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Local News Headlines

News Headlines for Fri., Dec. 27, 2013


State's Minimum Wage to increase to $8 at end of year...

New York's minimum wage will increase to $8 an hour at the end of this year... which is 75 cents higher than the federal minimum and the old state rate.  It's the first of three incremental boosts approved by the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo when they approved the state budget last March.  The minimum for most workers will increase to $8.75 an hour a year later and to $9 an hour a year after that.  However, the minimums for workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry who get tips may remain $5 an hour, with employers able to raise the maximum tip credits to $3 an hour the first year... $3.75 the second... and, $4 after that for service workers whose combined tips and wages meet or exceed the new higher minimums.


"Red Ribbon" campaign underway on NYS Thruway...

The New York State Thruway Authority and Mothers Against Drunk Driving are kicking off their annual ``red ribbon'' campaign against drunken driving.  Officials say 65,000 red ribbons will be handed out to Thruway drivers across New York state today.  The red ribbon campaign is MADD's longest running public awareness project.  The foot-long red ribbons are meant to be displayed on vehicles as a reminder of the danger of driving while impaired and to encourage people to drive sober, safely and buckled up.  The Thruway Authority will also be posting MADD's reminder to ``Drive Safely, Stay Sober'' on message boards throughout the Thruway system from Friday to Monday.


Gerace says new Emergency Radio System project underway, and on schedule...

A major, almost two-year project to upgrade Chautauqua County's emergency radio system is underway... and, the project is on-schedule.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the county received a $6-million state grant earlier this year to help cover the cost of re-building the system.  Gerace says Motorola is the primary vendor... and, the project is to be complete by May of 2015.  He adds, though, there's a lot to be done... including finding the right frequency for the system.  He says one of their biggest challenges have to do with available frequencies because not only do they have to deal with the FCC, but, the Canadian government as well.  Gerace says State Police in Jamestown and Fredonia will be part of the system now that the county is handling dispatching... and, troopers are using the same radio frequency.  He says that's good because they'll be able to stay in close communication with that agency as well.  Fire, police, and EMS will also eventually be on the system.  Gerace says the county's current emergency radio dispatch system dates back to the 1970s... and, he adds it has several "dead spots."


Dunkirk man arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover police agents...

A Dunkirk man has been arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover police in the north county city over the past several months.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force agents say 27 year-old Daniel Melendez was arrested by Dunkirk Police on Christmas Day at his Franklin Avenue home.  Task Force members say Melendez was arrested without incident on warrants issued after he was indicted by the county Grand Jury.  Authorities say he was wanted on multiple counts of third-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance... and, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance.  Melendez was indicted after District Attorney David Foley's office presented information from task force members that he sold the drug to them.  He was sent to the county jail... pending his arraignment in County Court.  Task Force members are encouraging members of the community to call either the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702... or local police when they observe narcotics-related activity in their area. 


Gas prices holding steady in Jamestown-area at year ends...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady during the end-of-year holiday period.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the price locally continues to hover at just over $3.62 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  On the National front... AAA says the average price of gas had been edging higher in the days leading up to Christmas.  Today's national average price at the pump is just under $3.26 per gallon.  That's up nearly 4-cents from last week... due mainly to refinery issues.

 

 

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