Traffic Stop Turned Cocaine Arrest
A Jamestown man is jailed on $1500 bail for allegedly being found in possession of a small amount of cocaine and, a hypodermic needle during a routine traffic stop on the Eastside early Friday morning. Jamestown police say they pulled over a 2005 Ford Escape just before 3 AM at the corner of Buffalo Street and Pratt Avenue for making an improper turn and, having darkened windows.
Officers say they learned that 39 year old Miguel Soto was driving with a suspended license and, further investigation found he was in possession of the drugs and drug paraphernalia. Police say he was arrested and, charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, and a number of traffic infractions including failure to comply with an emergency vehicle. He was arraigned and, sent to the county lock-up.
Teresi on State Budget
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says it's "significant" that the state has a fourth-straight, on-time budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. Lawmakers approved the $138-billion spending plan earlier this week. Teresi says it's a "positive" to have another on-time budget. However, he does have some concerns about the spending plan. One of them is how the new, two-year property tax freeze is going to work. In the first year, muncipalities need to keep their tax increase within 2% and, the following year, include a plan for consolidating services or other savings. Teresi says he wants what Jamestown has done over the past 14 years considered and, he told state lawmakers just that.
Teresi says his second concern is the fact there is no mandate relief in this budget plan after there were a few in the first 3 budgets under the Cuomo administration. He says that's the quickest way to lower the property tax burden. However... Teresi says one of the big pluses in this budget is about $40-million set aside for pothole, and road repair due to the harsh Winter we've endured.
St. Susan's Basket Fair Set for TODAY
Officials with the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen are hoping a new venue will make their 11th annual Basket Fair the biggest, and best one yet. The St. Susan's Center's yearly event is set for today and, is one of their biggest fundraisers each year. This year it's being held at Jamestown Community College's Physical Education Complex. St. Susan's Director Sue Colwell says the fair begins at 11 AM and, continues until 3 PM. Colwell says they have three major gift baskets worth 500-dollars each to be auctioned off. Prizes in these baskets include an Apple iPad, Nikon camera, Amazon gift card, and Kindle.
Colwell says they have about 100 other baskets they'll be selling off as well. She and the others putting on the program are "very excited" about this year's fund-raiser. But, she adds it's all a "very important" one as they strive to be as "self-sustaining" as possible. Colwell says they've especially been helped by local foundations to keep the soup kitchen operating in the wake of increased demand for their services. She says bidding on the prize baskets begins after lunch -- which begins at Noon.
Protection Against Surprise Medical Bills
New York has decided that starting next year, patients will be protected against surprise out-of-network medical bills that have pushed some toward personal bankruptcy. The measure, signed into law this week, is scheduled to take effect next April 1st. Meanwhile, insurance officials will write regulations on coverage, disclosures to patients and establish an arbitration process intended to settle related billing disputes between doctors and insurers, leaving patients out of them. Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky says his department receives thousands of complaints annually from insured patients stuck with huge bills. The measure, proposed by the Cuomo administration and approved by the Legislature, will require doctors and hospitals to more clearly notify patients about who's in their insurance networks and who's not.