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Local News Headlines Archives for 2013-06

News update for Fri., June 28, 2013


Nushawn Williams to remain civilly confined after jury returns verdict in county court...

It didn't take a Chautauqua County Jury long to detemine that convicted HIV Predator Nushawn Williams should remain behind bars.  The 12-member panel returned it's verdict late this afternoon.  Count officials say the 36 year-old Williams was seeking to be released from state custody... citing a new test in Massachusetts that his defense lawyer says shows he's not HIV Positive.  In fact... his attorney claimed Williams was never HIV Positive.  The former drug dealer was arrested in the late 1990s after being accused of infecting nearly a dozen young women in Chautauqua County with the virus that causes AIDS.  Williams... who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson... completed 12-year prison sentence in April 2010.  But... he remained in custody as the state sought to have him civilly-confirned as a threat to society.  The decision came following a two-week "closed-door" trial.


After strong thunderstorms, and some flooding, a nice evening shaping up in Chautauqua County...

The Jamestown-area remains under a Flood Watch through late tonight... though we may not see any more rainfall the rest of the evening.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we may even see the sunset tonight.  Mitchell says there was some flash flooding around the county... especially mid to late-morning.  However... the worst of the flooding issues are behind us.  Mitchell says it will be an "unsettled" weekend with humidity, and afternoon showers and thunderstorms... but, the flooding issue will have passed.  Today's troubles began when a line of thunderstorms extended from Ripley through Westfield... and, into the towns of Portland and Pomfret.  The Jamestown-area got hit about 10:45 this morning with heavy rain and thunder.  Mitchell says that's all to the north now.  Right now... the county DPF reports Beech Hill road between Routes 380 and Parcell Road in the town of Portland is closed due to flooding.  Earlier... there were reports of flooding on Ellicott Road near Brocton.  Flooding caused a utility pole to topple with some live wires on Burr Road in town of Portland.  Here in Jamestown... the city Fire Department reported high water on Buffalo Street at the railroad viaduct... so drivers were asked to avoid that area until the water receeded.


JNP Closing this weekend due to duplication of services, and loss of funding...

It's a "very difficult day" at a long-time human service agency in Jamestown which is shutting it's doors for good as of the end of the weekend.  We learned late last May that the Joint Neighborhood Project would be closing it's doors due to funding contraints... and, an effort to prevent "duplication of programs and services."  During a recent interview... Interim Executive Director Patty Perlee told us it was an "extremely difficult" decision for the JNP Board to make.  Perlee says "everything has it's own season, and after 50 years, the season for Joint Neighborhood Project is coming to a close."  She says the duplication of services comes in the form of their food pantry... and, thrift shops for people to buy clothing... and other essentials.  Perlee says they got a little public funding from the state... but, most was private.  It came from foundations, contributions or churches.  The Joint Neighborhood Project began in the 1960s as a provider of recreational opportunities for children in that part of the city.  A Jamestown couple began the effort in 1963... and, three churches joined forces in 1969 to create JNP.  It became the first local sponsor of GED classes... and, the USDA sponsored Women, Infants, and Children -- or WIC -- Program was first housed at JNP's 532 East Second St. location.  The Emmanual Lutheran Church will maintain ownership of that site.

 

WJTN News Headlines


The National Weather Service is continuing a Flood Watch from now through this evening for all of western New York... including Chautauqua County.  Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says a storm system was moving in through Pennsylvania... bringing the rain, and some of it could be heavy at times. Reynolds says the rain will cause creeks and rivers to rise through today.  He says expect some ponding of water on roadways... especially in low-lying areas.  There was a lot of that in the Buffalo-area yesterday.  The heaviest rain should move out of the area later Friday... but, showers remain in the forecast through much of the coming weekend.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards confirms that a German-based company that wanted to locate a pet food company in the Ashville-area has decided against locating in the county.  Edwards says the former AFA Foods building was one of two sites Saturn's parent company was eyeing as a location to establish a U-S-based manufacturing facility for pet care products. But, Edwards says the property did not have existing public water and very limited private water resources.  While disappointed... he says they will continue to market the property.  Edwards says... with Saturn's analysis... they found out much more about the property... and, what challenges need to be dealt in future marketing of the site.  The Ashville location... and, another in Michigan... were finalists for the new pet food company plant.  Saturn had expected to begin with 25 employees at the facility and create more than 100 jobs within five years.

 

A company with a vested interest in developing the local workforce has made a major contribution to the Jamestown area's "Dream It -- Do It" education program.  The Cummins Engine Company... and, Cummins Foundation... yesterday morning made the 235-thousand dollar presentation at it's Jamestown plant.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Tranum accepted the check... which will be used to increase educational opportunities for local students to learn about the skills they need in the high-tech world.
The county chamber... along with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier have developed the Education Coalition... which includes local manufacturer's who are looking for young people to fill highly-skilled positions locally.  One of Cummins' Operations Directors... John Osborne... says that's where the STEM -- or the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiative -- comes into play.  Osborne says the idea is to show that engineering is a viable career right in the student's own backyard.  The STEM educational initiative's new executive director, Dr. Peter Beeson, says he -- too -- appeciates Cummins contribution.  

 

The state has 13.1-million dollars in grants under Operation IMPACT to dole out to 17 counties to fight violent crime.  The funding allows municipalities to enhance police patrols and increase investigations to target high-crime areas.  They include Chautauqua County... and, Jamestown.  The city is getting about 94-thousand dollars.  Police departments in the 17 IMPACT counties reported that index crime was down 9 percent for the first four months of 2013, as compared to the same time-frame last year. 

 

Two Warren County men are jailed on 50-thousand dollars bail each after State Police found them with a large amount of drugs and drug paraphernalia in a hotel room in Mead Township.  Troopers in Warren say there were sent to the Rest Stop 6 Inn late Wednesday with a search warrant on an unrelated matter.  However... once they entered Room-7 at the hotel... police found what they called an "abundance" of drugs in plain sight.  They also found 21 year-old John Snyder, Junior... and, 19 year-old Raymond Snyder... both of Warren.  While executing the search warrant... numerous additional drugs and drug paraphernalia were found and seized.  Both men were arrested... and, face several charges... including possession of a controlled substance.  They were arraigned... and, sent to the Warren County lock-up.

 

There was little debate on the floor... but, Chautauqua County lawmakers Wednesday night rejected Executive Greg Edwards' appointment of a north county woman to the Industrial Development Agency board.  Edwards says Katie Geise of Fredonia was his only choice for the panel because of her business experience.  However... even before the meeting... lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle expressed concern over potential conflicts of interest.  Edwards later defended the choice... saying the IDA currently has a south county woman... Doreen Sixbey... who's with M-and-T Bank. Katie Geise heads up the county's Workforce Investment Board.  Her husband, Mark, is Deputy Director of the county's Planning Department.  Mark Geise's boss, Bill Daly is also the director of the IDA.  The vote was 15-to-9 against the appointment -- even though most lawmakers acknowledged that Geise is highly qualified.  Ellicott Republican Mark Tarbrake voted for Geise... and later expressed his disappointment because she's very qualified... and, it's hard to fill those volunteer positions these days. 

 

The Prendergast Library in Jamestown will soon be completely free -- including parking.  The city's Public Works Department will be in next Monday morning to remove the parking meters that are currently there.  Library officials say the DPW will remove the digital coin collectors from 7 to 9 AM next Monday, July 1st, to convert the lot from metered parking to free parking.  Library Board President Tom Price says -- "This action will be beneficial. It's in the best interests of the library, its patrons, and the city."

News Update for Thurs, June 27, 2013


Most of Western New York... including Chautauqua County... under Flood Watch through Friday...

Some parts of Chautauqua County -- and all of Western New York -- could see up to three-inches of rain through late Friday afternoon as a storm system has moved into the region.  With that... the National Weather Service is continuing a Flood Watch until Friday afternoon for the entire area.  Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says... despite a short dry period recently... there's still plenty of water in the ground that could cause rising water.  So far this month, Reynolds says there's been nearly six-inches of rain in the region... so there's still a lot of water in the ground, and it won't take much to make water rise above ground.  Reynolds says the storm system developed in the Ohio Valley... and, moved into Pennsylvania before arriving on our doorstep.  He says the low pressure system could bring heavy rain at times.  Generally... Reynolds says we'll see between one and two-inches of rain... but, there may be more in localized areas.  He adds the heaviest rain should move out of the area later in the day Friday... but, showers remain in the forecast through much of the coming weekend.


Cummins donates to CCCC, MAST's "Dream It -- Do It!" program's STEM initiative...

A company with a vested interest in developing the local workforce has made a major contribution to the Jamestown area's "Dream It -- Do It" education program.  The Cummins Engine Company... and, Cummins Foundation... Thursday morning made the $235,000 check presentation at it's Jamestown plant.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Director Todd Tranum accepted the contribution... which will be used to increase educational opportunities for local students to learn about the skills they need in the high-tech world.  Without their support... Tranum says they would not have been able to create the WNY "Dream It -- Do It!" program.  The county chamber... along with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier have developed the Education Coalition... which includes local manufacturer's who are looking for young people to fill highly-skilled positions locally.  One of Cummins' Operations Directors... John Osborne... says that's where the STEM -- or the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiative -- comes into play.  Osborne says the idea is to make what they learn in the classroom practical to their lives -- and possible careers.  The STEM Program's new executive director, Dr. Peter Beeson, says he appeciates Cummins contribution. 


Edwards now looking for another appointee for CCIDA Board...

There was little debate on the floor... but, Chautauqua County lawmakers Wednesday night rejected Executive Greg Edwards' appointment of a north county woman to the Industrial Development Agency board.  Edwards says Katie Geise of Fredonia was his only choice for the panel because of her business experience.  However... even before the meeting... lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle expressed concern over potential conflicts of interest.  Edwards later defended the choice... saying the IDA current has a south county woman... Doreen Sixbey... who's with M-and-T Bank in the south county.  He says Geise would have helped "balance out" business and other interests on the board, as well as gender.  Katie Geise heads up the county's Workforce Investment Board.  Her husband, Mark, is Deputy Director of the county's Planning Department.  Mark Geise's boss, Bill Daly is also the director of the IDA.  The vote was 15-to-9 against the appointment -- even though most lawmakers acknowledged that Geise is highly qualified.  Ellicott Republican Mark Tarbrake voted for Geise... and later expressed his disappointment because she's very qualified... and, it's hard to fill those volunteer positions these days. 


Parking meters to be taken out at Prendergast Library...

The Prendergast Free Library will soon be completely free -- including parking.  The city's Public Works Department will be in next Monday morning to remove the parking meters that are currently there.  Library officials say the DPW will remove the digital coin collectors from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday, July 1, to convert the lot at Sixth and Cherry Streets from metered parking to free parking.  Library Board President Tom Price says -- "This action will be beneficial. It's in the best interests of the library, its patrons, and the city."  For more information... call the library at 484-7135.

 

News update for Thurs., June 27, 2013


(**Update and correction)City man arrested for allegedly stealing $2,000 work of silver necklaces from Jamestown Jewelry store...

A Jamestown man is jailed... and, city police are searching for about $2,000 in silver necklaces the suspect ran off with during a day-light burglary at a jewelry store.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the alleged suspect... 28 year-old Darius Coleman of Jamestown... walked into Carlson's Jewelry at 31 North Main Street about 12:30 P.M. Wednesday... and, asked to see the necklaces.  Samuelson says the clerk brought over about 18 to 20 that were on a rack... which Coleman grabbed and ran off with.  He was later caught... without the silver.  Samuelson believes it's related to drugs. Samuelson says they found Coleman on East Fifth Street... and, while he had none of the stolen items on him... they had enough evidence to arrest him.  He says they're looking for the rack... and, the stolen necklaces.  Samulson says he believes the rack was discarded at some point along the way... and, that Coleman "handed-off" the jewelry to an accomplice.  He's being held pending arraignment on a Grand Larceny charge.  If you have any information on the theft... call city police at 483-7537... or the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS.

WJTN News Headlines


A Jamestown man is jailed... and, city police are searching for about 200-thousand dollars in silver necklaces the suspect ran off with during a day-light burglary at a jewelry store.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the alleged suspect... 28 year-old Darius Coleman of Jamestown... walked into Carlson's Jewelry at 31 North Main Street about 12:30 PM Wednesday... and, asked to see the necklaces.  Samuelson says the clerk brought over about 18 to 20 that were on a rack... which Coleman grabbed and ran off with.  He was later caught... without the silver.  Samuelson believes it's related to drugs. Samuelson says they found Coleman on East Fifth Street... and, while he had none of the stolen items on him... they had enough evidence to arrest him.  He says they're looking for the rack... and, the stolen necklaces.  Samulson says he believes the rack was discarded at some point along the way... and, that Coleman "handed-off" the jewelry to an accomplice.  He's being held pending arraignment on a Grand Larceny charge.  If you have any information on the theft... call city police at 483-7537... or the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS.

 

County lawmakers have approved an amended measure to provide enhanced police services to the north county village of Silver Creek through the end of the year.  The legislature voted last night, 22-to-2 after more than a half-an-hour's debate on the resolution... which covers the rest of the calendar year.  Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo says he was hoping to wait until July 1st to put the agreement with Sheriff Joe Gerace in place... but, says all of his full-time officers had left for better jobs by May 30th.  Jamestown Democrat Lori Cornell praised the mayor and Gerace for dealing with the matter quickly. But... Fredonia Democrat Bill Coughlin was concerned with how the approximately 360-thousand dollar cost was arrived at for the contract... which runs from this past June 1st until the end of 2014.  Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro had similar cost concerns... but, mainly for next year.  Namely... what pay increases... and, health insurance costs are going to look like.  Nazzaro's concern led to the contract being amended to last through the end of this year... and, then further discussions will be held on a 2014 agreement.

 

County lawmakers last night rejected Executive Greg Edwards' appointment of Katie Geise to the Industrial Development Agency board.  Edwards has the Fredonia woman to fill the term of Michael Piazza... who recently retired.  Geise is the wife of Mark Geise who is the Deputy Director of County's Planning Department.  Mark Geise's boss, Bill Daly is also the director of the IDA.  The vote was 15-to-9 against the appointment.  Most lawmakers acknowledged that Geise is highly qualified... but, some expressed concern over potential conflicts of interest.  Also... a motion opposing early voting in New York state did NOT reach the floor because it lacked enough signatures to be acted on.  The measure would cost the county Board of Elections about 30-thousand dollars more to enact.  However... only 11 lawmakers signed the measure.

 

State Attorney General General Eric Schneiderman says 20-million dollars taken from banks involved in the collapse of the housing market will be used to rebuild communities statewide.  Schneiderman says one of those areas will be Chautauqua County.  The money is New York's share of a settlement with the nation's largest banks called the National Mortgage Settlement.  Schneiderman will invite competitive proposals from eight banks to combat fallout from the foreclosure crisis that drove people out of their homes when they could no longer afford adjustable payments that skyrocketed.  The attorney general can provide the program funding to so-called land banks located in Schenectady, Onondaga, Erie, Niagara, Suffolk, Broome, Monroe and Chautauqua Counties.  New York received more than 130-million from the national settlement last year.

 

Jamestown city lawmakers approved receipt of several grants this week... including two that will move the new Veteran's Memorial Park on the westside to completion.  The City Council approved receiving a 10-thousand dollar grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and, another for 15-thousand dollars from the Hultquist Foundation.  Acting Council President Tony Dolce says the city appreciates their support... and, adds this gets them closer to the 120-thousand dollars to complete the park's move to Logan Park. Councilwoman Kim Ecklund expressed her thanks from the council dias... and, urges residents to make a donation towards the effort... even if it's a small amount.  Ecklund also conveyed the council's thanks to the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County for it's 65-hundred dollar grant to help fund the Summer Lunch Program that's again part of the Summer Playground Program. The city is putting on the program in conjunction with Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated.  The City Council also approved receipt of another 5-thousand dollar grant from the Community Foundation for the Summer Playground Program. 

 

Hundreds gathered last night on the New York City block where the gay rights movement was born to celebrate the Supreme Court's decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Supporters greeted each other Wednesday with hugs and salutations of ``congratulations'' as they amassed for a rally organized by GLADD, one of the country's leading L-G-B-T groups.  Edith Windsor, the plaintiff who challenged the federal law, was greeted by cheers as she took the stage.  She said she was ``honored and humbled and overjoyed' about the ruling.

 

News Update for Wed., June 26, 2013


Jamestown police asking for public's help in finding Silver Necklaces stolen during day-light theft at Jewelry Store...

A suspect has been arrested... but, Jamestown police are searching for about $200,000 in silver necklesses swiped during a brazen, day-light theft at a jewelry store.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the alleged suspect... 28 year-old Darius Coleman (picture left) of Jamestown... walked into Carlson's Jewelry at 31 North Main Street about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Samuelson says Coleman allegedly told a store clerk that he wanted to see the necklaces... which were on a rack... because he was interested in buying one.  But... he says once she provided that, he quickly grabbed the rack, which contained 18 to 20 necklaces, and ran off.  Samuelson says Coleman ran south on North Main Street, and got up on the railroad tracks before he was finally caught on East Fifth Street.  He says they had enough evidence to arrest Coleman... and, he was taken into custody.  However... he says Coleman did not have any of the stolen property in his posession.  Samuelson says they're looking for the rack... and, the stolen necklaces.  He says a simple "T" rack was involved... but, was likely discarded along the way.  Samuelson says he believes Coleman "handed-off" the jewelry to an accomplice... and, this was another issue of people stealing items they can sell to get money to buy drugs.  If you have any information on the theft... or have seen any sterling silver necklaces in suspicious circumstances... call Jamestown police at 483-7537... or the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two county lawmakers express concern about proposed appointment to IDA Board...

Two Chautauqua County lawmakers are voicing concern about an appointment County Executive Greg Edwards is making to the Industrial Development Agency Board.  Edwards has chosen Kathleen Geise of Fredonia to fill the term of Michael Piazza.  Geise is the wife of Mark Guise who is the Deputy Director of County's Planning Department.  Dunkirk Democratic Legislator Keith Ahlstrom voiced his concern today.  Ahlstrom says he's the spouse of "somebody who directly reports to Mr. (Bill) Daly... which he calls an "in-your face" kind of conflict.  However... Edwards defends his selection.  He believes Geise would be a good addition to the board since she is a female, from the North County area... and, has significant experience in the area work force development.  The Busti Republican doesn't believe there is a conflict.  Edwards says Mark Geise works for the county's Department of Planning and Economic Development... which is also headed up by Daly... but, not affiliated with the IDA.  However... Cassadaga-area Republican John Runkle says, "even though it may not be, it smacks of impropriety and is wrong."  Both Runkle and Ahlstrom intend to vote against the appointment which will appear as a resolution during tonight's session.


Bills fans not happy with new NFL Ban on seat cushions...

The National Football League's ban on seat cushions is hitting some Buffalo Bills fans right where it hurts.  In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings... NFL owners approved a series of new security measures for stadiums starting this season.  They include banning fans from bringing seat cushions into games for fear they could be used to hide explosive devices.  Bringing seat cushions to games is a longstanding tradition in Buffalo, especially for many older fans who want the extra insulation during rainy and cold weather.  One... 96 year-old season ticketholder Ray Deibel tells The Buffalo News he supports tighter security but calls the seat cushion ban ``terrible'' and ``ridiculous.''  The NFL says Buffalo and Green Bay will allow Styrofoam seating pads, as long as they have no covers or pockets.

 

WJTN News Headlines


A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly stealing several pieces of property from house and garage on Jamestown's southside early Tuesday morning.  City police were called to the scene on Barrett Avenue shortly after 1 AM on a report of a burglary-in-progress.  Officers say neighbors allegedly reported seeing a man -- who did not live at the residence -- making several trips in and out of the building... and, taking out a number of items.  Responding officers were able to get a description... and, obtained a search warrant for the home of 43 year-old Johnny Nunez.  Nunez was arrested... and, several of the items reported stolen were also found.  Officers say they also found a quantity of drugs... and, several pieces of drug paraphernalia.  Nunez faces charges including second-degree burglary... and, criminal posession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.

 

The first Jamestown-area business to take advantage of the Board of Public Utilities "Flex-Rate" program offered to industrial customers has taken another step towards formally extending it's agreement.  The BPU Tuesday afternoon approved a basic, 4-year Flex-Rate tariff with R-H-I Monofrax of Falconer.  Board General Manager Dave Leathers says Monofrax's current agreement for a "slightly" lower industrial rate ends this fall.  Leathers says this would be the BPU's third, 4-year agreement with the company. Leathers adds that Monofrax has provided the needed documentation... and, supporting letter to finalize and sign the agreement.  He says the "Flex Rate" program helps provide local industrial customers with more of a "set rate" over the 4-year term of the contract. In exchange for the electric cost breaks... Monofrax... or any other industry taking part in the BPU's "Flex Rate" plan is required to keep employment at a certain level... and, meet capital investment targets.  The BPU has a handful of such agreements in place with local manufacturers.

 

The president of the SUNY College at Fredonia says she'd like to get a "quick start" on developing a plan for the local campus... as well as it's technology incubator... on using the new, "Start Up New York" program.  The state legislature just approved Governor Cuomo's proposal this past week.  It involves using SUNY Campuses to bring in new, high-tech business and industry.  Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath says there's a lot of interest in the program... and, what it may mean for Fredonia and Dunkirk. Governor Cuomo initially pitched "Start Up New York" as 'Tax Free' New York... but, it underwent some changes as legislative leaders became involved in the negotiations of a final bill.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe has already had discussions with Horvath... and, looks forward to working with the campus president in developing a plan.  Keefe believes Horvath wants to find the "right fit" for those areas that can have a positive impact on the local economy.

 

State officials say millions of dollars will be spent to upgrade outdoor recreational sites across New York, including a popular beach in the Adirondacks.  Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens has announced that 17-million dollars worth of work will be done at beaches, campgrounds, fishing sites and other state-run recreational properties.  Most of the funding _ $11 million _ will go toward improving sites in the eastern Adirondacks.  That portion of the funding includes $3-million in improvements at Million Dollar Beach on the southern end of Lake George.  The work will include repaving the parking lot and access road with ``porous'' pavement designed to filter storm water before it gets to the lake.  The project will start this fall and be finished in early 2015.

 

An astrophysist says exciting discoveries about the Universe are still being made... and, those "ah, ha!" moments inspire her.  Co-Investigator Natalie Batalha of NASA's Kepler Mission was Tuesday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution.  She was the second speaker as part of "Our Elegant Universe" week.  Batalha tells our Jim Roselle that her most exciting discovery -- and, most personal -- was finding the first, rocky plant orbiting a star outside our own solar system.  Kepler 10-B circles the star Kepler-10. It's not yet known if there's life on the plant Vulcan... but, Batalha says knowing what we do today... we may know the answer to that question in the not too-far distant future.  She says we "now have a roadmap."  Batalha also told us that she would "jump" at the chance to be part of the first manned space mission to Mars... if and when that happens.  She says two books influenced her decision to take up astrophysics... one was by writer Carl Sagen.

 

The great minds of the toy industry will be honored alongside the famous toys they created under a new partnership being announced at the Strong Museum in Rochester.  Museum officials say the National Toy Hall of Fame housed at the museum is being combined with the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, which honors individuals.  Past inductees include Milton Bradley, Frederick August Otto Schwarz and George Lucas.


 

 

News Update for Tues., June 25, 2013


City man arrested for allegedly stealing several items from home and garage on Jamestown's southside...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of items from a house and garage on Barrett Avenue early Tuesday morning.  City police were called to the scene shortly after 1 a.m. on a report of a burglary-in-progress.  Officers say neighbors allegedly reported seeing a man -- who was not a resident -- making several trips in and out of the building... and, carrying a number of items out of the residence.  Responding officers were able to get a description... and, obtained a search warrant for the home of 43 year-old Johnny Nunez.  Nunez was arrested... and, several of the items reported stolen were also found.  Police say they also found a quantity of drugs... and, several pieces of drug paraphernalia.  Nunez was charged with second-degree burglary... larceny... criminal posession of a controlled substance... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  He's being held pending arraignment.


BPU-RHI Monofrax reach tentative agreement to extend Flex-Rate tariff program...

The first Jamestown-area business to take advantage of the Board of Public Utilities "Flex-Rate" program offered to industrial customers has taken another step towards formally extending it's agreement.  The BPU Tuesday afternoon approved a basic, 4-year Flex-Rate tariff with R-H-I Monofrax of Falconer.  Board General Manager Dave Leathers says Monofrax's current agreement for a "slightly" lower industrial rate ends this fall.  Leathers says this would be the BPU's third, 4-year agreement with the company.  He says the current agreement expires in October of this year... so, they've been working "pretty proactively with them" on getting an extention in place.  Leathers adds that Monofrax has provided the needed documentation... and, supporting letter to finalize and sign the agreement.  He says the "Flex Rate" program helps provide local industrial customers with more of a "set rate" over the 4-year term of the contract.  Leathers says there's a slight reduction with a "pass through" on hydro-power, and no fuel-adjustment charges.  In exchange for the electric cost breaks... Monofrax... or any other industry taking part in the BPU's "Flex Rate" plan is required to keep employment at a certain level... and, meet capital investment targets.  The BPU has a handful of such agreements in place with local manufacturers.


Reed says Snowden should be "held accountable" for security leaks...

The man who admitted to leaking information about two National Security Agency programs was a lower-ranking contractor for the NSA... but, he's released important and damaging information to the United States.  Because of that... local Congressman Tom Reed feels Edward Snowden needs to be held accountable.  Reed has been part of briefings on the situation in Washington... and, says Snowden has clearly abused his position with the NSA.  The Corning Republican says Snowden's release of information was completely "inappropriate..." especially in light of the IRS scandal, and other breaches of public trust that have been taking place.  At the same time... Reed says he believes the question of "why" Snowden leaked surveillance information... including the NSA's use of phone records to track people... needs to be addressed.  The Corning Republican says there needs to be a balance struck between national security, and people's rights.  Reed says the fact Snowden made the decision to release the information out on the Internet could do "us harm in the long-term."  He also says the intelligence agencies need to be asked "what" they're doing... and, tell citizens what's being done, and why. 


Free Fishing weekend coming up in NYS...

State officials are hoping to reel in some new anglers by offering a weekend of free fishing.  Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says people can fish without a license next weekend in any of the state's 7,500 lakes... and, ponds or 50,000 miles of rivers and streams.  The free fishing weekend is being touted as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's ``NY's Open for Hunting and Fishing'' initiative.

 

 


 

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


A motor likely sparked the massive blaze that destroyed an Amish saw mill Monday evening in the town of Conewango. The Post Journal reports Multiple fire departments were dispatched just before 5 p.m. for a structure fire on Seager Hill Road. Heavy, black smoke could be seen as far away as Interstate 86. "When we got here the structure was pretty much already gone," said Randolph fire Chief Don McElwain. An exact cause of the fire has not been determined. However, fire officials said the motor used to power the saw likely was the source.
It isn't known who owned the saw mill.

 

The Jamestown City Council has approved about 1.3-million dollars in funding for two repair and renovation projects at City Hall... and, on Tracy Plaza.  City lawmakers last night approved hiring CPS Construction Group of Cheswick, Pennsylvania to remove and replace the plaza's Parapet Wall.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says this part of the approximately 2-million dollars in improvements will cost 841-thousand dollars.  Lehman says they'll be tearing down the wall on all four sides of the plaza... and, replace it with a railing system that will "open up" the plaza. Lehman says the replacement work will eliminate the hazard of pieces of the concrete falling off.  One large piece broke off a couple of years ago during a minor earthquake that hit the region.  Lawmakers also approved 193-thousand dollars that'll be used to buy two-dozen windows at City Hall... and, replace ones that have fallen into disrepair.  Lehman says it took about 3-to-4 years... but, they were able to find that D-and-S Glass of Jamestown could manufacture the needed windows... and, replace them.  However... each window will wind up costing more to replace than they first expected.


A city man who wants to cut taxes for everyone, and make the county more business-friendly says he's running for County Executive.  Jamestown's Edward Kurtz says he's now just a working man... trying to make ends meet.  Kurtz adds that he's not a member of any political party... so he is running as an Independent.  Kurtz made his formal announcement Monday... shortly after picking up petitions at the Board of Elections in Mayville.  He needs 242 valid voter signatures.  He says the area continues to lose jobs because the tax burden is too high. Kurtz says too many elected officials are staying with the status quo... and, not really trying to cut taxes for the ordinary man.  The town of Portland native now lives in Jamestown.  He did some business work with grape vineyard operators in the north county.  Kurtz says he has an accounting degree from Jamestown Community Collge.  He was in the miiltary for several years... and, has also done sales work.  Kurtz says he has a five-point plan to improve the area... including finding ways to bring more jobs to the area... and, cutting government waste.  But, he would increase the number of Sheriff's Deputies.  Kurtz also supports selling the County Home to a private entity... and, eliminating the local bed tax.


Four local laws that would increase the salaries of most of Chautauqua County's elected officials have been pulled from the agenda from this week's legislature meeting.  Chairman Jay Gould says he made the decision after two committees disagreed on whether any increases were in order for the County Executive... County Clerk... Sheriff... and, County Legislators.  Since the proposals were released by the Salary Review Commission... there's been a lot of negative reaction.  With that... Gould says he wants a more thorough discussion over whether a commission is practical in this day and age. Public sentiment has been strongly against any increases... and, Gould says he realizes it's a contentious issue.  The Ashville Republican says one problem has been getting people to serve on the commission because the past few times they've made recommendations... they've been completely rejected... or not voted on. Gould says he wanted the fact that all four measures had been pulled from the Wednesday night's agenda announced publicly because some residents would have wanted to speak before lawmakers voted.  He says they can still speak on the proposals... but, it would have to be during the legislature's second privledge of the floor.


Scientists have confirms that our Universe is growing.  In fact... one the Week-One lecturers at Chautauqua Institution belives we actually have "multi-universes."  This week's theme is "Our Elegant Universe."  The main entity that has helped provide a glimpse of that universe has been the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  A NASA Trailer is on the Chautauqua grounds this week with two employees.  Math Educator Stephanie Brown-Houston is NASA's Cleveland, Ohio Space Center. Brown-Houston says she wanted to be a Math Scientist... so she enjoys her work with NASA.  In fact... she calls it a "dream come true" to work there.  However... she admits to being concerned about possible funding cuts for the space program.  Public Affairs employee...  Orlando Thompson says they have a Moon rock... and, other "hands-on" exhibits in the NASA Trailer.  Co-Investigator Natalie Batalha with NASA's Kepler Mission is today's featured lecturer.

News Update for Mon., June 24, 2013


(**New)County Legislature Chairman pulls four local laws for proposed salary increases for most elected officials...

Four local laws that would increase the salaries of most of Chautauqua County's elected officials have been pulled from the agenda from this week's legislature meeting.  Chairman Jay Gould says today that he made the decision after two committees disagreed on whether any increases were in order for the County Executive, County Clerk, Sheriff, and, County Legislators.  Since the proposals were released by the Salary Review Commission... they've been the source of much controversy.  With that... Gould says he wants a more thorough discussion over whether a commission is practical in this day and age.  He says he's not sure whether a commission is the right way to go... or, if there should be periodic cost of living increases built in.  Public sentiment has been strongly against any increases... and, Gould says he realizes it's a contentious issue.  The Ashville Republican says one problem has been getting people to serve on the commission because the past few times they've made recommendations... they've been completely rejected... or not voted on.


Reed votes for failed five-year Farm Bill in U.S. House...

Chautauqua County's Congressman says he voted for the amended Farm Bill in the House that was defeated late last week.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he was disappointed by the bill's defeat... and, he declined to point fingers... saying that he would be part of the effort to work out a compromise measure with the Senate.  During his weekly media conference call Monday morning... Reed added that he "cares" about the plight of local farmers in the 23rd District... and, nationwide.  Reed says it's only right that lawmakers come up with a five-year bill that they can all agree on.  Reed says he voted for the five-year bill... which included two amendments.   One dealt with dairy management and supply... while the other put in a work requirement for the Food Stamp program.  Reed says that program has grown from $35-billion to $80-billion dollars since 2007... and, that kind of growth is unsustainable.  Reed adds that he will begin trying to get a new bill that can be acted on by both the House and Senate once he gets back to Washington this week.  He's hoping to have a new measure in place in the next 30 to 45 days.


Machias man killed in Sunday morning car-pedestrian accident...

A Cattaraugus County man was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while he was walking on Route 16 in the town of Yorkshire.  State Police in Olean say 28 year-old Edward Speaker of Machias was walking in the traffic lane of the road when he was hit about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.  Troopers say Speaker was apparently intoxicated at the time.  The driver of the car... and, a passenger weren't hurt.  Troopers say the unidentified operator had not been drinking... and, no charges were filed.


Governor Cuomo's 3rd Legislative year sees more successes than failures...

Governor Andrew Cuomo's third legislative year has ended with more successes under far tougher conditions than many give him credit for.  The Democrat was able to authorize casinos upstate... raise the minimum wage... and, pass an on-time budget with only 2-percent more spending.  But... he also had some losses.  He failed for a third year to decide whether to allow lucrative gas drilling upstate and his liberal turn, especially on gun control, cost him the upstate vote.  Senate Republicans also had several wins in the session that ended Friday.  Despite being outnumbered by Democrats in the chamber, they thwarted Democratic measures to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in public and to provide college financial aid for illegal immigrants.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


A Cattaraugus County man was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while he was walking on Route 16 in the town of Yorkshire.  State Police in Olean say 28 year-old Edward Speaker of Machias was walking in the traffic lane of the road when he was hit about 1:45 AM yesterday.  Troopers say Speaker was apparently intoxicated at the time.  The driver of the car... and, a passenger weren't hurt.  Troopers say the unidentified operator had not been drinking... and, no charges were filed.

 

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover police officer in the village of Lakewood recently.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say 26 year-old Shane Newberry of Indiana Avenue was arrested late last week by Lakewood-Busti Police on a warrant in the town of Busti.  Newberry is accused of selling cocaine in the Lakewood-area for some time.  Task Force members say he was arraigned in Busti Town Court on Felony charges of criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance.  Newberry was sent to the county lock-up.  Police say additional arrests are expected... and, if you have any information on illegal drug activity... to contact the Task Force at 800-344-8702... or your local police.

 

"The times are a' changing..." and, members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2013 were urged to be ready for those changes during last weekend's graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution.  Keynote Speaker Ray Fashano is credited with making many of the recent technological upgrades in the district.  Fashano pointed out that current times seem to mirror the book "The Tale of Two Cities..." with what seem to be the best of times... and, the worst of times.  He said with all the technology changes during the student's lives to this point... life-long learning is the key. Fashano also pointed out that success isn't necessarily indicted by having a four-year degree.  He said Friday night that while he went into teaching, and education... his brother, Guy, took a very different path.  Fashano says his brother moved to California... and, became very successful in the construction trades.  He says the skills needed now... and, in the future... suggest the need for something more than high school -- but, not always a Bachelor's Degree.  With the skills they've learned in the Jamestown school system... Fashano says they now have the potential to be the leaders of the new generation. Outgoing School Superintendent Deke Kathman urged the students to pursue their passion... because that's where their success will be.  During his remarks... JHS Principal Mike McElrath paid tribute to Kathman... thanking him for his "thoughtful, and caring approach" to education.

 

It won't be a new car dealership going in the former Red Coach Inn location in Lakewood... however... a lot of cars and trucks will be sold there over the next two weeks.  That from Mayor David Wordelman... who says Shults had been approved some time back for a new car location on Mall Boulevard between Five-Star Bank and Arby's.  However... the new car sales market is still struggling.  Still... Wordelman says there is a window of opportunity during the calendar year that they can temporarily use the property. The Shults Auto Group will be using the property for a "Big Tent" sale.  Wordelman says the tent sale had previously been held in the Chautauqua Mall parking lot.  He says Shults had contractors on the property... first clearing the old Red Coach parking lot... and, then re-paving the property.  The village currently has a six-month moratorium on developing used car lots.  However... Wordelman says Shults can develop that property because it was approved as a new car lot.

 

The New York state Legislature completed its 2013 session by approving four Las Vegas-type casinos for upstate, tax-free zones to attract employers, and cameras to catch speeders in New York City.  New York City would be allowed to set up 20 to 40 ``speed cameras'' in school zones to catch and deter speeders.  Friday night's final passage of the casino deal means four casinos could be located in the regions around Albany, Binghamton and the Catskills-Hudson Valley area.  Two casinos could be located in one region, and that would likely be in the Catskills.  The Legislature also approved Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give new employers and their employees 10 years of tax-free living if they locate on or near college campuses.  The bills will become law when Cuomo signs them.

 

Efforts continue in Albany to save the NRG Power plant in Dunkirk.  The latest development is a request by area State Senator Cathy Young that the State Public Service Commission hold a hearing on the future of the plant in the Dunkirk area.  Young says such hearing would be a major help. The P-S-C is reviewing a proposal to convert the coal fired plant to natural gas.  National Grid has filed a response to the proposal, saying they would prefer to see upgrades made to the transmission system rather than the repowering project.  Young is urging area residents and business to continue to show Albany their support for the project.

 

Federal officials say New York farms produced more milk and realized higher prices in May than a year earlier.  The U-S Department of Agriculture says the state's dairy herds produced about 1.2 million pounds of milk during May, up 2.1 percent from last year.  Farmers were paid 20-dollars-60 cents per hundredweight.  That was 10-cents more than in April... and $3.30 more than in May 2012.
 

 

News Update for Sat., June 22, 2013


JHS graduation held at Chautauqua with usual traditions... and, calls for students to be ready for change as they go into the working world or college...

"The times are a' changing..." and, members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2013 were urged to be ready for those changes during last night's graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution.  Keynote Speaker Ray Fashano is credited with making many of the recent technological upgrades in the district.  Fashano pointed out that current times seem to mirror the book "The Tale of Two Cities..." with what seem to be the best of times... and, the worst of times.  He said with all the technology changes during the student's lives to this point... life-long learning is the key.  Fashano says the leaders of tomorrow are constantly moving towards the mind-set of "life-long learning" because it provides "valuable experience."  He also pointed out that success isn't necessarily indicted by having a four-year degree.  He pointed out that while he went into teaching, and education... his brother, Guy, took a very different path.  Fashano says his brother moved to California... and, became very successful in the construction trades.  He says the skills needed now... and, in the future... suggest some more than high school -- but, not always a Bachelor's Degree.  With the skills they've learned in the Jamestown school system... Fashano says they now have the potential to be the leaders of the new generation.  However... he pointed out the need for life-long learning in order to do that.
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Outgoing School Superintendent Deke Kathman urged the students to pursue their passion... because that's where their success will be.  During his remarks... JHS Principal Mike McElrath paid tribute to Kathman... thanking him for his "thoughtful, and caring approach" to education.


Head of CASAC urges parents not to provide alcohol at After-Graduation parties...

Now that graduation has taken place... after-graduation parties are underway in the Jamestown-area... and, one organization is urging parents to help their children make wise decisions.  That includes NOT hosting parties where alcohol is served... or may be brought in with the parents consent.  The director of the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council says that can bring about tragic consequences.  Pat Munson says that's the idea behind the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign.  Munson says they want to make sure parents understand the health risks of underage drinking... and, the legal trouble they can get into.  She says high school graduation parties go on now through early August in some cases... and, she says it's important to first let parents know it's illegal to allow minors -- those who are under 21 -- drink alcohol.


Volunteer at Community Helping Hands receives Axel W. Carlson Award...

The winner of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's Axel W. Carlson Award volunteers her time sewing... and, working with an outreach program at Jamestown's Gateway Center.  Foundation Executive Director Randy Sweeney says Brenda Cole is the 2013 Recipient.  Sweeney says Cole is "very deserving" of this year's award.  Sweeney says Cole has been a "wonderful volunteer at Community Helping Hands in the sewing room."  More specifically... she works with young pregnant women on projects ranging from making rugs out of recycled t-shirts... to Chemo Caps for cancer patients at WCA Hospital.  Sweeney says Brenda is the 28th recipient of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's Axel W. Carlson award.  The award is a tribute to the unsung heroes of our community who neither recieve -- nor expect reward or recognition.


City man arrested in Lakewood for allegedly trafficking cocaine...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover police officer in the village of Lakewood.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Foce say 26 year-old Shane Newberry was arrested by Lakewood-Busti Police on a warrant in the town of Busti.  Newberry is accused of selling cocaine in the Lakewood-area for some time.  Task Force members say he was arraigned in Busti Town Court on charges of criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance.  Newberry was sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say additional arrests are expected... and, if you have any information on illegal drug activity... to contact the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702... or your local police.


Senate Republicans defeat surprise amendment expanding abortion rights...

Republicans have defeated a surprise amendment in the state Senate that would have forced an abortion bill to the floor for a vote.  The amendment was introduced by Senator Jeff Klein, who leads the Independent Democrat Conference that shares majority control of the chamber.  Republican Senator Thomas Libous opposed the amendment as not legally ``germane'' to the bills before the Senate.  The GOP have refused to bring the abortion bill to the floor.  Senator Diane Savino of the IDC overruled Libous, who appealed her decision.  A vote by raised hands, rather than a formally recorded roll call, supported Libous.  The bill would match state law to a less restrictive federal measure under the Roe vs. Wade court decision of 1973.


Summer arrives, along with Summer-like weather...

Summer arrived right on schedule early Friday morning... and, this weekend it's going to definately feel like Summer.  Forecaster David Thomas from the National Weather Service in Buffalo says we'll see more seasonal conditions through at least early next week.  Thomas says we've had low humidity and cool nights... but, more normal heat and humidity have moved in for the weekend.  Thomas says along with the warm temperatures... there will be some uncomfortable humidity.  Thomas says our nicer weather is acutally due to high pressure coming down through Canada.  He says it initially brought in clearing skies and low humidity.  However... humidity will be building in from the south this weekend.  Thomas says there is a "hit and miss" chance of rain on Sunday, but there shouldn't be any significant rain until early next week.

WJTN News Headlines


Three people escaped serious injury when the CARTS bus they were riding in struck a boat trailer being hauled by a truck in the town of Busti yesterday morning.  Lakewood-Busti Police say the accident occured shortly after 7 AM at the intersection of Kortwright and Wellman Roads.  Officers say the driver of the truck... 56 year-old Edward Fike of Tidioute, Pennsylvania... was northbound on Wellman Road when he apparently failed to stop for the stop sign at Kortwright Road.  Police say the CARTS bus... driven by 65 year-old Robert Greene of Bemus Point... struck the trailer... sending it into a utility pole.  The county bus ended up in a ditch.  The three people in the bus were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Fike was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.


The man who has represented Jamestown's third-ward the past seven-plus years has decided he won't be running for a fifth term in office.  Democrat Michael Taylor says he actually decided that he may forego a fifth term after winning a fourth, 2-year term.  Taylor says -- at that time -- he decided that if he wasn't making inroads in his career... that he would not run again to devote more time to that.  He said Thursday that he wants to get his Masters in teaching.  Taylor says finding a full-time teaching position is important to him... and, his family. Taylor says he's enjoyed his time on council... and, working with his constituents in Ward-Three.  However... he's held down a number of different jobs to support himself.  He's also had some legal issues surrounding a domestic incident... and, another at a local bar in which a window was broken out.  However... he says those are being resolved, and were only minor factors in his decision.  Taylor has a bachelor's degree in History... but, says he's been advised by educators that he needs his Master's to be able to teach.  Taylor adds city Democrats have found a replacement for him... and, an announcement is forthcoming.


State lawmakers have been putting in late nights as they race to the finish line... and, the end of the current legislative session.  Chautauqua County Assemblyman Andy Goodell said late Thursday that they have completed work on a bill that extends the county's 7-and-a-half percent sales tax. State lawmakers were expected to have another late night last night... and, hope to wrap up work by sometime today.  Goodell says they will likely take up a measure that would establish tax free zones near public and private universities around the state.We have learned that the legislation negotiated by the governor and legislative leaders will include business incubators such as the SUNY College at Fredonia Technology Incubator... which is located in downtown Dunkirk away from the campus.


As New York's Legislature prepares to pass late-session deals with Governor  Andrew Cuomo into law, two of the biggest measures are being questioned.  Cuomo says he'll create a panel under the state's powerful Moreland Act to investigate lawmakers because of the latest string of corruption cases.  But... the state Attorney General's Office and academic Richard Brodsky said Thursday the law doesn't allow the executive branch to directly investigate another branch.  Cuomo says he can avoid that prohibition by investigating through the Board of Elections.  In addition... two think tanks say a binding arbitration measure meant to help financially strapped cities dropped strong language to protect taxpayers to favor powerful unions.  Cuomo has rejected those arguments.  Both are expected to pass into law by Friday when the 2013 session ends.


A graduating class that enjoyed a lot of success in... and, outside of the classroom holds it's commencement tonight at Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater.  Nearly 300 members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2013 will receive diplomas during tonight's program... which begins at 7 PM.  JHS Principal Mike McElrath says the Amphitheater is a "great venue" for graduation... which will put a cap the student's high school careers. In fact... McElrath says the Class of 2013 includes members of championship sports teams... and JHS's outstanding Winter Guard program.  The group was number-one in the nation before finishing second at the nationals.  McElrath says this group of students also selected former Jamestown School Superintendent Ray Fashano to be their main speaker.  He says Fashano is a great choice because he is a JHS graduate... and, was an "integral part" of the district for many years.  This year's JHS Valedictorian is Zack Ecklum... while the Salutatorian is Annie Dyatel.


A Kennedy man is jailed on 25-thousand dollars bail for allegedly stabbing a Jamestown-area woman... and, punching a man during a domestic incident in the town of Poland.  State Police in Jamestown say they were called to the scene on Waterboro Hill Road shortly after Noon Wednesday.  Troopers say 52 year-old Melvyn Jackson allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend in the hand... and, punched a man who was at that location in the face.  State Police say Jackson fled the scene before police arrived.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies... along with K-9 Drago... were able to track Jackson and take him into custody.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court on charges of second-degree assault, and menacing... and, harassment... and, was sent to the county lock-up.  State Police say the unidentified female victim was treated at WCA Hospital for her injuries.  However... the male subject refused medical treatment.

 

 

News update! for Thurs., June 20, 2013


(Bulletin)Taylor announces he's not running for fifth-term on Jamestown City Council...

The chance to pursue new career opportunities has led the man who has represented Jamestown's Third-Ward on the City Council to not seek a fifth-term.  Democrat Michael Taylor today says he more or less decided after winning a fourth-term that... if his career situation didn't turn around... that it would be his last term in office.  Taylor says he was still wrestling with the decision the past several months... but, decided that if he was to become a full-time teacher... he would have to return to college.  Taylor says he's enjoyed his time on council... and, working with his constituents in Ward-Three.  However... he's held down a number of different jobs to support himself.  He's also had some legal issues surrounding a domestic incident... and, another at a local bar in which a window was broken out.  However... he says those are being resolved, and were only minor factors.  He adds Democrats have found a someone to run in his place.

 

WJTN NEWS HEADLINES


A Sinclairville woman and her husband have been arrested after she was recognized as being the person who allegedly stole a donation cannister from a downtown Jamestown convenience store.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they receive numerous tips from the public... and, their "field intelligence network" after a picture of the suspect was circulated.  Samuelson says officers from another agency recognized 26 year-old Kelsey Raynor as the suspect... and, they were contacted.  He adds they put a name to the face... and, soon found she and, 30 year-old Jacob Raynor were allegedly involved in a burglary on Foote Avenue. Samuelson says Kelsey Raynor is then accused of later entering the Robo Mini-Mart at 817 North Main Street... and, taking the "Cents for St. Susan's" cannister.  Both were arrested Wednesday morning by Ellicott Town Police, and Sheriff's officers as part of a "parallel investigation" involving Ellicott officers.  Samuelson says Kelsey and Jacob Raynor are both charged with second-degree burglary... and, she is also charged with larceny... and, being held pending arraignment.

 

School officials were all smiles Wednesday in the Bemus Point Central School District.  That... after voters approved a 2013-2014 budget the second-time around Tuesday.  School Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says she and the board were very happy with both the turn-out... and, the result.  The 13.1-million dollar budget... which was defeated last May 21st by 12 votes... was approved this time, 601-to-440. Latshaw says the positive outcome was necessary to keep programming in place.  While there was a 5.6-percent tax increase... she adds the spending plan was "very lean."  Latshaw also says it addresses one of their biggest concerns -- class sizes in the lower grade levels. Voter turn-out was "high" all day Tuesday... and, while one-thousand-42 people voted on the new budget... Latshaw says it's not the highest turn-out the district has ever seen.  About 15 to 20 years ago... she says about 15-hundred people voted on the budget and school board seats.  However... she says it was the highest turn-out since she's been involved with the district.

 

Nearly all New York school districts that put budgets up for new votes after first-round defeats have won approval from voters.  The New York State School Boards Association says 28 budgets -- including Bemus Point's -- passed in Tuesday's voting.  However... two failed and the numbers were too close to call in one district.  State law gives districts two chances to get budgets passed. If they fail both times, they cannot raise taxes at all in the next school year. Wilson in Niagara County and Remsen in Oneida County now face that challenge.  The count was too close to call Wednesday in the Mount Vernon district in Westchester County.   Three districts managed to override the state's tax cap with a supermajority:  One was Newcomb in the Adirondacks... and, two others on Long Island.

 

The work is far from over for two area school districts whose voters have supported a proposal to merge the two districts.  That from Brocton Central School Superintendent John Hertlein... who says he's pleased with the results of Tuesday's straw vote in centralizing the district with the Westfield Academy and Central School.  The results were 468-to-77 at Brocton... and, 508-to-168 in the Westfield district. But... Hertlein says it appears there are still a lot of voters who took part in a previous merger vote with the Fredonia Central that didn't turn out for this vote.  That merger failed.   He wants to make sure those voters get honest and accurate information. While the Tuesday's straw vote was not binding... the October vote will count.

 

Both Assemblyman Goodell and State Senator Cathy Young thanked their colleagues for their hard work and dedication to support "these critical funds."  In a printed release... Goodell says -- "we have a responsibility to speak up for those in our society who aren't able to do so for themselves."  Young echoed Goodell's sentiments... saying it was a "hard fought" victory.  She adds "the Senate was able to restore some of the cuts in the state budget, and remained persistent until these vital organizations could remain fully-funded."  She says agencies will not be forced to cut or reduce programs that are crucial to people with disabilities.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders say they have a deal to authorize four upstate New York casinos that would drive jobs and tourism to the area.  The agreement will allow four resort casinos in the Southern Tier near Binghamton, the Hudson Valley-Catskills area... the Albany area... and, possibly in the Catskills.

 

News Update for Wed., June 19, 2013


(**Bulletin)Arrest made in connection with stolen donation cannister in Jamestown...

A Sinclairville woman has been arrested for allegedly taking a donation cannister from a downtown Jamestown convenience store... a short time after she and her husband tried to steal a large screen TV from a home.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they receive numerous tips from the public... and, their police "network" after a picture of the suspect was circulated.  Officers say 26 year-old Kelsey Raynor was identified as part of an investigation into the attempted theft of the 40-inch flat screen TV.  Police say they apparently got the TV out of a Foote Avenue home... but, wound up leaving it outside the residence after they were "spooked" by a bystander.  Kelsey Raynor is then accused of later entering the Robo Mini-Mart at 817 North Main Street... and, taking the "Cents for St. Susan's" cannister.  She was arrested at her home this morning on charges of second-degree burglary, and larceny.  Her husband, 30 year-old Jacob Raynor was also arrested this morning.  Both are being held pending arraignment.

News Update for Wed., June 19, 2013


TRC officials pleased and "relieved" that state funding for developmentally-disabled has been fully-restored...

Officials with The Resource Center says they've "grateful and relieved" that state lawmakers have fully-restored program funding for the developmentally-disabled.  The state Senate Tuesday unanimously approved restoring the $90-million in funding.  That followed a rare, unanimous vote by the Assembly.  Spokesman Steve Waterson with The Resource Center says they were looking at further cuts, on top of a $1.6-million reduction last year.  Waterson says, fortunately, a number of Assemblymen felt that was still too much, given the previous cuts to those agencies.  One of those Assemblymembers was Bemus Point's Andy Goodell... who pushed to restore the funding with state Senator Cathy Young and others.  Waterson says most of the $90-million cut was from savings found by agency audits... and, moving some people out of higher-cost, residential settings.  He says that left about $14.2-million dollars that would have to be cut.  The governor originally proposed $120-million in cuts... but, lawmakers restored $30-million dollars in the final, 2013-2014 budget.  However... employees and clients of entities like The Resource Center rallied support to restore the entire cut. 


Westfield Academy, and Brocton School Districts approve moving ahead with merger process...

The work is far from over for two area school districts whose voters have supported a proposal to merge the two districts.  That from Brocton Central School Superintendent John Hertlein... who says he's pleased with the results of Tuesday's straw vote in centralizing the district with the Westfield Academy and Central School.  The results were 468-to-77 in Brocton... and, 508-to-168 in the Westfield district.  Hertlein says he's pleased with the number of people who have "put their trust in the adminstration and the school."  But... he adds that it appears there are still a lot of voters who took part in a previous merger vote with the Fredonia Central that didn't turn out for this vote.  That merger failed.   He wants to make sure those voters get honest and accurate information... and, he says both districts will have to make sure there's "honest communciations" with them on what exactly they'll be voting on before a binding vote in October.  Tuesday's straw vote was not binding.


Some state lawmakers push to prohibit cash Welfare benefits to pay for items like tobacco, alcohol and strip clubs...

Some New York lawmakers are pushing to prohibit using cash welfare benefits to pay for tobacco, alcohol, strip clubs and illegal drugs.  Senate Republicans behind the bill say the state must act before February... or lose $125-million in federal aid.  Republican Senator Thomas Libous says Tuesday the bill will make such spending illegal in New York for the first time.  He says retail store receipts show social services debit cards have been used for the purchases and police reports have shown the cash was used in drug deals.  Republicans speculate the abuse could be widespread... pointing to $4-million a month in cash withdrawals made from automatic teller machines between Midnight and 6 a.m.  The Cuomo administration has been exploring ways to restrict the purchases.


JCC board approves new Budget for 2013-2014...

Jamestown Community College's 2013-2014 budget was approved at Tuesday's meeting of the college's board of trustees.  JCC President Dr. Greg DeCinque says the $34.5-million spending plan includes an $85-dollar per semester tuition increase for full-time students from New York state.  DeCinque adds the budget is 1.6-percent larger than the college's original 2012-2013 spending plan.  The college's new fiscal year begins Sept. 1.  DeCinque says it was another "challenging" budget given the continued economic uncertainty -- "in our state, country, and throughout the world.  He adds the budget includes $2,422 per full-time equivalent student in state aid.  DeCinque says that's up over last year.  However... he says the rate only partially offsets the cumulative reduction of $553 absorbed from mid-year during 2009-to-10 through 2011.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


The second-time was the charm for the Bemus Point Central School District Tuesday.  Voters in the small, rural district approved a 2013-14, 13.1-million dollar spending plan by a wide margin, 601-to-440.  While the margin of victory was not overwhelming... the overall numbers were for the small, rural district.  District officials say one-thousand-42 people cast ballots on the spending plan... which was slightly revised from the one defeated back on May 21st.  That budget was rejected by 12 votes.

 

Jamestown Community College's 2013-2014 budget was approved at yesterday's meeting of the college's board of trustees.  JCC President Dr. Greg DeCinque says the 34.5-million dollar spending plan includes an 85-dollar tuition increase for full-time, in-state students.  DeCinque adds the budget is 1.6-percent larger than the college's original 2012-2013 spending plan.  He adds the budget includes just over 24-hundred dollars per full-time equivalent student in state aid... which includes a modest increase over last year.  However... he says it doesn't make up for cuts absorbed since the 2009-10 school year.

 

There is a need to raise the salaries for some elected officials... but, county lawmakers must keep the taxpayers in mind in deciding what those are.  Those are the feelings of Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore... who is also a member of the Administrative Services Committee.  Barmore says the panel is recommending increasing the County Executive's annual salary to 100-thousand dollars... and, the clerk's to 62-thousand.  He says both have stayed the same for nearly two decades... and, have lagged well behind most others in the state. The committee rejected increases for county legislators from 9-thousand dollars to 12-thousand a year.  Barmore believes that when voters overwhelmingly approved downsizing the panel from 25 to 19... they also wanted lower costs.  He says they also rejected an increase in the Sheriff's salary... but, adds they later decided on some recommendations that'll go to the entire legislature next week.  The Salary Review Commission recommended about a 5-thousand dollar increase in the Sheriff's salary... beginning in 2015.  The others would start next year.


 
One member of the Administrative Services Committee voted against all four proposed raises... even the amended ones.  Committee Chairman Bob Scudder voted against the revised increases for County Executive and for County Clerk... but, not by the amounts recommended by the commission.  Scudder says he made it clear how he felt on the issue. The committee took action to raise the County Executive's salary from 85-thousand to 100-thousand dollars.  That's a smaller increase than the salary review commission's 109-thousand.  The committee also voted to raise the County Clerk's salary to 62-thousand instead of the commission's recommendation of 68-thousand.  The legislature's Audit and Control Committee is also expected to tackle the proposed salary increases later this week.  The full county legislature will tackle the issue next week.

 

A Jamestown-area native has returned to the region... but, found it lacking in one service her son needs.  That's why Kimberly Bailey-Ward has begun work to open The Rehabilitation Station on the second-floor of the former Federal Building at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue.  Bailey-Ward says the Rehabilitation Station will provide Applied Behavioral Analysis services to children with Autism... as well as problem behaviors. Those results were seen over the past decade in Texas and Oklahoma... where Bailey-Ward worked as an ABA Therapist.  She says the focus of their program at 300 East Third Street will be on newborns to 5 years of age.  Bailey-Ward says she wanted to come back to the area so her son, Dayton, could get to better know his grandparents.  He was also diagnosed with Autism just before he turned 2.  Bailey-Ward says she saw a real need in the community for such services when she couldn't find much herself.  She'll be hosting a public announcement and Open House at the Willow Bay Conference Center on East Third Street this Thursday night at 6 PM.

 

The city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program is set to start next week with the return of one program... and, a new Playground Program Coordinator.  The free program begins next Monday, June 24th... and, continues Mondays through Fridays through August 2nd.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says... thanks to a grant from the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County... they'll be providing a free lunch program at each of the programs six sites. The Joint Neighborhood Project had been administering the Summer program... but, JNP is closing it's doors on June 30th.  The new Program Coordinator this year is Sarah Mott of Jamestown.  This is Mott's sixth-year with the program... and, has an Associate's Degree in Childhood Education from Jamestown Community College.  Ciesla-Hanley thanked the Summer Playground Programs several sponsors... adding that the city couldn't do it without them.  All six sites will be open week-days from 9 AM to 5PM... and, it's for children ages 5 to 13.  This years sites include Lincoln Elementary School... which is where yesterday's announcement was made.  The others include Allen Park... Fletcher Elementary School... the Lillian Dickson Tot Lot... Johnson Street Tot Lot... and, Ring Elementary School.  For more information... call 483-7523.


 

WJTN News Headlines


The second-time was the charm for the Bemus Point Central School District Tuesday.  Voters in the small, rural district approved a 2013-14, 13.1-million dollar spending plan by a wide margin, 601-to-440.  While the margin of victory was not overwhelming... the overall numbers were for the small, rural district.  District officials say one-thousand-42 people cast ballots on the spending plan... which was slightly revised from the one defeated back on May 21st.  That budget was rejected by 12 votes.

 

Jamestown Community College's 2013-2014 budget was approved at yesterday's meeting of the college's board of trustees.  JCC President Dr. Greg DeCinque says the 34.5-million dollar spending plan includes an 85-dollar tuition increase for full-time, in-state students.  DeCinque adds the budget is 1.6-percent larger than the college's original 2012-2013 spending plan.  He adds the budget includes just over 24-hundred dollars per full-time equivalent student in state aid... which includes a modest increase over last year.  However... he says it doesn't make up for cuts absorbed since the 2009-10 school year.

 

There is a need to raise the salaries for some elected officials... but, county lawmakers must keep the taxpayers in mind in deciding what those are.  Those are the feelings of Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore... who is also a member of the Administrative Services Committee.  Barmore says the panel is recommending increasing the County Executive's annual salary to 100-thousand dollars... and, the clerk's to 62-thousand.  He says both have stayed the same for nearly two decades... and, have lagged well behind most others in the state. The committee rejected increases for county legislators from 9-thousand dollars to 12-thousand a year.  Barmore believes that when voters overwhelmingly approved downsizing the panel from 25 to 19... they also wanted lower costs.  He says they also rejected an increase in the Sheriff's salary... but, adds they later decided on some recommendations that'll go to the entire legislature next week.  The Salary Review Commission recommended about a 5-thousand dollar increase in the Sheriff's salary... beginning in 2015.  The others would start next year.


 
One member of the Administrative Services Committee voted against all four proposed raises... even the amended ones.  Committee Chairman Bob Scudder voted against the revised increases for County Executive and for County Clerk... but, not by the amounts recommended by the commission.  Scudder says he made it clear how he felt on the issue. The committee took action to raise the County Executive's salary from 85-thousand to 100-thousand dollars.  That's a smaller increase than the salary review commission's 109-thousand.  The committee also voted to raise the County Clerk's salary to 62-thousand instead of the commission's recommendation of 68-thousand.  The legislature's Audit and Control Committee is also expected to tackle the proposed salary increases later this week.  The full county legislature will tackle the issue next week.

 

A Jamestown-area native has returned to the region... but, found it lacking in one service her son needs.  That's why Kimberly Bailey-Ward has begun work to open The Rehabilitation Station on the second-floor of the former Federal Building at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue.  Bailey-Ward says the Rehabilitation Station will provide Applied Behavioral Analysis services to children with Autism... as well as problem behaviors. Those results were seen over the past decade in Texas and Oklahoma... where Bailey-Ward worked as an ABA Therapist.  She says the focus of their program at 300 East Third Street will be on newborns to 5 years of age.  Bailey-Ward says she wanted to come back to the area so her son, Dayton, could get to better know his grandparents.  He was also diagnosed with Autism just before he turned 2.  Bailey-Ward says she saw a real need in the community for such services when she couldn't find much herself.  She'll be hosting a public announcement and Open House at the Willow Bay Conference Center on East Third Street this Thursday night at 6 PM.

 

The city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program is set to start next week with the return of one program... and, a new Playground Program Coordinator.  The free program begins next Monday, June 24th... and, continues Mondays through Fridays through August 2nd.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says... thanks to a grant from the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County... they'll be providing a free lunch program at each of the programs six sites. The Joint Neighborhood Project had been administering the Summer program... but, JNP is closing it's doors on June 30th.  The new Program Coordinator this year is Sarah Mott of Jamestown.  This is Mott's sixth-year with the program... and, has an Associate's Degree in Childhood Education from Jamestown Community College.  Ciesla-Hanley thanked the Summer Playground Programs several sponsors... adding that the city couldn't do it without them.  All six sites will be open week-days from 9 AM to 5PM... and, it's for children ages 5 to 13.  This years sites include Lincoln Elementary School... which is where yesterday's announcement was made.  The others include Allen Park... Fletcher Elementary School... the Lillian Dickson Tot Lot... Johnson Street Tot Lot... and, Ring Elementary School.  For more information... call 483-7523.


 

News Update!! for Tues., June 18, 2013


(**Alert)Bemus Point budget approved in high voter turn-out...

The only school district in Chautauqua County to not have a 2013-2014 budget in place now has one.  Voters in the Bemus Point School District have approved a $13.1-million spending plan by a wide margin, 601-to-440.  While the margin of approval Tuesday was not overwhelming... the sheer numbers were for the small, rural district.  District officials say 1,042 people cast ballots on the spending plan... which was slightly revised from the one defeated back on May 21.  That budget was rejected by 12 votes.  Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says the school board moved administrative savings to cover needed technology, and core materials.  While the proposal increases taxes by 5.6-percent... Latshaw says it still falls under the 2-percent property tax cap when exclusions are added in.  She adds the tax increase will be 78-cents per $1,000 assessed value.  But... board officials say there's "no fluff" in the budget.

News Update for Tues., June 18, 2013


Bemus Point school budget up for another vote...

Voters in the Bemus Point School District are again voting on a $13.1-million, 2013-2014 budget today.  The spending plan was rejected by 12 votes back on May 21.  School Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says the school board voted earlier this month to put essentially the same spending plan up for a second vote today from 2 to 8:30 p.m.  Bemus Point was one of a handful of districts in Western New Yrok that saw it's budget defeated.  Latshaw says there was further discussion... and, the board agreed to tweak the 2013-2014 proposal... to reallocate administrative savings to cover needed technology and core materials.  While the proposal increases taxes by 5.6-percent... Latshaw says it still falls under the 2-percent property tax cap when exclusions are included.  Latshaw says the tax increase would be 78-cents per $1,000 assessed value. But... board officials say there's "no fluff" in the budget.  Latshaw adds a lot of people were out of town last month with school sports events... and, other events... and assumed the spending plan would pass.  But... she adds there are others concerned about any tax increase.  A more detailed explanation was given at last week's budget hearing.


WACS-Brocton straw vote taking place to see if residents want to move to next step in possible merger...

There are also votes today in the Brocton... and, Westfield Academy and Central School Districts.  Both are conducting a straw vote on whether or not the two districts should merge.  The vote will run from now until 8 PM tonight in both districts.  Polling in the Brocton school district will be in the foyer of the new gym... while voting in the Westfield district will be in the high school lobby.

 

News alert for Tues., June 18, 2013


(**Traffic alert)BPU working to repair water main leak on North Main St., traffic down to one lane in section....

A water main leak on North Main Street has led the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to close part of that downtown city street.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the break occured between Second and Third Streets... and, the southbound lane will be closed to allow the leak to be repaired.

WJTN NEWS HEADLINES


City police are looking for a woman they say walked into a convenience store on Jamestown's northside Sunday afternoon... and, stole a donation cannister full of money.  City investigators say the white female went into the Robo Mini-Mart at 817 North Main Street shortly before 4 PM... and, took the donation cannister for the "Cents for St. Susan's" fund-raiser.  Officers say the woman is in her 20s... and, was wearing a light blue top.  Police say they have a surveillance photo of the woman.  City police say anyone who may have information on the woman should call them at 483-7537... or you can leave an anonymous tip at the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential. 

 

A Conewango Valley man is being treated at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital after the feed truck he was driving went out of control... rolled over... and, crashed in the town of Sherman.  Sheriff's officers say 32 year-old Justin Raynor was southbound on Route 76 just after 7:30 AM Monday morning when he lost control of the vehicle.  Deputies say the truck left the road... and, came back onto the roadway when it overturned.  The vehicle traveled on it's passenger side until it went off the road... and, crashed into a ravine.  Raynor was taken to the Hamot Medical Center to be evaluated.  Deputies say Route 76 had limited access between Interstate 86, and Bailey Hill Road for about an hour-and-a-half... before it was closed until sometime after 12:30 PM.

 

The Jamestown City Council has taken another step towards establishing a Parking Violations Tribunal designed to allow hearing officers to handle 'non-moving' traffic infractions.  Last night... lawmakers unanimously agreed to ask the state to approve final "language" in the bill to establish the citizen panel.  Council President Greg Rabb says they had to rush the measure through because the state legislature needs it before the end of the current session.  State approval is needed to set up the tribunal... which Rabb says will help lighten the load on a busy city court schedule. Rabb adds the idea is to allow the court to deal with "more important" cases... which will help save money as well.  Mayor Sam Teresi says Assemblyman Andy Goodell... and, State Senator Cathy Young will hopefully get the measure passed in both houses before the state legislative session ends Thursday.

 

There is another group interested in possibly buying the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  That Monday from County Executive Greg Edwards.  Edwards says the county is continuing to work with the Chicago-based Real Estate firm of Marcus and Millichap to try and identify potential buyers.  He says they have another group that's gotten back in touch with them that's "very interested" in the home. Earlier this year... Edwards presented the County Legislature with a proposal to sell the facility to Altitude Health Services of Evanston, Illinois.  However... lawmakers failed to muster the needed 17 votes to sell the Home for about 16.5-million dollars.  Edwards admits it has not been easy finding a buyer as more public facilities hit the market in New York.  He says two more county-operated nursing homes have been put on the market... and, with that... the price gets pushed down.  Edwards says the Chautauqua County Home is continuing to lose about 72-hundred dollars a day under county ownership.

 

One of Chautauqua County's two elections commissioners says there would be some additional cost in the beginning... but, he believes that early voting is an idea whose time has come in New York.  The county legislature's Administrative Services Committee, though, dealt last night with a motion opposing state legislation to enact early voting.  Democrat Elections Commissioner Norm Green says early voting is already allowed in 32 states... and, he believes the local board has a good plan in place to make it work. Green says the plan he and Brian Abram have put together would involve five voting sites... including the Board of Election's offices in Mayville.  He says the time period being looked at by the state is within 14 days of the election.  Green says they have determined the cost would be about 30-thousand dollars per election. Green says some of the cost savings would come from decreasing the work-load at the county's current poll sites on the actual election day.  As for whether early voting brings out more voters... he says the states that currently allow it have been about 30-percent of their registered voters take advantage of it.

 

Governor Cuomo says he expects his women's rights agenda... and, the abortion proposal that threatens its passage to be taken off the negotiating table.  Cuomo says he hopes it can be taken up again next year when he and lawmakers are running for election.  He spoke on public radio's ``The Capitol Pressroom'' Monday, a day after the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference introduced its own women's bill dropping the abortion provision.  However, closed-door negotiations continue this week.

News Update for Mon., June 17, 2013


Feed truck overturns and crashes in Sherman; driver injured; Rt. 76 closed for several hours...

The driver of a feed truck is being evaluated for injuries suffered when he lost control of his vehicle... and, it rolled over and crashed in the town of Sherman Monday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies say 32 year-old Justin Raynor of Conewango Valley was southbound on Route 76 just after 7:30 a.m. when he lost control of the truck.  Officers say the truck left the road... then came back onto the roadway when it overturned.  The vehicle traveled on it's passenger side until it went off the road... and, crashed into a ravine.  Raynor was taken to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  Deputies say Route 76 was either partly... or completely closed between Interstate 86, and Bailey Hill Road until about 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.


City police looking for woman who allegedly stole "Cents for St. Susan's" cannister from convenience store...

Jamestown police are looking for a woman who allegedly walked into a convenience store on the city's northside Sunday afternoon... and, stole a donation cannister.  Jamestown police say the white female went into the Robo Mini-Mart at 817 North Main St. shortly before 4 p.m., and, took the donation cannister for the "Cents for St. Susan's" fund-raiser.  Officers say the woman is in her 20s... and, was wearing a light blue top.  Police say they have a surveillance photo of the woman.  City police ask anyone who may have information on her identity to call them at 483-7537... or you can leave an anonymous tip at the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  They say all calls will be kept confidential. 


Edwards says one party "very interested" in purchasing County Home...

There is another group interested in possibly buying the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  That Monday morning from County Executive Greg Edwards.  Edwards says the county is continuing to work with the Chicago-based Real Estate firm of Marcus and Millichap to try and identify potential buyers.  He says they have another group that's gotten back in touch with them that's "very interested" in the home.  Edwards says he and County Attorney Steve Abdella are working with the firm to work out an agreement in black and white.  Earlier this year... Edwards presented the county legislature with a proposal to sell the facility to Altitude Health Services of Evanston, Illinois.  However... lawmakers failed to muster the needed 17 votes to sell the Home for about 16.5-million dollars.  Edwards admits it has not been easy finding a buyer as more public facilities hit the market in New York.  He says two more county-operated nursing homes have been put on the market... and, with that... the price gets pushed down.  Edwards says the Chautauqua County Home is continuing to lose about $7,200 a day under county ownership.


Green supports early voting... opposes motion before legislation opposing the proposal...

One of the county's two elections commissioners says there would be some additional cost in the beginning... but, he believes that early voting is an idea whose time has come in New York.  The county legislature's Administrative Services Committee, though, is voting tonight on a motion opposing state legislation to enact early voting.  Democrat Elections Commissioner Norm Green says early voting is already allowed in 32 states... and, he believes the local board has a good plan in place to make it work.  Green says the state proposal is a good one because it will expand opportunities for local voters to do so.  He says the plan he and GOP Commissioner Brian Abram have put together would involve five voting sites... including the Board of Election's offices in Mayville.  He says the time period being looked at by the state is within 14 days of the election.  Green says they have determined the cost would be about $30,000 per election... but, he says their department should be able to absorb that cost within their budget.  He says some cost savings would come from decreasing the work-load on the actual election day.  Green says about 30-percent of the voters in states now taking part vote early.


 

WJTN News Headlines


New York state is set to make its case in court for keeping convicted HIV sex offender Nushawn Williams in prison.  A civil confinement trial is set to begin today in Chautauqua County.  The jury of 12 members and three alternates was seated last week.  The 36-year-old Williams went to prison in the late 1990s amid a firestorm of accusations that he infected 13 young women with HIV.  He completed a 12-year sentence for statutory rape and reckless endangerment in 2010... but, he has remained behind bars while the state seeks to have him committed indefinitely under a civil law that allows extended confinement for dangerous offenders.  Williams' lawyer, John Nuchereno, says new test results indicate Williams is not HIV positive after all.  The state Attorney General's office disputes the results and the testing method that was used.

 

Chautauqua County's other representative in the state legislature is also very pleased that the state has reached an agreement with the Seneca Nation to end a lengthy rift over casino gaming.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he likes the fact that the deal will make the three cities -- including Salamanca -- that have Seneca operated casinos, whole again.  The Bemus Point Republican is also happy that the move will prevent more Las Vegas-style casinos from being located in Western New York.  He says more casinos is not better. Goodell says the exclusivity clause in the Casino Compact gives ONLY the Senecas the opportunity to build another casino west of Syracuse.  He adds he does not support Governor Cuomo's efforts to expand commercial, casino gaming in New York and will vote against any legislation that comes up in the final days of the legislative session.

 

New York's casino expansion bill being negotiated behind closed doors has a new provision that would expand gambling even if voters reject the proposal to build more casinos.  A copy of the revised bill obtained last weekend by The Associated Press includes a provision that would authorize video slot machine centers in New York City's outer boroughs and as many as three or four sites upstate.  The bill provides for the video slot casinos with up to 5-thousand machines.  The bill hasn't yet been released.  It is being negotiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.  Cuomo has said that getting public approval for a constitutional amendment to allow Las Vegas-type casinos would be difficult.  A spokesman for the governor declined to comment when asked about the provision.

 

With less than a week to go in the state legislative session... lawmakers still have "a lot of unfinished business."  However... Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says appears unlikely any serious mandate relief will be taken up because of several other issues... such as women's rights... ethics reform... and, the "Tax Free" zones legislation has dominated the headlines in recent days.  Teresi made his comments to our Terry Frank on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program. A key mandate yet to be addressed is the binding arbitration provision of New York state's Taylor Law.  That measure was taken out of one-house bills in both the state Assembly and Senate at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo... who wanted to see lawmakers act on a proposal to cap union awards at 2-percent.  Teresi says there's really been no indication of how the legislature will deal with that. However... if the legislature approves another 2... and, goes back to a 4-year extension... Cuomo has threatened to veto it.  Teresi says he and most other municipal leaders would like to see NOT renewed before the June 30th deadline.  City Council tonight will vote on home rule legislation during a special meeting to establishe a Parking Violations Tribunal city officials say would save money... and, possibly bring in more revenue.

 

A former New York state senator who was accused of looting health clinics to pay for extravagances including pony rides and who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges has been sentenced to five years in prison.  Pedro Espada Jr. was sentenced Friday in Brooklyn.  The once-influential Democrat also was convicted in a separate case alleging he looted the taxpayer-subsidized clinics.  Espada operated the clinics in the South Bronx for three decades until prosecutors accused him of turning the network into a personal ATM.  Espada offered no signs of remorse before sentencing.  He instead talked about the clinics' history of providing care to poor New Yorkers.

 

Country singer Willie Nelson says his annual Farm Aid benefit concert is coming to upstate New York with an all-day festival and locally grown food.  The event in Saratoga Springs, 28 miles north of Albany, will be held September 21st at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  It will feature Nelson and fellow Farm Aid board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews, as well as other artists to be announced soon.  Tickets go on sale to Farm Aid members June 18th and to the general public June 28th.  At a tour bus stop in Albany on Thursday, Nelson said the Northeast is fertile ground for new farmers and sustainable agriculture.  Farm Aid's mission is to keep family farmers on the land and support the movement toward healthy, locally grown food.

News update for Fri., June 14, 2013


Jury selection in Nushawn Williams civil confinement trial complete... 
Jury selection has been completed in the civil confinement trial of Nushawn Williams in Chautauqua County Court.  YNN reports that three alternate jurors were selected and sworn-in Thursday.  Twelve jurors were seated Wednesday.  Williams has already served a 12-year sentence for rape and reckless endangerment.  Williams was accused of passing along the HIV Virus to about a dozen girls and women in the late 1990s.  He's still being held under the state's civil confinement law because the Attorney General's office still deems him a "sexual predator."  Williams' lawyer claims a recent test shows Williams does not have HIV.  The state asked for a hearing prior to jury selection to challenge the test, but the judge denied the request.  The trial is set to begin next Monday morning... and, last all next week.


Duffy comments on Seneca-NYS Casino agreement in Jamestown...

It's being hailed as "an historic agreement."  That from Seneca Nation of Indians President Barry Snyder, Sr. after signing a new Casino compact with Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday afternoon.  Cuomo went to Niagara Falls to sign the agreement... and, end a long-running standoff over casino gambling.  Cuomo says the Senecas will retain exclusivity rights to casino operations in the region.  The Senecas will pay more than $600-million to the state, and, local governments involved.  In Jamestown earlier in the day... Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said once a deal was finalized... it would make a positive impact.  Duffy says sitting down "face-to-face" was the key to turning negotiations around.  Thursday's announcement came one day after Snyder met with members of the Cuomo administration for several hours in Albany.  The Senecas operate casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca under an agreement with the state that requires them to share slot machine revenues in exchange for being the only casino operators in the region.  But... the tribe had been withholding payments since 2009.


Cuomo's proposal for "Tax Free" business zones is just that, says Duffy...

Governor Cuomo's proposal of "Tax Free zones" around SUNY... and, other Campuses for new or expanding business means just that -- "tax free."  That from Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy during an appearance before local business, and manufacturing leaders... and, elected officials.  Duffy was at Jamestown Community College Thursday morning to provide some more details about the proposal.  He says... over the first 10 years... the new business, it's owners and managers, and employees... would pay no state taxes.  Duffy says the only exception is for people earning $200,000 or more after the businesses fifth-year.  He says he's not aware of any program like this in the country.  Duffy adds a lot of interest is already being shown in it.  He says some of the final details are still being negotiated... but, Governor Cuomo's proposal is for light to high-tech manufacturers that locate within a 200,000 square foot area around a local college... like JCC.  He says one of the keys is creating an environment that stops the "brain-drain" in New York.  Duffy says the best way to counter that is to provide good jobs to keep "those kids here."  He adds that there is more than enough space around SUNY's two and four-year schools... and, private colleges to accomodate the growth without taking land off the local tax roles. 


Money being restored to state programs for the disabled...

A key state legislator and the Cuomo administration say they've found a way to restore $90-million in funding to state programs for disabled New Yorkers.  Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg... a Long Island Democrat who criticized the cut proposed for the state's 2013-14 budget... says the administration plans to use savings from other state expenses to replenish the program cut by the March 31st end of the fiscal year, and otherwise the rest will be restored.  An adminstration spokesman says they've agreed to make up the balance if the savings plan being developed by a working group doesn't equal $90-million.  Weisenberg, who has a disabled son, has gathered most Assembly members as co-sponsors on his bill to restore the funding.


Western New York region already has "well-above" average rainfall for month of June...

It's been a very wet month of June... and, the national weather service has the facts and figures to prove it.  We're not even half-way through the month... and, Western New York has already exceeded it's normal amount of rain.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the Weather Service's Buffalo office Thursday said we're more than half-an-inch ahead of "normal."  He says we've received about 4.5-inches so far this month.  We normally get an average of 3.8-inches for the entire month.  The current figure does not account for precipitation that fell between yesterday afternoon... and, overnight. 


New Gateway Train Station receives Business First Award...

The newly-renovated Gateway Train Station on Jamestown's westside has only been open a short time... but, has already won an award.  Business First of Buffalo earlier this week presented station General Manager Lee Harkness it's "Best Historic Restoration" award for all of western New York.  Harkness says he received a real brick with a plaque on it during a reception in Buffalo for award-winning real estate and development.  He says the business paper was very complimentary of the $11-million project.  Harkness says they did a power-point presentation on the station, adding that -- considering where they started -- where they ended up was "almost a miracle."  He admits he was a 'bit surprised' when he got the letter from Business First... but, he says it confirms for him that the station has become a "real jewel" in downtown Jamestown.  Harkness says they're seeing that already with the number of people and organizations that have booked the train station for wedding receptions... meetings... and, reunions.  In fact... he says the interest has been a bit "overwhelming."  For more information on the station... and, booking events... call Harkness at 483-3041.

News alert for June 13, 2013


(Breaking)State and Senecas reach casino agreement...

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in western New York this afternoon... announcing an agreement with the Seneca Indian Nation in a long-running standoff over casino gambling.  The 3:30 p.m. announcement came one day after Seneca President Barry Snyder, Sr. met with members of Cuomo's administration for several hours in Albany.  The Senecas operate casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca under an agreement with the state that requires them to share slot machine revenues in exchange for being the only casino operators in the region.  But... the tribe has been withholding payments since 2009, contending New York broke its exclusivity promise by allowing video lottery terminals at nearby racetracks.  Part of those casino payments go to the three cities.

WJTN Local News Headlines


Twelve jurors have been selected for the civil confinement trial of Nushawn Williams in Chautauqua County Court.  WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports the state trial is expected to begin once the full panel...plus two alternates... is selected.  Williams was the so-called "HIV Predator" in the late 1990s when he was arrested... and later pled guilty to several counts of statutory rape and reckless endangerment because there was no statute covering knowingly infecting someone with the virus that causes AIDS.  He was accused of infecting at least a dozen women, and one girl as young as 13 with the HIV Virus.  Williams... who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson... was supposed to be released from prison three years ago.  However... he continues to be held under the state civil confinement law that applies to highly dangerous sex offenders.  This latest trial will determine whether or not he stays behind bars.  Williams' defense attorney recently stated that a medical test showed his client does not have HIV.  Jury selection is to continue today.  The trial is expected to begin next Monday... but, the press will be barred from court due to HIPAA laws.

 

The sheriff's in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County are warning people -- especially the elderly -- about the latest phone scam to surface in both counties.  In fact... this one involving a call from someone saying you've won -- or someone has bought you -- a Medical Alert System -- has been a problem state-wide.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says anytime someone calls you with such an offer... then asks for personal information including a Social Security number, or credit or debit card information... don't give it out. In at least some cases... there is no cost to have the monitoring system put in place.  However... there is a big monthly monitoring fee.  In that case... Gerace says you're always going to pay "one way or another."  Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says the scam there has involved someone making 4 or 5 calls... unlike when you receive one call... and, it stops.  Both Gerace and Whitcomb remind residents to never give out ANY personal information over the telephone.  People receiving such calls should contact their local law enforcement agency.

 

Some Chautauqua County Legislature committees will consider several local laws next week that would give raises to the County Executive, County Clerk, County Sheriff and County Legislators.  The proposed increases follow recommendations that were issued by the a Salary Review Commission.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe, a former legislator, chaired the panel.  Keefe says the commission looked at a number of factors before making its recommendations. When it comes to county legislators... Keefe says the commission considered the downsizing of the Legislature as a factor. The proposed local laws would increase the salaries of legislators from 9-thousand dollars a year to 12-thousand.  The salary of the County Executive would increase from 85-thousand to 109-thousand dollars.  The county clerk would see a 15-thousand dollar increase to just over 68-thousand dollars... and, county Sheriff from 82-thousand-500 dollars to nearly 87-thousand-500.  The Administrative Services and the Audit and Control Committees will take up the proposals.  The full legislature could take action later this month.

 

State Senate Republicans remain strongly opposed to creating a voluntary system of taxpayer-funded election campaigns that's getting a strong, last-minute push by some Democrats.  Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos says his chamber remains philosophically opposed to a program he estimates would cost 200-million dollars.  Supporters say the voluntary system that would match private donations 6-to-1 is the best way to blunt the influence of big-money special interests.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats support public financing as part of a package of new laws to require greater disclosure and lower donation limits.  Skelos says Tuesday the issue hasn't even been discussed ``in a while'' during closed-door negotiations.  Supporters say Cuomo and Democrats could still get the bill to the Senate floor without Republican approval.

 

A city woman has been arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a knife during a possible fight on Jamestown's eastside.  City police were called to the scene at the corner of Winsor and Allen Streets just after 6:30 PM Tuesday on a report of a fight.  Officers say... on arrival... they learned that 22 year-old Jennifer Dellahoy had allegedly brandished the knife... and, threatened the victim.  Dellahoy had left the scene... but, police found her a short time later... and, she was arrested without incident.  Dellahoy was still awaiting arraignment late Wednesday on one count of second-degee menacing.

 

U.S. maple syrup production soared to a record 3.2 million gallons this year, boosted by good weather and a high number of syrup taps in use.  The Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that the 2013 production jumped 70 percent over 2012, when production was limited by warm temperatures.  The previous record of 2.8 million gallons was set in 2011.  Vermont, as usual... was the top producer, with more than 1.3-million gallons.  New York was second with 574-thousand gallons, and Maine sugarhouses produced 450-thousand gallons.  The value of syrup won't be released until next year... but, officials say this spring's good weather resulted in high-quality syrup.

WJTN Local News Headlines


Twelve jurors have been selected for the civil confinement trial of Nushawn Williams in Chautauqua County Court.  WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports the state trial is expected to begin once the full panel...plus two alternates... is selected.  Williams was the so-called "HIV Predator" in the late 1990s when he was arrested... and later pled guilty to several counts of statutory rape and reckless endangerment because there was no statute covering knowingly infecting someone with the virus that causes AIDS.  He was accused of infecting at least a dozen women, and one girl as young as 13 with the HIV Virus.  Williams... who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson... was supposed to be released from prison three years ago.  However... he continues to be held under the state civil confinement law that applies to highly dangerous sex offenders.  This latest trial will determine whether or not he stays behind bars.  Williams' defense attorney recently stated that a medical test showed his client does not have HIV.  Jury selection is to continue today.  The trial is expected to begin next Monday... but, the press will be barred from court due to HIPAA laws.

 

The sheriff's in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County are warning people -- especially the elderly -- about the latest phone scam to surface in both counties.  In fact... this one involving a call from someone saying you've won -- or someone has bought you -- a Medical Alert System -- has been a problem state-wide.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says anytime someone calls you with such an offer... then asks for personal information including a Social Security number, or credit or debit card information... don't give it out. In at least some cases... there is no cost to have the monitoring system put in place.  However... there is a big monthly monitoring fee.  In that case... Gerace says you're always going to pay "one way or another."  Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says the scam there has involved someone making 4 or 5 calls... unlike when you receive one call... and, it stops.  Both Gerace and Whitcomb remind residents to never give out ANY personal information over the telephone.  People receiving such calls should contact their local law enforcement agency.

 

Some Chautauqua County Legislature committees will consider several local laws next week that would give raises to the County Executive, County Clerk, County Sheriff and County Legislators.  The proposed increases follow recommendations that were issued by the a Salary Review Commission.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe, a former legislator, chaired the panel.  Keefe says the commission looked at a number of factors before making its recommendations. When it comes to county legislators... Keefe says the commission considered the downsizing of the Legislature as a factor. The proposed local laws would increase the salaries of legislators from 9-thousand dollars a year to 12-thousand.  The salary of the County Executive would increase from 85-thousand to 109-thousand dollars.  The county clerk would see a 15-thousand dollar increase to just over 68-thousand dollars... and, county Sheriff from 82-thousand-500 dollars to nearly 87-thousand-500.  The Administrative Services and the Audit and Control Committees will take up the proposals.  The full legislature could take action later this month.

 

State Senate Republicans remain strongly opposed to creating a voluntary system of taxpayer-funded election campaigns that's getting a strong, last-minute push by some Democrats.  Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos says his chamber remains philosophically opposed to a program he estimates would cost 200-million dollars.  Supporters say the voluntary system that would match private donations 6-to-1 is the best way to blunt the influence of big-money special interests.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats support public financing as part of a package of new laws to require greater disclosure and lower donation limits.  Skelos says Tuesday the issue hasn't even been discussed ``in a while'' during closed-door negotiations.  Supporters say Cuomo and Democrats could still get the bill to the Senate floor without Republican approval.

 

A city woman has been arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a knife during a possible fight on Jamestown's eastside.  City police were called to the scene at the corner of Winsor and Allen Streets just after 6:30 PM Tuesday on a report of a fight.  Officers say... on arrival... they learned that 22 year-old Jennifer Dellahoy had allegedly brandished the knife... and, threatened the victim.  Dellahoy had left the scene... but, police found her a short time later... and, she was arrested without incident.  Dellahoy was still awaiting arraignment late Wednesday on one count of second-degee menacing.

 

U.S. maple syrup production soared to a record 3.2 million gallons this year, boosted by good weather and a high number of syrup taps in use.  The Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that the 2013 production jumped 70 percent over 2012, when production was limited by warm temperatures.  The previous record of 2.8 million gallons was set in 2011.  Vermont, as usual... was the top producer, with more than 1.3-million gallons.  New York was second with 574-thousand gallons, and Maine sugarhouses produced 450-thousand gallons.  The value of syrup won't be released until next year... but, officials say this spring's good weather resulted in high-quality syrup.

News Update for Wed., June 12, 2013


County's Salary Commission approves increases for elected offices, reommendations move onto county legislature...

A commission that has studied the salaries of Chautauqua County Executive, County Clerk, Sheriff and County Legislators has made its recommendations... and, county lawmakers will now consider several local laws that would raise the pay for each position.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe chaired the Salary Review Commission.  The former county legislator says the panel was on board with the pay hikes.  Keefe says they had three options, one to lower salaries -- which had no support.  He adds the other was to keep them where they're at... but, that also had no support.  The third was agreed to, and that was to look at pay increases.  Keefe says they looked at a number of factors when arriving at the recommendations... including the number of years since a raise had been put in place.  The proposed local laws would increase the salaries of legislators from $9,000 a year to $12,000.  The salary of the County Executive would increase from $85,000 to $109,000, County Clerk from $53,000 to just over $68,000 and County Sheriff from $82,500 to nearly $87,500.  The raises, if granted would not take effect until the start of the next term...January in the case of the county executive, the county clerk and county lawmakers. The Sheriff's payraise wouldn't kick in until January of 2015.


Sheriff's Gerace, and Whitcomb warn public about new telephone scam that targets seniors...

The sheriff's in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County are warning people -- especially the elderly -- about the latest phone scam to surface in both counties.  In fact... this one -- involving a call from someone saying you've won -- or someone has bought you a Medical Alert System -- has been a problem state-wide.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says anytime someone calls you with such an offer... then asks for personal information including a Social Security number, or credit or debit card information... don't give it out.  Gerace says scammers are becoming "even more sophisticated than they were before," and people need to be "very careful" about the information they give out.  In at least some cases... there is no cost to have the monitoring system put in place.  However... there is a big monthly monitoring fee.  In that case... Gerace says you're always going to pay "one way or another."  Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says the scam there has involved someone making 4 or 5 calls... unlike when you receive one call... and, it stops.  Both Gerace and Whitcomb remind residents to never give out ANY personal information over the telephone.  People receiving such calls should contact their local law enforcement agency.


Erie, PA man arrested following high speed pursuit that ends in North Harmony...

An Erie, Pennsylvania man, who led State Police on a high speed chase in the town of North Harmony that ended with a crash, will face a number of charges.  31-year-old William Brown was clocked going 84 m.p.h. on Interstate 86.  After failing to pull over... the pursuit by State Police wound up on Route 394 and ended when Brown lost control of the SUV and it rolled onto its side in a field near the Ashville BOCES.  Uninjured, Brown was taken into custody without incident.

WJTN Local News Headlines


State police say they've arrested a Pennsylvania man who led them on a high-speed chase that ended in a rollover. They say 31-year-old Willie Brown of Erie was spotted speeding in a Chevrolet Tahoe on I-86 in the Chautauqua County town of Harmony on Tuesday, refused to stop for a trooper and sped off the highway onto a local road.  Troopers say Brown was clocked at one point doing 97 mph in a 45 mph zone before losing control at an intersection and rolling the SUV. Brown, who troopers say wasn't injured, was charged with fleeing an officer in a vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana and a variety of traffic violations. He was being held for arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

 

The number two-elected official in New York State will be in Jamestown later this week to push for creation of the new, "Tax-Free" zones being proposed by Governor Cuomo.  Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will be at the Jamestown Community College city campus late this coming Thursday morning.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Spokeswoman Shelia Webster says Duffy will be at the Week's Reception Room at 11 AM.  She says Duffy was originally scheduled to be here a couple of weeks ago.  Webster says they're encouraging their business members to be on hand if they can be. Members from the county Chamber... and, the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier are also being urged to contact the Empire State Development Corporation if they plan on attending.  Sheila Webster says you must contact the ESD office in Buffalo at 846-8250 before Noon today because there is limited seating available. 

 

More than one-thousand demonstrators again filled a park outside the state Capitol Tuesday calling for repeal of New York's new gun law.  While cheering former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and Jeannine Pirro, a broadcaster and former Westchester County district attorney, protesters sang ``God Bless America'' and held signs for the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Pirro says authorities should hunt criminals, not try to criminalize gun owners.  The law generally sets a seven-bullet limit in magazines, tightens the definition of illegal ``assault weapons'' and requires owners of many formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.  Repeal now appears unlikely.  Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says amendments haven't been discussed in recent meetings between the governor and legislative leaders.

 

Boaters and others who use Chautauqua Lake are being warned about large amounts of upstream debris in the Lake due to the recent rains and stormy weather in the region.  Chautauqua Lake Association President Doug Conroe says the problem has been so prevailent... they've had to divert crews from weed harvesting and training to debris removal.  Conroe says they've found that a lot of the tree... and, other debris has come from the streams and canals that feed into the lake. Conroe says a lot of the problems upstream are caused by unstable stream banks.  He says the CLA expects more debris to be found due to more rainy and stormy weather predicted through the end of the week.  Conroe also expressed the group's appreciation to the county for helping them find a disposal location for those four truck-loads of debris. Conroe says the problem points back to what the CLA, the Watershed Conservancy... and county Soil and Water Association have "been saying for years."  That's that more attention needs to be paid to streambank stabilization so these problems don't happen in the future.

 

He's proven to be a strong leader... and, has shown the ability to improve student achievement under difficult circumstances.  Those were some of the reasons given by the leaders of various selection committees involved in the selection of Tim Mains as the new Jamestown School Superintendent.  Mains... who most recently was the Rochester City School's director of Internal School Operations... was unanimously approved by the school board at Monday night's special meeting.  Central Administration Team Leader Jesse Joy welcomed Mains with a sense of "confidence and excitement...." The president of the Jamestown Principal's Association, Phil Camarata, said they are all excited and look forward to working with Mains.  Camarata says he especially liked his "leadership by example."  Students also made up a team.  One of them, Kirstie Hanson, says they know he handled some "tricky" problems in Rochester, and they're very interested to see how he'll "do here."  In addition to starting as a social studies teacher in 1971 in the Greece Central School System... Mains was K-through-12th grade Social Studies director... and, principal of a larger school in the Rochester district.  He was also a member of the Rochester City Council for about two decades.

 

The Warren County School Board has narrowed it's list of candidates for a new superintendent from 10 to one.  The Warren Times-Observer says the search was cut to the lone candidate at a meeting two weeks ago.  The board Monday night stated that... with the application period closed..."the search consultants have guided the board through a review of the candidate credential files... and, the first round interview process."  Following that... a statement released by the board said they decided to move ahead with one candidate, who will now meet with a special focus group.  The candidate was not identified.

News Update for Tues., June 11, 2013


More than 1,000 show up for rally to repeal NY-SAFE Act...

More than 1,000 demonstrators have again filled a park outside the state Capitol calling for repeal of New York's new gun law.  While cheering former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and Jeannine Pirro, a broadcaster and former Westchester County district attorney, protesters sang ``God Bless America'' and held signs for the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Pirro said Tuesday authorities should hunt criminals, not try to criminalize gun owners.  The law generally sets a seven-bullet limit in magazines, tightens the definition of illegal ``assault weapons'' and requires owners of many formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.  Repeal now appears unlikely.  Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says amendments haven't been discussed in recent meetings between the governor and legislative leaders.   Thousands of protesters attended a similar rally in February.


Lt. Governor Duffy to be in Jamestown Thursday to tout "Tax Free" zone program...

The number two-elected official in New York State will be in Jamestown later this week to push for creation of the new, "Tax-Free" zones being proposed by Governor Cuomo.  Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will be at the Jamestown Community College city campus late this coming Thursday morning.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Spokeswoman Shelia Webster says Duffy will be at the Week's Reception Room at 11 a.m.  She says Duffy was originally scheduled to be here a couple of weeks ago.  Webster says they're encouraging their business members, as well as members of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, to be on hand if they can be for some "back and forth" with Duffy.  Webster is urging those members to contact the Empire State Development Corporation if they plan on attending.  She says you must contact the ESD office in Buffalo at 846-8250 before Noon Tuesday because there is limited seating available. 


CLA President cautions boaters to look out for storm debris in the Lake...

Boaters and others who use Chautauqua Lake are being warned about large amounts of upstream debris in the Lake due to the recent rains and stormy weather in the region.  Chautauqua Lake Association President Doug Conroe says the problem has been so prevailent... they've had to divert crews from weed harvesting and training to debris removal.  Conroe says they've found that a lot of the tree... and, other debris has come from the streams and canals that feed into the lake.  As of Monday, Conroe says they've taken out four, huge truck loads of debris... including tree limbs... and, huge treet stumps.  He says a lot of the problems upstream are caused by rain storms causing the stream banks to become unstable.  He says the CLA expects more debris to be found due to more rainy and stormy weather predicted through the end of the week.  Conroe also expressed the group's appreciation to Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards for helping them find a disposal location for those four truck-loads of debris.  He says the CLA isn't able to take that debris to their normal composting sites... so, Edwards was "extremely helpful" in opening up a site for them.


50th annual Dairy Princess contest won by Clymer teen...

The Chautauqua County Dairy Princess program has celebrated its 50th year with the selection of Samantha Nickerson of Clymer as the next princess.  She was the 'alternate' last year... but, she feels it was helpful.  Samantha adds she's looking forward to being at the Chauatuqua County Fair again this year.  She is the daughter of Bert and Brenda Nickerson.  She is a junior at Clymer Central School... and the sister of last year's winner, Katrina Nickerson.  The new Alternate Dairy Princess is Ariel Slaven, a sophomore at Cassadaga Valley Central School.  Slaven says she gets to do a lot that the princess does, but, gets to try again next year.  The Dairy Princesses spend the year promoting the value of three daily servings of dairy products.  For the 50th anniversary, eight previous princesses attended... including the 1984 winner... Jennifer Nichols... who is now an advertsing manager for the National Association of Convenience Stores.  The annual Dairy Princess pageant was held Friday night in Bemus Point.

 

 


 

WJTN News


The Jamestown School District has selected a new superintendent from outside the district... and, he's very pleased to be selected. That's Rochester City Schools Internal School Operations Director Tim Mains... who was unanimously approved by the board at last night's special meeting.  Mains... who began his career in the Greece School District near Rochester in 1971... says he is gratified and humbled that the board, and several selection committees, felt he was the right fit for the district. Those who spoke on behalf of the various committees said they liked Mains' experience... and, the fact he leads "by example."  Mains will begin work shortly with outgoing Superintendent Deke Kathman... but, DiMaio feels there will be a "smooth transition."  Kathman will officially retire at the end of July... and, Mains will begin his new job on August 1st.  DiMaio adds that they had three excellent finalists... but, in the end... everyone felt Mains was the right person to lead the district.  He's been in education for 42 years.

 

The ``Say Yes to Education'' program that sends public high school graduates to college for free has added five prestigious private universities to its list of destinations.  Say Yes founder George Weiss says in Syracuse that Harvard, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Duke and Georgetown have committed to providing tuition scholarships to students from Say Yes chapters.  The program has chapters in several cities, including Buffalo.

 

The man who represents Chautauqua County in Congress says more oversight is needed when it comes the government's surveillance of phone traffic.  Congressman Tom Reed was asked about the leak during a conference call with area media. Reed says he would like to see more oversight by Congress and the courts when it comes to the National Security Administration surveillance programs.  As for the leaker, he would not weigh in on whether or not 29-year-old Edward Snowden should be charged with releasing classified information.  Reed says he wants more facts before giving an opinion.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to strengthen state abortion rights is energizing not just his liberal Democratic base... but, outnumbered opponents who claim it's a ``stealth expansion'' of abortion.  Cuomo says the bill simply aligns state law with the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe verus Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.  Supporters want state law to match current federal law in case the federal law is struck down.  However... State Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos has said he won't agree to bring the abortion proposal to the floor for a vote. 

 

A Jamestown woman is in the city lockup after allegedly stealing prescription pills from a house in the area of Woodworth Avenue area.  Police say 21 year-old Hillary Danforth was knocking on residents doors asking to use the bathroom just after 6 PM last Friday.  A concerned resident called police after it was found Danforth had gone through their medicine cabinet.  Officers say they found Danforth after a short investigation and found that she had gone to several other households.  While police were interviewing Danforth... they say they saw her trying to discard a bottle of prescription pills to conceal it from the officers.  The name on the bottle of pills belonged to the victim that alerted police.  Danforth was arrested on charges of Petty Larceny and for tampering with physical evidence and taken to the city Jail... where she is being held pending arraignment.

 

An Ohio woman was arrested after her 10 year old son backed her vehicle into another in the TJ Maxx Parking Lot Sunday.  Just after 12:30pm 28 year old Myrn Luz Vega Rivera of Parma, Ohio was shopping with her son when she sent him out to the vehicle with her keys.  The boy started the car, put it in reverse, and it slowly backed out of it's parking space and struck another vehicle behind it.  The child received help from witnesses.  After Vega-Rivera was found she parked the vehicle and went back into the store with her son. Lakewood Busti Police were called to the scene and charged Vega-Rivera with Endangering the welfare of a child and minor damage to a motor vehicle.   She was arraigned in court, released on cash bail and will return to court at a later date.  

 

Dozens of elementary students at Jamestown's Fletcher School recently had the chance to learn about the importance of trees to the city... and, plant several new ones outside their school.  The program was a joint effort between the district... the city's Urban Forestry Program... and, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  City Arborist Dan Stone says they planted five trees in all. Stone says it gives them "a little bit of community pride, and a sense of ownership of the trees."  He says the Pre-K through Fourth-graders raised about 200-dollars towards the effort... and, the Community Foundation filled in the rest. The city of Jamestown's Urban Forestry Program involves at least one of the public schools in the tree planting effort each year. 


 

News alert for Mon., June 10, 2013


**(Breaking)JPS School Board confirms appointment of Rochester school administrator to be new school superintendent....

The Jamestown School Board has unanimously confirmed the appointment of Tim Mains to be the new superintendent of the city school district, effective August 1.  During a special meeting of the board Monday night... members of various community groups that were part of the interview process spoke glowingly about Mains, and the way he presented himself and his philosophy on education.  Mains is currently the Director of Internal School Operations with the Rochester City School District.  He's held that position since 2012.  Jamestown Board President Joe DiMaio says Mains will be a wonderful asset to the district.  DiMaio says "his professional background and track record of improving student performance will serve our students well."  He will now work with retiring Superintendent Deke Kathman on the transition.  Kathman steps down as of August 1, 2013.  More on Tuesday. 

Local News


A Chautauqua County Legislator who ran for County Clerk eight years ago is hoping a second time will be the charm.  Jamestown Democrat Lori Cornell announced late Wednesday that she will be running for the seat being left open by the woman who beat her in 2005.  Incumbant Republican Sandy Sopak is retiring after this second-term in office.  Cornell says she's enjoyed representing District 12 for the past 3-and-a-half years.  However... she adds she wants another shot at higher office.  Cornell feels there a two, key parts to the  "non-partisan" position. While she ran a hard campaign against Sandy Sopak eight years ago... Cornell says she would be honored to succeed Sopak... who she admires for her work in upgrading, and streamlining the clerk's office.  She also feels she has both the public and private sector experience... and, leadership skills needed for the job.  Cornell says that comes from earning her Masters Degree from the business school at St. Bonaventure University.  She curretly consults for companies to help with their marketing and sales.  County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green expects Cornell to be endorsed at this weekend's Party convention.

 

The city of Jamestown has again been left without a hockey team -- at least for the 2013-2014 season.  The owner of the Jamestown Ironmen has suspended operatons... making the team "inactive" for the coming season.  That was confirmed by a person answering the phone for the Ironmen's office at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... which served as home for the franchise the past two years.  In a printed statement late Wednesday... owner Kenju Yamada said he appreciated all the local support... and, added "I am strongly looking forward to make the Jamestown Ironmen come back on the ice for the 2014-2015."  A call for direct comment from Yamada was not returned.  Excitement grew late this past season as the team made it to the final four of the North American Hockey League play-offs.  We have learned that Head Coach Dan Daikawa  has moved onto the new Minnesota Wilderness team... while the players have been released, and are now free agents.  Arena officials confirm a group of local investors were reportedly looking to buy the team... but, a final agreement could not be struck.

 

Current Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards will be at center stage for the county Chamber of Commerce's annual County Executive Breakfast this Friday morning at the Chautauqua Golf Club.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says it will be the final Chamber breakfast event for Edwards, who is not seeking re-election in November. The Chamber holds the event each year in order to provide an opportunity for the business community to hear directly from the County Executive.  Tranum says Edwards will be making a presentation as part of the breakfast before taking questions from chamber members.  Those interested in attending can make reservations by calling the Chautauqua County Chamber at 366-6200... or 484-1101.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to authorize three Las Vegas-type casinos in upstate New York, a large video slot machine center in Western New York... and an open-ended moratorium on casinos in New York City.  Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday in a bill expected to be the basis of a possible legislative deal by the end of the current session on June 20th.  Cuomo's proposal would put resort casinos in three of six regions.  The regions in play include the Catskills, the Albany-Saratoga region, the North Country, central New York, the eastern part of the Southern Tier and western New York.  The proposal going to the Legislature would allow only one casino in a region.  Cuomo wants a minimum 50-million dollar licensing fee... and, a 25 percent cut of gross revenues going to the state.  He is also again seeking to pressure the Seneca Nation of Indians by threatening to put a private sector, Las Vegas-style casino in the Buffalo region that would compete with the tribe's casino.  Cuomo's bill wouldn't put a new casino in the Seneca's area if the tribe was in ``good standing.''  Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Senior tells the Buffalo News that Cuomo "is a bully'' after meetings in Albany.

 

The Bemus Point School District will put -- essentially -- the same budget up for a vote later this month that was rejected in a close vote by residents last May 21st.  School Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says the school board voted earlier this week to put the 13.1-million dollar spending plan up for a second vote on Tuesday, June 18th.  Bemus Point was the only district that saw it's budget defeated in Chautauqua County last month.  Latshaw says there was further discussion... and, the board agreed to tweak the 2013-2014 proposal. Latshaw says... even though the proposal increases taxes by 5.6-percent... it still falls under the 2-percent property tax cap when exclusions are included.  Board officials say there's "no fluff" in the budget.  Latshaw adds a lot of people were out of town with school sports events... and, other events... and assumed the spending plan would pass.  But... she adds there are others concerned about any tax increase.  She believes a further detailed explanation of the budget addressed those.  Latshaw says a public hearing will be held on the spending plan next Tuesday night... and, the vote on June 18th will run from 2 to 8:30 PM.

News Update! for Wed., June 5, 2013


(**Breaking)Jamestown Ironmen becomes an "Inactive" franchise...

The city of Jamestown has again been left without a hockey team.  The owner of the Jamestown Ironmen has declared the team as "inactive" for the 2013-2014 season.  That was confirmed by a person answering the phone for the Ironmen at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... which served as home for the franchise the past two seasons.  However... excitement grew late this season as the team made a long-run into the North American Hockey League play-offs.  The person said Head Coach Dan Daikawa has moved onto the new Minnesota Wilderness team... while the players are now free agents... and, able to move onto other teams.  There are reports... none of which are confirmed... that a group of local investors were looking to buy the team from Kenji Yamada.  However... Yamada remains owner of the inactive franchise... which now appears to have an uncertain future.  We have a call into Yamada for comment.


Bemus Point School District voters to re-consider budget proposal on June 18...

The Bemus Point School District will put a slightly revised budget up for a vote later this month after it was defeated in a close vote by residents last May 21.  School Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says the school board voted earlier this week to put the $13.1-million spending plan up for a second vote on Tuesday, June 18.  Bemus Point was the only district that saw it's budget defeated in Chautauqua County last month.  Latshaw says there was further discussion... and, the board agreed to tweak the 2013-2014 proposal to cover technology and needed core materials.  Even though the proposal increases taxes by 5.6-percent... it still falls under the state's 2-percent property tax cap when exclusions are included.  Latshaw adds a lot of people were out of town with school sports events... and, other activities... and, assumed the spending plan would pass.  But... she adds there are others concerned about any tax increase.  She believes a further detailed explanation of the budget addressed those.  Latshaw says a public hearing will be held on the spending plan next Tuesday night... and, the vote on June 18 will run from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Latshaw confirms she's retiring at the end of 2013...

Bemus Point Superintendent Jackie Latshaw is also confirming that she is retiring at the end of the calendar year.  Latshaw says... while there's been pressure due to the budget situation... family considerations are the main reason for her decision.  She says she has a "lot going on personally... and, I'm worried I won't be able to give the time to the district."  Latshaw says it was a difficult decision because Bemus Point is a very special district... which she has been part of since 2000.  She was appointed to replace Al D'Attillio two years ago.  As far as an exact date of retirement... she says that's up in the air.  Latshaw says the board is just beginning to meet with Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaragus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rouke to begin the search for a new superintendent.

 

 

Local News


The Chautauqua County Health Network has made a more than 12-thousand dollar contribution to the city of Jamestown towards the project to renovate and upgrade Lillian Dickson Park.  In announcing the grant... Mayor Sam Teresi thanked the Health Network for the "very generous" grant... which is actually being initiated by the state Department of Health.  Teresi says the city itself is involved in a 30-thousand dollar upgrade outside the playground... and, providing in-kind services. Teresi says the Health Network grant monies are actually coming from the state Health Department to initiate "recreation and healthy lifestyle" projects.  He says they appreciate the donation... which will be used to help pay for the playground part of the project.  The committee involved is still raising money for that part of the approximately 65-thousand dollar effort.  Teresi says the grant is the second the Health Network has provided for the Lillian Dickson Park project.  He says the first was last year for "Fall Zone" safety materials.  The city council will vote on accepting the grant later this month.

 

A Cherry Creek man is jailed on a slew of charges... including Felony driving while intoxicated... following a one-car crash in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's officers say 29 year-old Travis Logan of West Road was not hurt in the crash... which occured on Elm Flats Road just after 8 PM Monday.  Deputies say... after further investigation... Logan was charged with Felony DWI... Aggravated DWI... first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle... and, numerous other traffic violations.  Logan was arraigned in Westfield Town Court... and, sent to the county jail.  Logan will answer the charges later in Chautauqua Town Court.

 

Rural Hospitals were the focus of a roundtable event State Senator Cathy Young took part in late Monday in Albany... and, representatives from a number of organizations took part in the dialogue.  One of Young's major concerns is access to rural hospitals.  The Olean Republican says lack of access may hold up state efforts to revitalized the upstate economy. Another challenge facing rural hospitals is attracting new physicians.  Chautauqua County Health Network Executive Director Ann Abdella was among the panelists.  She says she would like to see an apprenticeship program established...  similar to what many industries offer.  She says this would help those who are struggling to pay their student loans. Young, who chairs the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, also encouraged the organizations to work with Senator Kemp Hannon, who chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Health.  Hannon was unable to attend the two-hour long meeting.

 

A large coalition of activists rallied and lobbied in Albany yesterday for a 10-point women's rights proposal.  They're calling for equality for women in the work place... and, stronger laws against discrimination and human trafficking for child prostitution, along with strengthening abortion rights.  Governor Andrew Cuomo released a bill Tuesday that details his women's rights proposal for the first time since he announced the initiative six months ago.  In the meantime... opposition has built in the Senate.  Cuomo called that ``fear mongering'' by anti-choice legislators and advocates.  The Democrat says he simply wants to bring the state abortion law in step with federal law, which he fears could be struck down.  Opponents say that's unnecessary and would expand abortion.

 

Six concerts are scheduled as part of the city of Jamestown's annual Summer Concert Series at Allen Park's Goranson Bandshell.  City Parks Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley was joined by other city officials... sponsors... and, others Tuesday afternoon to announce this year's schedule.  The first concert of the season is one week from tonight... Wednesday, June 12th.  It'll feature Jamestown High School Band, under the direction of Meghan Murray.  She says the kids really enjoy putting on the first concert of the year. There will be a one-week break before the Jamestown Municipal Band does the first of it's five concerts of the season... beginning June 26th.  The band is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year... and, Director Rick Lundquist says their theme the first night will highlight that... and, "Light Classical Music" during that time period. "Manager Al" is Band Manager Al Smeragliolo.  Lundquist says another highlight will be the final night on the schedule... which will be presented by the Scandinavian Studies Program at Jamestown Community College.  He says they'll feature a number of Scandinavian tunes.  Each of the six concerts begins at 7 PM at Allen Park.

 

Chautauqua Institution is on the verge of the first sell-out of the summer.  Program Director Marty Merkley says fewer than 200 tickets remain for Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers... who will perform on Friday, June 28th. Martin and his string band first appeared on the Amphitheater stage in 2011.  Marty Merkley says Martin's group is only playing a limited number of venues this summer, and the competition to get them was hot. Chautauqua tickets are available at Ciweb.org, or by calling 357-6250.  Tickets for the acappella group Straight No Chaser are also selling very quickly.  That group will open the Chautauqua season on Saturday, June 22nd.

 

News Update for Tues., June 4, 2013


CCHN Grant gives boost to putting new playground equipment in Lillian Dickson Park...

The Chautauqua County Health Network has made a more than $12,000 contribution to the city of Jamestown towards the project to renovate and upgrade Lillian Dickson Park.  In announcing the grant... Mayor Sam Teresi thanked the Health Network for the "very generous" grant... which is actually being initiated by the state Department of Health.  Teresi says the city itself is involved in a $30,000 upgrade outside the playground... and, providing in-kind services.  He says the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department has been "hard at work" making a lot of other improvements, such as putting in new fencing and landscaping.  Teresi says the Health Network grant monies are actually coming from the state Health Department to initiate "recreation and healthy lifestyle" projects.  He says they appreciate the donation... which will be used to help pay for the playground part of the project.  The committee involved is still raising money for that part of the approximately $65,000 effort.  Teresi says the grant is the second the Health Network has provided for the Lillian Dickson Park project.  He says the first was last year for "Fall Zone" safety materials.  The city council will vote on accepting the grant later this month.


Activists rally in Albany for Cuomo's Women's Rights proposal...

A large coalition of activists is rallying and lobbying in Albany for a 10-point women's rights proposal.  They're calling for equality for women in the work place... and, stronger laws against discrimination and human trafficking for child prostitution, along with strengthening abortion rights.  Governor Andrew Cuomo released a bill Tuesday that details of his women's rights proposal for the first time since he announced the initiative six months ago.  In the meantime... opposition has built in the Senate.  Cuomo called that ``fear mongering'' by anti-choice legislators and advocates.  The Democrat says he simply wants to bring the state abortion law in step with federal law, which he fears could be struck down.  Opponents say that's unnecessary and would expand abortion.


Lack of hospital access in some rural areas may inhibit revitalizing upstate region...

Rural Hospitals were the focus of a roundtable event State Senator Cathy Young took part in Monday in Albany... and, representatives from a number of organizations took part in the dialogue.  One of Young's major concerns is access to rural hospitals.  The Olean Republican says lack of access may hold up state efforts to revitalize the upstate economy... and, she says if the loss of population continues, their efforts may be "all for naught."  Another challenge facing rural hospitals is attracting new physicians.  Chautauqua County Health Network Executive Director Ann Abdella was among the panelists.  She says she would like to see an apprenticeship program established...  similar to what many industries offer.  She says this would help those who are struggling to pay their student loans... and, admits they've been surprised by the number of medical students from the area who didn't know their hometown "needed... or wanted them."


City Parks Dept. announces Summer Concert Series...

Six concerts are scheduled as part of the city of Jamestown's annual Summer Concert Series at Allen Park's Goranson Bandshell.  City Parks Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley was joined by other city officials... sponsors... and, others Tuesday afternoon to announce this year's schedule.  The first concert of the season is one week from tonight... Wednesday, June 12.  It'll feature Jamestown High School Band, under the direction of Meghan Murray.  She says the kids really enjoy putting on the first concert of the year... because they normally don't do outdoor concerts.  There will be a one-week break before the Jamestown Municipal Band does the first of it's five concerts of the season... beginning June 26.  The band is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year... and, Director Rick Lundquist says their theme the first night will highlight that... and, "Light Classical Music" during that time period.  Lundquist says they'll be celebrating one member's being part of the group all 60 years.  He says another highlight will be the final night on the schedule... which will be presented by the Scandinavian Studies Program at Jamestown Community College.  He says they'll feature a number of Scandinavian tunes.  Each of the six concerts begins at 7 p.m. at Allen Park.

Local News


The Lillian Dickson Playground on Falconer Street in Jamestown is undergoing some much needed renovations... and, with that... some local residents are urging the City Council to upgrade street safety in that area.  Several members of the local neighborhood watch were on hand for last night's work session.  They called on lawmakers to consider putting in two cross-walks:  One at Falconer and Bowen Streets... and, the second at Falconer and Sturges.  They're also asking for a 4-way stop at Falconer and Winsor Streets.  Bowen Street resident Wilson Cooper admits it's not a perfect solution... but, it may prevent some of the kinds of accidents seen there the past few years. Cooper... and, others at the Public Safety Committee meeting... and work session... noted the number of accidents there in the past four years -- including a fatal car-pedestrian accident involving a 4 year-old boy.  Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings and Public Works Director Jeff Lehman said they would update their traffic information from that area... and, come back to lawmakers with a recommendation.

 

There's only one incumbant running at the top of the Chautauqua County Republican Committee's county-wide ticket this year.  However... GOP Chairman Al Hendrickson says he's "pleased" with the slate of candidates they will have on the ballot.  As expected... county Republicans have formally endorsed Bemus Point Legislator Vince Horrigan to run for County Executive.  Horrigan replaces Greg Edwards... who recently announced he was NOT running for a third-term.  Hendrickson calls Horrigan "very qualified..." having been in the U-S Air Force for 27 years... and, spending 13 years as director of the Southwestern New York chapter of the American Red Cross.  Another newcomer for county-wide office is County Clerk candidate Larry Barmore of Gerry. Hendrickson adds that county Republicans last week also endorsed District Attorney David Foley to run for a third-term.  He's been the county's lead prosecutor the past seven-and-a-half years.  The Fredonia-area Republican is also expected to be cross-endorsed by County Democrats.

 

While the top of the Republican ticket is strong... it does have a couple of holes among county legislature candidates.  Al Hendrickson says the first gap is in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area... where he says one Republican is running.Hendrickson says re-districting has also forced two GOP Primaries for the legislature.  In the new District 16... former Legislators Ron Lemon and Tami Downey from the Frewsburg-area will stage a run-off in September.  Hendrickson says neither was endorsed by the GOP because it was felt the voters should decide on the candidate.  He adds that in District 18... incumbants Fred Croscut and David Himelein are vying for that seat.  Both were put in the same district when new lines were drawn for 19 legislators instead of the current 25. Replacing Horrigan on the county legislature slate is Pierre Chagnon... who is endorsed for the new, District 8 seat, which includes the towns of Ellery and North Harmony.  Incumbant Mark Tarbrake has been endorsed for the new, District 14 seat.  He replaces Larry Barmore on the ticket since Barmore is running for County Clerk.

 

A Jamestown teenager has been jailed for allegedly punching a female victim in the face several times.  City police were called to the scene at 137 McKinley Avenue just after 8:30 PM Sunday for a reported assault.  Officers found the victim... who had multiple injuries to her face.  Further investigation led to the teenaged boy... who was found at 17 Norwood Avenue.  He was arrested without incident... and, charged with third-degree assault.  The juvenile was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

The economy, taxes, and saving the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk were hot topics of two town hall meetings held by local Congressman Tom Reed in Chautauqua County last weekend.  Reed says there was a very good turn-out for the sessions held in Ripley and Fredonia.  The Corning Republican says he was especially pleased with the response in Ripley... where residents said it was the first time -- in a long-time -- that a Congressman had held a significant forum there.  Reed says there were common concerns at both meetings. Reed says the future of the NRG Power Plant was also among the main topics of discussion at the Fredonia meeting.  The Business Council of New York state recently shocked the local business community by saying it supported upgrading National Grids Power Lines only to meet upstate power demands.  Reed calls that short-sighted.  Reed says he is "standing with NRG and converting (the plant) to a natural gas-based system so it can be here long-term."   He made his comments during his weekly... telephone new conference with Southern Tier media outlets.

 

Work got underway Monday morning to move boxes to the Lillian Ney Renaissance Center on West Third Street for the Prendergast Library's 34th annual book sale... which begins this Friday.  Library Board President Tom Price says "moving the sale allows us to keep the library open for regular use during the event... and, take advantage of a great opportunity to partner with the Renaissance Center."  Price says the majority of books in the sale are donated by members of the community, and proceeds are used to buy new materials.  The sale run from 10 AM to 8 PM Friday... and, from 9 AM to 5 PM Saturday.  Maps of nearby parking are available at the library.  For information, call 484-7135.
         

 

News Update for Mon., June 3, 2013


Edwards urges county residents, seasonal residents, to be on look-out for two invasive plant species...

County residents... and, those visiting... are being asked to be on the look-out for two invasive aquatic plants on Chautauqua Lake this Summer.  County Executive Greg Edwards says that people should first be on the look-out for the Water Chestnut.  That plant was found on four different occasions last Summer.  Edwards says it's a "rooted, aquatic annual plant" that has green, glossy, triangular leaves in a rosetta.  He says each plant can produces up to 15 nutlets... and each of those can produce five more plants.  Edwards adds that Hydrilla has NOT be discovered here -- yet.  However... he says it's been seen near Tonawanda near Buffalo... so it may be just a matter of time.  Edwards says Hydrilla is a long, slender plant that has "toothed" edges on it... making it unique.  It's also one of the most invasive species in the world.  Edwards says they have photos on the county's website... but, asks anyone who comes across either plant to not touch it... but, get a picture of it.  That... along with it's exact location should be sent to Watershed Coordinator Jeff Diers in the county's Planning Department.  Or... you can contact County Executive Edwards' office at 753-4211... and, professionals will be brought in.


Ground-breaking held for phase-one of construction of new Veteran's Memorial Park in Jamestown...

Ground has been broken on the first-phase of Jamestown's new Veteran's Memorial Park at the corner of West Third Street on Logan Avenue on the city's westside.  Local veteran's groups were joined by city officials, and leaders of local foundations for the event.  Veteran's Memorial Commission Chairman Ron Cotton says this first-phase will involve development of a trio of circles... with the biggest in the middle, and, surrounding a flag pole.  Cotton says the other two will be on each side of the main circle.  Period lighting will be put in... and, the circles and walk-ways will be made of stamped-brick.  Cotton says equipment will be brought into to begin construction of the circles today.  He adds that work on the base for the main monument will also begin... and, everything should be in place by Veteran's Day this November.  Mayor Sam Teresi expressed his appreciation to the veteran's groups, foundations, Parks Department and others for their teamwork in making the project a reality.  Teresi also thanked Cotton for his leadership... and, keeping the effort moving forward.  Phase-One of the Veteran's Memorial Park is expected to cost $66,000.


Jim Kelly announces he has Cancer...

Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly says he has been diagnosed with cancer in his upper jaw bone and will have surgery on June 7.  Kelly is suffering from squamous cell carcinoma... but, he has recently undergone tests to show that the cancer is isolated in his jaw and has not spread to other parts of his body.  ``The past couple of weeks have been difficult for me,'' Kelly says.  ``Because of the nature of social media, I thought it would be best to share with everyone what has been going on with my health.''  The announcement was made Monday morning, just before the start of the quarterback's Kelly For Kids charitable foundation's annual celebrity golf tournament.  ``Doctors have told me that my prognosis for recovery is very good,'' he says.  Kelly spent 11 seasons with the Bills before retiring following the 1996 campaign.  He still holds nearly every significant career franchise passing record.


City teen arrested for alleged assault Sunday night...

A 16 year-old Jamestown boy has been arrested for allegedly punching a female victim in the face several times on the city's southside.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 137 McKinley Ave. just after 8:30 p.m. Sunday for a reported assault.  Officers found the victim... who had multiple injuries to her face.  Further investigation led to the teenaged boy... who was found at 17 Norwood Ave.  He was arrested without incident... and, charged with third-degree assault.  The juvenile was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

Local News


A retired Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputy... who owns a number of adult assisted-living facilities... has announced he's running for County Executive.  Democrat Ron Johnson of Fredonia said Sunday that he will seek the county's top-elected office this November.  Johnson... who has also been the Pomfret Town Justice for the past 16 years... will seek the party's nomination later this week.  In announcing his candidacy... Johnson said that he is "not a sideline guy... " and, wants to find solutions to the county's problems. Johnson is the owner and operator of Johnson Adult Homes in Forestville... and, Underwood Manor in Hinsdale.  He says his company... Human Services Management... also owned and operated Fredonia Place in Fredonia at one time.  Johnson says he believes out-going Executive Greg Edwards has done "a number of good things..." but, adds there need to be tighter controls on county finances because you operate government one way when there's a deficit... and, another when there's a surplus.  But... he also says the focus of his campaign will be "about jobs."  Johnson says it will be his "full-time job to convince companies to invest in Chautauqua County... and, to ensure that jobs remain here."

 

With his background in adult assisted-living... and, nursing homes... Ron Johnson says he has some understanding of the issues surrounding the County Home in Dunkirk.  Current Executive Greg Edwards said... until recent changes were made in operaton... the home was losing -- on average -- 9-thousand dollars a day.  Johnson says county officials need to get a better handle on the situation.  He says he's operated facilities like those for most of his adult life... and, he doesn't believe the home needs to be a losing proposition.  Johnson says it "needs to be turned around."  As with the county in general... Johnson says the County Home needs to be operated "like a business..." not in a political arena.   

 

It's official.  There will be a race for the top-elected office in Chautauqua County in November after Ron Johnson's announcement.  Going into the past weekend... Republican county legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point had announced his candidacy.  County Democratic Party Chairman Norm Green says Johnson will be nominated... along with several others... at their June 8th nominating convention.  Green says this year's nominating convention is later than usual because of a recent trip he took to Poland.  With County Executive Greg Edwards... and County Clerk Sandy Sopak both announcing that they will not seek re-election this year... Green says there has been an increase in interest among party supporters.  He says that's because "the dynamics" have changed because some incumbants are not seeking re-election.  Horrigan was the first candidate to announce a run for County Executive.  Gerry Republican Larry Barmore has announced that he is seeking the GOP nomination to run for County Clerk.  There has been no announced Democratic candidate at this time, though.

 

An Ashville man is jailed without bail for allegedly hitting a man with a shovel... and, threatening a 14 year-old girl with a knife early this (Saturday) morning.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene at 25-02 Route 394 just after 4 AM.  Following an investigation... officers say they learned that 33 year-old James Hall had struck a 29 year-old male in the head with the shovel... seriously injuring the victim.  Deputies say Hall then ran off before they arrived.  However... Sheriff's officers and Lakewood-Busti Police Officers found Hall walking on Route 394 a short distance from the scene... and, took him into custody.  The investigation showed that Hall menaced the 14 year-old with a knife prior to the asault.  A vehicle was also damaged.  The male victim was taken to WCA Hospital... and, later transferred to an out-of-county trauma center.  Hall was arraigned on several charges... including first-degree assault... and, second-degree menacing... and, sent to the County lock-up.

 

Drivers in New York state are about to see the penalty for texting while driving increase from three points to five points off their driver's licenses.  Governor Cuomo announced last weekend that the change would go into effect starting Saturday.  The penalty applies to any kind of cellphone activity while driving.  Cuomo's also proposing legislation that would impose tougher sanctions against probationary and junior drivers for texting.  Violators' licenses would be suspended for 60 days after their first conviction.

 

The Cuomo administration is disputing an investigative report about day care centers statewide that shows ``shocking'' violations and inadequate enforcement of persistent violators.  The state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference report says most cases involve failure to take certain precautions, leaving children unattended, and unlicensed operation.  The few most egregious cases include corporal punishment of children, frightening or humiliating a child, isolating children in closets and abuse or maltreatment.  The report claims only a small number of centers with multiple violations have been held accountable by the Cuomo administration.  The state Office of Children and Family Services says Thursday the report is alarmingly misleading.  The state says the Senate report takes data out of context and that serious violations result in immediate action.

 

The American Cancer Society says the marketing of little cigars in flavors including chocolate, blueberry and gummy bears is aimed at hooking kids, while avoiding federal restrictions on flavored cigarettes.  The brightly packaged little cigars, chewing tobacco and loose tobacco used in water pipes are sold individually for as little as 99 cents or in packs.  They avoid stiff cigarette taxes aimed at dissuading youth smoking.  Fruity flavors include double apple, pink berry, peach, strawberry-banana and pina colada.  Online sales include a tobacco cookie dough.  The New York chapter is pushing for a state law restricting the fruit- and candy-flavored products. The proposal released last weekend would limit the sales to stores like smoke shops where more than half the products are tobacco.  New York City already has a similar measure.

 

Kali the orphaned polar bear cub is making his public debut. The cub arrived at the Buffalo Zoo from Alaska on May 15. He has been kept out of the public eye while he got used to his surroundings and his new companion, the zoo's 6-month-old polar bear cub Luna. Now that the cubs are comfortable with each other, zoo officials will let them out daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public debut is set for this morning at 11:30. Kali's about 5 months old.

 

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