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State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco filed suit Thursday in federal court against PVS Chemicals Inc. for discharging acid into the Buffalo River from its plant at 55 Lee St. in the city's Seneca-Babcock section.

Charging numerous violations of federal and state environmental laws, Vacco is seeking fines that could total millions of dollars. The company makes sulfuric acid and other chemicals.

"Our inspections have revealed that PVS Chemicals has released highly concentrated acidic discharges directly into the Buffalo River on more than 50 occasions," Vacco charged.

He said the acid entered discharge water from a cooling system because of "leaking pipes, broken valves, equipment failures and inadequate containment measures." He noted that the acid also contaminated an underground aquifer in the area.

Vacco also charged the company with violating air pollution laws, citing a release of sulfur dioxide gas June 19, 1996. Police and firefighters who responded to the gas release had difficulty breathing and suffered eye, nose, throat and skin irritation.

Vacco is seeking injunctions to prevent PVC Chemicals from discharging more acid into the Buffalo River and to force the company to clean up the adjacent ground and water.

The federal charges carry maximum fines of $25,000 per violation.

Amigone remodels
Harris Hill facility
The expansion and reconstruction of Amigone Funeral Home's historic Harris Hill Chapel in Clarence has been completed and the facility will officially reopen Monday.

Work on the funeral home included tripling the interior space, remodeling in a new French country decor, adding a casket selection room and increasing the size of the visitation chapels. It was done by interior designer Marjorie Parmelee and Northstar Construction of Clarence.

The property at 8440 Main St. dates back to 1828 and reportedly was part of the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape to freedom in Canada prior to the Civil War. The Amigone family purchased the property in 1969.

Amigone's reconstruction efforts, which sought to preserve the integrity of the original farmhouse while expanding the facility, won the funeral home a beautification award from the Clarence Chamber of Commerce.

The chapel will host an open house for the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Wholesale milk price
falls to 23-month low
The $12.14 per hundredweight (26.1 cents per quart) price calculated for farmers who sold their milk during June through the Western New York Milk Marketing Area dropped to its lowest level in 23 months, the monthly market report shows.

The latest price farmers received was $2.25 per hundredweight under the June 1996 price and $3.79 per hundredweight, or 8 cents per quart, below the September 1996 level.

The uniform price blends the prices farmers get for the amounts of milk sold for different purposes.

Class I or drinking milk accounted for 37.9 percent of the market and was priced at $13.74 per hundredweight, or 29.5 cents a quart.

Milk used to make cheese, butter and ice cream was valued at 25.2 cents a quart.

The 86.9 million pounds of milk had a value of $9.86 million to the 520 accredited farmers. It was the first time in the last several years that the monthly total sank below $10 million.

Don's Welding Service
marks 50th anniversary
Don's Welding Service, Inc., 6100 Transit Road, Depew, is marking its 50th anniversary this month.

The company, founded in 1947 by Donald Griffiths, performs job shop welding, automotive and radiator repairs and sweeping services. The business, which started out in the founder's garage on Transit Road, now employs 18 workers.

Jerry and Gary Griffiths, the founder's sons, run the operation.

Drivers join Teamsters
at Zoar Transportation
Truck drivers at Zoar Transportation Inc. in Springville have voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 375.

Four of the five eligible drivers voted in favor of the union in the election, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

The vote was conducted at the trucking company's site on South Cascade Drive in Springville.

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