked to "smack dab in the middle" of two large bodies of water between Casey and Feeder roads. An ATV is at the rescuers' disposal, too.

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: "I have a group of guys going in there on foot," says the Alabama fire chief. A crew from Lyndonville is requested to fill in at Alabama Station #2.

UPDATE 2:48 p.m.: Command says "Do you still have phone contact with him? Ask him to fire off one round into the air so we've got a bearing." The dispatcher replies "I'll see if he's got a whistle. ... The firearm is frozen to the point that he can't even unload it."

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: Command says "He tells dispatch he can hear something, so maybe you guys are close." They want dispatch to ask the victim "to ping his cell" -- and/or a crew member's 9-1-1 call -- so they can see if indeed they are getting close. The crew on foot has spotted fresh boot prints on the ground. The original ATV is out of commission but two more are headed to the scene. Alexander Fire Department is assembling in its hall for possible deployment of its Gator.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: The State Police Helicopter has been deployed and rescuers "have a visual on it." It is hovering just west of command. The foot crew of four firefighters is northward, in the woods west of the area between two ponds where they can now see the victim. Also, a family member of the victim is on scene.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: "We are about 80 yards away from him, we are working our way across the swamp toward him," says a member of the foot crew. Another responder asks "Is he conscious?" The reply is that he is upright. The State Police helicopter pilot says heavy lake effect show is moving in from the Northwest and he won't be able to stay in place for much longer. The visibility is very low and, besides, he could see no place to land. He provides rescuers with the exact geographic coordinates of the victim's position. A crew member reports there is solid ice around there, and they are slogging through three feet of water, and the Gator probably can't get back there. So the hovercraft from Clarence Center is called for and stand-by crews from Clarenden and Shelby.

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: Foot crew members are going to be sent back. The State Police helicopter has gone back to the hangar. Command says they have both the pilot's coordinates and compass coordinates, but it's difficult to discern where access paths may be. A crew member said they have so far gone 300 yards in knee-deep water and doubt that ATVs could be useful in that terrain. They await the hovercraft from Clarence Center.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.: "Command, he's 100 yards in front of us. He's in four feet of water."

UPDATE 3:35 p.m.: It's sounding as though the foot crew members may be in jeopardy. "We're depending on the hovercraft at this point." The ATVs won't be useful. The crew members are in three feet of water and the path, and others, are not clearly discernable. They want to see if they can get the State Police helicopter back to try and better pinpoint their location at this time for rescuers to be able to find the foot crew. But command says the weather, which prompted the helicopter to leave, is likely to prevent it from responding to the scene a second time.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: The helicopter, with zero visibility, cannot fly. A foot crew member says "We're east of (the victim). We're trying to find higher ground. We're surrounded by water." A person says to look for a path to the east and the crew member responds "We followed the path to the east all the way here," and it apparently can no longer be clearly seen. The hovercraft and the Clarence Center crew are at the ready, preparing to enter the swamp. A rescuer says the victim "is trying to work his way to us," and they are going to set up a rehab area in the vicinity.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: "We're on an island in the middle of water," says a foot crew member. It is announced that a patch of landing space to the west may be a possibility if Mercy Flight is needed and is able to fly. It remains on standby.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Command tells the now-stranded foot crew that the hovercraft crew of four, fully suited, is going to trek in and try to retrace the tracks and locate an access point for the hovercraft.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: The lost hunter and members of the foot crew have met up. The hunter "has cold hands" but otherwise seems OK. They are going to remain stationary and try to stay warm. Someone has hot packs now on his feet. One of the men is going to the edge of "the island" to try and get a visual on the rescuers looking for them.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: Dispatch says the Forest Service is on the way, with an ETA of two hours. A responder says "Could you repeat that? The hovercraft just went zipping by."

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: "The hovercraft is in the middle of the pond headed your way."

UPDATE 4:13 p.m.: There is some confusion. The hovercraft is said to be in the wrong pond. But someone says that its location is in sync with the coordinates provided.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: They have definately found a path to the stranded men. They just need "to make a plan" to get the hovercraft to them.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: "We're having some issues with the hovercraft. Is it possible to walk out?" "No, that's not possible. We walked through waist-deep water to get here." Several hunters are seen walking in the area, and someone asks if perhaps their location may provide an access point.

UPDATE 4:31 p.m.: It is determined that the Clarence Center hovercraft will not be able to do the job. "But we'll need a hovercraft of some kind." "Can a boat get in there?" "There's a land mass between two bodies of water."

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Dispatchers are contacting Erie County and the State Police, again, for aerial aid.

UPDATE 4:36 p.m.: Meanwhile, they are going to try to re-deploy the hovercraft from Clarence Center and the men are asked to listen for it. All they can do is try to stay warm and wait.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: The hovercraft is not going to work. "We're going to have to go with another plan." A total of five men, including the victim, need to be rescued and they are in two separate locations.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m. Concern at the scene grows as it is nearly dark and the weather is expected to get colder. A plan involving a helicopter is under way.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: "We're are going to send in a team for you two and then airlift the other three," command tells a stranded firefighter. "We'll sit tight," is the reply.

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: A helicopter from Erie County is on the way with a 10-minute ETA.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: A water rescue team is going to attempt to extricate the pair of men in one of the locations. The helicopter and its crew will try to get the others. The pilot asks what the condition is at the scene. There's "a few flakes in the air," but otherwise it looks good.

UPDATE 5:22 p.m.: All available manpower from Alabama Fire Department is requested to the scene's command post at Lewiston and Casey roads.

UPDATE 5:27 p.m.: "Make sure a landing zone is clearly marked in case they have to land quickly."

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: "We're hovering above but there are so many lights shining, we can't see where the victims are," says the pilot. The responders on the ground are told to shut off all lights except in the two locations were the stranded parties are.

UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: The Erie County helicopter is hovering over the ice and "will lower the basket down for the victim." A firefighter who is with the victim has a dead radio and it's not known whether they can contact him via mobile phone to let him know about the basket drop.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Dispatch is in phone contact with the firefighter who is with the victim and will remain in contact with him until the victim has been extricated.

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Dispatch is communicating now with the State Police helicopter pilot who is appearantly going to be able to return to the incident. The pilot asks about the location and is told "same spot as before but now the rescuers need rescuing." Meanwhile, the other helicopter pilot is asked whether the victim's firearm can be put aboard the helicopter with him or "will it have to be walked out?" The answer is pending.

UPDATE 5:53 p.m.: One issue has been getting wetsuits (for protecting from hypothermia) for at least two individuals needing rescue, as well as those who will be trying to get the wetsuits to them.

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: The men who were to be led out by the water rescue team are now being told they will be airlifted out. The process in either of the victims' locations is done one person at a time, thus multiple trips by the helicopter(s).

UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: "OK we're coming out. Everyone's accounted for."

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: "Alabama command -- all the men and equipment are accounted for. We're out."

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: All responders are back in service. The Alabama assignment is concluded.

Monday, November 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

Law and Order: Motorcyclist charged with DWI following accident in Basom

post by Howard B. Owens in Basom, batavia, Alabama, bergen, crime, Pavilion

Thomas Monte Carlo, 57, of Lewiston Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Carlo was apprehended by Deputy Joseph Corona following a reported one-vehicle motorcycle accident at 7:23 p.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Basom.

Matthew James Florian, 25, of Slusser Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant related to an aggravated unlicensed operation charge. Florian was stopped by State Police on Route 5, Town of Batavia, and turned over to the Sheriff's Office on a warrant. Florian was jailed on $200 bail.

Michael Scott Vanburen, 46, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unsafe backing and consumption of alcohol in a vehicle. Vanburen was arrested after he reportedly backed his 2004 Pontiac GTO out of his driveway, across the road and into a ditch at 12:27 a.m. on Saturday.

Dana Lewis Toates, 19, of Roosevelt Highway, Hilton, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21. Toates was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation and found to allegedly be in possession of alcohol.

Corey M. Vickers, 29, of Morrow Road, Pavilion, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operation and stopped on pavement. Vickers was charged after being observed by a Wyoming County deputy allegedly stopped on the roadway in the Town of Perry, outside of his vehicle, vomiting. Vickers' driving privilege was suspended after he allegedly failed to appear for a summons in the Village of Portville.

Alissa A. Fodge, 23, of Bergen, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Fodge was arrested by State Police in the Town of Barton for an alleged act reported Oct. 18. No further details released.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Car wreck at Meadville and Salt Works roads, West Alabama

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Alabama

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Meadville and Salt Works roads in West Alabama. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:22 p.m.: A responder on scene says all parties involved will be sign-offs. Two flatbed tow trucks are called.

UPDATE 5:43 p.m.: The Alabama assignment is back in service.

Friday, November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm

GCC creates new award -- Entrepreneur of the Month -- and OA grad is named for November

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, Milestones, Oakfield, Photography by Arielle

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit of its students through a new Entrepreneur of the Month program. This month, 19-year old Arielle Thompson is being recognized. Arielle graduated with an Advanced Regents diploma from Oakfield-Alabama Central School in 2012 and started her business Photography by Arielle in October 2012. She is a Liberal Arts major at GCC.

Arielle has always had an interest in photography, but wasn't able to purchase the camera she needed until after high school.

"I took a basic course with a local photographer on how to use my camera and all of the settings, but other than that I am self-taught," she says. "I like to consider myself a portrait photographer because that is what I enjoy most. I enjoy being with people and being able to create something that makes them smile."

Arielle's business was born out of necessity. Her mother, Tonya Thompson, needed Arielle to take her brother Justin's senior pictures. Though she had limited experience and knowledge about taking a portrait, Arielle did it and found that everyone loved how they turned out.

"That is when I decided to try and turn that into something, because of how excited everyone seemed to have been when they saw them," she said.

While business was slow in the beginning months, Arielle saw a significant increase in interest when the weather warmed and has been surprised at the inquiries she's received.

"I never thought I would be having so many people call and ask me to take photos of their special moments," she says. "I was even given the opportunity this past June to take photos of a wedding."

Business professor Lauren Paisley is full of praise for her student.

"Arielle is an outstanding example of a student willing to do whatever it takes to succeed," Paisley said. "GCC's Entrepreneurship program, offering the option of an associate in applied science degree or certificate, is the perfect pathway for students of all ages to pursue their dream of owning their business or launching a new product or service. Arielle is a very focused student and we are supporting her efforts in every way possible."

A President's List full-time student, Arielle also has two part-time jobs in addition to her photography business.

"Many people do not understand how I am doing all of this, but photography is my stress reliever from work and school. Many people want to sit, relax and watch TV during their down time, but I would rather be taking photos," she says.

"Her commitment to success in all her endeavors is inspiring," Paisley said.

Arielle finds inspiration from the support of family and friends and the response she's received to her photographs.

"I have never received so much support for anything I have ever done like I do with my business," she says. "It is my driving force."

Arielle currently shoots on location only, but is looking for a space to set up a small indoor/outdoor studio. People interested in contacting her can find her on Facebook at Photography by Arielle.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 12:05 am

Man suspected of firing shots at patrol vehicles Monday morning arrested

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

A 49-year-old Alabama resident is being held without bail and facing two felony charges in connection with an alleged shots-fired incident at a residence on Bloomingdale Road early Monday morning.

Reuben Lay is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and reckless endangerment, 1st, both Class D felonies. He's also charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd.

The incident began at 1:49 a.m. when dispatchers received a call from a woman on Bloomingdale Road saying she had been strangled.

As a deputy and trooper responded, she told dispatchers that her alleged assailant had gone into another room of the house and was trying to get his hands on a gun. She then reported he had the gun and had loaded it.

By the time law enforcement arrived, she was outside, in the driveway.

Shortly after the officers reported being on scene and speaking with the caller, a deputy told dispatchers, "Genesee, he just shot at my car. All units are backing out of the driveway. He just shot at the car."

A trooper then says, "We're out of there. Another gunshot."

An officer then said, "It sounds like a .22 rifle."

"They're close. They're close," said a deputy. "Wherever he's shooting from, get the --- out of there."

Minutes later, the Emergency Response Team was requested to the scene.

Because it was not a hostage situation and there was no signs of immediate danger, the ER team assembled at Batavia PD took some time making preparations to respond. About an hour later, the decision was made by the Sheriff's Office that ERT would not be needed.

We've requested more information from Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble about what happened next, but with the holiday, he has not responded to our request for more information.

Tonight, a press release about the arrest of Lay as the suspected shooter was issued by the Sheriff's Office.

Previously: Active shooter reported on Bloomingdale Road

Monday, November 11, 2013 at 3:26 am

Active shooter reported on Bloomingdale Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, crime

State Police and Sheriff's deputies are at a location on Bloomingdale Road where a person with a gun is apparently firing shots.

One officer said it sounded like a .22 rifle. Another said, "that last shot came from over by the woods, by the car."

The county's emergency response team (aka SWAT) is being dispatched.

UPDATE 2:39 a.m.: A reader who heard the start of the call said it began with the report of a domestic disturbance, with a female caller reporting the male half was threatening to kill her. A Mercy ambulance is dispatched, we believe as a precaution. Also Alabama fire is being assembled at its hall.

UPDATE 3:57 a.m. (by Billie): The ERT response is cancelled. Mercy medics and Alabama firefighters are back in service. No further information available at this time.

UPDATE 4:18 a.m.: At this point, we don't have any further information about what actually happened and how local law enforcment handled (or decided to handle) the situation. We will provide any updates that become available.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Schumer pitches STAMP to semiconductor industry executives

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, business, Charles Schumer, STAMP

Press release:

Today, in a letter to the Board of Directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), U.S. Senator Charles Schumer pitched Upstate New York as the international center for the growing semiconductor- and chip-fabrication industry. Schumer touted several Upstate locales and specifically pointed to the newest potential mega-site (1,250 acres) for chip fab, the Genesee County Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP).

Schumer highlighted the development of Upstate New York’s nanotech sites, underlining the many advantages offered by the Luther Forest Tech Campus, the Marcy Nanotech campus, and now the Genesee County STAMP site. Schumer, who recently hosted the SIA at a Capitol Hill briefing with newly elected senators, urged the 18 semiconductor industry CEOs who comprise the SIA Board to consider Upstate New York sites, including STAMP, when establishing their next semiconductor manufacturing and research facility, citing advantages like access to affordable power, and world-class research universities and proximity to a large qualified workforce.

“The STAMP site will join existing hubs like the Luther Forest Tech Campus and Marcy Nanotech campus, and will become the second semiconductor mega-site in New York State, bolstering the state’s reputation as the preeminent destination for high-tech semiconductor research, design, and development,” Schumer said.

His letter to industry leaders was released in advance of the 2013 Annual Semiconductor Industry Association Dinner, to be held on November 7th in San Jose, California, when representatives from STAMP will make a presentation to the Board of Directors to outline the advantages of the site. Representatives of other New York centers, including Marcy and Luther Forest will also be present.

Schumer continued, “Thanks to decades of joint public-private investments in infrastructure and education, and a talented workforce, Upstate New York is the number-one place to establish semiconductor manufacturing in the nation. The promise of the Genesee County STAMP site only adds to New York’s reputation as fertile ground for high-tech and, specifically, semiconductor manufacturing. Simply put: the high-tech manufacturing sector has the potential to remake Western New York and the entire Upstate economy, delivering a new generation of middle-class jobs. It has already begun in the Capitol District, is spreading to Utica, and is poised to take-off in Western New York, too.

"Upstate New York’s proximity to transportation and energy networks, its access to the creativity and large workforces of major metropolitan cities, and its world-class technology and engineering universities are exactly what the semiconductor industry needs to ensure national and global success – and I made that known to the CEOs of the leading companies.”

In his letter, Schumer highlighted the unique advantages various Upstate New York State sites, including Genesee County’s STAMP site, provide to the semiconductor industry. The industry has benefited from the State’s advanced transportation networks, industrial infrastructure, and utilities at its other leading semiconductor sites. Schumer explained that the STAMP site would continue with this trend, offering close access to Interstate-90, high-capacity electric transmission lines, a large-scale high-pressure gas line, and the New York Power Authority’s hydropower low-cost electricity zone.

These assets ensure that the semiconductor factory would receive robust utility capacity, redundancy, and reliability at competitive prices, in some cases at a 75-80 percent market discount. The STAMP site is also situated between the Rochester and Buffalo metropolitan areas, which contain international airports, active customs stations, and a 2.1 million workforce population.

Last year, Schumer successfully advocated on behalf of STAMP by calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide necessary wetlands permit assurances so that STAMP’s developers could advance the site’s development and begin marketing the site to prospective tenants. Schumer has also taken a lead advocacy role for the semiconductor industry in the 113th Congress, which has led to the passage of major immigration reform legislation and a long-term reauthorization of the federal helium reserve, a critical lifeline for semiconductor manufacturers.

The growth of the semiconductor industry in Upstate New York has also been encouraged by the region’s strong research and educational base. The State is home to some of the world’s leading technology and engineering universities, including the University of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University at Buffalo, the University of Rochester, and Cornell University — all of which are spearheading efforts in research, commercialization, workforce development, and collaboration in the high-tech and semiconductor fields.

Schumer called on the SIA companies to consider the advantages offered by the New York’s high-tech resources, and mega-sites like STAMP primed for development, when choosing the location of their next chip fab. Schumer noted that the long-term development of the STAMP site would bring long-lasting, stable jobs to New York and make the region a hub of high-tech manufacturing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

Possible chimney fire on Martin Road on the reservation

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, east pembroke, fire, indian falls

A possible chimney fire is reported at 368 Martin Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The house is filled with smoke Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from East Pembroke and Indian Falls. Akron is put on standby. The location is between Bloomingdale Avenue and Erie County's Scotland Road.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: A firefighter on scene reports the fire is contained to the fireplace, and they will need equipment to tear into it in an effort to keep it contained.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Akron is told they can stand down.

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: East Pembroke and Indian Falls are on scene along with Alabama.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m.: The fire is out. Alabama command and other responders are back in service.

Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Car crash at Judge Road and Route 77, no injuries but it's blocking traffic

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Alabama

A two-car accident is reported at Judge Road and Route 77 in Alabama. There are said to be no injuries but it is blocking traffic. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with law enforcement.

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy on scene reports there are three vehicles involved.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: There is a minor injury -- a hand laceration.

UPDATE 12:17 p.m.: Mercy medics are called to respond in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: Alabama command cancels the medical response.

UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: One of the Alabama units called is standing down, another is on scene.

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