The city of Jamestown's Department of Development is looking at demolishing 25 to 30 blighted and dilapatated buildings over the next year. That from Development Director Vince DeJoy... who told City Council members last night that his department has an "aggressive" campaign planned through 2014. That includes hauling away the construction and demolition debris to the county landfill. DeJoy says they're getting some help with disposal costs from the county through a shared services agreement for 4 tipping fee-credits. He says that should save the city between 25 and 30-thousand dollars to dispose of 320-tons of debris this year. DeJoy says the move will allow the city to dispose of at least two demolished one-family homes... or one, two-family house. He says they'll also be receiving funding from a state Attorney General's grant... the county Landbank... and, Community Development Block Grant funding. DeJoy calls the agreement a "win-win" situation for the city and the county.
Working smoke detectors are being credited for alerting a Conewango family to a fire inside their Route 62 home Monday morning. Cattaraugus County fire dispatchers say crews were called to the scene at 12-520 Route 62 shortly before 10 AM. Conewango Fire Chief Raymond McKay says the two-story, wood-frame home was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival. McKay says the family was outside when they and five other companies arrived at the scene. However... he says due to the older construction of the home... it took a while to bring the flames under control. In addition... Cattaraugus fire crews were called to assist. McKay says they had 45 to 50 firefighters at the scene. Crews were there for about two hours. In addition to the occupants... no firefighters were hurt. However... two pets perished in the fire. The cause remains under investigation.
No injuries have been reported after a small fire in Lily Dale. Firefighters from Lily Dale, Cassadaga and Stockton responded to the fire on the third floor of the Maplewood Hotel on Cleveland Avenue around 11:30 this morning. County Emergency Services also assisted at the scene. The fire was apparently sparked by an electrical problem.
Should New York State be allowed to use Chautauqua County's name and seal in conjunction with the controversial SAFE Act? Several County Legislators oppose the move... and, are co-sponsoring a resolution that will be taken up in committee this week. County Legislator John Runkle says he has learned about the state's intent from two key officials... Sheriff Joe Gerace and County Clerk Larry Barmore. Runkle adds that he has the support of several other legislators. The County Legislature's Public Safety committee is expected to take up the measure during a meeting this week. Hundreds of western New York gun owners used Saturday's one-year anniversary of the SAFE Act's enactment to protest by firing off their guns at local ranges.
An investigation into an alleged rape that occurred over the weekend in the city of Dunkirk has led to the arrest of a city man. Police say 36-year-old Jermaine Batten has been charged with first-degree rape -- a class B felony... and unlawfully dealing with a child. Officers say Batten was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and sent to the County Jail without bail pending a felony preliminary hearing. Police are not releasing any details about the incident or disclosing any information about the alleged victim.
Chautauqua Institution could have a new Amphitheater by 2016. During a recent interview with Media One Group... Chautauqua President Tom Becker said they've raised all the money needed for the design of the new structure... and, about half the 26-million dollars needed for construction. That's allowed them to tentatively schedule the work. Becker says that timetable could slip, if it takes longer to raise the necessary funds. While being more accessible, convenient and modern, the new Amphitheater will feel very much like the old one. Becker says the historical "sense" of the amphitheater -- both it's placement on the grounds... and, how you encounter it -- is actually enhanced by the design. He adds that those contributing to the building of the new facility are helping to define the 'Chautauqua experience' for the next century.
A Buffalo-area Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing staffers is leaving a state Legislature that already has nine empty seats. Officials add that it's not clear if special elections will be held to fill the offices that represent more than one-million New Yorkers. The unusually high number vacant seats isn't expected to have a major effect on the day-to-day operations of the 212-member Legislature. But... good government advocates say the empty seats mean a loss of representation in the districts, which stretch from Long Island to western New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo can call special elections for those seats before voters head to the polls in November, but he isn't obligated to. Cuomo has talked about the need to balance the cost of elections with the communities' rights to representation.