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Young says new state budget is "taxpayer-friendly..."
Chautauqua County's State Senator says the $142-billion budget adopted by the legislature has many good points... including the fact it's "taxpayer-friendly." Olean Republican Cathy Young voted in favor of the spending plan... negotiated by Governor Cuomo and leaders of the Senate and Assembly. Young says the spending plan meets many of the spending and tax-goals the Senate Majority had set. That includes hold down the growth in spending to less than 2-percent. She adds they were also able to save the Basic, and Enhanced STAR Program. Public school education was another major focus of the 2015-16 spending plan... and, Young says she was pleased to see the near-complete elimination of the "Gap Elimination Adjustment" for school systems in her Senate District. The GEA was put in place in 2009 when New York state began running multi-billion dollar budget shortfalls. It diverted money from education to be used elsewhere in the spending plan. She says eliminating 95-percent of that in local districts was "a major victory."
New York lawmakers have passed a $142 billion state spending plan that includes new spending on schools, changes in teacher evaluations and new ethics disclosure rules for lawmakers. The Senate passed the budget late Tuesday night and the Assembly wrapped up early Wednesday morning, just after the start of a new state fiscal year. Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos praised the budget's $1.4 billion increase in school funding. Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted investments in the upstate economy and new ethics rules that will require lawmakers to disclose more about income from their outside jobs. Rank-and-file lawmakers were less impressed, with even some supporters saying the budget was put together behind closed doors and then rushed through with little time for them _ or the public _ to review the details.
New York lawmakers have approved legislation to overhaul statewide teacher evaluations, which would require firing those found ineffective three years in a row. The state Senate's 36-26 approval of the budget measure followed complaints by several minority Democrats that poverty, not teachers, is the underlying problem for the troubled schools in the state. Supporters note the legislation increased overall state aid to public schools by $1.4 billion to $23.5 billion. The Assembly's 72-54 approval followed criticism by several of that chamber's minority Republicans that there was little time to consider the voluminous budget bills, some printed only hours earlier.
The new teacher evaluations will be based partly on student test scores. Another portion will be based on classroom observation of teachers by a school administrator and by an independent evaluator.
State Senator Cathy Young says lawmakers are now in the process of adopting a "fiscally responsible state budget" that controls spending, monumentally increases school aid... and, reduces the tax burden to help create jobs and grow the economy. Young says it's the fifth-straight year the state will have an on-time spending plan. The Olean Republican adds it will include many initiatives that make the state a more affordable place to live, work and do business. Young says the budget lives within a 2-percent spending cap... and, rejects unaffordable tax increases. She adds the Senate GOP has "led the charge" to boost school aid. As a result... she says the budget will provide schools with a 1.4-billion dollar increase in overall school aid, and includes another dramatic reduction in the Gap Elimination Adjustment. Young adds the final budget will provide a more than 50 percent reduction in the GEA... and, puts in place enough progress for full elimination next year. She adds there will also be meaningful property tax relief by providing "larger" property tax freeze rebate checks... and, recipients of the STAR and Enhanced STAR programs will continue to see tax relief. Elimination of the Energy Tax Surcharge will also be accelerated.
It's officially Spring... but, a quick moving storm system in Pennsylvania brought mid-Winter like conditions yesterday morning in the Jamestown-area. We may see a little more snow this morning... but, the system that dropped 2-to-3 inches moved out by mid-afternoon Tuesday. Forecaster Steve Welch of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the greatest amounts were in the higher elevations near the Pennsylvania state line. Welch says we will get a break from this colder than normal weather pattern on Thursday. Welch says most areas will see temperatures between 60 and 65 Thursday... with some rain moving in Thursday night. However... Welch says don't get out your shorts just yet... another cool down is on the way for the weekend.
A Russell, Pennsylvania woman is being treated for non-life threatening injuries after she lost control on slushy road conditions in the town of Kiantone... and, her car rolled onto it's roof. Sheriff's officers say 56 year-old Marcia Wilkins was southbound on Route 62 about 11 AM Tuesday morning... when her car skidded and struck a guard rail. Deputies say Wilkins' vehicle then overturned. She was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. Sheriff's officers were assisted at the scene by State Police... and, the Kiantone and Frewsburg Fire Departments. No charges were filed.
The Chautauqua County jail population's overcrowding situation has stabilized for now. However... Sheriff Joe Gerace says it will likely be increasing sometime in the near future. Gerace says he can't wait for a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to begin meeting. He says County Executive Vince Horrigan has been working to get all of the stakeholders together. Besides involving all of the usual groups in the county's criminal justice system... Gerace says they are reaching out to some other organizations... including not-for-profits. He says they could help in providing "alternatives to incarceration." Gerace says the jail population reached an all time high last fall, and, about 30 inmates had to be boarded out to other jails. He's hoping that the council will come up with some recommendations that could avoid this practice.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned non-essential, state-funded travel to Indiana after that state adopted a religious freedom law critics say opens the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians. The Democratic governor announced the ban Tuesday, saying it shows the state stands by ``our LBGT family members, friends and colleagues.'' The ban will apply to all state agencies -- including its public universities and colleges -- and means they wouldn't be able to participate in athletic or academic events in Indiana. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a similar travel ban on Monday. State Republican Chairman Ed Cox dismissed Cuomo's move as a ``stunt'' and said that if he wants to take a stand for human rights he should cancel a trip to Cuba planned for next month.
The state Attorney General has announced a settlement with the National Junior College Athletic Association to eliminate a rule adopted in 2012 that limited sports eligibility mostly to students who attended at least three years of high school in the U.S. The NJCAA board has voted to eliminate the rule requiring 75 percent of the players on a team to meet that threshold. The association's membership includes 525 public and private junior and two-year colleges across the country... including 41 in New York. One is Jamestown Community College. The concern among some of the open-enrollment schools was that others were fielding older foreign athletes. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says several public junior colleges in New York brought the rule to his attention last year... noting it's negative impact on urban schools with many immigrant students.
The state Senate has confirmed a Republican county executive to chair the Thruway Authority board. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney was nominated by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to the unpaid position at the authority responsible for the state's systems of toll highways and canals. Mahoney is an attorney and former prosecutor. Howard Milstein, the billionaire appointed by Cuomo to chair the Thruway Authority board, resigned last year.
Fans of "The Rolling Stones" in western New York will be getting some "Satisfaction" this Summer as the Rock 'n Roll legends will appear in Buffalo as part of their North American "Zip Code" tour. It'll be the first time the Stones have appeared in Buffalo sicne 2001. The band's 15-city stadium tour will include Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday, July 11th. The tour begins with an appearance in San Diego's Petco Park on May 24th. Tickets and VIP packages for the Ralph Wilson Stadium Show go on sale Monday, April 13th at 10 AM. Ticketing information is available at Rollingstones-dot-COM.
Gerace warns drivers of slippery roads as Jamestown area gets quick one to two-inches of snow...
We've received a quick 2-inches of snow at our Media One Studios in West Ellicott... and, more is expected on this last day of March. The snow... and, below-freezing temperatures have slicked up local roadways with several vehicles reported off the road. There are no warnings or watches in place... but, Sheriff Joe Gerace is advising driving caution today. He calls this an "early" April Fool's joke. Gerace is urging drivers to slow down, and brush off those Winter driving skills. Gerace says the personal injury accident was on Interstate 86 in the town of Ellery earlier this morning. However... no serious injuries have been reported. We've also heard about problems with Route 394... and, tractor trailers having trouble on the hill near the Ashville BOCES. Some parts of the area could see up to 4-inches of snow today. Road crews are now out.
East Otto man killed in car-logging truck accident on Route 219...
A Cattaraugus County man was killed when his car crossed into the oncoming lane of Route 219 in the town of Ashford... and, struck a logging truck head-on. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 44 year-old George Peterson of Bowen Road, East Otto... was southbound shortly before 7:30 a.m. Monday when his car crossed the center line for an unknown reason. Deputies say Peterson's car struck the northbound truck... operated by 43 year-old Scott Timothy of Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Officers say Peterson was pronounced dead at the scene. Timothy was taken to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville... and, later released.
Goodell still has plenty of concerns over state budget deal, including lack of detail on some key, "non-budget" items...
State lawmakers are preparing to cast votes on key education and ethics provisions in the state budget ahead of a critical deadline. The Assembly and Senate plan to cast their final votes on the spending plan after what's likely to be a long debate today. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell still has concerns about the budget agreement... including the lack of details about some very important non-budgetary items. Goodell says that the agreement includes education reforms... including a teacher evaluation system that will be worked out by the State Education Department. He calls that a "mixed blessing" because the Education Department headed up the troublesome roll-out of "Common Core" in the state. The budget also includes ethics reform. But, again... Goodell says there are few details that are available at this time. The Chautauqua County Republican says he's "very disappointed" with the process... which appears rushed. Goodell says he is pleased that the overall budget holds spending under a 2-percent increase... but, also includes a 6.1 percent increase school aid. However... there is no word on how much local districts will receive, yet.
Horrigan says he has "no problem" with stipulations being put into Senate measure to allow county to increase it's sales tax to 8-percent...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is 'on board' with changes State Senator Cathy Young wants to make to the county's request to increase its sales tax from 7.5-percent to 8-percent. Young wants to include a 3-percent decrease in the county's tax levy as part of the legislation. Horrigan says it's something he's in "full support of... " adding that he believes the perception of the county as a 'high-taxed' area needs to change. Besides lowering property taxes... Horrigan also wants to close the county’s structural deficit that is estimated at nearly $6-million. He says the county legislature would have to approve any changes in the language of measure requesting the sales tax hike before it is submitted to the state legislature for action.
Schumer calling for legislation to outlaw gender-based discrimination...
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling for passage of legislation to outlaw gender-based pay discrimination. The New York Democrat says a recent study shows that unfairness even extends to nursing, where males are paid more than female counterparts. The Journal of the American Medical Association study examined salary trends by gender from 1988 to 2008 from a national sample survey of registered nurses. It shows males earning about $5,100 a year more on average, though females comprise most of the profession.
Dolce says he'll have Task Force report to Mayor by early next week...
The head of a special panel that's been investigating ways to cut costs and make the city of Jamestown... and, it's Board of Public Utilities more efficient... plans to hand in a preliminary report next week. City Councilman Tony Dolce chairs the Joint Task Force on Efficiency and Cost Reduction... and, says the group did not meet last week. However... Dolce says he'll talk with other panel members to get input... and, get the report to Mayor Sam Teresi next Monday or Tuesday. Dolce says the group has made a lot of headway on two items... one being consolidating operations and maintenance of city and BPU vehicle fleets. In addition... Dolce says they'll also make a recommendation on the possibility of combined health insurance plans for managers and employees with the city... and, it's Board of Public Utilities. He says there are some potential directions they may want to take that will produce "some savings down the road." Mayor Teresi put the task force together... and, asked the panel to hand in a report with preliminary recommendations by April 1.
Reed hopeful that Senate will pass "Doc Fix" bill to boost rural hospitals...
After strong support in the House, Congressman Tom Reed hopes that the Senate will pass the "Doc Fix" bill. Reed says the legislation includes the Rural Hospital Access Act which would help several smaller hospitals across the Southern Tier... including Westfield Memorial Hospital. The Corning Republican says it will ensure Medicare-dependent and low-volume hospitals get the reimbursements they should get. The bill picked up the support of over 390 House members last week. Reed expects the measure to pass in the Senate, although a vote won't come until after spring recess. President Obama expects to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.
Fire strikes car, then house in Falconer early this morning...
Flames have destroyed a house and car in a fire in the village of Falconer. Falconer Fire Chief Nick Caldwell says fire crews were called to the scene at 211 East James St. just after 4 this morning. Caldwell says the vehicle caught fire... then the house caught fire. He says both were fully-engulfed in flames when they arrived. A brother and sister living in the house got out safely. No other injuries were reported. Falconer was joined at the scene by Kiantone... Gerry... Fluvanna... Kennedy... Ellery Center... and, Busti fire crews. One engine from Jamestown was also sent to the scene. The cause is under investigation.
Jamestown Fire Dept. investigating alleged arson fire on West Eighth Street Sunday...
An arson fire has damaged the first-floor and basement of a vacant, two-story home on Jamestown's westside. City Fire Battlion Chief Don Woodfield says firefighters were called to 306 West Eighth Street shortly after 1:30 yesterday afternoon. Woodfield says crews had the flames knocked down fairly quickly inside the home... which he says had been condemned for some time. Woodfield says someone started a fire on the first-floor, and one area had been heavily damaged. Woodfield says they knocked down the flames fairly quickly... but, due to the building's condition... they wanted to make sure there was no extension into the walls of the structure. He says they used a water can to knock down the flames... but, brought in a hand-line to check for extension into the walls. Woodfield says an off-duty shift was called in to assist at the scene... and, man Fire Station-#1. Firefighters were at the scene until just after 3 PM. No one was hurt. Woodfield says it's not yet known if the structure will be torn-down due to it's condition.
Lakewood man wanted for allegedly setting up Meth Labs across the county is arrested in New Orleans...
A Lakewood man accused of operating illegal Methamphetime Labs in the city of Jamestown... and, towns of Busti and Westfield... has been arrested in Louisiana. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say a multi-agency effort led to the arrest of 44 year-old Christopher Swanson of West Summit Avenue in New Orleans this past Saturday morning. Task Force members say they had received information that Swanson had fled to the New Orleans area... and, contacted Orleans Parish Police. They arrested Swanson... and, are holding him pending extradiction.
Dunkirk man jailed without bail following drug bust in north county city...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested... and, his car seized... after he was pulled over by police in the north county city for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine and marijuana. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task force and Dunkirk Police had a warrant for 40 year-old Charles Fredrick's arrest... and, a warrant to search his car and house. Task Force members say hIs car was pulled over on Main Street early last weekend... and, they found with about an ounce of crack... a quantity of marijuana... a scale... and, a large amount of cash. Fredrick was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. His residence was later searched... and, more pot and cash was seized. Other charges are pending. Fredrick was arraigned... and, sent to the County Jail without bail. Anyone with information on illegal narcotics activity is asked to contact the Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.
State lawmakers, Cuomo, reach basic budget agreement...
Top state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have agreed on a $142 billion budget that increases school funding by $1.4 billion, enhances legislative ethics rules and implements several of Cuomo's education reforms. The deal announced late Sunday is expected to be voted on by lawmakers early this week. The increase in school funding is accompanied by revisions to teacher evaluations that Cuomo says will help transform what he says is an ``entrenched education bureaucracy.'' The disclosure rules will require lawmakers to report outside income and, if they are attorneys, their big legal clients. Some clients would be redacted, however, if the state's court administrator agrees. Proposals to raise the minimum wage or offer greater property tax relief were dropped from the final budget.
Young says Chautauqua County will have to cut property taxes to have any chance at increase in Sales Tax...
A three-percent property tax cut will be needed if Chautauqua County officials want to increase the sales tax from 7.5-to-8-percent. That from State Senator Cathy Young... who said early last weekend that a property tax cut has to be part of the bill's language. Young says Senate Republicans feel "heavy property taxes" suffocate home owners... and, stifle jobs and economic growth. With that... she says such wording is needed to get it approved. She says the cut would produce a $2-million property tax cut. However... Young says that even with the language change... it will not be an easy process to get approval. County Executive Vince Horrigan is seeking the increase to help close a $6-million structural deficit in 2016... and, to help lower the county's property tax rate. The county legislature approved the sales tax increase last Wednesday night, 14-to-4.
After slow start... local Maple season going well...
Spring has struggled to start... but, maple syrup producers are not complaining. Lloyd Munsee of Big Tree Maple on Holly Lane near Lakewood says they've made a lot of good syrup. Munsee says they don't want it to get warm quickly... and, the cold nights, and slightly above freezing temperatures during the day are working well. He adds they boiled until April 10 last year, and will probably go that long this year as well. Linda Fairbanks of Fairbanks Maple, near Forestville, concurs... the season has been good, particularly for light syrup. That finer syrup used to be known as 'light amber', but a new universal grading system has the same quality syrup labeled as 'golden with a delicate taste'. The second of the two annual 'Maple Weekends' was held this past Saturday and Sunday.
Four Jamestown residents arrested during Meth drug raid; wanted man in connection with other Meth case among those taken into custody...
Four Jamestown residents are in the county jail without bail for allegedly being involved in running a Methamphetime Lab on the city's westside. Police add that one of those involved was also wanted from a previous drug bust earlier this year. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested 30 year-old Beau Jones when they raided an apartment at 600 West Fifth St. shortly before 7:30 last night. Samuelson says they found a "one-pot" method lab in place... along with 4 ounces of meth oil, and a quantity of Meth. He adds they also brought in the state Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team to handle the clean-up. Samuelson says they removed the meth, and materials for making the drug. In addition to Jones... Samuelson says officers also arrested 29 year-old Rocco Beardsley... 28 year-old Brandon Smith... and, 29 year-old Aimee Hogg. He says all four face Felony charges of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime. Samuelson says they worked closely with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force on the raid. If you have any information on illegal drug trafficking in the Jamestown-area... call city poilce at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Young says Chautauqua County will have to lay-out plan to cut property taxes if sales tax increase is to fly in Albany...
If Chautauqua County wants to increase the sales tax rate to 8 percent... it will have to lower the county's property tax. That's according to State Senator Cathy Young... who said late Friday that a property tax cut has to be part of the bill's language. Young says Senate Republicans feel "heavy property taxes" suffocate home owners... and, stifle jobs and economic growth. With that... she says such wording is needed to get it approved. Young says she is looking at the feasibility of requiring a 3-percent property tax levy decrease -- or $2-million -- as part of the legislation. Young says that even with the language change... it would not be an easy process. County Executive Vince Horrigan is seeking the increase to help close a $6-million structural deficit in 2016... and, to help lower the county's property tax rate.
Cesana says it "was time" to retire as TRC Director...
The time was right to step aside. That from the long-time director of The Resource Center in Chautauqua County on why he's retired after 27 years as the organization's leader. Former Center Director Paul Cesana today is reflecting back on his 40 years working with the developmentally disabled... including his time as TRC's leader. Cesana says he's pleased with what was accomplished during that time... and, wanted to step down at a time where he can enjoy retirement. He says it was something he had to think about, and after some time, Cesana decided now is the time. Cesana's successor, Denise Jones, has referred to him as a pioneer in what he did at The Resouce Center. TRC Board Chairman, Dr. Todd Jacobson, says that -- under Cesana's direction -- "The Resource Center has maintained and expanded it's position as a recognized leader among organizations" that support people with disabilities.
Jamestown's 68th annual Easter Egg Hunt set for a week from Saturday...(corr)...
The weather is looking iffy right now... but, no matter how it is... the city of Jamestown's 68th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place a week from tomorrow on Sat., April 4. That from City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley during today's announcement at City Hall. Ciesla-Hanley says they have plans in place for if it snows... rains... or is "seasonal" outside. She says they will make an announcement next Thursday on where they'll be. If it's good outside, and park conditions are good, they'll be at their usual location in the park. Otherwise, they'll be inside the Allen Park Ice Rink. Ciesla-Hanley says if the hunt has to be held indoors... there will be more of a "procedure" in place for getting the various age groups in and out of the building. In addition to about 5,000 chocolate eggs... she says there'll be 30 prize eggs... and, Gold and Silver Eggs containing major prizes. The hunt begins at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday morning.
Trout Fishing Season to begin next Wednesday, Apr. 1 -- and, that's no joke...
New York conservation officials say the state's fishing season for trout and salmon will open on Wednesday. The Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner says some of the season's best fishing can be found in lakes and ponds immediately after the ice is out. With 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, the state also is home to an estimated 1.9 million anglers, while nearly 300,000 others come from out-of-state. A study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the industry generates nearly $2 billion in economic activity annually and supports almost 17,000 jobs. The DEC plans to stock over 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 312 lakes and ponds and about 2,900 miles of streams.
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly operating three separate Methamphetime labs... and, selling quantities of Meth to an undercover police officer. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided the Beaujean Road home of 42 year-old John Noel-the-third late yesterday morning. Task Force members says they arrested Noel without incident... and, found the "one-pot" Meth labs inside. Police say they also seized over 12 ounces of Meth Oil... a quantity of Meth... Laboratory equipment... money... scales and packaging materials. Task Force agents say Noel faces multiple counts of criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance... and, other charges are pending. He was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on 75-thousand dollars bail. The Mayville Fire Department and County's Hazardous Materials Team were also called to the scene. Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is asked to contact the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702... or your local police department.
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers are investigating a hit-and-run car-pedestrian accident in the town of Great Valley Wednesday night. Deputies say they were called to the scene on Route 417... near Sullivan Hollow Road... about 7:40 PM. Witnesses say a silver or grey colored mini-van allegedly struck the victim... who way laying in the road. Officers say the vehicle left the scene. The person was injured and taken to the hospital... but, no other information is available on their condition. If you have any information... you're asked to call the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office at 938-9191.
It will now be up to the New York state Legislature to decide on a request to raise Chautauqua County's sales tax from 7.5 to 8 percent. County lawmakers Wednesday night approved the proposal submitted by County Executive Vince Horrigan by a 14 to 4 vote. Horrigan says he's is pleased by the overwhelming majority vote... and, calls it a "watershed" moment. Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin supports the move... saying she has heard from her constituents... who say -- to a person -- that they prefer increasing the sales tax versus the property tax. However... Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel called the sales tax a "regressive tax" and fears that many county residents will decide to do their shopping in nearby Pennsylvania where the sales tax is lower. Niebel was joined by Legislators John Hemmer, Janet Keefe and John Runkle in voting against the measure. Horrigan says the sales tax hike is needed to address the county's 5-million dollar structural deficit.
Hundreds of public school teachers protested Governor Andrew Cuomo's education reform proposals at the Capitol as closed-door budget negotiations continue. Thursday's protest was organized by NYSUT -- the state's largest teachers union. Cuomo and lawmakers are now working out the details of the state budget ahead of an April 1st deadline. Cuomo's 142-billion dollar spending proposal contains several provisions that have angered teachers, including revised teachers evaluations that place more emphasis on student test performance, and new tenure rules. Cuomo has tied a 1.1-billion education funding increase to the passage of the reforms. Many lawmakers object to the measures, and a compromise proposal would create a commission to recommend changes to evaluations.
The new director of The Resource Center in Chautauqua County says she's excited to be in the position... one that she's been groomed for for the past several years. Denise Jones has replaced the retired Paul Cesana... who had told TRC officials that he was stepping down at the end of March after 27 years as director. Jones has been Assistant Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at TRC the past several years. She says The Resource Center is a "great organization...." TRC and it's affiliates support, and work with people who have developmental disabilties. Jones has been with The Resource Center for 25 years... and, admits she has some "big shoes" to fill in replacing Cesana -- who she called a "visionary." One area she wants to continue working on is moving it's employement arm -- Allied Industries -- away from declining U-S Defense Department contracts -- and towards commercial products. Jones says they're also moving towards improving the "holistic" health of their clients... and, a wider variety of employment opportunities.
Jamestown firefighters were called back to a re-kindle of an early morning blaze at a southside home early yesterday morning. Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says... while crews had to pull away some walls... the hot embers were put out quickly. The call came in around Noon-time. Officials say the original blaze... which was called in about 4 AM... damaged the porch, and part of the second-floor of the home at 50 Broadhead Avenue. An off-duty shift was called in to assist. When firefighters arrived... officials say fire was showing on the porch... and, had extended to part of the second-floor. However... crews made a quick stop on the blaze. No one was home at the time... but, firefighters had to rescue a "number of cats" from the building. Crews were there about two-hours. The cause remains under investigation.
Funding to help new, minority businesses get off the ground... and, paying attention to Jamestown's gateway streets were the two big take-aways from a public hearing Wednesday night. The city's Department of Development held it's inital hearing on what residents and organizations want addressed in Jamestown's 2015 Community Development Block Grant. Development Director Vince DeJoy says about 20 people attended the session... and, he says -- while it's been brought up before -- the idea of a Microenterprise Fund was brought up to help small, start-up businesses. DeJoy says city development officials also heard a lot about the need to improve the city's gateway streets -- namely East Second Street. There's been a lot built and proposed for North Main Street... but, he says there's a feeling that all major points need to be developed... including East Second and Washington Streets, and Foote Avenue. DeJoy says there was also a renewed call to continue with their "demolition program" to remove blighted homes and other structures in the city. DeJoy says they'll now take the input from the meeting... and, work on their CDBG... and, HOME Program proposals.
Petitions for the two seats up for a vote in this year's Jamestown school board race will be available next Monday morning in the superintendent's office. School Spokeswoman Cathy Panebianco says any eligible resident can pick up a petition at the district offices at 197 Martin Road. Petitions are due with at least 100 signatures from qualified voter by 5 PM on Wednesday, April 29th. Panebianco says two seats are up for election to a full, 3-year term. They are currently held by Laurel Lucas, and Dan Johnson. The terms begin this July 1st. To qualify as a candidate... Panebianco says a person must be a U-S Citizen... and, be a registered voter in the Jamestown school district... and, has lived there for at least one-year before the May 19th vote. If you are not registered to vote... the Jamestown Public School’s registration day will be held on Friday, May 1st, from Noon to 6 PM at the district offices. For more information... call 483-4420.
Warren, PA man killed in two car crash on Route 62 in town of Kiantone, just north of state line...
A Warren, PA man has died in a two-car head-on crash on Route 62 in the town of Kiantone near the Pennsylvania state line. Chatauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the accident was called in just before 8 o'clock this morning. Gerace says the man... now identified as 57 year-old Joseph Guiffre III... was driving south when the accident occured. He says the vehicle veered into the west guard-rail... then crossed into the northbound lane -- and struck the other vehicle... driven by 50 year-old Elise Lund of Russell, PA. Lund was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of what appears to be a non-life threatening injury. He says they're not sure what led to the accident because the road was clear and dry. Gerace says both lanes of Route 62 were closed from the state line to the "T" intersection with Route 60 for about 2-and-a-half hours.
Police have to break-up fight between "out of towners" at Lakewood YMCA following basketball tournament...
Four police agencies were called to the Lakewood YMCA last Saturday night after a large fight broke out... and, six people were arrested. Lakewood-Busti Police report that the fight was allegedly started between two teen age boys -- but, attracted a crowd of about 60 people. Lakewood busti Police Chief John Bentley tells us they were called to the scene shortly before 8 p.m., at the end of a three-on-three basketball tournament at the 'Y.' Bentley says disagreements during the tournament between the suspects apparently spilled outside the court. The Sheriff's officers, Ellicott Town Police and State Police were called into assist. Five juveniles between the ages of 13-and-15... and, one 17 year old were arrested. All were from the Dunkirk and Buffalo areas. The 17 year-old from Dunkirk is charged with disorderly conduct... and, unlawful posession of marijuana. The younger teens cases were petitioned to family court.
One year-old baby found unattended at Lakewood Wal-Mart store, father and mother arrested...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested following the discovery of a one-year-old baby in a stroller left unattended for "some time" in the Lakewood Wal-Mart Sunday night. Lakewood-Busti police were called to the scene on East Fairmount Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. on a report the toddler had been found in the shoe department. Officers say they found the father of the child was part of a group that had gone to the store... and, he left the child unattended. The toddler was taken to the store's Loss Prevention Office until the parents could be found. The mother... identifed as 20 year-old Nelly Gonzalez... told employees that the child was with his father. She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. During the investigation... police found Gonzalez's boyfriend had an order of protection against the father -- identifed as 39 year-old Miguel Ramos-Flores. When police tried to arrest Ramos-Flores -- he resisted and struggled with officers -- who had to use a low-setting taser on him. He was arraigned on charges -- including resisting arrest, and child endangerment -- and jailed on $10,000 bail.
A Bear Lake, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly stealing two vehicles... one in Jamestown... and, the other in the town of Clymer early Saturday morning. Sheriff's officers say they were first alerted to the thefts when 48 year-old Daniel Cracker allegedly took the keys for a car on Frissell Road in Clymer. Deputies say he then took the car while the residents were asleep... and, drove to the Jamestown-area. Several police agencies were notifed... and, Cracker was seen driving the car on North Main Street. He was taken into custody... and, police also learned that he also allegedly stolen a vehicle from a home on Weeks Road in Clymer. Deputies say Cracker then confessed to taking pick-up truck in the driveway after finding the keys in the ignition. He then allegedly drove the vehicle until it ran out of fuel. At that point... he left the truck on the side of the road... and, walked until he found the unlocked home on Frissell Road. Cracker was arraigned on several charges... including two counts of second-degree burglary... and, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle... and, sent to the county jail without bail. Sheriff Joe Gerace reminds residents of the importance of locking your doors at night and while away from home. In addition... when not using your vehicle you should remove your keys and lock the doors, even if parked in a garage.
An unattended electric heat lamp is being blamed for a blaze that destroyed a town of Ellington early last Friday morning. Sheriff's Department Fire Investigators say Ellington firefighters were called to the scene at 597 Hunt Road in Cherry Creek shortly after Midnight. Cherry Creek fire crews assisted at the scene. The house was reportedly vacant... and, no injuries were reported. Following an investigation... officials say the blaze was caused because the heat lamp was placed in close proximity to combustible material for a long time period.
Negotiations between the state Senate and Assembly on a new budget got underway last week in Albany... and, there's about a week and a half to go before the April 1st deadline. Assemblyman Andy Goodell tells us that there seems to be some progress... and, that's lent to some optimism about an on-time spending plan. However... there are some sticking points... mainly over language inserted by Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding the minimum wage... and, teacher evaluations. Otherwise... Goodell says the strickly "budgetary" issues are manageable this year. He adds lawmakers are working hard to get those dealt with so the sticking points can be addressed. Goodell says the addition of those language issues into the budget process is troubling... and, may be against the State Constitution.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to pit seven upstate regions against each other in a competition for 1.5-billion dollars in economic development funds has prompted some lawmakers and mayors to say the state shouldn't pick winners and losers. The contest dubbed Cuomo's ``Hunger Games'' by some is part of ongoing budget negotiations between the governor and lawmakers. Senate Republicans have criticized the contest, saying regions shouldn't have to compete with each other for state help. Cuomo's administration says the losing regions will continue to get regular economic development funds, and that the competition will spur innovation. That's a common refrain for the Democratic governor, who has also announced business competitions in Buffalo, a clean-energy contest in the Southern Tier and an annual kayak race in the Adirondacks.
The major fund-raiser for an organization that advocates for the young victims of physical and sexual abuse is coming up in just over a month from now. However... tickets are going quickly for the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County's fifth-annual "Diamond Dinner Auction" at Chautauqua Institution. CAP Executive Director Jana McDermott says the event has been moved to the Athenaum Hotel this year to accomodate more seating. In addition to the program on Saturday, April 25th... McDermott says they have a special package for people who want to spend the night. McDermott says CAP was formally created after District Attorney David Foley obtained a grant in 2007 to better combine efforts to the several agencies -- including his own -- who were interviewing the child involved in each abuse case. McDermott says they help about 400 children each year in Chautauqua County... and, have offices in Jamestown and Mayville. She adds the diamond ring to be auctioned off has been donated anonymously this year. For more information... call 338-9844. McDermott made her comments on this past weekend's Community Spotlight program.
Teachers from a prime apple-growing region in New York have delivered 1,000 of them to Governor Andrew Cuomo to protest education funding levels. The teachers from the Finger Lakes say each of the shiny red apples represents a local teaching position unfilled because of years of underfunding for public education. They laid the baskets of apples in front of Cuomo's office Friday as a guard looked on. Cuomo's spokesman says the office couldn't accept the apples because of restrictions on officials taking gifts. The teachers plan to give the fruit to a food bank. The Democratic governor wants to increase education funding of $22 billion by about $1.1 billion this year. Teachers' unions say greater investments are needed. They also oppose the governor's calls for changes in teacher evaluations and tenure.
About 12 to 13-hundred people were on hand for the two-days of the annual Media One "Home and Recreation" Expo at Jamestown's Gateway Train Station. The event... with 44 exhibitors on hand this year... wrapped up early Saturday night. Many of those exhibitors had smiles on their faces. Bike Department Manager Bill Canby with the Jamestown Cycle Shop says it was a "successful" two days for them. There were some first-time exhibitors at this year's show... including Burnett's Flooring. Kate Burnett says the foot traffic was good... and, they got some "good leads" for sales. Burnett says she and her husband liked having the show at the train station for the second year in a row. Clearview Pools and Spas' owner Scott Axelson echoed those sentiments... saying he especially liked the "warehouse" look of the East Wing. Axelson says he would hate to see that not available in the future. The east wing is slated to become part of the new National Comedy Center sometime in the future. This was the 37th Media One Home and Recreation Show.
Goodell sounding optimistic tone about possible on-time Budget...
Budget negotiations got underway this week in Albany... and, there are less than two weeks to go before the April 1st deadline. Assemblyman Andy Goodell tells us that there seems to be some progress... and, that's lent to some optimism about an on-time spending plan. However... there are some sticking points -- namely issues that are "unrelated to the budget," but, were added to it by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Among those issues are increasing the minimum wage... and, teacher evaluations and testing requirements. Goodell says the addition of those issues into the budget process is troubling and may be against the State Constitution. State lawmakers face an April 1st budget deadline.
Anderson Precision officials sign new "Flex Rate" agreement with BPU...
A local maker of "turned metal" products has become the first company inside the city of Jamestown to become part of the Board of Public Utilities "Flex Rate" program. BPU and City officials were at Anderson Precision on Livingston Avenue Friday morning to sign the new, 3-and-a-half year agreement with company officials. The contract will provide the local manufacturer with a slightly lower electric rate in return for investments in the local facility and workforce. Mayor Sam Teresi credited BPU General Manager Dave Leathers -- and others -- for working with the state Public Service Commission to allow smaller companies... like Anderson... to be part of the program. Leathers says the agreement with Anderson came together "pretty quickly" once the PSC approved the "Flex Rate" expansion. Anderson Precision's Co-Owner, Dave Archer, says the contract is a "big deal..." and, will help them compete in a global marketplace. Anderson is the fifth Jamestown-area company in the program. The Flex Rate agreement takes effect this April 1st... and, runs through October of 2018.
Fire at vacant, Ellington home determined accidental...
An unattended electric heat lamp is being blamed for a house fire in the town of Ellington early Friday morning. Sheriff's Department Fire Investigators say Ellington firefighters were called to the scene at 597 Hunt Rd. in Cherry Creek shortly after Midnight. Cherry Creek fire crews assisted at the scene. The house was reportedly vacant... and, no injuries were reported. Following an investigation... officials say the blaze was caused because the heat lamp was placed in close proximity to combustible material for a long time period.
NYS Report: Failing Schools tied to poverty level...
An analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute says most of the 178 New York schools identified by Governor Andrew Cuomo as ``failing'' are located in the state's poorest communities. The institute, which advocates shared prosperity, says 31 percent of the students in those schools live below the poverty line... and, 78 percent get free or reduced-price lunches. The governor says failing schools are in the bottom 5-percent of schools statewide based on combined test scores and aren't showing progress or have graduation rates below 60 percent for the last three years. He has proposed that a non-profit or other district take over those deemed failing three years in a row. The institute says the fundamental issue is poverty. It's urging a $2.2-billion boost in state aid targeting "high-needs" districts... such as Jamestown.
City police have made one arrest as officers continue to investigate a disturbance on Jamestown's northside which led to discovery of a Heroin overdose... and, quantities of illegal drugs. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says police were called to the scene at 21 Sturges Street just after 9:30 Wednesday night. Samuelson says 29 year-old Richard Philbrick allegedly tried to keep police from investigating... but, they were able to finally get to the 22 year-old female overdose victim. That person was revived using Narcan... and, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. A search warrant was obtaining after police found Methamphetime inside the residence. Police later found other alleged substances... which are being tested. Officers arrested Philbrick for drug possession.
An Olean man has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury accusing him of trafficking Heroin and suboxone... and, Felony possession of a firearm. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced that 23 year-old Giovanni Salomonson was taken into custody on the four-count indictment. Prosecutors say Olean Police allegedly discovered Salmonson in possession of quantities of heroin and suboxone during an investigation back on New Year's Day. They also accuse him of having a 22-caliber revolver in his possession. Hochul adds he was previously convicted on state charges which prevent him from legally possessing a firearm. He says the indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Olean Police Department, under the direction of Chief and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The charges against Salmonson carry a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of life... 250-thousand dollars... or both.
Several hundred people, many of them teachers, went to the Southwestern auditorium Thursday night for a forum on public education. Ten different speakers talked about the successes and challenges in the schools today. Many expressed concern over the governor's proposals for funding in the state budget now being negotiated. Jamestown High School Business teacher, David Munella, asked "When did teachers become the enemy of the state?". Maureen Dohahue, the Superintendent at Southwestern talked about the millions of dollars her district has lost since the great recession forced the 'gap elimination adjustment' onto schools. A representative of Assemblyman Andy Goodell's office spoke at the beginning of the session, and encouraged those with a stake in school funding to continue to make their case in Albany.
A Jamestown man escaped serious injury early yesterday morning when he was shot in the shoulder at close range during an incident on the city's southside. Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the shooting apparently occured about 5 AM on McKinley Avenue. Samuelson adds city police were notified by the emergency room at WCA Hospital about the incident around 6 AM... and, officers have been investigating since then.
Samuelson says the unidentified male victim is expected to recover. However... he says they have no motive for the shooting... and, no suspect. Samuelson says they're looking for the public's help in the investigation because they have received conflicting information so far... but, adds there was at least a gunshot that would have been heard. Samuelson says anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Jamestown police at 483-7537... or call their confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Some have questioned if there is a need for a statewide weather system. Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the issue last November when Western New York was digging out from a major lake effect snowstorm. There are discussions underway involving the state... and, the National Weather Service. That from Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who adds they are also looking at having a monitoring station in the county. Leone says such a statewide system would provide real-time weather information at available to the state and to public. He says this would not only help the state... but, also local governments in making decisions on how to help the public be "more prepared "for that event." No decisions have been made on where such a monitor would be located in the county, although the discussions will continue. Cuomo has indicated that he would fund such a system by using some of the federal disaster funding the state has obtained for the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
The excitement is building at Panama Central Schools as the Lady Panthers get ready to play in the New York State Class-D Basketball Championships for the first time ever. In fact... Panama's appearance in the final four in Troy is the first time a Panther's team has made the finals. With that... the community has planned a big send-off for the girl's this morning at the school. Michelle Sperry is the mother of player Emily Sperry... and, she says it's a "very exciting" time for everyone. Sperry... who works in the school system... says she's very excited... and, she's been involved in planning the big send off at the school's parking lot at 8:15 this morning. And... hopefully on the way to a state Championship. Panama will play Heuvelton at 9 AM Saturday. Meantime... Chautauqua Lake in Class-C will play Cooperstown in the semi-finals at 12:30 PM Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College.
Students in a western New York school district walked out of school and through the streets in protest of a decision to retire the Redskins nickname because it offends some Native Americans. Lancaster school officials say about 300 high-and middle-school students participated in the Thursday morning demonstration, with most returning to class by mid-morning. Among their signs: ``School board speak with forked tongue'' and ``Once a Redskin, always a Redskin.'' The suburban Buffalo district had been phasing out use of the mascot and nickname for the past few years. The school board voted this week to retire it altogether after three nearby districts with sizeable numbers of Native American students canceled lacrosse matches. A statement from Superintendent Michael Vallely said it's time to rethink traditions that are unintentionally hurtful.
Distrubance call leads to discovery of narcotics, and Heroin overdose in Jamestown...
City police have made one arrest as officers were called to a reporte disturbance on Jamestown's northside that led to discovery of drugs, and a Heroin overdose. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says police were called to the scene at 21 Sturges St. just after 9:30 Wednesday night. Samuelson says one person inside... 29 year-old Richard Philbrick... tried to interfere with their investigation. He says Philbrick was arrested after being found in possession of drugs. Samuelson says police found the 22 year-old female overdose victim. That person was revived using Narcan... and, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. It's the first time JPD has used Narcon in the field, and it was a successful deployment. A search warrant was obtaining after police found Methamphetime inside the residence. Police then discovered more meth and other substances... which are being tested. If you have any information on narcotics trafficking in Jamestown, call the JPD tipline at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.
The mayor of Westfield turned aside a challenge to his office during Wednesday's sparse village elections in Chautauqua County. Incumbant Michael Vandevelde defeated Richard Raynor in yesterday's vote, 350 to 224. In the trustees races.. Alan Holbrook and Robert Cochran won seats over David Carr. Holbrook led the way with 476 votes... while Cochran wound up with 401. Carr ended up with 207 tallies. In Sherman... a write-in campaign may have earned one person a village trustee seat. Donna Higginbotham got the most votes for one seat with 79 tallies. However... write-in candidate Timothy Fisher received 61 votes... and, Jame Weise got 60 for the other seat. Results are unofficial at this point. In Panama... no one was on the ballot. Beverly Lubi received the most write-in votes with 17... while Kimberly Davis had 10. In Sinclairville... Tami Berg has been elected Mayor. She received 68 votes... while write-in candidate John Embury got 30. In Bemus Point... voters approved moving the village election to November. All other races Wednesday were uncontested.
Lakewood Village Mayor Dave Wordelmann has released a 3.36-million dollar budget that... for the third-year in a row... keeps the tax levy flat. Wordelmann also says the 2015-16 spending plan includes a tax rate that's 36-cents per thousand assessed value less than this year. He adds that the new spending plan came together "easier" than it has over the past several years -- and, for one reason in particular. In fact... Wordelmann says... while spending is up about 59-hundred dollars in the proposed budget... the tax levy is down about 74 dollars. He says one of the biggest increases in the budget is 46-thousand dollars for a new, Comprehensive Plan. Wordelmann adds he's also putting in 56-hundred dollars for the first-time for new trees. He says the tax rate will go down from about 7-dollars-49 cents per thousand to 7-dollars-13 cents. A public hearing on the budget is set for April 13th and the final spending plan must be adopted no later than May 1st.
New York's farms can't afford any further increases in the minimum wage. In a (Wednesday) morning news conference, New York Farm Bureau President, Dean Norton said while only the newest and youngest workers get the minimum... there is a hidden effect. Norton believes that it's "untenable" in a state where the costs of farming are already high. Brian Reeves (ree-vus), a vegetable farmer in Central New York, says there is another problem with New York making it's minimum wage higher than other states... and, that is competing with other states where expenses are lower. Reeves (ree-vus) would prefer the state follow the Federal Government in any minimum wage change. As part of the budget negotiations in Albany, the governor has proposed a $10.50 minimum. Some in the state Assembly would like to see it go to $12.60 an hour. The minimum wage currently in effect in New York is $8.75 an hour... and, will go to 9-dollars by the end of this year.
The state attorney general has reached agreement with the largest upstate health insurer to cover more mental health and addictions treatment for its 1.5 million members. The settlement with Rochester-based Excellus Health Plan cites recent state and federal laws requiring mental health coverage at the same level as medical treatment. It's the fifth settlement by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman since last year. It requires Excellus to notify 3,300 members whose requests for inpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders were denied from 2011 to 2014.
New York's junior U-S Senator has reintroduced a bill that would create paid family leave... including maternity and paternity leave... personal medical leave, and spousal support. During a conference call late yesterday... Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand discussed her Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would establish a national paid family medical leave insurance program. Gillibrand says the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without any form of paid family leave. According to Gillibrand... fewer Americans have access to paid leave than those who have lost a job or threatened with getting fired for taking medical leave. Right now... she says only 13-percent of American workers have access to paid leave. Gillibrand adds our national economy has lost more than 3-billion dollars due to caregivers having to leave their jobs because of not having access to paid leave.
There is one option the Jamestown City School District has if it doesn't receive enough state aid to cover a projected 5-million dollar shortfall in it's 2015-16 budget. School Superintendent Tim Mains recently met with state Assemblyman Andy Goodell about the district's fiscal problems... and, says Goodell agrees the district is not getting it's "fair share" of state aid as a "high needs" district. While the state budget is still being negotiated... Mains says Goodell suggested they request "bullet aid" once they know what the gap is. Since their meeting at Bush Elementary School... Mains says he spoke again with Goodell in Albany... and, learned that both the Senate and Assembly budget bills increase state aid over what Governor Cuomo has proposed. However... the Assembly wants it doled out through elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment... while the Senate want's to increase Foundation aid. Goodell speculates that the added funding would be doled out on a "50-50" basis.
Gasoline prices continue to go down in Chautauqua County... falling another penny a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel this week. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... which says the average price is now 2-dollars-64 cents a gallon. It dropped to 2--60 in a couple of locations earlier this week. The national average is now 2--42 a gallon. Nationally... Triple-A says -- after rising for 40 days in a row -- the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has now fallen for nine straight days. Compared to this same date last year, consumers are saving an average of one-dollar-9 cents per gallon at the pump. The Fuel Gauge reports that prices may continue to drop in the near future due to a steep decline in the cost of crude oil.
Governor Cuomo says the latest round of targeted crude oil tank car and rail inspections have uncovered 93 defects... including seven critical safety defects that required immediate corrective action. The inspections are the latest in a series of actions state agencies are taking to protect New Yorkers from potential dangers associated with the transport of crude oil by rail. Cuomo's office said Tuesday that state and federal teams examined 453 crude oil tank cars and approximately 148 miles of track in these inspections. In Chautauqua County... the CSX mainline along Lake Erie had five defects found -- none of them serious.
Fire officials in the north county say an ice jam at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek caused flooding in Irving on Tuesday. WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports that there were no major issues... but, Sunset Bay fire officials say some roads had three to eight inches of water on them. Due to the large size of the creek, they said they couldn’t go in and break up the cluster of ice. Officials say for now, they'll just have to wait and see if the water levels continue to recede. Fire officials and emergency management crews will continue monitoring the situation until the flood threat is gone. If the situation gets worse, residents will get a reverse 9-1-1 call notifying them about the flood status.
There has been some progress... but, more needs to be done to bring about a "Detox" facility for people seeking help in getting off addictive drugs in Chautauqua County. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says more than 260 people were on hand for Monday's latest Community Drug Forum in Mayville. Horrigan adds that -- with the number of people attending -- and, passionate discussion that took place -- showed that finding answers to the problem has not lost momentum. Horrigan agreed that the need for an Outpatient Detox Center was a major issue for those attending the forum. The nearest such centers are in the Buffalo-area... and, he says Chautauqua County tried to go through the state to get one three years ago... but, that was rejected. He says if they can find the right "combination of providers..." he's optimistic they'll have one in the near future. Horrigan says more still needs to be done regarding prevention, treatment... and, residential programs. He says their Steering Committee will follow the state budget process on transitional housing... and, work with local providers on treatment options.
(**Correction)It's Election Day in seven Chautauqua County villages. County Elections Commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram says residents in those communities will be casting ballots from Noon until 9 PM. Green says village elections this year were moved to Wednesday to legally accommodate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Since 1998... he says village elections are legally not allowed to be conducted on St. Patrick’s Day. The only other time since the bill’s passage that the collision of democracy and Irish celebration has occurred was 2009. The only contested races are taking place in Westfield... where Mayor Michael Vandevelde is being challenged by Richard Raynor. In addition... three candidates are running for two village trustee seats. They are Robert Cochran, Alan Holbrook, and David Carr. Panama will have a vote on one trustees seat... but, no one running. Write-in candidates are welcome. Otherwise... in Bemus Point... Mayor Bryan Dahlberg and village trustees Margaret Richardson and Chris Wright are running unopposed. Voters will also be casting ballots to approve moving the village election to November. The votes in Cassadaga... Cherry Creek... and, Sherman are uncontested. Late today, we have learned about a write-in campaign against the incumbant mayor in Sinclairville.
It's "Jam On" as the new Jamestown Jammers baseball team prepares to begin play in the summer collegiate, Prospect League. Team officials were on hand at City Hall yesterday afternoon to formally introduce new Business and Field Manager Anthony Barone... the team's slogan... and, promotions for the upcoming season. Barone is a Jamestown native... who played and coached at Jamestown Community College. Barone says he's proud to be a manager in one of the top five college summer leagues in the nation. Barone will also head up the business side of the organization... including promotions. Public Relations and Marketing Director Van McNeil says they have a number of promotions set for their 30 homes games -- starting May 27th. As for the make-up of the team... Barone says they've already signed more than 20 players from the college ranks for the season -- including one from the area. Barone says players range in age from 18 to 22... and, must have one-year of college eligibility left to play in the league.
Season tickets are also available now for the Jamestown Jammers season... and, the team's first customer was Mayor Sam Teresi. Teresi... who is an avid baseball fan... says he's purchased five season passes...but, adds he'll just be using two for himself and his family. During the press conference yesterday... Teresi urged residents to back the team... which he says merges the "best with the best...." Teresi was eluding to the Jammers' ownership group, MKE Sports and Entertainment... and, Anthony Barone in those final comments. He called up Max Martin, director of the Eastside YMCA... and, Jeff Kroon, director of the Jamestown Boy's and Girl's Club... which will split the remaining tickets that Teresi has purchased. Van McNeil says ticket prices start at 8 to 12-dollars... and, adds season ticket holders for the NY-P League Jammers will get first preferance on tickets until April 15th. For more information... go on-line to Jamestownbaseball-dot-COM.
The state Assembly has voted to make New York the fourth state to provide workers with paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. The bill endorsed Tuesday would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave of up to 545-dollars a week. The benefit would be funded through an employee payroll deduction that, in its first year, would be capped at 45 cents per week. The Senate has its own family leave proposal which would provide up to $424 in weekly benefits for up to six weeks. The state would initially foot the bill. Sponsors in both chambers plan to work on a compromise. A spokeswoman for Governor Andrew Cuomo says he supports the idea behind the bills... but, has concerns about the details.
The organizers of a 'Forum to Support and Respect Public Education" Thursday night at Southwestern Central School want to change the current narrative about public schools. Mark Kirsch, a teacher in the Southwestern district, has had a major role in the planning. Kirsch says the public is welcome to attend the event. He says 10 speakers will look at public education from a variety of perspectives. Kirsch says they include Southwestern Superintendent Maureen Donahue... and, Jamestown Superintendent Tim Mains. He adds community and business leaders will also be part of the program. Kirsch says the tone of the forum will be positive. Those attending will have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers. The event starts at 6:30 PM Thursday at the Southwestern auditorium. Media One's Dennis Webster will be the moderator for the forum.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is co-sponsoring one of two measures that would withhold pay for House and Senate members if they fail to pass an on-time budget. But... Reed says he's backing both a short -- and, a long-range "No Budget -- No Pay" Acts in Congress. The Corning Republican says Congress "must act..." and, Republicans must act because the American people have "put their truct in the GOP to bring Washington back to normal...." Reed the short-term bill... sponsored by Republican Rob Whitman of Virginia, calls for withholding lawmakers pay if a new budget is not adopted by April 16th... and, they would only get paid once a spending plan is agreed to. He says the longer-term bill is sponsored by Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper. With the national debt now having reached 18-trillion dollars... Reed says it's time to do what every American family has to do... and, that's live within a budget. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for a ban on outside income for state legislators, saying state ethics reforms don't go far enough to prevent corruption. In a speech at a Citizens Union forum at New York Law School Monday night... Schneiderman said the scandals involving state lawmakers in recent years have prompted ``reforms that largely tinker at the margins.'' He says he supports Governor Andrew Cuomo's pursuit of ethics reform as part of budget negotiations. But... Schneiderman says it's impossible to avoid the appearance of conflicts if lawmakers continued to be able to earn outside income. Cuomo has proposed strengthening outside income reporting but no outright ban. The attorney general also proposes increasing legislators' pay and their term from two years to four, while closing campaign finance loopholes.
Former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum says the field of Republican contenders for the White House in 2016 shows a party with diverse viewpoints and different ideas -- in contrast to what he says is a ``monolithic'' Democratic Party. Santorum said Tuesday that he's still weighing whether to run. The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania contended for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He visited the New York state Capitol on Tuesday to address a conservative gathering. Former New York Governor George Pataki is also exploring a White House bid. Santorum said he's encouraged by Pataki's interest and says the number of potential candidates represent a healthy range of viewpoints within the GOP. Santorum said that diversity of perspectives is largely missing from the Democratic Party.
A Pennsylvania resident is in the Jamestown City Jail after being found unresponsive in his car with a hypodermic needle and a quantity of Heroin in plain view. Police say 24 year old Shane Rodgers was found unresponsive just after 2:30pm Sunday in the area of Jeffords and Falconers Street in his vehicle that was running and stopped at the intersection. Further investigation found that Rodgers allegedly had been driving the car while impaired by the drugs. He was taken into Custody and faces drug related charges including Criminal Posession of a Controlled Subastance adn Driving while ability impaired by drugs.
Two men -- one from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly being part of a Youngstown, Ohio-to-Jamestown drug connection. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson also says 22 year-old John Tuffino of Youngstown, and 25 year-old Luis Moreno of Jamestown... were also found in possession of a loaded pistol during a traffic stop late last week. Samuelson says Tuffino and Moreno were arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 86 in the town of Ellicott early last Friday morning. Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force then searched the vehicle after getting a court warrant... and, found quantities of cocaine, pot, and cash -- in addition to the handgun. He says both Tuffino and Moreno were arrested without incident. Samuelson says they're pleased to have gotten a loaded, 40-calibur pistol off the streets. He says the investigation is continuing... and, more arrests are pending. Both Tuffino and Moreno were arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, face drug possession charges. They were both arraigned in city court... and, sent to the county jail without bail. If you have an information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Rochester man who provided the handgun used to kill a Jamestown man who had reportedly turned drug informant in mid-2008 has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior late last week annouced that 33 year-old Juan Dejesus-Santiago received the prison term on his conviction on charges of drug conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy... and, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime. Proscutors say that Santiago took part in "a large, violent narcotics trafficking organization..." and, that he took part in the 'contract killing' of 31 year-old Quincy Turner in May of 2008 near Jamestown. In addition to the gun... they say Santiago provided the vehicle the killers used. Prosecutors say he was part of a ring responsible for the receipt... and, distribution of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in the Rochester-area between January 2007 and October 2008. He was found to be one of 33 related defendants charged with federal crimes for taking part in a Puerto Rico to Rochester cocaine operation. To date... Hochul says all 33 defendants have been convicted... and, only two remain to be sentenced.
Prevention and treatment options are expected to be the focus of the latest Community Drug Forum in Chautauqua County today. This is the first forum since three recent Heroin overdoses in the south county in which one was fatal. County Executive Vince Horrigan says the drug problem locally "keeps him up nights." However... he says -- since last year's county-wide Community Drug Forum -- better treatment options have been put in place. He says both ends of the county have access through WCA Hospital's Inpatient Treatment Center in Jamestown... and, at Lakeshore Hospital in Irving. However... Horrigan says access also remains the big issue. Horrigan says he's also been working with the region's state Senator on getting a new and "unique program" in place that would be involving one local agency... Southern Tier Environments for Living. It would provide housing to help addicts recover. Horrigan says they'll be focusing primarily on Prevention at today's forum beginning at 9 AM at Chautauqua Suites. Registration begins at 8:30.
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to postpone until next year the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions. Lawmakers who backed the measure say many physicians still lack the required federal approval for their computer systems to do that for painkillers... and, other addictive drugs on the government list of controlled substances. The electronic prescriptions -- connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check -- are intended to prevent prescription fraud, doctor shopping for addictive painkillers and illicit resales.
New York's top insurance regulator says most health insurance in the state pays hospitals and doctors for each service regardless of quality, efficiency or outcome, and his staff will try to encourage alternatives to reduce costs and improve health. Department of Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky says their recent survey shows every major insurer in New York's commercial market is making some effort at payment reform, like ``pay-for-performance'' or pay-per-member fees for health care. However... the pilot projects account for less than 15 percent of payments. Lawsky says they will work with providers, insurers, consumers and business to identify and measure successful alternatives, then ``create incentives'' to move insurers in that direction. That may mean removing regulatory hurdles or using review authority to seek adherence to payment reform targets.
In addition to a budget... voters in the Dunkirk School District will be deciding on whether the Dunkirk Free Library should become a 'school district' public library. School Superintendent Gary Cerne says that library officials collected the required 25 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. If approved... Cerne district residents would see a separate line on their tax bill to cover the costs of the library. That line would include the individual cost to cover the library's approximately 350-thousand dollar budget. If the proposal is approved... Cerne says the library would be governed initially by seven library trustees who are elected by the voters of the school district. And, the city of Dunkirk would no longer be required to help cover the cost of the library.
A problem with an electrical outlet box is the apparent cause of a fire last Saturday night that's left a town of Hanover family homeless. Chautauqua County fire investigators say Forestville fire crews were called to the scene at 2 Cedar Street just after 8 PM. Crews were able to snuff out the blaze... but, not before it spread through-out the residence. Investigators say the flames originated in the wall-mounted outlet box... then spread onto a bed. No one was hurt... but, the local Red Cross was called in to assists the residents.
Authorities overseeing New York's Freedom of Information Law say the public ``urgently needs'' more and clearer information about police actions including misconduct. In a report citing ``visceral reactions'' nationwide to recent events involving police use of force... the Committee on Open Government is calling on the governor and Legislature to ``remove secrecy'' that currently surrounds some police actions and repeal the statutory exemption from public disclosure of police personnel records. The report says New York is virtually the only state with that exemption while the state's sunshine law otherwise has sufficient privacy protections for police as it does for other government workers. The union representing 36-hundred uniformed state troopers says the exemption protects against ``unwarranted public ridicule'' for a minor infraction that may be in an officer's record.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says President Barack Obama is to blame for the police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and other disturbing events because he sets the tone for the nation. Giuliani spoke late last week WNYM-AM's ``The Answer'' with host John Gambling. Giuliani said Obama wasn't addressing what Giuliani called the ``enormous amount of crime'' being committed by blacks. The White House declined to comment Friday on Giuliani's remarks. Giuliani also said Obama should say the kind of things comedian Bill Cosby used to say -- before he was accused of sexual assault, which Cosby denies. Cosby often exhorted black people to focus on education and parenting. Giuliani drew criticism last month for questioning Obama's love of country. Late last week... Giuliani said he considers Obama a good family man.
Two arrested for allegedly being part of Youngstown, Ohio to Jamestown drug connection...
Two men -- one from Jamestown -- are jailed for allegedly trying to bring cocaine and marijuana to the area from Youngstown, Ohio. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson also says 22 year-old John Tuffino of Youngstown, and 25 year-old Luis Moreno of Jamestown... were found in possession of a loaded pistol. Samuelson says Tuffino and Moreno were arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 86 in the town of Ellicott about 12:30 AM Friday. He says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force found quantities of cocaine, pot, and cash in addition to the loaded gun. Samuelson says the investigation is continuing... and, more arrests are pending. Both Tuffino and Moreno were arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Tuffino also faces two other drug possession charges. They were both being arraigned late this morning in city court... and, were to be sent to the county jail. If you have an information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
NWS issued Flood Watch for western New York -- including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties...
The potential for ice jam flooding and up to an inch of rain has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Flood Watch for all of Western New York -- including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Forecaster Dave Thomas says it's in effect until 8 a.m. Sunday. Thomas says milder temperatures and some rainfall will be a concern. He says temperatures got into the low 50s Friday... and, won't be below freezing until late tonight. Thomas says that, and a quarter to half-an-inch of rain, creates the chance of ice jam flooding. People living in areas that are prone to ice jam flooding should prepare for the potential for flooding this weekend. Up to this point... County Executive Vince Horrigan says we're fortunate that we've had no rain... and, still low temperatures at night to keep the ice from melting too quickly.
City home damaged in Kitchen Fire...
A grease fire in the kitchen of a home on Jamestown's westside triggered a blaze that heavily damaged the kitchen of that home. City Fire Battalion Chief Don Woodfield says crews were called to the scene at 34 McDaniel Ave. shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday. Woodfield says firefighters found heavy fire coming from the kitchen... and, were able to make a quick stop on the blaze. He says it was then a matter of checking for any fire extension. Woodfield says fire crews used a one-a-three-quarter inch line to douse the fire. He says -- for the most part -- damage was confined to the kitchen. He says damage was significant... and, the family living there has been temporarily displaced. Woodfield says they are being helped by the local Red Cross chapter. He says no injuries were reported in the fire. Woodfield says an off-duty shift was called in to assist at the scene... and, man Fire Station-one. Firefighters were at the scene until 4 a.m. Friday.
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dept to take part in state's latest Stop DWI Enforcement program...
Local police will be out in force during this extended St. Patrick's Day holiday weekend. That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says his, and other agenices across the region, will be out in force to deterr people from drinking and driving during the St. Patrick's Day period that begins today... and, runs through Tuesday night. Gerace says this detail is similar to ones they had back on Super Bowl Sunday Weekend... and, Christmas and New Years. He says "removing intoxicated drivers from county roadways is one of our top priorities." He says Christmas is now one of the big time periods where drinking and driving is seen. Gerace says St. Patrick's Day is often celebrated by drinking... and, he adds celebrate as much at you like... but, don't get behind the wheel of a car. This latest Stop-DWI Crack-down is taking place through next Tuesday... St. Patrick's Day... in New York state. During Super Bowl weekend... Gerace says there were more than 70 traffic stops... arrests and summonses.
DiNapoli says Medicaid Spending on the rise in NYS...
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says state spending on Medicaid is projected to rise in New York by nearly $700-million a year over the next four years. However... DiNapoli says the state's efforts to limit Medicaid spending are showing signs of progress with annual growth at less than 2 percent. The growth rate had previously been more than 5 percent annually. New York's Medicaid spending has long been among the highest in the nation. The federal government picked up just over half of New York's $55.3-billion Medicaid bill last fiscal year. Medicaid is the insurance program for low-income people. Total state enrollment is expected to exceed 6.4 million in several years.
Maple Weekend Preview Day held in Kennedy...
If we continue to reach about 40 degrees during the day... and, fall to around 20 at night... there should be a great Maple harvest this year in Chautauqua County. That from local Maple producers previewing the upcoming New York Maple Weekends later this month. This is the 20th year for the Maple Weekends... where local producers open up their sugar shacks... and, allow the public to see how syrup and other products are made. Big Tree Maple's David Munsee says they're ready to go. The first weekend is March 21-22, and the second will be March 28-29. The Chautauqua Maple Promotion Day was held Friday at Steward's Dairy Farm on Waterboro Hill Road in Kennedy. It's operated by Donald and Paul Steward, and their family. Paul Steward says they got a little bit of a late start due to the frigid cold weather through the end of February. Steward says they've got about 2,000 taps out... with another 600 yet to go out. Steward says he made his first batch of syrup just Friday... and, says it was "really good." He says he's anticipating good sugar content for this year. For more information on Maple Weekends in Chautauqua County... go on-line to www.mapleweekend.com.
The New York Senate and Assembly have advanced their own budget proposals as negotiations over state spending enter their final weeks. The two proposals endorsed Thursday represent the Senate and Assembly's priorities as they craft a final budget with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Both chambers say they want to spend more on education than Cuomo recommended. The Senate budget offers more tax relief while the Assembly budget contains a phased minimum wage increase to 12-dollars-60 cents. Both chambers balked at Cuomo's effort to link the budget to his proposals requiring greater reporting of lawmakers' outside income and his changes to teacher evaluations and tenure. Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos says budget negotiations are progressing and hopes the budget will be approved before the fiscal year begins April 1st.
A weight-bearing beam at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater failed early Wednesday afternoon... damaging a column in the northeast corner of the Amphitheater. Chautauqua's Communications Director Jordan Steves says the failure occured about 12:30 PM... adjacent to Gate 1. Steves says some people in the area heard a loud "crack..." and, the institution's operations staff was called in. He says the column was at the top of the Amphitheater seating area. Steves says Operations staff brought in a large crane to help support that part of the amphitheater's roof to access what happened. He adds most of the visable damage is to that column. Steves says the heavy snowmelt appears to be the cause. With the failure... he says the Amphitheater has been closed off to visitors, along with some of the roadway in that area. Steve says the crane and other equipment is being staged in that location. In addition to restricting the "Amp" to appropriate personnel only... vehicle and pedestrian access is restricted on Roberts south of Miller, and on Bowman west of South Terrace.
A north county man has been arrested for allegedly sexually attacking a woman while giving her a ride home a week ago last Sunday. Sheriff's officers say they've taken 35 year-old Philip Tirone of Oak Street, Silver Creek, into custory for the alleged incident. Deputies say the victim did not consent to the physical contact... which allegedly occured on Route 39 in Forestville just after 6 PM on March 1st. Following an investigation... officers took Tirone into custody on charges of first-degree sexual abuse... and, second-degree harassment. He was arraigned in Hanover Town Court... and, sent to the county jail on 10-thousand dollars cash bail.
A new, stand-alone grocery chain that has had some success in the Jamestown-area is moving a second store into the area in the village of Lakewood. The proposal is being made by the Florida-based owners of the former Super Duper-Jamesway strip plaza on West Fairmount Avenue. Mayor David Wordlemann says Save-A-Lot is planning to use the just over 17-thousand square feet of space formerly used by Super Duper for the new store. Wordlemann says Bocar Family Holdings is proposing one of the chain's "basic" type stores. Once the new store is up and running... it'll be the first stand-alone grocery store in the village since Quality Markets closed it's location in the Lakewood Village Center several years ago when parent company, Penn Traffic, went out of business. Wordlemann says the site plan now goes before the planning board... which is expected to make a recommendation by late April. Wordlemann says he doesn't expect any problems, and if all goes well, the new Save-A-Lot should be open by mid-Summer. He says Save-A-Lot sells a fairly large selection of brand name items.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained indictments against 33 people accused of conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine in northern New York. Investigators in Watertown say wiretaps and surveillance used in the year-long probe helped identify four loosely-related networks were involved. They allegedly funneled illegal drugs into Potsdam, Edwards, Pierrepont and Stockholm in St. Lawrence County from Yonkers, the Bronx, Syracuse and Leominster, Massachusetts. Authorities seized more than one-million dollars worth of Heroin and Cocaine during raids. Schneiderman says addictive and deadly heroin has spread even into the most rural counties -- including Chautauqua.
Emergency management officials in Chautauqua County will be keeping an eye on area creeks and streams as the snow pack continues to melt. Temperatures have reached above the freezing mark for the past few days and it is forecast to reach 50 today. County Executive Vince Horrigan says no major problems have surfaced so far. Horrigan says they have been in touch with local communities that have a history of ice jam flooding. In addition... he says county officials have reached out to the Red Cross, and local fire departments, and, secured heavy equipment that may be needed at a moment's notice. Forecasters are concerned about a weather system that could bring a quarter to as much as a half inch of rainfall tonight through Saturday. There’s the potential for some minor flooding this weekend -- especially if temperatures climb higher than expected and rainfall exceeds the current forecast.
The wife and two children of the New York man who faces charges that he fraudulently claimed an ownership stake in Facebook have been reported missing. State police say 36-year-old Iasia Ceglia (SEHG'-lee-uh) and her two sons, 10-year-old Leeman and 11-year-old Joseffinn, were reported missing on Tuesday, the same day Manhattan federal court judge revoked bail for Paul Ceglia. Prosecutors say the businessman dropped out of touch with his pretrial services officer and was no longer at his family's rural home in Wellsville. Troopers say it's unknown if the wife and boys are with Ceglia, who's apparently has fled after circumventing his electronic ankle monitoring bracelet.
Mental health advocates are lobbying for a new tax check-off they say will help end the stigma around mental illness, which they say is common, treatable and far too often unaddressed. With hundreds of supporters in Albany this week, they say a new tax check-off -- similar to those where taxpayers can support Alzheimer's research or breast cancer awareness -- would send a clear message that mental health issues are equally important. Glenn Liebman, president of the Mental Health Association of New York State, says one in four people in the U.S. has a diagnosed mental illness and many don't get treatment. Advocates say many of those affected by the stigma _ and reluctant to acknowledge issues and get treatment _ are adolescents and their parents, as well as returning military veterans.
Pennsylvania's corrections secretary is scheduling two executions. However... a death penalty moratorium imposed by the governor two months ago means it's not likely anyone will be put to death in the near future. Secretary John Wetzel signed notices of execution Thursday that call for Albert Perez and Lance Arrington to be put to death on April 17th. The announcement comes two months after Governor Tom Wolf announced the moratorium, saying he had concerns about the state's system of capital punishment. Wolf's moratorium produced a lawsuit from the Philadelphia district attorney, a case the Supreme Court will hear.
Weigh-bearing beam for roof at Chaut. Institution Amphitheater fails under weight of snow...
A weight-bearing beam at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater failed early yesterday afternoon... damaging a column in the northeast corner of the Amphitheater. Chautauqua Spokesman Jordan Steves says some people in the area of the Amp reported hearing a "loud crack" about 12:30 p.m. near Gate 1. Chautauqua's Operations staff brought in a crane to secure that part of the structure, and have called in outside engineers to assess the structure and provide direction on how best to prevent further damage, and begin repairs. The weight of the heavy snowpack on the roof apparantly triggered the "localized" collapse. Until further notice... institution officials say access to the entire Amphitheater is restricted to appropriate personnel only. In addition... as a precaution, vehicle and pedestrian access is restricted on Roberts south of Miller, and on Bowman west of South Terrace.
No one hurt in Falconer roof collapse blamed at least -- in part -- to heavy snow and snowmelt...
Some anxious moments in Falconer yesterday afternoon when the roof collapsed on a residential building on the village's westside. Chautauqua County dispatchers say Falconer fire rescuers, and police, were called to the scene at 359 West Main Street just after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Falconer was joined at the scene by Kennedy firefighters... while others were on stand-by. The county's Technical Rescue, and Medical Tech teams were also called in. No one was hurt. The Post-Journal reports that heavy snowmelt contributed to the collapse. West Main... which is Route 394... was closed in that area -- near Dow Street -- just over an hour and a half while the scene was secured.
Carroll Town Police investigating weekend vehicle break-ins...
Town of Carroll residents -- especially those in Frewsburg -- are being warned to keep their vehicles locked when they're not being used. That from Carroll Police officials following an investigation into more than a dozen vehicles break-ins by two, alleged juvenile offenders during the overnight hours from about Midnight this past Sunday through 7 a.m. Monday. Officers say their investigation determined several parked cars and trucks on local streets, and driveways, were checked to see if they were unlocked. They say the suspects stole a number of items from those vehicles. However... Carroll police say some items were recovered. Officers say -- if you found your vehicle was broken into -- and haven't reported it... you should do so by calling 569-5365. You can also make an appointment to see if the recovered property is yours. Carroll Police add you should also secure your garage and home.
Horrigan encouraged by consolidation discussion involving Gerry, Charlotte, Sinclairville and Cassadaga Valley School District...
County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's encouraged by discussions that two towns and a village in the central part of the county are having on the possibility of consolidation. Horrigan says he's happy about the news that the towns of Gerry and Charlotte -- along with the Village of Sinclairville -- are looking at such a venture. The proposal came up at a meeting of the Cassadaga Valley School Board Tuesday night.. Horrigan says he was not aware of the talks... but, called them "encouraging." The local governments are looking for a centralized location, with the school property being discussed. Sometimes... Horrigan says "we only think of municipalities... " and, forget schools have incredible infrastructure that can help local towns and villages. Horrigan says the county has been working with local governments to develop shared services iniatives for submission to the Governor's office in June as as they relate to the State's tax freeze program.
Gillibrand co-sponsoring Medical Marijuana bill...
New York's junior U-S Senator is one of lawmakers that have introduced a bill that would allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes in states where it is legal. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand adds it would allow them to do so without fear of federal prosecution for violating narcotics laws. Gillibrand says current federal laws ignore the health benefits of medical marijuana... and, get in the way of scientific progress. Gillibrand adds that federal drug laws restrict scientific research that goes into use of the drug... and, she says they don't allow transparent financing for medical dispensers -- which has forcing those in the business to operate it as a "cash-only business." She, along with Senators Cory Booker and Rand Paul, announced the bipartisan medical marijuana bill on Tuesday.
Cuomo restates his contention that ethic's reform be part of 2015-16 State Budget...
Governor Andrew Cuomo is again insisting that his legislative ethics reforms be included in the state budget... saying he's ``not willing to sacrifice'' the proposals as he negotiates a final budget with top lawmakers. Speaking in Rochester Wednesday... Cuomo said he also wants to see the $142-billion state budget include his proposals to overhaul teacher evaluations and tenure rules. The Democratic governor's comments are an indication that he's taking a hard line as budget talks enter their final weeks. Cuomo's ethics proposal includes requiring lawmakers to detail their outside income... and, submit receipts for their daily food and lodging expenses. Lawmakers have objected to Cuomo inserting so many big policy ideas into the budget, which they hope to approve by April 1st.
Hundreds attend Education Rally in Albany...
Hundreds of public school students and parents rallied yestereday afternoon at the state Capitol in Albany to urge lawmakers to boost school funding and reject Governor Andrew Cuomo's education reforms. Cuomo has suggested $1.1-billion in additional education spending -- but only if lawmakers agree to implement tougher tenure rules, teacher evaluations more reliant on student test performance and the authorization of more charter schools. Wednesday's rally was organized by the Alliance for Quality Education. Billy Easton, the group's executive director, called for nearly $2-billion in new school spending. He says overall funding remains $5.9-billion below levels prescribed in a 2006 court ruling. Easton said Cuomo's reforms are ``cockamamie'' ideas that will hurt schools. Last week... thousands of charter school supporters held their own rally to back Cuomo's ideas.
State Assembly Democrats have proposed a $150.7 billion state budget they say will put families first... and, call for larger increases in the minimum wage and school aid than Governor Cuomo did. The plan also has increased support for child care, affordable housing and social services. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, surrounded by colleagues, says the goal is to promote all 19 million New Yorkers' economic independence and future well-being. The Democrats have a two-thirds Assembly majority, constituting one of three main forces in negotiations on spending for the fiscal year that starts April 1st. The Cuomo administration has proposed a spending plan that's also loaded with possible new laws on topics ranging from government ethics to teacher evaluations. The Senate's Republican majority is expected to disclose positions Thursday.
Local state Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's disappointed by the Democratic majority's rejection of 13 rule changes introduced by minority Republicans. Goodell says it's especially frustrating when a group of Democrats had supported many of the changes outlined by the GOP. The proposals included measures that would post committee votes online and and establish term limits for legislative leaders. As a result, Goodell doesn't expect much to change under new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. He says that flies in the face of what Heastie said when he was elected speaker... and, pledged to reform the way the Assembly operates. The votes were mostly along party lines. Assemblyman Michael "Mickey" Kearns from the Buffalo-area was one of the few Democrats who supported most of the reforms.
The state Assembly's Democratic majority has proposed raising the state's minimum wage twice over the next three years... with higher levels for the New York City area. The statewide minimum is currently 8-dollars-75 cents... and, is scheduled to reach $9 next year. The Assembly Democrats, in their budget proposal, say the minimum hourly wage upstate should rise to 10-dollars-50 cents in 2017... and, two years later to $12.60. For tipped workers it would increase at the same time to $7.50 and later to $9. In New York City, Westchester County and Long Island, the minimum wage would rise to $12.50 in 2017 and two years later to $15. Tipped wages there would rise to $9.50 and later to $11.40. Inflation indexing would begin in 2019. The rates are higher than what's in Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal.
Chautauqua County's Congressman was in Jamestown yesterday... learning more about what kind of tax and trade help they need to be competitive in the global marketplace. Corning Republican Tom Reed spent about an hour Tuesday afternoon touring TitanX Engine Cooling... and, it's wind tunnel on Allen Street. Reed says meeting with business leaders, and touring their facilities, helps him in working on tax policy as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Early last July... TitanX entered into a unique agreement with it's two unions... the United Auto Workers... and, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The "High Performance Partnership" involves giving workers on the floor a voice in making a better product. Company leaders told Reed about that agreement... which he says is a great example of the "can-do" attitude of Southern Tier Manufacturers. TitanX makes state-of-the art cooling systems for heavy duty vehicles... and, does a lot of research and development in that area.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have jumped nearly 11-cents a gallon this week to more than 2-dollars-60 cents. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price of regular, unleaded rose from just over 2--54 last week, to 2--65 this week. The Triple-A says the average was based on reports from 19 service stations in the area. The national average is now 2-dollars-45 cents a gallon. Triple-A reports the national average fell Monday for the first time since increasing for 40 consecutive days, which was the longest streak of daily price increases since 2011. The Fuel Gauge says retail gas prices typically trend higher this time of year as suppliers undergo maintenance... and, plan to reduce winter grade fuel in preparation for the changeover to summer-grade gasoline, which is more costly to make. Globally... Triple-A says the price of crude oil remains volatile due to speculations about possible production cuts due to oversupply... and, news of rising global demand. U.S. production continues to hit record levels, and stockpiles have climbed to their highest weekly levels since the energy agency started collecting statistical data on the subject in 1982.
There is now special foundation in place to help raise money for projects in the Jamestown city school district consistant with the district's mission goals. The school board recently approved a resolution establishing the PROMISE Fund... and, it's eight-member board of directors. Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the fund -- which has been several years in the making -- will help further projects in the district which is facing "severe financial challenges...." The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will host the new fund... which Mains says is similar to the Southwestern Schools Education Foundation. That foundation was established several years ago to help fund construction of that district's new athletic complex. Mains says the effort raised nearly all the money for the project. Mains says the PROMISE Fund will begin as a "non-endowed" fund that will raise money for projects... and, scholarships... like the Southwestern Fund.
The state Assembly has approved four new members to the state Board of Regents that sets education policy for public schools and state colleges and universities. The Assembly has also returned two members of the 17-member board to additional five-year terms. The positions are unpaid. New regents include Beverly Ouderkirk, former teacher, principal and school superintendent and currently school board member and library trustee in Morristown. Catherine Fisher Collins, is an author who has degrees in nursing, health education and a doctorate from the State University at Buffalo. The third new Regent is Judith Johnson, a Brooklyn College graduate and former school superintendent, is past president of the New York Association of Small City Schools. Finally... Judith Chin worked for the New York City Department of Education for 37 years, including as a regional superintendent.
In addition to a half-a-percent increase in the local sales tax... Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan is looking at cuts in the 2016 budget to resolve a nearly 6-million dollar "structural deficit." Horrigan's proposed increase in the sales tax from 7.5 to 8-percent has received mixed reviews from the county legislature. Some lawmakers want to see more cuts made before looking at hiking the sales tax. Horrigan says the county was forced to lower it's sales tax several years ago... and property owners have been feeling the effects since.
Horrigan says he's also looking at eliminating "some" local share programs... and, adds they will be "painful." He did not say where the cuts would be made. He adds the county must continue to reduce it's costs. He says the other major item on the 2015 agenda is getting an "alternatives to incarceration" program in place to deal with overcrowding at the jail... and, the county's drug problem. He sys he's looking at a "supportive transitional housing" program. Horrigan made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
The federal prosecutor who brought bribery charges against New York's assembly speaker says he hopes other lawmakers will now think twice about doing anything corrupt. U-S Attorney Preet Bharara (Buh-RARE-uh) says his aggressive prosecutions of Sheldon Silver... and, other state legislators are meant to serve as a deterrent. But... he also says reforms that bring more transparency to the political process are needed as well. Bharara made the remarks late last week while appearing at a Manhattan forum.
Chautauqua County's representative in the State Assembly is pushing for bi-partisan support for a proposal to change the chamber's rules... making the process of selecting a new speaker more open. Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the current process is not transparent... and, the speaker is selected behind closed doors by that party's caucus. The Bemus Point Republican wants to require the candidates for Speaker to answer questions from the members of the Assembly in open session... and, to allow members the opportunity to express publicly the reasons they supported or opposed a particular candidate. Goodell says the proposed reforms are expected to voted on by the full Assembly later today.
A city man is jailed for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Heroin and Methamphetime during a traffic stop in downtown Jamestown early last weekend. City police say they pulled over a car, driven by 29 year-old Richard Philbrick, on Harrison Street shortly after 2 AM Saturday. Officers say a background check revealed that Philbrick's license had been suspended. While police were taking him into custody... they say he allegedly dropped doses of Heroin and Meth on the ground. Both drugs were recovered... and, he was arrested on two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, aggravated unlicensed operation. He was jailed pending arraignment.
Environmental groups say New York needs to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fix its aging water and sewer systems. A coalition including Environmental Advocates, Riverkeeper and the Adirondack Council is pushing for lawmakers to dedicate 800-million dollars to clean water projects around the state. The money would come from the state's 5-billion dollar windfall from financial settlements. Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay says New York faces a crisis if it doesn't address the problem. The state's environmental department says New York needs at least 36-billion dollars to repair and upgrade wastewater systems over the next 20 years. Another report estimates that the state faces $22 billion in drinking water needs. The challenges are already obvious in cities like Syracuse, which experienced nearly 400 water main breaks last year.
State Representative Kathy Rapp from Warren County has several issues with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's proposed 2015-16 budget. Rapp says she has tried to give Wolf -- "the benefit of the doubt due to his reputation as a successful business owner." However... the Republican says the Democrat's intentions have never been more "transparent" than was seen in his budget address... and, individual spending line items. She first has trouble with a nearly 5-billion dollar spending increase... which she says is the biggest increase in state history. Rapp says the 16-percent increase includes hikes in the personal income tax, and expansion of the sales tax. She adds that she's just as disappointed in some line items... such as Agricultural Research, Promotion, Education and Exports would get no funding in the governor’s budget proposal.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced several initiatives to boost winter tourism in the Adirondacks and persuade Canadians to shop south of the border. A promotion called ``Ski NY Spring Break'' will offer discount skiing across the state from March 13th to 31st. The ``I Shop NY'' campaign partners with the state's Retail Council to advertise New York stores in key Canadian markets from March 22nd to April 6th. The Democratic governor made the announcements Sunday at the 2015 Adirondack Winter Challenge, which included snowmobiling, bobsledding and a variety of ice sports in Lake Placid. Cuomo says the Winter Challenge, now in its second year, is meant to remind New Yorkers of the tourism and recreational opportunities in the upstate region. Numerous state and local officials participated.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling for upgrades to the computer systems used by the nation's air traffic controllers after a report found vulnerabilities to hackers. The New York Democrat says Sunday that has written to the Federal Aviation Administration to urge the agency to immediately implement several security upgrades to protect the systems. Schumer cited a Government Accountability Office report released last week that found several weaknesses in the computer system's handling of sensitive data and its firewall security. He says the vulnerabilities raise the possibility that hackers could take the air traffic control system off-line while thousands of planes are in the air across the nation.
It's a problem that's affected hundreds of Jamestown-area residents over the past couple of months... and, it's not going away soon. Frozen water pipes... and, broken water mains have been almost as common this Winter as potholes. However... there is a way to help keep your pipes from freezing up. Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins is advising BPU Water customers to keep a trickle of water running continuously from one faucet running to keep lines from freezing up. Robbins says they had a total of 90 calls over the past few days... mainly because the Frost Line has gone 50 inches into the ground in most places. Robbins says the Frost Line is now around most pipes that directly service homes and businesses. Those are about four-feet under the ground. She urges BPU customers to leave at least a 1/32nd inch stream of water running 24-hours a day until the frost has moved out of the area around the pipes. However... she warns that even once we get safely above the freezing mark... it will take a "couple of weeks" for the frost to receed enough to where the water can be completely turned-off. Robbins says leaving that trickle of water running will cost about 53-cents a day in Jamestown. If you have a problem with frozen pipes -- and, don't have a plummer -- you can call BPU Customer Service at 661-1660... or after hours at 661-1640. Like Robbins says... the BPU was dealing with four water main breaks Wednesday. Those caused additional problems in the area of Trenton Street between Hillcrest and Norton... Gordon Street... Glenview Avenue and Vega Street.
There's been no testing done yet on the Heroin involved in a pair of overdoses that occured in the village of Lakewood last Friday. However... Jamestown Police say only Heroin was found in the overdose that claimed the life of a young woman in the village of Falconer. That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they got back the results of testing from the State Police Crime Lab in Albany. Samuelson says no other chemicals or agents were found in the sample checked by the lab. He adds their investigation is continuing. In Lakewood... Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley says neither person located at a fast-food restaurant were "in distress." Bentley says both people were obviously 'high...' but, neither required a dose of Narcan. Unfortunately... he says it's become somewhat routine to have such calls. Both victims were treated at WCA Hospital.
Dunkirk Police officials are keeping track of developments concerning the spread of Heroin in the Jamestown area. Police Cheif David Ortolano says the heroin in "pink" packaging that's been in question has not apparently surfaced in the North County area yet. Ortolano says Dunkirk Police continues to encourage the public contact their office at 366-2266... or the confidential tip line at 363-0313 when they observe narcotics related activity in their area. In Jamestown... you're urged to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been honored for his work to support help for those struggling with addiction. The Manhattan Democrat received the ``Champion Award'' from the Coalition for Community Services. The group represents addiction treatment professionals and held its annual legislative reception Tuesday. Last month... Silver stepped down as speaker after more than 20 years following his arrest on charges that he took nearly 4-million dollars in kickbacks and payoffs. He has pleaded not-guilty and is keeping his Assembly seat. The coalition's public policy officer, Luke Nasta, says his group wanted to honor Silver despite his legal trouble to acknowledge his long support of programs to help those with addiction.
The state's budget process got off to a slow start due to the scandal surrounding former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. However... while legislative leaders have begun meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo... the process has been slowed... mainly because of language tying certain items together in the governor's proposed 2015-16 spending plan. For instance... local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says Cuomo has tied ALL tuition aid to the DREAM Act... which would allow people here illegally to obtain aid for college. Goodell says that type of "heavy handed" power will make it "very difficult" to bring about an agreement in the leigslature. While Majority Democrats in the Assembly generally support the DREAM Act... the GOP Majority in the state Senate does not. Goodell adds Cuomo has also tied the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding... to how a 5-billion dollar surplus is going to be used. He says it gives the governor the power to determine where that funding goes. The new budget deadline is Midnight on April 1st.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and juvenile justice reformers say New York should stop automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. Supporters of the change have come to the state Capitol to make their case to lawmakers. They want to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, so all but the most violent 16- and 17-year-old offenders would be handled by the juvenile justice system. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that still automatically treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, even though most offenders of that age face misdemeanor charges. Critics say young offenders lack adult decision-making skills and shouldn't be prosecuted as if they did. Cuomo says treating them as juveniles would help them get needed services and reduce the chances that they will re-offend.
Jamestown-area gas prices have gone up nearly 5-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now just over 2-dollars-54 cents a gallon. The Fuel Gauge says it was 2-dollars-49.5 cents last week. The Triple-A says it based the average on reports from 19 stations in the Jamestown area. Last year... the price was about 3--70 a gallon. On the national front... the average price is just under 2-dollars-43 cents. That's a 13-cent increase over last week. The Fuel Gauge report says the national average price has increased for 35 consecutive days... the longest streak of increases since February 2013.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is asking federal regulators to set a strict standard for the volatility of crude oil shipped by rail to help reduce destruction from accidents like a fiery derailment in West Virginia last month. The New York Democrat says Wednesday that he's particularly concerned about oil from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota and Montana because it has more volatile gases and higher vapor pressure than some other crude. North Dakota has adopted a standard for removing gas to a certain level before shipping. But... Schumer says it's too low and the regulation should be federal. He says such a limit isn't included in still-unreleased draft oil train rules the federal transportation department developed in response to accidents, including the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, wreck that killed 47 people. An industry organization didn't initially respond to a request for comment.
Nearly 40 race dates have been set for this year at Stateline and Eriez Speedways in 2015. Short Track Management -- headed up by Bill Catania, Jr. -- has announced this year's schedule of 39 events for both tracks. The first-ever Winter Extravaganza has now wrapped up... and, stock car racing is scheduled to begin April 25th at Stateline with the Super Late Model "Papa" Don Frank Memorial. A practice night will preceed that on April 18th. Eriez will open a week later. The World of Outlaws Super Late Models return August 22nd... and, highlight 14 touring series that'll be at both tracks. Also... for the first time, Stateline will hold a three-race Memorial Series starting with the Lloyd Moore Memorial on May 9th. Two others... featuring the late Bill Rexford, and Julian Buesink. For more information... go on-line to RaceStateline-dot-COM.
Fresh off his first budget proposal to the Republican-controlled Legislature... Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is questioning how GOP lawmakers can be so critical of its elements. Wolf, a Democrat, says after touring high schools specializing in science and engineering in Downingtown and Hamburg that his plan addresses things that have been discussed for decades... namely cutting school property taxes and corporate taxes. Rather, he says Republicans should talk to their constituents about the need for property tax cuts. Democrats and education advocates applauded Wolf's plan to raise state taxes on income, sales and natural gas drilling to support more than 4-billion dollars for education aid and property tax cuts. Wolf says he's trying to make the tax system fairer, improve the business climate and help lower-income homeowners by expanding the state's role in funding schools to 50 percent.
NWS issues Winter Weather Advisory for Noon to 1 a.m. Wednesday...
It's likely to be a slippery commute home tonight in the Jamestown-area after we get a combination of sleet and freezing rain later today. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for today beginning at Noon... and, it will run until 1 a.m. Tuesday. Forecaster John Hitchcock in Buffalo says we'll first see snow... then a quick combination of sleet and freezing rain this afternoon. Hitchcock says the snow may accumulate an inch or two... but, then the sleet and freezing rain will make for a messy and slippery ride home tonight. Hitchcock says we may see a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation during the day today. He adds we'll have more rain and freezing rain tonight... with another quarter of an inch accumulation. However... he says temperatures will rise during the overnight... which will bring all rain.... until early Tuesday morning. Some snow returns later tomorrow morning.
JFD urges residents to help keep Fire Hydrants clear of snow...
Our snowy and cold winter has left a number of fire hydrants in Jamestown covered with snow. City firefighters have already had to deal with one hydrant that was covered at the scene of a blaze... and, are urging residents to clear out their hydrants if they haven't been already. Firefighters have been out and about clearing as many as they can... however... many are again covered with the snow fall of the past couple of days.
County D-A pleased to see Coggins get maximum sentence in town of Carroll double-homicide case...
The accused ringleader of the April 2013 robbery and murders of a town of Carroll couple has received the maximum 50 years to life in prison. District Attorney David Foley says the term was handed down to 35 year-old Davide Coggins in Chautauqua County Court late yesterday morning. Foley says he was "very pleased" to see Judge John Ward hand down the sentence on two counts of Felony second-degree murder in this "vicious" case. Foley says -- all along -- he's pushed for the maximum term. He says members of 66 year-old Gordon, and 59 year-old Joyce Skinner's family spoke before Ward delivered sentencing for Coggins. He adds that Coggins also addressed the family... again minimizing his role in the heinous crime... claiming that Steven Todd, Ricky Knickcerbocher, and Joshua McCormick... all played bigger roles in the murders. All three of the co-defendants were recently sentenced to long-prison terms for their involvement.
City's plan for restructuring, and cost-savings approved by State panel...
A special state panel developed to help local governments to consolidate and save costs has given it's approval to the city of Jamestown's plan. That piece of good news was delivered by Mayor Sam Teresi at last night's City Council work session. Teresi says he learned about the development at the end of last week. He says the board is now moving at a "lightning pace" on initiatives for Jamestown... and, three other upstate communities. Teresi says the biggest item the panel is backing is the study of consolidating the city police department with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department. He says the board is "extremely interested" in the final outcome. The effort has already received a $400,000 grant. Teresi adds the state Financial Restructuring Board has approved giving the city a $250,000 grant to help pay for energy conservation and saving components in Jamestown's recent, $3-million Public Works project bond. In addition... he says the city could receive between one-third and one-half for the cost of "fixture changes" for new street lights that use LED lighting.
Mental Health Assoc. director says no other Heroin overdoses reported from "pink" packages...
There have been no other Heroin drug overdoses reported in the Jamestown-area since the three last Friday... but, it's unlikely that this deadly batch is gone from the street. That from Rick Huber, director of the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County... who says they worked with city Police and other agencies to get out a public health warning about Heroin. One person died of an overdose in Falconer... while two others in Lakewood had to be hospitalized. Huber says it's still not known if this Heroin had a higher potentcy... or was cut with another drug, like Fentanyl. He says dealers will then slight reduce the amount to get their buyers to get more. Huber says when dealers boost the potency... it can produces a stronger "high." However... that also produces the likelyhood of overdoses. The bad batch is being sold in "pink" packages. If you are in crisis... or have some of the "pink" packaged Heroin... Huber urges you to call 9-1-1, city police... WCA Hospital... or the Mental Health Association. You should also do that if you're an addict, and want to get off the drug. The association's number is 661-9044... or Huber himself at 499-2980 if you don't want to talk to police. Huber says they will help you get rid of it.
State Police start up hotline to report sexual assaults on college campuses...
In an effort to respond better to sexual assaults at colleges and universities... the New York State Police have established a new 24-hour hotline to take reports. Authorities cite data showing 95 percent of crimes against young women on campuses are unreported to police, while 90 percent of college rapes are committed by only 3 percent of male students, often repeat predators. The phone number was activated this week at 1-844-845-7269. New York's state university system has adopted a new definition of sexual consent that requires a clear, affirmative agreement between partners. It applies to more than 463,000 students on all 64 state campuses. The Cuomo administration has proposed legislation to mandate that policy at private colleges statewide.
Coggins receives 50-to-Life sentence for April 2013 town of Carroll murders...
The accused ringleader of the April 2013 robbery and murders of a town of Carroll couple has received the maximum 50 years to life in prison. District Attorney David Foley says the term was handed down to 35 year-old Davide Coggins in Chautauqua County Court late this morning. Foley says he was "very pleased" to see Judge John Ward hand down the sentence on two counts of Felony second-degree murder in this "vicious" case. Foley says members of 66 year-old Gordon, and 59 year-old Joyce Skinner's family spoke before Ward delivered sentencing for Coggins. He adds that Coggins also addressed the family... again minimizing his role in the heinous crime.
February 2015 was one for the record books in the Northeast -- the coldest month ever for three upstate New York cities -- including Buffalo. It was also the snowiest month ever for Boston. The director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, Art DeGaetano, says Buffalo, Syracuse and Ithaca shivered through their coldest months on record. February's average temperature was 10.9 degrees in Buffalo, beating the 1934 record of 11.4. The monthly average was 9.0 in Syracuse and 10.2 in Ithaca. Boston's 64.8 inches of snow easily beat the city's 2003 record February snowfall of 41.6 inches. DeGaetano says if Boston gets 5.6 more inches before the end of May, it'll be the snowiest winter on record. DeGaetano says February temperatures in the Northeast were the farthest below normal of anywhere on Earth.
The 24 Hours of "continuous hockey" at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena was a big success with a large number of people, and teams taking part. That from Arena General Manager Brian Cersosimo... who says it started with the Mayor performing the ceremonial puck-drop Friday... and, issuing a proclamation renaming Jamestown "James 'Hockey' Town" for the event. Cersosimo says a big crowd was on hand for the start... despite temperatures that dropped to about 14-degrees below zero. He says the frigid temperatures may have kept some people around longer Friday night. Cersosimo says a lot of people "camped out" during the overnight period. He adds that... if there was a lull... it was a brief one. He says they had 7 or 8 people playing at 5 or 6 AM. Otherwise... he says they had plenty of skaters -- for both rinks A and B. Cerosimo says a lot of people also took part in the "Wearing Red" fashion show... and, other activities for WCA Hospital. He says fund-raising numbers for WCA's Heart Center... and, the event won't be known for a few days yet. A lot of people also signed up at "Krafthockeyville-dot-COM" to nominate the arena for the national contest to land an NHL Pre-Season Game... and, 150-thousand dollars in arena upgrades. Voting continues until March 18th.
The arctic cold that most recently gripped most of Western New York -- for most of February -- is still causing frozen waterlines in the north county village of Silver Creek. Village officials are still asking all residents to leave water trickling to avoid waterline freeze-ups until further notice. Mayor Nick Piccolo -- early last weekend -- said they thought they had beat the problem of frozen waterlines until last Thursday and Friday night's sub-zero temperatures. He says they ended up with more frozen lines Saturday because of the big drop in temperatures during the overnight. The village is asking residents to leave water running in your sink at a fast drip, or trickle until further notice.
Our sub-zero temperatures in the city of Jamestown have also increased the number of water main... and, pipes freezing -- or breaking -- in recent days. BPU officials say they've seen a sharp uptick in those calls over the past week or so. They advise anyone with pipe exposed to the outdoors, or in a cold area... allow the faucets to be left running at a pencil-thin drip to avoid freeze-ups.
State lawmakers have voted to postpone the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions until next year. They say many still lack the required federal approval to do that for painkillers and other addictive drugs on the government list of controlled substances. A spokesman says Governor Cuomo will review it. The electronic prescriptions -- connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check -- are intended to prevent prescription fraud... and, doctor-shopping for addictive painkillers and illicit re-sales. The mandate to prescribe electronically is currently scheduled to take effect March 27th.
A former Dunkirk fire chief will again take the helm of the department with the pending retirement of current chief, Keith Ahlstrom. Mayor A-J Dolce has annouced that Mike Edwards is his choice as the north county city's new chief. Dolce says Ahlstrom is retiring from the position later this month... and, Dolce says he wants to appoint Edwards... who mostly recently has been a captain. Ahlstrom has held the post since it became a full-time, paid position several years ago. He'll be retiring effective March 14th. Ahlstrom has also been a long-time Chautauqua County Legislator... and, was previously legislature chairman. He is currently Democrat Minority Leader. The Dunkirk Common Council will take action on Edwards appointment during their regular meeting this Tuesday.
State Senate Republicans have introduced ethics legislation requiring state officials file financial disclosures for everyone they live with -- a move that would affect Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo girlfriend and television chef Sandra Lee lives with the governor. The bill would expand existing annual disclosure beyond an official, spouse and dependent children. Cuomo proposed last week to require detailed disclosure of officials' outside income, which would apply to many Senate Republicans who are lawyers. A spokeswoman for the governor says they'll be happy to review any proposal with the bill's sponsor, ``whoever that may be.'' The listed sponsor is the Senate Rules Committee. A spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference says their goal is to pass ``a comprehensive ethics package that restores the public trust.''
The state's casino location board has moved forward with new bidding from developers for a license in New York's Southern Tier. The Gaming Facility Location Board has accepted bid documents drafted by staff, though members note that a winning bid will have to be better than two previously rejected proposals in the region. It has also accepted the 800-page report with detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding. That resulted in recommendations for new casinos in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes. The state's Gaming Commission must still approve the new bidding. It's currently conducting background investigations of the three winning bidders' principals. Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the board and commission in December to consider awarding a fourth license for a Southern Tier site.
Sign-ups for the 2015 Jamestown Soap Box Derby will be held this coming Saturday, March 7th, at the Gateway Tranin Station in Jamestown. Derby officials say competitors must bring a copy of their birth certificate... and, a 30-dollar registration. Anyone registering on March 7th will be entered into a drawing for a 50-dollar gift card. Tell all your friends how much fun we have on race day... which is coming up next June 12th and 13th.
(**Alert!)Local Police issue public Health Alert regarding Heroin overdoses...
Police in the Jamestown-area are putting out an urgent health notice to residents regarding three reported drug overdoses -- one fatal -- that occured in the Jamestown area this morning. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they are warning any Heroin users to avoid taking any of the drug that's been coming in "pink packaging." Samuelson says the fatal overdose occured in the village of Falconer... while the other two occured in Lakewood. Samuelson says the overdose victims in Lakewood were at a restaurant where they were going to the bathroom. Samuelson again is urging anyone who uses Heroin to not use anything in pink packaging. He says most of what they've dealt with is in "clear" packaging. If you come across any such packaging, you can call police, or the JPD anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. He says the announcement was being made for public safety reasons - not prosecution ones.
New York's governor and three top lawmakers have begun the annual series of closed-door budget negotiations. Governor Andrew Cuomo met Wednesday afternoon with Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos... as well as Senator Jeff Klein, the leader of a small breakaway faction of Senate Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference. The meeting was the first of what's likely to be several such gatherings, traditionally known as the ``three men in a room'' who negotiate the details of the state budget. Cuomo said Klein was included because his faction's support may prove critical for passing the spending plan. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who leads the Senate's Democratic minority, was not invited. She criticized the process and says the leaders of all legislative factions should be included.
Members of the Chautauqua County Legislature generally reacted positively to Vince Horrigan's second State of the County message. However... some say they want to know more about Horrigan's proposal to raise the sales tax by a half-a-percent first. One is Cassadaga-area Republican John Runkle... who says he wants to look at possible cost-cutting measures in addition to raising the tax. At the same time... Legislature Chairman Jay Gould of Ashville says he believes the county has cut about all it can -- within the framework of state mandates -- and, adds they need the added half-a-percent sales tax to help reduce the property tax. He says the county's property taxes shouldn't be in the area of Westchester County's rate. He adds that if the revenue can't be found... the county may be "bankrupt" by the end of next year. Legislature Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he can "support" an increase in the sales tax if it produces "true property tax relief." He says it's a relatively painless way to raise the revenues they need to "cover their expenses."
There were several challenges in 2014... but, Chautauqua County goverment was "one the move" ove the past year. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who celebrated several in his State of the County Address. Two of the biggest occured in the north county, with the approval of the NRG Repowering Project... and, privatizing the Chautauqua County Home. Horrigan says the 16-million dollar sale of the home last December 31st culminated a "difficult" three-year process. Horrigan says the county also took "numerous steps" toward addressing significant challenges with it's lakes and streams. With the help of State Senator Cathy Young... Assemblyman Andy Goodell... and, Congressman Tom Reed... he says Barcelona Harbor was successfully dredged. The Ellery Republican adds dredging is planned for Dunkirk and Hanover this year. He adds there is a new Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance... which will pursue state and federal funding to maintain the lake. Horrigan also welcomed Erin Brickley... who will be the Watershed Alliance's first executive director. He also touted the Department of Social Services efforts to ensure that people entitled to public assistance get it... and, those who don't -- don't.
Three people from New York City living in the Jamestown-area have been arrested for committing a form of shop-lifting called "under-ringing." It's where they use a self-checkout area to scan their merchandise... but, intentionally scan lower price tag items... and, put different items in their bag. Lakewood-Busti police say a second method used is scanning half the products in a shopping cart... and, not the other half. Officers say they arrested Bryonna Vickers of the Bronx... Achaia (Ah-kay-uh) Buckhanon of New York City... and, Trevor Patterson of Harlem -- all 19 -- on multiple counts of petty larceny. Police officials say they have investigated numerous complaints of "under-ringing" over the past several months. Lakewood-Busti officers say the three had allegedly committed the crime at the same store... but, this time were caught in the act. The trio was arraigned... and, posted bail.
State lawmakers have begun debating grand jury reforms meant to restore trust when police are investigated. The issue is getting attention following last year's death of an unarmed Staten Island man in a videotaped confrontation with city police where no officers were later indicted. Eric Garner's death in an apparent chokehold led to major protests. At a hearing on the state's criminal justice budget... several legislators are questioning reform proposals by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who would establish oversight by a special prosecutor or judge, respectively, when police are accused. Individual legislators are also raising other options. One would require prosecutors to disclose publicly what charges they have grand juries consider. Another proposal, from a former police officer, would leave the current closed-door system intact.
There have been no names announced... but the first new Jamestown businesses under Start Up New York could be opening soon. The guest speaker for the Chamber 'Salute to the Finest' awards Wednesday was John Sayegh, Vice President for External Partnerships at Jamestown Community College. He says the college and its advisory council have put their applications before the state. The first will be sponsored by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. As for the second application, Sayegh said he could not divulge the name... or nature... of the business, but did say "it is very excting". Those firms approved for Start Up New York will enjoy a variety of significant tax exemptions for ten years.
Two men who have 'painted the town' were honored as the 'Pride of Jamestown' at the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce Awards Wednesday night. Gary Peters, Senior, and Gary Peters, Junior, are responsible for the Lucy-Desi murals found throughout the downtown area. Gary, Junior said he and his father were not the only artists at the ceremony. The 'business of the year' award went to Digitell. Jim Parker started the business 30 years ago, selling cassettes of Chautauqua lectures. He now employs over 50 people... streaming video conferences all over the United States. He calls it a tough business... but, adds they're small operation in Jamestown is doing well. Other 'Salute to the Finest' awards went to Titan X, the Jamestown Cycle Shop, Line-X of Jamestown, Shawbucks, and the Lynn Development Group. Individual awards were presented to Peter Lombardi of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, and Jamestown Skate Supply Owner Pete Scheira (sheer-uh). Tim Shults of Shults Auto Group was given the 'Community Service Award'.
The New York Farm show is returning to the State Fairgrounds. The 30th edition of the show began yesterday and runs through Saturday. Last year... more than 25,000 people attended the Farm Show, which occupies more than 220,000 square feet of space in six buildings and includes over 400 exhibitors. The show will be held in the Exhibit Center, Center of Progress Building, Horticulture Building, Science & Industry Building, International Building, and Art & Home Center. It's co-sponsored by the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association and American Agriculturalist and features the latest innovations in agricultural equipment, as well as services and products targeted specifically for farm operators in the Northeast. A Robotic Milking Seminar is being offered daily, and presentations also will be made in forest management and agricultural safety.
For the second time in two years, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is sending a bill to the Senate to privatize the operations of much of the state-controlled wine and liquor store system. However, the Republican-backed proposal that passed 114-to-87 yesterday faces an uphill road, like the previous one that died in the Senate. Democratic lawmakers oppose it, as does Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Chautauqua County's nearly 6-million dollar "structural deficit" projected in 2016 is the "biggest reality facing us." With that... County Executive Vince Horrigan outlined his recommendations to eliminate that deficit during last night's State of the County Address. Horrigan outlined three ways to attack the problem... the key one being a push to increase the county's sales tax from 7.5 to 8-percent. He told the county legislature that such an increase would be in line with neighboring counties... and, allow them to work on cutting property taxes in the future.
Horrigan says he's propose home rule legislation next month requesting that the state legislature allow the half-a-percent increase. However... he would not eliminate the current clothing and residential energy sales tax
exemptions. The second area Horrigan says he'll focus on is putting alternatives in place to eliminate jail overcrowing, and the need to send prisoners to other jails at a cost of about one-million dollars a year. He adds he'll also work with the county's Insurance Department... and, others to reduce skyrocketing Workers Compensation Costs.
No serious injuries were reported when a Panama Central School bus slid off a town of Harmony road... and, struck a snowbank yesterday morning. State Police in Jamestown say they are continuing to investigate the crash... which occured on Eddy Road just after 7:30 AM. We have learned there were just over 30 students on the bus. The Post-Journal reports some 13 suffered minor injuries... and, none were reportedly hospitalized. State police could not say if any charges were pending against the driver.
A major water main break has left the small, northwestern Pennsylvania city of Bradford without water... and, forced a number of businesses... and, a local college... to close. The Bradford Era reports the 24-inch main broke late Monday... and, officials say the line was ruptured so bad... water will be shut off for the next "several days." The director of the city's Water Authority Tuesday said -- during an emergency meeting -- that the break caused a 5-million gallon water leak. Kim Benjamin says if they didn't shut the system down... it would go down on it's own because of the loss of water. Mayor Tom Riel (Ryl) has declared a State of Emergency to begin the process of applying for federal aid. The break forced the closing of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and schools in the Bradford Area School District through at least the end of the week.
The Chautauqua County Water Agency has taken another step in the process of developing a North County Regional Water District. In a unanimous vote... the agency has approved the "framework" of a plan that would include the city of Dunkirk and the village of Fredonia as water providers. County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's a major step for the project. An independent analysis of the plan projects nearly 356-thousand dollars in savings when compared to having three water providers producing water on an independent basis. He says they "have everyone together now..." and, that's a major step. Several more steps will need to be taken in developing a water district, starting with the intermunicipal agreements.
The Jamestown Area Community Chamber of Commerce presented its annual 'Salute to the Finest' awards Wednesday. Two new award categories for young professionals were added this year. Peter Lombardi, Deputy Director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation was named 'young community leader of the year'. The 'young business leader of the year' was Pete Scheira (sheer-uh), owner of Jamestown Skate Supply. Scheira was unable to attend the ceremony. His award was accepted by William Bacon, a friend and business partner. Bacon talked about what he sees when goes to Jamestown Skate Supply on Pine Street. Also honored at the event at La Scala Wednesday night were Titan X, the Jamestown Cycle Shop, Line-X of Jamestown, the Lynn Development Group, Shawbucks, and Digitell. Tim Shults of Ed Shults Auto Group was given the Community Service Award. Mural artists Gary Peters Senior and Junior were given the 'Pride of Jamestown' award.
The keynote speaker at the 'Salute to the Finest' dinner was John Sayegh (sigh-egg), a Vice-President at Jamestown Community College. He reported on the Start Up New York program, and said two new businesses appear ready for approval for Start Up incentives. One will be a research and development business sponsored by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. Sayegh said the other business will also be located in the city of Jamestown, but could not divulge the name of nature of it. He added, "It's really exciting." Sayegh says approval at the state level could come in the next month.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says neither he nor his staff have been subpoenaed or contacted by federal investigators probing Albany corruption. The Democratic governor's comments were in response to a reporter's question. He said he had not been contacted... and, a spokeswoman later said that no executive chamber staffer had received a subpoena, either. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said his Albany investigation is continuing.
Hundreds of advocates for better mental health treatment for New Yorkers rallied Wednesday at the Capitol, especially for one basic need -- housing. The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services says that leads its list of legislative priorities for the coming year. The coalition of people who use and provide mental health services is calling for an 82-million dollar investment in the statewide rate adjustment for supported and other types of housing to address ``a crisis'' from rising prices. The group says there's also a need for 35,000 more state-supported housing units -- 30,000 in New York City and 5,000 upstate -- citing the record number of 60,000 homeless individuals in the city, a disproportionately large number of them with psychiatric disabilities.
An initiative created to get school students interested how their coursework is relevant in today's working world is nearing it's fund-raising goal to purchase a drone for it's projects. "Dream it -- Do it" Western New York has reached just over 22-hundred-60 dollars of it's 25-hundred dollar goal to purchase the Drone. "Dream it -- Do it" coordinator Justin Hanft with the county's Chamber of Commerce says they only have four days left in the campaign... and, need to reach their goal in order to get the money. Hanft says they are using the "Kickstarter" website to do what's called "Crowdsourcing" to raise the money in a condensed time period. He says they plan to use the drone as part of their local STEM camps and programs to help students get "excited" about math, science, and engineering. To make a donation... Hanft says go on-line to Kickstarter-dot-COM... then search "Dream it Do it Western New York Student Drone video project." He says you can also reach him for more information by calling 484-1101.
It's tax season... and, with that typically come scams involving criminals calling people... claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service, and threating people to pay money they owe. That's one of a couple of scams local officials are warning Jamestown-area residents about today. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they received a call from one resident... who said a person calling themself "Officer Charlie with the IRS" called them... and, said they owed back taxes, and needed to pay them immediately or face arrest. Samuelson says the number listed was from the 703 area code. He says the first rule of thumb is to never agree to pay out money over the phone... and, don't give out any financial information, or your Social Security number. Samuelson says they've had some city residents become victims of such scams... and, while the FBI will investigate those... it's nearly impossible to recover the money.
In addition... the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is advising customers to be on the alert for a recent scam that has surfaced among hotel customers. BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says two local hotels received a call Tuesday from someone saying they were from the BPU. Robbins says the man told them there was a problem with their routing number on their payment... and, that if they did not give the correct information, he would send someone to turn off their water. Another hotel was told by the person that they would need to pay 600-dollars within two hours or water would be disconnected. Robbins says the BPU will NOT call and ask for account information from a customer.
The frigid Artic blasts of recent weeks... along with brief warm-ups... have wrecked havoc on local streets and roadways. Public Works crews have been trying to keep up with the numerous potholes, and massive ruts... but, there's only so much that can be done when temperatures are well-below freezing. That from Jamestown DPW Director Jeff Lehman... who says his crews can only use "cold patch" at this point until Spring gets here. Lehman says their summer "hot patch" won't be available from the local asphalt plant until sometime in April. Possibly the worst conditions this Winter have been on The Arterial and Foote Avenue... where there are holes... and, ruts everywhere. That is a state road... but, Lehman says they've been doing some temporary patching there. He adds he and Mayor Sam Teresi have been pushing to the state Department of Transporation since last Summer to finally fix the road. Lehman says they met again a couple of weeks ago... and, adds the state will have to do a full milling and overlay project for the roadway. He adds another problem areas have been part of West 6th Street... and, the approaches to the Washington Street Bridge... and, the intersections with Washington Street.
Class size in the Jamestown School district is one area that school officials and the board of education are looking at as work begins on the 2015-16 budget. That was confirmed by Superintendent Tim Mains... who hosted another budget work session prior to last night's regular board meeting. Mains adds that class size is one of the items brought up to the Jamestown Teachers Association when he recently met with heads of the district's seven bargaining units. Elementary School Teacher Laurie Cobb says the idea of increasing class sizes from 15 to 25 doesn't sit well with her. Cobb added that "class size should not be on the budget table." She says the students should come first... and, have the best classroom opportunity possible. Mains says that class size has become an issue because if the district is forced to make cuts... the number of students in each class will likely increase. Mains says the cuts may be avoided if they can obtain more revenues... and, or concessions from the bargaining units. The four areas covered at last night's budget session were employee benefits... contractual items... BOCES Aid... and, Special Education services.
A new Siena College poll finds that while New York voters support efforts to rein in state government corruption, they're more concerned about whether lawmakers pass an on-time budget. Fifty-three percent of those responding said passing a budget on-time is more important than Governor Cuomo's proposed legislative ethics overhaul. Cuomo has said his proposal must be in the budget, raising the specter of a standoff that would delay the spending plan... and, disrupt state government.
Discussion is continuing in Washington on ways to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from shutting down at the end of this week due to a lack of funding. Local Congressman Tom Reed wants to see a change in the rules of the Senate. Reed is calling for the partial removal of the Senate filibuster. Reed is accusing Democrats of holding Homeland Security funding hostage. The Corning Republican is hopeful that a shutdown of DHS will be averted. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media Monday afternoon.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have risen a fraction of a cent this week... but, the price remains just under 2-dollars-50 cents a gallon. That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price rose four-tenths of a penny to 2-dollars-49.5-cents for regular unleaded gas. The Triple-A says the averag is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area. Last year... the cost was about 3-dollars-69 cents a gallon. Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports the average price has increased for 28 consecutive days for a total of 27 cents per gallon. Triple-A says that's the longest streak of rising prices since last spring. Refineries are in the midst of conducting seasonal maintenance, a process that can limit fuel production and contribute to rising pump prices. In addition, the Fuel Gauge reports the potential remains for unexpected refinery problems to further impact production... and, cause temporary prices spikes in various regions. Last week an explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance helped push up prices in California, while bitterly cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest led to a number of refinery problems in those areas.
Sentencing for the main suspect in the April 2013 double-murder of a town of Carroll couple has been delayed for one week. Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 35 year-old Davide Coggins was to be sentenced Monday on two counts of second-degree murder, and other charges in connection with the torture-homicides of 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce. Foley says both sides agreed to the delay in county court yesterday. However... he says he will still push for the maximum on both counts of murder -- which is 50 years to life in prison -- on Monday, March 2nd, at 11 AM.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting another man at a hotel on the city's eastside last Sunday morning. City police were called to the Bullfrog Hotel on East Second Street about 8 AM on a reported assault. Following a brief investigation... officers arrested 56 year-old Daniel Weilacher for alleged assaulting the victim... who had to be treated in the emergency room at WCA Hospital. Police say Weilacher was jailed on one count of third-degree assault.
A Warren County, Pennsylvania man is jailed after he allegedly threatened to shoot police during a stand-off at his home in Pleasant Township. State Police in Warren say Sheriff's officers were attempting to serve an order of protection on 58 year-old John Blauser of Arlington Road shortly before 7 PM Monday. Troopers say Blauser had barricaded himself in his bedroom... and, wouldn't come out. Both Sheriff's Deputies and State Police tried to talk him out several times... before tear-gas was used. Blauser finally came out... and, was arrested without further incident. He was charged with assault, and making terroristic threats... arraigned, and sent to the Warren County Jail with bail to be set.
Fire has destroyed one home on Jamestown's westside... while another next door was extensively damaged late Monday morning. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were first called to the scene at 5 West 10th Street shortly before 10:30 AM. Salemme says they found the single-family home fully-engulfed in fire... and, that the flames had spread to an adjacent home. Salemme says they immediately called in an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters, and a shift commander... and split up crews among the two structures. He says two crews worked to knock down the flames at 5 West 10th... while two others went inside to deal with flames on the second-floor at 9 West 10th. Salemme says it took about an-hour and a-half to bring the fires under control... and, the zero-degree temperatures caused problems with water... and, a couple of fire trucks froze up. No occupants were hurt in the fires... but, Salemme says two firefighters suffered minor injuries. Salemme says the cause remains under investigation... and, the house at 5 West 10th had to be torn-down.
The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Chill Warning for much of western New York -- including Chautauqua County -- until 9 this morning. Forecasters say temperatures will remain below zero... and, Wind Chill's to 25-below until later than first predicted. That's due to our latest Artic blast that moved into the region early Monday morning. We'll see sunny skies this morning, with winds remaining about 10 to 20 MPH out of the west... then south. Once that happens... we'll begin to see a bit of a warm-up by this afternoon.
There will be public meetings in the near future for the public to attend regarding a proposal to de-dedicate a one-block section of Lafayette Street on Jamestown's northside. The head of the City Council adds that there is no intention of leaving northside residents out of the process of deciding on a proposal to expand a car dealership between 10th and 11th Streets. About 20 people were on hand for last night's Council voting session to express their on-going concern over the proposal. Regina Brackman says access to Chadakoin Park remains the concern.
The Dave Warren Autogroup wants to obtain that block for a location to display more cars they have for sale. The proposal was recently laid out for some northside church ministers so they could speak knowledgeably about the plan. However... some residents felt lawmakers were going behind their backs... and, trying to "sell" the proposal. Council President Greg Rabb says a meeting with residents will be held... and, he assured them that lawmakers haven't made any decision yet on the proposal.
County Executive Vince Horrigan is gearing for his second-annual State of the County message this Wednesday night... and, one of the main items is how he would like the county to respond to a structural deficit of nearly 6-million dollars. Horrigan Monday says a commission has been looking at the situation and has outlined some recommendations. Horrigan says he'll be looking back at some of the successes of the past year... and, will be looking ahead to some of the challenges the county will facing. The county's top-elected official says he spent the weekend "fine-tuning" his speech... which he will deliver during the County Legislature's monthly meeting in Mayville Wednesday. The session begins at 6:30 PM.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... and, county Community Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman will be hosting another Community Forum on local drug abuse issues next month. Horrigan says the March 16th session will focuse on the continuing prevention efforts to combat the epidemic of Opiate use and abuse in the County. Horrigan is also looking to update the public on the progress that is being made to get help to those who need it. He says the forum will be held on Monday, March 16th beginning at 9 AM at Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center in Mayville. Three speakers and presenters will be part of the program.
The excitement is building for the first-ever 24-Hour James "Hockey" Town event at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena this coming Friday and Saturday. There will be 16 hockey games with a number of teams already signed up. That from Arena General Manager Brian Cersosimo... who says they are figuring about an hour and a half for each game. Cersosimo says while they don't have every slot filled at this point... they have a good list of teams to fill in with. Activities get underway this Friday night with an event mixer at 6:30 PM... and, ceremonial "puck-drop" with Mayor Sam Teresi. Sandie DeAngelo with the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program will perform the National Anthem prior to the first game at 7 PM in Rink "A." Cersosimo says activities "outside" Rink "A" also begin at 7 PM Friday... with Karaoke, and two bands performing. The event is also serving as a fund... and, awareness raiser for WCA Hospital's Heart Center. That will include a "Go Red for Women" Fashion Show Saturday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. For more information... go to the arena website at Jamestownarena-dot-COM.
The 24-hour James "Hockey" Town event was initially created to call attention to the arena... and, voting for it as the top small-town hockey arena in the U-S. That would give it the designation of "Hockeytown USA." Arena G-M Brian Cersosimo says that would be a feather in the cap of the arena... and, users of the facility. Cersosimo says the vote criteria is very much in line with what the arena was built for. He says that was to be a "key piece" of the community. If they win... Cersosimo says they'll get an NHL Pre-season game... and, 150-thousand dollars for upgrades to the facility. He says you can nominate the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena by going on-line to Krafthockeyville-dot-COM... and, put in your nomination. Once you go to the website, you can search for Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... and, add your nomination with a short description why.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the federal government is allocating 32-million dollars to the state of New York to cover all expenses related to ebola readiness and treatment. Schumer says that money from the federal Department of Health and Human Services will reimburse the state's designated ebola treatment centers. New York City will receive 21.7-million dollars... and, the rest of the state will receive $7.5 million.
Flames destroy one home on Jamestown's westside, extensively damage another...
Fire has destroyed one home on Jamestown's westside... and, extensively damaged another next door when flames broke out this morning. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were first called to the scene at 5 West 10th Street shortly before 10:30 a.m. Salemme says they found the single-family home fully-engulfed in fire... and, that the flames had spread to the second-floor and attic of an adjacent home. He adds two other nearby homes on North Main Street suffered exposure damage. Salemme says they immediately called in an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters, and a shift commander... and split up crews among the two structures. He says it took about an-hour and a-half to bring the fires under control... and, the zero-degree temperatures caused problems with water... and, a couple of fire trucks froze up. No occupants were hurt in the fires... but, Salemme says two firefighters suffered minor injuries. Salemme says the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The house at 5 West 10th had to be torn-down in an emergency demolition.
Another day... another Wind Chill Warning and frigid temperatures for the western New York region for the next day or so. The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Wind Chill Warning now through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says... while temperatures were in the lower 20s early last night... they fell as another Artic cold front came into the region from our north and west. Reynolds adds that wind speeds will be about 5 to 10 miles per hour... bringing the Wind Chills during the day down to about 20 to 25-below zero. Reynolds says... while we're expecting a bit of a warm-up during the day Tuesday... we won't see the Freezing mark this week. He says the highs will get to about 20 on Tuesday... and, 15 on Wednesday.
For the second straight winter... bitter weather threatens to turn the surface of the Great Lakes into a vast frozen plain. The federal Great Lakes research laboratory in Ann Arbor reports Friday that nearly 81-percent of the five lakes' surface area is ice-covered. On Thursday... the ice cover exceeded 85 percent. The lab's George Leshkevich says the small drop-off probably happened because winds broke apart some ice, creating open spots. Still... satellite imagery shows this year's ice cover has nearly doubled over the past couple of weeks.
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency can now begin working on finding a new business -- or businesses -- to occupy the former ConAgra building in Dunkirk. The IDA closed on purchasing the Talcott Road facility late last Friday. Agency Executive Director Kevin Sanvidge announced the acquisition... adding that the IDA had issued a 2-million dollar bond that was bought by the county last Fall. Sanvidge says the IDA now has "the opportunity to control the future use of the facility, thus allowing us to insure that manufacturing jobs are returned to this Dunkirk facility." ConAgra closed both Carriage House plants at the end of 2014... putting about 450 people out of work.
Cummins Engine's Jamestown plant won out over overseas competition for the new engine block manufacturing line that'll be constructed later this year. That from the Chief Financial Officer with the county's Industrial Development Agency... who says they were made aware of Cummin's plans to install the line about eight months ago. Rich Dixon says the IDA and state's Empire Development Corporation were brought into see what kind of incentives they could provide. He says the agency was able to provide some tax relief for project. The 94-million dollar project includes 40-million in new construction, and materials. Dixon says the other 54-million is for creating 40-thousand square feet in new space... and, building the new line. Since there are multiple kinds of engines constructed there... Dixon says Cummins will still be receiving some other engine blocks at the Ashville facility. Dixon says Cummins local plant... which is the company's main heavy-duty engine builder... won out over a German proposal to house the new engine block production line. The new production line should be ready for use in early 2017.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says Congress should reject President Barack Obama's plan to cut funding for a program that targets high-intensity drug trafficking. The New York Democrat says Obama's proposal to cut more than $50 million from the program would set back efforts to fight heroin abuse. Schumer says the spread of dangerous opiates shows the need to boost funding for the initiative. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program teams federal law enforcement with local police in designated areas. Chautauqua County -- and mainly Jamestown -- received such a designation last year. There are now 28 such areas in 46 states. Schumer says he'd like to see a 100-million dollar increase.
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly engaging in a "course of conduct" with a child under the age of 10 following a weekend incident on the city's eastside. Sheriff's officers served an arrest warrant on 32 year-old Amber Johnson on Anderson Street last Friday night. Deputies say the arrest stems from an investigation conducted by Child Protective Services... and, the Sheriff's Office. Johnson was taken into custody... and, arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on one count each of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child... and, reckless endangerment. She was sent to the county jail, where she posted bail. The warrant was served with the assistance of Jamestown police.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing detailed ethics reforms meant to restore trust in state government by requiring officials to detail all outside income and everybody who pays them more than $1,000. Current annual reporting consists of broad income categories and little about work done. The governor would require reporting all actual services performed and any connections to state government. Lawyers, real estate agents and certain other professionals would have to report. Legislators would be barred from any compensation in connection with pending legislation. Violators could be prosecuted and lose longstanding state pensions. Only documented travel expenses would be reimbursed, instead of broad per diems. The proposals in budget amendments Friday follow ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's indictment on charges he took $4 million in kickbacks as legal fees, which he denies.
The top Democrat in the New York Senate says the state's 5-billion windfall from financial settlements should pay for housing, transportation and school upgrades and tax rebates for low-paid workers. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the plan Thursday. The rebate would go to workers currently making less than 10-dollars-10 cents per hour. The specific amount would vary based on the worker's wage, with those making the least getting a maximum of 28-hundred dollars. The rebate would cost $900 million. Another $1.2 billion of the surplus would pay for building and improving affordable housing units. One-billion dollars would fund public school upgrades and $1.1 billion would go to transportation projects including the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Stewart-Cousins calls the proposal a smart investment in New York's economy and its people.
National Weather Service continues Wind Chill Warning through 10 a.m... but, bitter cold to persist...
Our frigid temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills continue through at least late this morning in the Jamestown-area. The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a wind chill warning until 10 this morning for all of Western New York. Forecaster David Church says wind chill values this morning will fall to 35-below zero... and, adds that anyone going outside during that time should bundle up because hypothermia and frostbite are real dangers. However, there is a respite on the way. Church says highs for the weekend might climb towards freezing mark... with at least a 30-degree reading on Saturday. However... temperatures across the area are expected to dip back down into the single digits by the start of next week. This morning... there's been very little wind... and, the temperature at our Media One Group studios at 6 a.m. was 13-below zero. It was also 13-below at the County Airport near Jamestown.
Deep Freeze continues for all of upstate New York...
The winter weather isn't letting up in upstate New York. The National Weather Service says Syracuse, northern Onondaga County and northern Madison County could get hit with another four to six inches of snow by this morning, and high winds will sharply reduce visibility. The most severely affected areas are expected to be north of the New York State Thruway, and the weather service has issued a lake-effect snow advisory. Sub-zero temperatures also remain in the region, making road salt less effective. Wind chills as low as 25 below also are predicted, and a warning has been issued through late Friday morning for all of central New York and the Watertown area.
Slippery roads may have contributed to two-vehicle crash on Route 60 in Gerry...
Two people suffered very minor injuries in a two-vehicle accident on Route 60 early Thursday morning just north of Gerry that may have been partly due to slipper road conditions. State Police in Jamestown say the driver of a northbound Sports Utility Vehicle lost control just north of Gerry shortly after 6:30 a.m. Troopers say the SUV went into the southbound lane and into the path of a pick-up truck. Troopere say one of the operators allegedly tried to walk away from the scene... but, was caught a short time later. No names were released. Both drivers signed off on treatment... and, both face charges in the crash.
Two people -- one from Tennessee -- arrested in "significant" Heroin bust in Jamestown...
Two people are jailed without bail for allegedly being part of a "significant" Heroin trafficking operation on Jamestown's eastside. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the lower apartment at 609 East Eighth Street shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday... and, arrested 48 year-old Ricky Baucher of Jamestown... and, 44 year-old Nicole Foster of Tennessee. Samuelson says the arrests culminate a 'major investigation' that uncovered more than 100 doses of the drug... and, about $10,000 in cash. He says several neighbors thanked task force members following the raid. The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... made up of city and Ellicott police officers... and, State Police. Samuelson says Baucher and Foster were both arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the county lock-up. If you have any information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the confidential JPD Tips-line at 483-8477.
Reed holding listening tour stops in 23rd Congressional district this weekend -- three in Chautauqua County...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is holding a series of five "Town Hall" meetings in his 23rd District this weekend to get constituent input on how to vote regarding the use of force against Islamic State terrorists. Reed began the town hall session's last night in Owego... and, another one is set for today in Penn Yan. The Corning Republican's first of three sessions in Chautauqua county will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Ellington Town Hall on West Main Street. Reed says he's made no final decision on supporting president Obama's three-year proposal yet. In addition to the Town Hall meetings... Reed says he also wants to hear more from the president about what he envisions the mission would be for troops... or special forces in the Middle East. ISIS has spread it's hold on the Middle East from parts of Syria and Iraq... to Libya. Reed says beyond the 3-year time limit he want's to know more about the presidents call to "degrade and destroy" ISIS. In addition to the Town Hall sesssion in Ellington... Reed will be at the Brocton Village Hall at 12:30 p.m., and, he'll appear at the Dutch Village Restaurant in Clymer at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Gas prices hold steady this week...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week... just dropping a fraction of a penny over the past week. That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded this week is down 5-tenths of a cent to $2.49. AAA says the average is based on reports from 19 local stations. Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports the average price for regular unleaded has now increased every day since Jan. 27 for a total of 22-cents over 22 days. Gas prices have increased sharply due to more expensive crude oil costs and the start of refinery maintenance season. AAA says prices typically increase this time of year as refineries conduct maintenance, which can limit fuel production.
Another artic blast is hitting the Jamestown-area. The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Chill Warning now through 10 AM Friday for all of Western New York. Forecaster Dave Zaff in Buffalo says temperatures took a nosedive overnight... with the coldest air reaching the area during the day today. There will be a brief break from the frigid weather pattern over the weekend. Temperatures will drop again by Sunday night. Forecasters expect the below normal temperatures to continue for the rest of the month.
Both lanes of the state Thruway westbound near the Lake Erie shoreline in western New York were reopened late last night after a crash involving a truck. The Thruway Authority says a tractor-trailer crashed around 6:30 AM Wednesday between Exit 58 and 59 in the Chautauqua County town of Sheridan. The right lane reopened around 10 AM... but, the left lane remained blocked until about 9:30 last night. State police say westbound traffic was diverted off Interstate 90 at Exit 58 at Irving while both lanes were closed, while all westbound tandem trucks had to get off the highway at Exit 57 at Hamburg. Troopers say one person reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries in the accident.
Fire investigators have determined the cause of this past Monday's fire that destroyed the warehouse portion of a Lakewood-area manufacturer was electrical in nature. Lakewood Fire crews were called to Carving Masters at 47-18 Cramer Road just after 5:30 AM... and, found the back portion fo the building heavily-involved in flames. The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team, and Lakewood fire officials, searched for the cause... and, now say the blaze originated in the painting room... and, was caused by an electric baseboard heater. No one was hurt in the fire... and, officials say there was minor damage to the front portion of the facility.
In spite of a law passed in 2012... nearly 300 synthetic drugs are still available on the market that can cause serious health problems. That's starting to be seen with young people... including four school students recently in Batavia who became ill after ingesting "Cloud-9..." a stimulant also known as "bath salts." U-S Senator Chuck Schumer of New York... who pushed for the previous legislation... says he want's the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration to "pick up the pace" of outlawing many of those drugs that are still available, and causing kids to get sick. He made his push during an appearance in Jamestown earlier this week. Schumer adds that two other students went to the hospital after taking the drug in the Churchville-Chili District near Rochester. He says the problem is that synthetic drug-makers "skirt" the law by packaging and selling new combinations. However... Schumer says these drugs are starting to show up in local schools... and, causing health problems for students who take them. The Democratic lawmakers says taking the drugs can lead to health problems such as seizures... and, hallucinations.
A legislative ethics commission has sent a notice of delinquency to former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver demanding more information about his outside income. The Manhattan Democrat stepped down as speaker this month after being charged with taking nearly 4-million dollars in kickbacks and payoffs. He is keeping his Assembly seat... and, has said he will be exonerated. The notice of delinquency was sent this month by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which had previously asked Silver to provide more information about private legal work he did in 2011 through 2013. Silver did not comply. He could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if he is found to have violated state ethics rules.
New York's highest court has ruled that state law determines where sex offenders can live in a community, not the growing number of municipal ordinances setting boundaries around parks, schools and other areas where children are likely to gather. The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously late Tuesday in a case out of Nassau County, saying New York's ``comprehensive and detailed'' statutes and regulations for identifying, restricting and monitoring registered sex offenders prohibit localities from enacting their own residency restrictions. Judge Eugene Pigott notes state law already prohibits offenders considered level three, or highest-risk for new offenses, from any public or private school grounds, or in a publicly accessible area or parked car within 1,000 feet. He notes that has been interpreted by courts as prohibiting them from living within 1,000 feet.
A new report says nearly a half-a-million tons of solid fracking waste from Pennsylvania has been dumped in landfills in New York state... and, it calls upon the Cuomo administration to take emergency action. Liz Moran with Environmental Advocates of New York authored the report "License to Dump... " which relies on Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection records to document what she calls a major toxic and radioactive threat to New Yorkers. Moran says New York currently has no system in place to track the potentially toxic and radioactive waste that has been dumped at seven New York landfills since at least 2010. Her organization is calling on the Department of Environmental Conservation to issue an emergency rule to classify waste from fracking operations as "hazardous."
A meteor moving at 45-thousand miles per hour lit up the sky over western Pennsylvania early Tuesday. NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office says the space rock measuring two feet in diameter... and, weighing roughly 500 pounds entered Earth's atmosphere above the Pittsburgh suburbs around 4:50 AM Tuesday. It could be seen in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.
There is a move on by federal lawmakers to make legislation geared towards helping Medicare dependent, low-volume hospitals permanent. Local Congressman Tom Reed is among those backing the measure... which he says is "vital" to keeping smaller, rural hospitals open. Reed says the current, temporary legislation expires on March 31st... so, he and a Democrat Counterpart have introduced legislation in the House. The Corning Republican says there are many such hospitals that are "living on a shoestring" in his district. Reed says making the legislation permanent would cost about 6-billion dollars. But... he adds it's critical to hospitals serving rural areas. While in Jamestown Monday... U-S Senator Charles Schumer also spoke to the issue... saying it's "vital" to Chautauqua County hospitals. Schumer and Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa are co-sponsoring the measure in the Senate. The New York Democrat says rural hospitals should be treated the same as urban -- and, suburban ones. Reed says he's "optimistic" the permanent measure will be approved in both chambers of Congress... saying the temporary measures have encountered few problems in the past.
Our series of Artic outbreaks in recent weeks means the month of February could wind up being one of the coldest on record for Western New York. That from Forecaster Tony Ansuini (Ensweeney) with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Ansuini says another arctic blast is on the way late tonight through Friday. He adds he doesn't see the trend changing anytime soon. Ansuini confirms that February is turning out to be one of the coldest on record in Western New York. He says the average temperature is 13.4-degrees...while the coldest month ever recorded was February of 1934 when the average was 11.6. As for the season, Ansuini ranks it among the top 10 coldest. The temperature was 4-below zero here at our Media One Studios early yesterday morning. It was 17-below in Dunkirk... and, 21 below in Stockton.
A major manufacturer of heavy-duty truck engines in the Jamestown-area has announced it has made a "significant" investment to install a new, engine block machining line to it's current facility. Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says Cummins Engine is now preparing it's plant near Ashville to begin putting the new line in place during the second-half of this year. Horrigan adds that full production is expected to begin at the start of 2017... and, that's "good news...." However... Horrigan says he doesn't have specific numbers as to jobs being retained... or, how many would be added. Local Congressman Tom Reed... who's been a big supporter of manufacturing... says he met with Cummins' Chief Executive Officer about the proposal... which he says will cost about 40-million dollars. He says that kind of local investment "only bodes well for our future." Horrigan adds that the investment represents a "vote of confidence in manufacturing in the Jamestown... and, surrounding area."
Here's one idea for fixing Albany: Pay New York state lawmakers more. Legislators make a base salary of 79-thousand-500 dollars for what's supposed to be a part-time job. But... they have long complained that the compensation hasn't changed in 15 years... and, doesn't reflect the workload. Now, a pay increase has resurfaced as part of a proposal to address political corruption. Many lawmakers and good-government groups say banning or restricting the money lawmakers make from side jobs would eliminate a frequent source of corruption. In exchange... they're suggesting a big legislative pay increase. Critics say outside work gives give lawmakers valuable perspective and note that no state bars lawmakers from holding other jobs. The latest lawmaker to face charges is ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver, accused of taking nearly 4-million dollars in payoffs.
Local law enforcement and housing officials are supporting legislation that would require new owners or tenants of housing previously used for a "Meth Lab" be told about it. Jamestown city... and, Chautauqua County officials were on hand for Monday's press conference hosted by U-S Senator Charles Schumer. Schumer says the U-S Drug Enforcement Adminstration reports that 95-percent of the residences used by people illegally making Meth aren't reported. Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy says they work with City Police on cleaning up Meth houses... and, feels the proposal will help keep the city's aging housing stock viable. The press conference took place at 824 Prendergast Avenue... where a Meth Lab exploded... and, triggered a fire that heavily-damaged the structure. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they've dealt with 14 Meth Labs in the past two-and-a-half years... but, 11 of those have been in the past seven months. Sheriff Joe Gerace was also on hand... and, called this another tool that localities can use in the war on drugs. He also thanked Schumer for his efforts to support their work.
U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke in Watertown and Utica Tuesday as part of a tour to publicize enactment of the federal ``Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.'' The measure signed by President Obama last week creates a variety of mental health and community support programs to help veterans transition into civilian life. It's named after a Texas infantryman and sniper who committed suicide in Houston in 2011 after fighting to get governmental help for his combat-related mental health troubles. The Veterans Administration says more than 8-thousand veterans a year commit suicide... the majority of them under age 50.
The tourism office of Ithaca, New York, is waving the white flag on winter and advising visitors to its website to check out the Florida Keys instead. VisitIthaca.com's home page displays Sunshine State vacation photos and provides links to the website for tourism information about the Florida Keys and Key West. The top of the Ithaca page reads: ``That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?'' Referring to ``this ridiculously stupid winter,'' the Ithaca website suggests visiting the Florida Keys this week and returning ``when things thaw out.'' Ithaca and the rest of upstate New York have been in the grips of a snowy and brutally cold winter.
The Cuomo administration has proposed boosting New York's oil spill fund to 40-million dollars amid the recent surge in railroad shipping and dangerous derailments, while transferring authority from the state comptroller to its own environmental staff. The increased funding is supported by the comptroller's office and environmentalist groups. Shifting control to the Department of Environmental Conservation is not.
This February could end up being one of the coldest ever -- if not the coldest...
Our series of Artic outbreaks in recent weeks means the month of February could wind up being one of the coldest on record for Western New York. That from Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Ansuini says another arctic blast is on the way for late Wednesday through Friday. He adds he doesn't see the trend changing anytime soon... with "well-below" normal temperatures through the beginning of March. Ansuini confirms that February is turning out to be one of the coldest on record in Western New York. He says the average temperature is 13.4-degrees...while the coldest month ever recorded was February of 1934 when the average was 11.6. As for the season, Ansuini ranks it among the top 10 coldest.
Cummins Engine announces major investment in new block machining line...
A major manufacturer of heavy-duty truck engines in the Jamestown-area has announced it has made a "significant" investment to install a new, engine block machining line to it's current facility. Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says Cummins Engine is now preparing it's plant near Ashville to begin putting the new line in place during the second-half of this year. Horrigan adds that full production is expected to begin at the start of 2017... and, that's "good news." He says this follows a "very successful 2014 for the company." Horrigan, though, doesn't have specific numbers as to jobs being retained... or, how many would be added. Local Congressman Tom Reed... who's been a big supporter of manufacturing... says he met with Cummins' Chief Executive Officer about the proposal... which he says will cost about $40-million. He says that kind of local investment "only bodes well for our future." Horrigan adds that the investment represents a "vote of confidence in manufacturing in the Jamestown... and, surrounding area."
Some state lawmakers may push for pay raise in return for reforms on outside income...
Here's one idea for fixing Albany: Pay New York state lawmakers more. Legislators make a base salary of $79,500 for what's supposed to be a part-time job. But... they have long complained that the compensation hasn't changed in 15 years... and, doesn't reflect the workload. Now, a pay increase has resurfaced as part of a proposal to address political corruption. Many lawmakers and good-government groups say banning or restricting the money lawmakers make from side jobs would eliminate a frequent source of corruption.
After several arctic outbreaks in recent weeks... the month of February could wind up being one of the coldest on record for Western New York. That from Forecaster Tony Ansuini (Ensweeney) with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Ansuini says another arctic blast is on the way for late Wednesday through Friday. He adds he doesn't see the trend changing anytime soon. Ansuini confirms that February is turning out to be one of the coldest on record in Western New York. Landing it in the top two coldest. As for the season, Ansuini ranks it among the top 10. The temperature was 4-below zero here at our Media One Studios in West Ellicott. It was 17-below in Dunkirk early this morning. Unofficially... the lowest temperature phoned in was 21-below zero in Stockton.
Local law enforcement and housing officials are supporting legislation that would require new owners or tenants of housing previously used for a "Meth Lab" be told of it. Jamestown city... and, Chautauqua County officials were on hand for Monday's press conference hosted by U-S Senator Charles Schumer. Schumer says the U-S Drug Enforcement Agency reports that 95-percent of the residences used by people illegally making Meth aren't reported. Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy says they work with City Police on cleaning up Meth houses... and, feels the proposal will help keep the city's aging housing stock viable. The press conference took place at 824 Prendergast Avenue... where a Meth Lab exploded... and, triggered a fire that heavily-damaged the structure. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they've dealt with 14 Meth Labs in the past two-and-a-half years... but, the majority have been found recently. Sheriff Joe Gerace was also on hand... and, called this another tool that localities can use in the war on drugs. He thanked Schumer for his efforts... including federal resources the county is receiving after being designated a "High-Intensity Drug Drug Trafficking Area."
Senator Schumer is pushing for federal legslation to protect people from the health effects, and cost of buying or renting a home that was once used as a "Meth Lab." During yesterday's press conference... Schumer said the DEA reports that only 5-percent of homes used to make Meth are reported... and, that's usually due to a drug bust or fire -- as was the case of the house he stood in front of at 824 Prendergast Avenue. Schumer says... while the previous occupants may "clean" the inside of the dwelling... the effects of chemicals used to make Meth can remain. Schumer says 23 states currently have laws that force homeowners... or landlords... to disclose if a home or apartment was used as a "Meth Lab." He says the chemicals used to make methamphetimes can cause a number of problems such as headaches... nosebleeds... and, difficulty breathing -- especially in children. He adds disclosure could be done in a similar way that lead paint is now disclosed.
Jamestown police have now arrested the one person they are looking for in connection with the discovery of an alleged Methamphetime Lab on the city's eastside last weekend. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a citizen tip helped them locate 25 year-old Brandon Hogg early last night. Samuelson says Hogg was wanted on two Felony warrants for second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime. He says Hogg is also accused of violating his parole. Samuelson says investigators found a large quantity of materials used to make meth at the scene at 305 East Fifth Street. Samuelson says they're investigating whether or not there is a connection to the lab taken down at 242 McKinley Avenue last week, and this one. He says police were able to obtain a search warrant... and, raided the apartment on East Fifth about 2:30 PM last Friday. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information on the case... can city police at 483-7537... or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
The "back" warehouse at an Ashville-area manufacturing plant was destroyed yesterday in a fire that appears accidental in nature. Lakewood Fire Department Public Information Officer P-J Wendel says crews were called to Carving Masters on Kramer Road in the town of Busti just after 5:30 AM Monday. Wendel says a plow driver called in the initial alarm... and, first-arrving crews found heavy smoke and fire in the back. Wendel says it was also difficult to deal with 27-below zero temperature when they first arrived. He says water froze up... and, some part of the scene were like a "skating rink." He says county, and Lakewood fire investigators determined the cause was accidental... and, found the point of origin in a corner of the building. Lakewood was joined at the scne by Panama, Busti and Mayville Fire crews. Wendel says their equipment was back in service about 5 PM yesterday. No injuries were reported. The exact cause remains under investigation.
Here's one idea for fixing Albany: Pay New York state lawmakers more. Legislators make a base salary of 79-thousand-500 dollars for what's supposed to be a part-time job. But... they have long complained that the compensation hasn't changed in 15 years... and, doesn't reflect the workload. Now, a pay increase has resurfaced as part of a proposal to address political corruption. Many lawmakers and good-government groups say banning or restricting the money lawmakers make from side jobs would eliminate a frequent source of corruption. In exchange... they're suggesting a big legislative pay increase.
The 10 newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame were honored last night at the hall's 34th annual induction banquet in Lakewood. The Class of 2015 represents everything from coaching... to professional football... and, horse racing. Coaching was well-represented with long-time Sherman High School boys and girl's basketball coach Mel Swanson. Swanson... who was New York State Girls Basketball Coach of the Year last year... calls his induction a "great honor" that he wanted to share with everyone who contributed to his -- and the programs' successes. In addition... late Panama Football Coach Jack Keeney... retired Falconer Wresting Coach Bill Davenport... and collegiate Track and Field Coach Dan Stimson of Falconer were inducted. High college and professional football was represented by Clymer High School graduate Jehuu Caulcrick. Salamanca native... Chuck Crist... who played professionally with the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants... and, San Francisco 49ers was also inducted. The media was also represented... with former Post-Journal Sports Writer "Scrubby" Olson... and, our own Jim Roselle.
U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will speak in Watertown and Utica as part of a tour to publicize enactment of the federal ``Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.'' The measure signed by President Barack Obama last week creates a variety of mental health and community support programs to help veterans transition into civilian life. It's named after a Texas infantryman and sniper who committed suicide in Houston in 2011 after fighting to get governmental help for his combat-related mental health troubles.
The Mayville Village Board has approved a new, four-year agreement with the operators of the Chautauqua Belle to allow the steamship to be anchored at the village's Lakeside Park. Mayor Marty Bova (Boh-Vuh) says the unanimous vote came after several people in an overflow crowd of about 90 people spoke -- primarily on wanting to keep the Belle headquartered in Mayville. Bova called the meeting "very productive..." and, one where people spoke passionately... but, civily.. about the issue. He adds the board also gave him some latitiude in nailing down final details on the contract. Bova says the board voted 4-to-0 in favor of the four-year agreement... which was the same agreement the panel discussed one week ago with U-S Steam Lines... which owns the Belle. He expected attorneys for both sides to begin hammering out final details today. Bova says he feels "wonderful" to have an agreement approved... adding that village officials want to keep the Belle in Mayville. He adds it was a matter of coming up with a new contract that everyone could "live with." The contract has new language to deal with payment of the 4-thousand dollar a year lease... and, penalties.
A meeting of pastors from four churches on Jamestown's northside with the owner of a local car dealership is the first step in letting residents know what they're proposing for a one-block section of Lafayette Street. Last night's meeting was put together by another Pastor -- City Councilman Alfonso Pagan -- to allow the ministers the chance to hear the proposal by the Dave Warren Autogroup... and, ask questions about it. Pagan says these men are leaders in the community... and, giving them the information will help their congregations understand what's going on. The Dave Warren Autogroup is requesting the city de-dedicate the block of Lafayette Street between 10th and 11th Streets to allow the Washington Street dealership to expand it's lot. However... several residents of the area spoke out against the proposal during last month's Council voting session. They were upset that they hadn't been told about the proposal... and, that it would affect access to Chadakoin Park. The proposal to de-dedicate Lafayette between 10th and 11th Streets has been approved by the city Planning Commission... but, is not yet before lawmakers for formal action.
A Dunkirk man is jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking Heroin following a raid in the north county city yesterday afternoon. Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say they took 52 year-old Robert Gee of 25 Benton Street into custody after executing a search warrant his home just after 1 PM. Task Force agents say the arrest culminates a two-month long investigation with Dunkirk Police that involved multiple undercover drug buys. Gee was arrested without incident... and, agents says they seized a stun gun, chukka sticks and high-capacity magazines for high-powered rifles during the raid. Gee was initially arraigned on one count each of third-degree criminal possession, and sale of a controlled substance... and, more charges are pending. Police say tips from the public were "extremely helpful" during the investigation. Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is asked to call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have gone up a fraction of a penny.... but, remain relatively stable this week. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded, is now 2-dollars-49.6-cents. Triple-A says that's up 4-tenths of a cent from last week. The price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area. Nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded has increased every day for two weeks for a total of 14 cents per gallon. The Fuel Gauge says prices had previously dropped for a record 123 consecutive days before beginning to rise again on January 27th. While prices have moved higher recently... the national average is still one-dollar-11 cents less than the same time last year.
Majority Republicans in the state Senate say a top priority this year is eliminating annual cuts in state aid to public schools under the so-called gap elimination adjustment. Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan... joined by 20 colleagues Tuesday... said they have worked the past few years to reduce the impact of the adjustment enacted in 2010 to help close state budget deficits... negotiating an additional 602-million dollars in state aid last year. The Cuomo administration has proposed raising education funding in the coming year by 1.1-billion dollars... but, have tied it to several reforms.
Officials at the State University college at Fredonia has pulled the plug on FRED Fest weekend... and, is looking at alternative programs to replace the popular event. That after students... and, mainly non-students have caused trouble on campus and in the village during the annual festival the past few years. Vice President for Student Affairs David Herman notified students about the decision through a e-mail and letter. Herman says they plan to offer other events during the months of April and May. Herman says... mainly due to social media... large number of non-students have come to Fredonia during the weekend... which would have been held this coming May 1st through 3rd. He says -- in recent years -- FRED Fest has resulted in serious safety issues... and, led to a number of non-students making it a "destination weekend."
An amendment to a proposed federal law would ensure that government has to identify the impact an action it takes will have on private property. The "Private Property Impact Test..." offered by local Congressman Tom Reed... is another major step to protecting private landowners rights. Those are the feelings of Reed... who explaned the amendment to the Unfunded Mandates Information and Tranparency Act... during Tuesday's telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media. The Corning Republican says he proposed the amendment on the House floor... and, it was approved unanimously. Reed says the proposal has "broad" bi-partisan support. He says it will work "hand-in hand" with his overall bill, the "Defense of Property Rights Act." Reed adds it will make government entities not only look at the impact an action will have on the community at-large... but, property as well. He says the Defense of Property Rights Act is currently awaiting approval by the House Judiciary Committee. He says that provides two avenues of defense for land owners. One is compensation... the other is court of jurisdiction.
Governor Cuomo says he can't be blamed for the charges that prompted state Sheldon Silver to resign as state Assembly speaker any more than President Barack Obama can be blamed for former Congressman Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal. In a on-line profile in The New Yorker... the governor says the corruption charges against Silver relate to the acts of an individual legislator. He defends his decision to disband a commission investigating government corruption, saying that in exchange, lawmakers passed modest ethics reforms and prosecutors obtained the commission's files anyway.
A winter storm warning with heavy snow has been issued for Central New York and the western Catskills... while we are just looking at a Winter Weather Advisory. However... it's promising to be a slick commute in the Jamestown-area this morning with a combination of snow and sleet -- totaling about 2 to 3 inches -- through the latter part of this morning. Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service says an area of snow is moving into the area after some freezing rain late last night. Apfell says most of the accumulating snow and sleet will be done by the afternoon as the storm system moves further east. He says -- for the most part -- we will only see about 2 to 4 inches total accumulation... while there'll be about 4-to-8 in Wyoming and Livingston Counties. Our advisory runs until 4 AM Tuesday. Eight to 14 inches of snow are expected to fall in Central and Eastern New York by the time it's over.
Three people suffered only minor injuries after a car swideswiped an oncoming vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte -- then struck a tree head-on. Sheriff's Deputies say the driver of a southbound car... 18 year-old Tiffinni Keyes of Randolph... allegedly pulled out and made an unsafe pass on a blind corner about 6 PM last Saturday. Officers say Keyes' vehicle sideswipend a northbound car... and, both cars went off the road. Deputies say Keyes' vehicle then struck the tree... while the other car struck a snow bank. Officers say Keyes, the unidentified driver of the other vehicle... and, one passenger were treated for minor injuries at WCA Hospital. Keyes was issued tickets for failure to keep right... and, improper passing from Charlotte Town Court.
Two people from Dunkirk are in the county jail without bail following a one-year long investigation into Heroin sales in the north county city. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Dunkirk Police... say they arrested 59 year-old Rosa Rodriguez-Vasquez of 58 North Ermine Street on a warrant at a Main Street location early last Friday. Shortly after her arrest... Task Force agents and police raided the Ermine Street residence... and, arrested 42 year-old Julio Torres for alleged trafficking Heroin and other drugs. Task Force members say they found Heroin, "Crack" Cocaine... and, Suboxone inside the home along with scales and packaging material. They also found more than 6-thousand dollars in cash from drug sales... and, a rifle. Police say they also seized a late model vehicle they were allegedy using to sell Heroin from. Both Vasquez and Torres were arraigned on several drug related charges, and sent to the county lock-up. If you have any information about illegal narcotics sales around the county... call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.
"Weekend" drug traffickers from Rochester and Buffalo have been a problem in Jamestown... and, that's been shown by the latest drug raid in the city. One of the three people arrested last Thursday was not allegedly dealing "crack" cocaine from a Bowen Street address every day of the week. That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says 71 year-old Joseph Robinson -- along with the other two -- is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Samuelson says their investigation showed Robinson would come into town on Thursdays... and, go back to Rochester on Sunday. Unfortunately... he says "no matter how much enforcement we do..." there's not a lot they can do about it until the matter is investigated -- and an arrest is made. He says that's where their Tip-line has been so important. Samuelson says they received several leads from calls to the tip-line. That number is 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make measles shots free and widely available... like the flu vaccine. Schumer made the recommendation Sunday, noting that the CDC says at least 102 people have contracted measles in 14 states including New York so far this year. There was a record number of cases last year -- 644 in 27 states. The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR, is given in a series of shots.
A barn fire in the town of Arkwright early this past weekend is being blamed on a portable heater being placed too close to combustables inside the building. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says Forestville and several other companies were called to the scene at 92-65 Putnam Road shortly before 11 PM last Friday. Fire dispatchers say county Fire Investigators were called to the scene about 12:15 Saturday morning. Crews were at the scene until well after 1 AM. The barn was extensively damaged. Sheriff's officers say all the animals inside were removed safely... and, no injuries were reported.
A review of New York state's main economic development agency says it needs to do more to evaluate whether its programs are helping the economy. The report released by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday found that the Empire State Development Corporation provides little information about the value of its programs. The report also says the agency ``makes no public assessment'' about whether its programs are cost effective and that it's ``unclear'' to what extent the agency is helping to create good-paying jobs. The corporation runs more than 50 programs designed to boost the economy and oversees tax credits, subsidies and financing tools. In a statement, the agency's leaders said it regularly reports on its own performance and will ``be more than happy'' to direct the comptroller's office to its website.
Three arrested in two drug raids in Jamestown last night...
Three people -- one from Rochester -- have been arrested during two raids for allegedly trafficking "crack" cocaine in the Jamestown-area. City Police say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... with the help of the JPD SWAT Team... first raided a home at 108 West Eighth Street at 7:05 last night. Task Force members arrested two people there... 22 year-old Anthony Darling and 19 year-old Devonah Ferguson... and, seized a quantity of crack, and cash. The second raid occured at 50 Bowen Street about 10 minutes later. Police say they arrested 71 year-old Joseph Robinson of Rochester at that location. Robinson was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.... as were the other two suspects. Police say all three are being held pending arraignment. If you have any information on the illegal trafficking or use of narcotics... you're asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
Stop DWI Patrols over Super Bowl weekend result in 1,400 tickets being issued...
New York State Police say they issued nearly 1,400 tickets during 12-hour traffic enforcement campaign conducted on Super Bowl Sunday. State police officials say they increased trooper patrols on New York roads and highways starting at noon on February 1st... and, set up sobriety checkpoints to deter and catch impaired drivers. Troopers say by midnight Sunday, they had issued a total of 1,390 tickets. That number included 31 people for driving while intoxicated. More than 400 motorists were ticketed for speeding, and nearly 100 others were given traffic citations for distracted driving, failure to wear a seat belt or failing to move over for a stopped police or emergency vehicle.
Unionized workers at a leading maker of ceramic refractories in Jamestown are expected to begin work again next week after two bargaining units approved new, five-year contracts. A source close to the situation tells us that the approximately 180 members of the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers Local-#266 approved the pact with RHI Monofrax earlier in the day Wednesday. About a dozen members of a smaller union then followed suit. Vote totals were not made available. The source says the fact the agreement is five years -- as opposed to the earlier three-years -- helped in dealing with the sticky issue of health insurance contributions. Wages were also an issue. The unions had been on strike since last September 28th. A number of replacement workers were hired in the interim.
There's another shot of colder air moving into the Jamestown-area today through tonight. A Winter Weather Advisory ended at 4 this morning as the area received another 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight. Forecaster John Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says we'll start the day in the lower single digits today... after a cold front moved through last night. The high today will be about 8. Hitchcock adds we'll dip below zero shortly tonight before we get a bit of a warm-up by the end of the week. Last night's steady snow slicked up roads around the Jamestown-area... causing a number of cars to go off the road... and, a couple of fender-bender type accidents.
One person suffered minor injuries when she lost control of her car on snow and slush on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott Wednesday morning... and, it skidded into a deep ditch. Town police say the unidentified woman was driving on Airport Hill -- just before 8 AM -- when her car slid out of control. Officers say the car rolled onto it's side. Police say a passenger was not hurt. No charges were reported.
It was apparently a medical emergency suffered by the driver that led to a school bus carrying 30 members of a high school swim team to go off a town of Kiantone road Tuesday night... and, hit a snow bank. Sheriff's Deputies say the 43 year-old operator of the Cathedral Prep bus from Erie, Pennsylvania had the emergency shortly before 9:30 PM while driving on Route 62 near Riverside Road. Officers say the team was on it's way back home from a meet in Warren, Pennsylvania. Deputies say the bus went off the road... and, into some deep snow. No one was hurt... and, no charges were filed.
The man instrumental in putting together Chautauqua Institution's programming schedule each season for the past 25 years says the 2015 season will be his last at the institution. Vice-President and Director of Programming Marty Merkley says he is retiring after this coming season amid a flood of memories of major speakers, concerts and other programs that make up the nine-week season. Merkley says he decided that -- given where he is now in his life -- it's time to step aside. Using a literary reference... Merkley says his work at Chautauqua since 1991 has been "a wild ride for this toad." He says the Chautauqua schedule was busy when he first arrived... but, it's now grown to more than 2-thousand events each season. If there's one high-light... he says it was a couple of years ago when he got to conduct the Morman Tabernacle Choir in the amphitheater. Merkley calls it a "realy bucket list" moment. The institution brought in an Associate Program Director a short time ago to work with Merkley -- Deborah Sunya Moore. However... no replacement has officially been named yet.
A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly stealing several items from a car on the city's southside early yesterday morning. Jamestown police say officers were called to a Maple Street address just after 3:30 AM on a report of a suspicious man entering parked cars. On arrival... police say they found 24 year-old Brandon Moriarty in the act of taking property from a victim's car. They say Moriarty was arrested without incident... and, arraigned on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny, and two counts of petty larceny. He was then taken to the County lock-up.
An investigation into a home invasion that occurred last month in the village of Forestville has led to the arrest of a Fredonia area man. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace adds the probe is continuing. Gerace says deputies picked up 26-year-old Alex Tye on Monday for several charges stemming from the January 24th incident on Lodi Street. He adds Tye had a weapon. Gerace says Tye is facing some serious charges... including first-degree attempted burglary... and, second-degree menacing. He adds further arrests are pending. Tye was arraigned in Hanover Town Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail with bail set at 20-thousand dollars cash... or 40-thousand dollars property bond.
The new speaker of the state Assembly says the Legislature needs tighter rules on financial disclosures and more transparency. Carl Heastie (Hay-stee) proposed several ethical reforms that he says will help restore the public's trust in the Legislature after several recent scandals. An analysis of Heastie's own financial records shows just how loose the rules are. In one instance... the Bronx Democrat received more than 23-thousand dollars in travel and accommodation reimbursements for legislative business last year -- the third-most of any Assembly lawmaker.
Jamestown School District officials have begun work on the 2015-2016 budget... and, they begin already 2-million dollars in the hole. School Superintendent Tim Mains says that's because the board agreed to use the money remaining in their undesignated fund balance this year to help stave off major cuts. However... Mains says that money no longer is available... and, expenses are guaranteed to be up. During a preliminary budget presentation Tuesday night... he said a big part is salaries... but, adds there are several others, too. Mains says he and Business Manager Kevin Ziemba estimate the district is looking at a 5-to-7-million dollar deficit in the coming year's spending plan. During a report in the later school board meeting... Mains noted that if Foundation Aid from the state was "unfrozen..." that would likely provide enough to cover most -- if not all -- of that deficit. He says elimination of that catagory would provide about 5 to 6-million additional dollars. Four of the district's eight bargaining units don't have contracts in place... so district officials say they'll have to account for that. Officials add no school runs have been provided yet by the state.
The dire ``final warning'' letters might look like they came from the New York Attorney General's Office. With the office seal, a case number and threat of legal action to collect debts, the notices would arrive out of the blue. That's because they're coming from scammers trying to intimidate people into paying off fake debts or call a phone number that rings somewhere outside the U.S. and is answered by someone who may threaten arrest or job loss to force a payment. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the bogus letters surfaced recently and feature a scheme similar to scam involving a caller posing as an attorney from his office. He says legitimate government agencies don't issue such threats and consumers should be wary of any suspicious mailing or call.
Sherman man dead after snowmobiling accident...
A Sherman man has died in a snowmobiling accident near a state trail in the town of Sherman. Sheriff's officers say they were alerted about 11 this morning that 31 year-old Kyle Chimera of Marks Road had gone out on his sled during the late Thursday night. However... relatives said he never returned home... and, a search began this morning. Officers, along with members of the Snowmobile patrol... and, the Sheriff's Department K-9 unit... found the snowmobile had gone west on State Corridor Trail-#4... but, left the trail. Deputies say the sled struck a bush near a creek... and, became stuck. Investigation showed that when Chimera tried to get off his snowmobile... he fell into the creek, and drowned. He was pronounced dead at the scene due to an accidental drowning.
Two city residents arrested for allegedly trafficking, "large amount" of marijuana in Jamestown-area...
Two people have been arrested for allegedly trafficking large amounts of marijuana in Jamestown following a morning raid on their apartment today. City Police Chief Harry Snellings says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and the JPD SWAT Team... raided an upstairs apartment at 128 Fairview Ave. just after 7 a.m. Snellings says they seized about 2-and-a-half pounds of pot... and, cash inside. Snellings says the main suspect... 30 year-old Mark Goldsmith... was allegedly seen throwing evidence out a window just prior to the raid. He says complaints from neighbors led to the investigation. Snellings says the cash amounted to about $4,300 with several hundreds, fifties... and, smaller denominations. He says Goldsmith and the other suspect... 29 year-old Peggy Sue Reese... face several charges... including Felony second-degree criminal possession of marijuana... and, criminal possession of a weapon. Both are being held pending arraignment. Snellings say the Jamestown Fire Department's ladder truck was called in to recover some of the pot that had been through out onto a third-floor ledge. A third person... who doesn't live at the Fairview Ave. address was ticketed for not paying a fine.
Two arrested for allegedly dealing three different drugs in Olean...
A significant drug raid in Olean has left two men -- both from outside the area -- jailed on $50,000 bail each for allegedly dealing Heroin, "Crack" Cocaine... and, marijuana. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they executed a search warrant on a South Union Street address in the Cattaraugus County City. Task Force members say they arrested 33 year-old Stevaun Punter of Ithaca... and, 27 year-old Cordera Rumph of the Bronx without incident. Police say they found about 5-grams of "Crack..." 2-grams of Heroin... and, a quantity of marijuana.
Two city residents have been arrested for allegedly selling cocaine and marijuana from their upstairs apartment on Jamestown's southside. City Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and JPD SWAT Team, concluded a several week-long investigation with a raid at 105 McKinley Avenue late Wednesday afternoon. Abbott says officers arrested 25 year-old Matthew Williams... and, Lauren Carlson -- also 25 -- and, seized a quantity of cocaine... marijuana... and, suspected drug money. Both Williams and Carlson are charged with Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of marijuana. Both were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
An investigation by Dunkirk Police into last Sunday night's robbery in the north county city has led to the arrest of a Dunkirk. Police Chief David Ortolano says they were able to locate and pick up 30 year-old Cantrel Stewart for allegedly holding up the Walgreen's store on January 11th. Ortolano says the release of surveillance photos by several media outlets were a big help. Stewart is currently being held in the city lock up awaiting arraignment on a charge of third-degree robbery in Dunkirk City Court.
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Senate is calling on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to allow his chamber to take action on the Women's Equality Agenda. Olean Republican Cathy Young says the Senate has unanimously approved an historic package of laws that include provisions to ensure equal pay for equal work... and, protections against discrimination. Young says passing the Women's Equality Agenda has been a Senate 'mission' for three years... and, calls their unanimous vote a "monumental step forward...." However... Young says a bill that "greatly expands abortion rights" is the hang-up in Albany. She says many members of the Assembly -- including majority Democrats -- would like to take up the measures individually... and, said so during a bi-partisan press conference last year. Young emphasizes that local Assemblymen Andy Goodell and Joe Giglio "fully support" the Senate’s Women's Equality Agenda... and, are prepared to vote 'yes' on the Senate bills if given a chance.
Senator Cathy Youth says the state legislative session got off to a "subdued" start with the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo back on New Year's Day. However... Young says they got off to a "quick" start by passing the Women's Equality Act. She says they also successfully repealed part of the Wage Theft Prevention Act... which businesses viewed as an unnecessary mandate because it was a duplication of something they were already doing. She called it "anti-common sense." Young says she hopes the Senate's action will set the "tone" for the rest of the session that they want to grow jobs... and, make New York state more business 'competitive."
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the state's data security law is weak and he wants an overhaul requiring businesses to protect the personal information of consumers and employees. Schneiderman says in the event of a data breach or unauthorized disclosure, companies and employers are merely required to notify affected individuals if ``private information'' is compromised. That doesn't include email addresses and passwords, security questions, medical history and health insurance information.
An agreement has been worked out between the group's proposing competing pipeline plans to supply natural gas for NRG's Repower Dunkirk project. The Dunkirk Gas Corporation has reached an agreement in principle with National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation that provides for NFG to construct and operate the 9.5-mile natural gas pipeline. NRG Energy's David Gaier (Guyer) says the agreement should move the process along. Local State Senator Cathy Young, who has been pushing for the project that will convert the plant from a coal to natural gas-fired facility, says the development is "fantastic news." Young says details still need to be worked out... but, the major stumbling blocks have been removed. The two proposals were the focus of a PSC hearing that was held in Fredonia last October. Young believes the public's support for the project has made a difference. NRG wanted the pipeline to be available by next September... but, Gaier says that may be moved back.
An Erie, Pennsylvania family has expanded their restaurant business by opening a new pizza and wing eatery in downtown Jamestown. Fresco's Pizza and Wings held it's grand opening yesterday at it's 2 East Second Street in the first floor of the Fenton building. It's the location of the former Fenton Grill and Roberto's... which had been vacant for some time. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, and city of Jamestown worked with building owner Brian Taylor to find a new occupant for the location. Fresco's Owner, Sergey (Sir-JAY) Kodzayan (Koe-G-eye-in) says he's excited about this new opportunity. Taylor says when he found out Khodzayan was looking for a location outside of Erie... but, not far away... he showed him the location... and, says it took about six months to bring it all together. Mayor Sam Teresi commended Taylor for the work he's done on that block of the city. Fresco's opens each day at 11 AM... and close at 10 PM Mondays through Thursdays... Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays... and, 9 PM Sundays. Their phone number is 664-6464.
State lawmakers have proposed funding bulletproof glass for police cars in New York City. Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Felix Ortiz says the legislation has bipartisan support. Ortiz says it's an important safety measure and first step in improving conditions for police following last month's shooting death of two officers sitting in their patrol car.
It's one of the coldest days of the year... thanks to radiational cooling overnight. The temperature had reached one-below zero here at our Media One Studios at 10:30 last night. Many outlying parts of the Jamestown-area will get much colder than that today. Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service says another cold air mass from Canada is the reason behind the sub-zero cold... and it moved over the region overnight. While it could stay in the single digits along the lake shore... temperatures will plunge quickly as you go inland. Hibbert says some readings could be as low as minus-10 in some rural areas of the county. However... he says the bone-chilling cold won't last very long.
An on-going investigation into an alleged Methamphetime Lab on Jamestown's westside has led to the arrest of a husband and wife. City Police Chief Harry Snellings says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and State Police C-NET Team received some resident tips... and, developed information over the past couple of months... and, obtained a search warrant for the residence at 17 Catlin Avenue. Snellings says it was a difficult investigation.
Snellings says police were conducting surveillance on the house just before the raid took place at 3:30 PM. He says they were able to catch one of the suspects, 47 year-old Christopher Maini, during a traffic stop. He adds Maini's wife... 45 year-old Tammy... was arrested later. Snellings says they found the materials used to make "meth..." and, a "one-pot" lab in the garage. He says they were charged with one count each of Felony unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both are jailed pending arraignment. Anyone with information on suspected illegal drug activity is asked to call police at their Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Mayville woman is jailed without bail for allegedly operating an illegal Methamphetime Lab at her Pratt Street apartment. Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say they found 27 year-old Sara Lee Tolbert at a Highland Avenue home in Brocton late Monday afternoon. Task Force agents say they obtained a warrant for Tolbert's arrest after seeing her discarding items... believed to be used in making "Meth..." from her residence. Police raided her apartment back on December 30th... and, found the materials and chemicals used to make Meth. Task Force agents say Tolbert was arrested without incident... and, arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on one count of Felony third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime. She was then sent to the county lock-up.
City lawmakers will vote later this month on a plan to borrow just over 3.9-million dollars for 10 different emergency equipment purchases... and, capital projects. However... Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they also want to refinance about 900-thousand dollars in debt from when the city borrowed money to make required radio equipment upgrades for Fire, Police and other public employee radios. Mayor Sam Teresi says now is the time to do the borrowing, because interest rates remain at historically low-levels... and, word is they may be increasing sometime in the near future. Dolce says they're looking at a 20-year bond... and, the 10 items discussed last week remain part of the package. He adds the Parks Department was looking to possibly add a brush and grass cutter... but, officials decided to see what they could get for a trade-in. Teresi says his administration began with a list of about 8.5-million dollars in projects and purchases... and, cut that back to 3-million. Teresi says the purchases, and projects are necessary.
Jamestown fire investigators are still investigating the cause of a blaze that destroyed a vacant, two-story home slated for demolition early last Sunday morning. Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says firefighters were called to the scene at 76 Fairmount Avenue about 6 AM... and, found heavy fire and smoke coming from the building. Harvey says the cause is "suspicious" because no services were hooked up to the home... which was currently owned by the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation. The home was to be demolished Monday morning... since asbestos abatement had been completed. An excavator was already parked in front of the building. No injuries were reported.
There were some anxious moments when a car caught on fire between two homes on Jamestown's westside Tuesday afternoon. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says fire crews were called to the scene between 24 and 28 Woodworth Avenue about 12 Noon... and, found the vehicle fully-engulfed in flames. Salemme says firefighters used a hand-line on the vehicle... and, also poured water on the two exposed walls. The car was destroyed... and, Salemme says the vinyl walls on the exposed sides of each house melted... the windows sustained heat damage... and, there was insulation damage. Salemme says no one was hurt... the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Firefighters from three department battled a blaze that damaged a home on Liberty Street in Fredonia Monday afternoon. Fredonia fire crews responded to the fire at 41 Liberty around 2:30 PM... and, received mutual aid from city of Dunkirk, and East Town of Dunkirk firefighters. Fire officials say they were alerted of smoke coming from a laundry room... and, located the fire in the rear of the house. Crews had the fire under control in about an hour and were at the scene for over three hours. Firefighters were called back to scene around 10:15 PM Monday when the fire rekindled. No word on what caused the fire.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has picked a business leader from Buffalo to lead the agency charged with improving the entire state's economy. Goveronr Andrew Cuomo has announced the appointment of Howard Zemsky to be president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation. If confirmed by the state Senate... Zemsky will succeed Kenneth Adams, who Cuomo has asked to lead the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
A man considered a "true giant of broadcasting" who operated the former WNYP-TV in Jamestown back in the 1960s... has died at his home in Montana. Lowell "Bud" Paxson was the co-creator of Home Shopping Network who later amassed a trove of TV stations... and, then launched the family-friendly network Pax TV. Paxson died last Friday at the age of 79. National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith says "broadcasters have lost a friend and a legend in the passing of Bud Paxson, who was a tenacious advocate for over-the-air radio and television. The Rochester native began his career as an owner of WACK Radio, a little 500-watt radio station in Newark, New York. His next attempt at media ownership was radio station WXYJ... and, TV station WNYP -- Channel 26 -- in Jamestown. Paxson later owned a small AM radio station in Clearwater, Florida... where in 1977... an advertiser ran out of advertising money to sell 112 can openers. Paxson instructed a mid-day talk-show host to sell themm live over the airwaves, and both were stunned at the audience response. All the can openers were purchased within the hour. It was the start of the Suncoast International Bargainers Club... a fore-runner of the Home Shopping Network.
City police catch husband and wife for allegedly making Meth in westside home...
An on-going investigation into an alleged Methamphetime Lab on Jamestown's westside has led to the arrest of a husband and wife team. City Police Chief Harry Snellings says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and State Police C-NET Team received some resident tips... and, developed information over the past couple of months... and, obtained a search warrant for the residence at 17 Catlin Ave. Snellings says it was an "extremely challenging" investigation... partly because the most of the makers are actual users of the drug... and, selling what extra they make. He says police were conducting surveillance on the house just before the raid took place at 3:30 p.m. He says they were able to catch one of the suspects, 47 year-old Christopher Maini, during a traffic stop. He adds Maini's wife... 45 year-old Tammy... was later found at a different location. Snellings says they found the materials used to make "meth..." and, a "one-pot" lab in the garage. He says they were arraigned on one count each of Felony unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both are in the county jail without bail.
Mayville woman sought for manufacturing "Meth" found in Brocton...
A Mayville woman wanted for allegedly being involved in operating an illegal Methamphetime Lab at her Pratt Street apartment has been arrested in Brocton. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they found 27 year-old Sara Lee Tolbert at a Highland Ave. home in Borcton late Monday afternoon. Task Force members say they obtained a warrant for Tolbert's arrest after seeing her discarding items... believed to be used in making "Meth..." from her residence. Police raided her apartment back on Dec. 30, and, found the components and chemicals used to make Methamphetime. Task Force agents say Tolbert was arrested without incident... and, arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on one count of Felony third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime. She was sent to the county jail without bail.
Coldest air of the Winter Season expected in Jamestown-area overnight tonight...
Get ready for the coldest night of the season... with temperatures expected to fall below zero in many locations away from Lake Erie overnight tonight. Meteorologist Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says another cold air mass from Canada is the reason behind the predicted, sub-zero cold. Hibbert says the cold air is moving in from an area of high pressure in the Canada prairie provinces that will move into the area overnight tonight. While it could stay in the single digits along the lake shore... temperatures will plunge quickly as you go inland. Hibbert says some readings could be as low as minus-10 in some rural areas of the county. However... he says the bone-chilling cold won't last very long.
Upstate weather again snowy today, 3 to 4 inches in immediate Jamestown-area...
Forecasters say parts of upstate New York can expect a few more inches of snow to top off the 2 to 4-plus feet of snow that piled up in northern New York from the most recent lake-effect storms. Here in the Jamestown-area... the region received about 3 to 4 inches of slippery, new snow overnight on top of what fell late last week. The National Weather Service says 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected Monday in sections of Jefferson and Lewis counties, where storms that began last week continued into Saturday night before letting up.
Peek 'n Peak's 50th anniversary season fully underway near Findley Lake...
Our Winter storm that hit most of Western New York last last week and part of the weekend was welcome news for local ski resorts. At the Peek 'n Peak Resort just south of Findley Lake... they received well over a foot of snow over the past several days... and, have a nice base now for their 50th anniversary season. Director of Mountain Operations, Brad Gravink, says the season had been "up and down" up to that point. After getting off to a strong start... unseasonably warm weather hurt them over the holiday season. Gravink says the frigid cold kept a lot of skiiers away late last week... but, yesterday was perfect. Gravink says they got about 18 inches of new snow over the week, and the temperatures reached 28 degrees Sunday. He says they opened their tubing hill late last week... along with their "360 Park." He adds they hope -- with the seasonal weather -- to finish snow-making operations this week. Gravink says their 50th season celebration kicks into high gear next month. He says they're open Mondays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays... and, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information... got on-line to www.pknpk.com.
Mega Millions winner introduced in Middletown, NY...
An 80-year-old retired school principal is the sole winner of the $326-million Mega Millions jackpot from last Nov. 4th... the biggest prize in New York Lottery history. Harold Diamond of the Sullivan County town of Wurtsboro says he bought the ticket at a highway service center where he had stopped at his wife Carol's insistence to wait out a storm on Election Day. The New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega presented a giant ceremonial check to Diamond on Monday. He has chosen to take the cash value of the annuitized prize, which comes to about $130-million after taxes. Diamond says he plans to use the money to help family and give back to the local community.
Two north county men have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of tools from a garage in the village of Brocton early yesterday morning. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 29 Smith Street about 2:15 AM... and, quickly got a description of a possible suspect vehicle... and, relayed it to other local police agencies. Deputies say they found a majority of the tools taken nearby... hidden in some bushes. A short time after the information was broadcast... both Dunkirk and Fredonia Police found similar vehicles. After an investigation both 24 year-old Joseph Ameno of Brocton... and, 41 year-old Hector Gonzalez, Junior of Dunkirk were taken in custody by sheriff's officers after they were located by Dunkirk Police. Both Ameno and Gonzalez were arraigned in Brocton Village Court on third-degre burglary charges... and, Ameno was sent to the County Jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail. Gonzalez was jailed without bail due to past convictions. Officers say the investigation is continuing... and, futher charges are pending.
State lawmakers are returning to Albany for their first day of work today since formally starting their 2015 session. The Assembly and Senate are scheduled to meet for two days this week. Today... teachers unions and public education advocates plan to rally at the Capitol in opposition to efforts to increase the number of charter schools in New York City. On Tuesday... lawmakers in the Assembly will hold a hearing on a long-shot bill to create a single-payer health system in the state.
The mayor of Jamestown is again calling on state lawmakers to make mandate relief a key part of the 2015 state legislative session. However... Mayor Sam Teresi isn't the only local government leader who wants to see such relief... and, the cutting of regulations. Teresi says if state lawmakers and Governor Cuomo would provide some significant relief... it would allow local governments to truly cuts their costs... and, thus reduce property taxes. Right now... he says their "hands are tied..." Teresi says local government leaders appreciate the few steps that have been taken by state leaders... including a new, Tier-Six Pension schedule. However... savings from the added tier aren't expected to be seen for several years yet. Meantime... county leaders have said that the state has to reform they way Medicaid is paid for. Currently... the federal government pays 50-percent of the cost... while New York state picks up 25-percent of the cost... and, the counties have to pick-up the remaining 25-percent. Teresi made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
After battles in Albany over access to results of teacher evaluations, the group given the right to see them -- parents -- appear to be showing little interest. The A-P made inqueries to districts around the state... and, those reveal that few, if any, parents have asked for their child's teacher's rating since New York began requiring teachers to be classified yearly. Syracuse, Rochester, Batavia, Amherst and Amagansett are among those reporting no requests. Parents say they either didn't know they could get scores or judge teachers based on criteria such as conferences and other parents' experiences.
The first Saturday garbage collection by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities following a week with a holiday in it went as well as could be expected. That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says some residents aparently didn't hear about the fact their garbage was being collected on a Saturday until after the weekend of January 3rd and 4th. Leathers says they weren't surprised that happened... and, they believe the problems will ultimately take care of themselves. In the past... the BPU would have picked up both the Thursday and Friday trash and recycleables on that Friday. However... Leathers says that will not be the case anymore. He says the change was mainly due to employee safety because they were previously were "doubling up" on collections previously. Leathers says the added Saturday was not a major consideration in the new contract talks with BPU Solid Waste Division employees. Both sides recently agreed to a new, four-year contract with those workers. Leathers says the next time they do this will be the week of Memorial Day.
Governor Cuomo has appointed Bill Mulrow, an investment banker who has held several state and federal political positions, to succeed Larry Schwartz as his top aide. The appointment was one of 18 announced by Cuomo on Sunday. Others include Mary Beth Labate as budget director and Beth DeFalco, former political reporter for the New York Post and Associated Press, as communications director for transportation. Mulrow was most recently senior managing director at the Blackstone Group and was Cuomo's appointee as chairman of the state Housing Finance Agency.
Cassdaga Valley Senior Heather Dorler has been named 'Distinguished Young Woman of New York State' for 2015. She won the title Saturday night in Albany... and called it 'literally... actually... mind blowing.' Heather won Ditinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area last fall, and competed against 10 other young women for the state title. She said she was rooting for the other girls more than herself at times.. and 'not putting herself first' may have actually helped her win in Albany. Heather adds, 'there are a lot more scholarships' available to her now, but the exact amount was not known Saturday night. Heather Dorler is the daughter of Amy Jo and Wayne Dorler. She will compete in the national Distinguished Young Women program in Mobile, Alabama in June.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging the Food and Drug Administration to implement a plan to address recent reports of rat-infested warehouses that supply food to restaurants. Schumer said Sunday that the FDA sent warning letters to 90 food facilities across the country in 2014, citing unsanitary conditions such as insects, rodent feces and dead rats and mice. He's calling on FDA to increase the regularity of inspections, increase fines for violations, and create an easily searchable database for restaurants and consumers to see which food processing and storage facilities have poor sanitation records. Schumer says retail food vendors should have a clear way of knowing if the products they are buying are from a facility with known violations cited by the FDA.
A Clarendon, Pennsylvania teenager is jailed on 25-thousand dollars bail for allegedly trespassing after being told to leave a home in Mead Township a week ago last Friday. State Police in Warren say 18 year-old Aaron Arena turned himself into troopers late this past week on a warrant for his arrest. Arena is accused of entering a home on January 2nd... and, refusing to leave. Police say the 47 year-old victim locked herself, and her children in a bedroom after Arena refused to leave. However... he fled the home just before troopers arrived. He's charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect for Chautauqua Co. -- mainly no. county -- through 1 p.m. Saturday...
It appears the immediate Jamestown-area has missed the worst of the big Lake Effect Snowfall from a storm system that's been hitting western New York over the past couple of days. That from Forecaster John Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says the North County was getting hit hard with Lake Effect last night. Hitchcock says the heaviest snow was being seen in the town of Hanover... into Perrysburg. Hitchcock says about 3-inches per hour were falling in Forestville. There was also a report of about 16-inches of snow in Perrysburg since the storm began. That's on top of what's already fallen in those areas. The Lake Erie shoreline... and, western parts of Chautauqua County were hit hardest early yesterday morning. The lake effect snows left about 2 to 3 inches of new snow in the Jamestown-area later in the morning.
Several minor accidents reported around the county due to snow-slicked roads Friday...
A few accidents were reported yesterday... but, no serious injuries were reported. Jamestown police report a couple of fender-bender type crashes in the slippery conditions Friday afternoon. We also have a report of a two-car accident at the intersection of Hunt Road and Avalon Boulevard in West Ellicott about 3 p.m. However... no injuries were reported from that accident. County-wide... dispatchers say they have reports of several cars off the road.
Supporters of minimum wage boost for tipped workers ask Cuomo to intervene...
Supporters of a pay increase for restaurant servers want Governor Andrew Cuomo to overrule a state board opposed to giving tipped workers the standard minimum wage. Groups including the Hunger Action Network called on the governor Friday to require servers, hotel housekeepers and busboys to make the $8.75 minimum wage that applies to all other workers. Currently... state law allows restaurants and hotels to pay tipped workers a lower wage of about $5 as long as tips make up the difference. On Thursday... a state Wage Board studying the tipped wage defeated a proposal to raise it to match the minimum wage. Instead, the board plans to consider a proposal to increase it to $7 an hour. Cuomo's labor commissioner will make a final decision this winter.
Reed in majority in Congress voting to authorize construction of Keystone-XL pipeline...
Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the majority of members of the House of Representatives that voted Friday to authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline despite a veto threat from the White House. The bill passed in a bi-partisan, 266-to-153 vote. It was the tenth vote the House had taken since July of 2011 to advance the $7-billion project, which would carry oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. Reed calls the bill a "win for all Americans." The Co-Chairman of the House Manufacturing Caucus says the pipeline "not only creates countless infrastructure construction jobs, but it will also lower energy costs and put us another step closer to reducing our dependence on Middle East crude." A test vote is set for next Monday in the Senate... but, it should have enough votes for passage. If approved there... the bill would have to be signed by President Obama.
Casino board to consider Cuomo's request for fourth casino in So. Tier...
The board tasked with picking locations for casinos in upstate New York will consider Governor Andrew Cuomo's request to reopen the bidding process for a license in the Southern Tier. The Gaming Facility Location board last month approved three casinos, with one each in the Catskills, the Finger Lakes and Schenectady. The board withheld a fourth license and rejected two Southern Tier proposals. After leaders in the struggling area along the Pennsylvania border complained... Cuomo asked the board to reconsider. On Friday... board Chairman Kevin Law defended the board's decision, saying it would have been inappropriate to recommend either of the two Southern Tier proposals. Still, he says new applicants may step forward if bidding is reopened and that the board will ``entertain'' Cuomo's request. The board meets next Tuesday.
New Lake Effect Snow Warning issued from late tonight through Saturday afternoon...
Another round of lake effect snow will be hitting the area Friday... and, could dump up to two feet of snow over portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 10 this evening, until 1 p.m. Saturday for both counties. Forecaster Dave Thomas in Buffalo says a general snow will move into the area tonight. Thomas says expect a couple of inches of snow. He says Lake Effect bands will then develop... and, begin dropping into Chautauqua County early Friday. One to two feet of snow is possible along the Chautauqua Ridge... and, Northern portions of the counties.
Slippery conditions trigger accidents, and cars off the road today...
There have been a handful of minor traffic accidents due to slippery roads accentuated by our bitterly cold temperatures and blowing snow. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reports a tractor-trailer jacknifed on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman late this morning... and, left westbound lanes between Sherman and Findley Lake were closed for about 1 1/2 hours. Deputies say a few cars went of the road due to the accident. In addition... we've had reports of several cars off the road today across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. No injuries have been reported... but, police are advising motorists to drive with extreme caution.
City man arrested for allegedly trying to rob Rite Aid store in Brooklyn Square...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to rob a downtown pharmacy and convenience store late last night. City police were called to the Rite Aid store at 50 South Main St. shortly after 11 p.m. on a reports of an attempted robbery. JPD Captain Harry Snellings says store personnel tell them a man entered the store with what appeared to be a gun... but, he then fled the scene in an unknown direction with no money. JPD K-9 Mitchell was brought to the scene... and, tracked the suspect -- identified as 31 year-old Timothy Thomas -- to a location at 207 Spring Street. City police, along with Sheriff's officers, and Lakewood-Busti Police, were able to arrest Thomas... who is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree menacing, and criminal use of a firearm. He's being held pending arraignment.
"Pink the Rink" still going on, without Pittsburgh Jr. Team... (from Jamestown Savings Bank Arena)
A little snow can't stop Pink the Rink! Due to the weather, Pittsburgh will not be making the trip to play, but join us at the JSBA tonight at 7 p.m. as your Southern Tier Xpress face-off against local celebrity players in a fundraiser for breast cancer! There will be a Chinese Auction and 50/50 Raffle to benefit the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Wear your pink and get on board for breast cancer awareness!?
The city of Jamestown is looking to borrow 3-million dollars for what officials call several "necessary" capital equipment purchases... and, projects. Public Works Director Jeff Lehman and City Comptroller Joe Bellitto laid out the proposal at last night's city council work session. Lehman says seven trucks and an excavator made the final list from an original 4 to 5-million dollars. He says three are "wheel loaders..." which he says are very "important" pieces of equipment. Lehman adds the trucks they would be replacing are 10 to 15 years old... and, have fallen into disrepair. He also laid out a storm water drainage project for a troubled area on the city's westside... leak repairs to the deck on Tracy Plaza... and, 'trapping coating' for the Cherry and Spring Street Parking Ramps. Mayor Sam Teresi adds that some of the building projects... which includes new roofing on 10 to 12 city building... will provide some long-term savings through energy efficiency. Joe Bellitto says they're looking at a 20-year bond payment of about 275-thousand dollars a year.
Cold, polar air has pushed into the Jamestown-area... and, dropped temperatures into the teens by yesterday morning. The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Advisory until 10 AM today... and, a Lake Effect Snow Watch is in effect from tonight through Wednesday morning. That from Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service... who says we saw strong winds in advance of the first of two cold fronts that move in late Sunday... the second of which brought the sharply colder temperatures... and, strong winds. Wood says the strong winds continued through the day Monday... and, caused blowing and drifting snow in many areas. Generally... between 4 and 6 inches of the white stuff fell in the area by last night. Wood says we could see another 3 to 5 inches during the day today. There is also diminished visability in those area of blowing and drifting snow. Wood says we'll be in this general pattern through next weekend -- possibily into early next week. No serious problems were reported on the roads yesterday morning in the Jamestown-area.
The Democratic leader of New York's state Senate and the head of a breakaway faction of Democrats are criticizing each other over their continuing rift. Despite earlier promises to work with traditional Democrats... the five-member Independent Democratic Conference is expected to again align itself with Senate Republicans during the legislative session... which begins Wednesday. Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says Monday that the Independent Democrats' decision was ``disappointing'' and would allow Republicans to block Democratic priorities. In response... Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the breakaway Democrats, says Stewart-Cousins is ``in no position to pass judgment'' since Democrats failed to win a Senate majority. Klein said last summer that his group would work with Democrats this year... but, reversed course after Republicans won a clear Senate majority in the fall elections.
The 114th Congress gavels into session today... and, lawmakers will consider a new rule that opposes any raiding of Social Security Administration funds to fail out the disability fund. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a member of the Social Security Subcommittee that's looking at ways to prevent Social Security Disability from going bankrupt in 2016. Reed says there are indications the White House wants to take money from the general fund to support disability... and, the Corning Republican says that's taking away money from seniors and other retirees. Reed supports reforms to the Social Security Disabililty fund... including tougher enforcement of the rules... and, weeding out fraud and abuse. He says millions of dollars have been found that way in New York state alone. Reed also says he want to work in a bi-partisan way to preserve the S-S-D program. He says raiding the fund "isn't the answer." Reed says, right now, it's predicted that the Social Security trust fund will become insolvent by 2033. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
Jury selection has begun in a new corruption trial for former state Senator Malcolm Smith... and, a new charge of witness tampering has been lodged against his co-defendant. Prosecutors say former Queens Republican leader Vincent Tabone tried to convince a witness not to testify when he and Smith were on trial last year. That proceeding ended in a mistrial. The two men are accused of scheming to bribe Republican leaders so Smith, a Democrat, could run for New York City mayor on the GOP line.
In Girls HS Basketball:
Jenna Einink scored 23, Courtney Hewes had 22 points and Chautauqua Lake defeated Southwestern 61-50.
Randolph edged Allegany Limestone 46-43.
In Boys HS Basketball:
Sherman remains undefeated as they beat Frewsburg 54-48.
Maple Grove defeated Brocton 40-31.
It was Panama over Clymer 59-24.
**We've got High School Basketball on the air tonight at 1240AM WJTN as Jamestown takes on Williamsville North. Coverage begins at 7:30pm.
No one was seriously hurt due to a number of weather-related accidents in the Jamestown area late last Saturday morning. Most were fender-bender type crashes... especially in the city where freezing rain was a big issue for a few hours. There were also a couple of roll-over accidents. One occured on the Bemus-Ellery Road in the town of Ellery just after 10 AM. Sheriff's officers say 28 year-old Cody Jacobson was westbound when he lost control of his vehicle on Black Ice. Deputies say Jacobson's vehicle left the northside of the roadway... entered a small ditch... and, struck the end of a driveway pipe before rolling onto it's roof. Jacobson was not injured... and, no charges were filed. Officers say the Bemus-Ellery Road was closed until the vehicle was removed.
Winter returned during the overnight hours... after temperatures reached the mid-50s yesterday. The warm-up also brought some rain... and, with temperatures dropped through the overnight... and, snow in the region... there are likely some slick-spots this morning. A Lake Effect Snow Advisory is in effect... and, driving caution is advised.
The leadership of the Chautauqua County Legislature for the past year will remain intact for 2015. Legislature Chairman Jay Gould was elected unanimously at last Friday's reorganizational meeting to lead the panel for the fourth-straight year. Gould says he's excited to have the leadership team remaining in place for the new year... because he's recognizes that there are several challenges facing lawmakers this year. Gould says a bi-partisan... eight-member panel will begin looking for ways to deal with that 6-million dollar "structural deficit" in the new year. However... he feels "very confident" in the legislature's leadership... which will remain intact from top to bottom. Personally... Gould says he looks forward to moving ahead on dealing with the phospherous issue in Chautauqua Lake. That includes a long-term goal of providing sewer services to ALL entities on the lake. Gould says that'll take more than a year. In addition to Gould... GOP Majority Leader David Himelein... and, Democratic Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom were also re-elected to their positions Friday. The oath of office was also given to new legislators Elisabeth Rankin and Paul Whitford of Jamestown. Whitford is a Democrat... Rankin, a Republican.
A Panama woman has been arrested following a vehicle stop in the town of North Harmony for allegedly being found in possession of several drugs -- including Methamphetime -- that were package for sale. Sheriff's officers say they pulled over the driver... 28 year-old Brian Olsen of Busti... for an alleged traffic infraction on Route 394 early last weekend. Deputies found Olsen had a suspended license... and, had no vehicle registration. They also found his passenger... 33 year-old Melissa Ecker... trying to hide contraband. Further investigation showed that she was in possession of packaged Meth... hash... and, prescription pills. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force were called in... and, Ecker was arrested on several charges... including fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail on 35-thousand dollars cash bail. Officers say Olsen faces charges... including aggravated unlicensed operation... and, driving with a suspended registration. He was issued citations, and released.
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly demanded money from an employee of a tattoo shop just south of Jamestown.. However, when the worker didn’t comply... he allegedly stole a mug. State Police in Jamestown say 26 year-old William Michishima is accused of trying to rob the "Something Beautiful Tattoo and Piercing Shop" on Foote Avenue in Kiantone. Troopers say Michishima entered the business and demanded money before taking a coffee mug from a display shelf. The suspect was later located by police, who said he admitted to the incident. Michishima was arraigned on third-degree attempted robbery, and petty larceny charges and sent to the county lock-up.
Late Governor Mario Cuomo's number-two man for eight of his 12 years in office says he's "very sad" to hear of Cuomo's passing. Former Lieutenant Governor... Congressman... and, Jamestown Mayor Stan Lundine says he and Cuomo first became aquainted when Lundine was mayor... and, Cuomo was New York's Secretary of State. Lundine says it's hard to believe Cuomo has passed because had so much "vitality" when he served in public office. That vitality was first spotted nationally in 1984 when Cuomo delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. While he may have considered running for president... Lundine says he never pulled the trigger. He believes the main reason in 1992 is because Cuomo felt he should be focusing on the state's budget problems, instead of running for the highest office in the United States. The Cuomo-Lundine team was defeated in 1993 by a then, little known Westchester County lawmaker named George Pataki.
With former Governor Mario Cuomo's death, liberals have lost one of their loudest champions, a proud progressive who represented an older Democratic Party. In his three terms... Cuomo became a leading critic of President Ronald Reagan and used his rhetorical gifts to champion the working class. It's a legacy reflected by liberals including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Cuomo died last Thursday at age 82.
Governor Cuomo has postponed his state-of-the-state address for two weeks until January 21st at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany. Officials announced the changed date late Friday. The annual address describing initiatives for the coming year was scheduled for Wednesday. Cuomo's father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, died last Thursday evening. Calling hours are scheduled Monday with private funeral services Tuesday in Manhattan.
The annual battle over education spending in New York is taking shape, with divvying up the state's $5 billion windfall from bank settlements among the issues to watch. New York spent about 22-billion dollars on education last year, about one-billion more than the year before. Advocates are looking for $2 billion more in the budget Governor Andrew Cuomo will propose later this month... including a share of the surplus.
Organizers of Pennsylvania Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf's inauguration say the celebration will be comparable to those of other recent governors. And... like past inaugurals, the January 20th events will likely take on their own character. For example... Republican Tom Ridge celebrated his re-election in 1999 with two days of festivities, including a flyover by Pennsylvania National Guard jets, a concert by 1960s recording stars and a lavish inaugural ball in Hershey. Ridge's term was interrupted when President George W. Bush tapped him as the nation's first homeland security director following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ridge's successor, Mark Schweiker, limited his inauguration to a swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps. Instead of an inaugural ball... he held a private dinner reception for friends and relatives.
Local Authorities are asking people to not travel if they don't have to because road conditions have
turned very icy after this mornings rain and cold temperatures in the greater Jamestown area and chautauqua county. There have been a number of accidents reported across the region. Salt trucks are out and they ask travelers to be patient. ue to the icy road conditions across the greater Jamestown region this morning.
City man jailed, another being treated for serious stab wounds following altercation on Jamestown's eastside...
A city man is jailed without bail after allegedly stabbing another man several times on Jamestown's eastside just after 12 a.m. Friday. City police say 24 year old Randy Yanik, Jr. stabbed an unidentified man numerous times on the porch of 408 Falconer St. before running off. Yanik was hiding in some brush behind a business on East 2nd Street when he was tracked down by a JPD K-9 unit. He was taken into custody without incident... and, arraigned on one count of first-degree assault. Yanik is in the county jail. JPD Lt. Paul Abbott says the victim was taken to UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA for treatment of his wounds. The man is now in serious condition. Abbott says apparently the two men had gotten into an argument that escalated into a fight... then stabbing.
County Democratic Committee Chair says late Gov. Mario Cuomo was a "great governor," and orator...
The late Mario Cuomo is being remembered as the "last liberal giant..." and, a "great governor" for New York State. The latter is the feeling of Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman, Norm Green. Green today says local Democrats are mourning the loss of current Governor Andrew Cuomo's father... who died of natural causes Thursday at the age of 82. Green says Cuomo had the ability to speak "eloquently" for the Middle Class... and, the downtrodden in New York. He says we often have a tough time putting words to difficult problems, but, Cuomo seemed able to do that. Green adds that Cuomo was a rising star in the Democrat Party on the national scene, also. He gave the keynote Speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention... and, was actually courted to run for President twice. Green says he was ready to fly to New Hampshire to sign the papers to be on the ballot there... but, ultimately decided against it. Jamestown Democrat Stan Lundine... who was Lieutenant Governor at the time... would have become governor if that had happened.
BPU puts new Holiday Schedule in place for garbage pick-up in 2015...
If you live in Jamestown... and, your garbage is normally collected on Friday... it will be picked by Board of Public Utilities crews tomorrow. That's right. The BPU says the Solid Waste Division will be picking up garbage for residents whose normal pick-up is Friday tomorrow for the first time ever. That's because the New Year's holiday fell on a Thursday. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers adds that, from now on, they will continue picking up trash and recycleables the day after that holiday. However... he says people who normally have their pick-up done on Friday will have it done on Saturday. Leathers says details of the change are noted on the BPU's 2015 Recylcing Calendar... and, questions may be addressed by calling the BPU Garbage Hotline at 661-1651.
Winter Flu "prevalent" in Chautauqua County night now...
Surveillance Data Shows the number of positive tests for the flu have doubled over the past week in Chautauqua County. That from the county's director of Health and Human Services, Christine Schuyler... who says the number of lab cases in New York State for the week ending Dec. 27 were up to 3,922. That's a 90-percent increase from the previous week. Schuyler says hospitalizations related to influenza have increased by about 139-percent... and, there has been one flu-related pediatric death reported this season. To stay healthy... Schuyler urges residents to wash their hands frequently so that any illness is not spread from one person to another. She says you should especially do so after using the toilet or changing diapers. When sneezing or coughing, Schulyer says be sure to turn away from others... and, use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose and sneeze into the crook or your arm, rather than into your hands. Finally... she says get a flu shot. She adds it's never too late to get vaccinated because the flu season can last as late as May due to variations in the timing and duration of the season.
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is being remembered as a man of unwavering principle. The three-term governor died yesterday of heart failure at age 82, just hours after his son Andrew was sworn in to a second term as New York's governor. President Barack Obama calls Mario Cuomo ``a determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity.''
Democrat Andrew Cuomo kicked off his second term as New York's governor by saying he was doing so ``at a uniquely New York moment'' when some things seem at their worst. Speaking at the World Trade Center, Cuomo said he was fine with that because New York is at its best when things are at their worst. He promised that whether it's economic and racial equality... or the quest for better education... New York will lead the nation by example. The speech he delivered Thursday afternoon was followed by remarks in Buffalo.
A Jamestown man is behind bars after allegedly stabbing another man numerous times on Falconer Street just after 12 o'clock this morning. Police say 24 year old Randy Yanik Junior stabbed an unidentified male numerous times on the porch of 408 Falconer Street before fleeing the scene. Yanik was hiding in some brush behind a business on East 2nd Street when he was tracked down by JPD K9 Mitchell. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the city jail where is he is being held pending arraignment. Yanik is charged with assault in the 1st degree.
Chautauqua County Lawmakers are set to begin the new year with their reorganizational meeting this afternoon in Mayville. Ashville Republican Jay Gould is expected to again be tapped as legislature chairman. He's been named by the GOP Majority to head up the panel again. Gould says he feels the panel had two significant accomplishments in 2014... the biggest being sale of the County Home in Dunkirk. As for 2015... Gould says the budget will be another big issue... along with jail overcrowding. He says that 6-million dollar "structural deficit" is a major problem that County Executive Vince Horrigan is trying to address with a special panel... but, will likely involve some program cuts. Also at today's meeting... Clymer-area Republican David Himelein is expected to be named Majority Leader again... while Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom will again be Minority Leader. The meeting begins at 4 PM in Legislature Chambers.
Lower gasoline prices across the U-S have helped to keep the U-S, New York state... and, local economies moving in the right direction. Those are the feelings of state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says Chautauqua County's jobless rate this past November was the best since 2008. The unemployment rate ticked up from 6.1-percent in October to 6.3-percent in November. Slenker says the number of people working dropped by 100 over the month. However... he says the change was almost negligible. The county is still very dependent on manufacturing... which Slenker says held steady in November. He says falling gas prices played a big role. However... Slenker adds there will likely be more manufacturing job losses in December with the closing of both Carriage House facilities in Dunkirk and Fredonia. At total of 450 people were losing jobs there during the final quarter of the year. Slenker also says there are "seasonal factors" that also play a role in the jobless rate. An early Winter gives an early boost to the ski and snowmobile seasons.
Restaurants and commercial buildings statewide will be required starting next June to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors. The two laws signed this week apply to New York City... and, the rest of the state. Sponsors say they are intended to extend the requirement for the detectors already in place for apartments and one- and two-family homes. They noted that a carbon monoxide leak from a malfunctioning water heater pipe recently killed a Long Island restaurant manager and sickened nearly 30 people. The colorless, odorless gas comes from incomplete combustion. Milder symptoms from inhaling it include dizziness, headaches and confusion.
Governor Cuomo has pardoned two men who completed prison sentences and turned their lives around but faced threats of deportation from the convictions. Pardoned is 62-year-old Antonio Argibay, the proprietor of a New York City-based architecture firm. Also pardoned was 33-year-old Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch of Queens. Convicted in 2003 of robbery, the Guyana native is the married father of two, has earned bachelor's and master's degrees and works with prison re-entry organizations, including the Fortune Society.
New York's top education officials are weighing in on several volatile issues sure to be debated in the new year. The state's Board of Regents and Education Department made numerous suggestions for lawmakers Wednesday, including allowing more charter schools... especially in New York City... and continuing mayoral control of schools there.
A new definition of child abuse and changes regarding who must report it are in effect in Pennsylvania. Officials say they are part of the state's response to the Jerry Sandusky and clergy sex abuse scandals. The set of laws that took effect Wednesday largely involve Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law. The definition of child abuse no longer requires severe pain and serious impairment. Now, substantial pain constitutes the existence of abuse. There's a wider definition of those who must report suspected abuse, and they must contact the state directly, not just a supervisor or someone designated to make such reports. There are also steeper penalties for those who do not report suspected abuse.
Lake Effect Snow overnight means a "white" New Year's in Chautauqua County...
There is now a Lake Effect Snow Watch in effect for the Jamestown-area from tomorrow night through late Friday night. That from the National Weather Service... which reports no watches and advisories at the moment. However... snowfall overnight has been very-elevation dependant. Snow plows are getting out... but, travel can be a bit tricky on this New Year's Eve, 2014. Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the Weather Service's Buffalo Office says the lake effect snow will not be heavy... but, began to make it's presence felt last night. Ansuini says accumulations were expected to be in the 2 to 3 inch range... with some blowing and drifting. We had 4-and-a quarter inches here at our Media One Studios in West Ellicott at 6 a.m. However... at lower elevations of the town... we've had reports of 2-and-three-quarters inches... and, just over 2 inches in Lakewood. We also have a report of 2-inches in Cassadaga... and, no snow in Dunkirk. Besides the blowing and drifting snow, wind chills will approach zero at times.
State Thruway to again off hot beverages on New Year's Eve...
Travelers on the New York State Thruway can take a break for free hot drinks on New Year's Eve. The Thruway authority says tea and coffee will be offered at the 27 service areas on the highway from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday. This is the 44th year the beverages will be provided as authorities encourage drivers to stay sober and alert.
County to finalize sale of Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk today...
Chautauqua County officials plan to close on the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk to a Long Island firm that's been phasing-in over operations over the past several months today. County Executive Vince Horrigan says the home will now be called "Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center." The County Home is a 216-bed skilled nursing facility, specializing in rehabilitation and long-term health care. Horrigan says VestraCare first showed interest in buying the facility from the County in August 2013. Although its first offer to purchase the County Home was voted down by the County Legislature in October 2013... it's second offer of $16 million was approved by the legislature in February 2014.
Deceased driver involved in two-vehicle accident with truck striking Lind Funeral Home identified...
Jamestown police have now identified the driver of the pick-up truck that struck another vehicle... then ran into the front of a West Third Street funeral home. City police say 83 year-old Robert Woodmancy of Randolph suffered some kind of medical issue while driving his truck late Monday morning. Officers say Woodmancy was involved in a two-vehicle accident before continuing on and hitting the Lind Funeral Home. He was later pronounced dead at WCA hospital. Police say three people inside the funeral home were treated for non-life threatening injuries. The other driver refused treatment at the scene.
Teresi still looking for candidate to appoint to fill 6th Ward Council vacancy...
The search for a new Jamestown City Council member to replace one who moved from the Sixth-Ward to another part of the city is continuing. That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says he's been talking to potential candidates to replace Councilman Paul Whitford... who resigned earlier this month. Whitford was recently named to replace Paula DeJoy on the County Legislature. Teresi hopes to name someone by early to mid-January. He says there should be an appointment for council to vote on Jan. 26. Whitford moved into the First Ward... which put him into the 13th County Legislature District. Whitford was seated at the legislature's December meeting. He addressed Council members at this past Monday night's meeting... thanking them for their dedication to serving the city, and the friendships he had built with them.
Dunkirk man arrested for allegedly running Meth Lab in north county city...
A Dunkirk man is facing charges after police investigated a report of a meth lab that was located in an apartment at 60 West 6th Street in the city of Dunkirk. Police in the north county city say 46 year-old Angelo Bomasuto has been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine. The investigation was initiated after Dunkirk Police and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, with the assistance from Fredonia Police, received information that there was a meth lab in the lower apartment at 60 West 6th. As a result... Dunkirk Police were able to obtain a search warrant from City Court... and, had the four unit apartment building evacuated around 9 p.m. Monday. The State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team went to the scene Tuesday morning, executing the search warrant and gathering evidence. Bomasuto was taken into custody Monday night on an unrelated charge according to police. The investigation is continuing and further charges may be pending. Dunkirk Police were also assisted at the scene by the Dunkirk Fire Department and the county's Hazardous Materials Team.
Randolph man identified as driver of pick-up truck that crashed into Jamestown funeral home Monday morning...
Jamestown police have now identified the driver of the pick-up truck that crashed into the front of a funeral home on Jamestown's westside late Monday morning... damaging the building... and, who later died. City police say 83 year-old Robert Woodmancy of Randolph had some kind of medical issue when the accident occured near the intersection of West Third Street and Hall Avenue. An employee at the Lind Funeral Home says they heard a loud crash shortly before 11 a.m., and, found the truck had slammed into the building... damaging an outer office, and a bay window in the building. City police say Woodmancy later died at WCA. Officers say the man's truck crossed West Third... and, struck a car... before hitting the building. Three people in the funeral home were treated at WCA Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The other driver refused medical treatment.
Man suffered medical emergency, truck crashes into car, then funeral home in Jamestown...
The driver of a pick-up truck that crashed late Monday morning into the front of the Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown has died of an apparent medical issue. City police say the man was westbound on West Third Street when he was apparently stricken by a heart attack. Officers say the truck crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a car... then struck an outer office, and bay window at the funeral home. An employee at Lind's says they heard a loud crash... and, found the truck had slammed into the building. A 47-year-old employee was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment... along with a 72 year-old man, and 70 year-old woman. Their injuries were reportedly minor. The 83 year-old man driving the truck later died at WCA. The 60 year-old driver of the second vehicle declined treatment at the scene. No names have been released. The employee we spoke with says one funeral had to be moved to a local church... but, there should be no other disruption in services, or calling hours.
Father and son involved in double-fatal car-pedestrian accident in Ellery were struck by a neighbor's car...
State police now say the driver of the minivan that struck and killed a father and son walking along a town of Ellery road was a neighbor of the victims. Investigators tell The Buffalo News that the 65 year-old woman told them she didn't see 85-year-old Wesley Lutgen and his son, 52-year-old Benjamin, as they walked on the Maple Springs-Ellery Road. Both men were killed in the Saturday night accident, which happened as they were walking the short distance from the home they shared to Wesley Lutgen's daughter's house for dinner. State Police say both men were wearing dark clothing. The driver was not charged.
City Council approves using $1.6-million in grant money to fund pedestrian bridges for Riverwalk project...
The Jamestown City Council has approved a two-million dollar project to build two pedestrian bridges that will connect the north and southsides of city's Rivewalk near the Board of Public Utilities' power plant. Lawmakers last night voted unanimously to use $1.6-million in federal funding to pay for 80-percent of the project's costs. Mayor Sam Teresi says those funds are being provided for the 'Jamestown Intermodal Transportation Project' through the state Department of Transportation. Teresi says they hope to have the project out to bid by next Spring... with construction starting next Summer. However... he says that's contingent on approval by the state's Department of Transportation. Teresi says... once the project is drawn up... the DOT will first have to approve the design. The bridges will link up with Panzarella Island at the BPU on Steele Street. Teresi says the city will have to cover 400-thousand dollars of the cost. But... he says those will be non-tax dollars that come from previous grant money. Teresi adds there will also be some in-kind services provided by city workers.
Gould expected to be named again as Chautauqua County Legislature chairman at re-organizational meeting Friday...
The Ashville-area man who has led the Chautauqua County Legislature the past three years is being tapped again to head up the panel in 2015. Republican Jay Gould has been named by the GOP Majority to be chairman again next year... and, is likely to be approved at this Friday afternoon's re-organizational meeting in Mayville. Gould says he feels the panel had two significant accomplishments in 2014. But... the biggest one was the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk. As for 2015... Gould says the budget will be another big issue... along with a couple of others. Those are overcrowding at the county jail... and, the future of the county's two airports. Gould says that $6-million 'structural deficit' is a major problem that County Executive Vince Horrigan is trying to address with a special panel... but, will likely involve some program cuts. Also during this Friday's meeting... Clymer-area Republican David Himelein is expected to be named Majority Leader again... while Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom will again be Minority Leader.
Minimum Wage set to increase on New Year's Eve in NY...
New York's minimum wage will rise from $8 to $8.75 an hour on New Year's Eve. The wage could go up even more if lawmakers pass another increase in the 2015 legislative session. Supporters of a higher wage are calling for a $10.10-per-hour minimum. But... opponents say another wage hike could backfire by increasing labor costs and prompting employers to cut jobs.
Two Bemus Point men dead after being struck by car in town of Ellery...
A tragic, car-pedestrian accident on the Maple Springs-Ellery Road last Saturday night has killed an elderly Bemus Point man and his son. State Police in Jamestown say 85 year-old Wesley Lutgen... and, his 42 year-old son, Benjamin... were struck and killed by the vehicle while they were walking in the town of Ellery about 6 p.m. Troopers say the eldery female driver couldn't see the men because they were wearing dark clothing at the time. The driver was not hurt. No charges have been filed.
Dunkirk man suffered medical emergency, car veers of Dunkirk Pier in fatal accident...
Dunkirk Police have now released the identity of the north county man who died after the vehicle he was driving crashed off the city pier into Lake Erie late Saturday night. Police say 64 year-old Steven Kucmierz of Dunkirk suffered a medical emergency prior to the accident. The vehicle crashed through the railing on the side of the pier and became submerged in the lake just before 10 p.m. Dunkirk Firefighters... and, the Dunkirk Underwater Rescue Team entered the water... and, worked hard to free the man from the vehicle, which was badly damaged. Kucmierz was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital... but, later died. City units were assisted by Fredonia Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department... and, the county's WET and HAZMAT Teams.
Three hurt, one seriously, in I-86 crash in Cattaraugus County...
Three people were hurt... one seriously... in a one-car, rollover crash on Interstate 86 near Salamanca last Saturday morning. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say 21 year-old Danielle Morgan of Dundee, NY... was driving westbound in the town of Cold Spring just after 10 AM... when the car began drifting off the road. Deputies say Morgan overcorrected... and, she lost control of the car. Officers say the vehicle then struck the median barrier... and, overturned. Deputies say two back seat passengers were ejected. One passenger... Morgan's 16 year-old sister, Rachael... is in stable condition at the Erie County Medical Center with internal and back injuries. Danielle Morgan and the other passenger... 17 year-old Walker Kapral of Bath, NY... were treated for minor injuries at WCA Hospital in Jamestown. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers were assisted at the scene by state Park Police... and, the Seneca Nation Marshall's offfice.
Dolce says new, Joint Task Force on Efficiency and Cost Reduction to meet in Jamestown next month...
The Jamestown City Councilman named to head up a new task force to look at ways the city and it's Board of Public Utilities can save money and be more efficient is hoping for an initial meeting in January. Second-Ward representative Tony Dolce says the city's taking of a dividend payment from the BPU's surplus came to "a head" this year... and, led to the naming of the panel by Mayor Sam Teresi. Dolce says city can legally request the "dividend" payment. However... citizen members of the BPU have said it will hurt the utility in the long run... and, could lead to a rate increase. Dolce emphasizes that city officials don't want that to happen. He says everyone needs to avoid viewing this as an "us versus them" situation. Dolce says the Joint Task Force on Efficiency and Cost Reduction is a chance for city and BPU officials to meet... and, see where efficiencies can be found. In the past... he says such discussions led to the BPU to take over the city's sewer operations... and, garbage pick-up. Dolce made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotight" program.
Town of Busti receives state Grant to help town facilities be upgraded, make to comply with ADA requirements...
The town of Busti has received a $50,000 state grant that'll be used to improve it's court... community and senior center... and town office building. State Senator Cathy Young has announced the grant was approved by the State and Municipal Facilities Program for the Lakewood location. Young says the grant will "result in a tremendous boost for the seniors who use the facility regularly, as well as for those appearing before the court." She says it will provide residents with "greater availability" to needed services, resources, and community activities. But... most importantly... the Olean Republican says the town’s facilities will now be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins adds that completing the new Busti court rooms... and, community-and-senior center is "vital" to the town's future. He says the grant will allow the project to become "a reality."
Next top-10 story of 2014, sale of Chautauqua County Home...
We continue with our look back at the 10 top stories of 2014. It was an easy one to forget after the final vote was taken... but, the Chautauqua County Legislature voted last February to sell the County Home in Dunkirk. Lawmakers agreed to sell the facility to VestraCare of Long Island... after failing to muster the needed votes in late 2013. This time... the 13 supermajority votes were there for passage. Former Jamestown lawmaker Fred Larson cast what appeared to be the deciding vote. Larson viewed the November 2013 elections as a "referendum" on the County Home... and, the clear majority of the voters wanted the home sold. But... Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel didn't agree. While he believes the County Home will never break even, Neibel feels it’s worth keeping in County hands. He said he would rather subsidize people who have lived here their entire lives, and live in the home... then people who come from out-of-state to take advantage of New York's "generous" public assistance benefits." However... supporters of selling the County Home didn't know whether they had enough votes until they were actually cast.
From the Media One Newsroom: The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department is reporting that 3 people were sent to the hospital following a one car accident on the Westbound portion of I-86 near Salamanca this morning. Just after 10am 21 year old Danielle Morgan of Dundee, New York tried to correct the 2001 Ford Focus she was driving from leaving the road, when she lost control and the vehicle hit the median and overturned. Two passengers in the rear of the vehicle were ejected. The driver and one passenger were taken to WCA with what appeared to be minor injuries. The second rear passenger was airlifted to ECMC in Buffalo for her injuries. The Catt. County Sheriff's department was assisted by the New York State Park Police and the Seneca Nation Marshall's offfice.
Two families burned out of Willard St. home in Christmas Day fire...
A Christmas Day fire has extensively damaged the first-floor of a two-story apartment house in Jamestown... leaving two families at least temporarily homeless. City Fire Lieutenant Donald Mowry says crews were called to the scene at 100 Willard St., near the corner with Allen, just after 1 p.m. Mowry says the flames on the first floor had a good head-start... with smoke and heavy fire showing on arrival. He says they pulled one hand-line... and, knocked the flames down in about 15 minutes. However... he says the second floor sustained only smoke and heat damage. He says both apartments were occupied when the blaze broke out. Mowry says the residents of the first floor apartment were sleeping at the time... and, one had to be treated for smoke inhalation at WCA Hospital... while a firefighter was treated for minor burns. Mowry says the first floor is uninhabitable due to the fire damage... and, services have been cut to the entire building. The Red Cross is helping the victims. The cause is under investigation. Crews were at the scene just over two hours.
Car runs into pillar at Fredonia Rite Aid...
A car struck a pillar in front of the Rite-Aid store in Fredonia when the driver accidentally hit the accelerator pedal this past Tuesday morning. State Police say 79 year-old Maxine Gens of Fredonia pulled into the Rite-Aid parking lot... and, saw a car backing out. Police say Gens meant to stop, but instead hit the accelerator... and, crashed into a pillar at the front of the store. Gens was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of an ankle injury. Gens' son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was not hurt. No charges have been filed, and police say the building sustained no structural damage.
New York National Guard will conduct more than 11,000 military funerals by end of 2014...
The New York National Guard says its military honor guards expect to conduct 11,300 funerals for veterans of the Army and Air Force by the end of 2014. Last year... New York National Guard Honor Guards provided funeral services for 11,585 families of military veterans. Officials say the lower number for 2014 appears to be due to the decline in the number of World War-Two... and, Korean War-era veterans still living, as well as cutbacks following a temporary budget reduction in October 2013. Under federal law..., any American who has served in the armed forces and wasn't dishonorably discharged is eligible for military funeral services. Since being organized in 1999... the National Guard honor guards have participated in more than 100,000 military funerals across New York.
One of the last WWII veteran's who was at Pearl Harbor attack passes away...
Another member of the "Greatest Generation" has died in the Jamestown-area. But... Joe Panebianco not only fought in World War-Two... he saw the events that triggered America's involvement. The U.S. Navy veteran was serving on-board one of the ships anchored at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Panebianco passed away at Hultquist Place last Friday at the age of 96. Panebianco was a Machinest 2nd Class on board the U.S.S. Trevor that fateful day. He remembers getting ready for church... and running up deck-side where he saw a Japanese zero flying low over his ship... which was anchored in a cove... not far from the line of battleships that were attacked. Panebianco says they were later ordered to search for Japanese subs and mines once the attack was over. Panebianco talked in detail about that day on WJTN's "The Times of Your Life" in 1994 with other World War-Two veterans. He re-told the story in 2011 on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Panebianco later served during the war in the South Pacific.
Jamestown police arrest two men for allegedly operating "portable" Meth Lab...
Two men are jailed on several drug-related charges after Jamestown police discovered a Methamphetime Lab... and, a quantity of the drug... inside a car. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers went to 16 West Cowden Place about 4:40 a.m. Tuesday to execute a warrant from another jurisdiction. However... as officers approached the address... they spotted 34 year-old Aaron Phillips... and, 33 year-old Justin Meacham behind the residence, and outside the vehicle acting strangely. Samuelson says they first checked on the car... then the duffle bag the two men had. Samuelson says officers secured Phillips and Meachem... and, the vehicle for further investigation. He says a search warrant was obtained... and, the vehicle and bag were searched by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. Samuelson says it's unknown if the pair were actually making Meth inside the vehicle... or moving it to another location. He says the State Police CCSERT Team came in to search and clean the area's involved with the drug and materials. He adds both men are being held pending arraignment on one count of Felony Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime... and, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Police also uncover Meth Lab in north county...
An investigation into a domestic incident in Fredonia led police to the discovery of a possible Meth Lab on Cushing Street. Fredonia Police say that 33-year-old David Crawford, Jr. allegedly assaulted and held a female victim against her will at the apartment for several days. The victim was eventually able to leave the residence... and, was assisted by a passing motorist who transported the woman to Brooks Memorial Hospital. While conducting a search warrant stemming from the domestic incident, police discovered several chemicals and pieces of equipment commonly used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine.
Christmas-New Year's Holiday Travel period underway; vast majority to go by car due to lower gas prices...
The Christmas-New Year's Holiday Travel period began yesterday... and, officials with the Triple-A say record numbers of people will be traveling to relatives and friends this year. Triple-A East Central Spokeswoman Chelsea Pompeani says -- nationally -- 98.6-million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles during the holiday period. Pompeani says the vast majority -- 90-million -- will be driving due to the lowest gasoline prices in about six-years. She adds the travel period runs through Sunday, Jan. 4. Pompeani says... before you leave on that trip to grandpa and grandma's... or you parents... you want to make sure you're prepared in case of an emergency. She says having preventive maintenance on your vehicle is a good start. This year... Pompeani says they're received a lot of calls for dead batteries... and, adds that if you're warranty has run out, it might be time to change it. While gas prices are historically low right now... Pompeani says it's still a good idea to get the best gas mileage you can. That includes avoiding long warm-ups on cold mornings... and, combining errands.
Gas prices down about 10-cents a gallon in Jamestown-area this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped another 10-cents this week... and, are now under $3 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the AAA's Weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price has fallen from just over $3 last week to $2.90.5 this week. AAA East Central says they based the average on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area. Last year at this time... the price was just over $3.62 a gallon. Nationally... the steady decline in gas prices this Fall is now longer than any period the AAA has previously tracked. The national average price of gas is the longest consecutive streak on record. Pump prices have fallen every day since Sept. 25 to today’s average... which is now about $2.37. The best news for consumers is that the decline in the price at the pump has accelerated during the previous week.
High Wind Warning now in effect for Jamestown-area, beginning Christmas Eve night...
A storm system will be bringing some unseasonably mild temperatures on this Christmas Eve... but, will also bring some strong winds to the area through Christmas Day. The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a High Wind Warning from 8 p.m. tonight through 4 p.m. Thursday for portions of Western New York... including Chautauqua County. Forecaster Bill Hibbert says a sharp cold front will bring strong winds... colder temperatures... and, a rain-snow mix tomorrow with temperatures between 35 and 40-degrees. Hibbert says temperatures will warm into the 50s today.
State Agriculture leads report record sales year...
New York's farmers set record sales last year. The state's cash receipts for crops, livestock and other raw agricultural products hit nearly $5.7 billion in 2013. That's up from $5.5 billion the year before. The numbers were calculated by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and were announced Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration. More than half of the receipts were for livestock, dairy and poultry items, with the rest coming from the sale of crops such as corn, fruits and vegetables.
A Jamestown woman in the county jail for allegedly holding up a Forest Avenue service station last Friday night with a toy plastic gun. City police were called to the Kwik Fill-Red Apple store just before 10 PM for a reported robbery. Upon further investigation... officers say the suspect displayed what appeared to be a hand-gun... and, demanded cash from the register. Police say the woman ran off on foot... but, was located a short time later after a description was broadcast to other units in the area. Officers say 25 year-old Kimberly Ballenger was found with the 'air-soft' pistol that looked like an authentic gun... and, proceeds from the crime. She was arraigned on charges of second-degree robbery and second-degree menacing... and, sent to the county lock-up without bail.
In a long-awaited announcement, the Cuomo administration last week ruled that the potential health and environmental risks of fracking for natural gas are too great and not enough is known about them to allow it in New York. In extending a "de facto" ban on using pressurized water and chemicals to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation underneath New York’s southern tier... the state’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Acting Health Commissioner was applauded by Debra Goldberg of the environmental law organization, Earthjustice. Goldberg represented the town of Dryden... which passed a zoning law banning fracking. The Cuomo administration noted that a court ruling upholding that ban -- and the possibility of more local bans as a result -- significantly reduced the economic potential to be gained from moving forward with fracking. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says that existing studies raised concerns about high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or HVHF. Governor Cuomo says he expects there will be lawsuits filed by interests that favor tapping into the reservoir of natural gas underneath the state.
A Siena College poll finds New Yorkers remain divided over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The survey of registered voters found that 38 percent oppose fracking... and 35 percent support it. The poll was conducted just before Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced a ban on the process. Support for fracking was highest among Republicans and in suburban areas... and, lower among Democrats and residents in New York City and upstate.
Moviegoers in the state will now see public service announcements warning of the dangers of heroin use. New York began airing the announcements in movie theaters across the state last Friday. They will appear before select movies rated PG-13 or R through early January. The spots include testimonials from recovering users who share personal stories about how heroin abuse affected their lives and families. Governor Cuomo says the campaign is part of the state's larger effort to ``push back'' against heroin and prescription drugs.
A new restaurant will soon be added to the county Office for the Aging's Senior Dining Out Program. Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says The Springs on Route 430 in Maple Springs will begin serving senior meals beginning January 1st. Spanos says that will bring the number of eateries taking part to four. She adds they started this program several years ago to compliment their Congregate Dining Program because "Boomers" are tending to like to eat out at restaurants instead of chruchs, or Senior Centers. Spanos says... if you want to take part in the program... you have to register with the Office for the Aging by calling the New York-Connects number. That's 753-4582. Spanos adds that the restaurants also have to prepare a specific Senior Menu that people can order off of. She says the menu must meet certain dietary requirements to get funding for the program. Participants can buy those meals for 3-dollars-50 cents. In addition to The Springs... the other restaurants involved include Meeder's Restaurant in Ripley... the Green Arch in Brocton... and, the Cassadaga Shure-Fine.
State officials have proposed regulations for a medical marijuana program expected to start in 2016. The rules have been posted on-line by the health department... and, will be published December 31st in the state Register They will be subject to 45 days of public comments and possible amendments. The Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized the program under a law signed in July. It authorizes patients with one of 10 diseases to be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug, which can be ingested or vaporized.
Upstate New York's new casinos won't open for a couple of years, but there are already plenty of winners and losers as the state follows through with its gambling expansion. Big names such as Mohegan Sun, Caesars and Hard Rock didn't make the cut when a state panel picked three winning bids for casino licenses. The projects chosen are Montreign in Sullivan County in the Catskills, Lago in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes and Rivers casino in Schenectady. The panel opted not to award a license in suburban Orange County -- and disappointed many in the Southern Tier by passing over that region too. The resort developments are projected to support more than 3,200 full-time jobs and generate 265-million dollars in taxes, along with 136-million dollars in licensing fees.
JHS Senior Brayton Lydell said it was like nothing he'd ever experienced before. Two-hundred-seventy-five alumni joined with this year's 90th Jamestown High School Acappella Choir for the final Vespers Service of the season... Sunday at First Lutheran Church. The church was filled to capacity... 1200 people. Lydell, the President of this year's choir, called the experience bittersweet. He said he was glad to have all that history in the room, but at the same time he realized that he and the other seniors in this year's choir had now become a part of that history. Brayton Lydell is the son of the choir's director, Norm Lydell.
Horrigan announces new 800 number to help connect people with drug addictions to treatment, and other help...
Chautauqua County residents suffering from drug addiction now have a 24-hour a day -- seven-day a week number they can call for professional services to get the treatment they need. County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman say the New York State HOPELine is a toll-free service that offers "help and hope" to those trying to break their addiction. Horrigan says the confidential "one-stop" service came out of discussions by their "Action Teams" that were started up following the county's Drug Forum in March. Horrigan says the phone number is 1-877-8-H-O-P-E-N-Y - or 1-877-846-7369. He adds that HOPELine Services are multi-lingual... and, directed by Masters-level clinicians who are professional... well-trained, and knowledgable about all local, confidential services that include both in-patient, and out-patient. Horrigan says this was the "best option" officials could find for anyone with addiction issues be they drugs... alcoholism... or gambling. He adds that the county's Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Clinics are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Jamestown and Dunkirk. The Jamestown number is 661-8330... while the Dunkirk number is 363-3550.
Spanos says seniors who haven't enrolled in Medicare still have time in Chautauqua County due to last month's Winter storm...
If you didn't have a chance to enroll in a Medicare program... or want to change plans... you still have time to do so in Chautauqua County. That from county Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... who says Chautauqua... Erie... Wyoming and three other counties were given special extensions because of last month's snowstorm that paralyzed parts of the region with 4 to 7 feet of snow. Spanos adds, though, that while Open Enrollment has been extended through the end of the year... you cannot enroll directly through their office. She says you have to call Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE. Spanos says it may be worth your time to make the call because "plans have changed... " especially with Medicare Advantage. She adds you should also check if you're have Medicare Part-D and your medications have changes. Again... the Medicare Open Enrollment period for Chautauqua County has been extended through Dec. 31, due to last month's snowstorm that mainly impacted the north county area. You can also go on-line to www.medicare.gov.
World War-Two vet Costanzo receives French Legion Award...
Another honor was given this afternoon to one of Jamestown's most well-known, and decorated World War-Two veterans at the Vietnam Veteran's of America Post on Bigelow Ave. State Senator Cathy Young was in Jamestown to present a medal to U.S. Army Cpl. Anthony Costanzo... honoring him as a member of France's Legion of Honor. Young says the medal is given to only selected members of foreign army's for their help in keeping France free during times of war. The Olean Republican says Costanzo was a member of the First Infantry Division that was the first ground force to fight the German's in North Africa. Young says the Legion of Honor was first established by Napolean Bonaparte in 1801, and is the highest decoration in France. Those members also include late General's Dwight Eisenhower... and, George S. Patton. It's another in a long-line of awards and decorations given to Costanzo for his service in World War-Two. He was inducted into the New York State Senate Veteran's Hall of Fame in 2011.
"Holiday Haul" needs big final day to reach goals...
Tomorrow is the final day of the second-annual Holiday Haul to benefit the St. Susan's Center in downtown Jamestown... and, there's still some room in the truck for food. That from Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin... who is camping out in the parking lot of the Jamestown Cycle Shop to raise money... and, food donations for the city's largest soup kitchen. Martin began his three-day fund-raiser yesterday... and, says they've had a steady "trickle" of people stopping by. But, he says they still have a lot of work to do by 3 p.m. Saturday. Martin says they have a truck from Jamestown Mattress to place the non-perishable food items... such as canned food... pasta... and, spaghetti -- among others. He also hopes to surpass last year's monitary donations of $9,000. Martin says he's outside -- doing this -- because there are many people who are down on their luck... and, dont know where their next meal is coming from. Again... Martin will be out accepting donations at the Jamestown Mattress truck at the Cycle Shop from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state... citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique. Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban. Cuomo says he is deferring to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in making the decision. Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized the findings of their environmental and health reviews. They concluded that shale gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing carried unacceptable risks that haven't been sufficiently studied. Martens says the DEC will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, and after that he'll issue an order prohibiting fracking.
Governor Cuomo's executive action to ban horizontal, hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- in New York state is "disappointing" news. That from local Assemblyman Andy Goodell. Goodell has been a solid supporter of fracking -- within strict environmental guidelines. The Bemus Point Republican says it's a way to boost the state's economy, and make it more energy independent. He adds he isn't sure Cuomo really looked at any of the "upsides" to responsible fracking. Cuomo received a long-anticipated report from Acting state health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the potential risks of high volume, hydro-fracking. Zucker says he considered all the data that's been received... and, says there are "significant questions and risks... which as of yet are unanswered. I think it would be reckless to proceed in New York until more authoritative research is done." Environmentally... Goodell says boosting natural gas production would be a help reduce Greenhouse Gases. He says legislative action to block the ban isn't likely because Cuomo would still be able to veto such action... and, there aren't enough votes -- especially in the Assembly... for an override.
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Senate says the governor’s decision to ban exploration of our natural gas resources is a "punch in the gut" to the Southern Tier. Olean Republican Cathy Young says Cuomo has "a moral obligation" to explain to residents in the region how he will alleviate rural poverty. The senator says families desperately need jobs and economic opportunity... not government handouts. She also says that "recovering our abundant natural resources would have brought an economic boom not seen for more than 100 years." She adds it would have brought good paying jobs, and, relief for overburdened local taxpayers.
The public is being asked for it's help in finding the man who allegedly robbed the Kwik Fill station on Foote Avenue Extention in the town of Kiantone Tuesday night. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies... along with Jamestown, Ellicott, and State Police... responded to the scene -- near the city line -- shortly after 7 PM. Gerace says they're looking for a white male in his 20s who allegedly pulled a knife on the clerk, and, demanded cash before running off. City police say the man was wearing a black-hooded jacket and blue jeans... and, was between 6-foot, and 6-foot-2 inches tall with a thin build. Gerace says if you have information on the case... you can call 664-3100... or their Tips line at 1-800-78CRIME... that's 1-800-782-7463. You can also go on-line to Wetip-dot-COM.
The athletic director at Jamestown Community College is ready to again camp-out at the Jamestown Cycle Shop in an effort to bring in food and monitary donations for the city's biggest soup kitchen. Last year... Keith Martin spent three days in the cycle shop parking lot... and, raised 9-thousand dollars... and, 4-tons in food donations for the St. Susan's Center. After such a great response... Martin said he had to do it again... and, the second-annul "Holiday Haul" begins tomorrow at 6 AM. Martin hopes to do better this year, because the need is greater at St. Susan's.
In fact... St. Susan's new director, Jeff Smith, says they're averaging 350 to 400 meals served a day, Monday through Friday. Smith adds the number is down slightly on weekends. At the beginning of December... he adds they've already served a record 108-thousand meals this year. While the need is great... Smith says the generosity of the community has been great as well. Smith reminds residents that for each dollar donated to St. Susan's... they can buy 7-dollars worth of food from the Food Bank of Western New York.
It's a week before Christmas, and Toys for Tots needs more toys. Terri Johnson, one of the coordinators for the annual drive says they have applications for toys for 2100 children at this point, 300 more than a year ago... and they could hit a record this year. Anyone who wants to contribute a new unwrapped toy can place it in one of the many Toys for Tots barrels throughout the community today. After that, toys can be taken to 'Toy Central' at the Gateway Center on Water Street from 2 to 5 PM Friday or all day Saturday. The greatest need right now is toys for babies, teenagers, and boys 6 to 10 years old. The Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots in Chautauqua County is coordinated by the Resource Center.
There were a number of successes for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and, it's members in 2014... and, those were celebrated at yesterday's annual meeting. Chamber members gathered at Moonbrook Country Club... just north of Jamestown... to look back on the past year. Chamber President Todd Tranum says -- overall -- 2014 was a "great year...." During the keynote Address... the chamber got an update on efforts to create a National Comedy Center in downtown Jamestown. Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... and, Board President Tom Benson gave a detailed talk about the project... which just received a 1.5-million dollar award from the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council program. Tranum calls it a "significant" development project in the county. Benson says an expert study they had commissioned shows the center will draw -- conservatively -- 122-thousand people in it's first year of existance. Tranum says a new board member from Ralston Purina in Dunkirk was added to the panel for 2015. Otherwise... he says the board's make-up is the same as 2014.
The county Chamber Wednesday also presented it's annual "Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award" to the man who founded two organizations that help Jamestown school student excel in the classoom... as well as athletics and the arts. Ron Graham was the founder of the Chautauqua Striders in 1979... and, the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in 1998. Graham called receiving the award "a tremendous honor...." By the beginning of 2015... both the Striders and Infinity programs will be housed in the former federal building at Prendergast and East Third Streets. Chamber President Todd Tranum says Graham's programs have had a profound impact on hundreds of youth in the Greater Jamestown-Area. Tranum says the chamber believes those impacts will be lasting for many of those young people. Graham thanked several people that helped him take a dream for both organizations... and, make it a reality.
Local police are looking for a man in his 20s who allegedly held up the Kwik Fill Store on Foote Avenue Extension in the town of Kiantone last night with a knife... and, fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the suspect entered the store about 7:05 PM... wearing a black hooded jacket and blue jeans. Samuelson says the man was a white male, between 6-foot-and 6-foot-2 inches tall with a thin build. He says city police were called to the scene to assist Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers. Samuelson says the Sheriff's Department will release more details on the crime. Anyone who may have information on this crime is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 664-3100.
Gas prices this last, full week before Christmas in the Jamestown-area have dropped another 10-cents a gallon from last week. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says prices locally are down from just over 3-dollars-10 cents a gallon... to just over 3-dollars a gallon. In fact... some stations are showing a price of 2--99.9 for regular, unleaded. The price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area. Nationally... the Triple-A says the average for retail gasoline is at it's lowest level in more than five years. The average price in the U-S is now 2-dollars-55 cents per gallon.
A woman involved with the Warren High School Dragons Band Boosters has been accused of stealing 12-thousand dollars in funds from the booster's savings account the past four years. State Police in Warren say they arrested 46 year-old Michelle Lee Bova of Warren Tuesday for allegedly taking the money between early 2009... and, this past September. Troopers say Bova made withdrawls from the account that were not authorized... and, she's been charged with 16 counts of theft by unlawful taking. Bova was arraigned... and, sent to the Warren County Jail on 30-thousand dollars cash bail. If you have any information that might help police... they ask you to call State Police, or CRIMESTOPPERS.
Often the only way to bring about change is to expose what needs to be changed. That was the lesson for nearly 150 Persell Middle School eighth-graders earlier this Fall in Jamestown. They were part of the "Muckraking in Jamestown" project to show problems in the community. Many of the students say blighted and delapitated housing... and, crumbling sidewalks are both an eyesore... and, a safety issue. During a presentation to the City Council Monday night... student Sarah Reale says they took hundreds of pictures to bring to light those problems.
Graffiti was another prevailent problem the students photographed in the downtown area. One student added the most common word they saw was Cheez... but, it was spelled C-H-E-E-Z. He says it seemed meaningless at first... but, they later found it was the nickname for a combinaton of Heroin and Tylenol PM. The students spoke as many of the pictures they took during their day in the downtown where shown on a screen in Council Chambers. Eighth Grader Teacher Jayme Genco says the students really got into the lesson... which was based on the writtings of Jacob Ries... who highlighted slum conditions in New York City during the late 1800's.
The state Board of Regents has recommended a 2-billion dollar increase in state school aid in the 2015-16 budget. The board, which sets education policy, says the recommendation approved Monday would drive more money to districts with the greatest needs and advance priorities like early childhood learning. In all... the Regents recommend the state spend 24.4-billion dollars on education in the next fiscal year. About 600-million would go to restore Gap Elimination Adjustment funding. Lack of such funding has hurt Jamestown in recent years.
The 120-year-old Chautauqua Amphitheater needs an upgrade... but, it shouldn't be torn down to make way for a new facility when it can be saved. Those are the feelings of Chicago's Brian Berg... a summer resident of the Institution... who with his wife... formed the group "Save the Amphitheater-dot-ORG. Berg has become the voice of the opposition to the 30-million dollar project... which is slated to begin at the end of next season. He say's it's a "great historic venue..." adding that Historian Jeff Simpson calls it the "heartbeat of Chautauqua...." Berg adds that several other preservation groups... including 'Preservation Buffalo-Niagara...' feel the same way he and his wife do. The Cleveland native says groups from there to Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, now oppose tearing down the current Amp to make way for a new one. Berg says the state Office of Historic Preservation is also on board... and, recently told Chautauqua to "pull back" and, scrap plans to demolish the structure. Institution officials say, to keep the amphitheater where it is now, a complete rebuild is needed.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is continuing to work with local government officials to develop a plan to achieve long term tax savings through shared services. He held another forum on the issue in Mayville late Monday... and a number of local mayors, supervisors and municipal leaders attended the session. Horrigan says the state is requiring a shared services plan as part of the process to continue the freeze in 2016. He says they'll require a shared services plan to generate one-percent of the tax levy to then provide a rebate back to all STAR Eligible homeowners. Horrigan expects local leaders to meet again sometime next spring. He says the deadline to submit the plan is June 1st.
It's a move that "solidifies" top-calibur baseball's return to Jamestown next year. The city council has approved transferring the lease for the new collegiate Prospect League baseball franchise to a Wisconsin-based sports marketing and entertainment business. During a special meeting Monday night... lawmakers unanimously approved the new 5-year agreement with MKE Sports Entertainment... which has bought controlling interest in the Lorain, Ohio franchise from RS Entertainment. Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says this the next move in bringing and keeping a franchise here. The new ownership group will be based in Jamestown... and, be called Jamestown Baseball, LLC. The principals... including major partner Mike Zimmerman... were introduced during a press conference late last week. Zimmerman's group -- which recently bought the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League -- also has bought interest in the Prospect League's Kokomo, Indiana franchise. Mayor Sam Teresi says the move was not a surprise... because RS Owner Kevin Rhomberg said -- with the move to Jamestown -- he would be losing a couple of investors he had in Ohio.
A six-member panel is recommending an incremental increase in the salaries for both the mayor... and, city council members in Jamestown. The city's Salary Review Commission offered it's proposal to lawmakers at last night's work session. It includes an 18-thousand dollar annual increase for the mayor from 2016 through 2019... and, a one-thousand dollar increase for each Council member... beginning in 2016. Former Mayor Dick Kimball chaired the commission... and, says due to salary freezes... and, other reasons... many city employees now make more than the mayor now. Kimball says the last increase in the mayor's salary -- from 65-thousand to 72-thousand dollars a year -- was made in 2008. However... he says the city council never acted on the proposal made in 2012. As for city council... Kimball says that situation's been worse. Their last raise was in 31 years ago to the current 5-thousand dollars a year. If lawmakers approve... it would go to 6-thousand in 2016. Committee chairs would receive another 500-dollars... while the Council President would get an additional one-thousand dollars. If council approved for the "next" council and mayor... the mayoral increase would be 8-thousand dollars in 2016 to 80-thousand dollars a year. Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says debate is "warranted" on the salary issue... and, he expressed his desire to have a work session on the proposal sometime in January.
New York's governor says there is no agreement on a legislative pay hike because state lawmakers won't agree on campaign finance and ethics reforms. Lawmakers have suggested returning to Albany for a lame-duck session this month to give themselves a raise. They now make 79-thousand-500 for their part-time work, but haven't seen a raise in 14 years. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom'' Monday that any pay hike should be accompanied by campaign finance and ethics changes. He says that so far, lawmakers have balked at the idea -- making the possibility of a special session less and less likely. Cuomo has suggested limiting lawmakers' outside income, instituting broad public campaign financing and prohibiting lawmakers from accepting work from groups who do business with the state.
Two people accused of dealing Heroin in Warren County are off the streets after being arrested Monday night by the Warren County Drug Task Force. The Warren Times Observer reports that Shauna Hanson and Shane Williams, both of Hemlock Road were arrested at seperate locations Monday evening and arraigned by video-conference before District Judge Daniel Miller. Both were taken to the Warren County Jail with bail set at 35 thousand dollars.
A former Jamestown City Councilman is set to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Chautauqua County Legislature this week. Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he expects Paul Whitford's appointment to fill the Legislature District 13 seat to pass without opposition. The Dunkirk Democrat says Whitford will replace Paula DeJoy... who resigned from the legsilature early last month because she was moving out of District 13. Ahlstrom says he's known Whitford through his previous dealings with labor and industry... and, Democrat affairs. Whitford represented Ward-Six in Jamestown for the past seven years... but, he had to resign his seat because he moved to an address in the First Ward. Ahlstrom says he believes Whitford will "fit right in" and work well with the Democrat caucus. If approved by the legislature... Whitford will fill out DeJoy's term which expires at the end of next year.
A Lakewood man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside last weekend... and, stealing a number of items. Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on West Cowden Place about Noon Saturday on a burglary complaint. Further investigation led officers to find 22 year-old Dylan Abbey hiding inside another Cowden Place residence last Sunday morning. Police say Abbey was arrested on several unrelated warrants... and, he was allegedly found with a number of items taken during the West Cowden Place break-in. He was arraigned on several charges... including Felony second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.
It's not perfect... but, Chautauqua County's Congressman says the 1.1-trillion dollar Continuing Resolution approved by the House and Senate late last week is a "step in the right direction." Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the slight majority in the House that voted for the measure that prevents a partial-government shut-down. Reed says there are a number of items in the bill he's "very happy" to see... including measures to restrict funding to further implement "Common Core" in public schools. Reed adds that there are also funding restrictions for the Internal Revenue Service... regarding targeting of groups -- be they conservative or liberal in nature. He adds there are also funding restrictions on the proposed expansion of EPA navigable water regulations. Reed says he would have liked to see "Common Core" repealed entirely. However... it was approved in both the House and Senate... and, now goes to the president's desk. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
A project to renovate one of downtown Jamestown's historic bank buildings will allow a local, high-tech employer to move and expand in the city. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has also received a quarter of a million dollar award from the state to help upgrade the M-&-T Building at Third and Main Street as part of the 4-million dollar project. Mayor Sam Teresi says it's another project funded by the state's Regional Economic Development Council program.... as well as state tax credits. Teresi says the M-&-T project includes moving Digitel from the Furniture Mart building to the M-&-T site so it can expand... and, keep 50 jobs in downtown Jamestown. He adds the firm also plans to add between 15 and 20 jobs. Teresi says M-&-T will also be leasing space back in the building... and, there will be another 10 to 15-thousand square feet of space for professional office or commercial use. He says the state regional council program also approved a 338-thousand dollar award to CODE, Incorporated... to purchase property for a Greenway Project at East Second and Winsor Streets. Teresi says it will be used to create a recreational area in the Appleyard Terrace area. He made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program.
Former City Councilman Whitford for be appointed to county legislature this week...
Chautauqua County lawmakers are set to fill a vacancy on the panel this Wednesday night when they hold their final meeting of 2014. Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he expects Jamestown Democrat Paul Whitford's appointment to fill the Legislative District 13 seat to pass without opposition. Ahlstrom -- a Dunkirk Democrat -- says Whitford will replace Paula DeJoy... who resigned from the seat last month because she was moving out of District 13. He says he's known Whitford for a number of years... and, believes he'll "fit right in" with the Democrat Caucus... and, the legislature. Whitford represented Ward-Six in Jamestown for the past seven years. Ahlstrom says Whitford's appointment might have come sooner... but, he wanted to finish up work as a council member on Jamestown's 2015 city budget. If approved by the legislature... Whitford will fill out DeJoy's term which expires at the end of next year.
Lakewood man arrested for allegedly breaking into home in city's southside last weekend...
A Lakewood man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside last weekend... and, stealing a number of items. Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on West Cowden Place about 12 p.m. Saturday on a burglary complaint. Further investigation led officers to find 22 year-old Dylan Abbey hiding inside another Cowden Place residence last Sunday morning. Police say Abbey was arrested on several unrelated warrants... and, he was allegedly found with a number of items taken during the West Cowden Place break-in. He was arraigned on several charges... including Felony second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Reed votes for Continuing Resolution, though it's "not perfect..."
It's not perfect... but, Chautauqua County's Congressman says the $1.1-trillion Continuing Resolution approved by the House and Senate late last week is a "step in the right direction." Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the slight majority in the House that voted for the measure that prevents a partial-government shut-down. Reed says there are a number of items in the bill he's "very happy" to see... including measures to restrict funding to further implement "Common Core" in public schools. He's been opposed to the new school standards. Reed says it also includes language to prevent infringement on Second-Amendment by the U.N. Small Arms Treaty. He says the measure was approved in both the House and Senate... and, now goes to the president's desk.
JPD identifies suspect in Meth. Lab explosion and fire...
Jamestown police investigators have now identified the man who was reportedly burned when an alleged Methamphetime Lab on the city's northside exploded late last month. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they identified 43 year-old Christopher Swanson during the course of interviews... and, other evidence found during the investigation. Samuelson says Swanson was treated at a local hospital following the November 20th incident at 824 Prendergast Avenue. He adds the suspect is at-large... and, they're asking for the public's help in the case. He says Swanson is a white male... about 5-foot-8 inches tall... and 160 pounds. Samuelson says he has brownish, blond hair -- ususally in a pony-tail. If you have any information on Swanson's whereabouts... call the JPD tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Four teens arrested for alleged arson fire on Jamestown's westside...
Four city teens have been arrested for allegedly setting fire to a vacant house on Jamestown's westside yesterday afternoon. Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the blaze was called in shortly after 5 p.m. at 44 West Ninth Street... and, city fire crews saw fire and heavy smoke coming from the first floor on arrival. He says they had the fire in the condemned home under control quickly... and, investigators say witnesses spotted the four youths leaving the home shortly before the first was called in. Samuelson says two 16 year-olds who were allegedly involved face Felony arson and burglary charges. A 14 year-old, and 13 year-old who were also allegedly involved were released to their parents... and, their cases will be petitioned to family court.
City man arrested for allegedly trafficking a "significant" amount of Cocaine...
A man on parole has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly selling and trafficking cocaine for the past month from an eastside residence. Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force late this morning raided an apartment at 500 East Fifth Street... along with members of the JPD SWAT Team. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators arrested 42 year-old Luis Martinez after finding 3.8-ounces of powder cocaine hidden inside. Samuelson calls it a "significant" amount of cocaine... which he adds had an estimated street value of $10,000. He says Martinez is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia. He's jailed pending arraignment.
Man arrested for alleged rape in October incidents with 15 year-old girl in Jamestown...
An Ashville man has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15 year-old girl in the city of Jamestown. Sheriff's officers say they began an investigation into allegations that 33 year-old Joshua Glover was have the relationship with the girl last October. Deputies say Glover was taken into custody after a warrant was issued out of city court for his arrest. Glover is charged with three counts of second-degree rape... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail. Child Protective Services assisted police in the investigation. The county's District Attorney... and, Child Advocacy Program were also involved in the case.
NWS Forecaster says expect "persistant" snow from outer edges of Nor'easter...
A slow-moving, Winter storm is moving up the East Coast... and, will bring nearly a foot of snow to parts of Western New York. However... it won't be a heavy snow. That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll pretty much be on the perifery of this nor'easter. Mitchell says we won't see heavy snow during that 48 to 72 hour time period. Mitchell says the greatest amounts will occur over the higher elevations of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... with totals of 4 to 8 inches generally. By late Thursday... some places may see about a foot of new snow. The National Weather has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Friday for an area that includes Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. We'll have the latest forecast coming up shortly.
No one hurt in Portland house fire; Red Cross helping families involved...
Flames have extensively damaged much of a two-family home on Route 20 in the town of Portland. Portland Fire Chief Steve Burgeous says crews were called to the scene at 6384 Route 20 about 3:30 this morning... and, found heavy fire near the front of the house when they arrived. He adds flames were showing through the windows. Burgeous says the two families living there were able to get out safely. But... he adds there was damage through-out the house, mainly to the front of the building. However... he says there was smoke and water damage through-out the building. Burgeous says it took some time to bring the flames under control because of the way the house was built. He says the home was made of concrete, and, has a metal roof that kept the heat inside. Burgeous says the Red Cross is helping the fire victims. He adds that Brocton... and, Westfield firefighters were called to the scene... while Stockton was on stand-by. Crews were at the scene about 5 hours. The Chautauqua County FAST team was also called to the scene... and, investigators are still looking for the cause.
Hearing underway on raising minimum wage for workers who receive tips...
Restaurateurs and hoteliers plan to weigh in as a state board considers whether to mandate they pay tipped workers the standard minimum wage in New York. The Wage Board is reviewing whether to eliminate the so-called tip wage of $5 an hour for food servers and $5.65 for hotel housekeepers. New York law lets employers to pay them less than the state's $8 minimum wage... set to rise to $8.75 in January... provided tips make up the difference. Hospitality industry groups say federal data show tipped workers average $11 an hour. Workers say the law treats them as second-class employees.
Firefighters were at the scene of an overnight fire in the Town of Portland. Crews were called to a house fire at 6384 Route 20 just after 3:30 this morning. There's no word on whether anyone was home at the time of the fire. Portland, Brocton, Westfield, Sherman, Stockton and the Chautauqua County FAST team are on the scene. Fire investigators were called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
The Northeast is bracing for a strong, slow-moving storm expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to a wide swath of the coast and at least a half-foot of snow to some inland areas. However... it's not expected to bring much snow to the Jamestown area. The National Weather Service says a storm moving into the northeast is threatening to bring 2 or more inches of rain to southern New England on Tuesday. Flood watches are in effect in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Some coastal areas are also under high wind watches, with 60 mile-per-hour gusts possible. Snowfall is expected to be minimal along the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to Boston, but winter weather advisories have been issued for parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A Winter weather advisory has been issued for our area from 4am Wednesday through 4am Friday.
Two people were hurt... but, not seriously... in a two-car crash on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony Monday morning. Sheriff's officers say 27 year-old Cole Robbins of Falconer attempted to turn onto Route 394 about 9 AM... but, collided with an oncoming vehicle... driven by 75 year-old Janice Gernatt of Falconer. Deputies say both Robbins and Gernatt were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries. No charges have been filed.
New York state's attorney general is seeking the authority for his office to investigate deaths at the hands of police following the public outcry over the killing of an unarmed Staten Island man. A-G Eric Schneiderman, in a letter Monday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, says that authority exists under New York law, has been used in the past, and is needed now because of the ``crisis of confidence'' in law enforcement. The attorney general's authority would apply to cases after the executive order is signed and last until the state Legislature acts to permanently address the issue.
A new video contest gets underway on New Year's Day to see who can produce the best on-line videos that highlight what residents and visitors love about Chautauqua County. County Executive Vince Horrigan... and, local tourism and business leaders... have announced the "I Love Chautauqua (or CHQ) Challenge." During a press conference at the Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau Monday afternoon... Horrigan noted that he had introduced the concept during his State of the County message earlier this year. Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Andrew Nixon says the contest involves making a "non-commercial" one-and-a-half to three-minute video of something a person... or group... likes about the county. Nixon adds there will actually be 20 winners over four quarters of 2015. Videos in each catagory with the most "likes" will win. Nixon says the "first quarter" runs from January 1st until March 31st. Winners in each of five catagories will receive 250-dollars each. Those catagories include Living Here... Local Flavors -- featuring restaurants and argiculture... Outdoors and Recreation... Working Here... and, Arts, Culture, HIstory, and Education. Nixon says all prize winners will also be eligible for a one-thousand dollar grand prize at the end of the final contest period. For more information... go to the CCVB's Facebook page at facebook-dot-com/Tour-dot-Chautauqua... or call 357-4569.
Better defining who is eligible for Social Security Disability is one way to save the program from bankruptcy in 2016. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says he's been named to the House Ways and Means Committee's Social Security Subcommittee. Reed says he wanted to be on the panel after questioning Treasury Secretary Jack Liu (Lew) this past year on what the administration was going to do about the problem. He says Liu didn't have an answer. However... he says the White House now plans to fill the 20-percent funding gap by taking money from Social Security Administration funds. Reed says the Ways and Means Committee has addressed some issues... and, those ultimately led to a sting operation that took down a group committing SSD fraud in New York City. He says Chairman Sam Johnson has led the way in that effort... and, trying to better define who can, and should be on it. Reed says there are about 30-thousand people in the 23rd Congressional District who receive SSD. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier Media.
Jamestown's current mayor says he's lost a "lifelong friend..." and, his first boss. Former Mayor Steven B. Carlson died last Friday in eastern New York following a battle with Cancer. Carlson was 74. He had formerly lived in the Albany suburb of Delmar... where he moved to in 1993 when he took a job with the state. Current Mayor Sam Teresi say he first met Carlson while he was in high school in 1977 during a student debate... and, he later interned with Carlson. Carlson later named Teresi to be his director of Development in 1988 before Teresi ran for mayor in 1999. Carlson was the mayor of Jamestown from 1976 to 1989... and, Teresi called him one of the city's "best ever." Prior to that... Carlson served as the city clerk of Jamestown... and, the county clerk of Chautauqua County. Carlson served on the Board of Public Utilities, the Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees... and, the Jamestown General Hospital Board for many years. His funeral notice says one of Carlson's proudest moments was to host the King of Sweden, Carl Gustav, during his visit to Jamestown in 1976. He moved to the Albany area in 1993... and, was a business specialist with the state Department of Economic Development.
State lawmakers in plan to review New York's efforts to curb homelessness. Two committees of the state Assembly are scheduled to meet later today in Albany to discuss the problem of homelessness and the effectiveness of programs aimed at reducing the number of people without adequate housing. The federal government estimates that there were more than 77,000 homeless people in New York state in 2013.
Second fire at El Azteca Restaurant destroys building...
An apparent rekindle at the El Azteca Restaurant in Lakewood has destroyed the building. Lakewood firefighters were called back to the scene on Fairmount Avenue just before 2 this afternoon. Lakewood Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says the roof of the building was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival. Hallberg says the blaze spread through the building quickly this time... and, fire crews had to take a "defensive posture." Two aerial fire trucks... one from Lakewood... the other from Celoron... were pouring water on the structure late this afternoon. The cause is under investigation... but, Hallberg says Sheriff's Department investigators had left the scene a short time before the call went out.
The initial fire at El Azteca was called in about 9:30 this morning. Chief Hallberg says there was heavy fire coming out of the eastside basement window... going up the wall, and into the roof area when they arrived. Celoron was called in to assist. There were no injuries reported either time. Fairmount Avenue in that area is again open.
Eleven, "one-pot" Meth Labs found in town of Busti trailer park...
An on-going, undercover police investigation has led to the discovery of 11 "one-pot" methamphetime labs in one-lot at the Bosco Trailer Park in the town of Busti. Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and, Lakewood-Busti Police... say they investigated the former site in the trailer at Lot-#6 in the park late this morning. Sheriff Joe Gerace says police were actually on scene - initially - last night. Gerace says they were trying to find two suspects allegedly involved in the operation. He says they went back this morning... and, determined there were 11 separate "Meth Cooks." Gerace says warrants were obtained... and, each faces multiple counts of Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetime. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation... Gerace says they are not releasing the suspects names at this time.
Fire heavily damages part of Mexican Restaurant in Lakewood...
Flames have heavily-damaged the back portion of a Mexican restaurant on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood. Lakewood fire crews were called to the Al Azteca Restaurant... which is located between the Post Office... and, Hospice Chautauqua County... about 9:30 this morning. Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says there were heavy flames coming out of the eastside basement window... going up the wall... and, into the roof area. Hallberg says they pulled a 2-and-a-half inch handline to initially knock down most of the fire. Celoron was called in to assist. No injuries were reported... and, the cause is under investigation.
Fairmount Avenue in both directions between Chautauqua Avenue, and Winch Road, were closed while crews battle the flames. That reopened a short time before Noon. The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities also reports that water in Lakewood and West Ellicott will be discolored for the next 12 to 24 hours.
Authorities were called to an incident involving a man and woman in Pittsfield Township, Pennsylvania Thursday morning. State Police based in Warren were notified of a stabbing and shooting incident by Warren County 911 at 11:30am. When police arrived to the scene on Taylor Lane they found 42 year old Angel McShane of Garland with a stab wound to her back and a male dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mcshane was flown to Hamot Hospital in Erie for treatment. The identity of the victim is being held pending notification of his relatives. The investigation is continuing as an attempted murder/suicide.
Two men are now jailed after being formally charged in connection with a "one-pot" Methamphetime Lab that Jamestown police stumbled across while looking for another person in an unrelated case. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says one of the men arrested... 35 year-old Donald King... was a tenant of the basement apartment at 307 Allen Street. Samuelson adds that 38 year-old Richard Dean was allegedly helping to "cook" the meth. Samuelson adds that charges are pending against a third person in the case. Samuelson says officers went to the scene about 2:15 PM... and, smelled the meth while investigating the other case. He says a search warrant was obtained. The state Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was called in to clean-up the location. Both Dean and King were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
One person has been arrested so far... but, several more are arrests are pending after the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a northside apartment house... and, found several illegal narcotics -- including Heroin. JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they were joined by the State Police C-NET Team in executing a search warrant at 824 Cherry Street about 10:20 Wednesday morning. Samuelson says they found several people inside... and, one, a 17-year-old male... has been charged with criminal possession of crack-cocaine... and, marijuana. He says there were "5 to 6" other people inside the apartment when they arrived. He says the amount of Heroin, crack-cocaine, and marijuana found is not being disclosed. Samuelson says they also found a quantity of cash. He says charges are pending against the others found inside.
Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased that a city man will be serving prison time after being sentenced in federal court after his conviction on drug and weapons charges. A federal judge in Buffalo has sentenced 28-year-old Christopher Marcinkowski (Marr-sin-Cowski) to 6-and-a-half years in prison following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine... and, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Police Chief David Ortolano says his department continues to make stopping the illegal drug trade a top priority.... police put a lot of work into the case. Police say they found a marijuana grow operation inside the residence... along with a quantity of cocaine and drug packaging materials. Ortolano says his department spent a lot of time on the case... which stemmed from their arrest of Marcincowski at his Columbus Avenue home in February of 2012. During a raid on the house... Ortolano says they spotted the suspect tossing a sawed-off shotgun out of a second-story window.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York should consider better police training, body cameras on officers and other changes following a grand jury decision not to charge a white police officer in the chokehold death of a black man. The comments came on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom'' yesterday.
Two Cattaraugus County men have been indicted on charges stemming from the slaying of another man whose body was found at a scenic overlook along a rural road last summer. However... both have pleaded NOT guility to the charges. The District Attorney's Office says 28-year-old Gary Maull of Olean made his plea last week to second-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Lamont Clemons of Olean. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Thomas Hall of Olean also pleaded NOT guilty to criminal facilitation and witness tampering for allegedly helping Maull.
State Senator Cathy Young was honored by The Resource Center today (Thursday) for her efforts in support of people with disabilities, and the centers where they often work. The senator was given TRC's 'Community Action Award' in a presentation at the Mary Andrews Work Center in Dunkirk. Young says the future of such centers is uncertain because of a movement to find jobs for the disabled 'out in the community...' Prior to her election to public office... Young worked for the Rehab Center in Cattaraugus County, an agency similar to the Resource Center. In comments following the ceremony... the Senator said jobs 'out in the community' are only right for some people with disabilities. See adds it's not 'realistic' for some. Young says she'll continue to work for creative solutions when the legislature convenes in Janauary. State Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also given a 'Community Action Award' at the Resouce Center's Disability Awareness Awards earlier this Fall.
Federal energy regulators have approved a 700-million dollar pipeline project designed to ferry cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania into high-priced markets in New England and New York. The project's backers said Wednesday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval means the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline could be operational by next winter. The lead partners are Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Partners and Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas. Williams says Marcellus Shale gas is about half the cost of the Gulf of Mexico gas that typically reaches Boston and New York City.
There are still some tickets remaining for the annual Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular that's returning to Jamestown a week from this Saturday. The unique program that combines ice skating... gymnastics... and, music... will be held at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Saturday, December 13th at 7 PM. Arena General Manager Brian Cersosimo says the program will be video taped for play two times next February on ABC-TV. Cersosimo says among the world class figure skaters on hand will be Olympic Doubles Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the most recent Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. There will also be Simon (Suh-Moan) Bios... the top-ranked gymnast in the world. County music singer Danielle Bradberry from "The Voice" will also perform. Again... the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectatular program is Saturday, December 13th at 7 PM. Cersosimo says there are still some tickets remaining. For more information... call the arena at 484-2624... or go on-line to Jamestownarena-dot-COM.