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HINSDALE -- A teenage boy, rescued from an accidental fire Sunday that destroyed his mobile home in Winchester Estates Trailer Park, has died.

Ronald Gooley, 14, was pulled unconscious from his home by firefighters and neighbors and taken to Olean General Hospital. He later was transferred to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where he died Monday.

Gooley was a freshman at Hinsdale Central School, where students are being offered grief counseling.

Sally A. Gooley, his mother, and his brother, Justin, 11, were not home when the fire was discovered.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home at 3128 W. State St. in Olean.

State OKs Southwestern school project

WEST ELLICOTT -- Revised plans for the Southwestern Central School District's $31.5 million capital project have been approved by the state Department of Education.

Superintendent Edmund Harvey said Tuesday he had received confirmation of the approval, which means the district can rebid the project. The district delayed most of it in the middle of last year when bids came in about $6 million over budget.

Harvey pointed out the main change in the new plans involve heating for the new elementary, and middle and high schools.

Bids are scheduled to be opened March 15, and if the project comes in at or under cost, work should begin immediately.

"We are really looking at starting construction in the spring, having a full summer for construction, and basically, we're looking at completing the new elementary school by September 2002," said Harvey of the new $16.5 million facility.

The new elementary school would be constructed on the eastern side of the campus off Hunt Road, near South Allegheny Avenue.

Residents appeal sports-complex ruling

JAMESTOWN -- Martin Road residents opposed to a new sports fields complex proposed by the city school district have filed two new appeals.

The attorney for the residents, Arthur Giacalone, is disputing State Supreme Court Judge John A. Michalek's ruling last month that the district had addressed environmental concerns of the project. Giacalone said Tuesday the residents are also appealing two parts of a June 1999 ruling by State Supreme Court Judge Leo Fallon.

Giacalone said residents also believe the project will benefit private organizations instead of the general public and dispute School Board documents showing that 55,000 people annually would use the fields.

He also said his clients believe the district has not "adequately addressed" how that activity will impact the neighborhood -- especially the health of Danniel Rosen, who has autism and Down syndrome.

Utility board OKs cable contract

JAMESTOWN -- The Board of Public Utilities Tuesday approved a five-year contract with DFT Communications to lease four strands of surplus fiber-optic cable.

Board officials said DFT and its Internet-service division, Netsync, will in turn have exclusive use of the fibers they lease. Kurt Maytum, DFT's executive vice president, said the firm is looking to improve its services offered in Jamestown and the surrounding area immediately.

"Initially, services will be primarily for data, high-speed Internet type of activity, and down the road there maybe some other services that we're investigating the possibility of providing to come along in the future," said Maytum.

Funeral set for soldier killed in accident

Funeral services for Sgt. Richard M. Robak Jr., a Perry High School graduate who was killed at Fort Benning, Ga., last week, will be held this weekend in Perry.

Robak, 26, was killed during a military exercise when another soldier fired at him with a loaded assault rifle that was supposed to contain blanks.

The Army has not identified the soldier but has ruled out any criminal intent.

Born in Olean, Robak was a 1993 graduate of Perry High School. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, 98 N. Main St., Perry. Burial with full military honors will be in Glenwood Cemetery.

OK of no-tax-hike budget expected

SALAMANCA -- The City Council today is expected to adopt a tentative budget with no tax increase for the fourth consecutive year.

The tentative budget of $3.5 million includes a tax levy of $1,007,996 and calls for a tax rate of $42.74 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

If it is approved during the meeting that begins at 7:30 p.m., the Council will schedule a public hearing for next Tuesday, and may vote to adopt the new budget.

Allegany Reservation lease money due

SALAMANCA -- City residents who live on the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians have until Thursday to pay their land leases without penalty.

Residents this year will pay $630,855 to their Seneca landlords with the city paying around $58,561, a so-called shortfall between what is billed to the city and what is paid by leaseholders.

The payments are part of the 1990 Seneca Settlement Act, federal legislation that covers 40-year land leases.

Parcels acquired during the year by enrolled Senecas are deleted from the tax rolls and are not subject to lease payments. The annual lease payments are collected by the city comptroller, who will levy a 10 percent late fee after Thursday on any unpaid leases.

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