New York state briefs

Staff reports

Man dies after fall at concert

HOPEWELL — The man who died after a fall at the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center during the Allman Brothers Band/Rat Dog concert Friday night has been identified as 49-year-old James Hoey of Fairport.

Mr. Hoey apparently tripped as he was walking under the shell near the second entrance on the side closest to the wooden foot bridge. Witnesses told Inv. Jackie Falkey that he “went to bring his hands up to catch his fall,” but was too late; his face struck concrete steps.

Falkey said Mr. Hoey suffered from diabetes, and it was unclear if his death was a result of the fall or a complication from the disease or a combination of the two. Investigators are still awaiting results of an autopsy, including the toxicology report.

Mr. Hoey was at the concert with his wife, Kathleen, and their friends. He had left his seat to look for friends elsewhere at the concert just before he fell, at about 9:30 p.m., Falkey said.

Most concertgoers were unaware of tragedy unfolding in their midst. The Allman Brothers Band had just taken the stage when Mr. Hoey fell. A few concertgoers who saw what happened rushed to his aid, including a doctor. While the ambulance was on its way, emergency crews performed CPR on Mr. Hoey.

Suffering from a facial injury, Mr. Hoey was rushed to Thompson Hospital.

Steuben County Legislature to honor DPW work in Iraq

BATH — The recent efforts of Steuben County employees to help rebuild war-torn Iraq will be recognized by the county Legislature when it meets in regular session Tuesday.

In a form of shared services on a global level, the county public works department developed the plan now being used to build highways, bridges and other infrastructure in Baghdad Province, Iraq.

The plan was drawn up after U.S. Army Lt. Col. Gerald Messmer contacted his brother, county Highway Engineer Pete Messmer, to ask for ideas.

The U.S. Army top brass office had been stymied in their attempts to design a successful civil services department program to rebuild roads and bridges in the war-battered province.  More than a dozen plans had been rejected by the multi-national Corps-Iraq engineers when the colonel called his brother.

Within five days, Public Works Commissioner Vincent Spagnoletti and his staff produced a 30-page document, and added a separate section on municipal utilities by Neal Wrinkle, former director of Bath Electric Gas and Water System.

The county model now forms the basis of public works operations in the province, which is only 200-square-miles larger than Steuben’s 1,409-square-mile area.

Wind developers interested in Alfred

ALFRED — At least one wind developer is eyeing Alfred for a potential building site.

 Keith Pitman, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Wind Energy from Oneida, said his company is interested in developing a wind project in Alfred.

“We only want to build projects in communities that want us there,” he said.

According to Pitman, his company would like to move forward with a preliminary design phase and start finalizing plans to approve the project’s start.

He said that any type of large-scale wind project would take a year or two before it gets to the building point.

Pitman told the board that he would seek to hire local workers for the project and during the construction phase it would provide a large influx of jobs to the community.

Pitman said a number like 200 turbines would be too many but thinks that smaller numbers like 35 or so are more realistic.

Empire State Wind Energy was co-founded by Alfred State College alum Tom Golisano. He is the chairman of the company.