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Local News Headlines Archives for 2013-03

News Update for Fri., Mar. 29, 2013


**(New) Search for convenience store robber underway in Warren County...

Authorities are looking for a man who allegedly held up the Kwik Fill convenience store and gas station in Sugar Grove, PA.  State Police in Warren say the male suspect entered the store shortly before 2 p.m. Friday... and, demanded money.  No weapon was shown... but, the man spoke in broken English... and, ran off with an undisclosed amount of money.  Anyone with information is asked to call State Police... or Pennsylvania Crimestoppers.


City man arrested for allegedly stealing prescription pain killers from Falconer supermarket...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of prescription drugs from the Top's supermarket in the village of Falconer.  Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene of a robbery in progress at the South Work Street location about 6:15 p.m. Thursday... and, found the suspect -- identified as 22 year-old James Hayes of Wilson Place -- had been caught by a store employee... and, a customer in a corner of the parking lot.  Officers say they learned that Hayes allegedly went to the store's pharmacy... and, handed the clerk a note demanding several narcotic prescriptions.  The employee complied with the demands... and, Hayes allegedly ran off.  However... the clerk advised another worker of the robbery before the suspect could flee... and, he was caught.  Hayes was arraigned in Poland Town Court on a charge of third-degree robbery and petty larceny charges... and, sent to the county jail pending a bail hearing.


Fire damages two-family apartment building in Jamestown...

A two-story apartment house on Jamestown's southside was extensively damaged in a mid-morning fire today.  City fire crews were called to 151 1/2 Prather Avenue shortly before 8 a.m., and, Battalion Chief Matt Russo says they found smoke pouring from an attic vent.  However... all occupants were out.  Russo says they pulled two hoses to douse the flames on both floors.  He says one truck pulled a 1 3/4 inch handline to deal with the first-floor... and, another pulled a second line to put out the rest upstairs.  Russo says they called in a off-duty shift of 12 firefighters.  Half of those went to the scene.  He says they had the flames under control within half-an-hour.  Russo says most of the damage was done to the second-floor of the home.  He says some windows had to be taken out of both floors... and, there was mainly water damage on the first floor.  Fire crews were at the scene less than 2 hours.  Russo says there was one occupant in each apartment... and, they are both being helped by family members.  No one was hurt.  Russo says fire investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze.


Jamestown Fire Dept. awarded major, federal grant...

The Jamestown Fire Department has been awarded a $464,000 federal grant to help buy two, new major vehicles that will replace two pieces of equipment that are falling into disrepair.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo... who wrote the grant application... says this is "great news" for the department and the community they serve.  Russo says the grant is part of the 19th round of funding from the U-S Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighter's Grant Program.  The money will help buy a new pumper truck... and, ambulance.  Russo says the current truck is 33 years old... while the ambulance is 20 years old.


Goodell finds, good, bad, and ugly in new state Budget...

New York State has a new budget in place... about three days ahead of schedule.  The Assembly last night approved all 11 budget bills... marking the third year-in-a-row New York's had an on-time budget.  While there are parts of the $135-billion spending plan local Assemblyman Andy Goodell likes... there are others he doesn't.  Goodell says there are two main positives.  One is a $75-million boost in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS Funding.  He says that will be a big help to local highway departments.  The other is the $1-billion increase in school aid.  About $19-million of that is coming to Chautauqua County.  Assembly Republicans planned to debate most of the issues... and, they also introduced some what are called ``hostile amendments.''  In Albany... hostile amendments are proposed by the minority party to make clear their opposition to legislation crafted by the majority party.  Hostile amendments are quickly rejected by the majority, but the required debate can be lengthy.  One area hotly debated was the lack of restorative funds for the developmentally disabled.  Goodell says he was "very, very disappointed" that only $30-million of the $120-million cut was restored for private entities -- such as The Resource Center.


Changes to 66th annual Jamestown Easter Egg Hunt announced...

The weather forecast is looking better for Saturday in the Jamestown area... but, the city's annual Easter Egg Hunt will remain indoors because of snow and mud on the grounds of Allen Park.  That from city Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says workers and volunteers have been busy preparing the old Allen Park Ice Rink for the hunt.  Ciesla-Hanley says there is also a major change in how children will be allowed into the hunt.  The age groups remain the same... but, only ONE group will be allowed inside the rink at a time... starting at 10:30 a.m.  The youngest group goes first... to the oldest.  She says... otherwise... they'll have the 3,000 chocolate eggs hidden inside the rink.  There will also be 30 prize eggs... and, two Gold and two Silver Eggs.  WJTN will cover the 66th annual Egg Hunt during "The Times of Your Life" broadcast from 10 to 11 a.m.

Local News Headlines


Local News Headlines 5:20am 3/29/13

 

New York State has a new budget in place... nearly three days ahead of schedule.  The state Assembly approved all 11 budget bills by late last night... marking the three year-in-a-row New York's had an on-time budget.  While there are parts of the 135-billion dollar spending local Assemblyman Andy Goodell likes... there are others he doesn't.  Goodell says there are two main positives.  One is a boost in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS Funding. Assembly Republicans planned to debate most of the issues... and, they also introduced some what are called ``hostile amendments.''  In Albany... hostile amendments are proposed by the minority party to make clear their opposition to legislation crafted by the majority party.  Hostile amendments are quickly rejected by the majority, but the required debate can be lengthy.  One area hotly debated was the lack of restorative funds for the developmentally disabled.  Goodell says he was "very, very disappointed" that only 30-million of the 120-million cut was restored. However... Goodell voted against the budget for the developmentally disabled.  He also rejected 5.5-billion dollars in so-called "back-door" borrowing.  The Senate has already finished it's budget work.  The budget was due by Midnight Sunday.

 

Major elements of the budget negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders includes $350 tax rebate checks for most middle class families and a new minimum wage that will rise to $9 over three years. The budget also raises billions of dollars by extending two taxes that were due to expire _  an income tax surcharge on millionaire earners and a business tax on energy costs. Businesses will get additional tax breaks including one to encourage the hiring of recent veterans. Advocates are upset with cuts to cancer screenings for the uninsured and reductions in funding to care for the developmentally disabled.

 

A city man has been arrested for allegedly selling illegal drugs from a westside residence... and, stealing a number of flat-screen TVs.  Jamestown police say their drug investigators and the State Police C-NET Team raided an apartment at 10 West Sixth Street about 9 AM Thursday... and, arrested 28 year-old Tyrone Smith.  Officers say their investigation showed that Smith was selling narcotics from the dwelling... and, they alleged found the TV sets... which were reported stolen... and, cash.  Smith was charged with Felony criminal sale of a controlled substance... and first-degree criminal nuisance.  He is being held pending arraignment.  Anyone with information about illegal narcotics sales in the city is asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

There was never anything said at a press conference Tuesday by minor league baseball officials that the Jamestown Jammers baseball franchise would be relocating to Morgantown, West Virginia.  That from NY-P League President Ben Hayes... who says two published reports stating that Jamestown would -- or could be the team moving in 2015 are "totally" erroneous.  The comment was attributed to both Hayes and Minor League Baseball Chief Executive Officer Pat O'Connor.  Hayes does says there are 3 or 4 clubs that appear "ripe" for relocation.  However... he says it's too early to say who may do that.
Hayes would not identify what 3 or 4 franchises are possibly looking to relocate... and, he would not speak to Jamestown's situation.  He says the ownership would have to do that.  Hayes did say the only mention of Jamestown was during a question and answer session regarding it's two-year player development agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates... which runs through 2014.  Hayes and O'Connor were in Morgantown for an announcement that West Virginia University plans to build a new stadium... and, that the NY-P League would be relocating a team there.

 

Residents have just over two weeks left to get their state and federal income taxes filed.  But... for many people... being able to afford a tax preparer isn't possible.  That's why the "Free File" program was started in 2003... and, the county's Congressman was in Jamestown yesterday afternoon to tout the public--private effort to help people do their own taxes... and, get a refund quickly.  Corning Republican Tom Reed was joined by representatives of several human service agencies for a public briefing on the New York "Free File" program at Jamestown Business College.  He says it's "available... easy... and, free" to people who earn less than 57-thousand dollars a year. Reed says they held the briefing, and training for several agencies directors, and others because there's still plenty of time for people to do their taxes.  Computer and Communications Industry Association representative David Macklin says 70-percent of U-S taxpayers are eligible to use the "Free File" service.  He says the program is "empowering" to lower-income residents... because program let's you know what tax credits you're eligible for.  For more information... go on-line to Taxprephelp-dot-ORG.

 

Both ramps at state Thruway Exit 59 re-opened late yesterday morning after a crash involving a tanker truck closed them both down.  The big rig carrying a food additive called Liquid Latex rolled onto its side around 7:30 AM Thursday.  State Police Troop 'T' says first responders had to free the driver from the truck and then transport to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  They described the injuries as "non-life-threatening."  Firefighters from Fredonia and East Dunkirk responded to the scene.  Both ramps were closed for about three hours.  State troopers are continuing their investigation to determine what caused the crash.

 

News update for Thurs., Mar. 28, 2013


State Assembly begins vote on 2013-2014 budget...

The State Assembly has begun final legislative approval of the $135-billion state budget.  The Assembly began deliberating the remaining bills about 1 p.m. Thursday and could finish voting by evening, although a late session and Friday session are still possible.  The Senate gave its approval to budget bills in an overnight session that ended just after 4 a.m. Wednesday.  The budget includes extending an income tax on millionaires that was to expire next year, an election year.  It also continues for three years a big business tax on energy costs that had been set to expire this year.  New Yorkers with incomes between $40,000 and $300,000 who have at least one child would get a $350 check per family just before the 2014 elections.  The budget is due by midnight Sunday.


NY-P League President denies that he, or Minor League Baseball CEO said Jammers might be relocating to West Virginia...

There was never anything said at a press conference Tuesday by minor league baseball officials that the Jamestown Jammers baseball franchise would be relocating to Morgantown, West Virginia.  That from NY-P League President Ben Hayes... who says two published reports stating that Jamestown would -- or could be the team moving in 2015 are "totally" erroneous.  The comment was attributed to both Hayes and Minor League Baseball Chief Executive Officer Pat O'Connor.  Hayes says the only mention of Jamestown was regarding it's player development agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He says that was during a question and answer session following the press conference.  That player development contract was signed late last year... and covers 2013 and 2014.  Hayes and O'Connor were in Morgantown for an announcement that the NY-P League plans to relocate one of it's teams there in time for the 2015 season.  Hayes did add that any move by any franchise is contingent on West Virginia University pushing through construction of a new stadium.


County Legislature approves added Waterway Funding for Chautauqua Lake weed harvesting...

County lawmakers have approved a proposal that will boost funding for the Chautauqua Lake Association by $40,000.  Republican Legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point says its an effort to avoid the out of control weeds that hit parts of the lake last summer.  Horrigan says the idea is to have the money up front so the CLA can hire people, and get the crews together to begin working on the lake sooner.  Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek supported the increase... but, the Republican says the county will have address issues involving another large body of water... Lake Erie.  The problem there is lower lake levels, and the need for dredging in some locations.  The legislature approved the CLA proposal by a 20-0 vote.  The lake association will receive a total of $90,000 from the county's bed tax that is set aside for lakes and waterways.  The proposal also doubles the amount of funding the Bear Lake Association will get, from $750 to $1,500.


Tanker truck driver hurt in State Thruway crash that closes Exit 59 ramps Thursday morning...

Both ramps have re-opened after a crash involving a tanker truck closed down Exit 59 on the state Thruway near Dunkirk Thursday morning.  The big rig carrying a food additive called Liquid Latex rolled onto its side around 7:30 a.m.  State Police Troop 'T' says first responders had to free the driver from the truck and then transport to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  They described the injuries as "non-life-threatening."  Firefighters from Fredonia and East Dunkirk responded to the scene.  Both ramps were closed for about three hours.  State troopers are continuing their investigation to determine what caused the crash.


Gas prices hold steady for the week...

Gasoline prices in the Jametown area are pretty much unchanged for the third week in a row.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded... remains around $3.94.  The Fuel Gauge says the price is actually down about 2-tenths of cent for the week.  On the National front... the AAA says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is just under $3.66.  That's 3-cents less than one week ago.  AAA says it's still "too soon" to say whether retail prices have peaked for the spring.


 

Local News Headlines 3/28/13


Local News Headlines  6:22am 3/28/13

 

Chautauqua County Legislators have approved a proposal that will boost funding for the Chautauqua Lake Association by $40,000.  Legislator Vince Horrigan says its an effort to avoid the out of control weeds that hit parts of the lake last summer. Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek supported the increase, but says the county will have address issues involving another large body of water...Lake Erie.  The legislature approved the proposal by a 20-nothing vote.  CLA will receive a total of $90,000 from the bed tax funding that is set aside for lakes and waterways.  The proposal also doubles the amount of funding the Bear Lake Association will get, from $750 to $1,500. 

 

The Chautauqua County Legislature have approved accepting a 6-million dollar state grant to upgrade the county's Emergency Radio System.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says the grant was one of four state-wide that was for the maximum amount awarded by the state Department of Homeland Security.  Gerace says they're very pleased to receive the grant because it will avoid the need to borrow money for the new system. Gerace says the funding will be used primarily for "networking improvements" that will allow ALL police, fire and public works entities to cross-communicate with each other through a "repeater" system.  He says the current system was designed in the 1970s... and, has several "dead spots" in it.  Gerace says the new system will eliminate those.  He adds that the grant should cover most -- if not all of the cost for the system.  He says the move from an analog to digital system will also "narrowband" local communications from 25 kilohertz to 12.5... as required by the FCC.

 

One half of the state legislature has approved a new budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  The State Senate approved the final spending bill about 4:30 yesterday morning in Albany.  Lawmakers have been trying to complete an on-time budget for the third-year in a row.  In a printed release... state Senator Cathy Young says the 135-billion dollar spending plan is balanced... and fiscally responsible.  Young adds that it "includes many initiatives that are steps in the right direction to make our state a more affordable place to live, work and do business."  The Assembly will begin voting on matching bills later today. In addition... Senator Young says the new budget includes a one-billion dollar funding increase for public schools. The Olean Republican says schools in her 57th Senatorial District will get about 19-million dollars of that.  Final school runs were not made available... but, the increases were seen in two areas favorable for Jamestown.  One was additional restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment... and, in foundation aid.

 


Good-government groups are slamming the New York state legislature for what one senator called ``vampire'' voting.  That's because much of the new $135 billion budget is built on reviving taxes and the bills are being voted on in the dead of night.  The Assembly is preparing to give final legislative approval to the budget, likely during a night-time session Thursday.  The Senate is finished after debating billions of dollars in public spending during a session that lasted until just after 4 AM Wednesday.  Meanwhile... Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are praising the budget.  They portray it as not increasing taxes and say the process shows state government is functioning.  The watchdog group Citizens Union says joint conference committees required by law to negotiate spending decisions in public were shown to be perfunctory and ultimately ignored.

 

Catholic Charities of Buffalo's annual Appeal is now at just over 80-percent of it's 2013 goal of 10.7-million dollars.  Bishop Richard Malone says they've raised 8.58-million dollars of the goal as of the close of Appeal Week.  Malone says that put's them slightly behind last year at this time... when the appeal had raised 83-percent of the goal.  However... he's optmistic they'll reach this year's goal by the end of the campaign on June 30th. June 30th is also the end of Catholic Charities' fiscal year.  Several people spoke about the need to support the organization's 70 programs and services... which are offered across 61 sites in the eight-county region.  Diocesan Director Sister Mary McCarrick says one of those programs allows people who left school early to earn their GED.  McCarrick says it's important because a lot of those people go onto college -- or some other higher education.  She says that those people have twice the earning power of people who do not graduate high school.  2013 Appeal Chairman Stephen Ulrich emphasized the need to boost corporate donations... and, curb donor loss.  Ulrich says part of that is due to the still struggling economy in Western New York.

 

A Jamestown area doctor who has practiced Internal Medicine at WCA Hospital for the past 30 years has been named as the hospital's "Physician of the Year" for 2013.  For the ninth-year in a row... WCA Wednesday celebrated National Doctor's Day by presenting Dr. John LaMancuso with the honor.  Dr. LaMancuso was selected by a panel of his peers... and, past presidents of the WCA Medical Staff.  LaMancuso says he considers himself "very fortunate" to receive the honor.  The Jamestown native says as he went through college and medical school... he always thought he would come back to the area.  But... he says that almost didn't happen. LaMancuso says the most gratifying part of his job has been getting to know... and, helping his patients.  He says what you learn from those patients is some that I would say is priceless."  LaMancuso has seen a lot of changes over the past 30 years... and, says he's looking forward to what's ahead because he works hard... and, enjoys what he does. 

 

New York's largest teachers union says standardized tests students will take next month should be used to gauge the state's progress in rolling out rigorous new learning standards -- but, not as a measure of teacher effectiveness or against students.  New York State United Teachers tells The Associated Press it's spreading that message in an ad campaign it launched Wednesday.  The ads urge parents to oppose using this year's English and math tests for third-through-eighth-graders in teacher evaluations or student placements.  NYSUT said Tuesday teachers weren't evenly prepared to teach the new ``Common Core'' curricula on which the tests are based.  Education Commissioner John King says in a memo to educators it's important for the state to move forward with standards meant to prepare students for college and careers.

 

News Update for Wed., Mar. 27, 2013


State Senate approves new state budget; Assembly to begin voting Thursday...

One half of the state legislature has approved a new budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  The State Senate approved the final spending bill about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday in Albany.  Lawmakers have been trying to complete an on-time budget for the third-year in a row.  In a printed release... state Senator Cathy Young says the $135-billion spending plan is balanced... and fiscally responsible.  Young adds that it "includes many initiatives that are steps in the right direction to make our state a more affordable place to live, work and do business."  The Assembly will begin voting on matching bills Thursday.
----
In addition... Senator Young says the new budget includes a $1-billion funding increase for public schools. The Olean Republican says schools in her 57th Senatorial District will get about $19-million of that.  Final school runs were not made available... but, the increases were seen in two areas favorable for Jamestown.  One was additional restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment... and, in foundation aid.


Gerace says state grant for new, emergency communications system will allow mandated project to proceed without any significant borrowing...

The Chautauqua County Legislature are voting tonight on accepting a $6-million state grant to upgrade the county's Emergency Radio System.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says the grant was one of four state-wide that was for the maximum amount awarded by the state Department of Homeland Security.  Gerace says they're very pleased to receive the grant because it will avoid the need to borrow money for the new system.  He says bonding would have "affected all of us as taxpayers."  Gerace says the funding will be used primarily for "networking improvements" that will allow ALL police, fire and public works entities to cross-communicate through a "repeater" system.  He says the current system was designed in the 1970s... and, has several "dead spots" in it.  Gerace says the new system will eliminate those... adding those were the biggest problems in major diasters like the "9/11" attacks, and Hurricane Katrina.  He says the grant should cover most -- if not all of the cost for the system.  He says the move from an analog to digital system will also the "narrowbanding" of local communications from 25 kilohertz to 12.5, as per the FCC.  Gerace says lawmakers will also vote on establishing accounts for the grant monies.


State to spend nearly $28-million dollars on statewide handgun permit database...

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says New York will spend $27.7-million to develop the first statewide electronic handgun permit database as part of its new gun control law.  Silver told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the measure will create a central database of pistol permit records now kept at the county level where handgun owners live.  It will allow statewide cross-checking with records of crimes and involuntary commitments to mental health facilities.  The law exempts records of individual handgun owners from the state Freedom of Information Law.  That would avoid the conflict that arose when a newspaper reported the names of handgun permit holders and their addresses.  The funding is in the tentative state budget expected to gain final legislative approval in the Assembly later this week.


Young says new state budget includes $5-million loan to help financially strapped Salamanca...

The final state budget will include a $5-million, no-interest loan for Salamanca, allowing the city to fill a gaping hole in its finances.  State Senator Cathy Young says the Cattaraugus County city has been been experiencing dire fiscal stress... and, was at risk of not being able to pay its bills.  Young says that's because casino revenues from the Seneca Nation of Indians have been withheld since 2009 due to the gaming compact dispute with the state.  Young says a three-member panel led by former state Court of Appeals Chief Justice Judith Kaye has been charged with settling the disagreement through arbitration.  The Olean Republican says this is "tremendous news for the residents of Salamanca, and should allay many of the city's worries.  Not only will this money provide what is needed for Salamanca's current fiscal year... but, it also will allow local officials to plan the coming year's budget."  She adds she's grateful for Governor Cuomo's support in "reaching this solution."


Rabb takes part in Gay Marriage vigil in Buffalo as Supreme Court considerd Prop. 8, and DOMA...

There will be several more national vigils tonight by supporters of Gay Marriage as the U-S Supreme Court hears two major cases.  One of those vigils was held in Buffalo last night... and, a high-profile gay marriage advocate from Jamestown was there.  City Council President Greg Rabb is also the only openly-gay elected official from the region.  Rabb said he was joining others outside the federal courthouse in Buffalo standing in support of striking down Proposition 8 in California... which ban's same-sex marriage... and, the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  He says the idea is to show solidarity with the people who brought those cases before the court.  During Tuesday's arguments on California's ban on same-sex marriage... several justices raised doubts that the case should even be before them.  Rabb says agrees that's a major issue in that matter.  The decision would then revert back to the lower court decision.  As for DOMA... Rabb believes there will be a decision.  He says the key will be how they rule on whether the federal law violates the "equal protection clause" in the 14th amendment.  DOMA was signed by President Clinton back in the 1990s.


Teacher's union says NYS standardized tests in April should not be used as gauge for teacher effectiveness nor against students...

New York's largest teachers union says standardized tests students will take next month should be used to gauge the state's progress in rolling out rigorous new learning standards -- but, not as a measure of teacher effectiveness or against students.  New York State United Teachers tells The A--P it's spreading that message in an ad campaign launching Wednesday.  The ads urge parents to oppose using this year's English and math tests for third-through-eighth-graders in teacher evaluations or student placements.  NYSUT says Tuesday teachers weren't evenly prepared to teach the new ``Common Core'' curricula on which the tests are based.  Education Commissioner John King says in a memo to educators it's important for the state to move forward with standards meant to prepare students for college and careers.


 

Local News Headlines 3/27/13


Local News Headlines 3/27/13 4:40am

 

A large crowd in Buffalo was one of several vigils held across the U-S by supporters of Gay Marriage as two major cases are heard by the U-S Supreme Court.  One of the people on hand in front of the U-S District Court was a high-profile gay marriage advocate from Jamestown.  City Council President Greg Rabb is also the only openly-gay elected official from the region.  Rabb said he was joining others in Buffalo standing in support of striking down Proposition 8 in California... which ban's same-sex marriage.  During oral arguments yesterday... several justices questioned whether the case should even be heard by the high court.  Rabb says that's an encouraging sign. DOMA is also known as the federal Defense of Marriage Act... which has been in place since the 1990s.  Rabb says the Supreme Court will hear most of the arguments for and against that today.  Rabb believes there will be a decision in that case.  But... it's not likely any decision will be issued until June.

 

Chautauqua County's Assemblyman says he's "outraged" at a state plan to offer a 500-dollar reward to people who turn in others who own an illegal assault rifle.  Bemus Point Republican Andy Goodell says it's an apparent expansion of a program in New York City used to curb gun and gang violence in the city.  Goodell says it's been a good program for the 'Big Apple...' but, the memo by the Division of Criminal Justice Services appears to be in retaliation against the 51 Upstate counties -- including Chautauqua -- which passed resolutions opposing the New York SAFE Act. Goodell says rifles accounted for only five murders in 2011.  But... he says the SAFE Act requires more than one-million rifle owners to register their guns -- or face a potential felony.  He says he will work to reverse this order... but, is asking law-abiding gun owners to voice their opposition directly to the governor... and, legislative leaders. Goodell says the recently legislation... which he voted against... also limits gun clips to only seven rounds... which inadvertantly made most police guns illegal.

 

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says New York will spend 27.7-million dollars to develop the first statewide electronic handgun permit database as part of its new gun control law.  Silver told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the measure will create a central database of pistol permit records now kept at the county level where handgun owners live.  It will allow statewide cross-checking with records of crimes and involuntary commitments to mental health facilities.  The law exempts records of individual handgun owners from the state Freedom of Information Law.  That would avoid the conflict that arose when a newspaper reported the names of handgun permit holders and their addresses.  The funding is in the tentative state budget expected to gain final legislative approval in the Assembly later this week.

 

There will be an early state budget... but, it won't be as early as lawmakers had hoped.  That from Assemblyman  Andy Goodell... who says the Senate began voting on final bills for the 135-billion dollar spending plan late Monday.  The state legislature's upper chamber was to finish about Midnight last night.  Goodell says the Assembly will be returning to Albany today... and, votes will begin Thursday.  The Bemus Point Republican expects the final spending plan to be finalized by the end of the week.  He's also pushing for some changes... like adding more money for The Resouce Center... and, other such entities that help the developmentally-disabled. Goodell says he also has problem with a "cash back" program for families with dependent children.  There's a tax credit already in place for that... but, many lawmakers want an additional payment to those eligible.  Goodell says he does like the restoration of aid to public schools... and, to the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding.

 

The final state budget will include a 5-million dollar, no-interest loan for Salamanca, allowing the city to fill a gaping hole in its finances.  State Senator Cathy Young says the Cattaraugus County city has been been experiencing dire fiscal stress... and, was at risk of not being able to pay its bills.  Young says that's because casino revenues from the Seneca Nation of Indians have been withheld since 2009 due to the gaming compact dispute with the state.  Young says a three-member panel led by former state Court of Appeals Chief Justice Judith Kaye has been charged with settling the disagreement through arbitration.  The Olean Republican says this is "tremendous news for the residents of Salamanca, and should allay many of the city's worries.  Not only will this money provide what is needed for Salamanca's current fiscal year... but, it also will allow local officials to plan the coming year's budget."  She adds she's grateful for Governor Cuomo's support in "reaching this solution."  Last year... Salamanca received 2.5-million dollars in emergency state funding, also as a loan, to help close a similar budget shortfall.

Local News Update for Tues., Mar. 26, 2013


Goodell "outraged" by plan to offer people $500 to turn in others who own an illegal assault rifle...

Chautauqua County's Assemblyman says he's "outraged" at a state plan to offer a $500 reward to people who turn in others who own an illegal assault rifle.  Bemus Point Republican Andy Goodell says it's an apparent expansion of a program in New York City used to curb gun and gang violence.  Goodell says it's been a good program for the 'Big Apple...' but, the memo by the Division of Criminal Justice Services appears to be in retaliation against the 51 Upstate counties -- including Chautauqua -- which passed resolutions opposing the New York SAFE Act.  He says the program would be expanded to all of the upstate region.  Goodell says what state leaders are proposing is "completely different" than what the program was originally intended to do.  Goodell says rifles accounted for only five murders in 2011.  But... he says the SAFE Act requires more than one-million rifle owners to register their guns -- or face a potential felony charge.  He says he will work to reverse this order... but, is asking law-abiding gun owners to voice their opposition directly to Governor Cuomo... and, legislative leaders.  Goodell says he's at least hoping lawmakers vote not to fund the program.  Goodell says the recent legislation... which he voted against... also limits gun clips to only seven rounds... which inadvertantly made most police guns illegal.


Senate voing on budget bills, Assembly to begin voting Thursday, according to Goodell...

Assemblyman Goodell, meantime, says there will be an early state budget in place... but, it won't be as early as lawmakers had hoped.  He says the Senate began voting on final bills for the $135-billion spending plan late Monday.  Goodell adds they're expected to finish up their work by late today.  Goodell says the Assembly will be heading back to Albany Wednesday... but, there's still some work to be done before they begin voting on the remaining bills.  Goodell says that's likely because the bills are "complex" and will require some discussion first.  He says he's still pushing for more money to be restored to programs for the developmentally-disabled at such places as the Resource Center.  However... he adds there are a number of positives in the plan.  The biggest is restoration of a significant amount of school aid... as well as Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding.  In addition to the issue with the developmentally-disabled... Goodell says he has problem with a "cash back" program for families with dependent children.  There's a tax credit already in place for that... but, there's an expansion of that in the 2013-2014 budget.  Goodell would prefer just expanding the tax credit, and allowing those eligible families keeping the money.


Taxpayers could get part of bill to pay for provision in Minimum Wage law...

A provision buried deep in New York's tentative budget shows taxpayers will get part of the bill for raising the minimum wage.  The deal to raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 by 2015 includes a ``minimum wage reimbursement credit'' for employers.  It would make up some of the wage difference for seasonal workers ages 16 to 19 and still in school.  Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute fears adults could be replaced by teenagers so employers could claim the credit.  He says a safeguard would be hard to enforce.  He also says the credit would apply to small businesses as well as major chains.  The total cost of the credit won't be made public until after the budget is enacted.


State residents receiving Basic STAR will have to re-register for the local tax breaks under new law...

All New Yorkers receiving the STAR property tax rebate will have to re-register for the local school tax breaks because of reports of widespread abuse and fraud.  The law concerning the $3-billion STAR program is part of the state budget bills now being passed in Albany.  Last month... Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe reported his detectives found $679,000 of fraud or incorrect filing in just five towns.  He said the tax break was illegally applied to second homes and some landlords were taking the credit for their homes and for rental properties and rooming houses.  State Senator Cathy Young was caught up in the investigation regarding a second house she and her husband own in suburban Albany.  However... the matter has been cleared up.


Gerry woman stuck and killed by Jeep in Gerry...

A Gerry woman was killed when she was struck by a vehicle on Harris Hill Road in the town of Gerry Monday morning.  State Police in Jamestown tells the Post Journal that the 84 year-old woman was crossing the road to get mail from her mailbox.  Troopers say a 34-year-old Falconer woman was driving a 2007 Jeep north when the vehicle crested a hill, and observed the victim crossing the road.  The driver took evasive action, but struck the woman.  She pulled over and had a third party call 9-1-1.  The victim was transported to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania where she died from her injuries.  The driver did not face charges.


Fire causes damage to town of Stockton home...

Firefighters from two departments were called out to a house fire on the South Stockton-Cassadaga Road near Waterman Road around 10:15 Tuesday morning.  According to the County Sheriff's Dispatch Center, Stockton had help from Sinclairville firefighters.  Crews were at the scene for about an hour.  No injuries were reported.  The County Fire Investigation Team has been called in to determine a cause.


Chautauqua Institution blaze damages home on institution grounds...

Firefighters were busy battling a house fire on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution overnight that extensively damaged the home.  The Chautauqua County Sheriffs Office reports that Chautauqua Fire crews were called to the scene at 30 Ramble Avenue just after 11:30 p.m. Monday when a deputy on patrol spotted the flames.  Joining Chautauqua at the scene were Mayville... Ashville... and, Sherman.  National Grid was also called in to cut power.  The home was unoccupied, and there were no injuries.  Fire investigators were called in.  A source says the fire began in a wall... but, no cause has been determined yet.  Crews were on the grounds until just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.  A Buffalo TV station reports the fire damage is estimated at $100,000.

 

 

Local News Headlines 6am 3/26/13


Local News Headlines  6am 3/26/13

 

Firefighters were busy battleing a blaze on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution overnight.  Chautauqua County Sherriffs report that just after 11:30 Monday night a deputy on patrol called in the fire at 30 Ramble Avenue.  The Chautauqua Fire department was on the scene, assisted by Mayville, Ashville, Sherman and Battalion 2.  National Grid was also called to the scene.  The home was unoccupied, and there were no injuries.  Fire investigators were called in, but no cause has been determined at this time. Crews were on the grounds until just before 4 o'clock this morning.  WIVB TV News is reporting the fire damage is estimated at 100 Thousand dollars, but authorities are saying the homeowners should be able to rebuild.

 

A Gerry resident died following an accident Monday morning, according to state police based in Jamestown. The Post Journal reports that the 84 year old woman was crossing Harris Hill Road from her mailbox. A 34-year-old Falconer woman was driving a 2007 Jeep north when she crested a hill and observed the victim crossing the road. The driver took evasive action, but struck the woman. She pulled over and had a third party call 911. The victim was transported to Hamot Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries. The driver did not face charges.

 

All New Yorkers receiving the STAR property tax rebate will have to re-register for the local school tax breaks because of reports of widespread abuse and fraud.  The law concerning the 3-billion dollar STAR program is part of the state budget bills now being passed in Albany.  Last month... Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe (ZOO'-guh-bee) reported his detectives found 679-thousand dollars of fraud or incorrect filing in just five towns.  He said the tax break was illegally applied to second homes and some landlords were taking the credit for their homes and for rental properties and rooming houses.  State Senator Cathy Young was caught up in the investigation regarding a second house she and her husband own in suburban Albany.  However... they were apparently unaware they had been given the Basic STAR rebate when they bought the home.  The matter has been cleared up.

 

New York is cutting funding for cancer screenings for the uninsured in a state budget that increases aid to the Buffalo Bills and Hollywood.  Cancer Society Spokesman Blair Horner says the budget will cut 5-percent from programs that provide free screenings for breast, colon and cervical cancer.  He says the plan being voted on this week also cuts 5-percent from the program to reduce youth smoking.  The reductions amount to about 3.5-million dollars in the 135-billion dollar budget.  Some advocates for the poor are questioning choices in the budget.  It also includes an expanded 420-million dollar tax credit for film and TV productions, including the latest Spider-Man movie.  The state will also spend 130-million dollars on stadium renovations to help keep the NFL's Bills in Buffalo.

 

A "major first step" has been taken in Albany towards allowing NRG to re-power its plant in Dunkirk.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who announced Monday that language has been included in this year's state budget that could help clear the way for the 500-million dollar project to begin.  The Olean Republican tells us the language is "an affirmation" of re-powering... which is good news. Young is leading a coalition to repower the Dunkirk Plant... converting it from coal to natural gas.  She believes having the language in the budget will require the PSC to consider the "overall benefits" of keeping power production in the New York State.  The Dunkirk facility is the biggest taxpayer in the city of Dunkirk as well as in all of Chautauqua County.  Young cautions that the PSC still has to complete an "objective" evaluation process which she expects will be finalized in April.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's pleased to see the U-S Senate finally submit a budget proposal that both houses can use to try and find ways to reduce the U-S deficit.  The Senate plan offered late last week is the first budget proposal it's offered in four-years.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says there are some stark contrasts between the two spending plans.  The first is the Senate plan is NOT balanced... and, doesn't do so within 10 years, either. However... Reed admits both House Republicans and Senate Democrats agree they need to cut spending... which he calls "a good start" because that's the 'root' of the problem.  He believes the Senate didn't put forth a budget for so-long because "they could play politics."  Other critics of the Senate budget say it doesn't even address entitlement programs... such as Medicare... which will take up ALL tax revenues by 2025.  House Republican Paul Ryan's proposal would reportedly balance the budget in 10 years... and, cuts the growth in annual spending from 5 to 3.4-percent.

 

There have been close to 20 people who have responded to the advertisement for a new Jamestown School Superintendent.  That from School Board President... Joe DiMaio... who says at least 18 potential candidates have responded to the search for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Deke Kathman.  The deadline for applications was a week ago... and, DiMaio says board members are very pleased with the response.  He doesn't have any names at this point... but, says their search committee will be busy... and, the board will begin discussing it at it's next regular meeting. Kathman announced in early January that he is retiring next July 31st.  The school board will meet behind closed doors on April 8th to likely begin looking at the Superintendent candidate's resumes.  A search committee is also being put in place.  Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke is helping the Jamestown district with it's search.


 

News Update for 3/25/13!!


Weather service revised snowfall totals and forecast after northern edge of storm system drops 5 to 6 inches of snow in Jamestown-area...

A narrow band of snow produced by the major storm system moving into the Mid-Atlantic states today led to an unexpected 5 to 6 inches of snow in the Jamestown-area this morning.  Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the storm... which dropped a lot of snow in parts of the midwest last weekend... is tracking where it's supposed to.  However... the system produced a band of snow further to the north than originally forecast.  Apfel says the band formed from Jamestown west to Ripley where there are heavier snow amounts.  There was also some towards the Pennsylvania state line.  There was little more than a trace reported in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area into Cassadaga.  Apfell says this was not lake effect snow... but, a general snow band produced by the system.  About mid-morning... Apfell said there were already signs that the band is weakening... and, starting to move out of the area.  He says we will likely see some additional -- steady snow -- through 11 a.m.  this afternoon... we may see up to an inch of the white stuff. 


Single-car accident in Poland blamed on morning weather...

This morning's surprise snow storm is being blamed for a one-car accident on Sprague Hill Road in the town of Poland.  Sheriff's officers say 18 year-old Andrea Ingerson was traveling along the road just before 8:30 a.m. when she lost control on a section of snow-covered roads.  Deputies say the vehicle ledt the road... and, crashed into a ditch.  Officers say Ingerson was taken to WCA hospital for treatment of a neck injury.  No charges pending at this time.


State Business groups giving state budget being voted on poor reviews...

Business leaders are giving poor reviews to a tentative state budget that officials in Albany say is focused on economic growth.  The Senate began voting on budget bills late Sunday.  The National Federation of Independent Business calls the budget deal a ``regressive message to small business owners.''  It opposes the minimum-wage increase in the budget.  The "Unshackle Upstate business group criticizes the budget for taking too long to phase out a big energy tax.  And... the independent Citizens Budget Commission says extending a temporary income tax on millionaires a second time to pay for tax cuts is ``shortsighted'' and ``politically expedient.''  That tax will help pay for rebate checks in an election year.  Still... the commission credits the deal for keeping state spending increases under 2-percent and for paving the way for the third straight on-time budget.

 

 

 

Local News Headlines March 25th 5am


Local News Headlines  3/25/13  4:57AM

 

Four people -- two from Jamestown and two others from Falconer -- are jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a city residence... and, starting a fight that spilled into the street.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 429 Lincoln Street shortly before 2:30 AM Saturday... and, found several people fighting in the street... and, one of them armed with a shotgun.  Officers say the four primary suspects went to the victim's home... trying to collect a debt they felt they were owed.  They allegedly forced their way in... and, began a fight.  Police arrested two 21 year-olds from Falconer... Jonathan Ray and Chad Robbins... along with 20 year-old Casey Billyard and 18 year-old Kaitlyn Billyard of Jamestown.  Investigators say one person was struck with a baseball bat... and, Ray was allegedly armed with a shotgun.  All four face charges... including second-degree burglary... and, assault.  Ray was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.  No one was hurt.  The four suspects were sent to the county jail.

 

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man was seriously hurt when his car crashed into a concrete culvert... and, a tree in Conewango Township early yesterday.  State Police in Warren say 21 year-old Jacob Scalise was northbound on North State Street shortly after Midnight Sunday when his car left the road for an unknown reason.  Troopers say the car then slammed into the culvert... and, struck the tree on the driver's side door.  Scalise was flown to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  There was no word on his condition.

 

New York's budget that lawmakers started to vote on this past weekend is based on their power to stop a sunset.  Two sunsets, in fact.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature are stopping the scheduled expiration of a temporary income tax increase on millionaires and delaying one on a big utility tax on businesses.  In legislative speak... those expirations are called sunsets.  So, while Cuomo and lawmakers call it a tax-free, business- and family-friendly budget, critics are swift to point out it contains what are in effect tax hikes.  And, they say, they're getting done a full year before any of the leaders has to think about getting re-elected.  Those who pushed for the budget note the tax extensions were needed to pay for other coveted programs.

 

One person was taken to the hospital following a near head-on crash involving two cars in the town of Hanover late last Friday afternoon.  Sheriff's Deputies say 21 year-old Jennifer Lee was northbound on Alleghany Road near the intersection with Bradley when her vehicle entered a snow-covered area.  Officers say Lee was traveling at an unsafe speed... and, lost control of her car.  The vehicle reportedly crossed the double-solid line... and, struck the on-coming car... driven by 45 year-old James Reinagel of Frewsburg.  Officers say the occupants of both vehicles were checked our by first responders and Lee was later taken to Lakeshore Hospital for evaluation... but, had minor injuries.  She is charged with Unsafe speed and Failure to keep right.

 

It appears the U-S Department of Agriculture is set to move out of the Chautauqua County Agriculture Center on Turner Road.  As first reported on WJTN... the USDA was taking a close look at the Ag. Center... and, whether it meets their needs.  Local USDA Farm Service Director Lynn Laver says the current building does not meet their "specific requirements."  Lack of privacy in the offices was one of the issues cited.  Laver says the plan is for all the USDA services at the Ag Center to move... later this year... to the former Ames Plaza building on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown.  The county's Public Facilities Director, George Spanos, says they offered significant upgrades... including 'drop' ceilings... in their bid. Spanos believes the Ames Plaza location will cost about 10-dollars a square foot MORE than the Ag Center.  Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District Board  Chairman Fred Croscut believes the farm community will be very unhappy... because there will no longer be one location for all agriculture-related services.  He's urging people to contact federal lawmakers.

 

Chautauqua Institution has wrapped up scheduling for it's 2013 season by signing Public Radio's Garrison Keillor to be on stage Friday, August 2nd.  Chautauqua's Vice-President and Programming Director Marty Merkley says Keillor will be on stage to record a program called "Radio Romance Tour 2013.  The program begins at 8:15 PM. 

 

Some New York lawmakers are upset with a proposed tax credit that would benefit NBC if it moves ``The Tonight Show'' from California to New York City.  As reports circulated that Jimmy Fallon is poised to become the show's host, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a bill that would give a 30-percent credit to any ``relocated television production'' that films before a large studio audience... has a 30-million dollar budget and has been on the air for at least five seasons.  Republican State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco tells the New York Post that it is ``outrageous'' to be giving a tax break to a talk show while the state is preparing to cut funding for the developmentally disabled.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb called the credit a ``bad idea'' on Twitter.

 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's administration will meet April 2nd with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Corbett Spokeswoman Christine Cronkright says it'll be on the subject of an expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the federal Affordable Care Act.  Cronkright says she didn't have additional details beyond the meeting date.  The federal government is promising to pay the full cost of an eligible state's expansion for three years beginning next year, and at least 90 percent of the cost after that.  The expansion is projected to provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians.  But... the Republican governor says he's concerned about the cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers and says the federal government can't be trusted to deliver on funding promises.

Local News Headlines


Local News Headlines  3/23/13

 

State lawmakers are still waiting for more details of the 2013-2014 budget agreement that has been worked out by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the budget is made up of 10 or 11 major bills... and, lawmakers have only passed one item so far. Goodell says state lawmakers are expected to continue work on passing budget bills sometime Saturday, but there is talk that legislators may be working on Sunday, Palm Sunday, and possibly even on Monday.  The legislature is trying to complete work on the 135-billion dollar budget before the start of Passover... which begins Monday evening at sundown. 

 

The U-S Department of Agriculture is poised to pull out of the Chautauqua County Agriculture Center.  As first reported on WJTN Friday afternoon... the USDA was taking a close look at the Turner Road facility... and, whether it meets their needs.  Local USDA Farm Service Director Lynn Laver says this is going on as a new lease is being negotiated by the General Services Administration. A lack of privacy in the offices at the Ag. Center was one of the issues cited.  Laver says the plan is for all the USDA services at the Ag Center to move... later this year... to the former Ames Plaza building on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown.  The county's Public Facilities Director, George Spanos, says they offered significant upgrades... including 'drop' ceilings... in their bid. Spanos believes the Ames Plaza location will cost about 10-dollars a square more than the Ag Center.  The chairman of the Soil and Water Conservation District Board, Fred Croscut, thinks the farm community will be very unhappy... because there will no longer be one location for all agriculture-related services.

 

A Jamestown native is among those who were killed earlier this week in a Marine night training exercise in Nevada.  The uncle of Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwark says his nephew was among the seven Marines killed when a mortar shell exploded late Monday night.  Mason... who was 21... and the others were members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.  His uncle -- Dwayne -- is in Hickory, North Carolina with Mason's widow, and his mother, Melissa.  Dwayne Vanderwark says the tragic part is that Mason had been doing this kind of work during two previous tours of duty overseas... including Iraq. Dwayne Vanderwark -- whose from Lakewood -- says it's been a difficult time for Mason's 19 year-old wife, Taylor, and his sister.  However... he says the support they're received from family, friends, and fellow Marines has been "overwhelming.  Mason Vanderwark was born and raised in Jamestown... and, is the only son of Melissa Vanderwark.  Funeral arrangments are incomplete.

 

State police say a truck driver was ticketed for following too closely after his vehicle rear-ended a school bus on a Cattaraugus County road Thursday.  Troopers say the bus carrying 14 students was stopped at a railroad crossing on Route 242 in the town of Ellicottville when it was hit from behind by a box truck.  Police say none of the students were hurt, but the truck driver from Franklinville suffered leg injuries and was taken to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville.  The students were transferred to another bus and taken to school.

 

Jamestown Police are asking for the public's help in finding a woman who broke into the Dollar General Store on Washington Street... and, stole a number of items early Thursday.  City police say surveillance video shows the woman entering the store at 13-56 Washington through a smashed-in glass door about 3 AM.  Officers say the suspect is believed to be an hispanic woman... standing about 5-foot-tall.  Police add she was wearing a dark-colored winter coat with grey fur around the edge of the hood.  Officers say she was also wearing blue jeans and sneakers.  She left the store with several items in a garbage container.  Anyone with information on the incident... or the woman involved... is asked to call JPD at 483-7531.  You can also call their confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Pictures of the woman have been distributed.

 

A city man has been arrested for allegedly using a set of bolt cutters to cut a lock off a locker at the Jamestown YMCA... and, steal another man's money.  Jamestown police say they used surveillance video from the "Y" to determine that 37 year-old Matthew Piscitelli had stolen the money from the East Fourth Street location's men's locker room.  Officers received a complaint from the victim... and, saw Piscitelli enter the building just after 11 AM Tuesday with a set of bolt cutters hidden in his duffle bag.  Once he got into the locker room... he cut off the lock... and, took money from the locker.  Police say investigators were able find the victim's money and return it.  Piscitelli was arrested... and, arraigned on charges including Larceny... Criminal Possession of Burglar's tools... and, for violating his Parole.  He was sent to the county jail pending a Parole Hearing.

   

No one was seriously hurt in a near head-on crash involving two cars in the town of Hanover late yesterday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say 21 year-old Jennifer Lee was northbound on Alleghany Road near the intersection with Bradley when her vehicle entered a snow-covered area.  Deputies say Lee was traveling at an unsafe speed... and, lost control of her car.  They say the car crossed the double-solid line... and, struck the on-coming car... driven by 45 year-old James Reinagel of Frewsburg.  Officers say the occupants of both vehicles were checked our by first responders and Lee was later taken to Lakeshore Hospital for evaluation... but, had minor injuries.  She is charged with Unsafe speed and Failure to keep right.

 

Chautauqua Institution has wrapped up scheduling for it's 2013 season by signing Public Radio's Garrison Keillor to be on stage Friday, August 2nd.  Chautauqua's Vice-President and Programming Director Marty Merkley says Keillor will be on stage to record a program called "Radio Romance Tour 2013.  The program begins at 8:15 PM. 

 

If the state isn't trying hard to lure ``The Tonight Show'' back to New York City... it's doing a pretty good impression.  A Cuomo administration official says the state is trying to attract TV shows with a proposed tax credit and the ``Tonight'' show would qualify.

 

News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 22, 2013


Local native among those killed in mortar explosion in Nevada during Marine training exercise...

A Jamestown native is among those who were killed earlier this week in a Marine night training exercise in Nevada.  The uncle of Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwark says his nephew was among the seven Marines killed when a mortar shell exploded late Monday night.  Mason... who was 21... and the others were members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.  His uncle -- Dwayne -- is in Hickory, North Carolina with Mason's widow, and his mother, Melissa.  Dwayne Vanderwark says the tragic part is that Mason had been doing this kind of work during two previous tours of duty overseas... including Iraq.  He says Mason  was on the "front lines" and didn't get a scratch.  Dwayne Vanderwark -- whose from Lakewood -- says it's been a difficult time for Mason's 19 year-old wife, Taylor, and his sister.  However... he says the support they're received from family, friends, and fellow Marines has been "overwhelming..." and, it helps.  Mason Vanderwark was born and raised in Jamestown... and, is the only son of Melissa Vanderwark.  His uncle says an autopsy is being performed on all seven Marines... and, the bodies should be released to the families late next week.  With that... funeral arrangments are incomplete.


Nurse at Jamestown V-A Clinic arrested for allegedly forging scripts for Oxycodone... 
A Jamestown woman has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury for conspiring to obtain prescription pain killers illegally... and, selling them.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. says the grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment charging 46 year-old Samilyn Olson with obtaining oxycodone through fraud... forgery and subterfuge... unlawfully distributing oxycodone... and, conspiring to do so.  Hochul says Olson... who was a nurse at the Veteran's Affairs outpatient clinic in Jamestown... is accused of stealing presciption forms from a nurse practitioner there eight different times between May and September of 2010.  She then allegedly forged the nurse practitioner's name... and, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone.  Hochul says the prescriptions were then filled by Olson or others at a local pharmacy in Jamestown.  She was officially charged in Federal Court in Buffalo Thursday afternoon.  The conspiracy and distribution counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1-million fine.  The remaining counts each carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a$250,000 fine.


One person hurt in two-car crash in town of Chautauqua...

One person was hurt when his car was struck broadside by another vehicle Thursday night on Plank Road in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's officers say 22 year-old Nicholas Shields of Mayville was pulling out of his driveway about 8 p.m. when his vehicle was struck by the second car.  Deputies say neither Shields... nor the driver of the second car... 25 yearold Michael Cochrane... was able to avoid the accident.  Both cars spun into ditches along the side of the road... and, partially blocked the roadway.  Shields was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries... while Cochrane... and, his wife, Brandy... and their one-year-old daughter, were not hurt.  Shields is charged with failure to yield.  The investigation is continuing... and, more charges are pending.


Second and final Maple Weekend set for this Saturday and Sunday...

The second of this year's Maple Weekends will be this Saturday and Sunday.  Three Chautauqua County maple producers will be open to the public.  At Big Tree Maple at Hunt and Big Tree Roads in Busti... Lloyd Munsee says there's just one thing they won't have... and, that's sap to boil.  However... they'll have Sugar House tours, and explain the process.  Munsee says they've made one-third the amount of syrup they had by this point last year.  But he remains optimistic for later in the month.  Munsee believes there is still time to make more Maple syrup this Spring.  Clear Creek Maple on Morris Road in Mayville and Fairbanks Maple on Putnam Road in Forestville will also be open for Maple Weekend.  The hours at all locations will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  More information is available on-line at www.mapleweekend.com.


Jamestown's Easter Egg Hunt to be held indoors on Sat., March 30th due to expected weather conditions...

The city of Jamestown's 66th annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Allen Park a week from this Saturday.  However... it won't be held outside.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi Thursday as he joined Parks and Recreation officials in announcing the traditional Easter event.  Teresi says they'll be using the former ice rink at Allen Park because weather conditions aren't expected to be very "Spring-like" next Saturday, Mar. 30.  Even if there is a warm-up... Teresi says with all the snow we've received in recent days... condition will be wet... and probably muddy.  He says as the parent of young children at one time, and bringing home muddy kids, they felt it was the best option.  However... Teresi says they still have the option of holding it outdoors if there's an unexpected warm-up.   However... whether the egg hunt is held indoors or out... City Recreation Director Julia Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3,000 chocolate eggs ready for the kids.... along with 30 prize eggs.  Ciesla-Hanley says things will still kick-off at 10:30 a.m. with the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  Media One station WJTN will also be doing a live broadcast.  The Media One Group is one of several sponsors for the event.  Ciesla-Hanley adds the Jamestown Community College Student Ambassadors Club helped stuff the 3,000 chocolate eggs with candy.  In addition... she says children will be allowed into the Egg Hunt one age group at a time if it is held inside the former ice rink.  Children ages 12 and under are invited to attend.


National Fuel crews track odor issue in Frewsburg to overuse of "odorant..."

There was no public safety hazard... and, no natural gas leak.  But... it sure smelled like one in the Frewsburg area yesterday and last night.  National Fuel Gas Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says they were first alerted about an odor of natural gas yesterday morning.  However... responding crews initially found no leak.  Merkel says they continued looking through the day... into late last night.  Merkel says crews determined that it was an odorant that they add to the gas to give it the "sulphur" smell it has so people know there may be a leak.  She says there was apparently too much of the odorant put in that part of the system.  Crews not only found no leaks... but, no gas readings, either.

 

 

News alert for Fri., Mar. 22, 2013


(**New alert) Local native among those killed in mortar explosion in Nevada during Marine training exercise...

A Jamestown native is among those who were killed earlier this week in a Marine night training exercise in Nevada.  The uncle of Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwark says his nephew was among the seven Marines killed when a mortar shell exploded late Monday night.  Mason... who was 21... and the others were members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.  His uncle -- Dwayne -- is in Hickory, North Carolina with Mason's widow, and his mother, Melissa.  Dwayne Vanderwark says the tragic part is that Mason had been doing this kind of work during two previous tours of duty overseas... including Iraq.  He says Mason  was on the "front lines" and didn't get a scratch.  Dwayne Vanderwark -- whose from Lakewood -- says it's been a difficult time for Mason's 19 year-old wife, Taylor, and his sister.  However... he says the support they're received from family, friends, and fellow Marines has been "overwhelming..." and, it helps.  Mason Vanderwark was born and raised in Jamestown... and, is the only son of Melissa Vanderwark.  His uncle says an autopsy is being performed on all seven Marines... and, the bodies should be released to the families late next week.  With that... funeral arrangments are incomplete.

 

Local News Headlines 5:05am 3/21/13


Local News Headlines  5:05am 3/21/13

 

A Jamestown woman has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury for conspiring to obtain prescription pain killers illegally... and, selling them.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says the grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment charging 46 year-old Samilyn Olson with obtaining oxycodone through fraud... forgery and subterfuge... unlawfully distributing oxycodone... and, conspiring to do so.  Hochul is accusing Olson of stealing presciption forms from a nurse practitioner at the Veteran's Affairs Community-based Outpatient clinic on eight different occasions between May and September of 2010.  She then allegedly forged the nurse practitioner's name... and, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone.  Hochul says the prescriptions were then filled by Olson or others at a local pharmacy in Jamestown.  She officially charged in Federal Court in Buffalo Thursday afternoon.  The conspiracy and distribution counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine.  The remaining counts each carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine.

 

The New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association... along with sportsmen's groups, firearms businesses and individual gun owners... has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to stop the state's new gun control law.  The suit claims the law violates New Yorkers' Second Amendment rights.  The suit, filed Thursday in Buffalo, says the statute enacted January 15th infringes on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep ``commonly possessed'' guns in the home for family defense and other legal purposes.  The law, pushed through by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was the first in the nation and came a month after the December 14th Connecticut school massacre.  It tightens the definition of illegal ``assault weapons'' to include some popular and formerly legal semi-automatic rifles and requires registration of older guns.

 

Lake Effect Snows returned to the Jamestown-area mid-afternoon yesterday... and, we'll see more of it as we head through this morning.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing our Lake Effect Snow Warning through Noon today.  Forecaster Sean Smith in Buffalo says the lake effect bands were mainly in the north county yesterday morning... but, he said they would begin shifting to the south later.  Smith adds we will remain in what meteorologists call a "blocking pattern" through late today. Smith says this weather pattern has kept a large, "upper level" low over us... and, it's sandwiched in by a pair of high pressure systems to our east and west.  As long as that's the case... he says we're stuck in this pattern.  Smith says we'll remain much colder than normal through today.  He adds by Sunday... we'll be back to more normal conditions.  However... the next few days after that will find temperatures again below normal. It was one year ago yesterday that we experienced an unprecidented March warm-up.  The National Weather Service office in Buffalo recorded a record temperature of 83-degrees.  Thursday... it was about 60-degrees colder than that.

 

A long-time, Easter weekend tradition will take place a week from this Saturday... but, the weather is forcing Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt indoors this year.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi yesterday afternoon during the announcement that the city's 66th annual hunt will take place at 10:30 AM Saturday, March 30th.  However... it'll be held in the Allen Park Ice Rink because the forecast for the foreseeable future includes more Winter-like conditions with unseasonably cold temperatures. Teresi adds that -- even if there's a last minute warm up... there would still be a problem with wet grounds, and safety at the park.  IF there is a major improvement in the forecast... he adds they will try to hold it outdoors.  But... whether it's indoors or out... Recreation Director Julia Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3-thousand chocolate eggs ready for the kids.  There'll also be 30 prize eggs for the kids to find.  Again this year... they'll have two Gold... and, two Silver Eggs that contain the grand prizes for this year.  They are being awarded in memory of Mark Hess... who generously supported the Egg Hunt for many years.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York legislative leaders have reached a deal on a tentative 2013-14 budget that would keep spending increases under 2 percent, while providing tax rebates and breaks over the next two years.  Cuomo says the 135-billion dollar budget deal includes a $350 rebate check for middle-class families with at least one child... and, a household income of 40-thousand to 300-thousand dollars.  The checks wouldn't be sent to taxpayers until 2014, an election year for Cuomo and lawmakers.  The deal also would raise the 7-dollar-25 cent hourly minimum wage to 9-dollars over three years.  But... it wouldn't include automatic increases tied to inflation, which Democrats had sought.

 

Authorities say the man who fatally shot four men in neighboring upstate New York villages last week still had 50 rounds on him... and, another 45 in his vehicle parked outside the building where he was killed in a shootout with police.  The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that the Herkimer County District Attorney told county legislators Wednesday night that police found the ammunition on Kurt Myers' body and inside his vehicle after he was shot last Thursday morning inside a vacant building in Herkimer.  The shootout ended a 19-hour standoff.  The 64-year-old Myers fired at police as they approached the small room where he was holed up.  Myers killed an FBI dog before police returned fire, hitting him multiple times.  Myers killed four men and wounded two others during last week's shootings in Mohawk and Herkimer.
   

News Headlines for Thurs., Mar. 21, 2013


Cuomo, legislative leaders reach deal on state budget that keeps spending increases below 2-percent...

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York legislative leaders have reached a deal on a tentative 2013-14 budget that would keep spending increases under 2 percent while providing tax rebates and breaks over the next two years.  Cuomo says the $135-billion budget deal includes a $350 rebate check for middle-class families with at least one child... and, a household income of $40,000 to $300,000.  The checks wouldn't be sent to taxpayers until 2014, an election year for Cuomo and lawmakers.  The deal also would raise the $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $9 over three years.  But... it wouldn't include automatic increases tied to inflation, which Democrats had sought.  The proposed budget would include the second extension of a temporary millionaire tax increase that raises $2 billion a year.


Goodell says school districts, private entities providing programming for developmentally-disabled should benefit from restored funding in 2013-14 Budget...

Chautauqua County's state Assemblyman says area school districts should be helped under the budget agreement reached by Governor Andrew Cuomo... and, legislative leaders last night.  While he is awaiting more details... Bemus Point Republican Andy Goodell says the tentative agreement does include an increase in state aid to schools.  Goodell says that's been one of his top priorities during budget negotiations.  He says at least $200-million has been restored in the spending plan... which he says is "very good."  Goodell says he's also hopeful that the final budget may restore some of the funding cuts Cuomo had proposed for groups that work with the developmentally-disabled.  He says the governor had initially recommended a 6-percent cut... but, about a third has been restored of the $120-million cut in Cuomo's budget plan.  He adds he's hoping for "substantially more."  State lawmakers -- like Goodell -- will be working on passing budget bills this Saturday... and, possibly on Sunday in order to have a state budget in place before the start of Passover... which is Monday.


National Weather Service continues Lake Effect Snow Warning through Noon Friday...

We've seen little snow... and, plenty of sunshine in the immediate Jamestown-area this morning.  However... the National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning through Noon Friday.  That from Forecaster Sean Smith with the weather service's Buffalo office.  We only saw a couple of inches overnight locally.  Smith says the lake effect bands are more in the north county this morning... but, he says they'll be shifting more to the south late today.  He says the band will be "re-enhanced" and move south tonight through tomorrow morning.  Smith says we will remain in what forecasters call a "blocking pattern" through late tomorrow.  He says that's kept a large "upper level" low over us... and, a pair of highs to our east and west.  He says... as long as that remains over us... we're stuck in this pattern.  Smith says we'll remain much colder than normal through tomorrow... and, by Saturday and Sunday... we'll begin moving towards more "normal" temperatures.  Smith says the Weather Service has had snowfall totals over the past 24 hours between 6 and 7 inches.  The 7 inch reading came from Forestville.  Unofficially... we're heard of 13 inches in Arkwright... 12 in South Dayton... and, 8 inches in the Cassadaga-area. 

______

 

Ironically... it was one year ago today that we experienced an unprecidented March warm-up.  The National Weather Service office in Buffalo recorded a record temperature of 83-degrees.  Today... it's about 60-degrees colder than that.


(**New)City Easter Egg Hunt to be held, unless there's major improvement in weather forecast, inside Allen Park Ice Rink Sat., March 30th...

A long-time, Spring-time tradition will take place a week from this Saturday... but, the weather will force Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt indoors.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi this afternoon during announcement that the city's 66th annual hunt will take place at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Mar. 30, inside the Allen Park Ice Arena.  Teresi says the forecast is still calling for unseasonably cold temperatures through the middle of next week... and, even if it warms up... Allen Park will likely be wet, and muddy.  The mayor says they are leaving open the possibility of moving the hunt back outdoors if there's an improvement in next week's forecast.  More on this story later.


Wordelmann proposes 2013-2014 budget with 1.3-percent tax increase...

The tentative 2013-2014 budget for the village of Lakewood increases taxes by about 1.3-percent... due mainly to increased state pension costs.  Mayor David Wordelmann released his proposed spending plan Wednesday afternoon... and, says while spending is up by nearly $101,000... revenues are up about $80,000.  He says there are basically four areas where spending is going up in the $3.24-million spending plan.  The biggest... he says... is more than $37,000 in increased pension costs to New York state.  The next biggest increase is about $32,000 in fuel and equipment for the police and fire departments.  Wordelmann says the increase in gas alone is about $15,000... and, that may still go up again.  As for revenue increases... Wordelman says a key one is a change in taxing status for the Lakewood Village Center on Fairmount Avenue.  They are changing to a payment in lieu of tax agreement... after the owner made a major investment to upgrade the center for new businesses.  Wordelmann says the tax levy would increase by about $22,000 under the plan... the tax rate by $23-cents per $1,000.


Herkimer shooter still had 90 rounds left after shooting six people, killing four...

Authorities say the man who fatally shot four men in neighboring upstate New York villages last week still had 50 rounds on him... and, another 45 in his vehicle parked outside the building where he was killed in a shootout with police.  The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that the Herkimer County District Attorney told county legislators Wednesday night that police found the ammunition on Kurt Myers' body and inside his vehicle after he was shot last Thursday morning inside a vacant building in Herkimer.  The shootout ended a 19-hour standoff.  The 64-year-old Myers fired at police as they approached the small room where he was holed up.  Myers killed an FBI dog before police returned fire, hitting him multiple times.

 

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES


Local News Headlines 4:55am  3/21/13

 

A combination of cold air and winds crossing a wide open Lake Erie has led forecasters to extend our Lake Effect Snow Warning through Midnight tonight.  The National Weather Service extended the warning late yesterday afternoon... with another 14 inches of snow possible in the snow belt areas between 4 PM Wednesday and tonight.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell in Buffalo... who says we're seeing a "blocking pattern" in the Chautauqua Region for the first time this Winter... and early Spring.  With that... parts of the county will see another 3 to 6 inches by this morning. Mitchell says we'll be "entrenched" in this pattern until about Midnight tonight.  He adds that some parts of the listening area may see up to 2 feet of snow by the time the system begins moving out.  Mitchell says the Chautauqua Ridge area... and, ski country will see the highest snowfall totals.  The Lake Effect snow showers were "off and on" between Noon and late last night.  However... Mitchell says much of the area was looking at up to another 6 inches overnight.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders say they have an agreement on a state budget that would include raising the minimum wage to 9-dollars an hour over three years.  The closed-door agreement announced Wednesday puts Albany on track to pass the third straight on-time budget.  The deal includes raising the minimum wage of 7-dollars-25 cents to 9 dollars within a couple of years.  The 2013-14 spending plan would increase state spending just under 2 percent, to about 136-billion dollars.  The total is almost 143-billion dollar when federal aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery is included.  Now... the Senate and Assembly must print and pass the bills by next week to beat the April 1st deadline.  Cuomo says he wants to avoid issuing orders to suspend the three days' public review of bills required under the constitution

 

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says one of the issues in protracted budget talks was a concern that Governor Cuomo is controlling billions of dollars of economic development without enough input from legislators.  Silver says Cuomo's new system of nearly a dozen economic development ``zones'' statewide lacks enough input by state legislators who know their districts' needs.

 

The tentative 2013-2014 budget for the village of Lakewood increases taxes by about 1.3-percent... due mainly to increased state pension costs.  Mayor David Wordelmann released his proposed spending plan Wednesday afternoon... and, says while spending is up by nearly 101-thousand dollars... revenues are up about 80-thousand.  He says there are basically four areas where spending is going up in the 3.24-million dollar spending plan.  The biggest... he says... is more than 37-thousand dollars in increased pension costs to New York state.  The next biggest increase is about 32-thousand dollars in fuel and equipment for the police and fire departments. As for revenue increases... Wordelman says a key one is a change in taxing status for the Lakewood Village Center on Fairmount Avenue.  They are changing to a payment in lieu of tax agreement... after the owner made a major investment to upgrade the center for new businesses.  Wordelmann says the tax levy goes up by about 22-thousand dollars under the plan... the tax rate by 23-cents per thousand.

 

Jamestown School officials say both houses of the state legislature are negotiating to add about 300-million dollars in school aid to the final, 2013-to-2014 budget.  That's "encouraging new" to School Superintendent Deke Kathman... who says the Assembly is looking to add about 299-million dollars... while the Senate is looking to add about 308-million.  Kathman says the final amount will have to be reconciled.  However... he says until they know the "formula" lawmakers are using... he can't determine a final, state aid figure for the district. The Jamestown district is currently planning to use reserve funds to fill more than half of a projected 4.6-million dollar deficit for next year.  The shortfall remains at just over 1.9-million dollars.  Kathman believes the added money will be in the form of "foundation" aid... or reducing the "Gap-elimination" adjustment.  He says that will increase the district's operating aid.  Kathman says they spoke earlier in the day with State Senator Cathy Young's office. Kathman says they were providing Young's office with information on what reserve funds the city district was using to plug it's projected shortfall.  He expects they'll have all the information they need to offer a final draft at the board's April 9th meeting.

 

Three men -- two from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly breaking in the door at one downtown residence... then allegedly attempting a home invasion at another.  City police were initially called to the first scene on Prendergast Avenue just before 11:30 PM Tuesday for an possible attempted burglary.  When they arrived... officers were told that 24 year-old DeMarco Latham and 28 year-old Laval Johnson of Jamestown... and, 26 year-old Fred Miles of Rochester... had allegedly kicked in the victim's front door.  However... they ran off towards Fulton Street... where police believe the trio attempted the home invasion.  Officers say Miles and Johnson were allegedly inside... and, all three were eventually taken into custody.  They were taken to the city jail... where Miles and Latham allegedly lied about their identities.  All three are charged with criminal mischief... and, obstruction of governmental administration... and, were jailed pending arraignment.

 

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is supporting the keeping of 120-million dollars in the state budget to fund programming for the region's developmentally-disabled.  Goodell recently met with clients and staff from The Resource Center... who visited the state Capitol to advocate for keeping the money in place.  If the money was cut... The Resource Center would receive a 6-percent funding cut for it's programming.  Officials say that's on top of 9 to 10-percent in cuts over the past three years.  Goodell says while New York is facing a difficult budget deficit... "it is essential that state government make the decisions needed to protect important services for our most vulnerable citizens."

 

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to change to the new gun control measure that he pushed into law a month after the Newtown shootings.  The current law outlaws any magazines that carry more than seven bullets, the nation's most stringent limit.  But... seven-bullet magazines aren't made, so the law has to be tweaked to allow the sale of guns with 10-shot magazines, although New Yorkers will still be required to keep no more than seven bullets in them.

New Update!! for Mar. 20, 2013


**Weather update -- National Weather Service extends Lake Effect Snow Warning to Midnight Thursday night...

The Lake Effect Snow we've been getting for the past 24 hours or so aren't leaving us anytime soon.  The National Weather Service has extended our Lake Effect Snow Warning thought Midnight Thursday night... with another 14 inches of snow possible in the snow belt areas between now and then.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell in Buffalo.  Mitchell says we have high pressure to our west and east... and, that's blocking a low pressure system right over us.  He says that's going to keep the cold air in the region flowing over Lake Erie, and producing the lake effect.  Mitchell says this is the "blocking pattern" we usually get during the Winter... but, really haven't seen until now.  With that... he says we'll be "entrenched" in this pattern until very late Thursday.  Mitchell adds that some parts of the listening area may see 20 to 24 inches of snow by the time the system begins moving out.  He says the most persistant snows will be around the Chautauqua Ridge, and ski country.  The Lake Effect snow showers have been "off and on" since about Noon today.  However... Mitchell says much of the area will be looking at another 5 to 9 inches tonight and overnight.
 

Local News Headlines


Local Headlines 5:24am 3/20/13

 

A Jamestown Teen is in the city jail after attacking his teacher Tuesday Afternoon.  Jamestown Police were called to the Gustavus Adolphus School just before 2pm after the teen allegedy assaulted his teacher in a classroom.  The teacher's hand and back were injured.  The unidentified seventeen year old is charged with second degree assault and  was taken to the city jail and is being held pending arraignment at 9:30 this morning.

 

The calendar may say Spring... but, it's been more like mid-Winter since late yesterday afternoon as Lake Effect Snow has returned to the county.  The National Weather Service has now posted a Lake Effect Snow Warning for the Jamestown area through 6 AM Thursday.  Forecaster Kirk Apfell in Buffalo says... though... unlike most Lake Effect systems that pass quickly through the region... this will be a "prolonged event."  Apfell says we'll get some wrap-around winds off Lake Erie from the storm going through the northeast.  He says lack of ice on the lake is helping to prolong this event. With 3 to 5 inches having fallen already in the more persistant lake snows... Apfell says some areas will see between 6 to 12 inches of new snow by early Thursday morning.  Apfell says the forecast today is calling for another 2 to 4 inches of snow... along with another 2-to-4 tonight into early Thursday.  However... he says the snow should begin winding down overnight into Thursday.  While we won't see the strong, gusty winds usually associated with such storms... but, Apfell says the snow will make driving difficult in some areas.

 

There were some surprises in yesterday's village elections in Chautauqua County.  In Westfield... incumbant Republican Mayor David Carr was handily defeated by Democrat Mike Vandevelde.  Vandevelde... a former trustee... received 519 votes.  Carr... who was seeking a fourth-term... got 227 tallies.  Trustee seats go to Robert Cochran... who received 547 votes... and, Debra Puckhaber... who got 349.  Chris Jaymes was a close third with 337 votes.

 

In Forestville... two women faced off to fill the vacant mayor's position... and, Democrat Linda Aures defeated Republican Katherine Bowker, 121-to-94.  Four people faced off for two village board seats.  They were won by Kevin Johnson... who received 142 votes... and, Margaret Borrello... who got 102.  Gloria Yeager was third... and, Kimberly Scott fourth.

 

In Lakewood... there was no mayor's race... but, an interesting finish in a three-way trustees race for two seats.  The top vote-getter was Sue Drago.  The Republican received 262 votes.  Democratic newcomer David DiSalvo was second with 255 votes.  Incumbant Republican Joe Troche (Tro-shay) got 198 votes.

 

And... Bethany Gross-Smock won one of the two seats up for a vote in Cherry Creek.  She received 45 votes... while Bruce Henricks was second with 43 tallies.  John Lukaszewski (Luke-ah-Shevski) was third with 22 votes.

 

There will be a bus proposition on the ballot for Jamestown school district voters this May... along with the 2013-2014 budget.  The school board last night approved the measure... which calls for spending 795-thousand dollars on six new, full-sized buses... and, two transport vans.  The vote came after nearly half-an-hour of discussion over possible options... including putting some new vehicles in the actual budget.  That was done last year.  There's also the possibility of borrowing the money... but, school board President Joe DiMaio says they decided this was the best way to do it. DiMaio says it was determined that some vehicles won't pass inspection anymore... and, must be replaced.  Ideally... DiMaio says the best way to do it would be replacing two or three vehicles a year in the budget.  But... he says the district will get state aid to help with the final purchase.  School Superintendent Deke Kathman says while the vehicles don't end up with the number of miles those in a central district do... the chassis on these vehicles get punished by the salt on the road... and, other ways.

 

Legislators are starting to sign off on some aspects of the state budget as a final agreement draws near that will increase the minimum wage and provide some tax breaks, most of them effective a year from now.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says most of the 700-million dollars in business and middle class tax cuts announced this week by Senate Republicans won't be effective until 2014 -- an election year.  The minimum wage proposal which legislators say appears final would also be phased-in.  State officials say the budget talks include a minimum wage increase to 8-dollars an hour in January... 8--75 a year later... and, 9-dollars a year after that.  The minimum wage is now 7-dollars-25 cents.  Silver is still trying to restore $250 million to New York City schools.

 

The group representing New York state's mayors is voicing it's displeasure with state legislative leaders -- who appear unwilling to include any meaningful mandate relief in the 2013-2014 budget.  The state Conference of Mayor's issued a statement Tuesday critical of state lawmakers who campaigned on the issue of mandate relief for local governments... but, aren't doing anything about it.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is a past president of NYCOM... and, says he's "stunned" by the fact neither the Assembly or Senate have included any mandate relief in their budget plans. Teresi says binding arbitration is only available to professional police and fire unions to settle contract disputes with local cities, towns and villages.  A three-person panels hears out both sides... and, makes a decision that either favors the union or the municipality.  Cuomo included the cap on union awards in his budget proposal.  Teresi says NYCOM would like to see binding arbitration end when it sunsets this coming June 30th.  However... both the Senate and Assembly plans call for extending it another four-years.

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013


Lake Effect Snow storm to lay coating of white on start of Spring Wednesday...

Parts of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties should keep that snow shovel handy because of lake effect snow coming in the next couple of days.  A Lake Effect Snow Advisory is in effect from 5 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Thursday morning.  Meteorologist Bill Hibbert of the National Weather Service says its shaping up with a good situation if you like lake effect snow for the arrival of spring.  He says it's strange that we're seeing Lake Effect Snow coming as Spring arrives... and, some areas may see up to a foot of snow.  Storm totals will range from 6 to 12 inches in the persistent lake snows, mainly across the Chautauqua Ridge.  Much lesser amounts are expects near Lake Erie.  The snow will result in hazardous travel conditions with snow covered roads and reduced visibility in areas where the heaviest snow is occurring.


Village Elections underway for 12 of 15 villages today...

Twelve of the county's 15 villages are holding their elections today... and, many of them have contested races for trustee seats.  Chautauqua County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says there are also two villages with contested Mayoral races.  Abram says the big one is in Westfield... where incumbant David Carr is seeking a fourth-term against former Trustee Michael Vandevelde.  Abram says there are also two Republicans and two Democrats running for a pair of trustee seats... so it's expected to be a busy day there.  In addition to the vote... residents will be signed in using an Electronic Poll Book.  In addition... Abram says there's a contested mayor's race in the far north county village of Forestville.  Katherine Bowker and Linda Aures are running for Mayor.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... there's a contested trustees race in the village of Lakewood.  Current trustees Joe Troche and Sue Drago are running... as is Democratic challenger David DiSalvo.  Two seats are up for grabs.  Abram adds they have the same scenario in Sherman... Brocton and Cherry Creek.  There are also four people are running for two board seats in Silver Creek.  Voting runs now to 9 p.m.  Results will be available shortly after that at www.votechautauqua.com.


Westfield experiment with EPDs the second such one in Chautauqua County...

A new way of signing in when you vote in local elections is being tested by the Chautauqua County Board of Elections in two village elections this Spring.  Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says they've been given permission by the state to use new Electronic Poll Book's that would be a "paper-less" replacement to the current books people sign.  Abram says they've already used the new poll book in the Fredonia election... and, says it went "very well."  Westfield is where the other pilot program is taking place.  Abram says there are two advantages to using the new "paper-less" poll books.  He says it saves on paper... but, the voter history is put in by a "hand-wand" so there's a record that they actually voted.  Abram says they had the state's "blessing" to hold the test trials with the Electronic Poll Book's... but, there's no word on how soon the book's may be used on a regular basis.


City lawmakers get final, unaudited 2012 budget numbers from Bellitto...

There will officially be a deficit for the city of Jamestown in 2012... but, it's not as bad as it could have been.  City Comptroller Joe Bellitto reminded lawmakers at Monday night's meeting that the city began the past fiscal year $715,000 in the hole.  That's because the city used that much money from the undesignated fund balance to hold down taxes during the past year.  City government was able to make up $447,000 of that during the year... mainly because expenses were $544,000 less than budgeted.  Bellitto says spending was down because there was little overtime used due to mild Winter Weather... and, a savings on salaries.  But... Bellitto says the mild Winter also hurt city revenues.  He says Jamestown received $97,000 less than was budgeted in 2012.  He adds a number of revenue lines came in lower... including the Gross Receipts Tax on utility costs.  Several other lines were down... though sales tax revenues came in slight above what was forecast.


Five men jailed without bail for allegedly selling heroin, "crack" in Jamestown...

Five people have been arrested for allegedly trafficking heroin and "crack" cocaine in the Jamestown-area from a northside location.  City police say members of their drug enforcement unit... along with the department's SWAT Team... raided a home at 442 Buffalo St. early Monday afternoon.  Officials say all five men were arrested after a lengthy investigation.  Police say 33 year-old Russell Bales of the Buffalo St. address... and, 28 year-old Joseph McNamara of 440 Buffalo St. were taken into custody... along with another city resident... 20 year-old Ryan Baker.  Also arrested were 27 year-old Mark Dzielski of Brocton... and, 21 year-old Christopher McMillen of Youngsville, Pennsylvania.  Police say all five are charged with two Felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Bales was also charged with criminal nuisance.  Officers say they found 10-thousand dollars worth of heroin and "crack" inside... along with a quantity of cash.  All five suspects were arraigned in city court and sent to the county jail without bail.


Fredonia man arrested in connection with shooting incident...

A 22-year-old Fredonia man is facing several felony charges after he allegedly pointed a loaded handgun at a victim outside a house at 66 Center St. in Fredonia Monday.  Fredonia Police say as the victim and his friends entered their vehicles and attempted to leave the driveway, Ronald Duman, Jr. allegedly pointed the gun toward them and fired a round missing the vehicle.  Police were able to locate Duman around 7 p.m. Monday... he was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police.  They also recovered the handgun used in the shooting.  Duman is facing charges of first-degree reckless endangerment... first-degree menacing... criminal possession of a weapon.

 

 

Local News Headlines


Local News Headlines 5:34am 3/19/13

 

A Jamestown CPA with a deep commitment to community and family has been named 'Woman of the Year' for 2012.  Marcia Bliss received the honor at the annual Interclub Council event at the Marvin House Monday night.  She has spent decades involved with countless organizations. Among others She has volunteered for the YWCA, the Marvin House, and Chautauqua Connections.  When asked how she balanced it all... she said she learned that growing up. In one of many proclamations honoring this year's winner, County Executive Greg Edwards declared Monday 'a day of Bliss'.

 

Busti firefighters had to snuff out the re-kindle of an auto parts garage fire early last night on the Busti-Stillwater Road.  First Assistant Busti Fire Chief David Crandall says crews were called to Busti Auto Parts just after 2:30 PM for a blaze in a garage behind the main building.  Crandall says the garage... which was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival... was used to dismantle old vehicles.  Crandall says mutual aid was called in from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, and Fluvanna Fire companies.  Crews were at the scene about 4-and-a-half hours.  They were later called back for the re-kindle just after 8 PM... but, they had that out quickly.  No one was hurt... and, the cause is under investigation.  However... Crandall says workers were using torches at the time the blaze broke out.

 

A combination of rain, sleet and freezing rain made for miserable conditions for motorists and pedestrians in the Jamestown-area last night.  However... conditions should be improving as the morning goes on today.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service... who says there should be few problems on the major... treated roadways during the morning commute.  A Winter Weather Advisory expires (expired) at 6 this morning....
Mitchell says we'll begin to see snow this morning... with blowing snow by the afternoon.  He says that'll be ushered in by a cold front from out of the northwest that will latter bring Lake Effect Snow.  Mitchell says temperatures will start around freezing... then drop into the mid-20s around Jamestown... upper 20s along the Lake Erie Shoreline...Mitchell says by tonight.. we'll be looking at ALL Lake Effect snow... with about 3 to 5 inches of snow expected in the more persistant Lake Snow areas.  Winds will also be gusty... and, temperatures will drop to about 20.

 

 Five people have been arrested for allegedly trafficking heroin and "crack" cocaine in the Jamestown-area from a northside location.  City police say members of their drug enforcement unit... along with the department's SWAT Team... raided a home at 442 Buffalo Street early Monday afternoon.  Officials say all five men were arrested after a lengthy investigation.  Police say 33 year-old Russell Bales of the Buffalo Street address... and, 28 year-old Joseph McNamara of 440 Buffalo Street were taken into custody... along with another city resident... 20 year-old Ryan Baker.  Also arrested were 27 year-old Mark Dzielski of Brocton... and, 21 year-old Christopher McMillen of Youngsville, Pennsylvania.  Police say all five are charged with two Felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Bales was also charged with criminal nuisance.  Officers say they found 10-thousand dollars worth of heroin and "crack" inside... along with a quantity of cash.  All five suspects are jailed pending arraignment.

 

Jamestown city lawmakers have approved the abandonment of a one-block section of Lafayette Street... allowing it to become a one-way street -- providing more parking.  That from City Councilwoman Kim Ecklund... who says three businesses... including the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... wanted the abandonment to allow them to diagonally park 23 vehicles.  Ecklund says the owner of Shawbuck's Tavern also wants to add an outdoor eating area to his business.  She adds the public will still be able to use that part of Lafayette... but, traffic will flow one-way -- south... The third business is the BWB Center... which fronts onto Third Street between Lafayette and Washington Streets.  The three businesses involved will now be able to hold activities... without having to go through as lengthy a permitting process as they do now.  A required public hearing was held on the proposal before the vote... but, no one spoke. 

 

Critics say a plan to extend a ``temporary'' income tax hike for the second time in the state budget is a bad idea.  E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute calls the proposal a political ploy. Legislative leaders confirmed the proposal last night.  The 2-billion dollar ``millionaire's tax'' was opposed by Cuomo and Senate Republicans in the 2010 elections.

 

The Jamestown High School Express Winterguard is flying high... after winning a major meet in Cincinnati over the weekend.  With that... the Jamestown group remains the top team in the nation.  A Senior member of the team... Abbie Perrin... spoke with our Dennis Webster this morning...The 16 members of the team returned late Sunday night and will spend the week getting ready for their local show, called 'Guards in Motion.'  That'll be held Saturday at 5:30 PM at the McElrath Gymnasium at JHS.  Perrin says they use all the tools of the color guard to tell a "love story" about a girl who wanted a guy... but, he want to see her at first.  However... in the end... they wanted each other.  She says 14 winterguards are set to perform in the local show Saturday at JHS.  Tickets are 6-dollars at the door.  Following that event... the JHS Express will compete in two major competitions before the end of the season.

News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 18, 2013


(New) Fire damages town of Busti garage at auto parts location...

Flames have extensively damaged a garage behind the main building at an auto parts business in the town of Busti.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dispatchers say Busti fire crews were called to the scene at Busti Auto Parts on the Busti-Stillwater Road about 2:30 p.m. Monday.  Officials adds that mutual aid was called in from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, and Fluvanna firefighters.  Crews were still on the scene... and, County Fire Investigatiors were just getting to the scene.  No injuries have been reported.


NWS continues Winter Weather Advisory, but, says precipitation will be mixed...

No more snow is expected... but, a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the Jamestown-area until 6 Tuesday morning... and, a Wind Advisory remains in effect until Midnight tonight.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a "dryer area" of preciptiation has moved in right now... and, that's expected to produce some rain, freezing rain... or sleet in the higher elevations and lower, inland valleys.  He says that's keeping temperatures in the low to mid 20s.  Mitchell says we may still see up to a quarter of an inch of icing tonight.  He says it depends on what elevation you're at.  Places like Dunkirk and Westfield are seeing rain and some freezing rain.  Besides the wintry mix... Thomas says there will also be gusty winds... up to 50 m.p.h. near the Lake Erie shoreline.  This latest winter storm comes just two days before the official start of spring.


Reed optimistic that continuing resolution will be agreed to by end of March...

Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's optimistic there will be agreement on a continuing resolution to keep the government operating before the end of the month.  That's also when the full effect of the so-called "Sequestration" cuts from the beginning of the month come in place for at least one local agency.  Congressman Tom Reed says the $85-billion In government cuts remain in the House plan... but, there are some changes in where there can be 'more discretion' used in spending cuts.  Reed says that will give those agencies -- like the Pentagon -- to reprogram cuts so they don't "cut too deep too quick."  He says the "Sequestration" cuts haven't produced the "sky is falling" scenario that the White House and some agency leaders said would happen come Mar. 1.  The Corning Republican says the good news is the House and Senate are working off the same number for the "continuing resoluation..." $984-billion... and, that includes the $85-billion in Sequestration cuts.  He says that's a "huge obstacle" that's been overcome.  Some agencies are beginning to feel the effects of some of those "Sequestration" cuts... and, 40 senior shut-ins receiving Meals on Wheels in Chautauqua County may not be getting those starting Apr. 1.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier media.


"Temporary" income tax hike latest problem in state Budget negotiatiions...

Critics say a proposal to extend a ``temporary'' income tax hike for the second time in the state budget currently under negotiation is bad for New York.  E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute says the proposal is a political ploy to avoid extending the tax when it's due to expire in 2014... which is an election year.  The proposal being considered in closed-door talks was first revealed last week by The Associated Press citing officials close to the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to divulge the effort.  Legislative leaders confirmed the proposal Sunday night.


Cause of recent Panama house fire released...

An improperly installed exhaust pipe for a wood stove is being blamed for last week's fire that heavily damaged a Panama home.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene late last Wednesday morning to investigate the blaze at 13 South St.  Investigators say the pipe led to a chimney... but, had not been working properly.  No one was hurt... but, two occupants are being helped by the local Red Cross.  Six local fire companies were called to the scene about 10 p.m. Wednesday... and, were at there about four hours.  Panama was joined by Lakewood, Clymer, Ashville, and, Busti fire crews from New York... and, Bear Lake, Pennsylvania volunteers in battling the fire.


JHS Winterguard Wins again -- remains number-one in the nation...

The Jamestown High School Express Winterguard is flying high... after winning a major meet in Cincinnati over the weekend.  With that... the Jamestown group remains the top team in the nation.  A Senior member of the team... Abbie Perrin... spoke with our Dennis Webster Monday morning... and, says they scored an 87.27 at the competition.  The 16 members of the team returned late Sunday night and will spend the week getting ready for their local show, called 'Guards in Motion.'  That'll be held Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the McElrath Gymnasium at JHS.  Perrin says they use all the tools of the color guard to tell a love story about a guy and girl who split up... but, want to get back together again.  Fourteen winterguards are set to perform in the local show Saturday at JHS.  Tickets are $6 at the door.  Following that event... the JHS Express will compete in two major competitions before the end of the season.


Annual "Maple Weekends" underway in NYS and Chautauqua County...

More than 110 maple producers across New York state held open houses this past weekend... and, will again next weekend for the 18th annual Maple Weekends.  Participating producers are boiling sap to make syrup, and demonstrating how other maple products are made. Producers can be found online at www.mapleweekend.com.  John Reid of Reid's Sugar Mill Farm in Washington County says he hopes to produce 1,500 gallons of syrup this season. He collects sap from his 4,500 maple trees using a vacuum tube system.  In central New York... Greg Hotaling of Smokey Hollow Maple Syrup says technology has made syrup production more efficient.  In the past, it used to take 43 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup. Now, it only takes about nine gallons using evaporators.
 

 

 

 

Local News Headlines


LOCAL HEADLINES 3/18/13 4:43AM

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders had hoped to announce agreement Sunday night on the third straight on-time budget.  However... in Albany budget negotiations, all deals hinge on the final one.  After closed-door meetings Sunday, all sides claim they are a good distance apart.  Some difficult sticking points are whether to raise the minimum wage to as much as 9-dollars an hour... whether to adopt business tax cuts... and, whether to extend a ``temporary'' income tax increase for the second time.  State Senator Jeffrey Klein, who leads the Independent Democratic Conference which shares leadership of the Senate, said Sunday that there was no agreement on how much the minimum wage would rise.  Republicans who share control of the chamber have opposed a minimum wage hike, but have been open to discussing it.

 

City lawmakers tonight will take the first step towards get much-needed repairs made to the decking and walls on Tracy Plaza in Jamestown.  The City Council will vote on a contract with the Buffalo engineering design firm of Greenman-Pederson to draw up specifications for the project.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the work is necessary because the approximately 40 year-old structure has developed major leaks over the past two decades.  Teresi adds the leaks have caused problems for both the police and fire departments... which are headquartered in the plaza's basement. Teresi says the leaks have had a "deteriorating effect on the building..." and, work needs to be done to protect the structure.  Greenman-Pederson will draw up plans... and, put out the specifications for replacing decking on the plaza... and, putting up a new wall -- using guard railing.  Teresi says much of the money will come from the 4-million dollar bond the city issued a couple of years ago for a number of capital projects.  He made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

An improperly installed exhaust pipe for a wood stove is being blamed for last week's fire that heavily damaged a Panama home.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene late last Wednesday morning to investigate the blaze at 13 South Street.  Investigators say the pipe led to a chimney... but, had not been working properly.  No one was hurt... but, two occupants are being helped by the local Red Cross.  Six local fire companies were called to the scene about 10 PM Wednesday... and, were at there about four hours.  Panama was joined by Lakewood, Clymer, Ashville, and, Busti fire crews from New York... and, Bear Lake, Pennsylvania volunteers in battling the fire.

 

A New York college student faces arraignment on charges she bought guns for her neighbor, who later ambushed firefighters arriving at his burning home Christmas Eve. Dawn Nguyen (wehn) is scheduled to be arraigned on a three-count indictment in federal court in Rochester Monday. The 24-year-old from the suburb of Greece was charged last week with lying on a form when she bought a rifle and shotgun, transferring the guns to felon William Spengler Jr., and possessing guns while using marijuana. Spengler killed himself after fatally shooting two firefighters and wounding two others and a police officer in the town of Webster. Nguyen's (wehn's) lawyer, Matthew Parrinello, says he's awaiting documentation from prosecutors before responding in detail to the charges. Nguyen (wehn) also faces a state charge of falsifying a business record.
A Buffalo-area man faces charges after his car left a town of Chautauqua Road early last weekend... and, crashed into a steep ditch.  Sheriff's Deputies say 75 year-old Joseph Mahoney of Lackawanna was westbound on the Hartfield-Stockton Road when he lost control due to slippery road conditions... and, driving at an unsafe speed.  Officers say Mahoney's car left the road Saturday... and, overturned in the ditch.  He had to be freed from the vehicle by Hartfield fire rescuers... and, he was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries.  During the investigation... officers say a second car left the road and struck a mailbox.  Deputies say Ashley Draggett of Stockton failed to reduce speed for the accident scene.  The road was closed for about an hour to clear the scene.

 

The Dunkirk City School District is joining with neighboring Fredonia Central in seeking a state grant that will allow both to look at more shared services.  School Superintendent Gary Cerne says the districts will now apply for the 50-thousand dollars in funding.  He says that if the district's do receive grant approval, all areas of each district would be researched including busing. Each district will contribute 25-hundred dollars to cover the local share of the grant.  The grant application comes on the heels of an announcement that the districts will be combining their Pre-K programs next September.

 

New York's new gun control law now requires federal background checks for private firearms sales.  The provision, which took effect Saturday, requires checks by a licensed gun dealer, who can charge 10-dollars... and, issue a form showing the prospective buyer passed.  Dealers already must use the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System before they sell guns.  Federal law prohibits sales to many convicted criminals, people judged mentally defective, fugitives and illegal aliens.  New York's statute, enacted January 15th, immediately banned in-state sales of guns newly classified as ``assault weapons'' because of a single military-style feature, like a pistol grip on semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines.  Other provisions effective Saturday require mental health professionals to report patients likely to seriously hurt someone and set tougher penalties for many gun crimes.

 

A Cattaraugus County man is jailed for allegedly breaking into a town of Ellington home earlier this month... and, stealing property from inside the residence.  Sheriff's Deputies say 20 year-old Adam Dimpfl of East Randolph is accused of breaking into the Waterboro Hill Road home during the late evening hours of March 7th while the residents were away.  Dimphl is charged with second-degree burglary... and, petty larceny.  Officers say the suspect was arraigned in Ellington Town Court... and, remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of bail.

 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will revise the contract with a British company to manage the 3.5-billion dollar state Lottery.  That after State Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the initial plan.  In a statement issued late last Friday... Corbett's office says by revising the contract with Camelot Global Services, it will provide clarificant to Kane and her office... and, was ``the next step'' in the governor's oft-stated intent to ``securing predictable Lottery funding for senior programs'' in the state.

News Update for Sat., Mar. 16, 2013


Tidioute, PA man sentenced to 33 to 66 years in prison for fatally shooting girlfriend last December...

A Warren County, PA man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for the shooting death of a Tidioute woman late last December.  The Warren Times-Observer reports that Judge Gregory Hammond Friday sentenced 55 year-old Randy Poole to 33 to 66 years on four different convictions.  The main one... third-degree criminal homicide... is for 20 to 40 years.  Poole was also convicted of burglary... one count of "Persons not to Possess Firearms..." and, fleeing or attempting to elude police.  Poole was found guilty of shooting his girlfriend, 56 year-old Kathleen Sweeney, in the head twice at her home last Dec. 20.  The Observer reports that Poole admitted to police that he was high on the drug "bath salts" when the incident occured.


Two hurt in two-car accident in Mina late Friday...

Two people suffered serious, but, non-life threatening injuries when another car pulled in front of their vehicle on Route 426 in the town of Mina.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene at the intersection with Interstate 86 shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday.  Officers say 75 year-old John Rossiter of Chesterland, Ohio allegedly pulled his car out in front of a northbound Mustang... and, caused the collision.  Two of the occupants in the Mustang were taken to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  They were not identified.  Rossiter was not hurt... but, is charged with Failing to Yield the Right of Way at a Stop Sign.


No students hurt when school bus is struck by car in north county Thursday...

No one was hurt when a Brocton Central school bus was struck by a car in a business parking lot in the town of Pomfret yesterday.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 20 about 4 p.m. Thursday... and, learned the bus driver, 41 year-old Laurie Travis of Brocton... had made a left turn into the lot to safely turn the vehicle around.  There were students on board at the time.  Deputies say the operator of the car... 23 year-old Marianne Drzymala of Fredonia... was apparently following to closely... and, the car struck the back of the bus.  Neither Travis nor the students on the bus were injured in the the accident.  Neither was Drzymala.  She has been charged with following too closely... and, will appear in Pomfret town Court at a later date.

 

News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 15, 2013


TRC rallying local supporters of developmentally-disabled clients to push for restoring state program funding...

The Resource Center is facing a 6-percent cut in funding under Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2013-2014 budget.  However... the state legislature has restored the $120-million cut in Medicaid that is due to "voluntary agencies" for the developmentally disabled.  Resource Center Community Relations Director Steve Waterson adds, though, that the governor has dug in his heals... and, whats that money to go to state-run facilities.  Waterson says they're rallying advocates of The Resource Center to contact state officials.  He says they're lobbying Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Senator Cathy Young.  Waterson says both Goodell and Young are "very supportive" of restoring that funding... as has the entire legislature.  He says that's mainly because the governor wants keep funding in place for more-costly state-run programs.  Waterson says TRC has dealt with a 9 to 10-percent cut over the past "two to three-years..." but, adds another 6-percent will likely have a direct impact on services.  He says also likely not be able to fill some staff positions.  Waterson adds that... since the federal government matches the state's Medicaid outlay... they stand to lose $2.5-million in total funding.  That's why their main emphasis is on rallying Governor Cuomo right now.  For more information... go on-line to www.resourcecenter.org.


Cuomo says New York's small towns, cities and school districts should consolidate or merge if they're in that bad of shape...

The state budget being shaped in New York may be remembered years from now as the beginning of the end of many small towns, cities and school districts.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is upping his conflict with local officials who are facing fiscal crises and asking for more help from Albany.  He says today (Friday) that if things are really that bad, they should consolidate services or merge outright.  School districts and local governments are asking for more measures to cut labor, pension and other costs than Cuomo has offered in his proposed budget.  Local officials say they're already consolidating and taking on some mergers, but still need help including more money from Albany.


Malone comes away very impressed with new pope...

The new pope will have a steep learning curve... but, the head of the Catholic Church in western New York says he's very impressed by Pope Francis.  Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone returned from the Papal Conclave in Rome late Thursday... and, says the selection of the Archbishop from Buenos Aires was a bit of a suprise... but, a good one.  Malone feels the Holy Spirit really led this conclave because few had Cardinal Jorge Bergoglios on their list of candidates.  He calls Pope Francis a "wonderful, gentle pastor who can also be strong when there are certain views and values he has to defend."  Among those... are opposing the killing of the unborn... and, that marriage is between a man and a woman.  However... while Francis would be defined as a "conservative" for those traditional church positions... he may be more "liberal" on others.  Malone says Francis is "very committed to social justice, concern for the poor... " and a lot of people would identify those as progressive social positions.


Mende admits to being surprised himself about who was named the new pope...

The head of the Catholic church in Jamestown says he was a bit surprised by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope.  However... Father Dennis Mende with Holy Apostles Parish says he and local Catholics are "excited and hopefilled" about Pope Francis.  Mende adds he is pleased with the chose of the Argentinian because he is humble... and, very much a "man of the people."  He says Francis showed that immediately after speaking for the first time as Pope to the thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome.  Mende says one of his first statements, that "I need you're prayers, and I ask you to bless me..." and, he Francis understands that it's the "people who are the church."  Mende presided over the 9 a.m. Mass Thursday at St. John Catholic Church... and, says parishioners have been abuzz about the naming of the new pontiff.  Francis has already displayed a style that shows he may reject some of the trappings that come with the new position.  He rode the bus with the other Cardinals back to their hotel instead of taking the special sedan that was set aside for him after his election as Pope.


North county man arrested for selling illegal assault weapons to undercover officer...

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly selling newly-banned assault-style weapons to an undercover police officer.  The Buffalo News reports 32 year-old Benjamin Wassell of Silver Creek is accused of twice selling weapons now prohibited under New York's new SAFE Act.  The announcement was made late Thursday by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman... who says Wassell is the first person to be arrested under the legislation... which was pushed through by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature earlier this year.


No one hurt in north county school bus accident...

No one was hurt when a Brocton Central school bus was struck by a car in a business parking lot in the town of Pomfret yesterday.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 20 about 4 p.m. Thursday... and, learned the bus driver, 41 year-old Laurie Travis of Brocton... had made a left turn into the lot to safely turn the vehicle around.  There were students on board at the time.  Deputies say the operator of the car... 23 year-old Marianne Drzymala of Fredonia... was apparently following to closely... and, the car struck the back of the bus.  Neither Travis nor the students on the bus were injured in the the accident.  Neither was Drzymala.  She has been charged with following too closely... and, will appear in Pomfret town Court at a later date.


Gas prices hold steady this week...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week at about $3.94 a gallon.  That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is now $3.70.  The price is down five cents from one week ago.  The Fuel Gauge reports that it's "too soon" to say whether retail prices have peaked for the spring, because there is still refinery maintenance to be completed... and, much of the country must still transition to summer-blend gasoline.

 

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES


LOCAL NEWS 3/15/13  4:40AM ((update at 10 a.m)

 

The head of the Catholic church in Jamestown says he was a bit surprised by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope.  However... Father Dennis Mende with Holy Apostles Parish says he and local Catholics are "excited and hopefilled" about Pope Francis.  Mende adds he is pleased with the chose of the Argentinian because he is humble... and, very much a "man of the people."  He says Francis showed that immediately after speaking for the first time as Pope to the thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome. Mende presided over the 9 a.m. Mass Thursday at St. John Catholic Church... and, says parishioners have been abuzz about the naming of the new pontiff.  Francis has already displayed a style that shows he may reject some of the trappings that come with the new position.  He rode the bus with the other Cardinals back to their hotel instead of taking the special sedan that was set aside for him after his election as Pope.

 

The state legislature is in the final stages of agreeing to specific funding for all areas of the government as it tries to finalize a budget extraordinarily early.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have met for weeks behind closed doors and reached some agreements on spending $143-billion.  The deals haven't been disclosed.  But... there is enough agreement to start joint Senate-Assembly conference meetings to decide on spending based on the target amounts agreed to by Cuomo and the leaders.  The overall deal, which may include an increase in the minimum wage, could be announced as early as late Thursday night, but more likely on Friday.  That would set up passage of the budget on March 21.  The budget is due by April 1.

 

Two Pennsylvania men listed on the Jamestown Police Department's Top-10 Most Wanted List have been arrested on Felony warrants... and, are on their way to Chautauqua County -- if they aren't already here.  City Police say 39 year-old Anthony Ford was wanted for criminal sale of a controlled substance.  Officers say Ford was found in Pittsburgh... and, taken into custody.  He was returned to Jamestown Wednesday... and, was arraigned and sent to the county jail.  Police add that 34 year-old John Griffin of Warren was sought for Grand Larceny.  Officers say he was found late Wednesday by Sheriff's officers in Warren... and, is currently being held pending an extradiction hearing.

 

A man who worked for 20 years with the shooter who killed four people in upstate New York says he was a good worker but was ``spooky'' in a recent encounter.  Steve Copperwheat says he hadn't seen Myers in about 10 years when he saw him at a Wal-Mart three months ago. He says Myers was very nervous and anxious to get away.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is praising the law enforcement officers who ended an armed standoff with the suspect in the Mohawk Valley shooting rampage by killing the man after he opened fire on them.  Cuomo praises the efforts of police in ending what he calls Wednesday's ``horrific spree of violence and bloodshed'' in the neighboring villages of Mohawk and Herkimer.  The governor says officers entered a building in Herkimer Thursday morning and killed 64-year-old Kurt Myers after he shot and killed an FBI dog.  Authorities say the shoot-out occurred in the basement where Myers had been holding out since soon after police say he killed four men and wounded two others in separate shootings at two businesses.

The Cassadaga Valley School District is expected to form a committee next month that will look into possible uses of the Cassadaga Elementary School after it closes in June.  That from School Superintendent Scott Smith after the board voted this week to close the school at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  Smith says the board has indicated a strong desire to have the district maintain the building. The Board voted to close the building by a 4-0 vote last Monday night.  Smith says there has been a lot of interest in the building. Smith says the board will likely establish the committee that will look at viable uses for the facility when it holds its next regular meeting in April.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week at about $3.94 a gallon.  That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is now $3.70.  The price is down five cents from one week ago... but, it's 12-cents more than one month ago.  The Fuel Gauge reports that it's "too soon" to say whether retail prices have peaked for the spring, because there is still refinery maintenance to be completed... and, much of the country must still transition to summer-blend gasoline.  The spike in pump prices earlier this year was a product of refinery maintenance and concerns, rather than more expensive crude oil.

News Headlines for Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013


Local Catholics respond with excitement over new pope...

Local Catholics are "excited and hopefilled" about the new Pope... who is wrapping up his first full-day of duties today (Thursday).  That from Father Dennis Mende of Holy Apostles Parish in Jamestown.  Father Mende says he was kind of surprised by the choice of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina... but, is pleased with the choice.  Mende presided over the 9 a.m. Mass at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church Thursday morning... and, says parishioners were abuzz about it.  Mende says the way he presented himself to the people at St. Peter's Square showed "that there is a real connection between Pope Francis and the people of the church."  Many have called the new Pope Francis "a man of the people."  In his first blessing to the thousands gathered in Rome following his election... Mende says the pope first asked for the people's prayers.  Francis also displayed a style that shows he may reject some of the trappings that come with the new position.


Catholics in NYC area greet news of new pope with enthusiasm and surprise...

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 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.


Central New York man sought in Herkimer area shootings killed in police shoot-out...

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 morning 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 AM.  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.


Cassadaga Valley School Board to put committee in place to look at possible used for the Cassadaga Elementary School building after it closes at end of June...

The Cassadaga Valley School District is expected to form a committee next month that will look into possible uses of the Cassadaga Elementary School after it closes in June.  That from School Superintendent Scott Smith after the board voted this week to close the school at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  Smith says the board has indicated a strong desire to have the district maintain the building.  He says one of the things made very clear by the board was that they want to continue to maintain the facililty so it does not become a problem, or an "eyesore" for the community.  The Board voted to close the building by a 4-0 vote last Monday night.  Smith says there has been a lot of interest in the building... both in leasing space, or buying the building.  He says the board will likely establish the committee that will look at viable uses for the facility when it holds its next regular meeting in April.


Two PA men on JPD's Top-10 Most Wanted arrested...

Two Pennsylvania men wanted on Felony warrants in Jamestown have been arrested... and, are being returned to Chautauqua County.  Jamestown Police say 39 year-old Anthony Ford was wanted for criminal sale of a controlled substance.  Officers say Ford was found in Pittsburgh... and, taken into custody.  He was returned to Jamestown yesterday... and, was arraigned and sent to the county jail.  Police add that 34 year-old John Griffin of Warren was sought for Grand Larceny.  Officers say he was found late yesterday by Sheriff's officers in Warren... and, is currently being held pending an extradiction hearing.


State officials still looking at early 2013-2014 budget...

The state Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo are on still on-track to pass the earliest state budget in decades.  The legislature has begun publicly presenting counterproposals to Cuomo... although closed-door negotiations have been going on for weeks.  The governor's $143-billion budget proposal would increase state spending about 2-percent.  It includes no new taxes, although he would extend some business taxes that were due to expire.  The independent Citizens Budget Commission says Cuomo's budget proposal is reasonable.  The Legislature traditionally adds less than one-percent to the budget, but it is usually in the areas that hit New Yorkers most such as school aid, taxes, fees and health care.


Still no final agreement on police services between Lakewood and Busti...

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.


Olive Garden to open in Lakewood on March 25...

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 Mar. 25 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.

 


 

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES


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.

 

 

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES


LOCAL NEWS UPDATE 11:20AM  3/13/13


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. Wordlemann says they also don't want to be left "stranded" in the middle of the village's budget year.  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.

 

Twelve of Chautauqua County's 15 villages will hold their elections a week from yesterday... and, most have contested races for several seats.  Two of them will feature contested mayor's seats.  County GOP Election's Commissioner Brian Abram says the big one is in Westfield... where incumbant David Carr is being challenged by Michael Vandevelde.  Abram also says there are two Republicans and two Democrats running for a pair of trustee seats.
Abram says there'll also be a contested mayor's race in Forestville... where Katherine Bowker and Lina Aures are running against each other... and, four people are running for two board seats.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... there's a contested trustees race in the village of Lakewood.  Three people are running for two seats.  Abram adds they have the same scenario in Sherman... Brocton and Cherry Creek.  In Silver Creek... four people are running for two board seats.  The races in Bemus Point and Falconer are uncontested.  Voting next Tuesday takes place from 12 Noon to 9 PM.  Results will be available immediately at Votechautauqua-dot-COM after the polls close.

 

The county's Board of Elections is using two village elections to test new Electronic Poll Book's that are being reviewed as a paper-less replacement to the current books people sign.  That from Election's Commissioner Brian Abram... who says they've already used the new poll book in one village election.  Abram says one was assigned to the Fredonia election Monday night. Abram says the pilot program with A-E in Fredonia went "very well."  He says there are two advantages to using the new "paper-less" poll books.  He says it saves on paper... but, the voter history is put in by a "hand-wand" so there's a record that they actually voted.  Abram says they had the state's "blessing" to hold the test trials with the Electronic Poll Book's in two votes... but, there's no word on how soon the book's may be used on a regular basis.

 

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.

 

Some changes are coming for two area State Parks.  The Post-Journal reports that Kate Gross, Midway and Long Point state parks manager was the guest speaker at the Bemus Point Historical Society Museum Tuesday. Gross, who has been parks manager for Midway and Long Point for nearly two years, said renovations and rehabilitation projects are under way. At Midway, she said a rehabilitation project has started for the 1946 carousel. For the past four years, the carousel has been located outside, but a refurbished carousel will be back under the roundhouse this season.  "It will be an adventure in May when people step on to the carousel," Gross said. Work has been done on the train as well, with the engine being refurbished. The park manager said she is also working on adding pavilions to the park because three have been damaged in recent years. The park will open for the season Memorial Day weekend. At Long Point State Park, Gross said future plans included possibly building an additional pavilion to go with the one already constructed and two gazebos. She said a goal for this year is to add a welcome sign for an entrance to the park and a bench.

 

New York state's use of competitive grants for certain education initiatives benefited only a relative handful of students during the initiative's first year.  That's the conclusion of a new report that says Governor Andrew Cuomo's plans to expand the practice might be premature.  The Citizens Budget Commission found only about 10-percent of the state's nearly 700 school districts applied for 25-million dollars Cuomo made available for performance improvement grants for the current school year.  Even fewer districts went after 25-million dollars in management efficiency grants and fewer still received money.  About 17-million dollars was awarded.  The Cuomo administration expects more competition for the expanded grant opportunities contained in next year's budget, now that most districts have adopted a teacher evaluation system.  That was a requirement that eliminated many districts from the first round of awards.

 

The state is withholding pension payments for cultural institutions and day care centers that have New York city contracts.  The institutions include the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum.  Budget Director Mark Page says the city has not paid into the Cultural Institutions Retirement System this fiscal year.  The decision is based on a review that suggests the number of workers covered by the arrangement was overstated.  The non-profits had no immediate comment.

 

 The state Department of Environmental Conservation says all outdoor residential brush burning is prohibited during the high-risk wildfire season March 16 through May 14.  In 2009, New York toughened restrictions on open burning to reduce harmful air pollutants and help prevent wildfires. The regulation allows residential brush burning for most of the year in towns with less than 20,000 residents. But it prohibits open burning in all communities during early spring when the bulk of New York's wildfires typically occur.  The new regulation prohibits the burning of garbage at all times and places.

 

Governor Tom Corbett's budget chief says any meaningful changes to Pennsylvania's public pension plans must include at least some reductions in future benefits for current workers.  Budget Secretary Charles Zogby made the comment Tuesday during a briefing on Corbett's wide-ranging pension reform plan.  It would cut future benefits for current state and school employees, divert new hires into a 401(k)-style plan and slow the increase in taxpayers' contributions to the state's two major public retirement funds.  Zogby says savings from future benefits are crucial to the long-range success of the governor's proposals to rein in an unfunded liability that now stands at 41-billion dollars.  Critics say those proposals are on shaky legal ground and unlikely to withstand a court challenge.

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES


LOCAL HEADLINES 4:45 AM 3/13/13

 

Most of the county's 15 villages will hold their elections a week next Tuesday... and, many of them have contested races for trustee seats.  Chautauqua County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says there are also two villages with contested Mayoral races.  Abram says the big one is in Westfield... where incumbant David Carr is being challenged by Michael Vandevelde.  Abram also says there are two Republicans and two Democrats running for a pair of trustee seats there.  In addition... he says there's a contested race in the far north county. Katherine Bowker and Linda Aures are running for Mayor.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... there's a contested trustees race in the village of Lakewood.  Three people are running for two seats there.  Abram adds they have the same scenario in Sherman... Brocton and Cherry Creek.  There are also four people are running for two board seats in Silver Creek.  The races in Bemus Point and Falconer are uncontested.  Voting next Tuesday takes place from 12 Noon to 9 PM.  Results will be available immediately at Votechautauqua-dot-COM after the polls close.

 

 

 

The county's Board of Elections is using two village elections to test new Electronic Poll Book's that are being reviewed as a paper-less replacement to the current books people sign.  That from Election's Commissioner Brian Abram... who says they've already used the new poll book in one village election.  Abram says one was assigned to the Fredonia election Monday night. Abram says the pilot program with A-E in Fredonia went "very well."  He says there are two advantages to using the new "paper-less" poll books.  He says it saves on paper... but, the voter history is put in by a "hand-wand" so there's a record that they actually voted.  Abram says they had the state's "blessing" to hold the test trials with the Electronic Poll Book's in two votes... but, there's no word on how soon the book's may be used on a regular basis.

 

 

 

The state is withholding pension payments for cultural institutions and day care centers that have New York city contracts.  The institutions include the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum.  Budget Director Mark Page says the city has not paid into the Cultural Institutions Retirement System this fiscal year.  The decision is based on a review that suggests the number of workers covered by the arrangement was overstated.  The non-profits had no immediate comment.

 


 

 

A western New York man whose lawsuit claiming part ownership of Facebook got him arrested wants his criminal case halted.  Paul Ceglia of Wellsville filed a complaint in Buffalo federal court Monday seeking to stop the U.S. government's prosecution of him on fraud charges.  Ceglia was arrested last October in what the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan called a multibillion-dollar scheme to defraud Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.  Prosecutors accused Ceglia of doctoring a contract he signed with Zuckerberg in 2003 to make it appear Ceglia would eventually receive half-ownership in the Menlo Park, California, company.  That contract is the basis of a pending lawsuit Ceglia filed against Facebook and Zuckerberg in 2010.  Ceglia's new complaint says prosecuting him criminally for filing a lawsuit violates his constitutional rights. 

 


 

 

A Jamestown woman is charged with Felony assault after allegedly fighting with city police while she was being booked on a criminal mischief charge... and, bit one officer.  City police say they were called to 614 East Second Street about 7 AM Monday for an unknown woman destroying a garage door... and, fleeing the scene.  Officers found the suspect... 20 year-old Mallory White... a short distance away... and she was arrested.  However... police say she became unruly during transport to headquarters... and, damaged a rear door to the patrol car.  She then is accused of continuing to be violent while she was being booked... and, fought with officers... biting the one... injuring the policeman.  She was also arraigned also faces a second criminal mischief charge... and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

 

 

Lakewood village lawmakers have approved a local law allowing the municipality to override the state's 2-percent property tax cap -- if they need to.  But... Mayor David Wordlemann says they don't expect to have to override the cap.  Wordlemann says the approval came following a public hearing on the measure Monday night... during which they heard no significant comment.  He says -- even if you don't need it -- it's become a formality because sometimes you're not sure if you're over the cap. Wordlemann says sometimes mistakes are made... or there's a miscalculation... and, spending in the budget goes up by more than 2-percent unintentionally.  If that's the case... those muncipalities or school districts need to have the local law in place.  Wordlemann expects to have the village's 2013-2014 budget out shortly.

 


 

 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is expected to ask Attorney General Kathleen Kane to reverse her rejection of a contract to hire a British firm to manage the state's 3.5-billion dollar lottery.  Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said Tuesday that Corbett administration officials told him they are making changes to the contract with London-based Camelot Global Services before they resubmit it.  Kane said last month she wouldn't approve Camelot's 20- to 30-year contract because state law doesn't allow the governor to privatize the management of the lottery nor does it allow the expansion of gambling that it would permit.   Corbett spokeswoman declined comment... but, says certain changes to the contract wouldn't trigger the need to re-bid it.  The administration has a March 16 deadline to respond to Kane's decision.

 

 

New Headlines for Tues., Mar. 12, 2013


CVCS board votes unanimously to close Cassadaga Valley Central School after 2012-2013 school year....

The Cassadaga Valley Central School Board has cleared the way for closing the Cassadaga Elementary School at the end of this school year.  The board last night voted 4-to-0 in approving the closing.  School Superintendent Scott Smith says the move will allow the building to close at the end of June.  Smith says those students will begin attending Sinclairville Elementary School at the state of the 2013-2014 school year.  He says it was "a decision that was not at all easy for the board of education."  He says they've been talking extensively about the closing since late last year.  The district is facing declining enrollment and a budget gap of nearly $1.6-million.  Closing the school will save the district nearly $450,000.

 

Fredonia voters agree to move village elections to November...

Another Chautauqua County village had decided to move it's village elections to the November General Election.  Residents in Fredonia have overwhelmingly agreed to move their vote by a 738-to-21 margin.  Mayor Steve Keefe says the first village election to be part of the November vote will be 2014.


Jamestown lawmakers to vote soon on about $1-million in repairs to Tracy Plaza...

City lawmakers will be acting soon on beginning about $1-million in renovations to Jamestown's Tracy Plaza late this Spring and through the Summer.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman went before the City Council last night to lay-out the project... which will basically be the first part of a phased-in, $2-million effort.  Lehman says this project would mainly involved repairing the decking and replacing the concrete walls.  Lehman adds this phase will not include replacement of the dozens of "joints" on the deck that have leaked for 10 to 15 years now.  Lehman says a different kind of material would be used to replace the joints... and, stop the leaking.  As for this project... he says they'll be closing the entire deck down... except for the entrace to City Hall.  Public Works Committee Chairman George Spitale says lawmakers will be voting on hiring Greenman-Peterson Designers to do design work, and draw up bid specifications.  Spitale says there are several items that will have to be bid out... with the big item being buying and installing guardrails to replace most of the concrete walls for $400,000.  Lehman says the money to pay for this phase is already in place.


State legislature puts on final push to get 2013-2014 spending plan in place...

The State Legislature is calling for more spending, tax cuts and a higher minimum wage, even a roll-back of a new gun control law in their budget counter-proposals.  But... Gov. Andrew Cuomo says money is short.  He noted legislative proposals are often used for political posturing and often aren't likely to change the budget.  Cuomo also says Monday he won't allow a Senate proposal to cut the funding out of his gun control law.  That law raised the ire of a vocal minority of upstate residents who live in mostly Republican districts.  Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet later Monday. Cuomo says a solid budget framework must be in place by the end of this week to hit the March 21st target to pass one of the earliest budgets in decades.

Fire that starts in basement extensively damages part of Kiantone home, one dog perishes...

Flames extensively damaged the lower parts of a 2-and-a-half story home in the town of Kiantone Monday morning.  Investigators say the blaze was caused by a problem with a power strip.  Second Assistant Kiantone Fire Chief Jeff Kibbe says crews were called to the scene at 14-88 Warren-Jamestown Boulevard shortly before 9:30 a.m.  Kibbe says they found light smoke coming from the single-family home on arriving... but, the smoke and fire was begining to pick-up. Kibbe says they called in mutual aid from Busti... Falconer....Frewsburg... Kennedy... Lakewood and Panama.  He says it took about half-an-hour to bring the blaze under control... but, he says it took a while to make sure they got the entire fire out. Investigators say the fire started in the basement.  Kibbe says no one was hurt... but, one dog died as a result of the blaze.  The one resident home at the time was sleeping... but, she was awakened by working smoke detectors.  The smoke detectors are credited with waking the resident up and allowing her to get out without injury.  The public is reminded to frequently check the batteries in their smoke detectors.


Reed optimistic about getting movement on eliminating seqester cuts, dealing with deficit as Obama reaches out to GOP...

President Obama has been reaching out to Republicans in recent days as lawmakers try to deal with sequestration and the nation's rising debt.  Local Congressman Tom Reed of Corning believes the president is sincere. The Republican from Corning says he hopes a "grand" plan can be worked out that addresses both the short and long term. Reed... who held a conference call with area media Monday morning... says the president is expected to meet with the Republican conference later this week.  The Corning Republican says he is eager for that "conversation" to occur.


Celoron mourns lose of Mayor Keeney...

It's a sad time in the village of Celoron... as residents are mourning the loss of Mayor Jack Keeney.  Keeney died this past Saturday night following a brief battle with Liver Cancer.  He was 72.  Following a long career at the Panama Central Schools... Keeney ran for... and, was elected Mayor in 2009.  Keeney was known for his efforts to expand Senior and youth programming in the village... and, promoting it's ties to the late Lucille Ball.  In one of his last public acts as mayor... Keeney... who was visably weakened by Cancer Treatment... voice his support of organizers of the first-ever Lucy Town Half-Marathon.  The event next October will go through Celoron.  He says they welcome the partners involved, because they are "putting a spotlight on the village of Celoron.  The press conference was held in Jamestown... which is where the half-marathon will start and finish.  Keeney was also known for his efforts to move waterfront development along in the village.  He was a physical education teacher for 34 years at Panama... he was also football coach for 33 years... and, was Athletic Director for 30 years.  Keeney also coached a number of Panama's other sports teams.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lakewood.  The Lind Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
-----
With the passing of Jack Keeney... Deputy Celoron Mayor Scott Schrekengast will handle Keeney's duties until the village board meets next month.  The board held a moment of silence at Monday night's meeting.  Celoron Village Clerk Shirley Sanfilippo says -- at that time -- they'll likely appoint an interim Mayor.  If it's one of the current trustees... Sanfilippo says the board would then have to appoint a new trustee.  The interim Mayor and trustee would then serve until the November election.


 

LOCAL NEWS 3/12/13


Local News Headlines 3/12/13 4:50am

 

 

City lawmakers will be acting quickly on beginning about one-million dollars in renovations to Jamestown's Tracy Plaza late this Spring and through the Summer.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman went before the City Council last night to lay-out the project... which will basically be the first part of a phased-in, 2-million dollar effort.  Lehman says this project would mainly involved repairing the decking and replacing the concrete walls.  Lehman adds this phase will NOT include replacement of the dozens of "joints" on the deck that have leaked for 10 to 15 years now. Lehman says a different kind of material would be used to replace the joints... and, stop the leaking.  As for this project... he says they'll be closing the entire deck down... except for the entrace to City Hall.  Public Works Committee Chairman George Spitale says lawmakers will be voting on hiring Greenman-Peterson Designers to do design work, and draw up bid specifications.  Spitale says there are several items that will have to be bid out... with the big item being buying and installing guardrails to replace most of the concrete walls for 400-thousand dollars.  Lehman says the money to pay for this phase is already in place.

 

 

 

A western New York firefighter who survived a Christmas Eve shooting ambush that left two colleagues dead is visiting the nation's capital.  Webster firefighter Ted Scardino was hit in the shoulder Dec. 24 when a convicted felon opened fire as firefighters arrived to battle a blaze just east of Rochester.

 


U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, says Scardino will testify to the task force Tuesday. The Rochester-area congresswoman says Scardino will voice his support for legislation to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for people who buy guns for those barred from making firearms purchases. The weapon used in the Christmas Eve shooting was obtained by the shooter through a so-called straw purchase.

 

The New York State Legislature is calling for more spending, tax cuts and a higher minimum wage, even a roll-back of a new gun control law in their budget counter-proposals.  But... Governor Andrew Cuomo says money is short.  He noted legislative proposals are often used for political posturing and often aren't likely to change the budget.  Cuomo also says Monday he won't allow a Senate proposal to cut the funding out of his gun control law.  That law raised the ire of a vocal minority of upstate residents who live in mostly Republican districts.  Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet later Monday. Cuomo says a solid budget framework must be in place by the end of this week to hit the March 21st target to pass one of the earliest budgets in decades.

 

Flames extensively damaged the lower parts of a 2-and-a-half story home in the town of Kiantone yesterday morning.  Investigators say the blaze was caused by a problem with a power strip.  Second-assistant Kiantone Fire Chief Jeff Kibbe (Kih-bee) says crews were called to the scene at 14-88 Warren-Jamestown Boulevard shortly before 9:30 AM.  Kibbe says they found light smoke coming from the single-family home on arriving... but, the smoke and fire was begining to pick-up. Kibbe says they called in mutual aid from Busti... Falconer....Frewsburg... Kennedy... Lakewood and Panama.  He says it took about half-an-hour to bring the blaze under control... but, he says it took a while to make sure they got the entire fire out. Investigators say the fire started in the basement.  Kibbe says no one was hurt... but, one dog died as a result of the blaze.  The one resident home at the time was sleeping... but, she was awakened by working smoke detectors.  The smoke detectors are credited with waking the resident up and allowing her to get out without injury.  The public is reminded to frequently check the batteries in their smoke detectors.

 

President Obama has been reaching out to Republicans in recent days as lawmakers try to deal with sequestration and the nation's rising debt.  Local Congressman Tom Reed of Corning believes the president is sincere. The Republican from Corning says he hopes a "grand" plan can be worked out that addresses both the short and long term. Reed... who held a conference call with area media Monday morning... says the president is expected to meet with the Republican conference later this week.  The Corning Republican says he is eager for that "conversation" to occur.

 

The head of a Jamestown-area human service agency that helps families deal with mental health issues says she's pleased with how she's leaving the organization... and, is looking forward to retirement.  A retirement reception was held Monday afternoon at the Lillian Ney Renaissance Center for Donna Vanstrom.  Vanstrom is stepping down end of the month as Executive Director for Family Service of the Chautauqua Region.  The Bemus Point native says her time with Family Service has been rewarding in two ways... one is the level of volunteerism in the community. VanStrom returned to the Jamestown-area in 1995... and, began as Executive Director of what is now the Southwestern Chapter of the American Red Cross.  She says working at Family Service of the Chautauqua Region has been both rewarding... and, an education.  Family Service provides family-focused health counseling services across the Jamestown-area.  VanStrom admits to not fully understanding what Family Service did when she first began there... and, didn't appreciate the contributions the agency makes to the community.

News Headlines for Mon., March 11, 2013


Jack Keeney, Celoron Mayor, former Panama Football Coach, dies after short battle with Cancer...

Celoron Mayor Jack Keeney has passed away following a battle with cancer at the age of 72.  Following a long career at the Panama Central Schools... Keeney ran for... and, was elected Celoron Mayor in 2009.  Keeney was known for his efforts to expand Senior and youth programming in the village... and, promoting it's ties to the late Lucille Ball.  In one of his last public acts as mayor... Keeney... who was visably weakened by Cancer Treatment... offered his support to organizers of the first-ever Lucy Town Half-Marathon.  Keeney noted that Celoron was the childhood home of Lucy, and they were "very proud to be part of a Half-Marathon that included Celoron."  The press conference was held early last month in Jamestown... which is where the half-marathon will start and finish.  Keeney was also known for his efforts to move waterfront development along in the village.  He was a physical education teacher for 34 years and also served as Athletic Director for 30 years at Panama.  Keeney coached a number of the schools sports teams -- most notibly football -- throughout his tenure.  The Lind Funeral Home says a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  The Lind Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Gun shops, shootring ranges and County Clerk's offices see major increase in business since state legislature approved sweeping gun laws last December...

Gun shops, shooting ranges and county clerks' offices have seen an upsurge in business since the state Legislature rushed through Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sweeping set of gun laws in December.  Dennis Deasy, owner of Niagara Gun Range in North Tonawanda, tells The Buffalo News that pistol permit classes are booked through May. He says his store can hardly keep up with demand for guns that hold 10-round magazines ahead of the April 15 ban on them.  The FBI reports there were 76,000 firearm purchase background checks for New Yorkers in January and February of 2013.  That compares to about 51,000 for the same months last year.  Some county clerks say they're overwhelmed with new paperwork resulting from a new provision allowing permit holders to keep their permit status private.


State School Boards Association focus on school safety at weekend conference...

Law enforcement officials joined school counselors and board members from across the state at a conference in downtown Albany last weekend to focus on ways to prevent violence in New York's schools.  The state School Boards Association says Saturday's ``Safe Schools, Safe Students'' conference at the Hotel Albany featured experts from across the nation participating in panel discussions on school safety issues from both a law enforcement and mental health perspective.  The New York State Police, FBI and U.S. Secret Service were among the law enforcement agencies that will be represented at the conference.


Edwards says he has no problem with new proposal to look at selling Jamestown Airport...

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he has no problem looking at not only selling the Dunkirk Airport... but, the Jamestown Airport as well.  However... Edwards believes there is more upside to holding onto the commerical airport in the town of Ellicott -- just outside of Jamestown.  The Busti Republican is responding to recent comments by County Legislator John Runkle... who says lawmakers should be not only entertain offers for the Dunkirk facility... but, the Jamestown one, also.  Runkle says he will soon introduce a resolution to that effect... and, Edwards says it "makes sense" to do that.  However... he cautions that the Dunkirk Airport is different... and, he sees more growth potential at the at the Dunkirk Airport -- provided it were in private hands.  He sees the north county "General Aviation" facility becoming the hub of a "Fly-in Community."  Edwards says they have such airports in Florida that provide easy access to golf courses, and other recreational opportunities.  During his recent State of the County Address... Edwards brought up the possible sale of the Dunkirk Airport.  He made his comments during this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


Randolph man arrested for alleged sexual abuse in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties...

A Randolph man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a boy during several incidents last last year in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say their counterparts in Cattaraugus County received a report of the alleged incidents... which took place between Randolph and Asvhille in September and October.  Officers say 66 year-old John Hitchcock was arrested... and, charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  Deputies were assisted by the Child Advocacy Center in Cattaraugus County... and, the Child Advocacy Program in Chautauqua County.  Hitchcock was arrested on a warrant... arraigned, and sent to the county lock-up without bail.


Erie, PA man faces DWI charge after Carroll Car accident...

An Erie, PA man escaped serious injury... but, is charged with drunk driving after his car sped through a town of Carroll intersection last weekend... and, crashed.  Sheriff's officers say 44 year-old William Swagler was southbound on Route 62 shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday at a "very high" rate of speed.  Deputies say Swagler did not slow down for the intersection with Ivory Road... and, his car crashed through the guard rail.  Officers say Swagler refused medical treatment... but, Frewsburg Fire rescuers were called due to the severity of the crash... and, because the victim had a visable larceration.  Following an investigation... Deputies charged Swagler with Driving while intoxicated... Speed not reasonable and prudent... and disobeying a stop sign.  He was issued tickets for Carroll Town Court... and, later released to a third party.


Dozens of students on hand for WCA Career Day last Friday afternoon...

Dozens of Jamestown area public school and college students got the chance to learn about job opportunities in the growing health care field at WCA Hospital Friday afternoon.  The hospital hosted a Career Day at it's auditorium as part of it's "grass-roots" initiative designed to give students a first-hand, interactive and educational glimpse into the workings of a health care facility.  WCA's Interim Human Resources Director Jana O'Camb says it's a great chance for the students to learn what kind of careers are available.  O'Camb says they decided to hold it because there are so many different careers available in health care aside from being a doctor or nurse.  O'Camb says they have people from speech and recreational therapy... and emergency medical services... to name a few.  From the EMS side... Starflight and Alstar Ambulance's Ron Hasson was on hand to talk about what he termed the "exciting side" side of health care.  Hasson says they gave tours of the Starflight Helicopter and the Helipad.  The students taking part ranged from Kindergarteners to students at Jamestown Community College... as well as students at the Hewes Educational Center-BOCES in Ashville.  Several home-schooled students were also on hand.

News Update for 3/9/13!!


Randolph man arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a young boy several times...

A Randolph man is jailed without bail for allegedly abusing a boy sexually during several incidents that occured last September and October in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say their counterparts in Cattaraugus County received a report of the alleged incidents... which took place between Randolph and Asvhille.  Deputies yesterday arrested 66 year-old John Hitchcock... and, charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  Police were assisted by the Child Advocacy Center in Cattaraugus County... and, the Child Advocacy Program in Chautauqua County.  Hitchcock was arrested on a warrant... arraigned, and sent to the Chautauqua County lock-up.


Young comments further on STAR exemption error...

State Senator Cathy Young is speaking out more on the recent revelation that a second property she and her husband own in an Albany suburb was given Basic STAR tax exemption.  Young says while it's been "an intensely busy time in Albany..." she's "worked hard" to figure out how this mistake happened.  She says she knew that they had not claimed the tax exemption on that property, and she wants to get to the bottom of it.  Young says she appreciates the fact that North Greenbush Town Assessor John Harkin came forward and verified that they had never filed an application for the exemption... and, the town -- "erroneously applied it to our property."  Harkin apologied Thursday... and, called the whole ordeal "an honest mistake."  Young says she's filed all of the proper legal documents to correct the situation after learning what happened.  She adds that "although we did not apply for the exemption, I felt strongly that the money should be reimbursed right away."  She says the exemption came to about 200 per year since 2001... and, the "full amount has been paid with interest."  She's relieved to have found out what actually happened... and clear up the error.


Goodell announces Chautauqua Lake to get $875,000 in state funding to help deal with agriculture run-off...

Chautauqua County is in line for $875,760 in state funding to help protect Chautauqua Lake... and, it's streams and rivers from agriculture run-off.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is applauding the recent announcement by the Department of Agriculture and Markets to use $12.2-million in funds from the state Environmental Protection Fund to stop agriculture run-off from 209 farms.  The county is getting the third-largest amount to any county in the state.  Goodell says "farming is an integral part of life here in Chautauqua, and has helped define our communities for generations.  Our local farms and vineyards have helped drive the wheels of our economy, supporting local families and businesses."  He says they know the importance of good land stewardship... and, they remain wholeheartedly committed to our environment.  Goodell also thanked Governor Cuomo for his support of local agriculture programs.  Competitive grants will be used by the county Soil and Water Conservation Districts to address the water quality challenges facing farms in priority watersheds throughout the state.  Goodell says eligible projects include those that develop comprehensive nutrient management plans... or implement best management practice systems to protect water quality, while keeping agriculture economically viabile.


Daylight Savings Begins at 2 a.m. Sunday...

A quick reminder that we "Spring forward" early Sunday morning.  Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m., so make sure to turn your clocks ahead before you go to bed tonight.  Local fire agencies also urge residents to check your smoke and C-O-2 detectors while you're turning the clocks ahead.

 


 

News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 8, 2013


First impacts of Sequestration cuts being felt by county's OFA, and Meals on Wheels...

Forty senior citizens in Chautauqua County will lose their home-delivered meals from Meals on Wheels beginning April 1 if federal funding it not restored to the program.  The three local programs receive the money through the county's Office for the Aging to prepare... and, deliver the meals.  Jamestown-Area Meals on Wheels Executive Director Barry Yochim says the cuts are the result of the $85-billion in cuts due to the "Sequestration" process.  Yochim... who is president of the state Meals on Wheels Association... says the federal order cuts 8.2-percent of their funding.  Yochim says they want to show that there are "real effects" from the sequester cuts, and that there will be real cuts without this "essential federal funding."  The Sequestration order took effect on Mar. 1... and, there's no indiction that lawmakers in Washington are near a deal to restore those cuts.  Yochim says Meals on Wheels provides "essential food" to keep seniors who have low income -- or no income -- in their homes.  In Jamestown... he says 22 people would lose their daily meals unless the cuts are restored.  Ten meals would be cut by the Sinclairville 76ers... and, eight for recipients in the Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels service area.


Young's reported STAR "Double-Dip" said to be an "honest error..."

It was "an honest error by both parties."  That's the conclusion of a town assessor in an Albany suburb about how State Senator Cathy Young was able to get a Basic STAR exemption on a condominium she and her husband own in North Greenbush.  The Albany Times-Union reported Thursday that Young and her husband, Richard, already had a STAR exemption on their Olean home when they received one in 2001 on their second home she uses when in the State Capitol.  However... in an e-mail to Young later Thursday... Town Assessor John Harkin said the partial exemption had been given to the previous owner.  When the Young's bought the condo... Harkin says the assessor at the time sent a new STAR application to the Young's second address.  However... he says it wound up being returned by the Post Office... and, the assessor "did not remove the exemption off the property... and, the exemption remained on the property erroneously."  Basic STAR can only be taken on a homeowner's "primary residence."  In an earlier statement... Young said she was just made aware of the problem... and, once they know how much they owe in back taxes... it will be paid.


Young's reported "double-dip" among those uncovered in state investigation...

Discover of Cathy Young's "double-dip" into the STAR program was part of the state's crack-down on fraudulent claims for school property tax rebates under its STAR program.  The $3-billion-a-year School Tax Relief program is for people who earn less than $500,000 a year... and, own and live in their homes but has been unchecked for years.  The improper claims for tax breaks were applied to weekend and vacation homes and even to illegally subdivided rooming houses.  The Rockland County district attorney says his detectives found $679,000 in tax break claims that were fraudulently or incorrectly filed during an 11-month investigation in just five towns.


State Labor Dept. reports no change in unemployment for January...

State Labor officials say New York's unemployment rate in January was the same as a year earlier... even as 29,600 private sector jobs were added during the month.  That brought the total number of jobs created during the 12 months starting January 2012 to 102,600, about 33,000 of those in professional and business services. Counting the elimination of 11,800 government positions, there were 90,800 new jobs in the state over that time, a 1.1 percent increase compared to a 1.6 percent pace nationally.


Mayville woman pleads guilty in credit union robbery in Clymer...

A Mayville woman faces up to 4 years in state prison when she's sentenced in May for last year's robbery at the Clymer Federal Credit Union.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says Jenifer Gens agreed to a plea deal in County Court to third-degree robbery -- a Non-Violent Felony in the case.  Foley says the plea also satisfies two other charges... which were reduced to misdemeanors.  He says that's the charge she was indicted on... and, she'll be sentenced on May 20.  Foley praised State Police for their work in having to put together all the information and evidence in the case.  Troopers were called to the scene on the Clymer-Sherman road last April 17th for a robbery.  They say a woman with a small build wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans walked into the credit union... and, demanded money before fleeing the scene.  Foley says Gens could have faced up to 7 years in prison.  However... the court committed to one-and-a-third to 4 years.


Decision by DJDC to not hold St. Patrick's Day Parade and activities this year made last year -- before merging with JRC...

There will be no St. Patrick's Day Parade... and, no turning of the Chadakoin River 'green' this coming St. Patrick's Day.  That decision was actually made last year by the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation board before it joined forces with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  That from JRC Executive Director Peter Lombardi... who says the DJDC made the decision to just focus their resources on just "a few, big events."  The DJDC has hosted the St. Patrick's Day activities for the past several years.  Lombardi says... as the downtown and the organization was evolving... they wanted to focus on a smaller number of big events.  With the merging of the two groups -- Lombardi says the Renaissance Corporation has decided to "implement" the DJDC's strategy.  Those events include the "Hands on Jamestown" Spring Clean-up downtown... "Thunder in the Streets..." and, the Christmas Holiday Parade.  Lombardi adds there are still plenty of activities going on for St. Patrick's Day weekend.  There's a concert on Sunday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... and, some businesses are hosting special St. Patrick's Day events.  However... Lombardi says if a group of people or merchants want to bring back the parade... or other activities... the JRC would entertain such talks.


Assembly votes to suspend action on Fracking for two years...

The state Assembly has voted to suspend for two years any action on allowing the gas drilling method known as hydrolic fracturing, or "fracking."  Both the Assembly and Senate want to provide time for the Cuomo administration to consider state, federal, university and private sector studies of the environmental effects.

News Headlines for Thurs., Mar. 7, 2013


Police arrest Salamanca man for murder in death of 3 year-old...

A Salamanca man is in custody following the death of the 3 year-old son of his girlfriend.  Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard tells the Jamestown Post-Journal that 30 year-old Justin Crouse of Salamanca was taken into custody without incident around 5 a.m. Wednesday.  Howard says the incident occurred about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Irving when the victim's mother, Tashia Seneca, called 9-1-1 after discovering her son, Gage, was not breathing.  The boy was taken to Lakeshore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  The child's body was then transported to the Erie County Medical Center for an autopsy, which indicated the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.  Police investigated... and, arrested Crouse Wednesday.  He was arraigned in Brant Town Court Wednesday, and pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge.  Crouse is being held in Erie County Jail.


The woman involved in car crash that killed 7-month-old last November on Seneca's Cattaraugus Reservation...

A woman from southern Erie County has pleaded guilty in a deadly car crash that killed a 7-month-old girl on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation last November.  The Buffalo News reports that 24 year-old Danielle Kellogg pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular manslaughter.   Kellogg is free on bail.... but, she faces up to 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced May 22.  Police say Kellogg was behind the wheel of an SUV that crashed into another vehicle carrying 7-month-old Baylee Marie Dion in Brant last Nov. 27.  The infant's mother was seriously injured in the accident... but, survived.  Kellogg's blood-alcohol content was 0.13 percent at the time of the crash which is above the legal threshold.


Highway supervisors, employees, in Albany to push for increased funding for road and bridge projects...

The public employees who maintain local roads across New York are gathering in Albany to push state officials for increased funding for transportation projects.  Officials with the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways and the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association expect more than 600 highway superintendents, county and town highway officials and transportation advocates to participate in the gathering at a downtown Albany hotel.  They're calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislators to increase state funding of local bridge and road construction projects as part of a campaign called ``Local Roads Matter.''


Jamestown DPW Director says potholes worse this Winter than in recent years...

With warmer weather on the way following our recent cold snap... we're likely to see more potholes popping up in the Jamestown-area.  But... the pothole problem has been around for a while this Winter due to a number of 'freeze-thaw' cycles.  That's caused headaches for local street and public works crews.  In Jamestown... DPW Director Jeff Lehman says there have been a number of trouble spots... the worst being West Third Street.  Lehman adds that West Fifth Street... and, some of the seams on the arterial have been a problem.  He says because there have been so many freeze thaws... they'll patch up one area... and, it breaks up within a matter of days, and they're back patching it again.  Lehman says his crews are continuing to use "cold patch" to deal with the trouble spots because the MacAdam plant that produces the "hot patch" won't be open for several weeks yet.  He adds this is the worst Winter he's seen for potholes in several years.  Last year... there were few problems because the mild Winter.  Lehman says if you see any additional or particularily bad potholes... call his office.  That number is 483-7558... and, he says they'll add it to their list of repairs.


Goodell says -- despite recent shortall added to state budget -- he's still expecting an early agreement on a spending plan...

The state legislature still appears on course for having an early budget in place... inspite of the need to plug another $500-million to $1.3-billion shortfall.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell as conference committees meet to reconcil different parts of the 2013-2014 spending plan.  Goodell says the new shortfall is due to the federal government demanding payment for overbilling Medicaid over the past several years.  The Bemus Point Republican says dealing with that is a "real challenge..." because the state was apparently "padding" it's bill to the federal government for Medicaid payments to mental health facilities.  However... Goodell says the state may be helped by the amount of federal aid it's receiving for the ongoing relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  He says a number of revenue lines were cut in the new budget... and, the only area seeing an increase was aid to public schools.  As for the projected budget adoption date of Mar. 21, Goodell says it's good fiscally, but, adds it's mainly being driven by upcoming religious holidays.  He says this year... Easter is on Sunday, Mar. 31, and, the Jewish holiday of Passover begins at Sundown on Monday, Mar. 25.  The state budget is due by April 1.


NRG Generating Station in Dunkirk will continue operations for at least two more years...

NRG Energy officials confirm that the Dunkirk generating station will continue to operate for at least two more years.  Spokeman David Gaier with NRG tells us they are entering into an agreement with National Grid Company that will keep one of the generating units producing power through May of 2015.  Gaier says they've agreed to a two-year reliability support services contract with National Grid from this June through May 31 of 2015.  Currently... he says two units will continue to operate through May when only one unit will be used.  Gaier says the company is upbeat about the two year deal because it will keep the plant in operation.  He says their efforts have forcused on keeping one, or more of the units running through a multi-year contract with National Grid.  But... Gaier says market conditions have not improved to where they can keep the plant open without a reliability contract.  The contract still needs final approval from the state's Public Service Commission.  In reaction... Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce says he is disappointed that the company could not be able to keep the two units in operation beyond May.  Dolce says -- at least with the two-year deal -- it brings "some stability" to the situation.  NRG says they are continuing efforts for the Repower Dunkirk proposal... which would convert the plant from coal to natural gas.  Dolce says he will continue to work with the company and other leaders in gaining approval from the state.


Gas prices up in Chautauqua County 4-cents this week...

Refinery maintenance and concerns are continuing to push local gas prices higher this week.  In the Jamestown-area... the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the cost of a gallon of regular, unleaded is up 4-cents to about $3.95.  However... the state-wide average is down slightly to $3.98 a gallon... the fourth highest in the nation.  The national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded is now $3.74 cents.  That's down three cents from last week.
 

News Headlines for Wed., Mar. 6, 2013


City police say victim in Sunday assault and robbery victim of a "drug transaction set-up;"  Four suspects now under arrest...

The four people arrested for last Sunday night's assault and robbery in Jamestown are accused setting up the victim with the promise of a drug deal.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says police wrapped up their case by arresting 28 year-old William Sloppy Tuesday afternoon for his alleged role in the incident at 30 Charles Street.  Samuelson says the man who was attacked was at the scene at the Charlestown Apartment to allegedly buy drugs.  He says the man was stabbed and assaulted... then robbed.  The first two suspects... 18 year-old Kyle Senear and Malek Morley... were arrested shortly after the incident.  Then Sloppy and 31 year-old Stacy Simmers of Warren, PA were arrested on warrants.  Simmers was arrested early Tuesday morning in the city on robbery and conspiracy charges.  Sloppy is charged with conspiracy.  Samuelson says Simmers... along with Senear and Morley... allegedly took money from the man after he was stabbed in the knee... and, struck with a bottle.  He says they have now arrested all the suspects in the case, but, are still looking into the drug angle.  Senear and Morley are charged with first-degree robbery... assault... and, conspiracy.  Samuelson says the male victim was treated for his injuries at WCA Hospital... and, later released.


2013-2014 Jamestown School budget now uses about $2.6-million in reserves, and delayed payment, to help plug $4.6-million shortfall...

Jamestown School officials have plugged more than half of a projected $4.6-million shortfall in the proposed 2013-2014 budget.  However... there probably won't be any futher action taken until after the state legislature approves a new spending plan.  That recommendation came from Superintendent Deke Kathman after Tuesday night's presentation of a first-draft of the $77.7-million budget.  Kathman laid out the proposal... which includes the use of three strategies to fill the budget hole.  He says the first part is using an addition half-million dollars in undesignated fund balance.  The second is use a "debt service reserve fund" that's been set up specifically for these issues.  He's recommending tapping into that $1.55-million "completely."  Kathman says the third proposal is postponing $586,000 in borrowing for capital projects... and, new buses... until after July 1.  Kathman says that will cut the deficit by just over $2.6-million.  He says that leaves about a $1.9-million shortfall.  However... Kathmann is recommending the board wait and see what their final state aid package will be.  He says that's because it's now looking like there will be a boost in state aid beyond what Governor Cuomo had proposed.


Cassadaga Valley School district looking at closing Cassadaga Elementary School due to decline in enrollment, and cost savings...

A Chautauqua County school district is grappling with a difficult decision... whether or not to close an elementary school building.  The Cassadaga Valley Central School Board is now digesting a report compiled by a district committee that has looked into the impact of the closing.  School Superintendent Scott Smith says the district is facing a steep decline in enrollment over the past two decades.  Smith says the numbers in 1992 were about 1,500 students... but, by next year, they estimate that number will be "under 1,000 students."  As the district deals with declining enrollment... Smith says it's also trying to close a spending gap of $1.6-million.  He says the question become whether they can afford keeping the school open.  Smith says closing it would save the Cassadaga district more than $442,000.  Smith says the district's school board is expected to make the final decision at its next meeting on Monday, Mar. 11. 


State Assembly overwhelmingly approves hike in Minimum Wage to $9 an hour...

New York's Assembly has voted to increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour with automatic increases tied to inflation.  Officials say that puts pressure on state Senate Republicans who are seeking business tax cuts in a potential legislative deal.  The Assembly passed the bill 101-to-44 after four hours of debate Tuesday night.  The bill now goes to the Senate.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate majority leaders are negotiating behind closed doors.  The minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.  Among the proposals being floated by legislative leaders is raising the wage to $8.50, then $8.75... then $9 over two or three years.  Cuomo had proposed an $8.75 wage... but, said he's open to negotiation.


Falconer village residents to vote on Mar. 19 on whether to move village elections to November...

Residents of a southern Chautauqua County village will be asked later this month if they want their village elections moved to November.  Voters in Falconer will be asked two-weeks from yesterday to vote on a proposition to change their village vote from the usual March... to a November vote.  Mayor David Krieg says he's been seeing a lot of support for making the move... for two key reasons.  Krieg says one is getting better voter turn-out, and the second is saving on costs.  Krieg says they may also attract more candidates.  As it stands now... three people are running in the Mar. 19 vote... and, each is running unopposed.  As for cost savings... the mayor says their not huge... but, in a day when each dollar counts... $600 to $700 is significant.  Kreig says moving the vote to November will generate much more interest because you would then have all local, state and federal elections for that year on one ballot.  If the Falconer proposition is approved... Krieg says they're first combined November vote would be in 2014.


Young supports GOP-proposed Family Tax Relief Act...

State Senate Republicans have unveiled a package of tax relief and reform measures designed to provide a major economic boost to New York's struggling middle-class families.  Local Senator Cathy Young was among the lawmakers on hand to announce the "Family Tax Relief Act" in Albany Monday.  Young says the plan would increase tax breaks that have not kept pace with inflation... and, restores the STAR Property Tax Rebate check program.  She says families in her 57th District... and, New York in general... are struggling to keep up... and pay the monthly bills.  Young says the savings from the relief package can "buy a lot of diapers and formula..." help pay for the groceries... fill up the gas tank... and, give a cushion so that families can afford to send their children to college.  She adds that restoration of the STAR property Tax rebate check would "provide real and direct tax relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the country."


Man killed in train-pedestrian accident in Dunkirk now identified...

Dunkirk police have now identified the man killed early last Saturday morning when he was struck by a westbound train on the CSX tracks on Woodrow Ave.  Investigators in the north county city say 48 year-old Carl Long of Dunkirk had walked onto the tracks about 3:20 a.m., and was walking east when he was struck by the oncoming freight train.  Officers say they found Long's vehicle parked in a driveway in the 300-block of Woodrow Avenue -- near the tracks. 

News Headlines for Tues., Mar. 5, 2013


Three people now under arrest in connection with assault and robbery on Jamestown's southside...

A third person has been arrested for her alleged involvement in an assault and robbery that occured late Sunday night at the Charlestown Apartments.  City police say they found 31 year-old Stacy Simmers of Warren, PA at an East Second Street location about 1 a.m. Tuesday.  Officers say their investigation showed that Simmers... and, a pair of 18 year-old city teens... stabbed and robbed an unidentified man at 30 Charles St.  The teens... Malek Morley, and, Kyle Senear... are both jailed without bail on charges of first-degree robbery... second-degree assault... and, conspiracy.  Simmers is charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy, and is being held pending arraignment.  Officers say the unidentified victim was stabbed in the knee... and, hit with a bottle.  One of the suspects is also accused of stealing money from the man... and, Simmers and the teens then ran off.


City Council to hold public hearing, vote on abandonment of Lafayette St. between West Third and Second later this month...

The Jamestown City Council will vote later this month on abandoning Lafayette Street between West Third and Second Streets to provide more parking in that part of town.  The abandonment will allow the Jamestown Saving Bank Arena... BWB Group... and, Shawbucks Tavern to take over that one-block section... and make it a one-way street.  The proposal went before the Public Works Committee last night... and, Chairman George Spitale expressed some concern over the abandonment until it was made formal that the street would go one-way south.  Spitale adds there'll be 13 feet between parking spaces on each side of the street, with a total of 23 diagonal parking space.  The three entites say that would be more parking than there is now... but, Spitale also expressed concern over whether parking would be made available for events at the new Gateway Center Train Station on Second Street.  He was also concerned about losing parking meter revenue from that abandonment.  However... Councilwoman Kim Ecklund says turning the property over to private owners is a win for the city.  A public hearing and vote on the abandonment is set for Monday, Mar. 18.


Reed understands GOP will be blamed for Sequestration cuts... but, adds the "sun came up... and, planes didn't fall from the skys..."

Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he understands that Republican's like himself will be blamed for federal Sequestration cuts taking effect.  However... Corning's Tom Reed feels the American people realize the cuts that took effect did not have the immediate, dramatic impact the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats said they would.  Reed Monday says -- in the end -- Democratic leaders backed off of their rhetoric.  He calls it a "terrible way" to lead... adding that there need to be reforms and spending cuts.  Reed says he is encouraged by comments made by the President and House Speaker John Boehner over the weekend about their willingness to work on getting a "continuing resolution" in place to keep the government funded by Mar. 27.  He says both sides are looking at a bill of about $974-billion.  Some have criticized Congress for being off last Friday and today with Sequestration looming.  But... Reed says the president and Senate Democrats only want to talk about increasing taxes.   He made his comments during his weekly telephone news conference.


Edwards says Sequestration cuts will have some impact on Human Service Programs in Chautauqua County...

Human service programs provided by Chautauqua County will likely be affected by the federal spending cuts -- especially in the Office for the Aging.  That Monday from County Executive Greg Edwards... who says the local office provides a number of services that help keep seniors independent... and, out of nursing homes.  Edwards says if the funding goes away, more seniors end up in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities.  One of the most visable programs that would see a cut is Meals on Wheels.  The largest is in the Jamestown-area... which receives $18,000 to help keep it's program going.  However... Edwards says the program benefits thousands of Chautauqua County seniors.  He adds there's also home care... which is less expensive than having someone put into a nursing home.  Edwards says he's going to keep an eye on what kind of impacts Sequestration will have on the county... along with county Director of Human Services, Christine Schuyler.


NYS Senate pushing for changes in NY SAFE Act...

Senate Republicans are trying to scale back parts of the landmark gun control regulations rushed into law after the Newtown school massacre.  Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos says his conference is looking to change the law's limit of seven bullets in magazines that commonly hold 10.  Skelos says one change might be to lift the limit inside a gun owner's home.  He says Republicans are also looking at other provisions sought by legal gun owners concerned about protecting their homes and families.  Skelos' comments Monday come a week after some Republicans told The Associated Press they want to change the law, which drew two of the largest protest rallies Albany has seen in recent years.  The Senate has an opportunity to force some revisions because the bill requires several fixes.


Keefe hopeful that Fredonia voters will agree to move village's election to the November General Election...

The Fredonia Village elections are a week from yesterday (Monday)... and, Mayor Steve Keefe hopes that is the last time the village holds its elections in March.  Keefe says there may be some opposition to the ballot proposition that would move the village vote to November.  He says he understands that some people may not want to change the date... but, he wants people to get out an vote because it "just makes sense" to change the date.  Keefe says some voters may like tradition since the village has the elections on the second Monday of March since 1917.  But, he says times have changed and he believes it makes more sense.  Keefe says they usually get a low-voter turn-out, and it costs more money to hold two separate elections a year.  He adds it also brings in new trustees right in the middle of the village's budget cycle.  Fredonia is not the only village in the county seeking a change.  Here in the Jamestown-area... Falconer is also putting the question to voters.  Right now... the only village in the county to hold their elections in November is Celoron.


City man arrested for DWI after jeep almost collides with part of Southside Plaza...

A Jamestown man is accused of driving drunk when he nearly drove his jeep into a store front in the Southside Plaza late Monday morning.  City police were called to U.S. News at 712 Foote Ave. just after 11 a.m., where the caller says the vehicle went over the rubber parking blocks between the parking lot... and, building.  However... he stopped just short of the building.  Officers say 40 year-old Scott Sherlock was driving in the parking lot when the incident occured.  No one was hurt... but, Sherlock was arrested on a number of charges... including driving while intoxicated... and, resisting arrest.  He also refused to take a breathalyzer test.  Sherlock was held pending arraignment.

 

News Headlines for Mon., March 4, 2013


Lakewood home destroyed in weekend fire...

Two separate fires early Sunday morning have wound up destroying a home on the village of Lakewood's eastside.  Fire crews were initially called to the scene at 215 Elmcrest Ave. shortly after 1 a.m.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says that fire was confined to a bedroom of the two-story house... and, firefighters were at the scene a short time.  However... Hallberg says they were called back for a blaze in another part of the house shortly before 4:30 a.m.  He says the original fire was on the southside of the house... but, when they were called back... it was a much larger blaze that was on the northside of the home.  He says it extended up into the second floor.  Hallberg says... as with the first fire... they called in mutual aid from Celoron and Busti.  However... he says they were unable to get the second-blaze fully under control because they couldn't reach the second-floor.  Hallberg says they were held back by the "heavy fire load," and condition of the home.  He says the cause has not been determineed... and, remains under investigation.  Hallberg says the owner of the home was out when they arrived for the first call... and, no one was hurt.  The owner is being helped out by family members.  Firefighters were at the scene through late Sunday morning. 


Unidentified man killed when hit by train in Dunkirk...

At last word... Dunkirk police were still not identifying a man killed early last Saturday morning when he was struck by a train on the CSX tracks near Woodrow Avenue.  Officers in the north county city say the man was initially reported as being struck on the tracks near Pike Street about 3:20 a.m.  Investigators said later Saturday that they were still trying to identify the man... and, notify relatives.  They're also looking into why he was walking along the tracks at that early hour.  Dunkirk police were assisted by City Fire crews... CSX investigators and the Chautauqua County Coronors Office.


Cuomo says New Yorkers will be impacted by federal Sequestration cuts... especially seniors and students...

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the federal budget fight forcing temporary across-the-board spending cuts will affect New Yorkers including students and seniors.  He says the cuts won't have as big an impact on state government.  The dispute between Democratic President Barack Obama and the Republican-led House over spending cuts and tax increases led to automatic cuts that started last Friday.  Cuomo says brinksmanship isn't the way to do business and makes people anxious.  Financially... he says the cuts will have ``some effect'' on New York's government, but more on people who lose needed federal assistance. 


Runkle says he'll put forth a resolution to sell County Airport near Jamestown, in addition to Dunkirk Airport...

A member of the Chautauqua County Legislature feels that if the county is going to look at selling the county airport in Dunkirk... then it should also look at selling the Jamestown Airport.  Stockton Republican John Runkle says he wants to introduce legislation that would allow the process to begin to sell the County Airport near Jamestown, also.  Runkle says he's asking the county attorney to prepare legislation to begin drawing up a resolution that could be presented at the next regular legislature meeting.  Runkle... who chairs the Legislature's Audit and Control Committee... supports the sale of both airports since they are both losing money.  He says county residents were -- according to the most recent information -- losing a combined $860,000 a year.  Runkle says he's also been told their only accomodating 8 to 10 commercial passengers a day -- on average.  Runkle says he agrees with County Executive Greg Edwards' decision to market the Dunkirk Airport, but he feels the airport near Jamestown should also be on the market.  He hopes the full legislature will be able to consider the proposal during either the March or April meeting.


New Jamestown City Councilwoman sworn-in, will be at first meeting Monday night...

The new representative of Jamestown's Fourth Ward will be at her first council meeting tonight.  Democrat Marie Carubba was officially sworn-in at City Hall late last Friday afternoon... and, soon after said she's looking forward to serving her constituents.  Carubba replaces third-term lawmaker Vince DeJoy... who stepped down just recently to become the city's new director of Development.  She's served on several local boards and commissions... but, says she approached Mayor Sam Teresi about replacing DeJoy because she now has the time to do it.  Carubba says her youngest child is now a Senior... and, isn't demanding on her time.  She is a Dunkirk native... whose lived in Jamestown for the past 30 years.  She's lived in Bergman Ward-Four the past 18 years.  She's been selected to serve on the council's Finance Committee... and, Carubba says she's very comfortable in that position.  She says she's been on the finance committee's at both The Resource Center, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.  Carubba is also director of the Southwestern Independent Living Center.


Group of 1,200 New York residents force court review of NY SAFE Act...

A group of 1,200 New Yorkers has forced a court review of whether New York's new gun controls were rushed into law in violation of the state constitution.  Robert Schulz of Warren County calls Governor Andrew Cuomo a ``king'' for pushing through the nation's toughest gun law by suspending the three-day review usually required before votes on bills.  Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed on the bill in closed-door negotiations and put the politically dicey measure to a vote at night in mid-January. 


Deadline for guessing on when Chautauqua Lake Ice will begin melting extended...

The second Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick contest is underway... and, has already raised more money that it did in it's first year of 2011.  The contest was not held last year due to the warmer Winter... and lack of lake ice.  The Ice Pick was the brain-child of Bemus Point's Peter Sullivan... who was in Alaska with his wife a few years ago... and, learned about the contest in one of the local towns... to see who could most closely predict when the ice would break as Spring approached.  Sullivan says -- given last year's early warm weather -- organizers first decided on an earlier deadline for people to turn in their guesses.  Due to warm Winters of recent years... they pushed the deadline back to Mar. 1.  However... with the way this Winter has turned-out... they're extending it back to Mar. 10.  The "Ice Pick" is actually a tripod with a clock on it that records the time, and day, that the tripod finally breaks through the ice.  Sullivan says Lakewood's Greg Peterson was closest to the mark in 2011... but, there was no monitary prize winner that year.  However... they did raise $8,500 dollars for the Chautauqua Lake Association.  It costs $5 to make your guess... and, six winners will receive cash prizes.  You should go on-line to clakeicepick.org.  You can also stop by the CLA in Lakewood.

 

 

News alert for Sat., Mar. 2, 2013


Man killed when his by train in Dunkirk early Saturday morning...

 

A man was killed early Saturday morning in Dunkirk when he was struck by a train on the CSX tracks near Woodrow Avenue.  Police in the north county city say the unidentified man of Dunkirk was initially reported to be struck near Pike Street about 3:20 a.m.  Investigators say they are still trying to identify the man... and, notify relatives.  They're also looking into why he was walking along the tracks at that early hour.  Dunkirk police were assisted by City Fire crews... CSX investigators and the Chautauqua County Coronors Office.

 

News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 1, 2013


City man arrested for allegedly trafficking "Crack" Cocaine...

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine in the downtown area over the past several months.  City police say they were assisted by State Police in investigating the alleged sales and trafficking of the illegal narcotic from 215 Winsor St.  Investigators say they determined that 50 year-old Miquel Camacho had made the sales... and, he was arrested during a drug raid on the residence.  Officers say Camacho was taken into custody without incident... and, arraigned on one-count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  Police say the investigation is continuing... and, more arrests are expected.  Anyone with information about illegal drug sales is asked to call the Jamestown Police Department's confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Edwards says Marcus and Millichap looking for other potential buyers of County Home...

A Chicago-based real estate firm has already begun looking for a new buyer for the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  In fact... that occured before lawmakers last Wednesday night rejected the sale of the home to Altitude Health Services for the second time.  County Executive Greg Edwards told legislators that they are continuing to work with Marcus and Millichap on finding other possible buyers.  Edwards says the process began after lawmakers failed to approve the sale the first time... and, asked them to being an aggressive marketing strategy to find another buyers.  He says that's already underway.  Edwards believes there is still interest in the Dunkirk-area facility.  He says there is an incentive for the national marketing firm to continue the search.  Edwards says the nice part about the contract with Marcus and Millichap is that they don't get paid until they have found a buyer... that buyer is approved by the county and state... and, a contract is signed.


County lawmakers overwhelmingly support motion calling for repeal of NY SAFE Act...

A motion that urges the state to repeal the New York SAFE Act has cleared the Chautauqua County Legislature.  The vote was overwhelmingly in favor, 21-to-3... and, was met with rousing applause.  Silver Creek Republican George Borrello spoke in support of the motion... saying that it was important to send a message to state lawmakers and Governor Cuomo.  Borrello says "our liberty is being taken away one drop at a time."  He adds that "at the end of the day... the constitution needs to be upheld... and, our rights preserved."  The vote drew such a large crowd to the monthly meeting in Mayville that lawmakers decided to take up the motion before other items on the agenda.  It also took place before County Executive Greg Edwards' State of the County address.  Chautauqua is now one of more than 20 counties across the state that have passed motions calling for repeal of the SAFE Act.


Anti-Gun Control rally in Albany draws thousands -- including NRA President...

National Rifle Association President David Keene told thousands of opponents of New York's new gun control law that his group will help ensure the Second Amendment rights passed down to them will be passed on to future generations.  Cheered by the throng that filled the park west of the Capitol, many arriving on buses Thursday from across the state, Keene says they've lost battles before over the constitutional right to bear arms but will not lose the war.  The new law sets a seven-bullet limit on magazines, tightens the definition of illegal ``assault weapons'' and requires owners of formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.  The crowd broke into chants at various times, saying they will not comply and that Governor Andrew Cuomo, its sponsor, must go.


Cuomo responds to anti-gun control protestors...

Governor Andrew Cuomo says gun control is controversial, but the law he pushed through in New York has broad support... and, he believes it will save lives.  Asked about thousands rallying against the law in Albany while he visited Brooklyn Thursday, Cuomo tells reporters he is a gun owner and the change in the law is long overdue.


Forestville man arrested on warrant for unlawful imprisonment, and other charges...

A north county man is jailed without bail on a warrant for three Felony charges.  Sheriff's officers say they found 30 year-old Timothy Winford of Forestville at a home at 927 Route 39 about 1 a.m. Thursday.  Deputies say Winford was taken into custody without incident... and, was arraigned on charged of first-degree unlawful imprisonment... second-degree reckless endangerment... and, assault.  He was sent to the county lock-up... pending a future court appearance.


Edwards looks ahead to consolidation and sharing of services in 2013...

County Executive Greg Edwards delivered his eighth State of the County message Wednesday night... and, it not only reviewed the past year... but took a look ahead in 2013.  Among the items...the future of the Sherman Public Facilities' Shop.  Edwards says the Village of Sherman and the Town of Sherman have agreed to study the possibility of sharing the facility.  He says he's gotten commitments from both municipalities to study their "collective highway efforts" to see if it would be more efficient, and less expensive to run all their operations out of one facility.  Edwards says they would seek grant funding for the independent analysis.  As a result... Edwards says the maintenance crew that is currently reporting to the Sherman shop is expected to continue to do so throughout this next construction season.  He has also revealed that the county is marketing the Dunkirk Airport.  Edwards says unlike the County Airport in Jamestown, the Dunkirk Airport is "not an essential service" provided by the county.  He says it's for private plane operators.  Edwards wants to the county to sell the facility to a private entity which would eliminate the county's costs for operating the general aviation airport.  He says the move would allow the county to focus on the Jamestown Airport.


Buffalo woman exonerated in daughter's 1993 death has Stage-4 Cancer...

A New York woman who was freed from prison in 2007 after being cleared of killing her teenage daughter says she has terminal cancer.  Lynn DeJac Peters of Buffalo says her doctors tell her she should enjoy what limited time she has left.  DeJac-Peters spent more than 13 years in prison until her conviction for 13-year-old Crystallynn Girard's 1993 death was overturned on the basis of DNA evidence.  She reached a $2.7-million settlement with the state in November.  She tells The Buffalo News she's undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer that's affected her spine and lungs.  DeJac-Peters' second-degree murder conviction was overturned in November 2007 after newly analyzed DNA evidence placed DeJac Peters' former boyfriend in her daughter's bedroom around the time she died. 

 

 

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