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The Jamestown School Board has accepted the resignation of it's previous director of Finance and Business Affairs... and, approved hiring a new one. The board last night okayed the appointment of former Rochester City School District Business Director Vernon Connors... who brings 20 years of school business administration experience with him. Connors also worked with Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains about 10 years when Mains was an administrator in Rochester. Mains says he likes Connors "bredth of experience...."
Mains says Connors officially begins his new position on August 17th. However... he says unofficially... Connors has already begun working in the district so he can be brought up-to-speed with his new position before school starts in September. That will include work with former Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow. Mains says Connors was also the Business Administrator in the Lansing School District... Business Manager for Bishop Kearney High School... and, was District Treasurer in the Brockport School District. He replaces Kevin Ziemba... who recently resigned from the district to pursue other opportunities.
The man who has headed-up activities at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena for the past year-and-a-half is out as general manager of the facility. However... arena operators say that Brian Cersosimo will stay on as the General Manager for the Southern Tier Xpress. The Xpress just finished up it's first-season in the North American Hockey League's Tier-3 Junior program. In a printed statement Tuesday afternoon... operators said they had parted ways with Cersosimo... but, say they "appreciate" the work he did with there. They especially said they liked working with him on the strategic plan for the arena. They add that one of Cersosimo's assistants... Craig Hinderlighter... will now be Interm Arena General Manager.
Final preparations are underway for what will be a record-smashing 71st annual Gerry Rodeo... which begins it's four-day run at the Rodeo Grounds tonight. That from Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley... who says the event went over 200 entries for the first-time ever about a week ago. However... Cooley says those numbers have continued to grow because of a record purse the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association cowboys and cowgirls will compete for. Cooley says an "anonymous donor..." and, other money raised has allowed them to exceed 45-thousand dollars in prize money for the rodeo. He says it's especially allowed them to boost their numbers for the "rougher" events... including bareback riding... the saddleback bronc... and, bullriding events. Cooley says they also have quality coming. One of the big names in rodeo is expected to be here Saturday. That's Cody Ohl... who's made the national finals 15 times... and, world champion six times. Cooley says there'll be four performances... one each night beginning at 8 PM... and, the Gerry Fire Department will be serving their famous Beef Barbecue dinners beginning at 5 PM each day... Wednesday through Saturday. For more information... call the Rodeo Office at 985-4847... or go on-line to Gerryrodeo-dot-ORG.
A Central New York couple face drug-related charges after their vehicle was pulled over for allegedly having an unregistered trailer in the town of Ellicott. State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 37 year-old Jamey Dowd, and 30 year-old Cassondra Morse last Friday during a traffic stop on Interstate 86. Troopers say... while interviewing Dowd... they smelled a strong odor of marijauana.. and, with the assistance of K-9 Kubi... Dowd and Morse were found to be in possession of both pot and cocaine. Police add they also found three mortar-style fireworks inside the trailer. Troopers took Dowd and Morse into custory... and, they were issued appearance tickets for criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... Unlawful Possession of Marihuana... Unlawful Possession of Fireworks... and, for having an unregistered trailer. Both were released on bail... pending a future court appearance.
A unified effort to fight crime in Jamestown's neighborhoods was celebrated last night during the annual "National Night Out" against crime. It was the 32nd annual "Night Out..." which has been recognized in the city for the past several years. Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings says... locally... it's been a partnership between law enforcment... public safety... and, the city's neighborhoods. Snellings says there are now 27 Neighborhood Watch groups in the city... which have varying degrees of activity... but, are all geared towards providing extra "eyes and ears" in the community. Snellings says that has been critical to his department in fighting the on-going drug epidemic... and, other crimes. He says they "can't be everywhere." Snellings says they especially appreciate the many tips they've received on their tip-line in fighting drug trafficking in the city. That number again is 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. He says the Neighborhood Watch Coaltion held two block parties last night on Harris Avenue... and, Forest Avenue. If your neighborhood is interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch Group... call Snellings' Administrative Assistant at 483-7530.
No one was hurt in a house fire reported in the Ashville area late Monday night. Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say Ashville fire crews were called to the scene on Hogg Road shortly before 11 PM. Officials say firefighters were at the scene about an hour-and-a-half. The residents were reportedly not at home at the time... and, no injuries were reported. Sherman and Lakewood firefighters joined Ashville at the scene. There was no word on damage done to the structure.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have seen their biggest drop in several weeks... falling 5-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price has dropped from 2-dollars-92 cents a gallon to 2--87. The Fuel Gauge reports the average price locally is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area. At this time last year... the average price was just over 3-dollars-86 cents a gallon. Triple-A says the national average price is now 2-dollars-65 cents. The resolution of localized refinery issues... and, lower prices for crude oil has kept downward pressure on the national average price at the pump. It's now fallen for 19 consecutive days. Drivers are paying the lowest averages for this date since 2009... and, today’s national average represents a savings of 85 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year. The national average is now 15 cents per gallon lower than the 2015 peak price of 2-dollars-80 cents back on June 15th. The national average is expected to keep moving lower leading up to the Labor Day holiday, barring any unexpected spikes in the price of global crude oil or unexpected disruptions to domestic production.
Candidates from each of the major parties have emerged to campaign for a state Senate seat representing New York's Southern Tier after its previous occupant was convicted of lying to the FBI. Republican Fred Akshar announced his candidacy late Monday. Akshar is now the undersheriff in Broome County, the number-2 position in the sheriff's office. He is supported by top Republican leaders from Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware counties. On the Democrat side... former state Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala announced her campaign last week. Fiala is a former Broome County executive. The winner will succeed Thomas Libous of Binghamton, who had been the Senate's number-2 ranking Republican until his conviction last month. The special election is expected in November.
The two men accused of taking part in the drive-by shooting of a Jamestown man have now been charged with second-degree attempted murder. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Chautauqua County Grand Jury Monday handed up the indictments against 23 year-old Alex Jewell... and, 31 year-old Michael Robinson. Meantime... Samuelson says the victim... a city man... remains in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. He says both Jewell and Robinson alleged drove into the Tops Market parking lot at 2000 Washington Street about 6 PM Friday, July 24th... and, opened fire on the man. Samuelson says the victim was hit multiple times by the gun shots. Both were arrested the following day... after the car they allegedly used was found on the city's southside. They were initially charged with first-degree assault. Samuelson says both men were arraigned on the new charge... and, sent back to the County Jail on one-million dollars cash bail each.
Stand-up comedian and actress Amy Schumer is teaming up with U-S Senator Charles Schumer to call for tighter gun control. She joined the Senator Monday to unveil a three-part plan that would make it harder for violent criminals and mentally ill to obtain guns. They cited the recent shooting in a Louisiana movie theater that killed two women and injured nine others during a screening of the movie ``Trainwreck'' starring Amy Schumer. Amy Schumer is the senator's cousin. The senator's legislation would create monetary rewards for states that submit all necessary records into the background check system and penalize states that do not. He also called on Congress to preserve mental health funding and substance abuse programs.
Organizers with the annual Chautauqua County Fair are pleased with the end result of the seven-day event near Dunkirk. County Fair Board President Dave Wilson says a lot of people were "very happy" with this year's fair. Wilson says the weather we have had over the past week was a key factor. Wilson does not have final attendance figures yet... but, he says that fairgoers - overall - were respectable, and the Board is pleased with the turnout. He also says a record number of animals were sold during the 4-H Meat Animal Sale on Friday. A large group of teens were reportedly involved in a huge brawl at the County Fair last Saturday night... forcing police to shut it down early. However... no one was seriously hurt. The fair did resume, and finish up it's week-long run Sunday.
Chautauqua County's Congressman is calling for the suspension of federal funding for Planned Parenthood in light of allegations of one chapter allegedly harvesting and selling fetal body parts. Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments yesterday in light of the recent furor over a lengthy, undercover video made by a group opposed to Planned Parenthood. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier media... Reed said the temporary suspension would allow an investigation to go foward to determine whether this happened... and, who was involved. Reed says -- if what's shown on the video tape is true -- at least the Planned Parenthood chapter involved is violating the law. He adds he would hope that Planned Parenthood... which has a Finger Lakes chapter in his district... would support an investigation to clear it's name. Reed's comments came before Senate Democrats blocked an effort to cut off federal funding late yesterday. He says he will continue to support efforts to provide access to women's healthcare... and, counseling for victims of sexual abuse and rape.
The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival was another big success -- led by the two sell-out crowds for Jerry Seinfeld at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. That from Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center of Comedy Director Journey Gunderson... who says festival officials were both pleased, and "thrilled" by the turn-out for all of the 40-plus events that took place during the four-day event. Gunderson says there were a lot of favorable comments abound Seinfeld. There was also a lot of buzz about a downtown "light-show" at the arena that many people saw Saturday night. Gunderson says they also did an interview for the new, National Comedy Center with Seinfeld in between shows. She says Seinfeld made one interesting point during that interview that stood out... and, that was that comedy and jazz are two things that are "uniquely American." Gunderson says Seinfeld also posed for a special picture with Kelly Carlin... the daughter of George Carlin... and, Harold Ramis' son... Julian Ramis. Gunderson also introduced a couple of other shows... and, while they weren't sell-outs... they were well-attended.
The county's Department of Motor Vehicles' new location in Jamestown is now open at it's new location on the city's westside. County Clerk Larry Barmore says the new location, at 512 West Third Street, opened at 8 AM Monday. Barmore says the location will be newer, brighter and more customer friendly. He adds that most people drove to the old location in the South County Office Building... but, parking was a problem. Barmore says there are 18 FREE off-street parking spaces next to the building... and, plenty of nearby on-street parking. A grand opening is expected later this month.
The language of the Seneca Nation is one of several that have either becoming lost... or, in danger of vanishing from the earth. That from Monday's featured lecturer at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater... who spoke on the topic of lost languages. Associate Professor of lingustics at Swarthmore College, K. David Harrison, spoke on a number of languages... including Seneca. Speaking with our Jim Roselle... Harrison says the Seneca Language is where the word "Chautauqua" comes from. Harrison spoke to lead off "Vanishing" week at the institution... and, says he was providing the audience with a tour of the world's languages that have been lost. He addressed the question of "why should we care?" Harrison says it provides an alternative view of the world we live in. Harrison says what's interesting about a lot of the languages that have been lost... or are being threatened with being lost... is that are not formally written out. He says he's met story tellers who can recite 10-thousand lines of a story that isn't written.
A Jamestown couple escaped serious injuries after the motorcycle they were riding struck a deer on Route 59 in Warren County's Mead Township late Sunday afternoon. State Police in Warren say 61 year-old Lance Hedlund was westbound about 4:30 PM when the deer entered the roadway. Troopers say Hedlund applied the brakes... but, was unable to avoid the collision. Police say he lost control after hitting the animal... but, the bike slid on it's right side into the eastbound lane and berm about 230-feet. Troopers say both Hedlund and his passenger, 58 year-old Rhonda Hedlund, were wearing helmets. He suffered a minor injury... while his wife was treated for moderate injuries at Warren General Hospital. No charges were filed.
The Chautauqua Lake Dragon Boat Festival... scheduled for August 29th... has been postponed. Organizers say in order to generate more rowers and more sponsors, the event will be put on hold until next year. A date for the 2016 festival has not be determined, as yet. For more information, contact the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in Jamestown.
(**Update)Two men accused of shooting, critically wounding city man, arraigned on new charge...
The two men accused of taking part in the drive-by shooting of a Jamestown man have now been charged with second-degree attempted murder. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Chautauqua County Grand Jury earlier today handed up the indictments against 23 year-old Alex Jewell... and, 31 year-old Michael Robinson. Meantime... Samuelson says the victim... a city man... remains in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. He says both Jewell and Robinson alleged drove into the Tops Market parking lot at 2000 Washington Street about 6 p.m. Friday, July 24... and, opened fire on the man. Samuelson says the victim was hit multiple times by the gun shots. Both were arrested the following day... after the car they allegedly used was found on the city's southside. They were initially charged with first-degree assault. Samuelson says both men were arraigned on the new charge... and, sent back to the County Jail on $1-million cash bail each.
No arrests made, but, one hurt in huge brawl at Chautauqua County Fair last Saturday night...
A large group of teens were reportedly involved in a huge brawl at the Chautauqua County Fair last Saturday night... forcing the sheriff’s department to shut it down early. The fair did resume, and finish up it's week-long run Sunday. Sheriff's Department dispatchers say officers were called to the scene about 9 p.m. Deputies say those involved in the brawl were primarily juveniles. One was taken to Brook's Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of minor injuries. WKBW-TV in Buffalo reported that Fredonia Police were called in for backup. The TV Station also reports deputies ordered the midway rides to be shut down at 9:30 p.m. in an effort to get the crowd to disperse.
Youngsville, PA man killed when motorcycle hit's his car...
A Warren County, Pennsylvania man was killed early last Friday night when a car drove into the path of his motorcycle on Matthews Run Road in Sugar Grove Township. State Police in Warren say 50 year-old Patrick Littlefield of Youngsville, was killed when he was struck by the vehicle, which was pulling from a private driveway onto Mathews Run just after 6 p.m. Troopers say Littlefield was pronounced dead at the scene. State Police say the driver of the car, a 16 year-old juvenile, was not hurt. The investigation is continuing.
Buffalo area woman seriously hurt in one-vehicle accident in Cattaraugus County...
A Buffalo woman suffered serious injuries when the pick-up truck she was riding in crashed on Route 219 in the Cattaraugus County town of Carrolton. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 45 year-old Josh Smith was northbound just before 4 a.m. Sunday when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Deputies say Smith's Silverado truck left the road... and, rolled over in a ditch before coming to rest on the other side of the ditch in an upright position. Officers say his passenger, 45 year-old Michelle... was flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment of internal injuries. Josh Smith was treated at the Bradford Regional Medical Center. No charges have been placed.
Ground broken on National Comedy Center in Jamestown...
Some legendary names in comedy -- Rivers, Carlin and Berle -- were on hand last Saturday afternoon to break ground on the National Comedy Center planned for downtown Jamestown. It was one of the major high-lights of the four-day Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. It took place at the proposed site of the center at the corner of Washington and West Second Streets. Melissa Rivers says her late mother, Joan, would be be "very touched" to be part of such a place... but, confused at the same time. Rivers says her mother never "thought of herself as a legend or trailblazer... she always went by funny is funny." Carlin, the daughter of the late George Carlin, called the idea of a National Comedy Center "awesome." Julian Ramis... son of the late Harold Ramis... was also touched by the honor. He says comedy was "everything" to his dad, and his family. Kelly Carlin says comedy provides a great "mirror" into who we are... and, allows us to look at "ourselves through different lenses." Plans for the National Comedy Center include a hologram comedy club that will put visitors in the audience for classic routines of comedic legends.
Lakewood-Busti Police Chief says they will push state again for better signage in trouble spot near intersection of Fairmount Ave. and Mall Boulevard...
The investigation is continuing into last Thursday night's fatal, two-vehicle crash in Lakewood that claimed the life of a 16 year-old girl from Jamestown. Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley says Genesis Toledo of Colfax Street was a passenger in an eastbound compact car that made an illegal left turn into the Lakewood Village Center at 270 West Fairmount Ave. Bentley says the village has been pushing for the state to put up a "more visable" left turn sign for the eastbound lane -- just in front of the intersection with Mall Boulevard. He says the signs are "properly posted..." but, adds he wants the state to look at that again. Bentley says the other problem is the fact the far right westbound lane ends a Mall Boulevard. He says some drivers get caught in the lane merge in front of the Tim Horton's Restaurant.
Proposal for $15 an hour wage for fast food workers now formally filed...
The plan to give most of New York state's fast-food workers a $15 minimum wage is taking another step toward reality. Late last Friday... a state Wage Board formally filed the proposal with the state Department of Labor. That's a largely bureaucratic step... but, it also means the proposal is likely to be approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration by mid-September. The increase would be gradually phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere. The wage increase would apply to fast-food workers in restaurants with 30 or more locations. An estimated 200,000 workers in New York will be directly affected by the increase.
New Jamestown DMV Office opens today...
The county's Department of Motor Vehicles' new location in Jamestown opens this morning at it's new location on the city's westside. County Clerk Larry Barmore says the new location, at 512 West Third Street, opens at 8 AM. Barmore says the location will be newer, brighter and more customer friendly. He adds that most people drove to the old location in the South County Office Building... but, parking was a problem. Barmore says there are 18 off-street parking spaces next to the building... and, plenty of nearby on-street parking. A grand opening is expected later this month.
Jamestown teenager dies from injuries in two-car crash on West Fairmount Ave. in Lakewood...
A teenaged girl from Jamestown has died from injuries suffered in a two-vehicle accident on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood last night that sent one other person to the hospital. Lakewood-Busti Police now say 16 year-old Genesis Toldeo of Colfax Street was a passenger in an eastbound compact car that made an illegal left turn into the Lakewood Village Center at 270 West Fairmount about 9 PM. Officers say the driver of the car, 17 year-old Jose Rosa, Junior of Jamestown, was hurt... but, not seriously in the accident. Police say the driver of a westbound Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle, Daniel Hulton, Junior, was unable to avoid the crash... and, the SUV struck the passenger side of the car. Officers say Toledo was rushed to WCA Hospital... where she later died. Rosa was also treated at WCA. Hultin and his passenger was released at the scene. Police say charges are pending against Rosa.
Formal charges placed against 14 year-old girl in death of nearly 2-year-old boy in Harmony...
A 14 year old Chautauqua County girl faces a charge of manslaughter in connection with the alleged strangulation of a 20 month-old child Monday evening on Route 474 near Ashville. Sheriff Joe Gerace identified the child as Joshua Jock, Jr. District Attorney David Foley announced the charge at a press conference in Mayville on Wednesday. Foley says the girl has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the case. Foley says the decision to leave the child with the girl was made by a guardian. He says the guardian was not a parent to the 20-month-old, though the exact relationship was not given. The 14 year-old girl was arraigned Tuesday night in local court... and, waived her preliminary hearing at that time with bail set at one-million dollars cash bail... or 2-million dollars real property. This is an ongoing investigation so, the 14 year-old girl may still be charged as an adult. The residence where the Incident took place on Route 474 is also the site of Little Racers Daycare. Sheriff Joe Gerace did state that the license was pulled from the daycare by the state for apparent unrelated violations.
Regis Philbin hosts panel from Letterman Show to begin Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown...
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival started with a laugh Thursday as Regis Philbin hosted a panel that included the senior staff from the Late Show with David Letterman. One of the highlights of the panel was a conversation with Letterman director Jerry Foley who says the idea for the show's top ten lists originally came from a New York magazine that did a top-10 list of eligible bachelors at the time. However... Foley says as for who gets credit for the Top Ten lists... he says it's like having an island full of starving people, and a crate of food floats up. Foley says who would get the credit for saying "let's eat it." The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy continues through Sunday. For the full line up of events, general information and tickets... go on-line to lucycomedyfest.com.
City lawmakers approve hiring new officer to allow veteran to be assigned as new SRO in Jamestown public schools...
City lawmakers have approved providing a second, School Resource Officer to the Jamestown school district during the 2015-16 school year. The city council has okayed assigning a current member of the city Police Department to the district, and, that officer will be stationed at the district's Tech Academy on East Fourth Street. Acting City Council President Tony Dolce says the school district will pick up those costs. Dolce says the veteran officer will be specifically at the tech center... and, that officer will be replaced in the police department by the new hire. Dolce says an officer is needed at the academy... which was the scene of a couple of incidents this past school year. One of the incidents at the Tech Academy led to the arrest of two students for allegedly assaulting an instructor, and one of people who heads of the academy. The city will now negotiate a final, one-year agreement with the school district on picking up the cost of providing the SRO.
Mayor announces Celoron to receive $400,000 in CDBG funding...
At least a dozen houses in Celoron will be getting an upgrade after the village received news this week that it'll be receiving $400,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding. Mayor Scott Schrecengost says -- quote "the village of Celoron is extremely pleased to receive this housing Rehabilitation grant from the New York State office of Community Renewal." Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding. The village was able to secure the funding with the aid of the Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation and during the next few months CHRIC will administer the contract implementation phase with at least 12 low-to-moderate income Celoron Homeowners. Schrecengost says the funds can be used to repair or replace windows, doors, roofs, insulation, electrical upgrades, furnaces, and plumbing. Also the properties will be made lead safe.
Two suspects are in custody for their alleged involvement in last Friday night's drive-by shooting in the parking lot of the Washington Street Top's Market in Jamestown. However... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says neither is being identified at this time to preserve the "integrity of the investigation." Samuelson adds they have also recovered the vehicle allegedly involved in the incident... a dark-colored Ford Focus... which was found unoccupied on the city's southside. The victim... who is also not being identifed... remains in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center with several gun-shot wounds. Police say the man was apparently leaving the store about 6 PM when the car drove up... and, one of the people inside shot multiple times. Officers say the driver then sped off in a northerly direction. Samuelson says both suspects are charged with first-degree assault in the case... and, more charges are pending. Both are jailed without bail. City police say anyone who may have information on the incident should call them at 483-7537. You can also call the confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Panama teenager faces multiple charges after leading police on a high-speed pursuit... in which the suspect was allegedly last seen driving more than 100 miles an hour. Sheriff's officers say they tried to pull over 18 year-old Clayton Manwaring of Panama-Bear Lake Road just before 1 AM Saturday on the Panama-Stedman Road. However... deputies say Manwaring allegedly sped up as he tried to elude police. Officers say Manwaring's license plate number was recorded by their on-board license reader... and, he was later tracked down. He was charged with two counts of speeding... and, one count each of reckless operation and failure to comply with a lawful order. He is to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date.
The 137th annual Chautauqua County Fair gets underway for it's week-long run today... and, a number of new shows and old favorites will be part of the Grandstand entertainment. That from Fair Board President Dave Wilson... who says the fair will begin with the traditional firing of their Civil War-era cannon. Wilson says yesterday ended their pre-sale ticket sales for week. He adds that your pay-one-price ticket also guarantees you admission to the grandstand shows. Wilson says there'll be two grandstand shows for opening day today... with Horse Harness Racing at 2 PM... and, the Stagecoach Outriders Show at 7 PM. On Tuesday... the first of the two demolition derbies will be held. Wilson says the first new show will be on Wednesday night at 7 PM when the Legends Stunt Show makes it's first appearance. Another big attraction... the annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale... will again be Friday beginning at 12 Noon. Wilson made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program. For more information about the fair... call 366-4752... or go on-line to Chautauquacountyfair-dot-ORG.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says the nation should increase funds for the development of high-tech sensors that can disable a car's ignition if its driver is drunk. The New York Democrat said Sunday that he is supporting legislation that would increase funding for research and development of the new sensors. The technology works by detecting alcohol in breath or even the touch of skin. If a person's alcohol level is found to be above the legal limit to drive, the car's ignition will not start. Schumer says the new sensors are less cumbersome than existing ignition interlocks, and could one day be made available as a regular option in automobiles. He says they should also be mandatory for those convicted of drunken driving.
As the county continues to finalize damage figures from the recent, devastating flash floods that hit the North County-area... County Executive Vince Horrigan and the County Legislature took some time out to recognize the work of emergency responders. They did that during last week's Legislature meeting in Mayville. Horrigan and lawmakers especially praised their work in the rescue of a woman who fell into Slippery Rock Creek near Brocton on July 14th. Horrigan, a former Air Force colonel, says he's impressed by the local fire system's "robust response....." Horrigan and Legislature Chairman Jay Gould commended members of the county Water Emergency Team, and representatives of Brocton, Portland and Silver Creek Fire Departments and Emergency Services Director Julius Leone for their efforts.
More than 250 classic and vintage cars were on display at the 32nd World Series of Cars at Jamestown's Bergman Park Sunday. While they usually look for about 350 to 400 cars and other vehicles each year... organizers say a large number of people attended the annual fund-raiser for the local Babe Ruth Committee putting on the World Series tournaments. Local Babe Ruth Committee President Russ Diethrick says the warm and sunny conditions brought out a "nice crowd... " and, brought in some new cars. Diethrick says some of the judges noticed a lot of vehicles that they had not seen there before. In addition to the cars... which included classic Cadillacs... coupes... and, muscle cars. Diethrick says there were also some nice looking, vintage trucks... as well as fire trucks. Diethrick says the World Series of Cars -- going into this year -- had raised more than 300-thousand dollars in it's 32 years. He says the fund-raising is vital... because it costs the Babe Ruth committee about 120 to 130-thousand dollars to put on each world series.
Kelsey Settles won the Rally Masters Division in the All-American Soap Box Derby on Saturday. The 18-year-old from Owensboro, Kentucky, raced in a car honoring late aunt Connie Leonard, who died from breast cancer in 2012. The car, which won best paint job in 2012, had a large pink bow along with the motto ``Fight Like a Girl.'' Settles was one of three champions from Kentucky, marking the first time anyone from the state won. Fifteen-year-old Tyler Peterson of Bowling Green topped the Rally Super Stock field, and 11-year-old Lukas A. Ramey of Hanson topped the Rally Stock competition. Arlington, Massachusetts, had a champion in Local Masters for the second straight year as 16-year-old Bailey Martin won. The Jamestown-Area Soap Box Derby winners were competitive... but, only winners moved on. Falconer's Bryce Larson finished second in his Super Stock heat... while Falconer Damon Vincent got third in his Stock Division heat. A field of 418 racers from around the U-S... and, representing countries as far away as Japan and New Zealand competed in hot and windy conditions.
Two suspects jailed in connection with drive-by shooting in front of Jamestown supermarket...
Two suspects are jailed without bail for allegedly being involved in last Friday night's drive-by shooting in the parking lot of the Top's Market on Jamestown's northside. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says neither suspect is being identified at this time to preserve the "integrity of the investigation." Samuelson adds they have also recovered the vehicle allegedly involved in the incident. He says a dark-colored Ford Focus was found unoccupied on a street on the city's southside. The victim... who is also not being identifed... remains in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center with several gun-shot wounds. Police say the man was apparently leaving the store about 6 p.m. when the car drove up... and, one of the occupants shot multiple times. Officers say the driver then sped off in a northerly direction. Samuelson says both suspects are charged with first-degree assault in the case. City police say anyone who may have information on the incident should call them at 483-7537. You can also call the confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Man shot several times in drive-by shooting in Tops parking lot in Jamestown...
A Jamestown man is being treated at a Buffalo-area hospital after he was shot several times -- at close range -- as he left a northside grocery store early this evening. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a dark blue sedan -- possibly a Ford Focus -- drove up to the victim at the Tops Market at 2000 Washington St. just before 6 p.m. Samuelson says the victim was shot multiple times... before the vehicle drove off. He says the car fled in a northerly direction on Washington Street... towards Fluvanna Avenue. The victim was initially taken to WCA Hospital... and, later transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment. No other information has been released. City police say anyone who may have information on the incident... or who may have been involved... should call them at 483-7537. You can also call the confidential tip -line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Former city man convicted, and sentenced in "Pump and Dump" penny stock scam...
A former Jamestown resident has been sentenced to nearly 4 years in federal prison for selling inflated "penny stocks" to investors on the Internet. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Jr. says 33 year-old Eric Cusimano of Lakeway, Texas was convicted Friday of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tax evasion. Cusimano was then sentenced to 46 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara. Hochul adds the defendant was also ordered to pay $657,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service... and, pay just over $1.2-million in a money judgment to the United States. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mango, who prosecuted the case, stated that between September 2009 and January 9th of 2012, the defendant and others participated in a stock fraud scheme that utilized several websites registered through an internet domain registrar and web hosting company. In addition... Mango says Cusimano owned and operated Premire Consulting, Incorporated from 2008 to 2011 which was utilized to promote penny stocks. Premire reportedly brought in about $7.9-million in business for those stocks.
County Jail inmate arrested this week takes his own life...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate has allegedly taken his own life while in custody. Sheriff Joe Gerace, who oversees the jail operations, confirmed today that the inmate committed suicide late Thursday evening. We have also learned that the inmate was 53 year-old Robert Gee of Dunkirk. Gee was arrested earlier this week on a second-degree assault charge stemming from an on-going investigation into illegal drugs in the city. Gerace says the state Department of Corrections... has been contacted and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.
Hochul talks tourism with panel while in Chautauqua County...
Tourism numbers are up in Chautauqua County... and, state officials believe that tying the area into tourism in the Buffalo-area has contributed to that. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul hosted a "Summer Tourism Roundtable" yesterday in Mayville to discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo's "I Love New York" initiative. Hochul also wanted to hear what's been successful here. She says local tourism was up 5-percent last year... which was the biggest jump outside of New York City. Hochul says she's familiar with some of the local attractions... including Chautauqua Institution... Chautauqua Lake... and, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
Hochul talks about Lake Erie shoreline flooding with Horrigan...
New York state officials are fully on-board with flood relief efforts along the northern Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County. County Executive Vince Horrigan met in Mayville yesterday with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to provide details on the flooding... which she will report back to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Most of the flood damage was seen in the Brocton and Westfield areas. Hochul confirms that a federal declaration is not likely... but, she says some state, and Small Business Administration help should be available for the 250 residents and business owners affected. Silver Creek was also impacted by flooding... although the village was not hit as badly as Brocton and the town of Portland. Horrigan says he appreciates the governor's interest... and, says the county is trying to get all the help it can for those people affected.
Co. Court Judge Ward says 40 years enough, he's retiring at the end of July...
Chautauqua County Court Judge John Ward will be retiring after more than 40 years in criminal justice work at the end of the month. Judge Ward today says he's ready to "let somebody else do the job." The 67 year-old Ward has been County Court Judge for 23 years. He has seven years left in his term, but says the time is right. Ward's presided over a number of major, high-profile cases in the past couple of years... and, he admits it's taken a a bit of a toll. He says he decided it was "time to turn the gavel over to someone else." Ward still has seven years left on his current, 10-year term. State law requires judges retire at the age of 70. Besides spending 23 years as a judge,... Ward also served many years as an Assistant District Attorney... and, as District Attorney. His last day will be July 30.
County Elections Commissioner Abram talks about process to replace Ward...
Voters in Chautauqua County will get to chose Judge John Ward's successor in this November's general election. There will be no primaries due to the fact there is no time to circulate petitions... which were due earlier this month. That from county Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says they are past the time that petitions could be circulated for primaries. With that... Abram says the local political parties will meet after Primary Day on Sept. 10 to select their candidates... and, will have to submit them by Sept. 17. Since Judge Ward is expected to leave the bench at the end of month, we have learned that visiting judges from Erie County will be assigned cases for the rest of the year.
Ashville man arrested for allegedly imprisoning another man at his home...
An Ashville man is now free on bail after being accused of holding another person -- against their will -- in his home. Sheriff's deputies say 22 year-old Nathan Kelwaski of Route 474 was arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly hitting another man in the face... and, then holding the male victim against his will. Kelwaski was arrested... and, charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, harassment. A warrant was obtained from North Harmony Town Court... and, Kelwaski was arrested without incident. He was freed on $1,000 bail, pending a future court appearance.
New 4-H Educator introduced...
Just in time for next week's Chautauqua County Fair... Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County has announced a new 4-H educator. Her name is Kate Ewer. Kate grew up in the county as an active member of the goat program and says 4-H did a lot for her in developing a sense of responsibility, and public speaking and marketing skills and techniques. Ewer received her bachelor's degree in Ag Business Management this past Spring from SUNY Cobleskill. She's excited to meet all the 4-H-ers currently involved in the organization at the fair next week. the annual 4-H Market Animal sale is set for Noon, Friday, July 31.
Chautauqua County Court Judge John Ward to retire at end of the month...
After spending more than 40 years of working in the criminal justice system in Chautauqua County... County Court Judge John Ward says he's going to retire at the end of the month. While he could have remained behind the bench until age 70 under state law... the 67 year-old Ward tells us the time is right. He says the decision came after some recent vacation time. Ward says someone once told him "you'll know when you're ready to retire," and, he knew it was. Ward says he is in good health... but, he admits with the number of high profile cases he has had to handle in recent years, it was time to step down. Besides spending 23 years as a judge,... Ward also served many years as an assistant District Attorney... and, as District Attorney. He says he liked both positions... but, adds he was ready for a change after spending 15 years as District Attorney. Ward says he will miss the people he works with... but, he looks forward to spending more time traveling and with his family. Judge Ward says he expects to wrap up his work July 30.
Hochul meets with Horrigan to discuss help to deal with Flood damage...
New York state officials are fully on-board with flood relief efforts along the northern Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County. County Executive Vince Horrigan met in Mayville Thursday morning with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to provide details on the flooding... which she will report back to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Most of the flood damage was seen in the Brocton and Westfield areas. Hochul confirms that a federal declaration is not likely... but, she says some state, and Small Business Administration help should be available for the 250 home or business owners. Silver Creek was also impacted by flooding... although the village was not hit as badly as Brocton and the town of Portland. Horrigan says he appreciates the governor's interest... and, says the county is trying to get all the help it can for those people affected. He says they waiting on the SBA to finish it's flood survey... work... and, then applying for aid.
Fast Food Workers may be earning $15 an hour by the end of decade in Upstate New York; sooner in NYC...
Fast-food workers in New York state may soon be making $15 an hour... but, it would be phased-in over several years. A proposal to raise the minimum wage for workers at McDonalds, Starbucks and other fast-food restaurants to $15 an hour was endorsed Wednesday by a state labor board. Governor Cuomo, whose administration has the final say on the idea, has signaled his support. Many fast-food workers say $15-an-hour would allow them to keep up with the state's high cost of living. However... restaurant owners say the increase will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.
Chaut. County government, CSEA, at Impasse...
County employees represented by the Civil Service Employee's Association let lawmakers know what they thought about not having a contract for 43 months by holding an information picket before last night's County Legislature meeting. Members of CSEA Unit Local-#6300 represent about 950 county workers. That from Union President Steve Skidmore... who says he has had some discussions about the situation with County Executive Vince Horrigan. Skidmore says they've talked a lot, but, adds both are ready for mediation now. He says union found a way the county could save millions of dollars in insurance funding. Horrigan says he would not comment on the CSEA Proposal... but, he does look forward to mediation.
Schumer warns of even higher Egg prices later in 2015 is funding to fight Avian Flu is slashed...
It's something that affects every family and every person who uses egg products in the United States... and, Senator Charles Schumer says Avian Flu is to blame for a 50-percent increase in the cost of eggs. The New York Democrat said yesterday that while the U-S Department of Agriculture has been working hard to slow down and stop spread of the disease... it's not expected to peak until late this year. However... Schumer says Congress is proposing to cut the $500-million the USDA needs to fight the outbreak. He says the funding needs to be in place because a renewed wave of Avian Flu is expected around October 1st. Schumer says the USDA uses the money to develop vaccinations... and, bio-security measures to help farmers reduce spread of the disease. He adds that most grocery stores -- including Wegman's -- have seen prices increase 35-to-40-percent over the past month alone. Schumer says Avian Flu has already forced farmers to euthanize some 48-million chickens.
Dunkirk man arrested for alleged domestic assault...
A Dunkirk man is jailed without bail following an investigation by undercover drug agents into a domestic incident he was allegedly part of. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they received a warrant for the arrest of 53 year-old Robert Gee of 25 East Benton St. on Tuesday morning. Task Force members say they arrested Gee shortly before 11 a.m. on one count of second-degree assault. Agents say the incident allegedly occured at the East Benton Street location where Gee lives. He was arrested without incident... arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Special State Wage Board approves phased-in $15 per hour wage for fast-food workers...
Fast-food workers in New York state may soon be making $15 an hour... but, it would be phased-in over several years. A proposal to raise the minimum wage for workers at McDonalds, Starbucks and other fast-food restaurants to $15 an hour was endorsed Wednesday by a state labor board. Governor Cuomo, whose administration has the final say on the idea, has signaled his support. Many fast-food workers say $15-an-hour would allow them to keep up with the state's high cost of living. However... restaurant owners say the increase will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.
Leone says Chautauqua County likely not to have enough damage to qualify for federal disaster aid...
Chautauqua County officials continue to work on getting as much assistance as possible for communities hit by last week's flooding, but it doesn't appear that a federal disaster declaration is likely. That from County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone who says they are still working on final numbers... but, adds they've tallied up about $6.3-million in damage so far. He says those numbers reflect public property damage. Leone says the county's threshold of just over $400,000 was easily excceeded, but from a state perspective, at least $20-million is needed to trigger a federal declaration for FEMA funding. Leone says representatives from the Small Business Administration are touring the area. He says they began in Silver Creek... and, have gone through Brocton, and are now in Westfield for businesses that may be eligible for low-interest loans. County Executive Vince Horrigan said earlier this week that he is working closely with State Senator Cathy Young's office to determine what assistance is available.
Jamestown woman seriously hurt in single-car accident in Kiantone...
A city woman is being treated for serious injuries after she was she was ejected from her car when it crashed near a house in the town of Kiantone Tuesday afternoon. Sheriff's deputies say 19 year-old Rachel Burt of Bowen Street was northbound on Kiantone Road just after 1 PM when she missed a curve... and, the vehicle left the road. Officers say Burt's car slid then sideways for about 150 feet before hitting several brick light pillars. The vehicle then overturned after hitting a raised driveway... and, rolled backwards before hitting a fence. Deputies say Burt was ejected out of the back window... and, through a wooden fence into a hayfield. Officers also say the homeowner... who was standing outside in his front yard... had to run behind the house to avoid being hit. Burt was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment. Charges are pending.
Ohio woman arrested for driving the wrong way on State Thruway...
State police say a woman from Ohio was under the influence of drugs when she drove the wrong way on the Thruway in northern Chautauqua County. Officials say troopers spotted a car traveling west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday in the town of Hanover. Police say troopers were able to catch up to the car after the driver of a tractor-trailer blocked all the eastbound lanes to prevent any accidents. Troopers say they charged 44-year-old Michelle Weaver of Painesville, Ohio, with driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless endangerment. Police say Weaver was turned over to a sober third party and released.
Ramis' daughters to be part of special panel discussion at Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...
T-V Talk and game show host Regis Philbin isn't the only late addition to the line-up for next week's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says members of late comedy writer and director Harold Ramis' two daughters will also be on hand for the big panel discussion about comedy legends. Gunderson says they will join Kelly Carlin... the daughter of the late George Carlin... and, the late Joan Rivers' daughter... for the program on Friday night, July 31. Kelly Carlin will moderate the panel discussion. Gunderson says Ramis is considered one of the most "enfluencial" writer/directors of all time. His credits include "Animal House," Groundhog Day," "Caddyshack,"... and, "Ghostbusters." For more information on the panel discussion... and, others events during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... call 484-0800... or go on-line to www.lucycomedyfest.com. Two sold out shows with Comedy Legend Jerry Seinfield high-light the weekend on Saturday, Aug. 1.
Philbin announced as moderator for panel to discuss longevity of Letterman Shows added to Lucy Comedy Festival line-up....
A big name TV entertainer and talk show host has been added to the star-studded line-up for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Regis Philbin has agreed to host a panel discussion about the longest-running late night T-V show... which he appeared on more than 150 times. Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center of Comedy Director Journey Gunderson says Philbin will also be here in Jamestown to help break ground on the new, National Comedy Center on the city's westside on Saturday, August 1st. Gunderson says Philbin will host the panel of long-time members of "Late Night with David Letterman" on Thursday night, July 30th at the Willow Bay Theater on East Third Street. Former Stage Manager Biff Henderson will be among those on hand. Tickets are just $10 each. For more information... call 484-0800... or go on-line to www.lucycomedyfest.com.
Horrigan says Lake Erie shoreline flooding clean-up continuing; help available for victims...
Flood recovery efforts continue this week across the North County, and Lake Erie shoreline area hit by last week's flash flooding. County Executive Vince Horrigan says a disaster assistance center will be open through today at the Portland Fire Hall. Horrigan says they have a "comprehensive disaster assistance team" together joining county agencies with local, and non-profit agencies in place to assist. County and local highway crews are continuing clean-up work following the storms that brought up to 6 inches of rainfall in some spots. Horrigan says the county may not have enough damage to qualify for federal help... although they are still in the process of compiling damage estimates. He says that goes for possible state help as well, because those numbers will also include other counties' totals. Horrigan says the Small Business Administration will have representatives in the area by mid week, and they'll be reaching out to smaller businesses that may have been impacted by the flash flooding.
Reed says, upon further review, that yes, Iranian Nuke Deal as bad as first believed...
Congressman Tom Reed won't be among the supporters of the Nuclear Arms deal with Iran. The Corning Republican said after the deal was announced that it was a bad deal. Since then he's had a chance to further read, and review it... and, adds the proposed agreement's not any better after reading it. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media... Reed called it "very troublesome." He believes it will make Iran a direct threat to "our national security."
Cattaraugus County woman pleds not guility to charges in death fo her infant daughter...
A Cattaraugus County woman faces second-degree murder charges in the death of her 1-year-old daughter. Leslie Finch pleaded not guilty Monday in the April death of Mila Whipple. Police have not detailed what they believe happened. Area media report Finch is currently free on bond.
Medicaid Expansion in NYS finds just over one-million more people added over past year...
New York has added 1.1-million people to Medicaid since the state health exchange opened last year in the national effort to connect the uninsured with low-cost coverage. More than 6.2-million New Yorkers are now enrolled, almost one-third of its 19 million people. The Affordable Care Act pushed many states to expand eligibility for government-funded health coverage, but New York was there already. It only had to raise the income threshold for single adults. But many other New Yorkers, already poor enough to qualify, also enrolled. Also, the new computerized system cut the ``churn'' that was annually kicking many eligible people out. Medicaid in New York costs about $63.5-billion this year, almost half the state budget. Cost-cutting and federal reimbursements kept the state share at $22.5 billion.
State's new, Weather Detection System receives federal approval...
New York will soon begin work on a new weather detection system intended to provide better data on floods, wildfires and severe weather. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the federal government has approved the installation of sensors at 19 sites around the state. The full weather detection system is expected to have 125 sensor sites when completed. The $24-million system will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The weather detection system is designed to help state and local officials respond to floods, wildfires and other events by providing real-time data on air, wind, soil and radiation conditions.
Two people seriously hurt when their bicycles are struck by van that crosses center line on Jamestown street...
A Jamestown woman has been charged with failure to keep right after her van struck two women bicyclists -- seriously injuring both -- on the city's westside. Jamestown Police say they were called to the scene at West Eighth and Lafayette Streets about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers say the driver of the van... 30 year-old Tanya Critzer... told them she was distracted by children in her van. Police say the eastbound vehicle crossed into the on-coming lane of traffic... and, struck both bikes. Officers say both riders were rushed to WCA Hospital for treatment... with one being flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center futher treatment. In addition to failure to keep right... Critzer is also charged with failure to use due care for a bicyclist. Police add more charges are pending.
Ellington man arrested, jailed for allegedly selling heroin to undercover drug agents...
An Ellington man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling heroin to undercover police with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. Task Force agents say they raided the home of 28 year-old James Boardman of Hagerdon Hill Road last Friday night. But... officers say Boardman tried to escape by running into a wooded area behind the house. Task Force members were able to take him into custody a short time later. They accuse Boardman of selling Heroin to task force members several times in the town of Ellicott, and other areas of southern Chautauqua County. He was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the county jail pending further court action.
Southern Tier Drug Task Force also arrests two people in Jamestown...
Undercover drug officers with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force also arrested two people from Jamestown late last week following an investigation into Heroin sales. Task Force agents say they raided a home at 32 Franklin Street late last Thursday... and, arrested 35 year-old Maylee Nunez, and 32 year-old Christian Opio... without incident. Officers say drug agents made several undercover drug purchases from both resdients. They were both arraigned in City Court on one count each of third-degree criminal sale, and possession of a controlled substance. More charges are pending. Both were sent to the County Jail... where both posted $5,000 bail. If you have any information on illegal drug activity... call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.
Scandinavian Folk Festival closes successful run in Gerry Sunday...
It may have been hot and muggy much of the past weekend... but, it gave people a chance to get outside, and enjoy the 14th annual Scandinavian Folk Festival in Gerry. The event concluded yesterday afternoon at the Rodeo Grounds off Route 60... and, organizers were pretty pleased with the outcome. Scott Axelson with the festival committee says they had "great attendance" for all three-days. Axelson says they were very happy with the turn-out for the "Mid-Summer Celebration" part of the festival Saturday morning. He says they had the mid-summer dance because the rain held off this year. The Mid-Summer Celebration began with putting up the Mid-Summer Pole at the Rodeo Grounds. Axelson says there was also good attendance for all three performances by the Abba tribute band, "Dancing Dream" on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday afternoon. He says their exhibits and demonstrations were also well attending... including a special talk regarding Swedish bakeries in Jamestown. Axelson says his father, and Rick Ecklof put on that discussion. In fact... Ecklof's is considered the last remaining Swedish bakery in Jamestown.
Medicaid expands by 1.1-million people in New York state this year...
New York has added 1.1-million people to Medicaid since the state health exchange opened last year in the national effort to connect the uninsured with low-cost coverage. More than 6.2-million New Yorkers are now enrolled, almost one-third of its 19 million people. The Affordable Care Act pushed many states to expand eligibility for government-funded health coverage, but New York was there already. It only had to raise the income threshold for single adults. But many other New Yorkers, already poor enough to qualify, also enrolled. Also, the new computerized system cut the ``churn'' that was annually kicking many eligible people out. Medicaid in New York costs about $63.5-billion this year, almost half the state budget. Cost-cutting and federal reimbursements kept the state share at $22.5 billion.
Jamestown Soap Box Derby winners in Akron for week leading up to national and world championships...
The two champions of the Jamestown-Area Soap Box Derby are enjoying the sights and other activities in the Akron, Ohio area leading up to this weekend's national and world championships. Bryce Larson won the local Super Stock Division at Sinatra Soap Box Derby track at Diethrick Park. Both Larson and Stock Division Winner Damon Vincent threw out of the first-balls at this past week's Jamestown Jammers game. Larson tells us he's ready to go... and, was looking forward to the week leading up to the racing as well, which was to include a stop at the Cedar Point amusement park. Larson feels he's ready because he had to beat out about 20 others at the local competition. He says he made it to the local finals through the Winner's Bracket -- so he's got a good car. Vincent tells our Terry Frank that he's also ready to go. Larson says his car's been "tuned in..." and, he hopes to put Jamestown back on the Soap Box Derby championships in Akron."
State DEC issue plan to deal with Aquatic Invasives...
State conservation authorities have issued a plan for fighting invasive species in the state's waterways that include aggressive non-native animals and plants. The DEC says the statewide management plan updates the framework from 1993. Animals like the zebra mussel, spiny waterflea and round goby have come to the U.S. in the ballast water of oceangoing ships, with New York particularly vulnerable through the Great Lakes and canal system. The plan lists priority actions like expanding the network of stewards checking boats at launches... and, expanding use of disposal stations for removed species.
City police release video of Fresco's Pizzeria burglary, say scope of investigation broadens...
Jamestown police have now released a video surveillance tape of the two alleged burglars involving in the break-in at Fresco's Pizzeria on East Second Street during the overnight hours of July 7-8. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they are working with Buffalo-area police -- and others in the region -- to see if the pair may have been involved in other break-ins. Samuelson says the two white males... who were wearing partial maskes... were wearing t-shirts and shorts. The break-in occured just before Midnight on Tuesday, July 7. Investigators say they are working to identify the men from evidence found at the scene... and, are asking for the public's help in identifying the pair. The information has also been turned over to CRIMESTOPPERS in Buffalo. Anyone with information can contact City Police at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. The video clip can be viewed on the Jamestown Police Department's Facebook page.
Help numbers announced for people needing information or in crisis due to flooding...
There is a lot of help available for Chautauqua County residents impacted by this past week's severe flooding. That from county officials during Wednesday afternoon's press conference on the status of the clean-up... and, what's available to people living in the flood-ravaged areas. If you have an emergency... County Executive Vince Horrigan says call 9-1-1. However... if you're looking for information... he says call the 2-1-1 Referral Line. In addition... County Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler says there are also crisis numbers for people having a hard time psychologically with what's happened. Schuyler says their mobile crisis team can be reached at 1-800-724-0461. Schulyer adds that, if someone is eligible for social services... they should call 661-8094. There is also something residents affect should look out for -- scams. That warning is being issued from Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello from Silver Creek, and the town of Hanover. Borrello says word's gotten back to him about some alleged scammers. One type is trying to sell "after-the fact" insurance... while others are offering to do clean-up work for exhobitant amounts of money.
Westfield water situation back to normal... one county road reopended after flood waters receed...
There are two pieces of good news today for water customers in the village and town of Westfield. The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services says the water conservation order that's been in place since the flooding occured earlier this week has been lifted. Environmental Health Director Mark Stow says the cloudiness in the reservoir has decreased... and, the drinking water filtration plant is back to normal operation. In addition... Stow says the boil water order for Westfield water customers along Route 5 west of Walker Road in the town of Westfield has also been lifted. If you have any questions... call the Westfield Water Department at 326-2832.
In addition... one of the three county roads closed due to this week's flooding in the north county... and, along the Lake Erie Shoreline... has been reopened. The county's Dpartment of Public Facilities says Kabob Road in the town of Stockton... has again been opened between Route 380 and Waterman Road. However... two other roads... Route 380 in the Stockton-Portland area, and County Route 37 in the town of Chautauqua remain closed.
Goldin says migrants, others seeking a better life, should not be chided for their efforts...
Immigration is one of the biggest issues confronting the United States... and, the world... but, there is a disconnect between economies, and what migrants contribute. Those are the feelings of today's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution to wrap up "Immigration" week. Ian Goldin is the professor of Globalization and Development... and, the director of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University. Speaking with our Jim Roselle... Goldin says after the economic side is factored in... politics enters in. Goldin says that's because it's based on perceptions, which tend to be negative. He has authored 50 books... including on about immigrants entitled "Exceptional People... "in which he shares immigrant and migrant worker stories. In many cases... he says there may be a young man or woman trying to help their family -- or siblings -- by earning money in America... and, sending it home. Goldin says these people often take "huge risks" to try and ecsape poverty. He was the Vice-President of the World Bank from 2003-to-2006.
Gonzales also addresses Immigration at Chaut...
For the estimated 11-million illegal immigrants in the United States... citizenship is not the issue. Making a better life for themselves is. Those are the feelings of Thursday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution. Former U-S Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has even co-authored a new book on the subject. Speaking with our Jim Roselle... Gonzales said the nation "needs to do better" on the issue in a "post-9/11" era because immigration is a federal responsibility, and it seems the government is side-stepping that responsibility. Gonzales says people here illegally should be put on a path to citizenship... but, not to the "head of the line" over those who are doing it legally. Gonzales spoke as part of "Immigration: Origins and Destinations" Week at Chautauqua.
Gas prices remain at $2.94 this week in Jamestown-area...
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County haven’t changed over the past week. That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price for regular, unleaded hasn't moved over the past seven days. The price of $2.94 is the average based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area. The national average is now $2.77. AAA says the average price is just fractions of a penny more than a week ago... and, is at the lowest mark for this date in nearly five years. Nationally... the Fuel Gauge Report says the retail average has fallen for 19 of the past 30 days. Many consumers continue to save at the pump with national prices down three cents per gallon month-over-month. Triple-A says domestic supply factors continue to influence gas prices in some states. However, lower global crude oil prices are contributing downward pressure on gasoline prices across the nation.
Recovery efforts and effort to get disaster declaration next for flood victims in Chautauqua County...
Recovery efforts are well underway along the Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County... but, officials say the region came through this weeks flooding disaster as well as it could have. During a press conference in Mayville late Wednesday... county officials updated efforts to clean-up the affected areas... and, prevent disease and illness from contaminated water. County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone praised first-responders and others for their work... and, says the next step is obtaining state and federal disaster declarations. Leone says the partnerships formed to deal with the part couple of days have helped a lot of victims. He says the local goal for state assistance is $386,000... which he believes will be easily met. However... the federal number is $20-million. County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's important for local governments, residents and businesses to document and take pictures of their damage. County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says there is still only one boil water order in place along Route 5 from Walker Road to Shorehaven in the town of Westfield. Red Cross leaders on hand advised the public that clean-up kits are available in the areas affected. They will be available today at the Westfield Academy and High School.
Spanos says three County roads remain closed due to flooding, erosion...
Travel along the northern Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County remains tricky in many areas... and, some roads do remain closed due to debris or severe undermining. County Public Facilities Director George Spanos says there are three county roads that are currently closed. Spanos says Route 380 in the Stockton-Portland area will be closed about two weeks... while County Route 37 in the town of Chautauqua will hopefully be re-opened within a month. He says Kabob Road in the Stockton area should reopen once the water receeds. Spanos and Horrigan say they're not sure about local roads... though it's know that part of Woleben Road in the town of Portland suffered severe undermining... and, the road washed out in one area. As far as north-south routes... officials say Route 60 from Cassadaga and Fredonia has only one-lane now open... and, is restricted with a traffic light.
County Legislator warns of possible scamming from flood problems, and "help" phone numbers given...
Where there is great need... there is also great opportunity... and, that sometimes comes in the form of scams. That warning is being issued in the form of a warning from the Chautauqua County Legislator from Silver Creek, and the town of Hanover. George Borrello was among the officials on hand for yesterday's news conference in Mayville. Borrello says word's gotten back to him about some alleged scammers in the village where someone's been trying to sell "after-the-fact" flood insurance, or charging exorbitant clean-up fees. There is also a lot of help for residents... who may have physical or psychological needs in the flood-striken areas of the county. County Executive Vince Horrigan says if there's an emergency... call 9-1-1. But... if you need information... call 2-1-1. Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says their helpline for social services is 661-8094. For mental health needs... she says their mobile crisis team can be reached at 1-800-724-0461.
Water Conservation Order now in place in Westfield...
More water woes for the village of Westfield. The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has put water customers there under a "strict water conservation order." That from Environmental Health Director Mark Stow... who says the village was forced to shut down it's water filtration plant because they could not produce water that meets Health Department standards. With that... all residents and businesses served by the village water system are being notified to conserve water where ever possible until further notice. The Village has enough water in storage to last over two days... but, they need all their customers to conserve water until the water plant is again operational. The heavy rains from yesterday caused mud and other particulates to flow into their reservoir, which overwhelmed the water filtration plant. The plant was immediately shut down... therefore there is currently no risk to the public from drinking the water.
County Health officials trying to track down "Good Samaritan..." dog involved in vicious attack in Jamestown...
Chautauqua County health officials are trying to locate a fisherman who assisted a man being attacked by a dog on the trails around Chadakoin Park in Jamestown on Wednesday. Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says the "Good Samaritan" was described as a 6-foot-3 white male weighing about 240 pounds... with blond hair, and wearing blue jean shorts and a red shirt. The man may have been bitten while helping to pull the dog off the victim during the 3 p.m. attack. The dog, described as a large brown Pit Bull with no collar, came out of the bushes unprovoked and attacked a man, grabbing onto his upper leg and not letting go. The fisherman heard the screams of the victim... and, ran to assist by pulling the dog off of the victim. The dog got away. Health Department officials need to find the Good Samaritan to determine if he was bitten, also. If you have any information on the incident... contact the Department of Health and Human Services at 753-4489... during regular business hours or the Sheriff's Office at 753-4232 after regular hours.
JPS Board awards several contracts for Love Elementary School project...
Six contracts have been awarded by the Jamestown School Board for the approximately $8-million renovation project at Love Elementary School. The agreement were approved unanimously at Tuesday night's board meeting. School Superintendent Tim Mains says the project will entail a significant amount of electrical, and heating and cooling work. Mains says intalling a new air conditioning system is one of the main items... with a handicapped entrance, and a secure vestibule at the main office. Mains says E.E. Austin of Erie, PA - with a local office in Falconer -- will be the general contractor for the project... and, the electrical work will be done by Ahlstrom-Shaeffer Electric in Jamestown. He says the project will bring Love Elementary into the "21st Century..." which is something they're working to do with all the city district buildings. He reminds parents that Love School will be closed during the 2015-2016 school year while the work is done.
Flood waters in Chautauqua County receeding, however, clean-up underway and some roads remain closed...
The clean-up is underway across many parts of Chautauqua County after about 5-inches of rain fell in some areas...especially in the north county and Lake Erie shoreline areas. That from County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who says... after some tense moments early on... the situation calmed in Silver Creek last night. Leone says the creek overflowed it's banks about 5 PM. However... he says the rain stopped... and, the waters began to receed about 6 o'clock. Leone says there was a lot of mud and debris on the streets, and people's yards. He says emergency personnel did have to evacuate about 20 people from a nearby trailer park that was hit hard by flood waters a few years ago. He adds, though, that no one was seriously hurt... and, he took his "hat off" to local fire crews. As for Brocton and Westfield... where flood waters struck overnight after slow-moving storms dumped 3 to 4 inches of rain in about an hour... the clean-up is well underway there, also. In fact... Fire personnel from 12 companies pumped out between 60 and 70 basements in Brocton and the town of Portland. Many roads that were closed have reopened... but, officials warn that many may still have debris on them so extreme driving caution is advised.
Tuesday's thunderstorms have also caused high water along a number of streams and creeks across the region. Late this morning... County Executive Vince Horrigan said Route 60 between Cassadaga and Fredonia is again closed... as is Lake Avenue in Brocton.
Westfield residents and businesses under "strict water conservation" order...
More water woes this afternoon for the village of Westfield. The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has put water customers there under a "strict water conservation order." That from Environmental Health Director Mark Stow... who says the village was forced to shut down it's water filtration plant because they could not produce water that meets Health Department standards. With that... ALL residents and businesses served by the village water system are being notified to conserve water where ever possible until further notice. The Village has enough water in storage to last over two days... but, they need all their customers to conserve water until the water plant is again operational. Meatime... a boil water order remains in effect until further notice only for those water customers located along Route 5 west of Walker Road in the Town of Westfield.
City school board approves six construction contracts for Love Elementary School capital project...
The Jamestown School Board has awarded six contracts totalling just over $7.3-million for a major renovation project at Love Elementary School. The contracts were approved unanimously at last night's meeting. School Superintendent Tim Mains says they're pleased to now have the agreements in place so the project can get underway shortly. Mains adds that all the bids they approved came in just under budget... and, that's good news. He says they have just over $8-million set aside for the project. Mains says E.E. Austin of Erie, PA -- with a local officer in Falconer -- will be the general contractor for the project... which will involve a variety of electrical, and heating and cooling work. Mains says that will bring Love Elementary into the "21st Century..." something they're working to do with all the city district buildings. Love School will be closed for the entire 2015-16 school year while the work is done.
New Save-A-Lot store opens in Lakewood...
Reaction to the opening of the first, stand-alone supermarket in Lakewood in more than a decade has been very positive. That from Save-A-Lot owner Dave Waller... on the opening of his second store in the Jamestown-area. The doors opened on the new, Fairmount Avenue location just before 8 this morning. Waller says his work crews had to do a lot of work on the former Super Duper location... but, adds it's been worth it. He says reaction has been very positive, and people have been looking forward to the new store opening. Waller says this Save-A-Lot is very similar to their Jamestown location. The Lakewood store takes up just over 13,000 square feet of space. Waller says Save-A-Lot is a "deep discount" store with a limited variety of the items people need. He says they might have just three kinds of ketchup... but, with... they're able to buy in bulk and pass on the savings to customers. The Lakewood Save-A-Lot's hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturdays... and, 8 to 5 on Sundays.
New Siena poll favors Cuomo over di Blasio...
A poll says New York state voters are siding with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his clash with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Siena College survey found that 39 percent of voters statewide back Cuomo over de Blasio, compared to 28 percent who side with the mayor. De Blasio had slightly more support than Cuomo among Democrats and New York City voters. Last month... the mayor said Cuomo had disappointed him ``at every turn'' and pursues vendettas against opponents. Cuomo has regularly thwarted de Blasio's agenda and has said his fellow Democrat doesn't know how to compromise. The poll found that Cuomo's favorability dropped to 49 percent from 53 percent last month.
Reed strongly critical of Obama Administration's Iran nuke deal...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is critical of the potential nuclear deal reached with Iran Tuesday. The Corning Republican says the deal is "politically motivated... " adding the President is seeking a deal for the sake of simply reaching an agreement for "his own personal legacy." Reed adds that "giving weapons and cash to Iran in exchange for empty promises is no way to protect America." He says the agreement may "temporarily delay Iran from getting a nuclear weapon during the next 16 months..." but, adds that "the bottom line is that it allows Iran to become a nuclear state."
Heavy Rain overnight in Chautauqua County could have an effect on your travel this morning. County Dispatch reports that the thruway is closed eastbound from Ripley to Westfield and Route 60 is closed from Cassadaga to Layona due to flooding. A number of flooded basements were being pumped out in Westfield, Portland and Brocton. It was also reported that emergency shelters were set up in the Westfield and Brocton Schools. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from noon today through this evening and a flood warning for western Chautauqua County until 10 o'clock this morning.
The Jamestown City Council will be voting in two-weeks on filing a second, School Resource Officer for the city school district's Tech Academy on East Fourth Street. The council's Finance Committee approved the measure, creating the new position, at last night's meeting. Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says one, new additional officer will be hired to replace a veteran officer, who will be filing the SRO position. The Tech Academy had a couple of issues over the past school year with two students being arrested for allegedly assaulting two instructors. City Police Captain Todd Issacson says the SRO will not just be at the academy to "keep the peace..." but, to develop a rapport with students to try and head-off any potential problems. Issacson says the police department would like to hire the new officer as soon as possible so they can be trained and brought up to speed before the current officer is placed in the Tech Academy this Fall.
A Jamestown woman is jailed without bail for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend in the hand during a domestic dispute late Sunday night on the city's northside. City police were called to the scene at 1140 North Main Street shortly before 11 PM... and arrested Zenia Morales. Officers say Morales allegedly stabbed the boyfriend in front of a 13 year-old child. She was arresed for second-degree assault... and, endangering the welfare of a child. She was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the county lock-up.
The head of New York's National Rifle Association affiliate says a gun control deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republicans in the state Senate does little, and possibly nothing, to lift restrictions on ammunition sales. New York State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King says rolling back gun controls enacted two years ago was a topic of negotiations from January until lawmakers adjourned in June. King says their initial understanding was that a memo signed Friday by a top Cuomo aide and Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan would lift the prohibition on direct Internet ammunition sales to New Yorkers and eliminate a database of ammunition buyers required by the law. Based on subsequent statements from Cuomo's office, he says that hasn't happened and ``there's nothing there.'' Cuomo's office says the database will be created when technically feasible.
Incumbant Tom Reed says he welcomes the first Democrat to join the race for the 23rd Congressional District... adding that voters will see a "clear" difference between them. The Corning Republican commented for the first time Monday on having a challenger in the 2016 race. John Plumb... a military man from Randolph... announced his intention to run late last week. Reed says it's "fundamentally up to the people of the district" to decide who their representative will be. He adds his main focus -- right now -- remains representing his contituents in Washington. When he announced last week... Plumb criticized Reed for -- in his words -- not representing the area "very well." Plumb cited Reed's vote to shut down the Department of Homeland Security in a budget dispute. Reed says that wasn't a vote against the Department of Homeland Security as much as how much the government spends. Plumb was a top military aide for the Obama Administration. During his weekly telephone conference call... Reed said he had not crossed paths with Plumb during his time in Washington.
The day immigration stops will be a day of "great trouble" for the United States. Those are the feelings of Monday's featured speaker at Chautauqua Institution... who says America is still "a beacon of freedom" in the world. The chairman of the History Department at Notre Dame University, Patrick Griffin, led off this week's lecture series on the hot-button issue. Griffin tells our Jim Roselle there are mainly two arguments taking place. However... there is another school of thought... led by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The controversial, billionaire developer made immigration a major issue during his announcement that he's running... saying that Mexico is not "sending it's best" to America. Griffin calls Trump's comments show "ignorance, and, scornful and hateful." Griffin compared the situation with Ireland when 4 to 5-million Irish citizens fled during and following the Potato Famine in the mid-1800s to the U-S. Many American citizens... at the time... said there's "no way" the Irish influx could assimilate into the nation. Griffin spoke to lead off "Immigration: Origins and Destinations" week.
Six people face a number of charges -- including Felonies -- following a round-up by police, and members of the county's Health and Human Services Department, of people allegedly committing Welfare Fraud. Sheriff's officers say the six people... five of whom are from Jamestown... received just over 8-thousand dollars in public assistance they were not entitled to. Deputies say the biggest offender... 31 year-old Nichole Brown of Jamestown... received just over 24-hundred dollars worth of benefits. A fifth person from Dunkirk was also arrested. Deputies say the charges range from grand larceny... to first-degree filing a false instrument for filing... and, misuse of food stamps.
A Stockton man has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than 550-dollars worth of items -- including copper piping -- from a barn in the town of Stockton. State Police in Fredonia say they took 21 year-old Justin Peck into custody for the alleged break-in... which occured last February 26th on Pierson Road. Troopers say Peck is also accused of taking four lawn-tractor batteries, an electric vacuum pump, a kids four wheeler, and a dirt bike. In addition... police say there was a rear door to the house that had been pushed in... copper water lines were cut from the basement ceiling... and, from the upstairs baseboard heaters, and electrical lines were also stolen. Peck was issued appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court for third-degree burlgary... and, criminal mischief.
City man arrested for allegedly choking, holding woman against her will...
A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly choking a woman, and holding her against her will, during a weekend domestic incident on the city's southside. City police were called to the scene at 107 Barrett Ave. just after 6 a.m. Saturday. Officers say the female victim had a valid order of protection against 28 year-old Jesus Torres, Junior... who attacked the woman... and, wouldn't let her leave the residence several times. Police say they found Torres in a crawl space in the basement, and, finally took him into custody following a brief stand-off. Torres was arraigned on one count of first-degree criminal contempt -- a Felony... and, several others, including second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. He was sent to the county lock-up.
City stabbing in Brooklyn Square under investigation...
The investigation is continuing into an alleged stabbing in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square last Friday afternoon involving two women. No details have been released... but, the Jamestown Post-Journal says officers were called to the scene -- in front of the CVS Store at Main and Harrison Streets -- about 4 p.m. Police say one woman stabbed the other twice... once in the left hand and the other time in the right thigh. The victim was taken to WCA Hospital, while the suspect was taken into custody. Police say charges are pending. No names have been released.
County Democrat Party chair "giddy" over Plumb's Congressional candidacy...
The head of the Chautauqua County Democratic committee says he is absolutely "giddy" over the decision by a local native and former military aide in Obama Administration to run for Congress next year. Party Chairman Norm Green says he is impressed with John Plumb's resume... and, the fact that he is a Chautauqua County native. Plumb... who was born in Jamestown and raised in Randolph... announced his intentions late last week to run for incumbant Republican Tom Reed's seat. Green says the fact Plumb has some experience in Washington will make him an asset to the 23rd Congressional District. Taking a bit of a shot at Reed, Green says "first off, he's not a lawyer. That puts him ahead of the vast majority of people that are in the state legislature and Congress." At this point... Green says Plumb appears to be the only candidate seeking the Democratic nomination. He says Martha Robertson -- who ran against Reed last year -- is not seeking the party nod this time around. Green adds that there is "no other candidate on the horizon," and "I've already told people he is Chautauqua County's 'favorite son.'" Reed has already said that he will be seeking re-election.
Young praising agreement to compromise on SAFE Act changes with Cuomo Administration...
The region's state Senator is hailing changes agreed to in New York's controversial SAFE Act as a victory. She also hopes the agreement between Governor Cuomo's administration and state Senate Republicans is the first step in having the entire law repealed. The agreement reached Friday lifts a moratorium on Internet sales of ammunition... and, suspendes the development of a statewide database requiring background checks for ammunition buyers. Repealing that measure was part of a bill co-sponsored by state Senator Cathy Young that would change several parts of the SAFE Act. It was passed in the Senate back on June 9. However... the measures went nowhere in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.
Horrigan says plans for North County Water District moving foward...
Plans to form a North County Water District are moving onto the next step... but, without the village of Fredonia. That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who announced the decision at a meeting of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation late this past week. Horrigan says that they are very close to reaching an agreement with the city of Dunkirk to become the sole provider of water... at least for now. Horrigan says the supplier will be the city of Dunkirk for now. He says all sides still part of the agreement are "very, very close" on a final agreement. Horrigan says they will keep door open for the village of Fredonia to join as a secondary supplier down the road, if an agreement is reached. He says the current measure will allow the municipalities involved to form the district, get it adopted by the county legislature, and get the financing in place. However... Horrigan adds they will continue talking with Fredonia officials.
County Fair tickets now on sale...
The Chautauqua County Fair opens two weeks from today... but, Fair Board President, Dave Wilson says people who buy tickets now will save $4 on the price of admission. Presale tickets will be $6 a piece. Once the Fair opens July 27... tickets will be $10 each. Pre-sale tickets are available at a variety of locations including many Tops Markets, Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union offices, Brigiotta's, Peterson Farm and Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union offices. Dave Wilson says they've got a great lineup for the grandstand shows this year with a car stunt show, tractor pull, bullriding, and there'll be demolition derbies on Tuesday and Sunday of fair week. Wilson also says the barns will be full of animals, even though live chickens have been prohibited by the state due to fear of Avian Flu.
Cuomo, Senate Republicans, agree to changes in SAFE Act...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration and state Senate Republicans have agreed to changes in gun control laws enacted after the 2012 Connecticut school massacre. Republican Senator James Seward, a critic of the so-called ``SAFE Act,'' said Friday a moratorium on Internet sales of ammunition will be lifted and development of a statewide database requiring background checks for ammunition buyers is being suspended. The head of the state police has said technology needed for the database doesn't exist, for now. That's according to an agreement signed by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican, and top Cuomo aide Jim Malatras. The Democratic governor has resisted calls to change what he considers a signature achievement. Democratic State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie calls the agreement ``an ill-advised end run'' around the legislation.
Teresi says complete resurfacing of Foote Avenue in city to begin Monday with state DOT prep work...
The state Department of Transportion will begin a $2.3-million resurfacing project on Foote Avenue... and, Foote Avenue extension in Jamestown... and, the town of Kiantone next Monday. That from DOT Spokesman Dan Peskey in Buffalo... who says the initial work involves the replacing 34 curb ramps. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says they're pleased the DOT added the one-and-a-half mile section of Foote Avenue to an already-planned project to reconstruct Foote Avenue Extension from the city line to Route 62 in Kiantone. He says the city has completed it's work... which included cleaning out the storm drains, and repairing several drop-inlets and catch basins. Peskey says they have some other early prep work to do before the mill and overlay begins later in July. He says the general contractor... Lakeshore Paving... will be handling that. The city section of Foote Avenue completely deteriorated after just four-years. Teresi says the pavement should have lasted at least 7 to 10 years. He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group Stations.
Young applauds state hiring of Questar to be new vendor for statewide Math and English assessments...
State Senator Cathy Young is among those who are "cheering" the decision by the state Education Department to go with a new vendor to develop statewide Math and English assessments. Those assessments are part of the Common Core curriculum that's been implemented for third through eighth-graders. Young says a new contract with the previous vendor, Pearson, was rejected... due mainly to what she called "out of touch" testing materials. The state Education Department late yesterday awarded a five-year, $44-million contract to Questar Assessment. Young says the Senate - quote - "successfully pushed for Common Core changes at the end of session. Testing is reduced and a content review committee will review exam questions to make sure they are age appropriate." The Olean Republican says the gag order on teachers regarding test questions has been lifted.
Democratic Mayoral Primary assured in Dunkirk...
There will be a Democrat primary for mayor in the city of Dunkirk this Fall. The Chautauqua County Board of Elections has confirmed that petitions have been filed by both incumbent A-J Dolce... and Councilman at Large Willie Rosas, who received the endorsement of the city's Democratic Committee. Mayor Dolce says he is looking forward to the challenge. Dolce says he turned in about 450 signatures on petitions Wednesday, and he thanked everyone who circulated and signed them. Rosas says he expected a primary challenge from Dolce because the incumbant said he would do that. But... he adds that now Democrats in Dunkirk "have a choice." Rosas received the endorsement over Dolce during a City Democratic Committee meeting back on May 28. The primary will be held on Sept. 10, with voting from Noon to 9 p.m.
Flash Flood Watch in place for Jamestown-area through mid-evening...
The National Weather Service is continuing a Flash Flood Watch for a portion of Western New York including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. The weather service says it'll run from now until 8 PM tonight. Forecaster David Church says a storm system will be approaching the area... and, bringing with it a lot of moisture during the day today. Church says low pressure has tracked into the area from the Ohio Valley, bringing large amounts of rain with it. He says 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected from mid morning through early evening with local amounts of over 2 inches. He adds you'll want to keep an eye on local creeks and streams and poor drainage areas... and, remember that flooding could be possible. Church says if you see water rising around the area you're at -- move to higher ground -- and a place of safety. The heavy rain should be ending this evening.
Carroll Town Police Chief put on administrative leave as assault case against him moves through court...
The Carroll Town Police chief has been put on 60-day Administrative Leave after an assault charge was placed against him late last week by State Police. Town Supervisor Jack Jones says the town board approved the leave of absence for Timothy Wright following an executive session at Wednesday night's meeting. Wright is accused of hitting his wife several times during a domestic incident back on April 5 in Cattaraugus County.... Jones says it was a "very difficult decision..." adding that -- professionally -- Wright's done good work. He says it will be a paid leave. Jones adds that the decision was made jointly with Wright... who felt the leave would take some pressure off the town... and, allow him to move forward on this "personal matter..." without a media spotlight over them. Wright was arrested back on July 3rd following an investigation into the incident... which occured in the town of Leon. Jones says that part-time investigator James Curtis... who is also an officer in the town of Ellicott... will be Acting Chief during the interim.
City police looking for two men who allegedly burglarized eastside pizzeria...
Police in Jamestown are asking for the public's help in trying to track down two men who allegedly stole cash and liquor from an East Second Street restaurant late Tuesday night. City police say the break-in occured at Fresco's Pizza about 11:40 p.m. They say the two white males, wearing partial masks... were caught on surveillance video. Both were wearing t-shirts and shorts. Investigators say they are trying to identify the men from evidence found at the scene... and, are asking for assistance in identifying the pair. Anyone with information is asked to contact City Police at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Horrigan says plan in place to move onto next phase of getting all homes and other structures along Chautauqua Lake hooked into sewer service...
Chautauqua County is ready to move ahead with the next step in cutting a significant amount of sediment and chemical run-off into Chautauqua Lake. County Executive Vince Horrigan says initial plans are in place to eliminate possible sewer run-off around the lake. Horrigan says connecting all sewers around the lake to the existing systems will be a big part in eliminating the algae bloom problem that's been seen the past few years. He says cutting down the weeds and blooms are a critical "economic generator" for the county's tourism industry. Horrigan says the plan will require a significant amount of money... but, adds they are looking for grant monies to pick up a lot of the cost. Horrigan says sewer plants around Chautauqua Lake are also in the process of trying to remove more phosphorous outake from their operations. He adds that Chautauqua Lake has been in decent shape this year... mainly because of the amount of rain we had this Spring and early Summer. Horrigan made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
Schumer pushing for defeat of amendment to Title-One education funding that could steer it away from New York state...
New York's senior U-S Senator is pushing hard to keep a bi-partisan amendment, which would change a federal school funding formula, from being approved. New York Democrat Charles Schumer says he wants to block passage of the amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act... previously known as "No Child Left Behind." During a conference call with media across the state yesterday... Schumer said the proposal would slash about $300-million in funding annually to 680 districts in New York state funding. He says the proposal is a "real threat" to public school funding because it cuts funding for "high needs" districts -- like Jamestown -- that get Title-One funding. He says there is a competing bill in the House. Schumer says the district's in need in New York state are not just urban schools... but, many rural ones as well.
Falconer man arrested for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Jamestown...
A Falconer man is charged with soliciting a prostitute after allegedly picking up a woman in Jamestown... then taking her to the village, where he would pay her for "sexual activities." City Police accuse 67 year-old Larry Canaley with having sexual relations with the woman. Officers say Canaley turned himself into Ellicott Town Police Tuesday night... and, he was arraigned in town court. The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force learned about the situation... and, investigated the alleged prostitution. No drugs were reportedly involved. Canaley was released pending a future court appearance. Anyone with information on illegal activities involving Narcotics is asked to call the Task Force's tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Jamestown-native announces run for Congress...
A man who was born in Jamestown and raised in Randolph and was a top military aide for the Obama Adminstration has announced that he's running for Congress. Former National Security Council Director of Defense Policy and Strategy John Plumb has announced his candidacy for the 23rd Congressional seat, currently held by incumbant Republican Tom Reed. Plumb says he's running because he's heard from -- "too many families who feel Washington just isn't listening to the rural communities of Western New York, the Southern Tier, and the Finger Lake region." The 45 year-old Plumb adds -- "they're right." The current Naval Reserve Commander first served as a submarine officer in the Navy. He tells the Buffalo News today that "I don't think he's represented the area very well." Plumb cited Reed's vote to shut down the Department of Homeland Security in a budget dispute.
The effort to implement an integrated sewer management plan for all of Chautauqua Lake is one of the top infrastructure projects for Congressman Tom Reed. The Republican from Corning spoke about the project during his weekly conference call with area media Tuesday. Reed says he is working closely with County Executive Vince Horrigan to identify possible federal funding for the projects involved. Reed says "sewering" the entire lake is one of his top priorities for the district. He adds they've been in constant contact with county officials regarding the need for a "closed" sewer loop around Chautauqua Lake. Horrigan says carrying out the plan would help reduce the amount of phosphorous going into the lake.
New York state's private colleges and universities have a new, affirmative sexual consent policy to combat campus sexual violence. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law Tuesday at New York University. The bill includes a `yes means yes' definition of consent requiring a clear, affirmative agreement between partners. It also creates a victim's bill of rights and boosts training for law enforcement, faculty and students. Cuomo had made the policy a priority in the recently concluded legislative session, teaming up with pop artist Lady Gaga to write a supportive op-ed in Billboard Magazine. The Democratic governor says the change is needed to combat an ``epidemic'' of sexual violence on the nation's college campuses. The state's public schools adopted the policy last year.
Dozens of patients and caregivers rallied outside Governor Andrew Cuomo's office Tuesday to plead for early access to medical marijuana. The group says the governor needs to take immediate action to sign a bill that provides marijuana for critically ill patients. A year ago... the governor authorized medical marijuana in the state, but the program is still months away from beginning. Retired police officer Barbara Jennerich said she may be forced to move to Colorado if Cuomo doesn't act soon. Her two 6-year-old boys suffer from seizures and she said they need the marijuana to help.
A Buffalo-area man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home in the town of French Creek late last week. State Police in Jamestown say they took 31 year-old Ronald Smith of Cheektowaga into custody last Thursday following an investigation into the July 1st incident. Troopers say the owner came home... and, surprised Smith... who escaped by jumping off the second-floor balcony. Police later found and arrested Smith for second-degree burglary... and, Making a False Written Statement. He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
A Buffalo-firm has been hired by the city of Jamestown to do environmental consulting work in the city's Brownfield Opportunity Area... or "BOA." The city council recently approved contracting with C-and-S Companies for 200-thousand dollars to assess the BOA... and, identify other possible brownfield areas that can be re-developed. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says C-and-S had the best proposal to carry out the aplproximately 200-thousand dollars worth of work. DeJoy says several potential development sites have already emerged... but, adds C-and-S will also help in finding others. DeJoy says C-and-S will be on board for phase-one and phase-two environmental assessments... which will inform developers what needs to be done to clean-up those locations so projects can begin. He says this work is required by the U-S Environmental Protection Agency. DeJoy says there are a "number of sites" that they are working on currently that were formerly used by many of the city's "legacy industries" in the past -- especially along the Chadakoin River. DeJoy says the city's "BOA" encompasses more than 600-acres.
A noted expert on the raising of boys says children should be allowed to 'go out and play'. Michael Thompson was Tuesday's Amphitheater lecturer at Chautauqua Institution. Thompson believes the loss of neighborhood play deprives boys, in particular, of peer society. He says our violent culture had led us to fearfully conclude boys play will de-sensitize them to violence. Thompson says true violence should always be stopped, but play should be permitted. As a strategy for success for parents, Thompson recommends consulting boys on their own experience. He says asking a boy "What do you think you're going to do?..." is an empowering way to face a challenge. Thompson also believes parents need to keep engaging with their sons, even on difficult subjects like sex.
Police say a 35-year-old man is dead after he was accidentally shot by a handgun his friend had kept loaded and handy during the search for two escaped prison inmates. Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot (Rach-et) says James Kohl picked up his friend Derrick Young's handgun at Young's apartment early Sunday after a night of drinking to celebrate the Fourth of July. Racicot says Young told Kohl to put it down and reached for the gun, which went off, killing Kohl. Racicot said the gun was accessible because Young had kept it handy during the three-week hunt for escaped Clinton Correctional inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat. Matt was shot dead by U.S. border patrol June 26 and Sweat was wounded and recaptured June 28.
The Office For The Aging Announces this year's distribution of Senior Farmer's Market coupon books.
Coupon books are being sold at twenty dollars. These coupon books come with five coupon books worth four dollars each. Coupons are accepted at designated Farmer's Markets, a list of participating markets with their location and time will be dispersed with the coupon books.Coupons will be distributed at: Covenant Manor Apartments at 23 W. 3rd St. in Jamestown, right across form the Farmer's Market. on Thursday July 16 from noon to 3 p.m. or until books are gone. They will also be distributed at Dunkirk's Senior Center at 45 Cilffstar Court in Dunkirk, right next to the Farmer's Market, on Wednesday, July 15 from 9 am to 11:30 am or until books are gone. One coupon book allowed per household. To be qualified for the program for people over the age of 60 must follow the following criteria. For a single person household you must have a monthly income of $1815 or below. For a two person household you must have a income of $2,456 or below. And for a person of a three person household you must have and income of $3,098 or below. Seniors who wish to apply need to come in person and be prepared to show proof of age. For more information contact the Office for the Aging.
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing nearly two-dozen DVDs and candy from a 7-11 store on Jamestown's southside. City police were called to the Hazeltine Avenue store shortly before Midnight Monday on a report of a woman shoplifer. Jamestown police responded... and, found a person matching the description of the suspect on Newland Avenue -- near Chautauqua Avenue. An officer detained 34 year-old Julie Waterman so a witness could identify her. Waterman allegedly tried to flee... but, was caught after a short foot pursuit. She was positively identified... and, found with the stolen merchandise. Waterman was charged with petty larceny... and, obstruction. She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
BPU water customers on the north side of Jamestown should be on the look-out for discolored water today. Water is off on Washington Street between Fluvanna Avenue and 18th Street while a water main is being repaired. No time for completion of the work is known at this time. Some discolored water may be seen in the downtown area as well as on the north side of the City.
City man seriously hurt in town of Ellicott crash...
A Jamestown man is being treated for serious injuries after his car struck another vehicle from behind... and, his car rolled over in a ditch in the town of Ellicott early Sunday night. Ellicott Police say the 52 year-old man... who was not identified... was northbound on the Peck-Settlement Road shortly before 5 p.m. Officers say the driver tried to pass a car in front of him... but, his vehicle struck the other car... and, it went into a ditch. It then overturned. Police say the man was flown by Starflight Helicopter from the scene to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, PA. His condition was not available. Ellicott police are continuing to investigate.
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly spying on, and taping women intimately in Wegman's Supermarket...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly using a cell phone camera to photograph intimate areas of women shoppers -- without their knowledge -- in the Wegman's Supermarket in West Ellicott. Town police say they were called to the scene on Fairmount Avenue on this past Saturday on a report of a suspicious male filming women inside the store. Officers investigated... and, found that 33 year-old Daniel Bass, Junior of Prospect Street... was putting the cell phone inside a shopping basket while it was recording. Bass was arraigned for second-degree unlawful surveillance... and, sent to the county jail on $2,000 bail.
Horrigan says budget process is underway in the county...
With a half-a-percent increase in the county's sales tax just a couple of steps away... the 2016 budget process is off to a solid start. That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says he met this past week with Budget Director Kitty Crow, and other members of the county's financial team to officially begin the effort. Horrigan says they are also beginning to implement the recommendations of the county's Deficit Reduction Commission. He says the sales tax increase tops the list. One of the next ones is looking at consolidating local services... and, next is finding what services can be privatized. However... Horrigan says he's not in a position to talk about those, yet. Horrigan says that would be similar to what's been done over the past two years with the former Chautauqua County Home. He says working with employee unions will also be part of the cost-cutting equation. Once the sales tax increase from 7.5-to-8-percent is enacted... he says another goal of the commission will be attainable. That's having a "structurally-balanced" budget. Horrigan made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
Number of New York counties overriding state Tax Cap declining...
New York's comptroller reports that counties overriding New York's 2-percent property tax cap have declined steadily over four years from 15 to six. First applied to local governments in 2012... the cap generally limits tax levy increases to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The report shows total collections in the 57 counties outside New York City increased from $5.13-billion in 2012 to $5.4 billion in 2015. That's an overall increase of 5.3 percent. Chautauqua County has been below the cap each year. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says if inflation keeps declining they'll have to tighten their budgets more. Municipal boards can vote to override the caps. School districts need voter approval. New York City is excluded.
County Mental Hygiene officials "thrilled" over extension of grant for Tapestry program...
A program that brings several agencies together to help troubled youth in Chautauqua County is being expanded for an additional three years. Local Congressman Tom Reed late last week announced that the county Department of Mental Hygiene's "Tapestry Program" was awarded a one-million dollar grant by the U-S Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman says they're thrilled to again be getting the grant... based on the initial seven-year, $9-million grant. Brinkman says they used that initial grant as a "spring-board" to getting the extension. She says Tapestry provides youth with counseling, suicide prevention and other resources. She says federal officials have been impressed with both the collaboration... and, how efficiently they've been able to use the money. Reed says the program "makes sure kids have access to the best possible chance for a quality of life, and provides them with the resources they need to thrive." Brinkman says the need is still "tremendous..." both short and long-term. Reed says the expansion of Tapestry's comprehensive wellness program will bring it to all county school districts.
Jamestown Garage fire destroys building, and car inside...
No one was hurt when fire broke out in a car being worked on in a garage on Jamestown's westside Sunday afternoon... and, destroyed the car, and garage. City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says firefighters were called to the scene at 95 Hallock Street about 3 p.m., and, found the garage heavily-engulfed in flames. Sigular says they were unable to save the garage, and a vehicle that was inside. However... the home -- which was not attached -- was not damaged. Sigular says the homeowner was working on the car... and, that apparently triggered the blaze. He says firefighters were at the scene just over an hour.
Carroll Town Police Chief arrested for alleged assault against wife...
The town of Carroll Police Chief has been accused of assaulting his wife three-months ago during a domestic incident that occured in Cattaraugus County. State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 49 year-old Timothy Wright of Frewsburg Friday for third-degree assault while they were driving through the town of Leon last April 5th. Troopers say Wright is accused of striking his wife several times, causing injuries. Police say Wright was issued an appearance ticket for Leon Town Court... and, released pending a July 13th appearance at 7 p.m.
Fourth of July information -- including Fireworks...
There are a number of July 4th events, activities, and fireworks displays taking place today. One of the big early events today was the annual Mayville Fourth of July Parade along Route 394. This years' theme was "Four Score and Seven Years Ago: United We Stand." Park activites begin at 12 Noon... an,d Skylighters of Western New York will put on the fireworks display at 10 p.m.
In Lakewood... the annual Fourth of July Summerfest at Hartley Park began with the annual Firecracker 10-K Run. Other activities in the Park began at 11 a.m. Live music in the Park begins at 7 p.m. with "Smokehouse" performing... and, fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Zambelli Fireworks of New Castle, Pennsylvania be again firing off the pyrotechnics.
The other major parade in the region was in Warren, Pennsylvania this morning. Activities at Betts Park run -- with music -- from 3 to 11 p.m. There'll also be fireworks at 10 p.m.
The annual fireworks show at the Dunkirk Pier will be held... beginning at dusk....
AND... there'll be fireworks at Midway State Park at 10:05 p.m. tonight...
The annual Flarelighting around Chautauqua Lake will also take place at 10 p.m., put on by the Chautauqua Lake Association. Flares are available at a number of locations.
Great Blue Heron Music Festival into second-day...
The 24th annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival's second-day is underway with some 32 bands, duets and soloists performing on three stages. For more information, call 761-7190, or go on-line to email@example.com.
Lakewood-Busti police looking for two suspects allegedly involved in Busti home Invasion...
Police in the Lakewood-area are looking for two people who allegedly committed a home-invasion robbery at the home of an elderly Busti couple early Wednesday morning. Lakewood-Busti Police say the pair allegedly entered the house at 661 Pine Ridge Road about 7 a.m. Officers say Lyle and Jenny McIntyre -- both 92 -- were sleeping in seperate rooms at the time. Police say an unidentified health care aid had apparently left the door unlocked so her relief aid could get in. However... authorities say the suspects entered the home and, restrained the aid... and, sole a safe box that contained Oxycontin, credit cards and a checkbook. The robbers were last seen in a gray four-dour sedan headed towards Creek Road in Busti. One is described as a thin, light skinned hispanic or black man who had an ace bandage around his face... and, a tatoo on hir right forearm. There is no description of the other man. The injured health care aid was treated at WCA Hospital and released. The McIntyres were not hurt. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Lakewood-Busti Police at 763-9563.
Gerace urges motorists to be safe, and don't take chances this long, July 4th Weekend...
As millions of Americans hit the roads and highways during the holiday weekend... police across the state will be looking for drivers who drink and drive. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department will have extra patrols out and will be participating in a statewide crackdown. Gerace says people can expect stepped-up enforcement of drunk driving laws. He says the patrols will also be looking for distracted drivers, including those who use hand-held devices such as Smart phones. He says using them while driving is "not a smart thing to do." Governor Andrew Cuomo says the State Police will also join local law enforcement with increased patrols during the Fourth of July weekend from today -- through next Monday, July 6.
Local Sheriff also urges boaters to be safe this weekend...
Law enforcement will also be taking to the waters of Chautauqua County this Independence Day holiday weekend... and, authorities are encouraging folks to practice boating safety. Sheriff Joe Gerace says the department's Marine Division will have a presence on both Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake as well as some inland waterways including Cassadaga and Findley Lake. He says one way to save a life is to use those personal floatation devices. Gerace urges people to think safety, adding that things can happen in the "blink of an eye." There have already been two fatal boating accidents on Chautauqua Lake this year. Gerace adds it's also a good idea to avoid consuming any alcoholic beverages while taking that boat trip.
Nat. Comedy Park unveling during Thursday night ribbon-cutting...
'Comedy Center Park'... a project of the National Comedy Center was officially dedicated Thursday evening. The park, at track level, behind the Gateway Station in Jamestown includes a large concrete patio, a walkable railroad crossing, and a grassy knoll that slopes down to the Chadakoin Riverwalk. A new set of steps has also been built, from the parking lot at the west side of the station to the park. Tom Benson, Chairman of the Comedy Center, told a crowd of more than a hundred people that completion of the park shows the world the Comedy Center is a 'real project'. The $900,000 park was built entirely by private funds, with contributions from the Gebbie, Sheldon, Lenna, O'Shay, and Chautauqua Region Community Foundations... along with help from the Greater Jamestown Rotary Club. While speaking at the dedication, Tom Benson, also addressed issues regarding rental of the train station itself. He said, while the National Comedy Center will be leasing the station, there will be more opportunities for rental in the future... not fewer.
Chautauqua Symphony opens season with tribute to two fallen members...
The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra opened its season Thursday night with a touching tribute to two members of the orchestra who died over the past year -- trombonist Vern Kagerise -- who succumbed to illness... and Mary Whittaker -- who was murdered at her home in Sherman just after the final concert in 2014. As orchestra members entered the stage they placed white roses at the edge. Chautauqua's Program Director Marty Merkley spoke to the large audience about the legacy of both musicians. The orchestra dedicated its performance of Elgar's 'Enigma Variations' to Kagerise and Whittaker. The concert was the first for new music director and principal conductor Rossen Millanov. That post had been vacant for several years.
Cause of Buffalo Street apartment house fire ruled accidental...
City fire investigators say the cause of a late afternoon apartment house fire Wednesday on Jamestown's eastside is accidental. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a damaged electric cord to a box fan in the basement was the apparent cause of the blaze in the lower-level of the house at 257 Buffalo Street. Salemme says crews were called to the scene about 4:05 p.m. Wednesday... and, were greeted by thick, black smoke when they arrived. He says they soon learned the blaze was in the basement... and, had the fire out in about 15 minutes. Salemme says fire damage was confined to the basement... but, adds there was smoke damage through-out the building. Some residents called in the alarm using an old "box alarm." He says there were "several" apartments inside. No one was hurt. An off-duty shift was called to the scene to assist.
Police search in Sugar Grove, PA regarding missing person's complaint finished... no other details released...
The search for leads and evidence in a missing person's case from the city of Jamestown has concluded just south of Sugar Grove, Pennsyvania. However... police officials remain tight-lipped about what they were looking for, and what they found over the past three-days. City Police Chief Harry Snellings says Jamestown police investigators... and, members of the county Sheriff's Department Forensics Team... concluded their work in a remote area on Jones Hill Road last night... and, were released from the scene. Earlier... Snellings confirmed that they were back at the scene all day Wednesday after the FBI in Buffalo had received a 'sealed' search warrant for the location.
Cause of Buffalo Street Apartment House fire ruled accidental...
City fire investigators say the cause of a late afternoon apartment house fire Wednesday on Jamestown's eastside is accidental. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a damaged electric cord to a box fan in the basement was the apparent cause of the lower-level house fire at 257 Buffalo Street. Salemme says crews were called to the scene about 4:05 p.m. Wednesday... and, were greeted by thick, black smoke when they arrived. He says they soon learned the blaze was in the basement... and, had the fire out in about 15 minutes. Salemme says some tenants called in the alarm. He says fire damage was confined to the basement... but, adds there was smoke damage through-out the building. Crews were there about an hour-and-a-half. Salemme says residents called in the alarm using an old "box alarm." He says there were "several" apartments inside. No one was hurt. An off-duty shift was called to the scene to assist.
New security measures put in place at Dannemora prison in wake of escape by Matt, and Sweat...
A range of new security measures is being put in place at a maximum-security New York prison to close gaps exploited by two inmates who escaped last month. The state corrections department says that searches of inmates' cells will be stepped up, staffing will be changed to ensure bed checks are more effective and security gates will be installed in the facility's tunnels. It also announced that 30-year veteran Michael Kirkpatrick will be the new superintendent of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. The previous superintendent and 11 other staff were put on paid leave Tuesday after an internal review of how David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped June 6th. Matt was shot dead after a three-week manhunt. Sweat was shot and captured.
City business and elected leaders try new carrier at County Airport's service to Pittsburgh...
Local officials and business leaders were in Pittsburgh yesterday as part of what's called an "Air Exchange" program to learn about new commercial and tourism opportunities available through the County Airport's new air carrier. The excursion from the the airport near Jamestown to Pittsburgh was headed up by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Coordinator Jason Toczydlowski says they're highlighting Sun Air's $29 flights both ways... and, attractions in Pittsburgh. He says their tour with Pittsburgh Chamber officials includes visits to places like the Andy Warhol Museum. He says a return trip from the Pittsburgh Chamber is in the works... where they can have lunch... and, take in sights like Chautauqua Institution, the Lucy-Desi Center of Comedy, and the Robert H. Jackson Center. Toczydlowski says they and their Pittsburgh counterparts are highlighting Sun Air's low fares. He adds they are also reviewing connecting opportunities from Jamestown that they'll promote. For more information on Sun Air... go on-line to www.flysunairexpress.com.
Stateline cancels weekend racing, operator hopes to have insurance back in place ASAP...
There will be no racing Friday or Saturday nights at Stateline Speedway this week. However... the head of Short Track Management -- which operates Stateline -- says he is working to resolve the insurance issue that's forced the cancellation of this weekend's program. That was in the form of a communcation from Bill Catania, Junior to Media One Group Thursday afternoon. Catania says he's working to get it insurance back in place for the rest of the season. The announcement comes in the wake of two touring series that were to be part of both Friday and Saturday programs cancelling out. The heads of both the Renegades of Dirt Modified Tour... and, Patriot Sprint Car series... announced on their websites yesterday that when the speedway couldn't provide proof of insurance... they would not run. In addition... the World of Outlaws Late Model Series announced in a press release that they have cancelled their show at Stateline Aug. 22.
(Update)Stateline Speedway cancels weekend racing shows while trying to get insurance back in place...
There will be no racing tomorrow night and Saturday night at Stateline Speedway. However... the head of Short Track Management -- which operates Stateline -- says he is working to resolve the insurance issue that's forced the cancellation of this weekend's program. That was in the form of a communcation from Bill Catania, Junior to Media One Group this afternoon. Catania says he's working to get it insurance back in place for the rest of the season. The announcement comes in the wake of two touring series that were to be part of both Friday and Saturday programs cancelling out. The heads of both the Renegades of Dirt Modified Tour... and, Patriot Sprint Car series... announced on their websites yesterday that when the speedway couldn't provide proof of insurance... they would not run. In addition... the World of Outlaws Late Model Series announced in a press release that they have cancelled their show at Stateline Aug. 22.
A missing person's case from the city of Jamestown has taken local, state and federal police agencies across the state line into Warren County, Pennsylvania. That much from officials with the FBI and Jamestown Police. Chief Harry Snellings did confirm that city police investigators and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Forensics Team were in southern Sugar Grove Township much of the day Tuesday, following up on leads in the case. Since the search has crossed state lines... the FBI is handling the case. FBI Spokeswoman Maureen Dempsey from Buffalo would only tell the media that they were "executing a federal search warrant on this properly with our state, federal, and local partners." Since the warrant is sealed... she said they couldn't talk about what they're looking for on Jones Hill Road. New York and Pennsylvania State Police are also involved in the search.
A Jamestown man faces menacing charges for allegedly threatening some of his eastside neighbors with what was later determined to be a BB-gun. City police were called to the scene at 20 Bush Street shortly before 4:30 Monday afternoon on a report of the man threatening other people. Officers say two of the victims directed them to a place where four people were sitting... and, one fit the description of the suspect. Police later detained 19 year-old Tyree Holland and secured the BB-gun... which looked like a rifle. The victims say Holland came outside... and, allegedly pointed the gun at them while they were in a truck. He was booked on two counts of second-degree menacing... and, released on bail.
A new state law will allow the use of sparklers and other small fireworks to help celebrate the Fourth of July, but only in certain counties. The law was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo last fall... and, it included an 'opt in' provision. That from Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley... who tells us that Chautauqua County chose not to 'opt in....' State officials say 30 counties across New York have exercised their options. Foley says in Chautauqua County it is still illegal to possess fireworks, even those that are now allowed under the new law. I n counties where it’s legal... including Cattaraugus County... state law allows sales of the consumer fireworks from June 1st to July 5th. There is another window for selling fireworks from December 26th to January 2nd.
Officials say 12 more staffers at the New York prison where two killers escaped three weeks ago have been put on administrative leave -- including the prison's superintendent and his deputy in charge of security. An official with knowledge of the move says Clinton Correctional Facility Superintendent Steven Racette and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown are among those on leave.
New York state returned a record, 427-million dollars in unclaimed funds last year to residents... and, the state Comptrollers office is urging people to again see if they are owed money. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli tells us his office is ready to again handle searches by residents to see if they are owed some of the 14-billion dollars total in unclaimed monies they have received. DiNapoli says this is usually money from a financial institution that can't locate you for some reason or other. DiNapoli says... even if you don't believe you have money coming... it doesn't hurt to check. He says you can do that on-line by either doing a Google search at New York State Comptroller's Office... or going on line to ocs-dot-state-dot-ny-dot-US. DiNapoli says then just click on "unclaimed funds." He says all you have to do is enter your name... and, if there's a matching name... you can get the check pretty quickly. DiNapoli say there are 10-million dollars worth of unclaimed funds in Chautauqua County... and, about 5-million more in Cattaraugus County.
New York officials say 7.3-billion dollars is going to 25 networks of health care providers statewide to help overhaul the delivery of care and cut unneeded hospital visits. Meanwhile, state health officials say average spending for the state's Medicaid patients has declined to $8,233 annually while enrollments rose by 500,000 to nearly one-third of the state's 19 million people. Hospitals, physician groups and other providers are getting so-called Medicaid waivers to apply projected federal savings over five years to establish more outpatient clinics, reduce hospital beds, use electronic records and enable low-income patients to see doctors and psychologists in the same visit. Funding ranges from $1.2 billion for the network which includes New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation to $187 million for the group that includes Adirondack Health Institute, Incorporated. A total of 225-million dollars will go to the Southern Tier Rural Integrated Performing Provider System.
Last Friday's U-S Supreme Court ruling allowing Same Sex Marriage may ultimately put religious liberty in jeopardy... and, that will be the focus of a special forum in Jamestown next Monday night. The Reverend Mel McGinness of the Kiantone Congregational Church... along with other local pastors... will host the program in the Community Room at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown beginning at 7 PM. McGinness says that, since the Supreme Court has redefined marriage, he's afraid it will also redefine religious liberty... forcing ministers that don't want to marry same sex couples to do so. He says there's also fear that businesses owned by Christians that are in a marriage-related business -- but, don't believe in gay marriage -- will be forced to do so.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are advising travelers to be prepared for increased traffic this week at border crossings in western and northern New York. Today is Canada Day, a national holiday north of the border, while Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July on Saturday. U.S. Customs officials say they expect a major boost in border traffic this weekend and again next weekend. They're reminding travelers planning to cross the border during this period to expect delays and prepare accordingly. The border crossings in the Buffalo-Niagara region and at Champlain in northern New York are some of the busiest ports of entry along the entire U.S.-Canada border.
Sheriff says charges are pending against driver of car involved in high-speed fatal crash in North Harmony...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office expects to place charges against an Ashville man involved in a crash on Butts Road in the town of North Harmony Saturday night that claimed the life of an Elma man. Sheriff Joe Gerace says that an accident reconstruction team was sent to the scene of the crash involving a sports type vehicle driven by 24-year-old Patrick Grimm of Ashville. His passenger, 23-year-old Darrin Power, died in the crash. Gerace says the vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed at the time of the crash. He says damage to the vehicle was "unbelievable." Grimm was treated at WCA Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Gerace would not say what kind of charges will be placed against the driver at this time, since the investigation is continuing.
City man arrested for allegedly threatening eastside residents with bb-gun...
A Jamestown man faces a menacing charge after allegedly threatening his eastside neighbors with what was later determined to be a bb-gun. City police were called to the scene at 20 Bush Street shortly before 4:30 Monday afternoon on a report of the man threatening other people. Officers say two of the victims directed them to a place where four people were sitting... and, one fit the description of the suspect. Police later detained 19 year-old Tyree Holland and secured the bb-gun... which looked like a rifle. The victims say Holland came outside... and, allegedly pointed the gun at them while they were in a truck. He's being held on two counts of second-degree menacing pending arraignment.
City Council accepts $112, 000 grant for put more surveillance cameras downtown...
The city of Jamestown has accepted a $112,000 grant from a local foundation to fund several overhead surveillance cameras in the downtown area. The City Council last night voted to accept the grant from the Johnson Foundation... which will come to the city through the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce expressed his appreciation to the foundation's John and Carol Sellstrom for their significant contribution. Dolce calls it another "tool" to combat the drug and crime issues in the city. City officials say the camera's would be located at the intersections of Main and Harrison Streets in Brooklyn Square... North Main and Sixth Streets... North Main and Eighth... Fourth and Pine Streets... Winsor and Second Streets... and, Winsor and English Streets. Police Chief Harry Snellings says the police department hopes to have the new cameras up and operating by the end of Summer. Dolce says the next step will be drawing up specifications, and putting the project out to bid.
Inside: Chautauqua Institution's first tour of Amphitheater given to show residents issues that need to be addressed...
A structural engineer is advising Chautauqua Institution to shore up the Amphitheater before next winter. Institution Architect and Operations Director, John Shedd, conducted the first of a series of Amp tours Monday morning. He told the 75 people on hand that the engineer was called in after an exterior beam snapped last winter. Protecting against snow and wind are the main issues. Shedd says they'll need install cross-bracing from the top of one column to the bottom of the one across from it to properly support the structure. Part of the problem is the columns that support the main structure appear to be rooted in nothing more than dirt... and, the bottom is "sliding." Shedd says they are slipping towards Chautauqua Lake on the bottom. Shedd says some of the columns have drifted as much as four inches. He also says the concrete floor of the Amphitheater is always shifting. Amp tours will be available each Monday at 8 a.m. Additional programs are set for Wednesdays and Fridays at that same hour in the Hall of Christ. The series was set up after plans for a new Amp raised a storm of controversy in the off-season. The Board of Trustees could vote on the plans in late August.
Vocal opponent locally of Same Sex Marriage says SCOTUS decision not grounded in U. S. Constitution...
A staunch opponent of same-sex marriage is blasting the liberal members of the U-S Supreme Court for basically 'legislating from the bench' in it's ruling on gay marriage. Local Pastor Mel McGinness of Kiantone Congregational Church adds, though, that he is not surprised by the 5-to-4 ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with the four liberal members of the court. McGinness says Kennedy's move "stacked the deck" against same-sex opponents. He says they "trumped the will of the people in the states" that have bans in place. McGinness says he would have liked to see the high court give the matter back to the states because there is nothing in the U-S Constitution that addresses marriage. He says the liberal judges ignored what the Constitution says... and, moved their own "personal agenda." McGinness says -- barring a legislative move by Congress -- he and other like-minded pastors need to speak up on "what marriage is." Moving forward... McGinness says the ruling puts "religous liberty" in jeopardy... and, he urges the church to be prepared for that battle.
Rabb admits to being "giddy" about Same Sex Marriage ruling...
The only openly gas elected-official in Western New York says he is "thrilled" by last Friday's Supreme Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage. In fact... Jamestown City Council President Greg Rabb says he was still "giddy" early last weekend over the 5-to-4 decision. Rabb says he's been working for marriage equality since he was a young man... and, first saw a major step taken in 2011 when the state legalized it. He calls it a "major step towards equal rights for all." Rabb says he heard about the ruling during a newcast on his car radio... and, says he didn't know whether to cry or smile. The council President has presided over hundreds of marriages as a Marriage Officer for the city... many of them same sex couples since New York's 2011 action. Rabb says he doesn't mind if he's put "out of business" because people can now stay in their home-state to get married. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling... 36 of the nation's 50 states recognized same sex marriage... including New York State.
Gerace says Sheriff's Department expects charges to be placed against Ashville man for fatal, weekend car crash in North Harmony...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office expects to place charges against an Ashville man involved in a crash on Butts Road in the town of North Harmony Saturday night that claimed the life of an Elma man. Sheriff Joe Gerace says that an accident reconstruction team was sent to the scene of the crash involving a sports type vehicle driven by 24-year-old Patrick Grimm of Ashville. His passenger, 23-year-old Darrin Power, died in the crash. Gerace says the vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed at the time of the crash, and the damage was "unbelieveable" to the vehicle. Grimm was treated at WCA Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Gerace would not say what kind of charges will be placed against the driver at this time, since the investigation is continuing.
Reward now offered for information leading to arrest and conviction of Sugar Grove Bank Robber...
State Police in Pennsylvania are searching for the man who allegeldy robbed two PNC Banks this past week... one in Sugar Grove, PA last Friday. Troopers say the suspect whose about 6' to 6'2" tall, and weighs about 200-pounds... entered the Sugar Grove branch on Main Street just before 2:30 p.m. Police say the man... who was between 25 and 35 years of age... handed a teller a note... telling her to hand over the money in her cash drawer. Troopers say the suspect then took an undisclosed amount of money... and, fled the scene. Police say he was wearing a black baseball cap with orange lettering, brown cargo pants, a gray long-sleeve outer type jacket. He is also the suspect in a similar robbery in Hubbard, Ohio last Thursday. PNC is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the man's arrest... and conviction. If you have any information on the robbery... call State Police in Warren at (814)-728-3600... or call Warren County CRIMESTOPPERS.
Elected officials, law enforcement agree there will be investigation into Sweat, and Matt escape...
With the search for the two escaped killers over, attention will now focus on how such prison breaks can be prevented in the future. Congressman Tom Reed today (Monday) praised the work of the various law enforcement agencies in locating David Sweat and Richard Matt. Reed says the state needs to look into how the prison break occurred. The Corning Republican says there needs to be questions asked, and answered at the Clinton Correctional Facility about what needs to be done to prevent such an escape from happening again. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace also believes an investigation will take place. Gerace adds that they've even re-evaluated what they do at the County Jail since the prison break. He says it was a difficult search for the two escapees because of the terrain and dense vegetation. A State Police Sergeant shot David Sweat twice in the torso on Sunday... while Richard Matt died from three gunshot wounds to the head two days earlier. Sweat's condition was upgraded today (Monday) to serious.
Winners in recently wrapped up state legislature looked at...
Many New York lawmakers are claiming at least partial victory for constituents with rent controls and property tax breaks in the 2015 session that ended last week. Some are also grumbling about missed ethics reforms in the six-month session, which saw the individual leaders of the Senate and Assembly benched by kickback scandals. The rent controls affecting more than 2-million tenants in New York City are extended four more years with slightly more protections. The statewide property tax cap, likewise extended, is topped by tax rebates for an estimated 2.5-million homeowners. Starting at 185-dollars the first year on Long Island and upstate, rebates later rise inverse to income. Bills that stalled would cost corrupt public officials their pensions and close the campaign finance loophole for limited liability companies.
Panebianco urges JHS Graduates to work hard to attain their dreams -- in fact -- be a little "unreasonable..."
There's a bad time to be "unreasonable..." but, there's also a good time. The keynote speaker at last Friday night's Jamestown High School graduation says it's good to be a bit unreasonable when it comes to pursuing your dreams. Local attorney George Panebianco grew up in a poor family... and, was one of seven children. Panebianco says he worked hard in school... and, got the grades to go to college. He wanted to go to college, and become a lawyer because he wanted to help people. But... he says his father wanted him to be "reasonable" about it. Panebianco says his father was "being practical and reasonable" about needing to get a job because the family couldn't afford to send him to college. However... he says his father "didn't understand" how much he wanted to be a lawyer. After graduating... Panebianco says he had to work hard once he got to Albany Law School. He admitted to being intimidated by some of his fellow classmates and their backgrounds. That showed with one professor... who pushed him to do more work on a legal brief until he finally defending the quality and effort on his third try. With that, he told them to do their best on "the first try." Panebianco is now the President and Managing Partner of the Lewis and Lewis Law firm's five western New York offices... which include Jamestown and Buffalo. He also touted many of the 300 members of the Class of 2015... many of whom he coached in youth leagues... or know growing up.
JHS's graduation was held at Chautauqua Institution. Southwestern's 101 graduates were honored during commencement exercises at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. There were also ceremonies Friday night in Frewsburg, and Bemus Point... among others. Congratulations to all the graduates from the county's 18 school districts.
Jamestown native "estatic" over Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage...
The U-S Supreme Court's decision ruling in favor of gay marriage not only helps those same sex couples in states where it was illegal... but, those who are married, and live in states that don't recognize it. That from a Jamestown native who was one of the plaintiffs in the case before the Supreme Court. Paul Campion... who was recently in Jamestown to talk about the case... says he is "estatic" with Friday's ruling. Campion says the ruling now provides more than one-thousand rights he and his spouse, Randy, were previously denied. One regards getting health care... will allow them to make decisions without having to jump through all the "hoops" they've had to up until now. Campion and Randy Johnson have been together 24 years... and, since being married in 2008 in California... have adopted four children. However... Campion says he is the parent of three boys, while Randy had a girl. He says they'll be able to "blend" that family now in Kentucky... which didn't recognize same sex marriage previously. On WJTN's Jim Roselle Show... Campion told Jim and our Dennis Webster they'll be celebrating the ruling this weekend.
Malone "bitterly disappointed" by Supreme Court ruling...
While there is joy in the gay and lesbian communities over the Same Sex Marriage ruling Friday... there was also disappointment. Buffalo Catholic Bishop Richard Malone issued a statement following the decision by the Supreme Court. Malone says it "redefines" marriage... and, adds he is "bitterly disappointed." He says marriage is the "lifelong exclusive union of one man and one woman." Malone says marriage is rooted in creation... and, says "God created marriage in the very same breath as He created the human person."
Horrigan praises state legislature for approving county sales, and bed tax measures...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says that state lawmakers got the job done. Horrigan says the home-rule legislation that will allow the county to raise its sales tax from 7.5% to 8% has cleared the State Assembly. The Senate approved the measure a short time before that. Horrigan says he's "pleased" with the news... adding the only action needed now is for the governor to sign. Horrigan says the increase in sales tax... which is expected to bring another $6 to $8-million to the county... will help in two ways. One is to eliminate a structural deficit of about $6-million, and, to -- in a corresponding move -- lower the county's property tax by at least 3-percent. As part of the legislation... the county will have to make that reduction starting with the 2016 budget. Many lawmakers believe they can cut more than that. Horrigan says the move should help bring the county in line with its neighboring counties in Western New York.
Woman's body found near Cherry Creek Road; police believe it's missing woman...
Authorities have ended the search for a Cherry Creek woman who had been missing since a week ago yesterday. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace tells us they believe they have found the body of 56 year-old Karen Christian. The discovery was made in a wooded-area near Aldrich Hill Road in the town of Cherry Creek. While not revealing a lot of details... Gerace says they believe the remains do belong to the woman that had disappeared from her Plank Road residence. He thanked all those agencies involved in the search... and, says it's a difficult time for everyone, "especially the family." Gerace says they hope to have a positive identification once an autopsy is completed.
Reed says he's "disappointed" in ruling on Obamacare by SCOTUS...
Congressman Tom Reed says he's "disappointed" by the U-S Supreme Court ruling upholding federal subsidies for Americans enrolled in the Afforable Care Act. Reed says the court is ignoring the legislation's wording... which says, "an exchange established by the state." In the ruling in the case King v. Burwell... Reed says the court determined that everyone who purchases healthcare through a public exchange is eligible for federal subsidies in order to offset the cost of that purchase. The Corning Republican adds that "Obamacare has been flawed from the very beginning, and as a Congress we need to make every effort to repeal the law." More later on this story.
County Legislature unanimously approves $100,000 for Dunkirk Seawall emergency repairs...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has unanimously approved giving the city of Dunkirk $100,000 in Bed Tax funding to help cover the cost of emergency repairs to the Dunkirk Sea Wall. The nearly $250,000 project has now been completed on the wall... which is located behind the city's Water Treatment Plant. While voicing their approval... a couple of lawmakers urged Dunkirk to also work cooperatively with the county on creating a North County Water District. One was Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel... who says while the Seawall is a "worthwhile project, so is the North County Water District." Neibel says that's especially regarding future economid development. The other was Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom... who applauded Councilman At-Large Willie Rosas for working with him and fellow lawmaker Shaun Heenan... to obtain more than the $40,000 originally requested.
Legislature approves moving $225,000 from CLMC Capital Reserves to new Lake and Watershed Alliance...
County lawmakers have okayed the reallocation of $225,000 from the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission to help get new grants through the new Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance. However... support was not unanimous. The measure was approved Wednesday night 16-to-2. Legislature Chairman Jay Gould, and lawmaker John Runkle voted "no." Gould says he and Runkle felt it was too much money... adding that if the CLMC was seeking $50,000 to leverage grant monies... he would have no problem with it. He says the money belongs in the Capital Reserve Fund. Gould calls the $225,000 being reallocated something akin to a "slush fund." But, adds that's his own opinion. There was $253,000 left in the capital projects account. The account was started in 2008 and 2009 with just over $602,000 in it. The money has been, and is to be used to leverage monies used for projects benefitting the water quality of Chautauqua Lake.
Missing Boater found in Chautauqua Lake...
A kayaker on Chautauqua Lake near Lakewood has found the body of a missing village man in the area he went missing this past Sunday. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says divers were getting ready to go back into the water in the area east of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club when the body of 52 year-old Phillip Gibbs was found floating near the surface. Gerace says Gibbs' body was found about 6 a.m. He says the department's Marine Division and WET Team were ready to go back into the water where Gibbs was last seen. His boat was found anchored in an area about a quarter of a mile off shore Sunday night... and, divers went into the water Monday morning. Gerace says it was a 'horrific tragedy..." and, adds their thoughts and prayers are with Gibbs' family. Gerace says a county coroner confirmed the death was due to accidential drowning.
Emergency crews rescue Zoar Valley hiker hours after one was killed in fall into Cattaraugus Creek...
Emergency crews that recovered a man's body from a western New York creek used the same equipment soon after to rescue a hiker who had been swept away by the strong current. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says the man died after falling nearly 200 feet from a cliff in the Zoar Valley gorge early Tuesday morning. A friend discovered his body at the bottom of the cliff along Cattaraugus Creek. Fire crews used a rescue raft to recover the body. His name hasn't been released. State police say a few hours later 35-year-old Kelly Ziolkowski of Tonawanda fell into the creek while hiking with a friend. She was swept downstream while the friend called 9-1-1. Nearby emergency crews used the same raft to pull Ziolkowski from the water. She wasn't injured.
National Trust places Chautauqua Inst. Amphitheater on "endangered" list...
The historical Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater has made this year’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust is releasing it's list this morning... and, says the Amphitheater is one of the places they've selected. Field Director Alicia Leuba in Boston says they carefully review" dozens of nominations... and, make their decisions based on three criteria. Leuba says they are: significance -- historically and architecturally... urgency... and, potential solutions to preserve the site. She says it's an "iconic cultural landmark." Leuba says naming the Amp to the list raises the status of it's possible "plight...." and, gives people a way to get involved in the process of saving a landmark. For more information... she says you can go to their website at www.savingplaces.org/amp to sign a petition. Leuba wouldn't reveal any of the others on the list... but, the Trust says it's the organization's "most diverse list ever." The Amphitheater was nominated by the Committee to Save the Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater... or "Save the Amp..." and two individuals.
Group opposed to SAFE Act says data shows few owners complied with law to register reclassified guns...
A group opposed to New York's two-year-old gun law says registration data show few owners complied with the requirement to register firearms reclassified as assault weapons. NY-2A, which advocates for Second Amendment rights, says newly reported data show only 23,847 people registered 44,485 firearms while Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated New Yorkers owned one million such guns before the 2013 measure banned sales in New York. The registration requirement applies to semi-automatic weapons with a detachable magazine that have a single military-style feature such as a pistol grip. The group's co-founder, Jake Palmateer, says data show the gun control scheme was a failure. Cuomo has called the measures, including a ban on large magazines, common sense. They were enacted after a gunman killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Gas pump prices increase slightly this week...
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are currently trending upward... increasing by just under a penny a gallon this week. That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price is up from $2.94.3 last week to just over $2.95 this week. The AAA says the average price of regular, unleaded gasoline is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area. At this time last year... the price was $3.88 a gallon. The national average is down about a penny to 2-dollars-79 cents this week. Pump prices nationally have stabilized in recent days... or even dropped in many areas as refineries solve productions issues.
(**Alert)Missing Boater found in Chautauqua Lake...
A kayaker on Chautauqua Lake near Lakewood has found the body of a missing Lakewood man in the area he went missing this past Sunday. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says divers were getting ready to go back into the water in the area east of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club when the body of 52 year-old Phillip Gibbs was found floating near the surface. Gerace says Gibbs' body was found about 6 a.m. He says the department's Marine Division and WET Team were ready to go back into the water where Gibbs was last seen. His boat was found anchored in an area about a quarter of a mile off shore Sunday night... and, divers went into the water Monday morning. Gerace says it was a 'horrific tragedy..." and, adds their thoughts and prayers are with Gibbs' family. Gerace says a county coroner confirmed the death was due to drowning. Divers were having a hard time finding Gibbs because the water in that area of the lake is "cloudy..." with only about 5 to 6 feet visability. Gerace says the lake is about 10-feet deep in that area.
Search continuing for missing Lakewood man on Chautauqua Lake...
An extensive search for a Lakewood man missing in the southern end of Chautauqua Lake is continuing this early evening. Sheriff Joe Gerace says they are looking for 52 year-old Phillip Gibbs... who family members say hasn't been seen since Sunday afternoon. Gerace says members of the Sheriff's Department's Marine and Water Emergency Team have been diving just east of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club... about a quarter of a mile from shore... looking for Gibbs. He says they have recovered his boat. Gerace identified the missing man about mid-afternoon today... but, has not released circumstances surrounding his being out on the lake. He says there's also no clear time-frame as to when the man went missing. Gerace says Gibbs went missing between 1 and 6 p.m. yesterday. But, the Sheriff's Department wasn't notified until sometime later. If you have any information... or may have seen anything unusual in that area near Lakewood... call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.
State police are investigating a possible sighting of two convicted killers here in tge southern tier, about 350 miles from the prison where they escaped two weeks ago. State police spokesman Beau Duffy says that officers are investigating a possible sighting of the prisoners near the Allegany County hamlet of Friendship, near the Pennsylvania border. He gave no other details. David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped June 6th from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora... near the Canadian border. Authorities said in a news release Friday that two men fitting the description of Sweat and Matt had been seen a week ago in Steuben County. Allegany County is west of Steuben County. A prison worker has been charged in the escape and a corrections officer has been placed on administrative leave.
New York state is receiving nearly 17-million dollars to support AmeriCorps programs throughout the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the money will flow to 14 non-profit organizations to enlist some 1,440 AmeriCorps members. The organizations are involved in promoting education and children's health, disaster preparedness and other public services. Cuomo says New York state's AmeriCorps members do ``critically important work'' around the state by stepping up to serve their communities. City Year, Incorporated will receive the single largest portion of the funds, getting more than 3-million dollars for academic tutoring and mentoring programs in New York City.
Three local youth choirs took part in yesterday's finale for the annual Juneteenth Festival at Jamestown's Chadakoin Park. The Carolyn Pennamon-Faison Gospel Fest concluded the 15th Annual Juneteenth Celebration... and, the head of the event was excited with how it went. Chairwoman Vikeye James says they took last year off to re-focus and re-energize... and, it did the trick. There were several highlights... but, James says the big one was Saturday night's showing of the documentary "Old South" in the park pavillion. James says that community came together in the face of racism and prejudice... but, she adds the residents involved found they had more in common than they had different. Thanks to a break in the weather... James says they were happy to show the film in the park. She says more than 50 people were on hand.
A Rochester-area school has again been named the top school district in the entire, 48-county Upstate New York Region... while three Chautauqua County schools are in the top-100. Business First of Buffalo has named the Pittsford Central District the top one in the Upstate region for the fourth-straight year. In addition... Fayetteville-Manlius of the Syracuse-area was number-two. Business First says each district’s rank reflects the collective performance of its elementary, middle and high schools from 2011 to 2014. That's the most recent four-year period for which comprehensive statistics are available from the New York State Education Department. The rating formula has 200 components, ranging from English and math tests for third graders up to the full complement of Regents exams for high schoolers. The top Chautauqua County School district is Bemus Point... which was 34th. Fredonia was 56th in the rankings... while Southwestern was 65th.
A public "visioning session" will be held later his week to begin the process of developing a new, Comprehensive Plan for the village of Lakewood. That from Mayor David Wordelmann... who says the public is invited to attend the meeting at 7 PM Wednesday at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Fairmount Avenue. Wordelmann says the current Comprehensive Plan is 45 years-old... meaning it was about the time the Chautauqua Mall was first built... and, Fairmount Avenue was still a two-lane highway. Wordelmann says the village has done a lot of pre-planning work with the village code in a number of areas... including new and used car lots... and, storage facilities. He says there is still one area they still need to wrap up... and, that's business and commercial signage. Wordelmann says the plan will guide both growth and change in the village heading into the 21st Century... and, consider all facets of community life. The consultant helping to draw up the plan is Peter J. Smith and Company of Buffalo.
New York lawmakers have largely stayed true to Albany's reputation for procrastination and back-room dealing despite corruption scandals that highlighted its insider culture. The Legislature planned to adjourn last week but is still working out a deal on one of the year's biggest issues, the renewal of New York City's rent regulations. They briefly expired last week when lawmakers couldn't agree on an extension. The six-month session was especially challenging to its new leaders, Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader John Flanagan. Both took over after the arrests of their predecessors threw the Legislature into turmoil. Despite the turmoil, Albany's way of doing business remains intact. Lawmakers largely ignored calls to overhaul campaign finance and ethics rules, while negotiations on the year's biggest issues are still held behind closed doors.
State lawmakers have voted to allow parents to get paid for providing personal care for their chronically ill or disabled adult children. Sponsors say many special needs children continue to live with their parents, who face the dilemma of having to work outside the home to pay for someone else to care for their son or daughter. The bill would revise the state-administered Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, which already allows that caregiver to be another family member. It would still prohibit spouses or the person legally responsible for the care and support of the individual be eligible for the program. It also requires that the parent's services are consistent with the disabled or chronically ill person's care plan and at no higher cost than an outside personal assistant.
Goodell: County Sales Tax, and Bed Tax votes delayed until next week in Assembly...
Action on two tax bills that would have an impact on Chautauqua County has been delayed again in the state Assembly. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says that the Legislation that would raise the County's sales tax from 7.5-to-8-percent... and, extend the County's bed tax were on the agenda... but no vote was taken on either bill. He says both bills came up on the calendar Thursday night, but, did not make it to the floor Friday. The bills have already cleared the State Senate. In raising the sales tax rate... the legislation also directs the County to cut it's property tax levy by at least 3-percent. Goodell says he's disappointed that the Democratic led Assembly has not completed its work on time. He says they were scheduled to end the session this past Wednesday, and today is Friday, and, there's still be no action on the local measures. Goodell says Assembly members are expected to return to Albany and remain in session as long as it takes to complete their work. The Bemus Point area Repubican says there are roughly 100 bills waiting for action.
Another day concludes without finding Cherry Creek woman...
Searchers were back at it again Friday... trying to track down a missing 56-year-old Cherry Creek woman. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace tells us that the search for Karen Christian resumed this morning... but, the search ended early this evening with no resolution. Gerace says it’s been a major challenge... mainly because the area she lived in is heavily wooded. Gerace expects the search continue into this afternoon. The Sheriff's Office continues to ask the public if they have information about Christian's whereabouts to call the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.
Major Dunkirk-Buffalo drug investigation lasted two years...
A nearly two-year federal investigation has led to the indictment of six men from Dunkirk -- and four others from Buffalo -- on charges stemming from narcotics trafficking in the two cities. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says the other four were involved in the operation of two locations in Buffalo. Assistant U-S Attorney, Tom Duszewicz, tells us that the major players involved were 39 year-old David Pagan... and, 40 year-old Rafael Burgos, Junior. Duskiewicz says federal drug agents raided six residences in Dunkirk... stemming from the probe... which began in 2013, and utilitized a variety of techniques to find out that Pagan had a series of distributors, and Burgos supplied the drugs. That led to the six raids in Dunkirk on June 10th. Hochul says the other Dunkirk suspects include: 34-year-old Samuel Hernandez III, 31-year-old Javier Pagan, Jr., 30-year-old Alvin Torres, Jr., and 28-year-old Angel Pierluissi, all of Dunkirk. Duszkiewicz says the investigation took about 2 years... and, implicated Pagan and Burgos as the major players. He says nearly eight kilograms of cocaine, $175,000 in cash, and an AR-15 assault rifle with a 30-round magazine were seized.
Juneteenth organizer hopes event will open dialogue in wake of South Carolina Shootings...
One of the organizers of this weekend's Juneteenth celebration in Jamestown says the killing of nine people at an historic black church in South Carolina is 'very disturbing.' The Reverend Chloe Smith hopes the tragic event will open the door to a greater dialogue in our community. Smith says she wants to see people "come together, and discuss the kind of issues that are happening." One of those opportunities may come Saturday night at 8:30 p.m., when filmmaker Danielle Beverly will bring her documentary 'Old South' to Chadakoin Park. Juneteenth honors the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation... which ended Slavery in the U-S. A full schedule of events is available on their Facebook page.
Bargar says she almost declined getting Democrat of the the Year award...
A long-time political figure in Chautauqua County has been named as Democrat of the Year for 2015 by the county Democratic Committee. Lakewood's Nancy Bargar was recognized at the party's annual dinner in Jamestown Thursday night for her contributions to the party for the past 25 years. However... Bargar says -- at first -- she wanted to decline the honor because her early mentor, former State Assemblyman Rolly Kidder, has not yet been recognized. She says, had that not happened, she might have wound up a liberal Republican. After working behind the scenes in the state Legislature... Bargar ran for local office in 1992... and, was elected to the Chautauqua County Legislature. Bargar has the distinction of being the first Democratic woman elected to the county panel. However... while 1992 was considered the "Year of the Woman" in politics locally... she feels women still have a ways to go. Bargar also ran for state Senate several years ago... and, two years ago ran for State Assembly against eventual winner Andy Goodell. Thursday night's program was held at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.
Dunkirk man gets 10 years for possessing Child Porn...
A Dunkirk man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prision after being convicted of possessing child pornography. Assistant U-S Attorney Carol Bridge says U-S District Court Judge Richard Arcara handed down the sentence to 43 year-old Shane Taylor late Thursday. Bridge says law enforcement raided Taylor's Dove Street home on July 18, 2011... and, seized a computer and a shotgun from Taylor’s room. She says an analysis determined that the computer contained over 3000 images of child pornography, many depicting pre-pubescent children and images of violence. The sentencing was the culmination of an investigation by Immigration and Customers Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.
The Sherman Central School District is the "Top Overachieving" school system in western New York for the eighth year in a row. The ranking was announced Tuesday by Business First of Buffalo... which annually ranks districts in several catagories. This catagory is for those that post strong academic records -- despite sizable poverty. Sherman School Superintendent Cain Kelly says it's an "honor" to be named again... and, says the main reason is they have a talented teaching staff that puts "student achievement" first. Business First says nearly one-third of the five-to 17-year-olds in Sherman live below the federal poverty level. Kelly says Sherman is a very "blue collar town that's agricultururally based." But.. while the district is poor financially... he says it's rich "in things that count." Business First says Sherman's youth poverty rate of just under 33-percent is the seventh-worst in Western New York. However... Sherman finished 29th in Business First's Western New York academic rankings... outperforming just over 70-percent of the other 95 districts. Second behind Sherman was Randolph in Cattaraugus County... and, Silver Creek was third.
A man wanted in Jamestown is jailed in Cattaraugus County on 10-thousand dollars for allegedly giving police a false name... and, being found with a small amount of cocaine in his possession in Salamanca. Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley say they were notified that 28 year-old Silk Spencer was sought on a warrant... and, he was found at the Seneca-Allegany Casino back on June 7th. Officers say Spencer told them he was actually his brother, Travis. However... he unable to prove that. He faces charges including second-degree criminal personation... and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Spencer was arraigned in Salamanca City Court... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County lock-up. The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation.
Lawmakers remain far apart on a deal to renew the rent regulations covering 2-million New York City residents after the long-standing tenant protections expired at midnight. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie emerged from a meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Leader John Flanagan Tuesday to tell reporters that renewing and strengthening the rent rules remains the top priority for his chamber... which is dominated by New York City Democrats. The Republican-led Senate, however, supports its own bill which would subject rent-regulated tenants to income verification checks. Without a deal to extend it, the existing rules expired at midnight Monday. Lawmakers are also negotiating deals on Cuomo's proposal to create an education tax credit for private-school tuition and a new sexual assault policy for the private colleges and universities.
Momentum is building behind a proposed, four-part measure supporting job growth... strengthening Social Security... and, balancing the federal budget. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a co-sponsor of the National Strategic Agenda Resolution with California Democrat Ami Bera. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media... Reed noted there are now two Senate sponsors... and, says it's up for a hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Govermental Affairs Committee tomorrow. Specifics on how each of those goals would be achieved have not been announced... but, Reed says the goal right now is getting Democrats and Republicans to sign on and be part of the solution. The Corning Republican says the hearing is another "positive step" in trying to identify "common goals." Reed says Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota... and, Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida... are co-sponsoring the measure in the Senate. They introduced the legislation two weeks ago. Reed and Bera introduced it in the House of Representatives last April.
New York officials say they have awarded 1.57-million dollars to eight programs -- one in Chautauqua County -- to help provide post-adoption services around the state. The money will help fund services like family counseling, parent education and mental health counseling. The awards were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Gustavus Adolphus Child and Family Services in Jamestown is one of the eight getting some of the money. The governor's office says they'll be receiving 142-thousand-500 dollars in funding. The other providers include Abbott House, serving Dutchess and Orange counties... Catholic Charities in Monroe County... the Children's Home of Jefferson County... which serves both Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.... and, the Salvation Army in Onondaga County.
Students at Ring Elementary School in Jamestown took part of establishing their own legacy yesterday afternoon by helping to plant six new trees on the northern edge of the school property. The new trees are the last of 62 new ones planted there in recent years. City Arborist Dan Stone hosted the event... and, says three of the trees were Quanzan Cherrys... and, the other three were Capital Pears. Stone says it's always fun getting the kids involved. Stone... and, members of the city's Parks and Recreation Department take care of the approximately 13-thousand "terrace" trees that are maintained by the city. Mayor Sam Teresi urged the students to "remember this day..." and, recalled helping to plant a tree when he was a student at Fletcher Elementary School. He told them to take pride in what they've done. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation again helped provide the funding to put up the new trees. But... Executive Director Randy Sweeney commended the Ring students... who raised 185-dollars themselves for the project.
A ton of confiscated ivory will be crushed in Times Square this week to draw attention to elephant poaching and wildlife trafficking. The U.S. Department of the Interior, the Wildlife Conservation Society and New York's state environmental department are among the participants in Friday's event. The Wildlife Conservation Society says elephant poaching is at its highest level in decades and is causing significant declines in the population. It says rhinos and other species are also at risk. The society's Chief Executive Officer... Cristian Samper... says the symbolism highlights an effort to crush ``the bloody ivory market'' and let poachers know that they won't profit by slaughtering the ``majestic'' creatures.
Prison worker arraigned on charges in connection with aiding escaped murders...
A northern New York prison worker accused of helping two killers escape last weekend looked scared and didn't speak during her arraignment. Prison tailor shop instructor Joyce Mitchell is accused of befriending inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora and giving them contraband. Mitchell's hands were cuffed in front of her and she stared straight ahead while she was arraigned Friday night in Plattsburgh on charges of felony promoting prison contraband and misdemeanor criminal facilitation. She was ordered jailed. Mitchell's family has said she would not have helped the convicts break out. Mitchell has another court appearance scheduled for Monday. Her court-appointed attorney says he'll make arguments then after having time to speak with her.
Three arrested in connection with three drug raids in Jamestown...
Three men -- including one from Jamestown -- have been arrested as part of two drug raids in the city early yesterday morning... and, one this past Wednesday. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson Friday's raids took place about 6:40 a.m., one at 19 Crossman Street... the other at 841 East Second Street. Samuelson says police arrested 28 year-old Miles Jordan of Cleveland, Ohio at 19 Crossman. He says Jordan is a parolee... and, members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force found quantities of heroin... ecstacy... and cash inside the apartment. At 841 East Second... police arrested 33 year-old Lawrence McGrigg of Jamestown... and, found a quantity of cocaine. On Wednesday... officers raided an apartment at 21 Sturges Street... where they arrested another parolee -- 35 year-old Anthony Dunmore of Rochester. He was allegedly found with a quantity of "crack" cocaine... cash and drug paraphernalia. All three were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
Fire in Dunkirk that leaves four hurt ruled "suspicious..."
Dunkirk fire investigators have listed the fire that extensively damaged a home at 80 King Street -- and injured four residents -- as suspicious. Dunkirk Fire and Police and fire units responded to the scene around 2:50 a.m. Friday morning. Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says when crews reached the scene... they were informed by police patrol units that people were trapped and hanging from the second-floor windows. Edwards says the occupants all jumped. He says five people were there... and, four were hurt -- including a child. He says crews also did a further search in the building because they weren't sure everyone was out. Edwards says it took about 45 minutes to bring the smokey blaze under control. Three of the injured people were sent to Brooks Memorial Hospital... while the fourth was transported by Starflight to the UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie. Firefighters used multiple hose-lines to douse the flames. A house at 78 King Street sustained minor damage to the exterior of the structure. Edwards says one firefighter was transported to Brooks Memorial for evaluation of possible heat exhaustion.
Teresi says city leaders will likely consider making Fourth Street in Jamestown a two-way street again...
Motorists who have complained about all the one-way streets in the city of Jamestown may be happy to hear that another street may be reverting to two-way traffic again sometime in the future. However... it won't be happening immediately. That from Mayor Sam Teresi... responding to a recent report by Jamestown Renaissance Corporation Deputy Director Peter Lombardi about changing Fourth Street back from it's current, one-way status. Lombardi recently proposed looking at the idea for a number of reasons. Teresi says the main one is helping to get traffic to the businesses there... along with slowing traffic, and making it safe for pedestrians. Fourth Street was among several that were made one-way back in the 1960s to relieve downtown traffic congestion... which was a major problem at the time. Teresi says... during the coming months... city lawmakers may begin looking at the idea. However... he says it's going to require more study, and resources. Teresi made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
Chautauqua Co. receives $35,000 state grant to raise awarness, and help sexually exploited youth involved in human trafficking...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is receiving a $35,000 state grant to help raise awareness about human trafficking... and, address the needs of sexually-exploited youth locally. The county's Department of Health and Human Services Youth Bureau has just received word of the grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services. The campaign will fund a Billboard Awareness Campaign that'll be launched next Monday. Youth Bureau Program coordinator Patty Yokom says the grant will also fund training... coordination... and safe housing options for local agencies that deal with the victims of human trafficking. For more information... call the county Youth Bureau at 753-4725.
Ashville man killed in truck-motorcycle crash on Route 474 in Ashville...
An Ashville man was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a light truck hauling a trailer Thursday morning near Ashville. Sheriff's officers say 41 year-old Richard Jensen was eastbound at an apparent high rate of speed about 7:30 a.m. near the intersection with Magnolia Road. Deputies say the Kingsview Enterprises truck... operated by 21 year-old Tyler Borowski of Bradford... was westbound when he apparently turned in front of the motorcycle. Officers say Jensen laid the bike down... and, it skidded about 125 feet before hitting the front of the truck. Deputies say Jensen had been thrown from the bike... and was later pronounced dead at the scene. An accident reconstruction team was brought in... and, officers interviewed an eyewitness before ruling on the accident. Route 474 between the four-corners in Ashville... and, Magnolia Avenue... was closed for about 3-and-a-half hours. Deputies say charges are pending.
CASAC, HOPE Chautauqua receive major grant for opiate, heroin abuse prevention programs...
A pair of drug abuse prevention agencies in Chautauqua County have received a major grant to help better address prescription opiate and Heroin abuse... and prevent opiate overdoses. The Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council... and, HOPE Chautauqua... Thursday announced they are receiving a $627,300 grant to be used over a 4-and-a-half year period. HOPE Chautauqua Coalition Coodinator Julie Franco... who says the major focus of the grant will be prevention among 12 to 25 year-olds. Franco says they'll be surveying students in middle and high schools to find out prevalence of use, and then they'll survey 17 to 25 year-olds. Franco says the funding will be used to build staff... and, do assessments of the opiate and heroin problem in the county among youth and young adults. As a result... she says they hope to create and implement the tools to reverse the trend of drug abuse... by looking at what interventions work. The coalition is one of 10 such entities in New York State to receive a Partnership for Success grant from the state Office on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services... and, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
State Legislators now home for the weekend with just a few days left in the session...
New York lawmakers have headed home for the weekend without reaching a compromise on the extension of New York City's rent regulations. Members of the Assembly and Senate left Albany Thursday and plan to return Monday, the day the law governing the city's rent stabilization policies expires. A short-term extension of the law by six months or a year is one idea being floated by lawmakers. That would give lawmakers more time to consider more significant changes. The Assembly has already approved a four-year extension that also strengthens the rules governing how landlords can raise rent on vacant units. The Senate has yet to consider any proposal. The rent rules cover approximately one-million units in and around New York City. The Legislature plans to adjourn its 2015 session Wednesday.
Holiday Valley official calls ski resort data breach a "criminal attack..."
A bank's credit card division turned up irregularites that led to the discovery that a Cattaraugus County ski resort had a data breach. That from Spokeswoman Jane Eshbaugh with the Holiday Valley Ski Resort... which reported the credit and debit care breach late Wednesday. With that... Eshbaugh says visitors to the resort between last Oct. 17 and June 2 of this year... are being urged to watch their credit card statements. Eshbaugh says Holiday Valley was one of the "common points of sale" and that started the investigation. Holiday Valley officials are calling the breach a ``criminal attack'' that affected credit card and debit card purchases of food... recreation... retail and lodging transactions. Eshbaugh says Holiday Valley will provide a year of free credit repair services to card holders whose credit was harmed. The service will be available beginning June 17. Eshbaugh says... at this point... it appears some 60 cards were affected. She says they're always careful in setting up their security systems... but, adds cyber criminals have become "very clever." Eshbaugh says Holiday Valley notified the Secret Service of the breach when they discovered it last week... and, hired cyber security experts to contain it and protect against future attacks.
Assembly passes Medical Malpractice legislation extends claim period...
The state Assembly has passed legislation that would let victims of medical malpractice file claims later than allowed now. Current law requires filing claims within two-and-a-half years after the act, omission or improper treatment. The legislation would start that clock when an injured patient discovers, or should have discovered, that the injury was caused by malpractice. It would cap the claims period at 10 years after the alleged malpractice.
Tornado confirmed in WNY Wednesday night when severe weather came through the region...
The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado caused some of the damage left behind when severe storms rolled across western New York, knocking out power to more than 10-thousand utility customers. A weather service team sent to the town of Farmington concluded Thursday that a tornado rated EF-0 with winds 60 to 70 mph touched down just before 10 p.m. Wednesday and was on the ground for a half-mile. Emergency officials say high winds knocked over two barns and sent a silo nearly 300 yards into a cemetery in Farmington, in northern Ontario County 15 miles southeast of Rochester. About 12-thousand homes and businesses in Ontario and neighboring Monroe County lost power. RG&E says about 2,300 remain without power Thursday, most of them in Monroe County. There were no injuries reported.
(Corr)Ashville man killed in truck-motorcycle crash on Route 474 in Ashville...
An Ashville man was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a light truck hauling a trailer Thursday morning near Ashville. Sheriff's officers say 41 year-old Richard Jensen was eastbound at an apparent high rate of speed about 7:30 a.m. near the intersection with Magnolia Road. Deputies say the Kingsview Enterprises truck... operated by 21 year-old Tyler Borowski of Bradford... was westbound when he apparently turned in front of the motorcycle. Officers say Jensen laid the bike down... and, it skidded about 125 feet before hitting the front of the truck. Deputies say Jensen had been thrown from the bike... and was later pronounced dead at the scene. An accident reconstruction team was brought in... and, officers interviewed an eyewitness before ruling on the accident. Route 474 between the four-corners in Ashville... and, Magnolia Avenue... was closed for about 3-and-a-half hours. Deputies say charges are pending.
(Bulletin) One person dead in Route 474 Motorcycle accident in Ashville...
A motorcyclist is confirmed dead following an accident involving the rider's bike and another vehicle on Route 474 near Ashville. Sheriff Joe Gerace confirms the rider of the motorcycle died in the accident... which was reported about 7:30 this morning. An accident reconstruction team has been brought in... and motorists in the Lakewood and Ashville areas are being asked to avoid Route 474 between the four-corners in Ashville... and, Magnolia Avenue. Gerace says his department is continuing to investigate the crash. The name of the person has not been released yet, pending notification of relatives.
Holiday Valley officials blame "criminal attack" for data breach...
Visitors to a Cattaraugus County ski resort are being urged to watch their credit card statements after the discovery of a data breach. Officials at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville are calling it a ``criminal attack'' that lasted from last Oct. 17 to this past June 2... and, affected credit card and debit card purchases of food, recreation, retail and lodging. The resort says it will offer a year of credit repair services to card holders whose credit was harmed. Officials say they notified the Secret Service of the breach when they discovered it last week and hired cyber security experts to contain it and protect against future attacks.
Goodell only State Legislator to take part in Cuomo's "Transparency Summit," pleased with outcome...
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York state Assembly was the only legislator to take part in Governor Cuomo's "Transparency Summit" in late May. Assemblyman Andy Goodell took part in the session regarding whether the governor's e-mails should be kept after 90 days. Just before the Records Retention session... Cuomo's office announced they it had reversed policy, and would retain e-mails according to state policy. Goodell says the location of the summit was not released until the day before the session. He says he wasn't told where it was until the Thursday afternoon before the summit... which didn't allow him to take part... except by phone. However... Goodell says the announcement made at the beginning of the summit was a "very positive" development... and, he applauded it. Initially... it appeared that Cuomo was not going to change course until after the summit was held. But... Goodell says that changed, and his staff announced they would be keeping the e-mails until they had been evaluated by record officials. He says the state officials also discussed how the Freedom of Information Law applied in this case.
Kolb again makes push for corruption legislation being approved in Albany...
The leader of the New York state Assembly's Republican minority says lawmakers are missing an opportunity to address the ``cloud'' of corruption that's hung over the state Capitol for years. GOP leader Brian Kolb says that there's still time for lawmakers to take up comprehensive ethics reforms before they adjourn next week. But he says he's not optimistic they will. The two men picked to lead the Assembly and Senate in January have been charged with corruption-related crimes and are just the latest of several lawmakers to face ethics questions in recent years. Kolb supports term limits on leadership positions to reduce corruption, but that idea isn't supported by Assembly Democrats.
Mayville man arrested in connection with rollover crash due to distracted driving...
A Mayville man is accused of speeding after he got distracted... and, his car veered off Route 430 in the town of Chautauqua... and, sheared a utility pole. Sheriff's Deputies say 23 year-old John Milliman was westbound just before 6 p.m. Tuesday when he was distracted for some reason... and, his vehicle went off the roadway. Officers say the car crashed through the utility pole... and, traveled several yards before coming to a stop. They say Milliman was treated at the scene for minor injuries... and, released. He was ticketed for using speed not reasonable and prudent.
One arrested so far in series of drug raids in Dunkirk...
Federal, state and local police agencies are involved in an on-going investigation into illegal drugs... which resulted in six separate raids in the city of Dunkirk early Wednesday morning. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is heading up the investigation. Ortolano says six search warrants were executed just before 6 a.m. The U-S Drug Enforcement Agency is expected to release more details of the operation. One arrest has been reportedly made as part of the raids.
Stockton man accused of trying to set his vacant home on fire five times...
A Stockton man has been arrested for allegedly trying to set an abandoned house he owned on fire five times... and, being warned not to burn it by fire officials. State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 37 year-old Louis Horton late last week after he had been warned for a second time by the Stockton fire chief to not burn the structure on Railroad Avenue. Troopers say Horton was arraigned on four counts of second-degree Reckless Endangerment... second-degree Criminal Nuisance... obstuction and other counts. He was also issued several ENCON citations. Horton was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $3,500 cash bail.
Koncert for Kallie set for Friday night...
A benefit concert will be held this coming Friday night for the Kallie’s Krusade Foundation at the Jamestown High School. The band TPT will perform hits from the 1960’s to Today to raise money for the Kallie’s Krusade Foundation. Tickets to the concert are $5 for adults... and, $3 for Students and Children and the proceeds will be used to assists families with sick children who may need help traveling to get treatment. The Koncert for Kallie’s Crusade kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Jamestown High School.
A couple of preservation groups are boosting their public campaign to spare the historic amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution from demolition. That from Chairman Brian Berg with the "Committee to Preserve the Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater..." who says five new billboard signs have been put up in the area surrounding the institution. Berg says the National Trust for Historic Preservation is backing the campaign... which he says renews their call for Chautauqua officials to hold an open dialogue on ways to renovate the Amp... not tear it down.
Berg says they have been trying to openly talk to residents about upgrading the facility... but, adds they haven't gotten very far with discussions with Institution leaders. They say the institution is continuing to pursue a complete tear-down... and, replacing it with a new facility. Berg says the billboards have been strategically placed so they'll be seen by the public. He says the idea of tearing down the Amphitheater is almost akin to tearing down Chicago's Wrigley Field -- or some other major historic location -- and replacing it with a new stadium.
A Chautauqua Institution official says they have "no issue" with the billboards that have been erected across the area... calling attention to controversy surrounding the amphitheater. Vice-President of Marketing George Murphy says Chautauqua remains committed to having an open dialogue about the amphitheater... and, how the project fits into the institution's long-range planning. Murphy says there will be plenty of opportunities during the upcoming 2015 season to learn more about what's being proposed. Murphy says the bigger the number of people attending those sessions... the better. The institution has planned three morning sessions each week for the first eight-weeks of the season -- devoted to the project. Murphy says the first one will be a tour of the amphitheater on Monday mornings. He says there will then be a "history" session on Wednesdays... and, a Q-and-A forum on Fridays. Murphy says each session will begin at 8 AM... and, the Wednesday and Friday sessions will be held in the Hall of Christ.
The Jamestown School Board has unanimously approved a new contract with the union representing support staff in the district. The panel adopted the five-year agreement... which is retroactive to July 1st of 2013... at last night's board meeting. School Superintendent Tim Mains says the Jamestown Support Staff Association represents about 160 employees... including most custodians, food service workers, and bus drivers. No details were released about the contract... which runs until June of 2018. With the agreement... the district now has agreements with five of the seven collective bargaining units they deal with. The only two that haven't include the district's largest union... the Jamestown Teachers Association. The other is the union representing the district's paraprofessionals.
A former Buffalo pub manager whose murder conviction was set aside has pleaded guilty in the death of a bar patron from Silver Creek who died months after being pushed down a flight of stairs. Jeffrey Basil pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Buffalo in a plea agreement that will let him avoid another murder trial. In exchange... he faces 15 to 21 years in prison. The 37-year-old Basil could have received 25 years to life in prison had he been re-tried in the death last year of Air National Guardsman, 28-year-old William Sager, Junior. A jury found Basil guilty of murder in January, but a judge last month set the verdict aside after Basil's lawyers argued that one of the jurors concealed information about herself during jury selection.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he wants to meet with select officials in both the village of Fredonia and the city of Dunkirk before Thursday night's County Water Agency meeting. Horrigan says the earlier session is being held to respond to questions and concerns outlined in responses the county has received from the local governments. Village officials raised a number of concerns in a 6-and-a-half page document that was passed by the village board Monday night. Horrigan is asking for a meeting. But... it appears that at least one trustee has made up his mind. Joe Cerrie says that he won't support the district the way its is currently proposed. Cerrie says -- overalll -- "it's not a benefit to village residents and taxpayers." The city of Dunkirk issued its response to the proposed agreements last week... but, has not disclosed many details. The county Water Agency will meet at Shorewood Country Club on Thursday evening at 6:30 pm. The meeting is open to the public.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week, with no change in the price of regular, unleaded fuel. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price remains 2-dollars-94 cents per gallon... while the national price is now 2--75 a gallon. Triple-A says the average price locally is based on reports from 19 area service stations. Nationally... the Fuel Gauge Reports the average price has remained steady over the past week... and, continues to hover near at what many expect to be the highest average of the year. While prices across the country have increased since April... Triple-A says consumers are still saving 90-cents per gallon compared to this same time last year.
An annual event used to raise awarness about the need for kidney donors across western New York will be held this coming Sunday in Jamestown. The 6th Southern Tier Kidney Walk will be held on the city's westside...with activities beginning at 12 Noon at the Lillian Ney Renaissance Center. That from Walk Chairman Mitch Stone... who received a kidney transplant three years ago... and, has been involved for some time with the effort. Stone says he received a kidney from a "total stranger" through the Southern Tier Kidney Association and it's "Kidney Connection" program. He says they'll walk from the center, across the Third Street Bridge to Veteran's memorial Park... and, back. Southern Tier Kidney Association president Sam Pelleritto says you can find out details about the walk by going to their website at "southerntierkidneyassoc-dot-ORG. Pelleritto adds there will also be lunch served after the walk.
Chautauqua County is on the move. That was the message delivered by County Executive Vince Horrigan this morning during the county Chamber of Commerce's annual Executive Breakfast in Fredonia. Horrigan says the county is working hard on economic development efforts and job creation. He believes he demonstrated that they are making inroads in both areas... but, adds there's still a lot of work to do on regional initiatives like the North County Water district. Horrigan says he was asked a number of questions concerning regional development initiatives. However... the Bemus Point Republican says he was surprised he was NOT asked about the county seeking a half-a-percent increase in the local sales tax. However... that may not be as big an issue because of the planned property tax cut that's part of the proposal. In the past... the county Chamber has opposed such a move. About 100 people turned out for the annual breakfast held at the Williams Center at the SUNY College at Fredonia.
A city man is being held in the county jail without bail after he was pulled over during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside Thursday afternoon... and, the investigation allegedly led to a Methaphetime Lab in his house. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and State Police C-NET Team, stopped a car driven by 35 year-old Aaron Phillips just after 12:30 PM Thursday on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Police say they soon found Phillips in possession of a quantity of Meth... and, they obtained a search warrant for his house. Task Force members later raided the home at 115 Wilton Avenue... and, found items known to be used for making Meth. The State Police C-SERT Team was also called into assist and clean-up the scene. Phillips faces charges including third-degree unlawful production of Methamphetime. He was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.
Students who would be going to Love Elementary School next Fall will instead attend three other schools due to a major, 8-million dollar renovation project at the district's oldest school. School Superintendent Tim Mains says Love will be shutting down while the entire electric service is being moved from the basement to the first floor... and, the heating and cooling systems are upgraded. Mains says the project will get underway once the current school year is finished... and be finished at the end of next Summer. Mains says school officials met with Love School parents Thursday night to explain what's taking place... and, what nearby schools their children will be attending next Fall. He says students in Kindergarten through second-grade will be bused to Lincoln Elementary School... while third through fourth-graders will be sent to Washington Middle School. He says Love School's Pre-K students will be assigned once they know who would be attending Love School. He says several of them will likely be bused to Ring School. Mains says details will be part of a letter soon to be sent out to parents.
It's been a busy past eight-months for employees of a local real estate group involved in the transformation of the former federal building on Jamestown's eastside. An Open House was held yesterday to give the public a chance to look at the changes to what is now the Lynn Building at 301 East Second Street. Event Coordinator Heather Lynn says they purchased the old post office building in 2010. Lynn says they moved into the building in 2012... and, have now built it out for six different groups or businesses. She says they needed to do a lot of duct, and, plumbing work. Lynn says both the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts... and, Chautauqua Striders moved into the first floor... off Second Street. Four others have also moved in just before or after that. They include the U-S Post Office -- which is in a new location.
State health officials plan to let the public know early next week which companies, nonprofits or others bid for licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana in New York. Before Friday's application deadline... several bidders had announced proposals, including some now running similar programs in other states. New York's health department is expected to grant up to five licenses this summer, with each recipient allowed to establish up to four dispensaries. Under the law signed last July, patients with cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's disease and certain other medical conditions will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug, which can be ingested or vaporized. According to the Drug Policy Alliance... 23 other states have passed medical marijuana laws, while four have legalized it for adult use like alcohol.
A farmer's wife has pleaded not guilty to killing her husband, who was buried in manure after being struck with a pitch fork and shot in the head. Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Geen says 48-year-old Charlene Mess is being held on one-million dollars bail. Searchers found the body of 52-year-old Douglas Mess on the couple's town of Attica farm in April after his son reported him missing. Investigators say he was killed by a .22-caliber rifle shot to the back of his head. A seven-count indictment charges Charlene Mess with second-degree murder, assault, evidence tampering, using a firearm in a crime and lying to investigators.
A man from Westfield has been sentenced to 7-years in state prison for stealing about 7-thousand dollars in items in several burglaries early last year. Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 39 year-old Todd Reardon also faces 5-years post-release supervision for second-degree burglary. The 7-year determinate term was handed-down in county court for the March 2014 incidents. In addition... Foley says a Lakewood man will spending 1 to 3 years in prision for third-degree burglary. 22 year-old Dylan Abbey was convicted in county court of third-degree burglary... and, aggravated unlicensed operation. He's accused of stealing items from a Jamestown home. Foley also says 51 year-old Michael Foster of Cassadaga received state prision time for two counts of Felony Driving While Intoxication. Foster received one to one-and-3/4 years... and, a one-thousand dollar fine.
Three police officers were hurt when they tried to get a Jamestown man help after he was found acting strangely while he was walking on West Fourth Street. City Police were called to the scene... near Jefferson Street... just after 1:30 AM Wednesday. Officers say they were called to check on the well-being of Joseph DeJesus... but, he became combative when they wanted to take him to the hospital. Police say DeJesus also kicked the doors -- damaging one -- in the patrol car. Police say two JPD officers, and a Sheriff's Officer, were treated for minor injuries. DeJesus was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault... first degree obstruction... and, criminal mischief.. and, sent to the county jail without bail.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is backing legislation he recently filed with a Democratic House member from Connecticut that would allow parents to opt-out of annual Common Core testing. The Corning Republican joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in introducing the EMPOWER Act last month. Reed says he's heard from a number of parents and even some teachers who are concerned about the tests. Reed says a number of local school districts in the 23rd Congressional District saw thousands of students opt of testing earlier this year. In fact... he says participation in the Fredonia school district fell to below 50-percent this year. The legislation has receiving the support from both the National Education Association... and the New York State United Teachers union... also known as NYSUT.
For the most part... gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain consistent this week... changing just a fraction of a penny a gallon. The Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge Report says the price for regular, unleaded gas is up about 4-tenths of a cent to 2-dollars-94 cents. Triple-A says that's based on reports from 19 local service stations. The Fuel Gauge report says the price last year at this time was just under 3-dollars-85 cents a gallon. The national average is now $2--75. After a steady increase in recent months... the Fuel Gauge says it's possible that national pump prices may be near a seasonal peak.
There will be five performances this year to mark the city of Jamestown's annual Summer Band Concert Series at Allen Park starting next Wednesday. City officials -- including Mayor Sam Teresi -- and others were on hand at the Gorenson Bandshell Wednesday afternoon to highlight the events scheduled for the next several weeks. Parks and Receration Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says it all starts Wednesday, July 10th with a concert by the Jamesown High School concert band. Band Director Meghan Murray says her students always look forward to it.
After a week off... the concert series resumes on Wednesday, June 24th with the first of four "themed" shows by the Jamestown Municipal Band... directed by Rick Lundquist. Lundquist says their first concert will be "Italian Night..." featuring music of Italian composers and performers. He adds the band's annual July 4th "Patriotic" concert will be held on Wednesday, July 1st. All concerts at Allen Park begin at 7 PM... and, there is the possibility of more concerts being added if sponsors can be found. One sponsor... Chuck DeAngelo of Fessenden, Laumer and DeAngelo... was on hand for the announcment. Lundquist says the Municipal Band is now a 501-C-3 company... so donations are tax deductable. Ciesla-Hanley says the concerts cost 800-dollars to put on. For more information... call her at 483-7523.
The Gorenson Bandshell is about 50 years old... and, in need of some "tender loving care." City officials say it will get that during the Summer season. However... Mayor Sam Teresi says the work will not interfere with the Summer Concert Series. During yesterday afternoon's press conference... Teresi noted that there will be two area's of emphasis. City Parks Supervisor John Williams says the concert work on the floor of the bandshell will begin this Monday. However... he says none of the work will take place on concert days. Williams says the roof replacement will take place over the course of the season... and, by done by it's conclusion.
The top cop in the city of Dunkirk is calling the arrest of a 25-year-old city man one of the most unusual cases his department has seen in many years. Adam Jessie is accused of trying to evade police by climbing onto the roof of a two-story apartment building at 128 Lake Shore Drive East Tuesday. The call stemmed from a 9-1-1 call about a possible residential entry on South Zebra Street. Police Chief David Ortolano says Jessie wouldn't get off the roof...so Dunkirk Fire brought in Ladder One. Ortolano admits it's one of the most unusual cases he has seen in his 30 years in law enforcement. He says he's thankful that Jessie didn't get hurt... but, adds it's "something we don't deal with very often." Jessie has been arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal trespass... and, second-degree criminal nuisance and sent to the County Jail in lieu of bail.
Students in a suburban Buffalo school district have chosen a replacement for the Redskins nickname for their sports teams. The Lancaster school district announced Wednesday that teams will now be known as the Lancaster Legends, and the new mascot will be a knight. Elementary and middle school students voted Tuesday from among seven choices and high school students voted Wednesday. The Lancaster School Board will meet Monday to vote on the students' choice. The board in March decided to retire the Redskins nickname and mascot after more than 60 years because it offends some Native Americans.
Republican state senators in Pennsylvania are preparing to introduce legislation to allow Internet gambling. The forthcoming bill was advertised Wednesday by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and three other Republicans. Their memo to fellow senators says the bill would allow existing Pennsylvania casinos to offer Internet gambling. Players must be in the state and have a registered account. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada allow Internet gambling. A Scarnati spokesman says the bill promises hundreds of millions of dollars for the state treasury, with the help of other provisions that let casinos expand traditional gambling offerings. Governor Tom Wolf's office says the Democrat is open to discussing Internet gambling legislation.
The effort to equip police officers with body cameras nationwide to tape the officer's perspective of incidents they respond to has come to the city of Jamestown. However... research into this crime-fighting tool began long before officer involved-incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere. Mayor Sam Teresi says he was first introduced to the technology in 2010... and, he began discussing it with Police Chief Harry Snellings. Snellings has researched the matter for just over a year... and, presented his findings to the City Council at last night's work session. Snellings says he's looked at three different kinds of body cams... and, says he and Teresi wanted to wait at first because initial costs were high. However... he says the cameras are more in demand now, and, that's brought down the cost. He says... generally... the rank-and-file like the idea of back-up video. There is federal grant money available... but, Snellings says the initial cost for a stand-alone system for 48 cameras would cost about 55-thousand dollars.
A very rainy 24-hours on Sunday led to one record being set for daily rainfall in Western New York. Meteorologist Dave Thomas of the National Weather Service says a slow-moving cold front brought the wet weather and resulted in 2.25-inches of rain for yesterday. Thomas says that was the second-highest for one day total for Buffalo in the month of May. It was also the most for May 31st. Thomas says rain came mainly during the course of the day-time hours. He adds the rain should help area farmers who have been dealing with a rainfall deficit for several weeks.
The former leader of the New York Senate and his son have pleaded not guilty in a federal corruption case. An indictment levels conspiracy and extortion charges against 67-year-old Dean Skelos (SKEHL'-ohs) and his 32-year-old son, Adam. They were arraigned today (Monday) in Manhattan. The indictment, filed last Thursday, says a medical malpractice insurer provided Adam Skelos with a no-show job while it lobbied his father on legislative matters. Authorities allege that 300-thousand dollars was illegally steered to the son. Dean Skelos was New York state's most powerful Republican when he was arrested. Skelos has said he will fight the charges and that he and his son will be vindicated. His son's lawyer has said Adam Skelos is not guilty.
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says he's "very confident" there will be a vote on allowing the county to increase it's sales tax before the end of the current state legislative session. Bemus Point Republican Andy Goodell is please the county legislature took action on the proposal last week to increase the tax from 7.5-percent to 8-percent. Goodell says the legislative session is expected to end on June 17th. He adds this sales tax proposal is unique... and, that's a plus. Goodell says lowering property taxes will especially help local farmers... and manufacturers be more competitive, and remain open. He adds there will also be an obvoious benefit to local home-owners by shifting some of the tax burden onto people visiting or vacationing in the county. Goodell did not have a day where such a vote may take place... adding the county's Sales Tax increase is one of several bills that need to be acted on by the end of session. He also declined to speculate how soon a vote may come in the State Senate.
A long-time collision shop on Jamestown's southside has changed hands... but, the new owner says he's committed to carry on the quality work of the previous owner. The grand opening was held yesterday afternoon for the new Carubba Collision on Foote Avenue. It's the previous location of Gary's Carstar... which had been owned and operated for about 45 years by Gary Adams. Mayor Sam Teresi says Monday's ribbon cutting was a celebration of two things. Teresi lauded Adams' commitment to doing quality work during his 45 years in the business... and, his love for restoring antique cars. Carubba Collision's Owner, Joe Carubba was on hand for the festivities... and, also complimented Adams... saying he wants to carry on the fine traditions he had in the Jamestown community... including the quality of work, and local employees. Carubba says they'll also be adding five new employees for expanded service. He says they will be a "one-stop" center for people to get their car's repaired, and get their insurance claims taken care of.
A new, family-owned restaurant has officially opened in downtown Jamestown that carries a Cuban cuisine... but, also caters to American's love for such food. Several elected officials... and, members of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation were on hand to help cut the ribbon yesterday on the new "Havana Cuban Cafe and Pizzaria." Owner Ruban Hernandez is originally from Miami... but, moved to Jamestown when he was 15. He adds he first became interested in opening a restaurant when he graduated from JHS six years ago. Hernandez says the reaction's been positive. Hernandez says their main staple is their version of the "Cuban" Sandwich... and, other cuban fare. He says his inspiration was his grand-father... who was a chef in Cuba. He calls the restaurant a "dream come true." Hours for the "Havana Cuban Cafe and Pizzaria" are 11 AM to 8 PM Tuesday's through Saturday's. Their business number is 720-4296.
The Dunkirk Police Department is investigating a "forced residential entry" that happened in the 200-block of Lord Street shortly before 3 PM Sunday. Police say two people, described as Hispanic males, pushed a 73-year-old female victim down to the floor after answering her door. She told officers that a heavier-set man had asked for the whereabouts of a person she did not know. They then left the home. The victim managed to call 9-1-1. Police and Dunkirk Fire and Rescue responded and transported her to Brooks Hospital for treatment of a back injury. Anyone with information on this incident can call the Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or the confidential tip line at 363-0313.
City man jailed for allegedly threatening victim with gun during domestic incident...
A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend's eastside apartment... and, threatening her while holding a shot-gun. City police were called to the scene at 111 Benedict Ave. about 3:20 a.m. Friday... and, learned that 26 year-old Allen Yarbrough got into the woman's apartment illegally... and, had armed himself with the gun. Officers say the pair got into an argument... and, Yarbrough allegedly broke the woman's cell phone. He later left the scene, and the woman called officers... who later caught Yarbrough. He was arraigned on charges including second-degree burglary... second-degree menacing... and, first-degree criminal contempt. He was then sent to the county lock-up.
Jamestown man accused of attacking woman, using knife during incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly attacking a woman... and, acting in a threatening manner with a knife. City Police were called to the scene at 107 Barrett Ave. just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday... and, learned that 27 year-old Jesus Torres, Junior had allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair... and, pulled her off a couch. Officers also found that Torres had allegedly stabbed a door... damaging it. He was arrested without incident for second-degree harassment, and criminal mischief. Torres was jailed pending arraignment.
Leathers says BPU "Mini Rate" case could be decided by later Summer...
It will likely be August or September before the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities knows whether or not it's push for a "mini-rate" increase is approved by the state. That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says the board is going through the normal process for getting such an increase... which can be for up to 2.5-percent. Such cases only take a few months to complete. In fact... Leathers says state Public Service Commission officials were on site just recently to gather information on the BPU's request. He says they put in formal information requests... asked questions, and, challenged the board during a 2-and-a-half day stay two weeks ago. The board approved seeking the "mini-rate" case at it's March meeting. Some have questioned whether the city taking a "divident payment" the past couple of years as a "new" revenue source led to the need for an increase. Leathers says it's because expenses 'in general' have gone up for the electric division... including commodities, materials, labor and pensions. Leathers says the approximately $475,000 "dividend" payment this past year was a factor in their asking for a rate hike... but, by no means the only reason.
Mains issues formal statement on JHS Vandalism case...
Disciplinary action has already been taken by the Jamestown School District against the six high school students who allegedly took part in the vandalism at the high school early last Tuesday morning. However... School Superindent Tim Mains also says he is "disturbed" by the fact that a number of students who were not found to be involved have been "widely and inaccurately" portrayed as playing a role in it. In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon... Mains said "I do not want our effort to protect the confidentiality of actual perpetrators to be used in order to continue to malign students who had nothing to do with this." He adds that criminal charges will be filed against the six alleged suspects.
Fredonia native in Air Force killed in accident in Germany...
A north county native who served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany, died earlier this week in a traffic accident about 40 kilometers from the base. Media One News has learned that Staff Sergeant Michael Klose of Fredonia was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base since December of 2011. A story posted on the air base’s website reports that the 24-year-old was posthumously awarded the rank of Staff Sergeant on May 24. Michael was the son of Mark and Karen Klose of Fredonia... and, was a 2009 Fredonia High School graduate.
Reed calls Manufacturing Summit a big success...
Local Congressman Tom Reed's first Manufacturing Summit in Chautauqua County was a "great success." Reed hosted the summit Thursday at Jamestown Community College... and, included more than 140 manufacturing companies and representatives from across the region... and, elsewhere. The Corning Republican says the information shared by several panels and other presentations will "have a big impact on our manufacturing companies." Reed says the main idea was to provide resources for local companies to help them succeed. He says the summit brought together manufacturing industry leaders, government agencies and trade representatives to discuss the future of regional manufacturing. The summit featured a number of informational panels which provided more information on opportunities to grow its businesses here, by exporting their products abroad. He says the opportunity is there with 95-percent of the world's consumers outside the United States.
Street JAM gets underway Saturday...
There are 221 three-man basketball teams are set to play hoops on the streets of Jamestown this weekend. The annual Street JAM Tournament hits the streets tomorrow. Vicky Bardo is the tournament director... and, says "street ball" has now been a tradition in Jamestown the past 19 years. Each 4-person team gets to play at least three games, and maybe as many as 10. Action gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday... with games until early evening. That schedule is repeated on Sunday. Bardo says teams from as far away as Buffalo... and even Las Vegas, Nevada are coming to play this year. Spectators are welcome at any of the twenty courts, but the hottest action is expected on the top men's and women's courts... right in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. The tournament is presented by The Resource Center and 'Filling the Gap'... which works with TRC. Bardo adds, the tournament plays through all weather except thunderstorms. Games may be shortened if the conditions are wet.
Vets of Modern Warfare to host Chicken BBQ to benefit "Kallie's Krusade..."
A Chicken Barbeue Benefit has been set for this coming Sunday, May 31 for the Veteran's of Modern Warfare C-H 20 of Jamestown. Spokesperson Melodie Paladino says it'll be held at Classic Cuts & Nails at 1285 East Second St. in Jamestown from Noon to 6 p.m. Paladino says they'll be serving chicken dinners will be $9 to include 1/2 chicken, 2 sides and a roll. Pepsi products and water will be available for one-dollar each. Paladino says there'll also be serveral activities... including a Chinese auction... 50/50 raffle... bake sale and games for the kids. Classic Cuts is also doing hair extensions for $5 and haircuts for $10 each. All proceeds from this benefit will go to Tara and Shane Swan, parents of Kallie Swan who passed away after a long battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They established the non-profit Kallie's Krusade to benefit such children.
Chautauqua County is a step closer to having an 8 percent sales tax. County lawmakers last night approved a resolution that supports state legislation that would allow the county to raise its sales tax from the current 7.5 percent to 8 percent along with a county property tax levy cut by at least 3 percent. County lawmakers amended the resolution to include the language "will strive to adopt a budget for 2016 and 2017 with a tax levy decrease of 5 percent compared to the 2015 real property tax levy." Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom proposed another amendment that would have removed the words "strive to." But, Ahlstrom's amendment failed. The final resolution was approved 17-1 with Ahlstrom voting no. County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county legislation will now be sent to Albany. The language change made by the county legislature will not affect the bills being sponsored by Young and Goodell since they call for a county property tax levy cut by 3 percent.
Six Jamestown High School seniors have been arrested in what a city police official calls a "Senior Prank gone bad." City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the six males are accused of breaking into the high school about 1:30 AM Tuesday... and, damaging property through-out the building. Samuelson adds they were in the building between one and one-and-a-half hours. Samuelson says the Felony charge is third-degree burglary... and, the misdemeanors are criminal mischief and criminal tampering. He says papers were strewn around... and, furniture was moved from the basement to the third-floor. There was also damage done to some doors... and, an office. Samuelson says the investigation is continuing... and the students will be arraigned at a later date. No names have been released.
A city man has been arrested for alleged Heroin possession... and, several traffic infractions after a vehicle pursuit through the city's eastside early Wednesday afternoon. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol officer spotted the car... driven by 36 year-old Juan Velazquez... moving irratically at a high rate of speed in the area of Bowen and Bush Streets a few minutes after 12 Noon. Samuelson says the pursuit lasted several minutes before the vehicle struck a dumpster... and, Velaaquez was taken into custody. Further investigation uncovered some five bundles... or 50 bags of Heroin in Velazquez's posession. In addition to number vehicle and traffic infractions... Samuelson says Velazquez is also charged with Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He's being held in the city jail pending arraignment.
The only birds at the Chautauqua County Fair this July will be frozen as per order by the state Ag and Markets Commissioner. That from Chautauqua County Fair President Dave Wilson. Wilson says it's due to concern over Avian Flu. It's not been found anywhere in New York, but is spreading rapidly in other parts of the country. Cornell Cooperative Extension's Emily Reynolds says Four-H members raising birds for show will have to keep them home. For those who want to sell chickens at the Market Animal Sale... they've come up with a unique solution -- an off-site show. Twenty-four Four-H members sold chickens at last year's county fair. This year's fair is set for July 27th through August 2nd at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.
Two members of the Chautauqua County Legislature have decided against seeking another term on the panel. Lawmakers Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk and John Runkle of Stockton, will not be running in November. Both announced their intentions Wednesday morning in the north county. Ahlstrom has been a member for 18 years and recently retired as Dunkirk Fire Chief. Runkle, who currently serves as chairman of the Audit and Control Committee, says he wants to enjoy retirement from the Sheriff's Department. He plans to spend time traveling to see family. Both legislators are encouraging the public to become involved in their local government. Ahlstrom says it can be a "headache" at times... but, it can also bring some fulfillment that you are helping your community.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are trending upwards towards the 3-dollar mark... increasing by 8-cents a gallon this week. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular, unleaded gas is now just under 2-dollars-94 cents. The Fuel Gauge Report says the price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area. Triple-A says last week's price was just under 2--86 a gallon. The national average is now up to about 2-dollars-74 cents a gallon. The Fuel Gauge Report says the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day after rising for 39 of 41 days. Despite the overall trend of rising averages... consumers paid the lowest prices at the pump for the holiday since 2010. Significant yearly discounts remain, due to relatively low prices for crude oil, with today’s national average representing a savings of 92 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year. Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude oil... and, localized refinery issues -- especially in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Crude oil is now up to just under 60-dollars a barrel.
A number of local baseball fans were on hand for yesterday's "Meet and Greet" for the new, Jamestown Jammers of the Prospect League. Fans had their first chance to meet members of the Jammers before the team was to take the field for last night's season-opener. The Gateway Train Station hosted the event... and, Station Manager Lee Harkness was excited about greeting the team. Field and Business Manager Anthony Barone says he and the players are excited... and, adds tickets sales have been up in recent days. Barone is promising an "aggressive team" built on speed, defense and pitching. He says their pitching staff is shaping up nicely. As for the ball-park... Barone says the outfield wall has been painted blue for the new season... and, some other upgrades have also been made. The Jammers were secheduled to play Butler last night before going on the road for two games. For more information on the team... call the ball park... or go on-line to Jamestownbaseball-dot-COM.
Another poll says Governor Cuomo's favorability and job performance ratings have hit the lowest point of his tenure as governor. Tuesday's Siena College survey put the Democratic governor's favorability rating at 53 percent, down from 63 percent in June 2014. His job performance rating is 41 percent, down from 49 percent in June of last year. The findings are similar to those in a Marist College poll earlier this month. Ninety-percent of respondents in the Siena poll said Albany corruption remains a ``serious problem.''
New York's attorney general says he soon plans to submit broad and detailed legislation aimed at ending public corruption in Albany. Eric Schneiderman said yesterday that lawmakers need to enact such legislation during a year when their leaders were both arrested on federal charges. The Legislature is scheduled to end its session on June 17th. Schneiderman says it's time to end ``the parade of prosecutions.'' His bill would give the state attorney general's office permanent jurisdiction to investigate official bribery and fraud, ban outside income by legislators while raising their pay and extending terms to four years, lower legal campaign contributions and close the loopholes for limited liability companies and make it easier to prosecute people who pay bribes. It also would establish a public financing option for state candidates.
Six JHS Seniors arrested for allegedly taking part in "Senior Prank gone bad..."
Six Jamestown High School seniors have been arrested in what a city police official calls a "Senior Prank gone bad." City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the six are accused of breaking into the high school about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday... and, damaging property through-out the building. Samuelson says, while it was considered a prank it wasn't "very well thought out" because it's resulted in Felony charges of third-degree burglary... along with misdemeanor criminal mischief and criminal tampering. He says papers were strewn around... and, furniture was moved from the basement to the third-floor. There was also damage done to doors where the break-in occured, and an office. The names of the six alleged perpetrators have not been released.
County Legislature to act on Sales Tax measure...
Chautauqua County legislators will likely be taking action on a revised plan to increase the county's sales tax when they meet this evening in Mayville. Audit and Control Committee chairman John Runkle says the latest proposal ties the sales tax increase to a 3-percent cut in the county tax levy. The Cassadaga Republican says he is among some legislators who would like to see a deeper cut made to county property taxes. Runkle believes they could increase the cut in the levy from 1.9-million dollars to 3.1 million. He says he concerned that the 3-percent cut would still leave a significant amount of surplus revenues. It's not known whether there will be enough support to commit to a lower property tax levy. Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Mayville.
Runkle and Ahlstrom says they're not running for re-election to legislature...
Two members of the Chautauqua County Legislature have decided against seeking another term on the panel. Lawmakers Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk and John Runkle of Stockton, will not be running in November. Both announced their intentions Wednesday in the north county. Ahlstrom has been a member for 18 years and recently retired as Dunkirk Fire Chief. He says he also spent five years on the Dunkirk School Board before that, and is looking forward to retirement. Runkle, who currently serves as chairman of the Audit and Control Committee, says he also wants to enjoy retirement from the Sheriff's Department. Both legislators are encouraging the public to become involved in their local government. Ahlstrom says it can bring about some headaches, but it can also bring some fulfillment that you are helping your community.
Gas pump prices jump 8-cents this week...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are trending upwards towards the $3 mark... increasing by 8-cents a gallon this week. The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular, unleaded gas is now just under $2.94. The Fuel Gauge Report says the price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area. AAA says last week's price was just under $2.86 a gallon. The national average is now up to about $2.74 a gallon. The Fuel Gauge Report says the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day after rising for 39 of 41 days. Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude oil... and, localized refinery issues.
Major donor comes forward to help Celoron pay for new Lucy Statue in Lucille Ball Memorial Park...
A major donation from a New England businessman -- who's also a big "I Love Lucy" fan -- has moved the village of Celoron closer to being able to replace the "Scary Lucy" statue in Lucille Ball Memorial Park. Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost has announced that Norwood, Mass's Ernie Boch, Jr. has contributed $20,000 to the effort. In a printed release... Boch says "Lucille Ball was so talented and Iconic that I'm delighted to give the village of Celoron... the best statue they deserve." Boch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Subaru of New England. Schrecengost says the village is "very grateful" to Boch for his generous donation. He adds they are now forming a committee to review the many resumes of sculptors they have received to decide who will create the new one. The village board voted earlier this month to retain ownership of the current statue... but, allow the new, National Comedy Center to have possession of it for display in the center. However... that was contingent on a replacement statue being put in place. Schrecengost says their campaign for donations is continuing at Kickstarter.com... and, you can call the village offices at 487-4175.
Jamestown and Busti Memorial Day parades and observances tout attitude of sacrifice...
It was a sunny, almost Summer-like day for Memorial Day 2015 across Chautauqua County Monday. There were several parades... featuring marching bands. The Southwestern Middle School Band joined the High School Band to perform in the annual Busti Memorial Day Parade and Service. The Reverend Roy Ferguson of the Busti Church of God was Keynote Speaker for the Busti Memorial Day service... who talked about the attitude of sacrifice sevice men and women make. The Memorial Day speaker at Soldier's Circle at Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown Monday was County Legislator Lisa Vanstrom. The West Ellicott lawmaker says she drew inspiriation from the ancient Greek statesman Pericles, concerning the sacrifice military people make.
Kolb urges addressing ethics reform before end of current State Legislative session...
The leader of the New York state Assembly's Republican minority says legislators must pass ethics reforms before adjourning next month. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb says that recent corruption scandals have disrupted legislative work and damaged the public's trust in government. Kolb wants lawmakers to OK a Constitutional Amendment that, if passed by the voters, would strip pensions from convicted public officials. Kolb also wants to see eight-year term limits for legislative leadership positions. Two top lawmakers have been arrested this year on corruption charges. Former Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is accused of taking nearly $4 million in bribes and payoffs. Ex-Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos is charged with extorting payments to his son from two businesses. Both men say they are innocent.
Two arrested for allegedly Domestic Assault in Jamestown...
Two Jamestown residents are accused in a vicious attack on a woman on the city's southside last weekend. City police were called to the scene at 195 Baker St. about 10:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of a domestic dispute. They're investigation revealed that 23 year-old Nichodemius Tuttle and 24 year-old Kristie Zavala allegedly began punching and kicking the unidentified female until she fell unconscious. Police say Tuttle and Zavala then allegedly fled the scene... but, quickly found them. Both were arrested for third-degree assault... and, Tuttle was additionally charged with Felony criminal contempt because the victim had an order of protection again him. He was also charged with Felony Aggravated Offense due to a prior conviction. Both were arraigned, and jailed pending further court action. The victim was not seriously hurt.
Samuelson puts out JPD plea for help in catching new Serial Arsonist...
Jamestown police are looking for another possible serial arsonist in the city... and, officials are asking for the public's help in building the case against the possible suspect. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they has a "person of interest" in this past week's arson at 420 Falconer St. Samuelson says the house had been condemned, and was slated for demolition. He says they are investigating the "pattern" of where and when these fires have occured. Samuelson says they aren't releasing the "Person of Interest's" name. Samuelson says city police and fire investigators have been looking into 15 arsons since the beginning of 2014... and, five so far this year. Anyone with information on any of these fires is asked to call the JPD confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
The area's state Senator is calling on the Office of Children and Family Services to investigate allegations of prior abuse involving a Jamestown toddler who died more than a year-ago. Olean Republican Cathy Young says the perpetrator of the deadly attack remains at-large... and, she's calling on OCFS Commissioner Sheila Poole to review the records of the State’s Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment regarding allegations or incidents of possible abuse involving young Nayla Hodnett. Young adds that she is also putting forward several legislative efforts to improve the state’s existing child abuse reporting system. She says "my heart breaks for this beautiful little girl and her family. Young children like Nayla are the most vulnerable among us and her case truly pulls at the heartstrings." In an effort to address cracks in the existing system... Senator Young has authored legislation that would require mandatory reporters take a free online "refresher course" offered by the state Office of Children and Family Services once a year to keep them up-to-date on signs of abuse or maltreatment and current reporting standards. Anyone with additional information on the Nayla Hodnett homicide is asked to contact Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley at 753-4241.
A Lakewood man is jailed without bail on nearly 20 charges... including drug possession and speeding... after he tried to flee police early last Friday morning. Lakewood-Busti Police say they responded to a report of a suspicious person on Hern Avenue shortly after 5 AM. Officers says they saw 40 year-old Blake Smith of Third Avenue allegedly drive off... but, he failed to signal a turn onto West Fairmount Avenue. Police then stopped Smith... and, says they saw illegal drugs in plain sight. At that point... Smith allegedly sped off... leading police on a vehicle pursuit into the town of Busti. Police say Smith abandoned his car... and, tried to run from officers... but, was eventually caught. Police say he faces charges... including Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... driving while ability impaired by drugs... and two counts of speeding. Smith was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
It's Memorial Day 2015... a time to remember those members of the military who made the "ultimate sacrifice" during times of war and conflict. In Jamestown... veteran's from World War-Two to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be part of today's annual Parade in Jamestown... and, service to follow at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery. Today's parade kicks off this morning at 10 AM on West Fourth Street... near Baker Park. The parade will march east to Prendergast Avenue, then turn left, and head to the cemetary. The Grand Marshall this year is retired U-S Marine, Dan Kell... who is urging ALL veteran's to take part... and, make this the biggest parade yet. Veterans and others taking part are urged to be on hand for line-up... which begins at 9 AM this morning.
In other parades and events today... County Executive Vince Horrigan has been selected to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Memorial Day event on May 25th in the Town of Poland. The ceremony... and, parade will step off at 11:45 AM from the Fire Hall and then proceed to Riverside Cemetery where the program to honor our veterans and loved ones will take place. Horrigan -- a U-S Air Force veteran -- says "I look forward to meeting my fellow veterans and the residents of the Town of Poland as we remember those who have fought and died to preserve our liberties."
Also today... the annual Busti Memorial Day Parade will be held at 9 AM. Line-up will be at the former Windrift Restaurant. A service will follow that at the Busti Gazebo.
The annual Southwestern--West Ellicott Parade and service will begin about 10:45 AM Monday. That follows the Busti Parade... and, steps off from Southwestern Central School...
In Celoron... the village and Herman Kent Post-#777 of the American Legion, will hold their Memorial Day service at the Veteran's Memorial in Lucille Ball Memorial Park at 9 AM. Herman Kent Post, American Legion Commander Gordon Carlson... will deliver the main address.
New York traffic authorities say free inspections of child safety seats are available this year at locations across the state. The inspections by safety technicians are intended to help parents and caregivers know if the seats are properly installed, used and the right size for their children. State officials cite research showing a 71 percent decrease in the risk of fatal injuries to infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars from car seats. A National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration survey says the most common errors include using the wrong safety harness slot to secure a car seat, chest clips improperly positioned over a child's abdomen, or unused, loose installations and loose harnesses.
Buffalo is among the top 30 cities in the nation when it comes to dog attacks on letter carriers. That from a recent report by the U-S Postal Service. It ranks Buffalo 26th with 14 dog attacks last year. In Chautauqua County... there was one attack reported... in the Fredonia zip code-area. U-S Postal Service Spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz says many of the attacks occur in more populated areas. Mazurkiewicz says there are things that dog owners can do to help protect letter carriers. She says it's best to put the dog in another room, and close the door. Otherwise... Mazurkiewicz says it's good to keep the dog restrained or behind a fence. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose... the owner may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained.
Ongoing concern over the poor condition of Route 957... one of the main secondary roads connecting Warren and Chautauqua Counties... was the focus of a top-level meeting yesterday. Lottsville, Pennsylvania businesswoman Wanda Johnson hosted the meeting with PENNDOT officials. County officials, as well as state Representative Kathy Rapp, were on hand to reinforce local concerns. However... a Regional PENNDOT official says only basic repair work is slated for the immediate future.
JPD official asks for public's help in dealing with increase in arson's in condemned buildings...
City police in Jamestown are asking for the public's help in solving some five arson fires in vacant, condemned buildings this year... and, 15 since January of 2014. Police Captain Bob Samuelson issued the request in the wake of the recent arson at 420 Falconer St. earlier this week. Samuelson says the house had been condemned, and was slated for demolition. He says they are looking at the "pattern" of where and when these fires have been occuring... and, are asking for the public's assistance. Samuelson says the homes are easy to spot by the big, orange squared "condemned" signs nailed to the front of the building. He says they're especially looking to see if anyone is hanging around these buildings between Midnight and 6 a.m. Samuelson says they do have a "person of interest" in the Falconer Street arson... and, others where there are similarities. However... he says they've gotten very little cooperation from that person. Anyone with information on any of these fires is asked to call the JPD confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Gerace talks road and boat safety as "unofficial start" to Summer season gets underway...
Just over 37-million motorists are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day Holiday Weekend... the most in a decade. That from the Triple-A's East Central Office... which calls that a 4.7-percent increase over last year's 35.5-million motorists. The weekend is considered the "unofficial start" to the Summer Driving Season. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace urges drivers to think safety... and, turn off those electronic devices -- namely cell phones. Gerace says the Sheriff's Office is seeing "more and more" accidents being caused by people responding to calls... or texts. He says you should also make sure your tires are properly inflated... and, that your windshield wipers are in good working condition. He adds that anytime your wipers are on... your head-lights should be also. As for boaters... Gerace says safety is again the watch-word. He says make sure your equipment is in good working order... and, make sure you have "Coast-Guard approved" life-vests on board. He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
Final preparations made for city of Jamestown's annual Memorial Day Parade Monday...
The call is going out for all current and former members of the U-S Armed Forces from the Jamestown-area to take part in the city's annual Memorial Day Parade... and service to follow at Lakeview Cemetery. That from United Veteran's Council President Mike Russell... who says the annual parade kicks off next Monday morning at 10 a.m. on West Fourth Street... near Baker Park. The parade will march east to Prendergast Avenue, then turn left, and head to the cemetary's Soldier's Circle. The Grand Marshall this year is retired U-S Marine, Dan Kell, who says he's both "privledged and honored" to be named. Kell says they want to make this year's parade the biggest one ever.
More people taking advantage of NYS Motorcycle Safety Courses...
New York state officials say more motorcycle permit holders are taking a state-sanctioned safety course. The Department of Motor Vehicles says 70 percent of motorcycle permit holders in New York last year took motorcycle safety courses, up from 51 percent in 2010. The courses are offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation under an agreement with the DMV. They allow motorcycle permit holders to waive the basic road test required by the DMV for a license. The waiver program has resulted in 70-thousand fewer road tests over the past five years. There are between 36,000 and 44,000 motorcycle permit riders in any given year statewide.
Cuomo to end practice of automatic deleting of e-mails after 90 days...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration is ending its practice of automatically deleting emails after 90 days following criticism that it was an affront to open government. The administration announced the change Friday at a meeting with representatives of the state comptroller and attorney general. Under the new policy... administration staffers will manually delete emails as they choose, though emails containing certain records will be retained for longer. Friday's meeting was prompted by criticism of the old policy. Cuomo's office also wanted to discuss closing a loophole that largely exempts legislators from open records laws. Legislative leaders ignored the invitation, a decision that top Cuomo aide William Mulrow says amounted to a ``boycott.'' Cuomo's administration plans to submit a bill to make the Legislature fully compliant with open records laws.
Schumer calls for improvements to safety following deadly Amtrak Train crash...
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says a railway safety system that could have prevented the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia must be installed quickly on dangerous railroad curves throughout New York state. The New York Democrat said Thursday that he is urging the Federal Railroad Administration to work with Amtrak and rail freight lines to add the speed-control system, known as automatic train control. Schumer says a more sophisticated speed-control system known as positive train control is expected to be activated soon on downstate rail lines; upstate railways will likely have to wait five years for the technology.
An exhausive, one week search in the north basin of Chautauqua Lake has led to the discovery of a dead fisherman from Wyoming County. Sheriff Joe Gerace says members of the Bemus Point Fire Department found the body of 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg in an area not far from the beach house at Long Point State Park about 6:45 Thursday morning. Gerace says it's in close proximity to where Spink's unoccupied boat was found when the search began one week ago. He says they're not sure why the body hadn't turned up until now.
Gerace says Spink apparently went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM on Wednesday, May 13th. Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up a friend. He was reported missing the following day by family members. In addition to the Sheriff's Office... state Police and some local fire departments -- including Bemus Points -- were involved in the search.
A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly exposing himself to female students on East First Street -- not far from the high school. City police say they arrested 53 year-old David Scott Kuzminski of Russell, Pennsylvania after witnesses confirmed that he had exposed himself to them about 7:30 AM Thursday. City police quickly found Kuzminski shortly after they had been called to the scene. He was charged with public lewdness... arraigned, and sent to the county jail on 15-hundred dollars bail.
The request by Chautauqua County to increase it's sales tax from 7.5 to 8-percent is now under consideration by the State Legislature. That from the chairman of the County Legislature's Audit and Committee, John Runkle. Runkle says committee members got an update at their meeting yesterday. Runkle says the committee is looking at the possiblility that the county tax levy could be reduced by more than 3-percent. During their brief discussion... he says members came to the conclusion that they could cut as much as 5-percent from the tax levy next year... if the full half-a-percent increase were approved. Runkle says if state lawmakers do pass the request in time for next week's county legislature meeting... the local panel could take action in the form of an emergency resolution.
County clerks across the state are concerned about a network news report that the State Department of Motor Vehicles is selling personal information taken from drivers licenses and car registrations. The Chautauqua County Clerk's Office is following developments, but Deputy County Clerk Tracie Kaminski-Haskin says they want to find out more about the issue before taking a position. Haskin says county clerks from across the state will be meeting next month. She says the group will make a formal request... and, send it to the DMV. A report by CBS News indicates the State DMV made nearly 60-million dollars last year from the sales. Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs says he has written to the governor and the DMV Commissioner asking that the practice be stopped.
New York state lawmakers plan to skip a summit called by Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss open records and his administration's policy of purging emails. As of late Thursday... only one lawmaker hoped to attend today's meeting with Cuomo's chief counsel. The Democratic governor initially proposed the meeting in March following criticism of his administration's policy of deleting most emails after 90 days. Cuomo said he was willing to consider a new, uniform retention policy for all state officials, and suggested lawmakers should consider changes to their open records policies, too. Top lawmakers ignored the invitation and said Cuomo can change his email policy without their input. A Senate Democratic spokesman called the meeting a ``hastily arranged public relations stunt.'' A lone Republican lawmaker says he hopes to attend.
New York's comptroller reports state tax collections in April totaled 8.6-billion dollars... an increase of more than 21 percent from April last year. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the increase comes mainly from personal income taxes, but says the outlook for the coming months is a more moderate increase. He says continued strength in the stock market last year was one important factor in the April increase. The comptroller's cash report for shows the month's personal income tax receipts totaled 6.7-billion dollars, up more than 25 percent from the same month in 2014. The report also shows total spending of $7.8 billion for the month.
The head of the New York state School Boards Association says he's "elated" to see that nearly all school budgets that went before voters this week were approved. Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer (Creamer) says... you can't do much better than a 99-percent rate of passage for the state's 674 budgets. Kreamer says the biggest factor in that huge approval rating was that any tax increase was a small one. Kreamer says school districts were helped a lot by a boost in aid in the final state budget. He says that allowed district's to hold down the need for a larger tax increase. Some district's locally also used additional fund balance to hold down the tax levy. However... Kreamer says the amount dropped from 1.2-billion dollars used last year... to 1-billion this year. He hopeful that trend continues. Kreamer says a number of school officials he's talked to in recent weeks also indictated that... after several years of cutting teachers and other staff... they are hiring a few more people to preserve current programming, or add some.
Newly-released documents about the 1971 Attica prison riot contain accounts from two National Guardsmen and a doctor who said they saw injured inmates beaten with clubs. They add that others had wounds indicating they'd been tortured as authorities retook control. The documents note that several eyewitnesses to brutality against prisoners weren't contacted or interviewed by criminal investigators. However, the 1975 report by Judge Bernard Meyer found no intentional cover-up, only serious errors in judgment, omissions in evidence gathered and an imbalance in the prosecution. That conclusion has been public for 40 years. The new 46 pages detail some of the basis for Meyer's finding. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought the disclosure about events where 32 inmates and 11 prison employees died in the nation's bloodiest prison rebellion, most shot by authorities.
The United Veterans Council of Jamestown began this year's Memorial Day observance Thursday night... with the placement of flags at Lakeview Cemetery. Retired Marine Dan Kell, addressed the more than 100 people who assembled to make sure every veterans grave at Lakeview was marked by a flag. Joe Paladino, Cemetery Chairman for this year's observance, announced a new procedure for the flag placement. Some four thousand flags were placed by the volunteers. Organizers encouraged the public to attend the annual service at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery... Monday, following Jamestown's Memorial Day Parade.
Varysburg man, missing in boating accident more than a week, reportedly found dead...
Authorities have now recovered the body of a fisherman from Wyoming County who has been missing since a week ago yesterday. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace's office reports that Bemus Point Fire rescue crews found 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg dead in the northern end of Chautauqua Lake about 6:45 this morning. Gerace says Spink went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13th. Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend. He was reported missing the following day by family members. Offices say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park.
Salamanca woman charged with manslaughter in death of one-year-old daughter...
A 24-year-old woman from the Cattaraugus County city of Salamanca has been arresed in connection with the death of her one-year-old daughter last month. Police officials say they arrested Leslie Finch late Tuesday and charged her with manslaughter... reckless endangerment... and, endangering the welfare of a child. Officials say they were called to Finch's home last month for a report of an unresponsive child. Her baby, Mila Whipple, was flown to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where she died from her injuries on April 26. Police say the baby's death was likely the cause of severe abuse. Finch was arraigned Tuesday night... and, is being held on $100,000 bail.
Karbacka looks forward to serving on City School Board...
The newest member of the Jamestown School Board says she wants to use her experience... and, educational background to continue the "excellence" of the city district. Those are the feelings of retired music teacher Nina Karbacka. Karbacka was elected to the school board for the first time Tuesday. She and incumbant Dan Johnson ran unopposed for the panel. Karbacka... who received 570 votes... taught music for 40 years in the elementary, middle and high school levels. During her tenure... Karbacka also helped found the Suzuki Strings program. She says she would like to find a way to bring in members of the community to help the district solve it's current challenges. Karbacka says she didn't run because she felt anyone on the board was "doing a bad job..." She just felt she had something to offer. Johnson... who was elected to a second-term... received 528 votes.
Bourne named Volunteer of the Year at WCA Hospital...
A Cattaraugus County man known for making people laugh with his "crazy" clothing combinations has been named WCA Hospital's Volunteer of the Year. Hospital staff gathered for the hospital's annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Luncheon yesterday afternoon. WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says the recipient -- Randolph's Larry Bourne -- has volunteered there nearly 10 years... and, "exemplifies" their vision and mission. Bourne is most know for his crazy ties... but, adds he added something else this past Winter -- a "Goofy" hat he bought at Disney World in Florida. Bourne also will wear different colored shoes at times to get a laugh. Wright says volunteers play a special role at WCA... fostering a sense of community and caring to patients and their families. Bourne says he appreciates the honor... adding that he began volunteering at WCA shortly after his wife passed away less than a decade ago... but, says she was always well-cared for at WCA. With that... he wanted to "give back" to the hospital. For more information about volunteering at WCA... contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth DeRosa at 487-0141.
Gas prices holding steady in run-up to Memorial Day Holiday weekend...
For the most part... gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady heading into the long, Memorial Day Holiday weekend. That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the average price is now up to about $2.86 a gallon. However... some stations in the area are now charging about $2.90 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. The average price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area. The price was $2.85 last week. The national average for regular unleaded is now $2.70 a gallon. As of now... AAA says the national average has increased on 32 of the past 34 days. Despite the national average continuing to register new highs for 2015... drivers are still experiencing significant yearly savings at the pump.
Missing boater found dead in Chautauqua Lake...
Authorities have now recovered the body of a fisherman from Wyoming County who has been missing since a week ago yesterday. Sheriff Joe Gerace's office reports that Bemus Point Fire rescue crews found 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg dead in the northern end of Chautauqua Lake about 6:45 this morning. Gerace says Spink went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM on Wed., May 13. Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend. He was reported missing the following day by family members. Offices say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park. We have a call into the Sheriff for more details... and, hope to hear back from him later this morning.
One of the biggest turn-outs in recent years for a Jamestown School Budget vote produced a large margin of approval for the 77.6-million dollar spending plan. School Superintendent Tim Mains says he's very pleased with both the turn-out and the result. The budget approved Tuesday included a modest, 1.5-percent tax increase... or 219-thousand dollars. However... Mains says the spending plan was approved, 466-to-196. Mains says keeping academic programs and standards in place has been difficult... especially because the city district doesn't have the resources they should. He says the students deserve it. Mains says -- thanks to several retirements -- they're able to retain all teachers. But... he says some will likely have to be moved to fill all positions before the start of the new school year in September. Mains adds, though, he would like to keep all "teams" at each school in place.
Jamestown residents Tuesday re-elected a school board incumbant... and, a newcomer. However... the newcomer to the board is very familiar to people in the district. Nina Karbacka retired a short time ago after a 40-year career of teaching music in the Jamestown public schools. Karbacka received the most votes of the two board candidates Tuesday with 570 tallies. She says she ran because she "believes in public education..." and, "give every child the opportunity to succeed." Karbacka replaced Laurel Lucas on the ballot. After 13 years... Lucas decided it was time to step down from the panel... and, will finish her term on June 30th. The other incumbant... Dan Johnson... was re-elected. The retired Jamestown Police Officer recieve 527 votes in Tuesday's vote.
Voters in the Southwestern Central School system approved their budget... but, it was closer than most other districts. Still... residents approved the budget by a better than 2-to-1 margin, 284-to-136. The budget includes a "slight" tax increase. A proposition to establish a 950-thousand dollar Building Capital Reserve Fund over 10 years was also adopted. The vote was 223-to-65. All four people running for the school board were elected. The top vote getter was Edward Brooks with 295 tallies.
Voters in the Falconer School District have approved a 21.6-million dollar, 2015-16 budget overwhelmingly. District officials say the vote was 130-to-29. Falconer Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the school board and administration did their best to 'balance' a budget that's responsible both fiscally, and educationally. Penhollow says the spending is up about 25-thousand dollars... or point-12-percent. He adds there were no staff or teacher cuts this year. There were no other propositions this year. Two incumbant school board members... Robert Carpenter and Gordon Black... ran unopposed and were re-elected.
- It was a day in which most propositions passed in a big way in Chautauqua County. However... one proposition was defeated -- handily. That was a proposal to reduce the Pine Valley School Board from 9 to 7 members. It was defeated 202-to-70. One to add a student representative to the board was approved, 238-to-35. The budget was approved, 192-to-80... and, two transporation propositions were also adopted.
There were also five people running for four school board seats at Pine Valley. Nancy Stock received the most votes with 198... David Kohler was second with 197... Adam Lukasik was third with 195... and, fourth was Jeffrey Chase with 175 votes.
- At Cassadaga Valley... voters overwhelmingly approved a 20-million dollar, 2015-16 budget, 172-to-30. They also approved a transportation proposition for two buses and two new minvans for 371-thousand dollars, 176-to-27. Daniel Pavlock ran unopposed for the school board, and was elected to a five-year term.
- Voters in the Brocton School district approved the district budget by a wide margin, 172-to-21. Douglas Walter ran unopposed for one board seat.
- Residents of the Bemus Point School District overwhelmingly approved a 13.3-million dollar spending plan Tuesday. The vote was 167-to-50. A 245-thousnd dollars bus proposition also passed, 173-to-42. The three people running for the school board... Cari Auer... Randy Oste... and, John Novotny... were unopposed.
- In Panama... residents approved a 12.75-million dollar budget by a nearly 4-to-1 margin. The vote was 115-to-31. Residents also returned James Mistretta to the school board. He ran unopposed.
- Westfield voters approved their budget, 477-to-31. Four people ran uncontested for the school board.
- We also understand that Frewsburg's budget was approved... but, have not received results to confirm that yet...
The state Power Authority's board has approved allocations of low-cost hydropower to three Western New York companies... one in Chautauqua County. Governor Andrew Cuomo adds they also approved Western New York Power Proceeds awards for three other firms in the region. Together... Cuomo says they'll support nearly 100-million dollars in capital investments and 363 jobs -- including 157 new positions. The governor says Cummins Engine Company will receive 700 kilowatts of Hydro-Power to convert 40-thousand square feet of warehouse space into a new engine machine line. The heavy-duty engine maker... which has operated it's Jamestown Engine plant since 1974 in Ashville... and, employs more than 14-hundred people. Cummins produces three diesel engine platforms, along with blocks and heads, camshafts and crankshafts. The firm will invest about 47-million dollars in the new line... and create 10 jobs. Cummins is also working with Empire State Development, which has offered up to 2-million dollars in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for Cummins job creation and investment commitments.
WCA Hospital will celebrate it's 130th birthday this coming Saturday... but, got an early start in celebrating at yesterday's annual Meeting of the Corporations. WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright reported on new programs, and upgrades in technology as part of the 20th meeting at the hospital. Wright says... despite the fiscal challenges in recent years... they've made great strides in robotic surgery. There have now been 500 such surgeries. Wright says they've also been able to make other investments. Despite on-going cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements... Wright reported the hospital finished the past year in the black. She says a "lot of hard work" by a lot of people made that happen. In addition to the hospital... Wright says there were also reports given by the WCA Foundation... WCA Services... Starflight Helicopter... and, Alstar Ambulance. Again... WCA's 130th birthday will officially be celebrated this Saturday.
Most local police agencies are taking part in the statewide "Click it or Ticket" campaign which got underway yesterday (Monday). Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the Sheriff's Office will among the local police agencies participating in the safety operation. Gerace says air bags help... but, you still need to buckle up. He says air bags are only good for "straight-on collisions." Gerace adds that if the car were to go off the road, and rollover, or be hit from the side or side... airbags don't really help. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives across the nation in 2013. The campaign will continue through May 31st.
The New York state Senate has voted to create a public list of those convicted of violent felonies similar to the existing sex offender registry. The proposal is intended to prevent future crimes, in particular domestic violence, by allowing people to check if a new acquaintance has a violent past. Local Senator Cathy Young cited the case of the late Shannon Pepper in voting for the bill. Pepper... who died in an accidental fire this past February... was victimized by one of the most brutal domestic violence attacks ever in Cattaraugus County.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has seized a record 154 pounds of heroin worth at least 50-million dollars in a New York City investigation. However... it's not known what kind of impact the seizure may have. The DEA called the heroin seizure it's largest ever in New York state. Officials said late Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. Agents also made two arrests... and, recovered 2-million dollars in cash.
President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure to create a nationwide alert system to help catch anyone who hurts, kills or makes credible threats against police officers. The new system would be similar to the Amber Alerts used to find abducted children. The bill is named for New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu (WEHN'-jihn loo), who were shot in Brooklyn days before Christmas by a man who later killed himself. Families of the slain officers were on hand to see Obama sign the bill in the Oval Office. Obama says it's important for communities to do everything possible to ensure the safety of police officers. He says the alerts could help warn officers when there is an active threat against them.
Overnight arson fire in Jamestown under investigation...
Arson is the apparent cause of an overnight blaze that's destroyed a vacant apartment house in Jamestown's eastside. City Fire Battalion Chief Don Woodfield says fire crews were called to the scene at 420 Falconer St. -- near Curtis -- just after 12:30 this morning. Woodfield says someone called in the blaze... which they found had a big head start when they arrived. He says the entire back of the building was fully-engulfed in fire, and the back part of the roof had partially failed. Woodfield says the house was listed as a two-story building... but, a third-story had been added some years ago. He says it took some time to knock the fire down. In fact... he says they pulled several hand-lines to get water on the structure quickly. Woodfield says the building had been vacant since a fire occured in the house last year. He says the city has begun tearing down the structure due to it's condition. He says an off-duty shift was called into assist at the scene, and, to man the City Hall station. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. Most fire crews were back in station by 4 a.m. However... one crew remains at the scene while the building is being torn down.
State Seatbelt Enforcement period begins today...
Police throughout New York state are cracking down on motorists who fail to buckle up as part of a national seat belt enforcement campaign. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that the stepped-up enforcement will be in effect today through Sunday, May 31. During the initiative... state and local police will be aggressively enforcing state seatbelt laws. In addition, the state will set up message boards alongside highways to encourage drivers and their passengers to obey the law. Cuomo's office says that 91 percent of New York motorists regularly use a seatbelt, which is higher than the national average. Nevertheless, Cuomo's office says there's more work to do. New York adopted the nation's first law requiring seatbelt use in the front seat.
A routine traffic stop for a traffic and noise violation in downtown Jamestown early Saturday morning led to the arrest of two Buffalo men for alleged drug possession. City police say officers spotted the car... driven by 21 year-old Maurice Cheatom... eastbound on West Third Street about 1 AM. Police say Cheatom was allegedly playing loud music in the car... and, was seen making an unsafe lane change on East Second Steet as he was turning onto Foote Avenue. Police pulled the car over... and, found that Cheatom had an suspended driver's license... and, that he and his passenger -- 19 year-old Markel Hilson -- were on possession of 4 ounces of cocaine. Futher investigation found that Hilson was also in possession of marijuana. Both were arrested on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana. They were also allegedly in possession of more than 16-hundred dollars in cash. Cheatom also faces various traffic violations. Two other people were not arrested. Hilson is jailed without bail. Bail was set at one-thousand dollars for Cheatom. Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown is asked to call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Two people... one an alleged drug trafficker... have been accused of stealing more than 400-dollars worth of food and other items from the Lakewood Wal-Mart SuperCenter. Lakewood-Busti Police say 34 year-old Zulenka Fuentes-Cruz... and, Angel Cruz... allegedly took 417-dollars worth of merchandize from the store about 4 PM last Saturday afternoon. Officers say both allegedly damaged more than 184-dollars worth of meat and seafood because it was out of the cooler for a long-period of time... and, could not be resold. Zulenka Fuentes-Cruz was arrested in Jamestown back on May 6th after she was found in a Winsor Street home being used to traffick Heroin. Both she and Angel Cruz were issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.
A 1966 graduate of Jamestown Community College's nursing program returned home to address this year's graduates at the school. Carol Johnson says she'd never given a commencement speech before now. In her remarks, Johnson reflected on her start at JCC and how it got her established what she still considers a great field to work in. Johnson retired in 2011 after a 47 year career at Parkview Health System in Indiana, and has just written her first book, "What Would Florence Do? A Guide for New Nurse Managers." Some 576 spring graduates were honored at the Jamestown Commencement Saturday, in addition to about 250 others who'd earned their degrees last summer and fall.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has resumed his schedule of Neighborhood Walking Tours from now through mid-Fall. The mayor was on the city's southside last Tuesday night to talk with residents on Howard Street. Teresi says the walking tours were an out-growth of his first Mayoral campaign in 1999... when a number of people said they only time they saw elected officials was when they were campaigning for office. At that time... Teresi says he decided to make the walks a priority... and, he says the vast majority of residents appreciate them. Teresi says he's received a number of ideas from residents during the walks that have been implemented -- in one way or another -- by his administration. He says one was the police "crackdown" on the illegal drug trade when the city's Heroin epidemic began just over two years ago. Teresi says he heard both general and "specific" concerns. For more information on the walking tours... contact Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley at 483-7600. Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
A Westfield man is jailed on 250-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being found in possession of child pornography following his arrest last week. Sheriff's Deputies say they, and Westfield Village Police, executed a search warrant on the residence of 31 year-old Eric Brown of East Second Street last Tuesday. Officers say they arrested Brown without incident on 28 counts of criminal possession of a sexual performance by a child. He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
The search resumes this morning for a fisherman from Wyoming County who was reported missing after he failed to stop and pick up a friend in his boat on Chautauqua Lake last Wednesday night. The Sheriff's Office reports that 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM Wednesday. Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend. He was reported missing by family members last Thursday. Officers say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park Thursday night. An air and water search has been underway. Anyone with information that may help in their search is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.
Local, north county governments involved in the process of a forming a North County Water District have now received copies of a draft municipal agreement. The copies were handed out by County Executive Vince Horrigan during a meeting of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation on Thursday evening. He wants the municipalities to review the documents... and, he discussed the next step involved in the process. Some local leaders have indicated that the toughest hurdle will be the intermunicipal agreements. Horrigan remains optimistic that they will be approved. Horrigan says there have been a lot of individual meetings, but, now it's a matter of making sure are in proper "legal" form. All but two local leaders attended the meeting. Horrigan expects the County Water Authority to meet next month to work on a final draft agreement.
Governor Cuomo has already made more than half-a-million dollars on his recently published memoir and now a recently filed financial disclosure suggests he can expect at least 150-thousand dollars more. The disclosure, filed last Friday with the state, shows the Democratic governor expects to make between $150,000 and $250,000 this year off the book. The memoir, entitled ``All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,'' was published by HarperCollins last fall.
A ban on brush burning remains in effect through Thursday for New York state... but, campfires are OK. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has downgraded the fire danger rating in the state from ``high'' to ``moderate'' amid milder temperatures and rain the forecast. So campfires, recreational fires and outdoor cooking fires are being allowed. Still... state officials ask that campers reduce risks by using existing campfire rings and building fires away from overhanging branches or dry grass. Crews have battled wildfires around New York state this month during the dry spell.
Three arrested for allegedly operating four "one-pot" Meth. Labs in Busti...
Three Busti residents have been arrested for allegedly being involved in an extensive Methamphetime operation. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided two location at the Bosco Trailer Park at 611 Busti-Sugar Grove Road last night. Task Force agents say they found two people they were looking for in the trailer at Lot-#6. Task Force members say they arrested 23 year-old Edward Olsen... and, 23 year-old Sarah Deering there. They also found two working "one-pot" Meth Labs... and, about 55 ounces of Meth Oil. Task Force members say they also found precursors for making Meth... and, five shotguns and rifles. At Lot-B-#2... agents say they found 23 year-old Sarah Deering... more shotguns, and ammunition... Meth and marijuana. They also arrested 29 year-old Brian Olsen on an outstanding warrant from the town of North Harmony. Police also found two young children in the home. Edward Olsen and Deering were arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child. Child Protective Services was called in along with the Lakewood Code Enforcement Officer... who condemned the two residences after finding they were uninhabitable.
City man arrested for receiving Marijuana through mail...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking a significant amount of marijuana from California through the U-S postal service. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a home at 3-and-a-half Winsor Street about 11 this morning, after receiving information that a "large quantity" of the drug was being shipped there. Task Force members say they found the pot... and, 55 year-old Gary Billquist, inside. Billquist has been charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. He's being held pending arraignment. The street value of the marijuana is estimated at about $1,500. Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is asked to call the JPD Anonymous Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Varysburg man missing in Chautauqua Lake...
A Wyoming County man has been reported missing after failing to show up, and pick up a friend in his boat on Chautauqua Lake Wednesday night. Sheriff Joe Gerace says 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend. He was reported missing yesterday by family members. Officers say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park Thursday night. An air and water search of the north basin of Chautauqua Lake has been underway... but has now concluded for the day.
Chautauqua County Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest to be held Saturday...
Three previous state titleists will take part in Chautauqua County's annual Best Tasting Water Contest tomorrow at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood. County Water Resource Specialist Bill Boria says the contest always runs in conjunction with National Drinking Water Week... and, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. While bragging rights are a big part of the water contest... Boria says it's also important because it calls attention to a resource we often take for granted. He says one reason for holding it is to promote the hard work the water system operators do, and that many things we do -- especially outside -- affect the drinking water supply... including gardening and farming. He says this year's contest features three ground water well systems: Jamestown... Frewsburg... and Mayville. There are no contestants from the north county this year... as Fredonia currently doesn't have a full-time operator. Boria says they'll have a lot of information about the local water supply as well. He says this year's winner will be determined by the most votes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He says this year's contest is being co-sponsored by the county's Department of Health and Human Services... the county's Water Works Association... and, the Water Quality Task Force.
JCC holding graduations at Olean and Jamestown campuses this weekend...
It's graduation days for students at Jamestown Community College this weekend... with two ceremonies -- culminating with the major ceremony at the city campus tomorrow morning. As per tradition... a past graduate of JCC has been selected to deliver the commencement address at both the Olean and Jamestown campuses. JCC's Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications, Kirk Young, says retired nurse Carol Johnson graduated from JCC's highly-touted nursing program nearly 50 years ago. Young says Johnson had a 47-year career -- mainly in nursing research -- at the Parkview Health System in Indiana. He says they the college's board of trustees discuss their ideas for a speaker... and, then confer with the President's cabinet. He's concluding his first year as an administrator at JCC... but, Young says he's heard the Class of 2015 was especially strong with regards to "Engaged Learning..." where they take classroom learning, and apply it in their internship or workplace. Jamestown Community College's city campus will hold it's commencement ceremony at 10 Sat. morning. The Olean campus's was this evening.
SUNY at Fredonia holds graduation Saturday...
The State University of New York at Fredonia is gearing up for a big day on Saturday... with two Commencement ceremonies set. The two ceremonies will be held under the cover of the Steele Hall Arena. SUNY College at Fredonia Spokesman... Mike Barone... says the graduation speaker will be Alumnus James Douglas... who is now Human Resources Director for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Barone says Douglas is a 1971 Fredonia graduate who is a Dunkirk native. Barone says Douglas is a Dunkirk native. He says they hold the two ceremonies... at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to make sure they can honor all the graduates. Depending on his schedule... Barone says U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is also expected to attend the afternoon ceremony.
A 15 year-old student at Jamestown High School faces drug possession charges after he was allegedly found in possession of three bags of Heroin and a quantity of marijuana. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the JHS School Resource Officer was approached by the teen shortly after school opened at 8:05 AM Thursday on an unrelated matter. However... Samuelson says the SRO smelled a strong odor of marijuana on the student... and, pulled him aside. It's the first time since the current Heroin epidemic started three years ago that a student at JHS has been found with the narcotic drug. Samuelson says the student is being charged as a juvenile... and, the case will be petitioned to Family Court. He says it's not known yet if the student was a drug user... or looking to sell them. However... he says they have no information at this point to suggest he was a "dealer." Anyone with information on this case... or others involving illegal drugs... is asked to call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential.
Regarding the removal of the drug contraband at the High School Thursday morning... Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the student will also face disciplinary action from the district. In a printed statement... Mains says "we do not tolerate the presence of dangerous contraband in our schools." He added that they will "not allow any individual to place our students in danger." He praised SRO Melody Peach... and other officials for the quick actions.
The 15 most recent graduates of the city of Jamestown's Drug Court were honored with a ceremony this week in the courtroom. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was among those on hand for the event... which also commemorated the 15th year of the drug court's existance. Teresi says while the City Police Department has done a great job getting drug dealers off the streets... they've also had to try to deal with stemming the demand... and, getting treatment for those who are addicted to drugs. Teresi says 163 people have now graduated through Drug Court... and, most have gone on to lead good, productive lives. He says a number of agencies have been involved in the effort... including the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County... The Resource Center... and, WCA Hospital. Teresi says he was first approached about the concept by City Court Judge John LaMancuso in 2000 after he had only been in office for two weeks. He says he thought it was a "terrific idea" then.. and, still does. Teresi made his comments for this week's "Community Spotlight" program.
New York state's highest court says the 2009 revisions in the tough Rockefeller-era drug laws also apply to parolees, who can seek shorter sentences. The Court of Appeals... divided 5-to-2... has upheld lower court rulings that Jarrod Brown was eligible for resentencing. Prosecutors argued that the amendments to the sentencing laws applied only to people in prison. The law applied to those convicted of a Class B felony and in the custody of state correctional services. The court majority says state custody includes parole. Brown was originally sentenced in 2002 to a sentence of six to 12 years in prison and three years' post-release supervision for selling cocaine. His sentence was reduced in 2012 to a seven-year prison term and three years supervision. That set him free from both.
Three people have been arrested for an allegedly robbery in Venango County, Pennsylvania... and, then trying to flee police in the Warren County boro of Youngsville. Media One's Ron Smith reports that police learned the trio -- two men and a woman -- were driving through Youngsville shortly before 10:30 AM Thursday. He says police were initially able to capture one man... and, were trying to find the other man and woman off of Route 6. The woman was first spotted by a State Police helicopter that was already in the air. Warren County Sheriff's officers and Youngsville Police assisted at the scene... not far from Youngsville Elementary School. However... police say the school was never threatened. After about 20 minutes... police searching the area brought out a woman in handcuffs from a wooded area. Ron Smith says the woman surrendered... and, a short time later... the second man was arrested. State Police in Warren are heading up the investigation.
It appears that the frost that hit parts of Western New York yesterday morning won't have a major impact on the local grape crop. That from Luke Haggerty, a Viticulture Extension Specialist with the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program in the town of Portland. Haggerty says he's checked local weather monitoring stations... and, it appears the frost was not a major problem. Haggerty says there may some isolated locations where it may have reached the freezing mark, but he believes any damage would be minimal. Meanwhile... local growers are still assessing the damage from the brutal winter. Haggarty says early indications are that damage was not widespread. He says they cut about 15-thousand buds... and, found some damage across the region. However... Haggerty says it was not prevalent. He says they have been in touch with state and federal representatives who are monitoring the situation... including Congressman Tom Reed. Haggerty says there may also be some assistance in the federal Farm Bill that was passed by Congress last year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the state's ban on residential brush burning until May 21st due to dry conditions across the state that have heightened the risk of wildfires. The burn ban also prohibits outdoor fires such as campfires and recreational fires, and open fires used for cooking. The eastern, central, southern and far northern regions of the state are rated as having a high risk of fire. The Southern Tier, Lake Ontario, and Adirondack regions are rated as having a moderate fire danger. This year, 110 wildfires have burned nearly 3,600 acres.
One of the seven people killed in the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia was a former teacher in the Rochester public school system who received a master's degree in education from a college in the upstate city. WHEC-TV in Rochester reports that Derrick Griffith taught at the city's Wilson Magnet High School in the late 1990s. Officials at the University of Rochester tell WXXI Radio that he received his masters in 1995 from the college's Warner School of Education in Teaching and Curriculum. Griffith was living in Brooklyn where he served as dean of student affairs and enrollment management at Medgar Evers College. In 2003... Griffith founded the City University of New York Preparatory Transitional High School.
The top three officials of New York state government have gathered behind closed doors for the first time since the Senate picked a new leader. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says Wednesday morning's meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie... and, Governor Andrew Cuomo focused on priorities for lawmakers before their annual session ends next month. The Senate picked Flanagan to be its new leader on Monday following the resignation of Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, who is keeping his Senate seat while he fights federal corruption charges. Big issues facing lawmakers before they adjourn include the renewal of New York City's rent regulations and its local control of public schools. Lawmakers will also consider extending a tax break for real estate developers created decades ago to spur development in Manhattan.
State regulators have released the final version of an environmental impact review of shale gas development that's expected to lead to a state ban on fracking. Last December... Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would defer to the judgment of his health and environmental conservation commissioners, who said they'd recommend a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Under state law... a formal decision on whether to allow or ban fracking will come 10 days after the environmental review's release today (on Wednesday.) The environmental review was launched in 2008. A state health study released in December found ``significant uncertainty'' over whether safety measures could adequately protect public health.
A final 2015-16 budget for the village of Lakewood could not be approved by the board... so, the new spending plan defaults to the original plan offered by Mayor David Wordelmann. The village board recently voted 2-to-2... with Wordelmann and Sue Drago voting yes... and, board members John Jablonski and David DiSalvo voting no. With that... Wordelmann says the just over 3-million dollar budget holds the tax levy where it's been for the past three years. He says that's good news. Wordelmann adds that while they have room under the state's 2-percent property tax cap... he didn't want to see a big increase in spending... or the tax levy. Property values are up in the village... so he says there will be a corresponding 36-cent per thousand drop in the tax rate to 7-dollars-12 cents. He says total assessments, due to additional development, and a reval, are up another 12-million dollars. Wordelmann says there were a few spending increases in the village...but, nothing major. The new budget took effect on May 1st.
The village of Lakewood will have a new disposal company collecting garbage beginning the first of June. That after the village board this week approved the hiring of Best Way Disposal of Fredonia to pick-up trash for the next three-years. Mayor David Wordelmann says village officials decided to seek bids after current contractor, Casella, instituted a major, 50-percent rate hike three years ago. Wordelmann says Best Way had the lowest bid... one that will save taxpayers 10-thousand dollars a year. Wordelmann says the fact there was more competition for the contract this time around helped hold down the price. Village officials say more information will be circulated prior to the date Best Way takes over. Service is slated to begin on June 1st.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have held steady after jumping by 11 cents a gallon about a week ago. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price is now 2-dollars-85.4 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. Triple-A says the price is based on reports from 19 local service stations. The price was 3--85 last year at this time. The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now about 2-dollars-66 cents a gallon. The Triple-A says the national average price has increased for the past 26 days... and, the current average is the highest it's been so far in 2015. Relatively low crude costs continue to translate to significant savings at the pump for consumers. Today’s national average is about a dollar less than a year ago... and is at the cheapest level for this date since 2009. With that... Triple-A predicts that travel by car this Memorial Day holiday will be up 5.3 percent over last year’s holiday weekend. That would be the highest volume in ten years. The price of crude has moved higher since the middle of March due to slowing U.S. production... and, speculation of demand growth from China.
One incumbant and one newcomer will be running for two open seats on the Jamestown School Board next Tuesday. The incumbant is first-term board member Dan Johnson. The retired Jamestown Police Officer says he loves working with the board... teachers... and, staff in the district. Johnson adds that he feels three-years is not enough time to completely learn the job. However... the other incumbant... 13 year member Laurel Lucas... won't be seeking re-election. School Superintendent Tim Mains says he's saddened by that news. But... he also thanked Lucas for her service. She says... for the most part... it's all been good. Lucas adds the board has been doing a good job, and she believes they'll "do a good job going forward." She just wishes they had more "a little more help" from the state. Lucas also praised the district's educators for making the "roll-out" of Common Core as smooth as it was. She will be replaced on next Tuesday's ballot by Nina Karbacka.
Food television star Sandra Lee says her surgery for breast cancer has been postponed until next week because of an upper respiratory infection. Lee says in a Twitter message Wednesday that her doctors decided it would be best to delay the double mastectomy until early next week. The procedure had been scheduled for today. The 48-year-old lifestyle personality and live-in girlfriend of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shared the news of her breast cancer on ABC's ``Good Morning America'' this week. In her message Wednesday... Lee thanked those who offered prayers and messages of support. Cuomo plans to take some personal time to be with Lee following the procedure. She and Cuomo share a home in Westchester County.
The union representing about 120 workers... including registered nurses... at Brooks Memorial Hospital will have a new contract. Members of the New York State Nurses Association approved a four-year contract extension by a unanimous vote according to union officials. Terms of the agreement have not been released... but, the contract will run through June of 2018.
Pennsylvanians would see billions in lower school property taxes under a proposal that made it out of the state House and into the hands of the Senate. The House voted 105 to 86 on Wednesday for what supporters call the most significant action in decades on relief from the state's widely reviled property taxes. The legislation would increase the sales tax rate in most of the state from 6 percent to 7 percent and the personal income tax rate from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent. Opponents warn that short-term savings will eventually be lost when schools return property taxes to current levels.
New State Senate leader meets with Heastie, Cuomo, for first time...
The top three officials of New York state government have gathered behind closed doors for the first time since the Senate picked a new leader. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says Wednesday morning's meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie... and, Governor Andrew Cuomo focused on priorities for lawmakers before their annual session ends next month. The Senate picked Flanagan to be its new leader on Monday following the resignation of Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, who is keeping his Senate seat while he fights federal corruption charges. Big issues facing lawmakers before they adjourn include the renewal of New York City's rent regulations and its local control of public schools.
"Default" budget takes effect in Lakewood after board fails to adopt spending plan...
A final 2015-16 budget for the village of Lakewood could not be approved by the board... so, the new spending plan defaults to the original plan offered by Mayor David Wordelmann. The village board recently voted 2-to-2... with Wordelmann and Sue Drago voting yes... and, board members John Jablonski and David DiSalvo voting no. With that... Wordelmann says the $3.3-million budget holds the tax levy where it's been for the past three years. He says that's good news, because it keeps the tax levy at $1.7-million. Wordelmann adds that while they have room under the state's 2-percent property tax cap... he didn't want to see a big increase in spending... or the tax levy. Property values are up in the village... so he says there will be a corresponding 36-cent per $1,000 drop in the tax rate to $7.12. He says total assessments, due to additional development, and a re-val, are up another $12-million. Wordelmann says there were a few spending increases in the village...but, nothing major. The new budget took effect on May 1st.
Assembly approves closing Campaign Finance loophole...
The state Assembly has voted to close the campaign finance loophole for limited liability companies. The bill would stop treating LLCs like individuals who can give up to $150,000 annually while masking identities of those who establish them and instead treat them like corporations subject to a $5,000 limit. The 120-to-8 vote followed questions by several Republicans about treating them... instead... like partnerships or urging broader legislation that would also set an aggregate limit on unions.
Eight on hand for public hearing on proposed JPS Budget; one addresses board...
Jamestown school officials got some rare compliments on their efforts to balance the needs of students, and taxpayers, in the proposed 2015-16 budget. School Superintendent Tim Mains hosted a public hearing on the $77.6-million spending plan... which is up for a public vote next Tuesday. One of the eight residents on hand spoke directly to the school board. Doug Champ applauded them for their hard work... but, also asked them to look more into their capital budgeting. Champ says... with it unlikely the state will give them any more help... he urged them to look at different ways to raise money for their projects using corporate involvement, or funding applications to outside foundations. He says if you're counting on the state of New York to be "fair and equitable, it's not going to happen." Champ says he has "no real problem" with the budget... and, it's 1.5-percent tax increase. He says increased costs are sometimes unavoidable. Two other people asked questions regarding the tax increase, and use of fund balance. School Board president Joe DiMaio says it was nice to get some compliments... and, adds it validates the board's hard work. The budget vote and school board elections will be held next Tuesday, May 19... from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cuomo proposes Education Tax Credits...
Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing tax credits of up to $500 for low-income families who enroll their children in private schools. The Democratic governor announced the measure late Tuesday at an event on Long Island where he was joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Cuomo also wants the state to offer tax credits for private donations to public schools, and scholarships for students from low-and middle-income families who attend either private schools or public schools outside of their local district. The governor says the measure is intended to help parents make the best educational decisions for their children.
Second JHS Red Raider state championship sign unveiled for football team...
Another sign has been put up at the city of Jamestown's four main entrances recognizing another New York State High School Championship. City, and Jamestown school officials were on hand on North Main Street for yesterday afternoon's unveiling of the Red Raider football team championship sign. It's next to the JHS Marching Band Championship sign. Jamestown Head Football Coach Tom Langworthy says it's nice for both his 2014 title team... and, the three before it. Langworthy says the sign will always bring back "great memories, and is always going to be something special." Senior Stephen Carlson was one of the five captains on the Red Raider team... and, called it a special honor for a "special" group of players. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the signs represent the "Pride of Jamestown..." and, celebrates the accomplishments of all the district's youth.
Gas pump prices -- after big jump early last week -- hold steady this week...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have held steady after jumping by 11 cents a gallon about a week ago. That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price is now $2.85.4 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. AAA says the price is based on reports from 19 local service stations. The price was $3.85 last year at this time. The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now about $2.66 a gallon. The AAA says the national average price has increased for the past 26 days... and, the current average is the highest it's been so far in 2015.
Trio allegedly involved in Pearl Avenue burglary now facing Felony Arson charges...
Two men from Jamestown -- and a Buffalo teenager -- have now been charged with second-degree arson for allegedly setting an apartment on fire late last month to cover up a burglary. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they have now charged 30 year-old Jimmy Graves... and, 25 year-old Jonathan Fields... and, the 16 year-old from Buffalo... with second-degree ason. Samuelson says an eyewitness says they saw the three leaving the house at 19 Pearl Avenue, just before the second-floor apartment bursting into flames. City firefighters were called to the scene about 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. Samuelson says the trio allegedly damaged the apartment... and, stole a number of items before setting the apartment on fire. He says Graves, Fields and the 16 year-old -- who was not identified due to his age -- were caught by police a short distance away from the scene. In addition to the new arson charge... Samuelson says the three are also charged with second-degree burglary... and, third-degree criminal mischief. Graves is jailed on $150,00 cash bail... while both Fields and the 16 year-old are being held on $100,000 bail.
City fire department investigation allegedly arson involving condemned apartment house...
Jamestown fire investigators say a blaze that extensively damaged the upper floors of a condemned, two-story apartment house on the city's eastside was intentionally set. Jamestown fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 842 Spring Street shortly before Midnight last night... and, they found the second-floor and attic fully-engulfed in flames. Firefighters say it took some time to bring the blaze under control. Officials say the blaze started in the front part of the second-floor and attic. An off-duty shift of 12 firefighters... and, one shift commander were called in to assist. Firefighters were at the scene until shortly before 3 a.m. today. No injuries were reported... and, the blaze remains under investigation.
Flanagan unanimously chosen as new NYS Senate Majority Leader...
The newly-chosen New York Senate majority leader is being described as someone who has politics in his DNA. John Flanagan is the namesake of a former state Assemblyman from Long Island who served from 1972 to 1986. The younger Flanagan served 16 years in the Assembly before being elected to the Senate in 2002. He has easily won re-election to the Senate in a district representing a portion of northeastern Suffolk County. On Monday.. he was chosen to replace a fellow Long Islander, Dean Skelos, as majority leader. Skelos and his son are facing federal corruption charges. Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University notes Flanagan has built his resume on education issues. He has been chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
Young issues statement, calls transition to Flanagan leadership "historic" for Senate...
State Senator Cathy Young says Monday's decision by the Senate GOP Conference was "historic" for residents of her Southern Tier district... and, New York State. The Olean lawmaker says New York City-controlled Senate Democrats filed a resolution to seize control of the state Senate... and, the Republican Conference blocked them by unifying behind a new leader. If the Democrats had succeeded... Young says it would have been a replay of the "debacle" in 2009-2010 when the Democrats were in control... and, hiked taxes by $14-billion. She says "every single member" of the conference united behind Senator Flanagan "to ensure balance in state government and safeguard the future of the state."
Sandra Lee, TV Food Star, and Cuomo's girlfriend, has Cancer...
Food television star Sandra Lee says she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The popular lifestyle personality -- and live-in girlfriend of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -- divulged the news on ABC's ``Good Morning America'' in an interview aired Monday. The 48-year-old Lee says she found out she had cancer late last month in a phone call from her doctor just after she finished a photo shoot for People magazine. She says she didn't cry but was ``stunned'' by the news. Lee says she has had a lumpectomy and will undergo a double mastectomy this week.
Celoron, National Comedy Center come to agreement on center having "Ugly Lucy" statue donated to center...
The so-called ``Scary Lucy'' statue of Lucille Ball in her hometown of Celoron may not be very flattering, but it is pretty funny. It's made enough people laugh to earn a spot in the new National Comedy Center, which plans to break ground later this year in Jamestown. Comedy Center Board Chairman Tom Benson says the center will embrace the statue -- not as a likeness of the late comedian -- but as a tribute to what she was about -- making people laugh. Benson calls it a "good ending" for everyone involved. He says if they are able to receive the statue before the new center is built... they will put it up in Comedy Center Park until the center open. Benson says the Celoron Village Board voted Monday to donate the statue to the center. However... the approved motion includes a stipulation that the village first have a bronze likeness of Lucy to replace the much-maligned one before it goes to the center. The bronze sculpture was unveiled in 2009 in Lucille Ball Memorial Park... but, gained attention recently after a two-year old Facebook campaign caught on.
A Jamestown man is accused of robbing a woman early last Saturday morning on the city's eastside. Jamestown Police say they were called to the scene in the area of Buffalo and Newton Streets shortly before 4 PM Saturday. Officers say the alleged victim told them that she and 24 year-old Cody Mason of Palmer Street had gotten into a physical altercation about 2 AM. The woman told police that Mason allegedly pushed her several times... and, kept her from calling officers. She also said that Mason stole her cellphone... cash... and, pushed her into a wooden railing. Mason was found at another address... and, arrested for second-degree robbery... third-degree assault... and, criminal mischief. He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail.
It was almost a record-setting weekend in Western New York with weather conditions that were closer to "mid-Summer." The National Weather Service in Buffalo reports some later afternoon rain showers held down the high temperature Sunday to 81-degrees. The record for May 10th was 86. However... on Saturday... Buffalo not only set a new record, but, smashed it. The high at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport reached 89-degrees. Forecasters says the previous record was 82. In Jamestown... the high both days was 85. Most of western New York was in the 80s both Saturday and Sunday. We'll see the low 80s again today before a cold front moves through tonight... and, drops our high for Tuesday into the upper 60s.
The latest training in how to adminster the anti-Heroin and opiate drug, Naloxone, will be held Tuesday afternoon in Jamestown. That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says they received clearance to use the drug -- also known as "Narcan" -- last year through the county Health and Human Services Department. Horrigan says they initially trained first-responders... and, law enforcement... in how to get the drug to people who had overdosed. Horrigan says the training will be held at the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council's headquarters in the Sprinchorn Building on West Third Street. He says the training session begins at 4 PM. Between first-responders and law enforcement... several dozen "saves" have been made using Narcan. Jamestown Police recently had their first. Horrigan says he learned at another training last week in Dunkirk with some former addicts that "relapse is part of recovery..." and, he fully-supports helping addicts have a "second-chance." For more information on the free training... call CASAC at 664-3608. Horrigan made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
A State of Emergency has been declared regarding the old McNally Building in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph. Town officials last night said the building... located at the "Y" intersection in the former village... is in danger of "eminent collapse." They say they have closed Route 394 and Main Street between Cold Spring and Weeden Roads until the structure has been secured.
Albany's latest corruption cases focus on New York City real estate interests seeking tax breaks from politicians. Most notable is an exemption worth about one-billion dollars a year that legislators and the governor must now decide whether to extend. Federal prosecutors allege Senate and Assembly leaders took hefty campaign contributions or other payments in return for laws benefiting the city's wealthiest landlords. Real estate developers say without the tax breaks, rents would be higher and many tenants would have fewer options. Advocates for the less affluent say the exemption amounts to a needless subsidy in a hot commercial real estate market. They say it mostly helps build luxury high-rise apartments. The tax breaks have been packaged with rent controls for a million city apartments, all scheduled to expire in June.
New York Senate leader Dean Skelos may be fighting for his political life in the wake of public corruption charges, but many folks back in his Long Island hometown are more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. They describe him as a ``pillar of the community'' and ``good guy.'' One Vietnam veteran walking into a barber shop this week was even more effusive. The man said, ``If I have to go back to combat, I want him next to me.'' Skelos is under fire from Democrats and some fellow Republicans in the state Legislature to step down. He and his son Adam have pleaded not guilty to charges they pressured Nassau County officials to award a contract for a storm water project to a company represented by Adam Skelos.
New York state is setting aside 2-million dollars to invest in new high-tech businesses owned by minorities and women. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the investment fund on Friday. The Democrat says the goal of the initiative is to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds while promoting economic growth around the state. The money will be managed by a venture capital firm based in Rochester. Preference will be given to start-ups in the life sciences, green technology, advanced materials and other high-tech industries. To be eligible for the funds, companies must be a certified minority- or women-owned business.
Two people from Warren, Pennsylvania were hurt... one seriously... when the motorcycle they were riding struck a deer early last weekend in Sugar Grove Township. State Police in Warren say the bike's operator, 56 year-old David Armstrong, was eastbound on Route 957 about 10 PM last Friday. Troopers say Armstrong's motorcycle struck the animal... and, tipped onto it's left side. Armstrong was seriously hurt... and, was flown by Lifestar Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie. His passenger, 53 year-old Janice Armstrong, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. No charges were filed.
**(Corr.)North County man arrested for allegedly running pot growing, distribution operation...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested... and, about $50,000 worth of processed marijuana... and, growing pot plants was seized following a raid in the north county city. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they executed a search warrant at 35 West Third Street in Dunkirk just after 9:30 last night. Task Force members say entry was made difficult because the entryways were "heavily-fortified." They found a "very sophisticated" operation when they got inside... and, arrested 60 year-old Pedro Solares of 705 Monroe Street once inside. A large number of plants were found and seized... along with a quantity of processed marijuana. Task Force agents say they found an intricate lighting... and, watering system for the plants... along with dehumidifiers. Solares has been charged with unlawfully growing marijuana... and, other charges are pending. Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is asked to call the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.
City man falls through second-floor railing to his death...
A Jamestown man has died from an apparent fall through a second-floor railing at a home on the city's southside. City Police say they were called to the scene at 52 Charles St. about 10:30 last night on a report of an unconscious man laying on the sidewalk. Officers say EMTs were unable to revive the 54 year-old man. He was later pronounced dead by a County Coroner. Police say their investigation shows the man was standing on the second-floor porch when he feel through the railing. The death has been ruled an accident... and, no foul play is suspected. The man's identity is not being released until the family has been notified.
Democrats in State Senate plan to try to oust Skelos again next week...
Democrat members of the State Senate will try again to oust Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos following his arrest on federal corruption charges. A spokesman for the Senate's Democrat minority says that a motion has been filed to force a vote on removing Skelos, a Long Island Republican. The vote could come as early as Monday. Skelos is accused of using his position to extort payments for his son Adam from a real estate company and an environmental technology business. Skelos and his son say they are innocent. Democrats want Skelos to resign as leader.
Second person wanted for allegedly passing counterfeit money at Warren Co. Fair arrested in Jamestown....
A Jamestown woman wanted in Warren County, PA for allegedly passing counterfeit $50 bills has been arrested in the city. Jamestown police say they responded to a call at 246 Williard Street just before 10 p.m. Monday... and, found 35 year-old Christine Redding hiding in a bedroom. Redding and 28 year-old Jordan Adams -- also of Jamestown -- were accused of passing the phoney $50 bills at last Summer's Warren County Fair. State Police in Warren say the pair allegedly passed 27 of the fake bills. Adams was recently arrested in Jamestown. Redding was arrested as a fugitive from justice... and, send to the county jail without bail pending extradiction.
Three more "name" comedians signed on to perform at 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...
There's already a buzz over the other comedic talent coming to Jamestown for the 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August. The National Comedy Center... and, Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy announced today that contemporary comedic stars Nick Offerman... Melissa Rivers... and, Kelly Carlin will be here for the July 30 through Aug. 2 event. They join stand-up TV Star and comedian Jerry Seinfeld for the week. Seinfeld's two shows on Saturday, Aug. 1, are sold-out. Offerman... who is also known as Ron Swanson from NBC's hit TV Show "Parks and Recreation..." will perform his show -- for mature audiences only -- on July 31. Carlin -- the daughter of Comedy Legend George Carlin -- will bring her "Carlin Home Companion" Show to town on Saturday, Aug. 1. Melissa Rivers will take part in a special Comedy Roundtable with Rivers on July 31, as well. Tickets go on sale for Lucy-Desi Comedy Center members on May 11... and, to the general public May 18. For more information... go on-line to www.lucycomedyfest.com, or call 484-0800.
Skelos surrenders to federal authorities in corruption case; proclaims innocence...
The state Senate Majority Leader has surrendered to face charges including extortion and soliciting bribes amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12-million contract to a company that hired his son. FBI officials said Republican Dean Skelos of Long Island surrendered at the bureau's office in Manhattan at about 9:30 this morning. Skelos said last month he was cooperating fully and wouldn't resign his leadership post. He also insisted he was innocent of the charges. Skelos has hired an attorney in response to the investigation, which focuses on whether Skelos influenced Nassau County's decision to award the 2013 contract to Arizona-based AbTech. Skelos' 32-year-old son Adam worked for the company as a consultant... and, has also been charged.
Ambit Energy being investigated by state's Public Service Commission...
State officials are investigating a Texas-based energy company after a spike in complaints from customers over higher-than-expected bills. Ambit Energy is an energy services company that supplies electricity and natural gas. Consumers can choose to get their energy from their own utility or companies like Ambit. The probe of Ambit Energy was prompted by a spike in complaints in recent months to the state's utility regulation agency. According to the state's Public Service Commission, about one in five complaints against energy services companies filed this year have been against Ambit Energy.
Three arrested for fire on Jamestown's eastside...
Two men from Jamestown -- and a Buffalo teenager -- have been arrested for allegedly setting the upstairs apartment on fire at a house on the city's eastside Thursday afternoon. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators knew from the start that arson was the likely cause. Samuelson says the three were spotted by a witness as they were leaving the home at 19 Pearl Ave. about 5:15 p.m. He says the witness told them just a few moments later... the upper floors burst into flames. Samuelson says responding police officers did a preliminary investigation... and, the trio was found fairly soon after. He says the trio... 30 year-old Jimmy Graves... 25 year-old Jonathon Fields... and, the 16 year-old from Buffalo... are charged with second-degree burglary... and, third-degree criminal mischief. Samuelson says second-degree arson charges are pending. He says it appears the fire was set to cover up the burglary in the upstairs apartment.
Titusville, PA area man killed in car-pedestrian accident...
The daughter of a man struck and killed while walking in the middle of a rural northwestern Pennsylvania road says he had dementia and may have been trying to walk to visit relatives many miles away. Kristen Swanson-Sauerland, of Titusville, says her 65-year-old father, Cecil Swanson, had family in Warren and was walking in that direction when a car hit him about 4:40 a.m. Thursday. State police in Corry say Swanson was wearing dark clothes and was difficult to see in rainy conditions. The driver who hit Swanson struck him from behind as he walked in the middle of the road's eastbound lane in Oil Creek Township.
JHS Marching Band gets championship sign at city entrances...
A big weekend for the Jamestown High School band program was kicked-off with a special sign unveiling on the city's northside. The JHS Marching Band was honored yesterday afternoon by the city with a championship sign at the north entrance on Route 60. The marching band won last Fall's New York state "Large School-2" Championship in Syracuse. Marching... and, Concert Band Director Meghan Murray says she was proud... and, excited about this latest honor. Murray says the sign also honors the band's past championships in 1991... and, 2002. School Superintendent Tim Mains and JHS Principal Mike McElrath were also on hand for the unveiling. Mayor Sam Teresi says they held the unveiling Friday to coincide with the concert band's special, 90th anniversary program this evening. The signs were put up by the city's Public Works Traffic Division... with help from the district... and, were made by Hanson Signs. Three other signs have also been put up at the city's other three "gateway" entrances.
Caregiver program set to start this week put on by County's Office for the Aging, and Chautauqua Adult Day Care...
The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging is collaborating with one of it's community partners to put on a six-week program that helps caregivers with an aging spouse... or, people with elderly parents. The six-week program, entitled "Powerful Tools for Caregivers," begins next Tuesday morning at the Westfield YWCA. Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says the program runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and, will cover a number of programs they provide that can help caregivers manage their lives. Spanos says the program was developed at Stanford University to help caregivers get more "balance" in their lives. She says they have teamed up with that program to provide a "break" for the caregiver so they can attend. The Westfield YWCA is one of four locations Chautauqua Adult Day Care has in the county. There is no charge for the program. For more information... go to the county's website.. or call NY Connects at 661-7582.
A Baltimore man who has roots in Western New York... and, Chautauqua County... says the current situation in the riot-torn city is "really tragic." Joe Twist also says the problems between Baltimore police and the black community have been "long-term. Speaking Thursday with our Jim Roselle and Dennis Webster... Twist says the problems have become "systematic." He says he has a number of friends who are African-American... and, they say they've been pulled over for what Twist calls 'DWB...' -- "driving while black...." Twist... who spoke to us from Peru where he's stopped on a business trip... says a former Congressman from the area believes the death of a black man who was in police custody was the "spark" that started the fire. He adds the area of Baltimore where the riots and protests have taken place has a 50-percent unemployment rate. Twist is also troubled by the fact there is a 10 PM to 5 AM Curfew for the ENTIRE city. He says that could be lead to some economic hardship because many businesses will have to close early.
New York state lawmakers are taking a look at what can be done to address the state's heroin and opioid addiction crisis. A bi-partisan Senate task force held the first of a series of statewide hearings Thursday in Yorktown in Westchester County. Additional hearings are planned for Rochester, Lewiston and Albany. Local Senator Cathy Young is a member of the task force. The meetings are intended to allow lawmakers to hear from local leaders, residents and experts as they develop proposals to fight the addiction epidemic. According to state figures... there were 91,000 medical admissions for heroin and prescription opiate abuse in New York state in 2013. That's up from 76,000 five years ago.
New York education officials say they'll release some results of the statewide English and math exams earlier than usual, on July 1st. The department says that making raw scores available at the start of summer will give schools and districts time to adjust summer lesson plans and prepare for fall. Other information, including performance levels and results of individual schools and districts, will be released later in the summer. One of the major criticisms of the assessments that New York gives to students in grades 3 through 8th each spring is that results are released too late to do any good. Districts around the state say they had large numbers of students sit out this year's tests, which are also used in teacher evaluations.
The first event in a series commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nuremburg War Crimes trial following World War-Two is set for next Monday night. A public showing... and, panel discussion on the documentary "Liberty Under Law..." will highlight the naming of local native Robert H. Jackson as Chief U-S Prosecutor for the trial. Jackson Center Director Jim Johnson says the showing of the final, 90-minute film will be the kick-off to a series of activities over the next 18-months. Johnson adds that a Northeast, Pennsylvania couple put together a "director's cut" that was viewed locally a few years ago. However... they ran out of money... and, the Jackson Center headed up an effort to finish it. Johnson says several Jamestown-area foundations helped provide the money to finish the documentary. They include the Johnson and Sheldon Foundations. Monday night's program begins at 7 PM. In addition... Johnson thanked the county legislature for recently approving 25-thousand dollars in bed tax monies to help put on the 70th anniversary commemoration.
New York's governor says the state's plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020 will put the virus on the same list as polio, smallpox and other largely vanquished killers. Governor Andrew Cuomo's comments came late Wednesday, the day a panel created by the governor to recommend ways to combat the virus submitted its final report. The plan focuses on expanded HIV testing, treatment and the use of pre-exposure drugs that can prevent new infections in high-risk groups. The goal is to drop the number of new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020, compared to the 3,200 cases identified in 2013 and down sharply from the 15,000 new cases reported in 1992. Cuomo says 153,000 New Yorkers lost their lives to AIDS in the last 35 years.
The Jamestown High School Band will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a concert this Saturday night at the school. Current director of Bands, Meghan Murray, says Director Emeritus, Lou Deppas, will return to narrate and be guest conductor... and, more than 50 alumni will be back to play. The band was begun by Arthur Goranson in the 1924-25 school year. His sister, Ebba Goranson, founded the A'cappella Choir in that same year. The JHS bands have won a number of awards through the decades, including a state marching band championship just last fall. Meghan Murray says she's been sharing the band's legacy with current members... so they realize they are "part of history." during the celebration, Rick Lundquist, Director of the Jamestown Municipal Band, will be entered into the JHS Band's Hall of Fame. The 90th anniversary concert begins at 7 PM Saturday at the Merton P. Corwin Auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door.
The Mormon church in Jamestown has organized a 'first ever' Family History Fest for this Saturday. Members of the public are invited to come... at no charge... and learn how to explore their family history. Lou Rosinski is the festival director. The festival runs from 9 AM to 4 PM Saturday at the church at 851Forest Avenue. Rosinski adds it's a 'Bring Your Own Device' event. Wi-fi will be available for laptops, phones, and tablets to access the church's extensive genealogical records. Other computers will be provided to connect to ancestry.com. Rosinski belives there are good reasons to explore family history... the main one being we "get to know our ancestors better." The full schedule of classes is available at cpoa.net/JamestownNYFH. People can attend one class or spend the entire day. Rosinski emphasizes while the church sponsors the fest... it is NOT a 'proselyting event'.
The mayor of Celoron has won this year's third-annual Chautauqua Lake Association's Ice Pick competition. Chairman and Founder of the Ice Pick competition... Peter Sullivan... says the pick fell through the ice on the lake at 1:59 PM on Friday, April 10th. Each year... since it began... residents have entered to guess what day... and, time the ice pick will fall through the ice. The pick is a wooden tripod that has a clock on it. It's placed in a particular spot each year... and, people guess when it will break through the ice. The winner was Celoron's Scott Schrecengost... who was within 12 minutes of the time the pick fell through the ice. Second was Philip Brunskill... and third was Laura Stetzko. The Ice Pick has become the "signature" fundraising event for the CLA... and, Sullivan says more than 500 people entered this year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's 1.5-billion dollar upstate economic development competition is starting. The contest, dubbed Cuomo's `Hunger Games,' pits upstate regions against each other in a battle for one of three 500-million dollar prizes. Officials in the seven eligible regions have until October 5th to submit their proposals for how they'd use the money to improve the local economy. The Democratic governor announced the start of the competition on Thursday. He says he hopes it brings out each region's best ideas for how to revitalize their local economy. The seven eligible regions are the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier, central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capitol Region, the mid-Hudson Valley and the North Country. Western New York isn't eligible because of Cuomo's previous ``Buffalo Billion'' initiative.
Teen accused of several arson's on Jamestown's westside is arrested...
Jamestown Police have arrested a 15 year-old juvenile for allegedly setting five vehicle and dumpster fires in the Shirley Lane-area of the city over the past eight-months. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the teen was arrested Monday following an interview with investigators. Samuelson says the suspect allegedly began his spree last Sept. 25 when he set two vehicles on fire in the Spanish Gates Apartment complex... then another vehicle and two dumpsters late last month. He says, through their investigation -- which included neighborhood interviews -- they arrested the teen for all five incidents. Samuelson says the youth faces Felony arson charges... but, adds the case will go to Family Court due to his age. Police Chief Harry Snellings says the arrest will not only bring relief to people in the Shirley Lane-area... but, the entire city, as well. Snellings says arsonists "have no boundaries" on where they may strike. He adds that, in close city settings, multiple homes can catch fire. Police say they do have a motive for the youth setting the fires... but, aren't releasing that.
Fire in back addition at Jamestown Royal ruled arson...
Jamestown fire officials say arson is the cause of this morning's blaze that destroyed a small addition at the back of Jamestown Royal Company. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme now says the fire... which was called in just before 6 a.m. at 300 Crescent Street... was intentionally set. Salemme says firefighters found flames coming from the back of the business... near the railroad tracks. He says they found the small addition heavily engulfed in flames... but, they knocked down the flames quickly. Salemme says several off-duty firefighters were called in to assist at the scene... and, help staff Fire Station-One at City Hall. He says the building was already in bad shape, and, is now destroyed. Salemme says fire crews... and, their equipment... were at the scene until shortly after 9 AM. No one was hurt.
City man now sought for allegedly filing a false report that he was shot by someone else last Mar. 19...
A Jamestown man is now wanted by police for allegedly falsifying a report that he was shot by someone last month on McKinley Avenue. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they have now filed a warrant for the arrest of 23 year-old Matthew Buck of 30 Terrace Pl. Samuelson says officers were called the scene -- near Prospect Street -- about 5 a.m. last March 19 on a report of a shooting incident. He says Buck told police that he had been shot by another person during what was reportedly a drug transaction. However... Samuelson says investigators found Buck had apparently shot himself during the incident. He says Buck is now charged with Felony Making an Apparent False Sworn Statement... and, Falsely reporting an Incident. Anyone with information on Buck's whereabouts is asked to call City police at 483-7537... or their Confidential Tip-line at 483-8477.
Reed talks about change to ACA to help New York fire departments recruit more members...
Local fire departments have geared up for today's fifth annual Recruit New York... and, area Congressman Tom Reed says he continues to work with local departments to find ways to help with recruiting volunteers. During a conference call with area media this past week... the Corning Republican indicated that a recent change with the Affordable Care Act is among the ways federal lawmakers have been helping local departments. He says he wanted to make them held "harmless" regarding out of pocket expenses under Obamacare. Reed says he applauds the efforts of volunteers in serving their communities. He says they are doing it for the right reason.... "day in an day out..." and, out of the "goodness of their heart." The House Republican says he recently met with a group of fire chiefs from the 23rd Congressional District last week to discuss other ways to help with recruiting volunteers.
Reynolds named as new director at Cornell Cooperative Ext. in Chautauqua County...
A life-long Chautauqua County resident who's been heavily involved in agricultural activities for the past eight-years has taken over the reins at Cornell Cooperative Extension of the county. The Association has announced that Emily Kidd-Reynolds was named to the post effective April 20. Most recently... Reynolds served the past 6 years as it's Operations Manager... and, was 4-H Youth Development Issue Leader before that. She's been Interim Operations Manager for the past six-months... alongside with Shawn Tiede. Teide is currently the Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension Wyoming County... and, had served as the Interim Executive Director for the Chautauqua County Extension. Reynolds says she's "very excited" about the opportunity to bring Cornell Cooperative Extension "forward" locally. For more information on Cornell Cooperative Extension locally... call 664-9502 or go on-line to www.ccc.cornell.edu/chautauqua.
National Train Day in Jamestown previewed...
There will be lots more to see and do at this year's "National Train Day" celebration Saturday, May 9th at the Gateway Train Station in downtown Jamestown. Train Station General Manager Lee Harkness says an early, vintage steam engine will be among the attractions that'll be here beginning at 10 a.m. Harkness says the vintage engine will be one of two train engines on display... one a steam engine the other diesel. He adds they'll be joined by about 10 work cars... and, Trolley Car #93. Harkness says... among the activities will be a re-enactment of the "Great American Train Robbery..." which he says will take place about 1 p.m., and, again at 7 that night. National train historian... and, author of 25 books on the railroad... Kenneth Springirth, applauded Harkness, and city officials for restoring the old station. Springirth says it's worth celebrating because Jamestown quickly grew from a village to a city after the first passenger train came here on August 25, 1860. From then until 1870... he says Jamestown grew by 69-percent in size... and, kept growing after that. Harkness says National Train Day... and, will include Toy Train lay-outs... and, other exhibits. For more information... contact Harkness at the Train Station.
TRC holds tree planting ceremony...
A unique Arbor Day ceremony took place Friday morning at the Resource Center's Administrative Offices on Dunham Ave near Celoron. The first of six flowering crab apple trees that will line the Lucy Lane side of the building was put in place. The Resource Center's Chief Executive Officer Denise Jones says the new plantings will replace several large and well-aged trees that had to be taken out. Jones says they want to "give back to the community," and make some room for their "feathered friends in the area, as well." The trees will actually be planted by Resource Center consumers who work for TRC Landscaping. Mike Braxton is Business Development Coordinator at TRC... and, says he loves working with such a "fantastic bunch of people." A cold irony of the day was that the flowering crab trees, from a warm greenhouse, can't really be planted until the temperatures reach a steady 50 degrees. One of the young trees was brought out for a photograph... andm then quickly scurried back inside.
The second suspect in this past Monday afternoon's vicious assault on two teachers at Jamestown High School's Tech Academy has been arrested at his home in the city. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the second, 16 year-old student was taken into custody Thursday morning after he was found hiding in a closet. Samuelson says the suspect had fled the scene shortly before officers arrived about 12:30 PM Monday. In addition to criminal charges... School Superintendent Tim Mains says the student will face consequences from the district. Samuelson says the teenager was taken to the city jail where he's being held pending arraignment. The other teen was caught a short distance away from the scene on Monday. Both teachers were punched in the face several times by the suspects... while one was also hit over the head by a metal wall clock. Both victims were taken to the hospital... but, were back in the classroom Tuesday morning.
One of two Jamestown residents wanted for allegedly passing more than two-dozen counterfeit 50-dollars bills at last year's Warren County Fair has been arrested in the city. Jamestown police say they located 28 year-old Jordan Adams at 13 Axtel Street about 10:45 AM Thursday after receiving a tip on his whereabouts. Officers say Adams faces 27 counts of five separate charges... including Forgery... Theft by Deception... and, Conspiracy - Forgery. Adams and another Jamestown resident... 35 year-old Christine Snow... were recently identified by State Police in Warren for allegedly circulating the phony 50s. It's also believed pair may have passed counterfeit bills in New York state. However... no charges have been placed here yet. Police continue to look for Redding... also known as Christine Snow. Adams is being held pending arraignment as a fugitive from justice.
It's not what Jamestown-area residents were looking for yesterday... but, we did get a measureable snowfall overnight in many locations around Western New York. In fact... at least one location received nearly a half foot of snow in Cattaraugus County. An upper level storm brought frequent snow showers to the area early Thursday. That from Forecaster Dave Thomas of the National Weather Service in Buffalo. The National Weather Service reports that 5 inches of snow fell in West Valley in Cattaraugus County... 2.4 inches in Colden in Erie County... and, about 7-tenths of an inch has been reported by weather observers in Jamestown. We had just over an inch here at our Media One Studios. Thomas says late April snow is not as unusual as you would think. Last year... he says we had a trace of snow on this date.
Chautauqua County's Director of Health and Human Services has high hopes for a coordinated school health program to be offered to districts beginning this fall. Christine Schuyler believes the curriculum called 'ICE 8' is a long term, positive community response to the area's major drug problem. Schuyler says the program is being made available through BOCES, and 300-thousand dollars has been secured to get the cirriculum started in every school district in the county. What's needed now is school boards to adopt the program... and what she calls 'buy in' by the community at-large that "health is a priority." Schuyler says the program is evidence based, and touches on many aspects of health in ways appropriate for each grade level. She adds ICE 8 will be helpful to classroom teachers because it meets the health and safety standards established for "common core." Schuyler outlined the basics of ICE 8 at a Drug Forum this past Wednesday sponsored by the AAUW and League of Women Voters.
The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County is set to launch two pilot programs next month to improve treatment for drug addicts. Association Director Rick Huber says The 'Treatment Court Jail Diversion Program' will allow immediate access to help for 10 people accepted into Drug Court. The program is being developed in cooperation with Jamestown City Court Judge John LaMancuso. The second new program will provide withdrawl medication from a psychiatrist for two people fighting addiction... and intensive counseling. Huber says someone who's been through "withdraw" will be with them 24/7. He says that counseling will be provided by certified councelors at the Mental Health Association. Huber says May is Mental Health Month... and, the ideal time to start new initiatives. Huber previewed the programs at a Drug Forum held Wednesday by the AAUW and the League of Women Voters.
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly holding a Jamestown woman against her will... and, threatening to kill her. City police were called to the scene of a "violent" domestic incident late this past Sunday night... and, the victim told them she was attacked by 34 year-old Fred Lee. The victim reportedly told officers that she was held by the throat against a wall... and, not allowed to move. She says he also threatened her, and, broke two of her necklaces when he pulled her by the shirt collar. When they arrested him... police say they struggled with Lee briefly. They say the victim had an order of protection against him. Lee was arraigned in city court on several charges... including Felony criminal contempt... unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. He was then sent to the county lock-up.
The Catholic church is opposing efforts in New York to allow alleged sex abuse victims to sue after the statute of limitations has expired. Currently... victims have only until they turn 23 to seek charges or file a civil suit. The bill would create a one-year window for anyone to file lawsuits no matter when the alleged abuse occurred. A similar law in California passed in 2002 resulted in dioceses paying 1.2-billion dollars in settlements. New York's Catholic Conference says allowing claims of decades-old abuse would cause the church ``catastrophic financial harm.'' Bill supporters say current laws fail to acknowledge the seriousness of sex abuse _ or that victims often struggle for years before stepping forward. The measure would entirely eliminate the statute of limitations on abuse cases going forward.
The national competition is still about two-months away... but, it's been a busy week for the Distinguished Young Woman in New York state. Cassadaga Valley Central School Senior Heather Dorler is taking time this week to work with younger student on positive ways to be their "best self." It's part of the national program's "Be Your Best Self Initiative. Heather will speak today to a group of sixth-grade Chorus members at Cassadaga about the "Best Your Best Self" Programs five-elements. Dorler, who lives in Stockton, won the Distinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area last November... then went on to win the State Title. She'll head to Mobile, Alabama in mid-June to taken part in the national competition. Heather is also promoting this November's local competition... and, says it's a great experience. She says it brings together "lots of young women who are just trying to build friendships, and work together." Heather adds it's also a great chance to win some scholarship money for college. She says she looks forward to the national competition in Mobile, which begins June 15th.
A Fredonia man that was thought to be missing was located Sunday evening. 88 year old Edward Sunday was reported missing Sunday afternoon after last being seen around 12:30 at the Portland Congregational Church. Just after 6:30pm Sunday the Chautauqua County Sherriff's Department notified local media that "Mr. Sunday was located and is no longer considered missing."
Several hundred people visited the 'Pride of Chautauqua' Sunday at the Fluvanna Fire Hall. It's an annual event put on by the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau to showcase agriculture in this area. Dick Kimball, a Dewittville dairyman... and President of the local Farm Bureau said consumers had a lot of questions, and farmers were there to answer them. Larry Rater, a retired dairy farmer from Sherman and a former Farm Bureau President, said 'Pride of Chautauqua' is a great way for people to see the progress in agriculture... where farmers are always creating a better product, more efficiently. A couple dozen local farms and farm businesses were represented in Sunday's event.
A Buffalo man is jailed without bail for allegedly pointing what appeared to be a gun at a Jamestown woman... holding her against her will... and, robbing her. City Police were called to 163 Barrows Street about 11 PM Friday for an alleged domestic incident. On arrival... they found a female yelling inside the apartment... and, that 32 year-old Devon Cottom had run off through the back door. Police say Cottom had allegedly choked the woman before allegedly pointing the gun -- later identified as an "airsoft BB Gun" -- at her. Officers say K-9 "Mitchell" help track Cottom to an area behind Allen Street... where a witness told that Cottom had run behind the house at 431 Allen Street. Police set up a perimeter... and, got Cottom to come out of the house and surrender. He faces several charges... including third-degree robbery... second-degree menacing... and, unlawful imprisonment. They also found a parole warrant had been issued for Cottom's arrest.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (Hay-stee) has assembled a small group of Democratic lawmakers to study ways to make state government more transparent. The Bronx Democrat announced the appointments to the 12-member panel late last week. Heastie says the panel will recommend changes to encourage more openness and public participation in the legislative process. The group will also look for ways to better harness technology, including improvements to the Assembly's website and expanding what information is placed online. When he was elected speaker earlier this year, Heastie vowed to address longstanding concerns that rank-and-file lawmakers and members of the public were too often left out of legislative decision making. Assembly members J. Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon and Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan will lead the panel.
Sections of three roads maintained by New York State -- including Interstate 86 -- are slated for major repairs this construction season. That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who coincidentally lost a tire on a rough stretch of I-86 east of Salamanca about four weeks ago. However... the interstate is is much worse shape in both eastbound lanes from the Pennsylvania state line to the lake bridge at Stow. Goodell says the project is in the state Department of Transportation's Capital Fund for this year. Goodell adds that's the same fund the DOT will use to re-surface Foote Avenue in the city of Jamestown through the Arterial to West Second Street. He says the other projects include Route 430 from Long Point to DeWittville... and, from Mayville to Findley Lake. Goodell says there is some emergency work begin done right now... and, contracts will be awarded soon for the major repairs. For the time being... Goodell says patchwork is being done to temporarily smooth out the roads.
Top lawmakers and several business leaders from around New York state will join Gov. Andrew Cuomo's trade mission to Cuba. Business leaders include the CEOs of JetBlue and Chobani Greek Yogurt, the vice chairman of MasterCard and executives from the NY Genome Center, Pfizer, Cayuga Milk Ingredients, a Finger Lakes dairy company, and the biopharmaceutical company Regeneron. The group will travel to Havana tomorrow for a two-day visit, intended to foster economic ties between Cuba and New York.
New York state's comptroller has approved an award of a 565-million dollar contract to Xerox to redesign and operate the information management system for its Medicaid program. The comptroller's office says its review found insufficient grounds in the protests by Computer Sciences Corporation... and, Hewlett-Packard to overturn the award. The current system is operated by Computer Sciences Corp. Hewlett-Packard bid against Xerox. Medicaid provides health care for millions of low-income New Yorkers with total projected federal and state spending this year of $63.2 billion. The comptroller's office says the five-year contract will take effect in 14 days. In a letter... the comptroller's director of contracts notes the state health department has taken precautionary measures to prevent performance issues like those that have come up with Xerox contracts in other states.
Some 25 fire departments across Chautauqua County will be holding an open house this comng weekend in an effort to get people to join as volunteer firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. County Emergency Services Director... and, Fire Coordinator Julius Leone says the "Recruit New York" effort has picked up some momentum over the years. Leone says they had a good response last year... but, adds they need more recruits. He says they picked up about 50 more firefighters among the 42 across the county. However... he says -- in some cases -- departments are still playing "catch-up" as far as their numbers are concerned. The Recruit-New York effort is for volunteer fire departments and rescue crews. For a complete list of fire departments... and, available positions is available on-line at Fasny-dot-COM.
A Frewsburg woman faces Felony charges for allegedly receiving 45-hundred dollars in food stamps she wasn't eligible for last year. Sheriff's Department investigators say they arrested 27 year-old Anna Towne of Warren Road late last week for Welfare Fraud. Officers say their investigation showed that Towne failed to notify the county's Department of Health and Human Services that her husband was employed during the period she received the benefits. Investigators say that six-month period began March 1st of 2014. Towne faces charges including third-degree Welfare Fraud... and, third-degree Grand Larceny. The Joint investigation involved the Sheriff's Office... and, the D-H-H-S Program Integrity Unit. Towne was issued appearance tickets. Instances of suspected welfare fraud may be reported by calling the welfare fraud hotline at 1-800-388-5365, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-782-7463.
(**Update)Authorities in Cattaraugus Co. busy with four Heroin overdoses in Salamanca in 24-hour period...
Police in Cattaraugus County are continuing their investigation into four Heroin overdose cases in the city of Salamanca. Salamanca Police Chief Troy Westfall says what appears to be a "very potent" derivative of the drug killed one of the victims. Westfall adds the other three people were saved by first-responders who used the opiate antidote "Narcan." He says they learned through investigation that the suspected "killer" Heroin is packaged in small "white-to-clear" wax bindles with no markings. Westfall says the drug appears to be a "clearer" white-granular mix which is different from what they've seen before. He says it could be a purer form of the drug... or it could be mixed with Fentanyl. He adds four overdoses in such a condensed time is incredible for a small city of 6,000. Anyone with information on where the drug may have come from is asked to call the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force's tip-line at 373-2773... or 1-800-328-3784.