Local News 3/14/13 8:45am
Authorities in upstate New York say the suspected gunman in a rampage at a car wash and a barbershop that left four people dead has been killed by police in a shootout. They say 64-year-old Kurt Myers was killed Thursday by police who had surrounded a block of small businesses in the village of Herkimer since Wednesday afternoon. Trooper Jack Keller says police went into the building around 8 a.m. He says the shootout occurred in the basement, where Myers shot a police dog. Keller says police returned fire, killing him. Myers' rampage started with a fire in his apartment in the nearby village of Mohawk on Wednesday morning. They say he then shot two people dead and wounded two others at a barbershop around the corner before killing two more at a Herkimer oil change and car wash business. Hours later, a flurry of gunfire was heard near where police had narrowed their search. A college and schools were locked down, and people told to stay inside as police hunted Myers.
Roman Catholics in New York greeted the new pope with emotions reflecting their diversity -- from enthusiasm to surprise. Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, worshippers filled pews Wednesday for a Mass honoring the new pontiff, Jorge Bergoglio (HOHR'-hay bur-GOHG'-lee-oh) of Argentina. St. Patrick's rector, Msgr. Robert Ritchie, noted in his sermon that one cardinal called the new Pope Francis ``the holiest man'' he'd ever known. That's what the rector says the pope has to be to face the problems that have `infected' the church today. Joe Robertson, a commodities trader from New Jersey, says he's surprised by the choice of the 76-year-old South American, since there was talk of picking a younger man to handle the stress of all the travel facing a pontiff today.
The top Catholic in Western New York says he is "impressed" by Pope Francis' "humility and spontaneity" as he gave his first blessing at St. Peter's Square. Bishop Richard Malone of the Buffalo Diocese adds that it is "with profound gratitude to God" that he welcome's his election. Malone adds that "as the first Holy Father from the Americas..." he says it was a powerful moment when Pope Francis’ asked everyone to pause in silent prayer, and "pray for him and bless him." The Bishop asked the local faithful to join him in prayer as the papacy of Francis begins.
Firefighters responded to the scene of a fire at a residence in Panama shortly before 10pm Wednesday night. Firefighters were called to a structure fire at 13 South St. in the village. Chautauqua County Sheriff's report that Panama, Bear Lake, Lakewood, Clymer, Busti and Ashville volunteer fire departments responded to the scene. Fire Crews were on the scent until just before 2 o'clock this morning. No injuries were reported. The fire investigation is working to determine the cause of the fire.
There is no final agreement on a contract for police services between the village of Lakewood and the town of Busti. However... there has been some miscommunication on what's been agreed to. Village Mayor David Wordelmann has issued a statement clarifying where the village stands on a new, five-year agreement. It was issued in the wake of a news report that Busti Town lawmakers approved what may have been judged to be a final contract. However... Wordlemann says it was only a proposal on what percentage of the total cost the village... and, town would pay for. Currently... the village pays about 73-percent of the yearly costs to run the Lakewood-Busti Police Department... while the town pays about 27-percent. Wordlemann says he spoke to the town board for about an hour at it's last meeting about the matter... and, made it clear that the village is only asking three things. And... Wordlemann says they also want assurances that the town doesn't leave the village "high and dry" on the costs... which include pension... insurance... and, other costs. Most town and village officials agree the percentage of calls for the town in recent years has been more like 37-percent. A revised offer from the village is being delivered today.
The Jamestown School Board has approved a 2013-2014 calendar that includes a "split" vacation period around Easter. That from School Superintendent Deke Kathman... who says this is the first time in several years that one week will be taken off in late February... and, the other week will fall in April. Kathman also says that school starts early in 2013-14... with Labor Day falling on September 2nd. He says they'll have the usual "In-Service Day" for teachers on the 3rd... and, start classes on the 4th. Kathman says there are two advantages to having the "split break." One is that BOCES is going with a split break... so, that will keep Jamestown students aligned with that calender. He says the other is it will help in coordinating scheduling with the neighboring districts they share Special Education services with. Kathman also says there will be a full, two-week break for the Christmas and New Year's Holidays.
Possibly the most anticipated restaurant opening in many years in the Jamestown-area is now just a week-and-a-half away. The Olive Garden... which is located next to the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... has set a March 25th opening date. Mayor David Wordelmann says people driving along Fairmount Avenue have had a great view of the progress. Construction work finished a short time ago... and, Wordelmann says he got a "sneak peak" inside a couple of weeks ago with Building Inspector Charles Smith. Wordlemann says there's been a lot of "buzz" about the restaurant since the first announcement was made about Olive Garden coming to the area... and, during construction of the eatery. Lack of any major snowstorms helped keep the project on track. Olive Garden officials said once they broke ground at the new location... it would take between 180 to 190 days for the restaurant to open. Employee hiring and training has been taking place in recent days... leading up to the March 25th opening.