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Local News Headlines

News Update for Fri., Oct. 24, 2014


Another city man arrested during third Meth Lab bust in two days...

The execution of a Felony warrant on Jamestown's southside has led to the discovery of another "one-pot" Methamphetime Lab.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were looking for 27 year-old Steven Whalen at 115 Wilton Ave. Thursday afternoon, when they found the suspect.  Samuelson says he was wanted for violating his probation.  He says officers spotted items used to make meth... and, arrested Whalen.  Samuelson adds they called in members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, they obtained a search warrant... and, found even more materials.  The state Police C-NET, and Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, were also called in, and they found the lab between the attic and basement areas.  Samuelson says no manufactured Meth has been found as yet.  However... he says the CCSERT Team was able to safely remove the materials from the home.  Samuelson says the operation was taking place with a 3 year-old living in the home.  With that... Whalen faces charges including unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Samuelson says they can't completely put their finger on it... but, says the recent proliferation of Meth Labs appears to be driven by demand... which is why they're asking the public for any tips they may have.  He says it helped in shutting down these three.  Samuelson says more charges are pending against Whelen.. and, more arrests are expected.  If you have any information on the illegal trafficking of drugs in the city... call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two Dunkirk residents arrested for alleged Heroin sales...

Dunkirk Police... along with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... have cracked down on Heroin sales in the north county city... and, have made two arrests within 24 hours.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the arrests involved the same location on West 2nd St.  Ortolano says 36 year-old Yolanda Maldonado-Classen was arrested for allegedly selling the drug to undercover drug agents.  Yesterday... he says 41 year-old Raymond Santiago-Rodriguez was taken into custody for allegedly doing the same thing.  The charges against both include third-degree criminal sale... and, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance stemming from an ongoing investigation into sales of the narcotic drug.  Ortolano says the heroin addiction problem continues to grow, not only locally, but across the "entire country."  Maldonado-Classen and Rodriguez were scheduled to be arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, are expected to be remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


Two Jamestown men are under arrest... and, one home has been condemned... following raids on two allegedly Meth Houses in the city last night.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... along with the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team... entered the home at 607 Lafayette Street just before 6 PM... and, found four ounces of Methamphetime.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they also found several items used to make Meth... and, arrested 30 year-old Beau Jones.  Just after 6 PM... Samuelson says they raided the home at 238 Forest Avenue... and found a quantity of Meth... and, materials used to manufacture the drug.  Police arrested a second suspect... 38 year-old Richard Dean... at that residence.  Jones faces two Felony charges... while Dean has been charged with two misdemeanor counts.  Police say the home at 238 Forest Avenue has been condemned... and, more charges are pending in connection with that case.  Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of drugs in the city is asked to call 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

City fire crews remain on the scene of an overnight fire on Jamestown's southside.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 206 McKinley Street just before 3 AM.  Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says fire was showing from the basement to the 2nd floor on arrival... and, spread to the attic as they were battling the blaze.  Russo says the home... which housed three-apartments... appears to have been vacant.  Fire investigators are on the scene to determine whether an emergency demotion is needed.  The cause is under investigation.

 

In what may be a record time... Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, amended budget with little discussion.  The legislature last night approved a 228-and-a-half million dollar spending plan unanimously... within about 10 minutes.  Lawmakers approved 10 amendments that had earlier sailed through the Audit and Control Committee... then unanimously approved the budget... which includes a 2-cent per thousand full value tax rate reduction.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to have the spending plan in place.
The amendments reduced spending by about 771-thousand dollars from Horrigan's proposal... leaving a tax levy increase of about a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  While he's "excited" to have the new spending plan in place... Horrigan admits there are a couple of concerns.  One is the more-aggressive revenues and reimbursements the spending plan calls for.  Horrigan says the second is keeping in mind there's still a 6-million dollar "structural deficit" that has to be closed.  He says his next step will be to name a "Deficit Reduction Team" in the near future.  Once his budget teams looks over the final budget... Horrigan expects to sign the spending plan.

 

County lawmakers hope to again bring back jobs to a soon-to-be vacant industrial building... this time in the north county.  During it's regular, monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon... the legislature unanimously approved loaning 2-million dollars to the Industrial Development Agency to buy ConAgra's Carriage House facility in Dunkirk.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very optimistic" that they'll have someone inside the 26 Talcott Street facility by the middle of next year. Some have said the building isn't worth 2-million dollars... but, Horrigan says county officials are aware of what businesses feels such a facility is worth.  He says -- with incentives from the state -- they believe they can get someone in the building in about six-months.  Horrigan says "several businesses" are interested in the facility because it has a lot of storage area... including frozen storage space.  He adds that IDA Director Kevin Sanvidge has been working hard on the project... and, is experienced in "this kind of business." Also last night... Jamestown Democrat Paula DeJoy announced the budget meeting was her last legislature meeting.  DeJoy says she's resigning because she has moved out of her legislative district.

 

A state Trooper from Elmira concluded testimony yesterday in the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney David Foley confirms that a second member of the group of four Elmira-area men accused in the torture-deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner finished his testimony earlier in the day.  The Buffalo News reports that 19 year-old Ricky Knickerbocher testified that Coggins initially had plans to rob a drug dealer in Buffalo... but, they were unable to find his house.  With that... Knickerbocher said Coggins knew of a relative's home in the town of Carroll that they could rob easily.  He says that was because the Skinner's kept money and jewelry there.  Knickerbocher testified that he did not kill the couple... who were found stabbed several times... and, Gordon Skinner had been set on fire.  The trial resumes at 9 this morning.

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he's "very sorry" to see Third-Ward City Councilwoman Tamara Dickey resign her position... and, says he hopes to fill her seat as soon as possible.  Teresi is reacting to Dickey's e-mail to city lawmakers, and Clerk Jim Olson announcing her intentions after receiving a career promotion.  Under the City Charter... Teresi says he must pick a replacement from the Third-Ward who is member of the same political party.  He says he's already spoken with a couple of Republicans... but, adds he's still looking for input on the process.
Teresi... who is a Democrat... says he feels it's important to fill Dickey's seat as soon as possible for two reasons.  One is the fact City Council members have just begun their review of his 2015 budget proposal... and, he'd like to have another 'set of eyes' looking at the 34.7-million dollar spending plan.  Teresi says he believes councilmembers feel the same way.  Once Teresi makes a choice... the city council would have to then approve the appointment.

 

The federal prosecutor who took over the files of New York's Moreland anti-corruption commission says investigations into Albany's pay-to-play politics are continuing and declines to say when they'll be finished. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says New York government has become ``a little bit of a corruption disaster.''

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down less than a penny this week to just over 3-dollars-51 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price is down about half-a-penny from last week.  Gasoline was just over 3-dollars-69 cents a gallon at this time last year.  The state-wide average price for regular, unleaded is now about 3-45 a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports that the average price is down about 10-cents a gallon to 3-dollars-9 cents per gallon.

 

A Jamestown woman who has been a very active member of the Zonta Club of Jamestown has been named as the women's organization's Zontian of the Year.  Rosanna Papalia is currently the Public Relations Chairwoman for the local club.  Zonta International's mission is to advance the status of women locally, and worldwide.  Rosie recently told us that a small committee of the Zonta Club decided on the recipient.  The seven-year member says she was both "humbled" and "honored" to learn she was getting the award. The award was recently presented at the Marvin House during a special dinner held for the occasion.  Rosie Papalia says she first became involved with the Zonta Club because it supports efforts to end domestic violence... and, help victims through the ANEW Center.  She says her family has seen the effects of domestic violence.  Rosie is a producer for Kernel... which is a Time-Warner Media Company... here in Jamestown.  Rosie is the wife of Media One Group employee, Brian Papalia.

 

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Pittsburgh to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.  The Wolf campaign said Clinton will lead a mid-day rally next Monday at an electrical workers' union hall on Pittsburgh's South Side.  Wolf is challenging Republican Governor Tom Corbett's re-election bid.  Clinton is the third political celebrity to campaign for Wolf in as many weeks, following separate appearances in Philadelphia by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and first lady Michelle Obama.  Like them, Clinton is beating a path around the country campaigning for Democrats who are running for governor or U.S. Senate.  Corbett is Pennsylvania's former two-term attorney general from suburban Pittsburgh.  Wolf is a first-time candidate from York County who ran his family's furniture and cabinet-distribution business for almost three decades.


 

News Update for Wed., Oct. 22, 2014


County Legislature approves 2015 budget in what may be record time...

In what may be a record time... Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, amended budget with little discussion.  The legislature last night approved a $228.5-million spending plan unanimously... within about 10 minutes.  Lawmakers approved 10 amendments that had earlier sailed through the Audit and Control Committee... then unanimously approved the budget... which includes a 2-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate reduction.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to have the spending plan in place.  Horrigan says "we're all working together right now" and that's benefitting the people of Chautauqua County.  The amendments reduced spending by about $771,000 from Horrigan's proposal... leaving a tax levy increase of about a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  While he's "excited" to have the new spending plan in place... Horrigan admits there are a couple of concerns.  One is the more-aggressive revenues and reimbursements the spending plan calls for.  Horrigan says the second is keeping in mind there's still a $6-million "structural deficit" that has to be closed.  He says his next step will be to name a "Deficit Reduction Team" in the near future.  Once his budget teams looks over the final budget... Horrigan expects to sign the spending plan.


Second of three co-defendants in Coggins double-murder trial concludes testimony... 
A state Trooper from Elmira concluded testimony Wednesday afternoon in the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney David Foley confirms that a second member of the group of four Elmira-area men accused in the torture-deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner finished his testimony earlier in the day.  The Buffalo News reports that 19 year-old Ricky Knickerbocher testified that Coggins initially had plans to rob a drug dealer in Buffalo... but, they never found the man.  With that... he said Coggins knew of a relative's home in the town of Carroll that they could rob easily because they kept money and jewelry there.  The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

 

WJTN News Headlines


It was "an opportunity that I could not pass-up."  That from the newest member of the Jamestown City Council... who has announced that she is resigning her seat as of next Monday.  Third-Ward Councilwoman Tamara Dickey says she "sincerely regrets" that she is resigning... but, adds she's received a consulting promotion for a new health care company that has purchased two hospitals out-of-town. Dickey was elected last November to replace former Democrat Councilman Michael Taylor... who moved out of the area.  She adds she was also disappointed that she wasn't able to use her financial skills on city council.  Dickey was named earlier this year to the council's Public Works Committee.  Dickery says she looks forward to working with her successor in Ward-3.  The city charter says the replacement must be from the same politicial party as the out-going seat holder.  Names from Ward-3 candidates would be provided to Mayor Sam Teresi.  He then submits a final name to the City Council for their review... and, approval. 

 

The city of Jamestown will be hard pressed to bring in the current year's spending plan under the approximately 33-million dollars budgeted.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who tells city lawmakers that "not much had changed" from their 6-month report.  In his 9-month financial report... Bellitto said he's hoping that revenues forecasted from payment-in-lieu of tax agreements with the Board of Public Utilities will come in as projected.
Bellitto says another area of concern is overtime spending -- especially for the Department of Public Works -- going into the final two months of the year.  If there's an early start to Winter... that could drive that number up.  Bellitto says the other concern they have is regarding health insurance costs... which he says were over budget by 8-percent at mid-year.  He says that number is now 11-percent higher... and, adds he also expects that part of the budget to be over by 100-thousand to 250-thousand dollars.  Another concern... says Bellitto... is over the amount of money they will have to pay to the state's retirement fund.

 

Ellicott town officials are mourning the loss of a "very dedicated" board member who passed following a short battle with Cancer.  Town Councilman Rob Heintzelman died last Thursday at the age of 52 in his West Ellicott home.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says Heintzelman was a 10-year board member who always kept an eye on the town's fiscal affairs.  Miller says Heintzelman was well-schooled in finance and bookkeeping. The town board met last night... but, Miller says the panel won't be deciding on a replacement for a while yet.  With the November elections coming up in less than two weeks... a special election won't be held until next year.  Miller says the board will make an appointment in the near future.  Heintzelman served on the board for 10 years... and, represented the second-ward -- which is mainly the West Ellicott area.

 

A Stockton man escaped serious injury Monday night after he swerved to miss a deer... and, his car slammed into a tree head-on in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of a one-car accident about 7:30 PM... and, found the driver, 19 year-old Robert Keech, was southbound on Cemetery Road... and, allegedly swerved to miss the deer.  Keech told deputies his car veered off the road, through an open field, before hitting the tree.  Officers say Keech was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment.  He was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt.

 

Ground has been broken on the newest Senior Housing project in the Jamestown-area... this one on the eastern end of the town of Busti.  The property has been cleared... and, structural work on the new Fairway Pointe Senior Village will soon be underway.  County, and Busti Town officials joined representatives from Calamar Construction and Development for the ground-breaking at 21-23 Southwestern Drive... just northeast of Southwestern Central School.  Calamar's director of Leasing, and Lifestyle... Tina Partridge-Vinocur... says they're excited to have the project underway. Vinocur says Calamar... which is based out of Wheatfield, New York... felt the location was ideal for a Senior living facility... which will overlook the Sunset Valley Golf Course.  She adds their research also showed a need for more moderate-income housing.  Vinocur says Fairway Pointe will be a three-story structure... with units priced about 900 to one-thousand dollars a month.  She says it will include a number of amenties... including washers and dryers in each room... and, a community room.  Vinocur says they expect to be up and running in about a year.  To find out more about pre-leasing... call 1-855-357-7755... or go on-line to Calamar-dot-COM.

 

New York's attorney general is warning consumers about scammers preying on Ebola fears with fundraising scams claiming to benefit victims... and, dubious offers of so-called preparedness kits that claim to contain preventive medicines.  A-G Eric Schneiderman says there is no approved vaccine.  He says scammers are ``shamefully exploiting'' heightened concerns since a few cases have been documented in the U.S. following an outbreak earlier this year in Africa.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear... and, isn't spread through the air.

 

Maintenance work on a bridge on Route 60 in the north county has begun... and, the state Department of Transporation says traffic will be restricted because of it.  DOT Regional Spokeswoman Susan Surdej (Sir-day) says the span over Canadaway Creek in the town of Promfret is being repaired and cleaned up.  With that... Surdej says there will be lane closures between Spoden and Shumla Roads.  She says traffic will be one-lane... and, controlled by temporary traffic signals.  Work is expected to last for about three weeks.

 

The state agriculture department has granted 17.6-million dollars to protect more than 64-hundred acres of farmland across New York state... ensuring the land will remain agricultural and won't be developed.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties, bringing the total acreage under the farmland protection program to approximately 59,000 acres.

News Update for Tues., Oct. 21, 2014


Dickey resigning from City Council effective October 24...

The newest member of the Jamestown City Council has announced that she is resigning her seat as of next Monday.  Third-Ward Councilwoman Tamara Dickey confirmed for WJTN News this afternoon that she is stepping down, effective Oct. 24.  In an e-mail to city lawmakers, Dickey says she "sincerely regrets" that she is resigning... but, adds she has a career opportunity she can't turn down.  She further stated in the e-mail that she and her husband will "continue to support and pray for you and all of the Jamestown Council Leaders."  Dickery also said she looks forward to working with her successor in Ward-Three.  As the rules are understood, the city's Republican Committee would have to chose someone for Mayor Sam Teresi to nominate to fill that seat until a special election could be held.


Dolce says city lawmakers looking for ways to help city departments that aren't getting any more money in 2015 budget plan...

City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, $34.7-million budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about $2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding.   Currently... the money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes. 

 

Miller says late Ellicott Councilman, Rob Heintzelman, will "be missed...."

Ellicott town officials are mourning the loss of a long-term board member who passed away last week following a battle with Cancer.  Town Councilman Rob Heintzelman died last Thursday at the age of 52 in his West Ellicott home.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says Heintzelman was a "very dedicated" public servant who always kept an eye on the town's fiscal affairs.  Miller says Heintzelman was well-schooled in finance and bookkeeping... and, was always "great" to have around at budget time.  The town board met last night... but, Miller says the panel won't be deciding on a replacement for a while yet.  With the November elections coming up in less than two weeks... a special election won't be held until next year.

WJTN News Headlines


City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 34.7-million dollar budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about 2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding. Dolce says money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes.  City lawmakers will review the two biggest parts of the budget... police and fire... next week.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 AM Saturday at 417 James Avenue.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.

 


Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- when they were hit by a car on Jamestown's Washington Street on the city's westside.  Jamestown Police say officers were called to the scene -- at the intersection with West Eighth Street -- shortly before 1 PM Sunday.  Police say the vehicle was southbound on Washington when it struck the girls... ages 13 and 16... as they tried to cross the street away from the crosswalk.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old, from Jamestown, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old, whose from Lakewood, was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.

 


The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding Meet the Candidates events in both the north and county county this week.  The first will be tonight in Jamestown... while the second will be in Fredonia Thursday.  The League's Minda Rae Amiran says the candidates running for Family Court Judge... and, the State Assembly will be on hand.  However... only one of the candidates running for Sheriff will be there.  Amiran says they had invited both incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace, and Republican challenger Russ Payne to the forums.  Amiran says Payne initially turned down their invitation... then said he would debate... then again declined.
Amiran says their rules allow for one of the two candidates to appear in a "local race."  The League will hold forums in Jamestown tonight at 7 PM at the Robert H. Jackson Center... and, Thursday night at Fredonia Village Hall.  Both events are open to the public.

 

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values. Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- and those are hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day.  Moss says New York already had the most stringent gun regulations in the country in place prior to the SAFE Act's enactment... and, he feels it does nothing more than penalize law-abiding gun owners.

 

The Republican candidate for governor says entire planeloads of passengers should be turned away in New York if anyone aboard is traveling from the West African nations plagued with Ebola.  Rob Astorino said on a telephone news conference Monday that even American citizens -- for example, a tourist returning from Paris -- should not be allowed to disembark.  Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo should order the state health commissioner to ``close those gates at the airport.''  Cuomo said earlier Monday that the federal government should consider a ban on flights to New York from the three West African nations.

 

A new political commercial is critical of the two Republican's at the top of the state-wide ticket for not releasing five-year financial statements.  The Democrat-backed ad says Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has released one year... but, Chris Moss has released no financial information.  Moss says the commercial is making financial disclosure an issue because his Democratic counterpart... Kathy Hochul... has turned down doing any debates.
Moss says he has nothing to hide... adding his financial information is out there... and, was obtained by Hochul's campaign team.  He says he's made about 90-thousand dollars a year for each of the past five years... and, he has received no outside income.  Moss says his campaign asked Hochul's campaign for three debates... but, was turned down on each request.  The only debate among candidates at the top of the Republican and Democrat tickets will be between Governor Cuomo and Astorino later this month in Buffalo.

 

New York students will have more ways to earn a high school diploma under a change approved by state education leaders.  Right now... students must pass five Regents exams to graduate -- one each in English, science and math and two in history.  The plan approved by the Board of Regents yesterday would let students replace one of the history exams with a comparable exam in their chosen career field.

WJTN News Headlines


City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 34.7-million dollar budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about 2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding. Dolce says money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes.  City lawmakers will review the two biggest parts of the budget... police and fire... next week.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 AM Saturday at 417 James Avenue.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.

 


Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- when they were hit by a car on Jamestown's Washington Street on the city's westside.  Jamestown Police say officers were called to the scene -- at the intersection with West Eighth Street -- shortly before 1 PM Sunday.  Police say the vehicle was southbound on Washington when it struck the girls... ages 13 and 16... as they tried to cross the street away from the crosswalk.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old, from Jamestown, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old, whose from Lakewood, was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.

 


The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding Meet the Candidates events in both the north and county county this week.  The first will be tonight in Jamestown... while the second will be in Fredonia Thursday.  The League's Minda Rae Amiran says the candidates running for Family Court Judge... and, the State Assembly will be on hand.  However... only one of the candidates running for Sheriff will be there.  Amiran says they had invited both incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace, and Republican challenger Russ Payne to the forums.  Amiran says Payne initially turned down their invitation... then said he would debate... then again declined.
Amiran says their rules allow for one of the two candidates to appear in a "local race."  The League will hold forums in Jamestown tonight at 7 PM at the Robert H. Jackson Center... and, Thursday night at Fredonia Village Hall.  Both events are open to the public.

 

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values. Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- and those are hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day.  Moss says New York already had the most stringent gun regulations in the country in place prior to the SAFE Act's enactment... and, he feels it does nothing more than penalize law-abiding gun owners.

 

The Republican candidate for governor says entire planeloads of passengers should be turned away in New York if anyone aboard is traveling from the West African nations plagued with Ebola.  Rob Astorino said on a telephone news conference Monday that even American citizens -- for example, a tourist returning from Paris -- should not be allowed to disembark.  Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo should order the state health commissioner to ``close those gates at the airport.''  Cuomo said earlier Monday that the federal government should consider a ban on flights to New York from the three West African nations.

 

A new political commercial is critical of the two Republican's at the top of the state-wide ticket for not releasing five-year financial statements.  The Democrat-backed ad says Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has released one year... but, Chris Moss has released no financial information.  Moss says the commercial is making financial disclosure an issue because his Democratic counterpart... Kathy Hochul... has turned down doing any debates.
Moss says he has nothing to hide... adding his financial information is out there... and, was obtained by Hochul's campaign team.  He says he's made about 90-thousand dollars a year for each of the past five years... and, he has received no outside income.  Moss says his campaign asked Hochul's campaign for three debates... but, was turned down on each request.  The only debate among candidates at the top of the Republican and Democrat tickets will be between Governor Cuomo and Astorino later this month in Buffalo.

 

New York students will have more ways to earn a high school diploma under a change approved by state education leaders.  Right now... students must pass five Regents exams to graduate -- one each in English, science and math and two in history.  The plan approved by the Board of Regents yesterday would let students replace one of the history exams with a comparable exam in their chosen career field.

News Update for Mon., Oct. 20, 2014


Two teens struck by car sent to hospital... one with serious injuries...

Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- after they were struck by a car on Jamestown's westside early yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene at Washington and West Eighth Streets... where they found the vehicle was southbound on Washington Street... and, had the green light at the intersection... shortly before 1 p.m.  Officers say the girls... a 13 year-old from Jamestown, and a 16 year-old from Lakewood... were not in the crosswalk... but, began walking across Washington.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.


City man arrested for allegedly threatening girlfriend, police with loaded rifle...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 a.m. Saturday at 417 James Ave.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.


Reed throws support to GOP Lt. Gov. candidate Moss...

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values.  Reed says that's creating job opportunities, and supporting Second Amendment rights.  Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day. 

 

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