(**Update)City woman identified as woman killed in yesterday's car-pedestrian accident...
Jamestown police have now identified the city woman who was struck and killed by a car on West Third Street at Lakin Avenue Wednesday afternoon. Police officials say 69 year-old Margaret Thorn later died from her injuries at WCA Hospital. Officers say Thorn was struck by an eastbound car about 2:20 p.m. and, was severely injured. Police say the unidentified driver will likely not be charged. However... officers say the investigation into the acccident is continuing with the help of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team.
Sinclairville man arrested for Felony sexual assault...
A Sinclairville man has been accused of sexually abusing a child in the town of Charlotte. Sheriff's officers say they received a complaint from the county Department of Child Protective Services of an alleged sexual abuse involving a child. Deputies say a warrant was issued out of town court for the arrest of 46 year-old Louis Higgs, Junior of Thornton Road. Officers say Higgs was arrested early this afternoon without incident for first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child... second-degree sexual abuse... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.
A woman has died from injuries suffered when she was struck by a car at the intersection of West Third Street and Lakin Avenue in Jamestown yesterday afternoon. City police were called to the scene about 2:20 PM Wednesday... and, the investigation showed the eastbound vehicle struck the unidentified person as they were crossing West Third. Officers say the woman was taken to WCA Hospital... where she later died of her injuries. City police are being assisted in the investigation by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team. No charges have been filed. More when it becomes available.
There's still no deal on a new state budget as New York lawmakers and Governor Cuomo continue to negotiate behind closed doors one day before a key deadline. Top lawmakers and Cuomo huddled in the Democratic governor's office Wednesday morning continuing to discuss the details of the roughly $150 billion spending plan. The major obstacles are Cuomo's plan to gradually raise the minimum wage from $9 to $15. Republicans have suggested a smaller, more gradual increase to $12.50 in the upstate. Another sticking point is Cuomo's proposal to shift $250 million in Medicaid costs to New York City, a plan opposed by Assembly Democrats. Top lawmakers hope to strike in time for the full Legislature to pass the budget before Friday, the start of a new fiscal year.
There may be slight bump up in state aid to cities and other local governments in the new state budget... but, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he's not getting his hopes up. Teresi says Governor Andrew Cuomo did not include an increase in aid. However... Teresi says the Democrat-led Assembly is proposing an across-the-board, 10-percent hike in 2016-17. He says that would have given the city a 460-thousand dollar aid increase if it would have been done this past year. Teresi says the state Senate has made a curious proposal. There would be no increase in aid to cities. However... he says some villages could see an increase... and, five new villages are also getting aid for the first time. He says that flies in the face of state government policy of pushing to reduce the number of smaller villages and governments in the state. Teresi says local municipalities haven't seen an increase in state aid since 2008... and, he adds they actually saw a decrease in the 2009-2010 budget.
The top official in the Jamestown school district says he's heard little more about whether there will be a final budget by the end of the day today or not. However... Superintendent Tim Mains says sources in Albany have told him the final spending plan will at least include the governor's original plan to increase school aid by 1.1-billion dollars. Mains says it's also appearing likely that the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment" will be gone in the new budget. However... he says there are between 14 and 15 catagories. Mains says those catagories include Foundation -- or base aid... BOCE Aid... and, Computer Aid. Under the governor's proposal... the Jamestown district is receiving an additional 1.7-million dollars in aid... but, it's not known where that will fall exactly. The State Assembly's proposal includes a 2.1-billion dollar increase in school aid... while the state Senate included a 1.7-billion dollar hike.
Gas prices in Chautauqua County are up another 9-cents this week to just under 2-dollars-18 cents a gallon. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the average price of regular, unleaded gasoline is based on reports from 19 local service stations. The price last week was just under 2--09 a gallon. Last year at this time... Triple-A says the price was 2-dollars-60 cents. The national average has now climbed above the 2-dollar level for the first time this year. It's now 2--04 a gallon. The Fuel Gauge Report says the national average has now increased for 21 consecutive days. But, despite the recent increase, the average prices remain 39 cents per gallon less than a year ago. Triple-A says many refineries are conducting seasonal maintenance, which has led to a decline in fuel production. In addition, refineries are preparing to produce summer-blend gasoline. Retailers in many parts of the country are required to sell this summer-blend of gasoline by June 1st.
Police say a report of a suspicious vehicle in a city of Dunkirk neighborhood early this morning led to drug and child related charges being placed against a man from the north county city. Police received the call from citizen around 1 AM. That from Police Chief David Ortolano... who says officers able to locate the vehicle and the driver.
Ortolano says the those items turned out to include bags containing marijuana packaged for street sale, several large chunks of crack cocaine and a small amount of cocaine powder. Police also found several open containers of alcoholic beverages in the vehicle along with a 16-year-old female passenger who police say admitted to consuming alcohol provided by Chambers. Ortolano praises the citizen who got involved and his department. He says it's very important to their efforts. Chambers faces several charges including fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance -- a felony -- and unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawfully dealing with a child.
A Cattaraugus County man is jailed on 25-thousand dollars bail for allegedly selling narcotics in the city of Salamanca. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 44 year-old John Lee of 270 East State Street, Salamanca just after 10:30 PM Tuesday. Task Force members did not specify what drugs they allegedly found Lee in possession of. However... he's been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and, one count of third-degree criminal sale of drugs. Lee was arraigned in Salamanca town Court... and, sent to the Little Valley lock-up.
An orthopedic surgeon who's been on staff for nearly four decades at WCA Hospital has been named the Medical Staff's "Physician of the Year." Dr. Peter Robinson was announced as this year's choice by Staff President Dr. Timothy Brown during the hospital's 11th annual "Doctor's Day Luncheon." WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright calls Robinson a "great choice..." Wright says a group of previous presidents of the Medical Staff make up the selection committee for the award. She says the criteria for Physician of the Year include: Quality of care they provide... interaction with staff and patients at the hospital... is a positive force within the staff... and, someone who gives back to the community. The head of Marketing at Chautauqua Institution, George Murphy, provided the program for the annual luncheon... and, talked about the institution... and, future plans for Chautauqua.
The Jamestown School Board received details of how the proposed, 79.1-million dollar budget for next year addresses the four main areas of the district's Strategic Plan. The overview was presented by School Superintendent Tim Mains, and Business Manager Vern Connors at last night's board meeting at the High School. While there are "gaps" in the spending plan as far as funding goes... Mains says it's important to see where the district wants to go... and, what's needed to get them there in five-years. As expected... Mains says the biggest chunk -- 48.4-million dollars of the budget -- goes for Academic Excellence. He says that's their "core business." However... he says once place where they're lacking is Whole Child Development. For example... he says a student may want to take up the clairinet in band... but, doesn't have the money to get an instrument. Mains says the answer may be the district owning the instruments used. Right now, though, he says Whole Child Development is the third biggest item in the budget at just over 7-million dollars. The school board will begin it's work on the spending plan... which includes no tax increase... at next Tuesday night's meeting.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and legislative leaders have reached a general agreement to include a minimum wage increase and a provision for paid family leave in the budget now under negotiation. On his proposal to gradually increase the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour... Cuomo says today the talks are now focused on ``how much, when, and where.'' He had proposed phasing the increase in on different schedules in New York City and upstate, but compromises have been on the table because of concerns in the Republican-controlled Senate. The increase has had strong backing from organized labor and opposition from business, including farmers and small business. He says details of paid family leave are also still being worked out. The new state fiscal year begins Friday.
Lawmakers in the village of Lakewood will soon be considering a 3.4-million dollar, 2016-17 budget that only increases spending by about 59-hundred dollars. Mayor Cara Birritieri released the spending plan late Monday... noting that the village is dealing with the "most challenging" state tax cap yet. Birritieri says a supermajority vote will be needed because there is "virtually" no increase allowed under this year's cap. She says -- "cuts have been made to non-essential line items, and those areas where service costs exceed benefit." Birritierri says there is only one new capital expenditure in the budget. That's a new pumper/rescue truck for the fire department at a cost of 67-thousand-533 dollars. Birritieri says the fact the most recent village assessments are up by 3.1-million dollars eases the situation... leaving a 2-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase. The village board will now begin working on the spending plan... which is due by May 1st. A public hearing is set for April 11th.
The city of Jamestown's first Parking Ticket Amnesty program in about seven-years will begin this coming Friday, April 1st. That from Mayor Sam Teresi after City Council last (Monday) night approved the program for the entire month of April. Teresi says... during that 30-day period... scafflaws will be able to pay up the "face value" of their tickets -- without penalty. When the city last did such a program... it received about 116-thousand dollars. He doesn't expect quite those numbers this time around. For people with accumulated parking tickets can also pay on-line. Teresi says you just need to go to the city's website at Jamestownny-dot-NET. You can also pay at the city Treasurer's Office at city hall. Teresi adds this amnesty program is for ALL parking violations... including time zone, and alternate parking violations. He says their contract company... ComPlus... will be conducting the Parking Ticket Amnesty Program. He says most of the accumulated obligations are just over 100-dollars. However... one scafflaw has rung up one-thousand-20 dollars in fines and fees.
More than 200 police agencies around the state are getting money for new radar units to catch speeders. The Cuomo administration on Monday said the state will provide $343,000 for 235 police departments and sheriff's offices to replace old radar units. State criminal justice officials said many older units were too costly to repair or were too big for new police cruisers. Some of the devices being replaced are 20 years old. The state helps maintain and repair units for local police agencies.
A Dunkirk man will spend time in a state prison after being convicted on two separate charges after admitting to operating a Methamphetime Lab in the north county. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that 47 year-old Angelo Bomasuto was sentenced in County Court Monday on a Felony charge. Bomasuto also received a determinate sentence of two and half years in state prison for third-degree unlawful Manufacture of methamphetamine. Swanson says he wants to send a message to those who want to manufacture Meth... and, that is that they're getting "multiple-year in prison" for people convicted over the past three months. He says it's "one of the worst drugs out there." Swanson says the sentence comes on the heels of three separate drug raids over the past week from the north county area. All three of the raids involved the manufacture and possession of Methamphetamine.
(**updated) Jamestown city lawmakers have overwhelimingly voted to make city facilites -- including the parks -- 100-percent smoke and "vapor" free. The City Council last night approved a new policy measure making all recreation facilities, vehicles and equipment smoke-free by a vote of 7-to-1. They also approved a code change for all city parks and public lands by that same vote. Tobacco Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegeny Coordinator Ken Dahlgren called these "very important" moves. The measures were also supported by Shelly Wells... who spoke for the Chautauqua County Health Network. The lone "no" votes came from Councilman George Spitale... who paraphrased what one fellow veteran told him in opposing the moves. Spitale says his biggest problem with the new enforcement is the fine structure... which begins with a $50 fine for the first-offense. Spitale says another person questioned if the city of Jamestown was getting to be like New York City under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg... who famously tried to outlaw "large gulp" soda drinks. The city council last night also voted unanimously to institute a new Parking Amnety Program that begins this Friday... and, will run through the end of April.
The late Jim Roselle "left an extraordinary legacy" of optimism and goodwill. Those are just some of the feelings expressed during the long-time WJTN Morning Man's funeral Monday. Jim passed away last Wednesday at the age of 89... following a 62-plus year career here. During the service at St. James Catholic Church... his stepson, Phil Nalbone, recalled that it was often an "arguous and time consuming" task just leaving the house with Jim, a walk down a Jamestown Street could easily take a half hour due to all of the well wishers wanting to talk to "The Great Roselle!" Phil spoke on behalf of Jim's family, and wife Kathy... in thanking the large group of people who attended. Jim's long-time friend Russ Diethrick talked about Jim's love of interviewing all the big name celebrities and others at Chautauqua Institution and elsewhere. However... he says Jim had just as much fun interviewing the kids at Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt. Russ also recalled another broadcast Jim liked doing each year... and, that was from the local Special Olympics... where he talked to many of the young people who took part each year.
New York is putting an end to most paper prescriptions for medicine as the nation's toughest electronic-prescribing law takes effect. As of Sunday... doctors, dentists and other health care professionals must electronically send prescriptions directly to pharmacies, instead of giving paper scripts to patients. There are exceptions for emergencies and unusual circumstances, and thousands of prescribers have gotten extensions. The law aims to fight painkiller abuse by thwarting prescription-slip forgery, while reducing errors by eliminating sometimes hard-to-read handwriting. What's known as ``e-prescribing'' has grown nationwide in recent years. Many patients, doctors and pharmacists find it time-saving and helpful. But... some New York medical leaders have expressed qualms about requiring e-prescribing in almost all situations and about the law's penalties. They include the possibility of fines, license loss or even jail.
The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County is helping to host two programs this week to raise awareness about the Heroin drug epidemic in the Jamestown-area. Association CEO Rick Huber says they are working with local resident Kim Carlson to put on the "Be Part of the Solution" events... which will also high-light a proposal to locate a self-sustaining long-term drug detox facility somewhere in the city. Huber says the programs will begin at 5:15 PM today and Wednesday at Shawbucks Press Room on West Second Street. Huber says the long-term drug detox facility will allow addicts to work with professionals to stay "clean..." and, also have some kind of gainful employment during their recovery. Again... the "Be Part of the Solution" program for people who want to learn more about the drug problem in the area... and, potential solutions... can attend either tonight or Wednesday night at 5:15 at Shawbucks Pressroom. **We now understand tonight's session is full, but, there is room at tomorrow's.
Strong, gusty winds have been hitting portions of western New York... mainly Northern Chautauqua County. Local police agencies report a number of downed trees and limbs, causing property damage. There were a handful of downed trees and limbs in Jamestown. One tree toppled onto a parked car at 714 Deer Street in Dunkirk around 11:30 yesterday morning. The National Weather Service had posted a Wind Advisory through early last night. A 51 MPH wind gust was reported twice at the Dunkirk Airport... while the Dunkirk Lighthouse had a 66 MPH gust around 1 PM. The strong winds also ushered in colder air. Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service said yesterday that by Wednesday...we'll see a rebound in temperatures. But... there are still indicators that the area may be hit by an arctic blast by next weekend, sending temperatures into the 20s by Sunday and Monday. There may even be a little snow added in.
The leader of the New York State Assembly says negotiations for a final state budget are advancing. But... Speaker Carl Heastie says issues remain, particularly how New York City will make out. That includes its payments to Medicaid. After briefing his chamber's Democratic majority yesterday... Heastie said raising the minimum wage and establishing paid family leave for workers ``are absolutely part of discussions on a final budget.'' He says state aid to schools also isn't settled yet in talks with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Senate's Republican leaders. Heastie says he's unsure whether lawmakers will meet their midnight deadline to print budget bills and may need a special message from Cuomo to skip the usual three-day waiting period and vote for the budget on time. The new fiscal year starts Friday.
AIDS activists say New York lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo must invest more state funds if they are serious about the state's goal of ending the epidemic by 2020. Six people were arrested last night after a rally at the state Capitol to push for 70-million dollars in funding as Cuomo and legislators negotiate the state budget before a Friday deadline. The state's target is to cut the number of new infections to 750 per year by 2020, down from 3,200 cases in 2013. The strategy includes expanded HIV testing and treatment, a focus on drugs that reduce the risk of infection, and housing and help for those living with the disease. Longtime AIDS activist Charles King says the plan requires continued state investment if it is to succeed.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned all non-essential state travel to North Carolina in the wake of that state's decision to overturn an ordinance on transgender rights. The ban, which was signed by executive order on Monday, requires all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to North Carolina. In a statement... Cuomo said New York ``will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past.''
Two Frewsburg men have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a house early yesterday morning on Jamestown's southside. City police were called to the area of Hazzard Street and Sabin Avenue shortly before 2 AM on a report of a suspicious vehicle. Officers say Sheriff's Officers and Ellicott Police were also called to the area... and, found a home that had apparently been broken into. Police then spotted two people inside. However... in talking to the owner, no one was living there, and no one was allowed to be inside. With the help of the JPD K-9 Unit... officers then found the two men, and evidence that they were there to steal a number of items. Police say that 19 year-old Wyatt Mann... and, 20 year-old Scott Cappadonia were arrested... and, charged with second-degree burglary, and criminal mischief. Both are being held pending arraignment.
There have been more than a dozen Heroin overdose deaths in the immediate Jamestown-area through the first few weeks of March. However... the startling number is not as surprising when considering the recent drug bust that led to the seizure of more than 400 individual doses of the powerful narcotic. That from Chief Executive Officer Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County... who tells our Terry Frank the problem appears to have gotten worse since the beginning of the year. Huber says the problem never really got any better. In fact... the problem may be intensifying due to what's being "cut" with the Heroin. One recent overdose involved a person smoking the drug... which was laced with the drug Fentanyl. Huber says it now appears some of the drug is being cut with something else... possibly some kind of synthetic drug. There is still a "stigma" attached to people who are addicted to drugs... but, Huber says that's slowly being broke down, as families are starting to identify their loved one's problem in newspaper obituaries.
A Cattaraugus County woman is being held on 50-thousand dollars bail for allegedly running a Methamphetime Lab in the town of Machias. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 57 year-old Debra Davis of Yaht Club Drive following an investigation into the alleged operation. She faces charges including third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, for unlawfully disposing of a Meth. Lab. Davis was arraigned and sent to the Little Valley lock-up.
A Panama man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a four-wheeler from a town of Clymer home earlier this month. Sheriff's officers say their investigation showed that 19 year-old Jason Earle had entered the home about 6:30 PM on March 3rd... and, took the all-terrain vehicle. Deputies say a warrant was issued late last week... and, Earle was arrested without incident. He's been charged with second-degree burglary and Criminal Mischief... and, third-degree Grand Larceny. Earle was arraigned in Clymer Town Court... and, sent to the county jail without bail, pending a recommendation by the District Attorney's office.
Within a few days... New Yorkers will likely find out whether the minimum wage is going up. Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to enact a 15-dollar an hour wage is one of several issues to be decided as the Democratic governor and state lawmakers seek to work out a state budget deal before an April 1st deadline. Other items include funding for roads and bridges and competing tax plans from the Assembly and Senate. The Democrat-led Assembly wants to raise taxes on millionaires while cutting them for other tax payers; the Republican-controlled Senate is pushing a much bigger middle class tax plan. The final spending plan is due by this Friday -- April 1st.
It was a chilly... but, beautiful, sunny day for the hundreds of children that took part in the city of Jamestown's 69th annual Easter Egg Hunt this past Saturday. This year's event was dedicated to long-time WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle... who announced from the egg hunt the past several years. We continued on that tradition with Matt Warren and Russ Diethrick covering the festivities. Matt spoke with 5-to-8 year-old Gold Egg Winner, Brehanna Gawn of Jamestown. In the 9 to 12 year-old age group... the Golden Egg was found by Jamestown's Ryleigh Anderson... who also found one of the other 30 prize eggs. The Silver Egg in that catagory was found by Alyssa Peters of Eldersburg, Maryland... who's family was visiting relatives here. Alyssa says this is the fourth or fifth year she's been here for the Egg Hunt. The Silver Egg in the 5-to-8 year-old catagory was found by Jamestown's Aiden Rhodes. The prize Silver and Gold eggs were sponsored through a donation in memory of Mark Hess... a long-time supporter of the Egg Hunt. Gift cards were given to the winners.
Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted an Easter egg hunt and open house at the New York state governor's mansion this year, the first of what the governor hopes will become an annual springtime tradition. Sunday afternoon's event also included tours of the historic residence in Albany and opportunities to meet the Democratic governor. Only ticketed guests could attend. Tickets were obtained through the governor's website. Cuomo and his family watched as visitors took part in activities including an egg roll.
A midlevel state court agrees that Senator Ted Cruz can remain on New York's April 19th presidential primary ballot, saying the challenge over his U.S. citizenship was filed too late. Judge David Weinstein ruled earlier this month that the petition to knock the Texas senator off New York's Republican primary ballot missed the statutory three-day deadline. The Appellate Division has agreed, writing that Cruz filed January 26th at the state Board of Elections, but the objection didn't arrive until February 17th. Plaintiffs Barry Korman and William Gallo maintain Cruz isn't ``a natural born citizen'' of the U.S. as constitutionally required for eligibility to be president. cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. His mother was a U.S. citizen living there. His father is a native of Cuba.
Horrigan pleased with opening meeting of Regional Solutions Commission...
Discussions regarding shared services in Chautauqua County are underway in Mayville... with the first meeting Thursday of the county's Regional Solutions Commission. County Executive Vince Horrigan called it a "great kick-off meeting..." with some 50 to 75 representatives from across the county in attendance. Horrigan says they had everyone from concerned citizens, to mayors and supervisors, and highway superintendents. He says the discussions should set the stage for projects for shared services to be developed. The next meeting of the Regional Solutions Commission has not been announced yet... but, Horrigan expects it to be held within the next month. He says any citizens who want to become involved in discussions should call the County Executive's office at 753-4211.
City man, woman arrested during drug raid on Crescent Street in Jamestown...
The Jamestown Police Department's ongoing effort to get 'street-level' drug dealers off the street has led to the arrest of an eastside man. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested 39 year-old Antonio Wiggins during Thursday night's raid at 251 Crescent St. Samuelson says the task force was assisted by the Jamestown Police SWAT Team in executing a search warrant about 7:20 p.m. He says they found more than a quarter-pound of marijuana, and about two-grams of powder cocaine inside during the investigation. Samuelson says Wiggins was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. He adds that during the raid... a second person... 54 year-old Cretia Goldsmith... was arrested for becoming disorderly. Samuelson says Goldsmith attacked one officer... punching them. He says Goldsmith was arrested for second-degree harassment and Unnecessary Noise. Samuelson says both were sent to the city jail pending arraingment. Anyone with information on the sale of illegal narcotics is asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Nine people arrest in major drug bust in Dunkirk...
The top cop in the north county city of Dunkirk commending the work of his department, and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, after a major Methamphetime and Heroin bust Thursday afternoon. The raid at 36 West Fourth Street took place at 4 p.m., and, led to charges against nine people. In addition to the arrests... Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they discovered a lot of materials and equipment used in making Meth. Ortolano says they found "quite a bit of material... and, the sale of Heroin that was taking place." Among the arrests, he says, were 24-year-old Fredrick Gutekunst, 45-year-old Robert Kaczor, Sr., 21-year-old Robert Kaczor, Jr., 22-year-old Sean Korzenski, 44-year-old Wendy Kaczor, 19-year-old Shelby Esperson, all of Dunkirk, along with 36-year-old Sean Henry of Silver Creek, and 22-year-old Aron Sikes of Fredonia. A ninth person, Brian Lidlow, showed up and wanted to buy some drugs during the raid itself. He was also arrested. All nine were taken to police headquarters... and, are being held for arraignment today.
Three jailed on $30,000 bail each after police, Task Force, raid suspect Meth Lab operation...
Three people are jailed on $30,000 bail each for allegedly operating 10 one-pot, Methamphetime Labs in an apartment in Brocton. Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at 150 West Main Street shortly before Midnight Thursday for a suspicious situation, and people having breathing problems. Residents in the building were also reporting noxious fumes coming from Apartment-#2. On arrival... officers interviewed the occupants... 25 year-old Ashley Muscato, 24 year-old Neale Brown, and, 21 year-old Ashley Guest. They also found a number of items in plain view that were allegedly used to make Meth... and, called in members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. Agents then located more items and quantities of Meth and marijuana. The State Police C-C-SERT Team was also called in... and, they found the 10 pots used to make Meth. The C-C-SERT Team helped to decontaminate the apartment. All three were arraigned on several charges... including third-degree unlawful manufacturing of Methamphetime... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Comedian Mark Russell honors Jim Roselle for "genuine curiosity" in interviewers...
During his 60-plus years here at WJTN... Jim Roselle got to meet and interview a number of celebrities, and big names in various walks of life. However... one became a good friend in recent years. Political Comedian Mark Russell is a resident of Chautauqua Institution... where he met Jim. Russell soon became a frequent guest on Jim's Chautauqua broadcasts. Mark Russell even wrote the introduction to the book he co-wrote with Walt Pickut about the people Jim had interviewed. Russell says he wrote "I had the impression that he was a folksy, intellectual not just to be that way... but, his radio studio was a folksy front porch right in the middle of the folksy, intellectual Chautauqua Institution." Our Dennis Webster spoke with Mark Russell over the phone Friday morning from Washington, DC. Russell says he told PBS Host Jim Lehrer about Jim's passing... and Lehrer commented on how nice a man Jim was... and, how that's lacking in today's political discourse... and, people are called "scumbag, thug, or sleeze-ball." Russell says Jim's passing will leave a "huge void" at Chautauqua this Summer
In New York... Minimum Wage compromises being looked at...
Several possible compromises are being discussed as lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo negotiate a deal on the governor's proposal to enact a $15 an hour minimum wage. Potential changes to Cuomo's proposal include a slower phase-in of the increase. Cuomo wants to gradually raise the wage from $9 to $15 over three years in New York City and over six in the rest of the state. Other ideas including exempting farmers from the wage or temporarily halting scheduled increases if an economic downturn occurs.
New York is poised to end its ban on professional mixed martial arts, the last state to prohibit the combat sport. Conducted inside a cage or other enclosure with a referee present... MMA bouts end when one fighter quits or gets knocked out, or judges decide after 15 to 25 minutes of fighting who the winner is. The state Assembly voted yesterday... and, approved MMA resoundingly following seven years of leaving the ban intact after critics complained the sport is too violent. Fighters wear small, fingerless gloves and punch, kick, elbow, grapple, tackle, slam, twist and choke each other inside a cage. Advocates say it has evolved from rougher early days with more rules to protect fighters. Meanwhile, it's on television, and fighters train and amateurs compete in New York.
More than 20-thousand first-time voters have registered with New York state in what state officials are calling an ``unprecedented surge'' of voter interest ahead of the state's April 19th presidential primary. Nearly 41,000 individuals filed on-line voter registration applications between March 10th and 20th. The online registration system set a record on Friday with almost 14,000 registration applications received. Voters must register by March 25 in order to participate in the primary. The online system also allows users to change their address. It's operated by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, which sends registration materials to local boards of election.
Chautauqua County's Congressman has found himself having to defend his sudden announcement that he had thrown his support behind Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Corning Republican Tom Reed was peppered with questions during Monday's weekly conference call with regional media, after what seemed to be a half-hearted endorsement. Reed emphasized again that he was not pressured into backing Trump... whom he and several other lawmakers met with Monday in Washington. Reed is still expressing a lot of concern over the rhetoric of the Trump campaign... both by the candidate, and others. However... he says there is even more concern over the need to unite behind someone to defeat the presumptive Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, in November. Reed says he has great concern over the possibility of an open convention... and, the fact that the will of the Republican Party rank-and-file may not be done. In addition to his business and leadership abilities... Reed also touted Trump's call for fairer trade deals for the U-S.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have increased another nickle a gallon this week to about 2-dollars-9 cents for regular, unleaded. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price... based on reports from 19 local service stations... was 2-dollars-4 cents last week. Triple-A says gas was about 2--62 a gallon at this time last year. The national average is now one-dollar-98-cents. The Fuel Gauge reports that pump prices have climbed higher for two straight weeks... and, the national average price of gas may soon climb above 2-dollars for the first time this year. Gas prices have increased largely due to seasonal increases in fuel demand and reduced production as some refineries conduct maintenance. Refineries have also begin making their more expensive "summer-blend" of fuel.
Catholic Charities of Buffalo has closed out it's annual Appeal Week with 73-percent of it's 2016 goal reached... but, the campaign will continue through June 30th. That from Bishop Richard Malone... who reported on the progress of the annual appeal yesterday in Buffalo. Malone says they have raised just over 8-million dollars of the campaign's 11-million dollar goal. He thanked the hundreds of parish, corporate and community division volunteers, and pastors, who helped to raise funds that will help them continue to impact the lives of more than 132-thousand Western New Yorkers. Malone says the funds raised for Appeal 2016 support Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county region -- which includes Chautauqua County. Nicole Tzetzo... who chaired the campaign with her husband, Nick... says they believe the generosity of western New Yorkers will rise to the occasion like it always has. She says the programs benefit everyone... regardless of whether or not they're Catholic. To make a donation... or learn more about Appeal 2016, contact Catholic Charities at 218-1400 or go on line to ccwny-dot-ORG.
No one was hurt when a tractor-trailer hauling some oil went off the westbound on-ramp from Route 430 in the town of Ellery onto Interstate 86 and crashed Tuesday morning. Sheriff's Department dispatchers say officers and State Police were initially called to the scene about 9:30 AM... and, reportedly found the big rig laying on it's side. There was also reportedly some oil leaking from the trailer, and the county's HazMat Team was called in. However... no major spill was reported. The ramp reopened by mid-afternoon. However... the tractor-trailer was still there last evening. No charges have been reported.
A Silver Creek man is facing a drug possession charge following a traffic stop on Brigham Road in the city of Dunkirk very early yesterday. Dunkirk Police say they stopped 28-year-old Mark Massey after he allegedly failed to signal properly for a turn near Willowbrook Avenue around 12:30 AM. During the stop... Police Chief Dave Ortolano says officers observed something out of the ordinary in the vehicle. Massey has been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was also ticketed for failure to signal. Massey was sent to the city lock up where he is awaiting arraignment. Ortolano says they have had some other traffic stops in recent weeks that have netted illegal drugs.
Internet giant Yahoo says the company will suspend its paid daily fantasy sports operations in New York. In doing so... the Sunnyvale, California-based company joins fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel. The announcement comes a day after a deal between the companies and Schneiderman effectively suspended litigation while lawmakers draft regulations. Schneiderman had sued the companies last year, arguing the sites were illegal sports betting operations and were violating state laws. The companies argue their contests are games of skill, not of chance.
An in-home health care aid from Jamestown has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining credit cards from a couple she cared for to steal more than 25-thousand dollars in cash and merchandise. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 36 year-old Alicia Wilson pled guilty to access device fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Grisanti, who is prosecuting the case, says Wilson applied for credit cards in the names of the elderly couple. Grisanti says she used the credit cards online... and, at retail establishments in Jamestown and Erie, Pennsylvania... and, withdrew cash from local banks. She says Bank of America, Capital One and Citizen’s Bank took the losses. The U-S Postal Inspection Office also took part in the investigation. Hochul says the charge carries a penalty of 10 years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine. Sentencing is set for next June 27th.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he was part of a small group of Republican lawmakers who met Monday with Presidential front-runner Donald Trump Monday on Capitol Hill. Trump was in Washington, D-C to try and win support from a GOP establishment that's been relucant to back him. Last last week... Reed came out in support of the Billionaire Developer... and, says Monday's gathering was a "positive meeting...." At the same time... Reed says he remains concerned about the rhetoric coming out of... and, surrounding the Trump campaign. He says that was conveyed during the meeting... because he admits Trump's "plain-talk" can be a double-edged sword. One the one hand... he says what he feels, on the other... it becomes negative when people oppose his views. During his weekly telephone conference call... Reed was asked if he had been pressured by Buffalo Developer Carl Paladino to support Trump. Paladino has vowed to make it difficult for GOP Congress members from New York if they don't support the Trump. However... Reed says Paladino did not pressure him.
Congressman Tom Reed's Democrat opponent in the Fall election is critical of his backing of Donald Trump. Jamestown native John Plumb says Trump will weaken our "standing internationally and is putting our military men and women at risk in every geographic combatant commander's area of responsibility." In a printed release... Plumb also says it's clear that by endorsing Trump, Reed -- quote -- "fully supports Trump's reckless rhetoric that makes our country less safe." He says it's not surprising because the Corning Republican, he says, voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security. Reed would only say that Trump is a much better alternative to Hillary Clinton... especially because it looks like Trump will be the nominee.
Jamestown city lawmakers later this month will consider a parking ticket amnesty program to try and get as much as 494-thousand dollars in accumulated tickets paid up. Mayor Sam Teresi say it would be the city's first parking ticket amnesty program since 2009... when the city netted 116-thousand dollars. Teresi says violators would be able to pay the "face value" of those tickets for one-month. He says, though, you can't have a parking amestry program every year. Teresi provided information on how many people have been scafflows... and, how much they owe. One person, he says, has racked up one-thousand-and-20 dollars in fines over time. He says parking enforcement is needed for a number of reasons... the first being public safety. Teresi says there are also fairness issues when it comes to people parking longer than they should in 2-hour zones. He says the two city court judges have agreed that they can start the program on April 1st. City Council will vote on the measure next Monday night.
A Jamestown man has been arrested on several Felony charges after an alleged home invasion early this morning on the city's westside. City police were called to the scene on West Eighth Street shortly before 1:30 AM on a report of a man with a gun threatening people. Officers say the witnesses told them that 36 year-old Kenneth Whitney broke into the home.. and, began threatening the occupant with a shotgun. Police say Whitney then fled the scene... but, was located a short distance away and arrested. He was arraigned on charges including first-degree burglary... first-degree criminal use of a firearm... criminal possession of a weapon... and, two counts of second-degree menacing. Whitney was sent to the county jail without bail.
Three cashiers working at Jamestown convenience stores have been arrested for allegedly selling alcoholic beverages to minors. State Police in Jamestown say they conducted an Underage Drinking Initiative last Thursday, March 17th at a number of retail locations. Troopers say underage volunteers, under the supervision of State Police members, tried to buy alcohol at those locations. If they were successful... the cashiers were placed under arrest for selling alcohol to a minor. A total of nine businesses were investigated... and, three people were arrested. They were Robert Noe at Noe’s Place on Second Street... Colleen Travis at the Allen Street Grocery and Deli... and, Nichole Hinson at the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street. All three were issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.
The scribbled, cryptic doctor's prescription note is headed toward eradication in New York, where the nation's toughest paperless-prescribing requirement takes effect March 27th. Instead of handing patients slips of paper, physicians soon must electronically send orders directly to pharmacies for everything from antibiotics to cholesterol pills to painkillers. There will be some exceptions. Otherwise, prescribers face the possibility of fines, license loss or even jail. E-prescribing has surged nationwide in recent years. Every state now allows it, but only New York has a broad requirement that carries penalties. The requirement is meant to fight painkiller abuse, reduce errors and expand a practice that doctors and patients often find convenient. However... physicians say digital scripts can present roadblocks for some patients and doctors shouldn't have to fear punishment over a prescription format.
The eduction budget just approved by the state Senate includes about 800-million dollars more than Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed... and, elminates the so-called Gap Elimination Budget. That from State Senator Cathy Young, who has played a key role in crafting the spending plan, which now goes to reconciliation with the Assembly. The Olean Republican says getting rid of the GEA was one of the Senate Republican Majority's main goals. Young says Senators agree that the Gap Elimination Adjustment needs to be taken out of the budget law... other-wise... it could be used again like Democrats did when they had the majority several years ago. She says their 1.7-billion dollar increase over last year also boosts basic, or foundation aid. Young says they'll be working to at least hold onto the increase they approved. The Assembly has proposed a 2.1-billion dollar increase.. while the governor has proposed a 1.1-billion dollar hike. Young says she heard from several local school superintendents... school board members and teachers during deliberations. She chairs the Senate Majority's Finance Committee.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated when his car crashed into a ditch early last Friday morning in the town of Charlotte. State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 19 year-old Joseph Ramos after finding his car in the ditch just before 5 AM on Route 60. Troopers say Ramos appeared to be drunk... and, had a small bag of marjuana in his possession. He was later given a breath test... and, was found with a point-16 BAC... twice the legal limit. Ramos was charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana and unsafe backing. He was issued appearance tickets for Charlotte Town Court.
State authorities say a worker at a center in western New York serving the disabled has been charged with choking an individual who was receiving services. New York's Justice Center prosecutors say the worker at The Rehabilitation Center in Olean faces four misdemeanor charges. Officials say he is accused of grabbing a disabled person by the throat and squeezing on February 25th. Authorities say 51-year-old Ahmad Burney pleaded not guilty last week in Olean City Court and was released. He was fired from his job and is due back in court April 5th.
The dialogue continues between Dunkirk and Fredonia officials over the possibility of having a joint police facility. We have learned that two meetings have been held involving the mayors, and police chiefs from both communities and indications are the discussions will continue. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says he is optimistic about such a facility since it would benefit both departments. While a village committee is looking at nearly a dozen sites for a separate location for its police department, Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers says a joint police facility with the city is still in the mix. While there may be some drawbacks, Meyers says there are a lot of positives. Meyers says he can see a building possibly going up someplace the two departments will share before he retires. He adds that both departments already work well together. Both departments are currently facing space constraints.
A union has sued the state Thruway Authority challenging increased health care costs for about 15-hundred retirees. The Civil Servie Employees Assocation says CSEA says the authority told retirees in December that effective April 1st they would have to pay 6 percent more in personal contributions to their health care premiums. The union says that fails to honor the obligations to retirees covered by contracts between CSEA and the Thruway. President Danny Donohue says retirees have earned the right to retire with the benefits promised during their years of service. The Thruway Authority declined to comment on pending litigation.
The mild winter and low energy prices have combined to make more home heating aid money available for New Yorkers. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance says there's still time to apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program. The program will accept applications through April 8th. So far this winter... 1.3 million low- and middle-income households have received help from HEAP to heat their homes. Eligible households can receive a one-time benefit of up to $625 this winter depending on income, household size and heating source. Last winter... 1.48 million households received benefits through the federally funded program.
No snowpack, no problem. As an exceptionally warm winter winds down, snowpack is scant around many Northeast mountains. Spring runoff from that snow is normally crucial for maintaining water levels on rivers and reservoirs... but, late-winter rain is doing the job of melting snow in many areas so far. In an average February... the watershed around New York City's six reservoirs in and around the Catskill Mountains has about 50 billion gallons of water trapped in the snowpack. This February it had zero gallons. But, the Catskill and Delaware watersheds did have a few big rainstorms. So by this week, the reservoirs were close to 95 percent full, which is higher than normal for this time of year.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says it was this past Tuesday night's primary results that made up his mind to throw his support behind Billionaire Developer Donald Trump for President. Reed's decision comes after he recently criticized the negative rhetoric and violence at recent Trump rallies. The Corning Republican says it's the "people" who are gravitating towards Trump... and, adds it's time for the GOP to rally around him. Reed insists that an e-mail from maverick Buffalo Republican Carl Paladino... pressuring Congressional Republicans in New York State to back Trump... had nothing to do with his decision. Reed... who is running his own campaign this year... adds the party needs to unite in order to wrestle control of the White House away from the Democrats. He says a Hillary Clinton presidency would just be a "continuation" of the past seven with President Barack Obama. Reed adds that the GOP needs to avoid a "brokered convention" this year in order to do that. Reed had supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush until Bush recently suspended his campaign.
A state judge has rejected a lawsuit seeking to close a loophole in New York campaign finance law that lets wealthy individuals use limited liability companies to secretly give millions of dollars to candidates. Justice Lisa Fisher writes there have been ``numerous attempts'' in the Legislature to close it and the matter is best resolved by lawmakers. But... she first rejected the suit on grounds that it's too late to challenge the 1996 decision by the state Board of Elections to treat limited liability companies like individuals. That lets them donate up to $150,000 a year to a candidate without identifying their owners. Critics want them subject to the $5,000 corporate limit and required to disclose owners. The suit was brought by New York University's Brennan Center, three state legislators and others. They plan to appeal.
A joint investigation by several police agencies into the manufacturing of Methamphetime in the city of Dunkirk led to a drug raid late Wednesday that resulted in the arrest of two men. Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says the raid occured at 363 Lake Shore Drive West... and, involved his department, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigation Division. Ortolano says the investigation led to the arrests of 28-year-old Joshua Hammer and 48-year-old Walter Doyle. Ortolano says Hammer and Doyle could be facing further charges... namely in connection with the alleged break-in in Hanover. Investigators say they discovered several working one bottle-style meth labs as well as more than two dozen spent one bottle labs. Ortolano says they also found a large quantity of stolen property consisting of tools, jewelry and other stolen items along with a large quantity of money, a quantity of meth, several ounces of methamphetamine oil and a quantity of marijuana. Both Hammer and Doyle are expected to be arraigned today in Dunkirk City Court.
Jamestown police are investigating an alleged burglary at an East Second Street business early Wednesday morning... and, are asking the public's help in locating the two suspects. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the pair was caught on surveillance video at the business -- located at 214 East Second Street -- about 3 AM. Samuelson says the two burglars allegedly took cash and other property from the location. He says one of the suspects is believed to be a white male wearing a camoflage jacket and is talking on a cellphone. Samuelson says the second suspect is wearing a light-colored gray hooded sweatshirt... and, is carrying a gray backpack. Anyone with information on the two suspects... or the incident itself... is asked to contact city police at 483-7537. You can also call the JPD anonymous Tip-line at 483-TIPS... thats' 483-8477.
There are other ways to lift low-income workers in New York state out of poverty without increasing the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour. That from state Assembly Republicans in Albany, who late yesterday countered Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed phase-in of the higher wage. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell was among the minority members who spoke to the GOP proposal. Goodell says the governor's plan would have a "devastating impact" on small businesses, farmers, and not-for-profits across the state. He adds that hundreds of thousands of "entry level" jobs would be eliminated. Goodell and his colleagues are proposing an alternative. He says that's the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit... which will help the 20-percent of minimum wage earners who are living below the poverty line. He says they also want to change the "benefit threshold" so lower-income workers -- who get a raise -- don't lose all their benefits at once. Assembly Republicans are also proposing a "Learning for Work Program..." a youth apprenticeship program that would create a one to two-year high school program that combined academic classwork and mentored 'on the job' traIning. The Assembly GOP press conference follows a rally held by workers in Albany in support of the 15-dollar an hour minimum age. The rally featured an appearance by Governor Cuomo himself... along with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
A coalition of local contractors and workers is calling on state officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, to open up the bidding process on the construction of the state-funded Athenex facility. Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State President Brian Sampson traveled to Dunkirk Thursday afternoon to announce that he doesn't want to see a proposed Project Labor Agreement -- or PLA -- surround the project. Sampson believes a PLA would increase costs and would prevent hundreds of local craftsmen from being able to work on the job.
But... not everyone is in agreement. Don Williams, CSEA official and City councilman, backs having a PLA.
Governor Cuomo traveled to Dunkirk last month to announced the 200-million dollar manufacturing facility. While there are still not a lot of details about the project... ABC officials are concerned about rumors of a PLA.
More than 700 students from area schools went to battle in the annual 'STEM Wars' at Jamestown Community College yesterday morning. The event is put on by 'Dream It-Do It'... coordinated in Chautauqua County by Justin Hanft of the Manufacturing Association of the Southern Tier. Cassadaga Valley entered the STEM Wars for the first time this year. Junior Devin McChesney and his three teammates were finding an interesting way to put a ball in a cup. Devin said the competition among schools was intense. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is a major sponsor of STEM Wars. Executive Director Randy Sweeney says they invest in the students to make sure they don't overlook manufacturing careers. The Cummins Engine Company is another major sponsor of STEM Wars.
**Bulletin -- Reed calls for GOP to "unify" behind Trump...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is throwing his support behind the man who he believe's "will be our nominee." In what's been a bizarre Presidential campaign, the Corning Republican's campaign late yesterday e-mailed a press release in which Reed called on the GOP to -- quote -- "unite behind the candidacy of Donald Trump for President." He says it's become "clear more Republicans favor Donald Trump than any other candidate." Reed added that the country "cannot have someone in the White House that will continue the failed foreign policy and economic agenda of Barack Obama." Reed... who earlier was critical of Trump's rhetoric... and, the violence that's popped up on the campaign trail... adds that -- quote -- "we must move beyond the bombastic rhetoric to positive discussion about creating jobs and improving the lives of all Americans - we all care about improving people's lives - that should always be our focus. I will use my voice to influence all Republican candidates at all levels to focus on issues and positive solutions for all Americans." Reed had supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush until Bush recently suspended his campaign.
Two Jamestown residents who are accused of trafficking "substantial amounts" of Heroin and other drugs have been arrested on the city's eastside. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and the state Police C-NET Team... executed search warrants just before 4 o'clock Monday afternoon at 1094 East Second Street. Samuelson says the JPD SWAT Team help with making entry to the home... where they found 400 envelopes of Heroin. In addition... Samuelson says investigators also found 50 capsules containing powder cocaine... and, some drug paraphernalia. He says they arrested 34 year-old Misha Gonzalez... and, her boyfriend, 37 year-old Juan Valaquez-Rodriguez. They also found Gonzalez's five children inside -- all between the ages of 1 and 9. Samuelson says both suspects were arraigned on charges of third-degree crimimal possession of a controlled substance... criminal possession of drug parphernalia... and, five counts each of endangering the welfare of a child... and, sent to the county jail without bail. The children were turned over to relatives. Anyone with information on suspected drug trafficking in the city is urged to call the Task Force's anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Jamestown man found guilty of taking part in three robberies in the city in 2014 has been sentenced to 5-and-a-half years in state prison. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 32 year-old Angel Vargas-Mendoza held up two 7-Eleven Stores two years ago... along with the CVS Pharmacy in Brooklyn Square. Swanson says Mendoza also received five-years post-release supervision during sentencing in County Court on each of two counts of first-degree robbery. The sentences will run concurrently. In addition... Swanson says another Jamestown man... 28 year-old Eric Lewis... was sentenced to five-years in state prision for second-degree burglary. He also receive five-years post-release supervision. A third Jamestown resident... 36 year-old Anthony Dunmore... received five-years in prison for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance. Dunmore also received two-years post-release supervision.
The leader of the U-S Senate Majority is urging Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump to condemn violence no matter who is responsible. Kentucky's Mitch McConnell spoke with Trump early Tuesday... and, is one of several GOP leaders who have called for more civility at campaign events. Local Congressman Tom Reed is also calling for an end to the violence that has marred Trump's rallies in recent days. At the same time... Reed says it's a "very contentious time" in politics. Reed adds that -- "at the end of the day -- we are all Americans who are stonger when united" as opposed to attacking each other. He says he will support the people's right to protest... but, without violence. He says the "childish rhetoric" also needs to end. Reed has been hesistant about supporting any of the remaining GOP candidates... in particular Trump... who has caused division within the Republican Party itself. Early on... he had supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush until Bush recently dropped out of the race.
The state Assembly plans to vote on limiting legislators' outside income to about 70-thousand dollars annually and to treat limited liability companies like other businesses that can give a candidate only $5,000 a year. Both ethics measures, similar to Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposals, are intended to curb the influence of outside money on state government. Senate Republicans have opposed both measures. Base yearly pay for lawmakers is 79-thousand-500 dollars. Cuomo has proposed limiting legislators' outside pay to about $12,000. Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver were each convicted last year by federal prosecutors for peddling their influence, partly to LLCs fronting New York City developers. Both lawyers had outside incomes that exceeded the Assembly-passed limit, which would take effect next year.
The New York state Assembly and Senate have approved competing budget proposals reflecting their chambers' priorities as legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo work to hammer out a final spending plan. A plan endorsed by the Republican-led Senate Monday includes 1.7-billion dollars more for schools, while the Assembly's plan increases spending by 2.1-billion dollars. State Senator Cathy Young touted that part of the budget... saying there will be reconciliation. Governor Cuomo had added about 1.1-billion dollars in school aid for 2016-17. The Senate plan also adds tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class... and $167-million to fight opiate drug addiction. A proposal approved late Monday by the Democratic-led Assembly also includes the phase-in of a $15 minimum wage... and, higher taxes on millionaires. Both chambers support a proposal to allow workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. Lawmakers hope to pass a final state budget by April 1st.
Speaking at a rally of thousands of workers from around New York state... Governor Cuomo says raising the state's minimum wage to 15-dollar an hour will ``show the nation the way forward." He adds that it offers working families hope instead of the fear mongering that he says has marked this year's presidential race. Tuesday's rally outside the Capitol featured a prayer from Cardinal Timothy Dolan... and, comes as Cuomo's plan to gradually raise the wage from $9 to $15 faces a critical test in the state Legislature. Cuomo hopes the increase will be included in the state budget, which lawmakers hope to pass by April 1st. The state's Democratic-led Assembly favors the increase but the GOP-led Senate says it shouldn't be considered until the potential economic impact is studied.
A Panama woman has been arrested for allegedly committing several traffic violations while allegedly driving under the influence of drugs in the town of Clymer. Sheriff's officers say the spotted 23 year-old Callie Fuller driving on Route 76 shortly before 1 o'clock Tuesday morning. Deputies pulled Fuller over... and, also found her to be in possession of a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Officers arrested her on charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs... unlawful possession of marijuana... speeding... failed to keep right... and, unlicensed operation. Fuller was processed and released on appearance tickets for Clymer Town Court.
A 14-year-old reticulated giraffe has died at the Erie, Pennsylvania Zoo. Zoo officials tell the Erie Times-News that a veterinarian euthanized Mitch on Monday afternoon. The giraffe had been experiencing leg and foot problems for more than a year. The zoo says Mitch failed to get up for hours Monday morning... and, had to be euthanized. A necropsy is planned for his body. Executive Director Scott Mitchell says Mitch had to be bottle fed as a baby. He also had trouble regulating his body temperature and had a condition that caused his color to lighten. Mitchell says he's not sure whether the zoo will acquire another giraffe. Staff members are monitoring 6-year-old Nigel, the zoo's other giraffe.
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is blasting the latest budget plan being advanced by Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania's eight-month-old partisan battle. Wolf says the Republican plan being unveiled late Tuesday is out of balance... and, leaves next year's massive projected deficit unresolved. His office also says it doesn't adequately fund schools.
Residents concerned with a move to allow Bear Lake Properties to add two new injection well permits, and extend three others will have a chance to make their opinion heard. The Warren Times Observer that there will be a public hearing held tonight Wednesday March 16th at 7pm at the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department. All of the wells are located in Columbus Township and are causing concern about the potential impact on the area water supply.
(Alert**)City man and woman arrested for trafficking "significant amount" of Heroin and, other drugs...
Two people have been arrested... and, some 400 doses of Heroin seized... during a drug raid on Jamestown's east side. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and the state Police C-NET Team... executed search warrants about 3:45 p.m. Monday at 1094 East Second Street. Samuelson says the JPD SWAT Team help with making entry to the home... where they found 400 envelopes -- or individual doses of Heroin. He says they also found about 50 capsules filled with powdered cocaine, and drug packaging material. Most disturbing... says Samuelson... was finding five kids -- ages 1 to 9 -- inside. Samuelson says their mother, 34 year-old Misha Gonzalez... and, her boyfriend, 37 year-old Juan Valaquez-Rodriguez... were arrested at the scene. They face felony drug charges, and child endangerment charges.
The city of Jamestown wound up just over 146-thousand dollars to the good in 2015... but, that was thanks -- in large part -- to using a lot of the city's undesignated fund balance last year. That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who gave the City Council his unaudited, year-end summary of last year's books during last night's work session. Bellitto says it was another challenging year for the city... with spending about half-a-million dollars over budget. In particular... Bellitto pointed out that the city was over-budget on the benefits line by 379-thousand dollars. He says health insurance will continue to be a major expense that keeps increasing... especially because 60-percent of the people on the city's self-insurance plan are retirees. Bellitto says budget "positives" included sales tax revenues coming in at 1.4-percent over budget... while the city's contributions to the state Retirement System came in 130-thousand dollars under budget. The final, third-party audit of the budget is expected sometime this Spring.
The New York state Assembly and Senate are backing competing budget proposals reflecting their chambers' priorities as legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo work to hammer out a state spending plan. A plan endorsed by the Republican-led Senate Monday includes 1.7-billion dollars more for schools, along with tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class and $167 million to fight opiate drug addiction. A proposal headed to a vote Monday night in the Democratic-led Assembly includes a 2.1-billion-dollar increase in public education funding, the phase-in of a $15 minimum wage and higher taxes on millionaires. Both chambers support a proposal to allow workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. Lawmakers hope to pass a final state budget by April 1st.
A leader in the state Senate says it's Assembly Democrats who are slowing down ethics reform in Albany. State Senator Cathy Young says -- given the resistance by the Assembly -- she's not sure if there will be ethics reform in the legislature this year. During a recent appearance in Jamestown... Young says Senate Republicans favor ethics reform... especially in the wake of two convicted leaders who are now getting their pensions. Those two leaders are former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver... and, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos... who were both convicted of federal corruption charges. Young says Senate Republicans are continuing to press the Assembly to approve the measures they have. However... on the issue of Campaign Finance reform... the Olean Republican says her constituents don't like using a New York City plan where 6-dollars of taxpayer money matches each dollar of private campaign funding. Young says residents in her district would rather see the money go to local school districts... or hospitals.
County Executive Vince Horrigan says he has established the membership of his Regional Solutions Commission, with the first meeting to be held later this month. Horrigan says the commission, which will be chaired by County Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek will include a number of representatives from government, the private sector and labor. He says the first meeting will be held a week from Thursday... and be held at the County Emergency Services Office in Mayville. He says they'll begin identifying state support for such measures. The members include: Richard Alexander, member of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation's Local Economic Development Committee... Rick Johnson, a retired CPA... and, Todd Tranum, President/CEO of the County Chamber of Commerce. The Regional Solutions Commission will focus on the areas of public safety, infrastructure and local government.
County officials are disappointed... but, efforts continue to land a buyer for the former Carriage House plant in the city of Dunkirk. The facility has been idle since ConAgra's decision to close it in January of 2015. Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has confirmed that a recent buyer interested in acquiring the facility has backed out, despite a fairly substantial state incentives package. Horrigan says the county's Industrial Development Agency continues to market the property. He adds a portion of the plant will be leased out to Cott. Horrigan says they're looking -- at this point -- to see how the facility may fit into their plans. He adds they're also working with the Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise Zone to find another buyer. About a year ago... Horrigan announced that a food manufacturer was set to acquire the plant and that at least 250 jobs were expected. He is hoping the latest marketing efforts will yield a similar type of buyer.
Local Congressman Tom Reed has signed on as a co-sponsor of bi-partisan legislation that would make it more difficult for Iran to test ballistic missles. Reed says the legislation... introduced by Maryland Democrat John Delany... is in response to last week's testing of two missles by the Middle Eastern nation. Reed is also calling on the Obama Administration to condemn the tests... which he says violate U-N Sanctions that had been put in place. Reed says one missle reportedly had the words - "Death to Israeli" written in Hebrew on it. While there are sanctions in place that could be used against Iran... the Corning Republican says there are some newer sanctions included in this legislation... including financial restrictions. Last october... Iran tested a ballistic missle that was reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. That's furthered the argument that the Iranians are close to developing nuclear weapons. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
A Lakewood woman who has been a volunteer at the Lakewood Memorial Library for some 40 years has received national recognition for her efforts. The Library last night held a reception for Diane Jordan... who recently received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from President Obama. She received a letter, and medal from the White House in honor of her more than 45-hundred hours of volunteer service to the library. There were also commendations, and other recognition from Congressman Tom Reed, and State Senator Cathy Young. Diane is a retired member of the Media One, and James Broadcasting families... and, our congratulations on her recognition.
A proposal to allow marijuana to be prescribed for a list of medical conditions is heading to the Pennsylvania House floor, where it could face changes before a final vote. The House began taking up more than 220 amendments to the bill Monday... and, it could be Wednesday or later before the chamber decides whether to approve the legislation. The 69-page bill under consideration passed the Senate in May by a vote of 40 to 7. The Medical Cannabis Act would empower a state board to license growers, dispensers and processors. Patients would need a written certification from a doctor or nurse confirming they have a qualifying condition
New York state lawmakers are spending the final weeks before a crucial budget vote talking about taxes, the minimum wage and paid family leave. However... efforts to address Albany's chronic corruption problem are -- once again -- getting little serious attention. More than 30 lawmakers have left office after facing criminal or ethical allegations in the past 15 years, including the Legislature's former top two lawmakers who were convicted of corruption crimes last year. Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed restrictions on lawmakers' outside income but the Senate has so far balked, and the Democrat is now focusing on efforts to raise the minimum wage and pass paid family leave. One sign of movement came late Friday... when Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie proposed limits on outside pay and tighter campaign finance rules.
State Senate Republicans have begun pushing a tax cut proposal they say would cut the tax rate for 5-million New Yorkers by 25-percent by the year 2025. Local Senator Cathy Young... who chairs the Majority's Finance Committee... says the "25-by-25" plan would also benefit seniors and small businesses. During a recent appearance in Jamestown... Young said most people in her district would benefit from the proposal. Young says the proposed cut... which would lower the tax rate from 6.85-percent to 5.14-percent. She says that would be the lowest middle-income tax rate in 70 years. Young says the GOP also wants to increase the tax-exemption for senior citizens on their pensions... which is now 20-thousand dollars. She says they would increase that to 40-thousand dollars before taxes are taken out. Young believes that would give the more incentive to stay, and retire in New York state. She agrees the proposal faces challenges in the Assembly... where Democratic leaders support raising taxes on millionaires... while giving middle-and lower-income taxpayers more modest relief.
New York lawmakers are largely exempt from the state's open records law -- a shortcoming that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to address. To mark national Sunshine Week... the Associated Press filed freedom of information requests with four top lawmakers seeking their schedules and email correspondence from the first week of February. Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and Assembly declined to provide the information, citing their rules that don't require it. Cuomo wants the law to cover the Legislature. But... transparency advocates say Cuomo's office needs reform the most. The administration has been criticized for slow and limited disclosures under the law that already applies to executive agencies. In one example... the AP requested information about the state's response to Ebola in 2014. The information still has not been provided.
The Panama High School girl's basketball teams' great season came to an end Sunday in Glens Falls... just short of a Class-D Championship. In a game broadcast on Media One Group Station WHUG-FM. The Lady Panthers put forth one of their strongest efforts, falling to Huevelton (HUE-vil-Ton), 62-to-60. At one point... Panama fell behind by 13 points after the two teams were tied at half-time. However... the Panthers mounted a comback... led by Senior Emilee Sperry. Sperry scored 14 of her team-high 17 points in the second-half. Taylor Bowen adds 14 points for Panama... which ends the season 21-and-5.
An Ohio man is now jailed on numerous charges after leading police on a slow-speed pursuit... and, running into a Sheriff's patrol car in the town of Ellington. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene for a "suspicious vehicle" shortly before 6 AM last Friday morning. Deputies say the pursuit began when the driver, 39 year-old Jay Head of Uniontown, failed to comply with officers trying to pull over his car. Deputies say Head allegedly struck a patrol car during the pursuit... causing serious damage... but, no injuries. The suspect was finally pulled over on Waterboro Hill Road... and, arrested without futher incident. Head was treated for a minor injury. He was later arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal mischief... second-degree reckless endangerment... and, driving while under the influence of drugs. He sent to the county jail on 20-thousand dollars bail.
North county labor organizations, residents and other groups are being credited with providing enough cases of water to fill most of the lobby of the Boardwalk Market in the city of Dunkirk. The more than 400 cases of water are being sent to Flint, Michigan... which has been slammed by a major water crisis. Doug Stock, President of the Dunkirk Area Labor Council, says he is pleased with the outpouring of support for the Labor for Flint initiative. Donations of water and money came flowing in, not only from the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, but from other parts of Western New York. Stock, who helped organized the effort, thanks everyone in the community who helped out. He especially thanked the North County United Way for their help. In addition to the water... Stock says they raised more than 2-thousand-700 dollars in monetary donations. Several local labor unions had representatives on hand early last weekend to assist with loading the truck. A pickup truck filled with cases of water will also make the journey.
New York's attorney general has joined 20 colleagues from around the country in urging the U.S. Senate not to delay acting on the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. Eric Schneiderman says that he and other state attorneys general are writing to the Senate to urge them to consider a nominee from President Barack Obama to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans have vowed to block any nomination until Obama's term ends. The letter says that failure to consider a nominee would be unprecedented and would undermine the rule of law and the functioning of the court system. The letter's signees include attorneys general of 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All are Democrats.
Pregnant women in New York whose sexual partners have recently traveled to countries impacted by the Zika virus can now get free tests for the infection. The state Department of Health made the change this month at the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Authorities were already offering tests for pregnant women who had traveled to affected areas, or for anyone exhibiting signs of the virus. So far... the state has found 40 cases of the mosquito-borne virus. It has been linked to serious birth defects. The virus has been reported in South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. The broader tests come as researchers explore how the virus may be spread through unprotected sexual activity.
New York state health officials are investigating a possible mumps outbreak at SUNY-Buffalo. The state Department of Health says the university has identified two probable and four suspected cases of mumps among its students. Students are on spring break until March 21st. SUNY Buffalo is reviewing immunization records to identify students who may need to either be vaccinated or excluded from school when classes resume. Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands. While the mumps vaccine is not 100 percent effective, two doses of the vaccine provide the best protection against mumps.
Young says State Senate to also act on $30-million to go into state budget to deal with ongoing Heroin and opiate crisis...
Plans to set aside $30-million in the state budget has also been introduced in the New York state Senate. A similar measure was announced earlier this week by state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The measure would expand prevention, treatment and recovery efforts around the state, with a special focus on areas and populations that are considered underserved by current programs. Local State Senator Cathy Young says it came out of hearings held by a Senate Task Force she was part of. Young says treatment is not adequate in many places... including Chautauqua County. She says there are still road-blocks regarding health insurance because of the definition of illness. Young says Senate leaders also met with Governor Cuomo this week about the need to address the issue... and, agreed "we need to do more." A final state budget is expected to be negotiated in the coming weeks by Heastie, Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan and the governor.
Panama Girls Basketball Team wins in state semi-finals!!...
In local sports... it was a big morning for the Panama High School girl's basketball team in the state Class-D Semi-Finals at Hudson Valley Community College. Senior Taylor Bowen sank three clutch free throws late in the game to help the Panthers win over Fort Edward, 46-43 in a very close game. Panama is now 21-4... and, will face the winner of the other Class-D Game at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. That game can be heard on Media One Group station WHUG, 101.9-FM. Good luck to the Lady Panthers!!
Ohio man faces several charges now in connection with vehicle pursuit in Ellington...
An Ohio man now faces numerous charges after leading police on a slow-speed pursuit... and, running into a Sheriff's patrol car in the town of Ellington. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene for a "suspicious vehicle" shortly before 6 a.m. Friday morning. Deputies say the pursuit began when the driver, 39 year-old Jay Head of Uniontown, failed to comply with officers trying to pull over his car. Deputies say Head allegedly struck a patrol car during the pursuit... causing serious damage... but, no injuries. The suspect was finally pulled over on Waterboro Hill Road... and, arrested without futher incident. Head was treated at the scene for a cut to his arm. He was later arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal mischief... second-degree reckless endangerment... and, driving while under the influence of drugs. He was later arraigned... and, sent to the county jail with bail to be set.
No one hurt when Fredonia school bus collides with pick-up truck...
There were no injuries in a minor accident involving a pick-up truck and a school bus on East Main Street near the Fredonia Central School driveway late Friday morning. Fredonia Police say the truck was eastbound on East Main Street... and, the school bus was turning left out of the of the driveway when the collision occurred shortly after 11 a.m. Police say there were 26 students on the bus at the time of the crash. There no injuries and the school notified parents of the incident. The students were transported home on another bus.
Dunkirk police assist feds in arrest for PA man for Child Pornography...
A man from Erie, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge in U.S. District Court in Buffalo stemming from an investigation in Dunkirk nearly three years ago. U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Junior has announced that 35-year-old John Tarell Grayson pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography before a federal court judge. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they worked closely with federal agencies on the case because Grayson was living out of state. Ortolano says the case... involving a child from the north county city... originated in March of 2013. He says his detectives did follow-up on the case with the federal investigators. Hochul says the charge against Grayson carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison... and, a $250,000 fine.
Maple Season almost over due to early stemming from mild Winter...
The harvesting of Maple sap across Chautauqua County -- and much of the Northeast -- is well underway due to our unseasonably mild Winter weather. That from David Munsee of Big Tree Maple, who is also spokesman for the county's Maple Producers. During an event in Forestville to promote the upcoming Maple Weekends... Munsee told our Dennis Webster that most of them have already taken in 50 to 75-percent of what they got last year at this time. He says the syrup being produced is a "dark Amber" with a robust taste. Munsee says this year has been very different compared to last year at this time. He says they had just started about this time in 2015 due to the bitterly cold weather. Munsee says all the producers hoped for cold overnight temperatures for one more "good run" of sap. He says they hope that'll get the trees "going again." The first Maple Weekend is March 19-20, and thesecond will be April 2-3.
***Turn clocks ahead tonight as we "Spring Forward..."
This week sees the start of Daylight Davings Time in the eastern U.S. It begins at 2 a.m. Sunday... so make sure to turn your clocks ahead before going to bed tonight. Otherwise, you'll be late for church, or other activities on Sunday. Fire officials say it's also a good time to check your smoke and CO detectors.
For the first time in several years... the Jamestown School Board heard a lot of good news in the presentation of the next school year's budget. There will be no tax increase... and, no lay-offs in the 2016-17 budget proposal by Superintendent Tim Mains. Mains and Business Manager Vern Connors laid out the draft spending plan... which includes a projected 1.1-million dollar increase in state aid. However... Mains says there are a couple of other factors eliminating any need for a tax hike -- one is a major cut in pension contributions. Mains says the district cut 126 positions over the past several years... including 26 during his tenure with the school system. He says he would like to bring back some teachers -- but, adds they're not at that point yet. Mains adds they're also only using 500-thousand dollars from the undesignated fund balance to off-set spending... which will allow them to rebuild those reserves. He adds the tax levy is "flat" -- increasing by just 26-thousand dollars. Mains says that's due to an increased Payment-in-lieu of Taxes.
For the first time in New York state history... a woman is heading up the state Senate's Majority Finance Committee... a panel directly involved in budget negotiations. A Jamestown foundation last night hosted a special reception and program for that woman -- Olean's Cathy Young -- at the Robert H. Jackson Center. Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Randy Sweeney says they decided to do it after retired state Assemblyman Rolly Kidder told Jackson Center Co-Founder Greg Peterson "this is a big deal...." Senator Cathy Young says drove directly from Albany to make it to the event while budget discussions continue. However... Young, who has served about 10 years in the Senate, says she wanted to be there... and, was very "humbled and honored" by the special event. In turn... she thanked leaders of the Jamestown-area and the rest of her 57th District for getting her the information, and ideas to help her be effective in Albany. The Olean Republican was later interviewed about her career in public service by Peterson.
A New York state lawmaker from suburban Buffalo will seek re-election after being disciplined following allegations she sexually harassed a top aide. Republican Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak of Cheektowaga was reprimanded by Speaker Carl Heastie on Wednesday for violating the Assembly's policy on sexual harassment policy by seeking to tarnish the aide's reputation when he filed a complaint. The Assembly Ethics Committee determined that Wozniak and the staffer had a consensual affair before the complaint was filed. Wozniak's attorney issued a statement Thursday saying the matter is closed but that she is pleased that the committee did not determine that she used her leverage over the staffer to sexually harass him.
The next time a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer responds to an accident or other emergency... it will likely be one whose a trained Emergency Medical Technician. Sheriff Joe Gerace and county Emergency Services officials have announced a new program that will provide training, and equipment to deputies who successfully finish Basic EMT Training. Gerace says the program will fullfill two needs. The first is to provide emergency treatment as first responders. Gerace says eight of his officers have already gone through the training... and, take their assigned equipment with them. County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone adds that this also provides an "another layer" of emergency service at a time where the volunteer fire services face a shortage of members. Leone says, sometimes it can "be a challenge" to get an EMT out -- especially when most people are working. Gerace and Leone say they're "excited" about the program... which is unique to upstate New York. The Sheriff says... from here on... new officers will receive the 160 Hours of EMT training through the Sheriff's Academy at Jamestown Community College.
Chautauqua County Emergency Services officials say they're pleased and excited that eight members of the Sheriff's Department have taken the EMT Training so far. One of them is Undersheriff Charles Holder... who says the 160-hour course is rigorous... but, necessary to use the intricate equipment that's involved. Holder pointed out the trauma bags each trained deputy will have with them when on patrol. Gerace says the Drug Asset Forefeiture Money means no tax dollars will go to fund equiping the deputies. He says those who have gone through the training will carry their own equipment in their patrol car. Gerace says he'll be taking part in the next class... which begins late this month. Officials add that some of the deputies have also joined their local fire department.
Two Cattaraugus County men have been indicted for allegedly defrauding several government agencies... including the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says a federal grand jury returned the indictment earlier this week against 64 year-old David Pfeiffer of Killbuck... and, 53 year-old Thomas Colton of Salamanca. Hochul says both are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud... and, mail fraud. He adds that Pfeiffer is also charged with making a false statement to a financial institution. Prosecutors say the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program is used by the U-S Department of Transportation to increase the number of minority and economically disadvantaged individuals who participate in construction projects that receive federal funding. Pfeiffer and Colton used Colton’s business, Sue-Perior Concrete and Paving, Inc., as a subcontractor on federal government contracts. Sue-Perior was used to allow Pfeiffer’s construction company to get government contracts they would have otherwise been unable to obtain. Hochul says the charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison... and, a one-million dollar fine.
The excitement has reached a fever pitch in the tiny south county village of Panama... as the community came out Thursday afternoon to send off the high school boy's basketball team to the state's Final Four. The team got a rousing escort out of town by local fire departments. The Panthers play Moriah of Section-2 in this morning's semi-final match-up at 10 AM at Glens Falls. Head Coach Ed Nelson says his boy's seem to have the right perspective on what's happening. Nelson says the team's Seniors have come through during the tough times... and, he feels they're ready for Moriah... which has made multiple-trips to the state championships. This is Panama's first trip. They earned that by winning last weekend's Far West Regional. You can hear this morning's semi-final game on sister station, WHUG, 101.9-FM beginning shortly before 10 AM.
Local police officials are looking for the owner of a drone aircraft that apparently struck one of the Sheriff's Department's radio towers in the town of Carroll last August. Officers say a Senior Radio Technician discovered the downed drone early Wednesday evening at the Erlandson Overview Park on Oak Hill Road in Frewsburg. Officers say they located the craft's data card... which indicated the flight and showed the last flight occured back on August 17th, 2015 at 8 PM. Deputies say they have partial identifying features of the owner and his vehicle. If the owner or public recognize the operator, please to contact them on-line at Sheriff-dot-US/#!contact-us
Our Spring like conditions the past two days did produce some record warmth across western New York yesterday. The National Weather Service late Thursday reported that both Buffalo and Rochester tied or set records. That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds... who says -- overall -- it was a record or near record day across much of the northeastern U-S. Here in the immediate Jamestown-area... the mercury reached about 71-degrees early Wednesday afternoon at the Media One studios before a heavy cloud cover... in advance of a frontal system... moved in. Both New York City and Philadephia also reached the 70-degree mark Wednesday. It'll be rainy... and, we'll be hard pressed to reach 60 today. However... temperatures will remain above normall for the next few days.
Our unseasonably warm weather has further thinned and weakened the ice on Chautauqua Lake... leading to two ice fishermen falling into the water Tuesday afternoon. With that... Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace is urging people to stay off the lake. However... Gerace is also reiterating that he will never say the ice is safe. He says -- even in ideal conditions -- you can never guarantee the ice is stable. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene -- near Chautauqua Institution -- just after 3:30 PM on a report of two people in the water. Deputies say 57 year-old Mike Cooney of Austin, Pennsylvania was able to pull himself out of the water, and back onto the ice. Officers say the other man, 79 year-old Jim Moore of Emporium, Pennsylvania was wearing a life jacket... and, with Cooney's help... was able to hang onto the ice until he was rescued by fire rescuers. At the same time... Gerace says it's "selfish" to put first-responder's lives at risk also. Both Moore and Cooney were taken to Westfield Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
A Jamestown man accused of being part of a drive-by shooting in the Tops Market parking lot on Washington Street last Summer has pled guilty to first-degree assault. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson tells the Jamestown Post-Journal that 23 year-old Alexander Jewell entered the plea last week in County Court. Jewell is accused -- along with 31 year-old Michael Robinson -- of driving by the unidentified victim -- and shooting the person twice. The victim was in critical condition for several days following the incident last July 24th. Swanson says a first-degree attempted murder charge was dropped as part of a plea deal. However... he says Jewell faces up to 10 years in state prison... and, five years post-release supervision. He's to be sentenced next April 18th. We were unable to reach Swanson for comment.
A city man has been arrested for allegedly being drunk when he lost control of his car early yesterday morning... and, it struck a utility pole on Jamestown's eastside. City Police were called to the scene at the corner of Willard Street and Willow Avenue shortly before 5 AM for an accident. Officers say they learned that 53 year-old Donald Hatch was driving the vehicle... and, had been taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. Police say they spoke with Hatch... and, determined that he was intoxicated at the time. He's charged with driving while intoxicated, and moving from lane unsafely. Officers say he was issued appearance tickets... and, released.
Dunkirk Police say they arrested three men this past Tuesday morning on a number of drug and weapon possession charges in the north county city. Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says officers saw a vehicle occupied by several males acting suspiciously on Lake Shore Drive West shortly after midnight. An investigation led to the seizure of a large rock of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and a set of metal knuckles. Officers also confiscated a large dagger, a realistic looking semi-automatic BB gun, a crack pipe, and other assorted drug paraphernalia. Ortolano says the suspects -- 19-year-old Joshua Heimerl of Angola, 21-year-old Jesse Nahrebeski of Silver Creek, and 20-year-old Jesse Silvagnia of Silver Creek -- are facing a number of charges. That includes unlawful possession of drugs. One also faces a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. Ortolano say all three were arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, sent to the county jail on 10-thousand dollars cash bail.
A proposal to set aside 30-million dollars to fight the heroin epidemic in New York state has been announced by the state Assembly. The measure would expand prevention, treatment and recovery efforts around the state, with a special focus on areas and populations that are considered underserved by current programs. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, says it has become clear that state leaders must ``step up our game'' in response to the scourge of heroin and opiate addiction. The proposal unveiled Tuesday will be included in the Assembly's budget proposal. A final state budget is expected to be negotiated in the coming weeks by Heastie, Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
A Grand Valley, PA man faces a number of charges after he ran his car into a garage in Eldred Township. Pennsylvania State Police were called to the scene at State Route 27 and Eldred Center Road Just before 9:30pm Monday in reference to someone driving erraticaly. When officers arrived they allegedly found 19 year old Kyle Bedow had intentionally drove his vehicle off the road and struck a garage. Damage is estimated at 50 thousand dollars. Bedow faces a number of charges including Criminal Mischief, and recklessly endangering another person.
The Republican leaders of the New York Senate want to cut middle-class income taxes by 3.5-billion dollars as part of a larger tax relief proposal they say would also help seniors and small businesses. The proposal unveiled Wednesday faces challenges in the Assembly, where Democratic leaders support raising taxes on millionaires while giving middle- and lower-class taxpayers more modest relief. When fully phased-in the Senate plan would reduce income taxes for 5-million middle-class taxpayers by 25 percent. Seniors would receive $275-million in relief... and, small businesses would get another $494-million in new exemptions. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan of Long Island says lower taxes would benefit average New Yorkers and the state's entire economy. The proposal now becomes a part of ongoing negotiations over Governor Andrew Cuomo's $145 billion budget plan.
Americans on both sides of the political aisle are remembering former First Lady Nancy Reagan... who passed away last Sunday at the age of 94. Mrs. Reagan's body is lying in repose at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California for the next two days. One of the area's leaders... current Congressman Tom Reed -- says Mrs. Reagan -- and, her late husband and former President Ronald Reagan -- were "icons" in American. Reed made his comments during his weekly Media conference call. He expressed his condolences to the Cornell University family on the death of President Elizabeth Garrett... who died this past weekend from Colon Cancer. Garrett was 52... and, had just become Cornell's first woman president last July 1st. Reed calls her death "tragic."
Two Pennsylvania men are alright after they fell through the ice while fishing on Chautauqua Lake near Chautauqua Institution. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just after 3:30 yesterday afternoon on a report of two people in the water. Deputies say 57 year-old Mike Cooney of Austin, Pennsylvania was able to pull himself out of the water, and back onto the ice. Officers say the other man, 79 year-old Jim Moore of Emporium, was wearing a life jacket... and, with Cooney's assistance... he was able to hang onto the ice shelf until he was rescued by the Dewittville Fire Department's hovercraft. Both Moore and Cooney were transported to Westfield Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
Temperatures reached into the mid, and upper-60s in some locations around the Jamestown-area yesterday... and, will be there again today. The National Weather Service says the mercury will be just a few degrees lower along the Lake Erie Shoreline. Forecasters say the Spring-like conditions will remain before temperatures drop slightly by the end of the week. Forecaster Dan Kelly in Buffalo says strong, high pressure has settled in over the East Coast. Kelly says there won't be much of a chance for any precipitation until late today... when we have a 70-percent chance of rain. He says Thursday we'll have the best chance of seeing some rain... adding we could get about an inch of rain during that time. Kelly says the high Thursday will top out at about 60 before the highs drop into the upper 50s by the weekend. He says were won't likely see any records set for highs this week... but, temperatures will be between 20 and 30 degrees above normal during the daytime hours.
An Olean man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for fatally shooting another man two years ago at a scenic overlook. The Olean Times Herald reports Gary Maull was given the maximum sentence late Monday in Cattaraugus County Court for killing Otis Lamont Parks in August 2014. Maull, who turned 30 Tuesday, was convicted back on January 22nd of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. The jury found Maull shot the 54-year-old Parks in the head with a handgun in early August 2014 at a scenic overlook off Route 16 in the town of Allegany. Prosecutors said Maull shot Parks over a drug debt and to silence him as a witness in another court case.
The first-phase of Chautauqua Institution's 41.5-million dollar Amphitheather "renewal" project is well underway... thanks in part to our mild weather. That from Institution Spokesman George Murphy... who says work began shortly after a State Supreme Court Judge ruled the project could resume after a preservation group took the project to court. Murphy says there are three elements to Phase-One... with a major part being the taking down of "the back of the house...." Murphy says the Massey Organ is the one part of the amphitheater that won't move during the razing of the amphitheater. He says the bleachers at the back of the Amp have also been removed... opening up that part of the structure. Murphy says the third part has been putting down casons around the perimeter to secure the Amp's columns. In addition... Murphy says work crews are working to divert water that had flowed under the structure to the sides. He says that should be completed before the new season begins.
Leaders of three good government groups say New York Governor Andrew Cuomo isn't doing enough to address Albany's chronic corruption problem. Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters and the New York Public Interest Research Group on Tuesday called on Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader John Flanagan to hold open, public negotiations over proposals to address corruption. Leaders from each organization say that while Cuomo has proposed useful reforms -- such as restrictions on lawmakers' outside income -- there's no evidence he's working to convince lawmakers to accept the changes. Last year... both the former Assembly speaker and Senate leader were convicted of federal corruption charges, the latest of more than 30 lawmakers to face ethics or criminal allegations since 2000.
Republican U-S Senator Ted Cruz will stay on New York's April 19th presidential primary ballot after a lawsuit challenging his eligibility to run was dismissed. State Supreme Court Justice David Weinstein ruled late Monday that the petition to knock Cruz off the state's primary ballot was filed with the state's Board of Elections after a legal deadline for ballot challenges had passed. Plaintiffs Barry Korman and William Gallo had argued that Cruz isn't ``a natural born citizen'' of the U.S. as constitutionally required for eligibility to be president. Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. His mother was a U.S. citizen living there. His father is a native of Cuba. The 45-year-old Cruz was elected to the Senate from Texas in 2012.
Local Congressman Tom Reed may face a primary challenger in this June. Gary Perry of Waverly, New York in Tioga County announced last Thursday that he will challenge Reed for the Republican nomination. However... his nominating petition must first be verified. Reed says he welcomes all people who chose to run... and, says when more people run, we're a stronger country. According to reports in Central New York... it is Perry's first run for office. He has worked on other campaigns including Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino's run for governor in 2010. Jamestown-area Democrat John Plumb has already announced that he is running against Reed in the November general election.
The Democrat running for the 23rd Congressional District seat this year is not mincing words in reaction to comments about terrorists during the most recent Republican Presidental debate. Jamestown-area native John Plumb is voicing outrage over discussion about torturing terrorists, and "hunting down" their families, and killing them. Plumb says "it's shameful." He adds the candidates either "don’t understand the ramifications of their words or they simply don’t care; in either case, it should disqualify them as serious candidates for President and Commander in Chief." Plumb says Senator John McCain had it right when he said, "Mistreatment of enemy prisoners endangers our own troops who might someday be held captive." Plumb is currently a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve after spending over 6 years on active duty. He is currently in his 22nd year of military service.
Hilton Grand Vacations Company has agreed to pay 250-thousand-500 dollars in fines to the state of New York for what state officials say were violations of the state's do-not-call law. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the fine late Tuesday... which is included in a legal settlement with the company. Officials say Hilton Grand Vacations made more than 330 calls to consumers who were on the do-not-call registry. The company, which did not admit any wrongdoing, also agreed to change its telemarketing practices in New York state. The do-not-call registry allows consumers to opt out of telemarketing calls. Cuomo says he hopes the settlement with Hilton serves as a reminder to other companies about the need to follow the law. A message left with Hilton was not immediately returned late yesterday.
City lawmakers will soon be considering a new ordinance that will expand the smoking restrictions in Jamestown's parks system. The City Council heard about a proposed update to Jamestown's 2007 local law that banned smoking from playground and ballfield areas of the parks. The new ordinance is still being finalized by Mayor Sam Teresi... who says residents have asked for the added restrictions... and, it was part of his recent State of the City message. The chairwoman of the Council's Public Safety Committee, Maria Jones, says representatives of the Tobacco Free Coalition... and, the Chautauqua County Health Network... discussed the proposal in detail at their meeting. She says -- in addition to food preparation and eating areas -- the ordinance would also cover seating areas, lawns and parking areas. Teresi says the Parks and Recreation Staff is also on record as supporting the change.
The top official at WCA Hospital says she's "very, very pleased" that the Jamestown facility has been given a 26.4-million dollar state grant for infrastructure upgrades. President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says they're happy to get word from state lawmakers in the area that the grant had been approved. It's part of about 88-million dollars in funding being issued to four local hospitals. Wright says the funding will be used to consolidate in-patient beds at WCA from it's Jones Hill Memorial Heath Center. She says the effort began a few years ago when Medical Rehabiliation facilities were moved to WCA's main campus on Foote Avenue... and, more recently the Inpatient Chemical Dependancy program was also moved there. Wright says each of the projects still require regulatory approval... but, she adds when they built the new Emergency Department several years ago... there were already plans in place to add inpatient beds upstairs -- above the Emergency Department.
The Jamestown Department of Motor Vehicle office has been experiencing computer outages for several days leaving staff... and, customers frustrated. County Clerk Larry Barmore says Time-Warner Cable has been working on the issue since late last week... but, the problem became an issue again Monday. Barmore says this happened after Time-Warner discovered the problem last Friday... and, they believed it was fixed. However... he says the problems started again intermittently Monday morning before the system went down completely for the rest of the day. Barmore says Time-Warner was back... and, they hope to have the issue resolved for today's opening. However... customers are advised to either call or check the DMV Facebook page for updates before going to the office. Customers may also visit one of the other DMV offices in Dunkirk or Mayville.
Fire has extensively damaged the second-floor of a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's westside. City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says crews were called to the scene at 40 West Hamilton Street just after 10 AM Sunday... and, found smoke and fire coming from the second-floor on arrival. Russo says an occupant told crews that everyone was out of the house... and, the flames were knocked down fairly quickly. However... he says the three adults and two children are being helped with temporary housing by the local Red Cross. No one occupied the first-floor apartment. A dog perished in the blaze... which remains under investigation. Russo says an off-duty shift was called to the scene.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is co-sponsoring federal legislation that would help support working Americans who also become a primary caregiver to a loved one. The Corning Republican has announced he is introducing the "Credit for Caring Act..." which will benefit people who have become caregivers for their aging parents, grandparents or other relatives. Reed says the idea of a tax credit has been raised several times at his town hall meetings across the 23rd Congressional District. Reed says the "Credit for Caring" provides people earning at least 75-hundred dollars a year with a 30-percent credit for caregiving expenses... up to 3-thousand dollars. He says the proposal would cover a variety of costs associated with caring for a loved one at home... such as driving them to a doctor's appointment, or making bathroom modifications for them. Reed says he's sponsoring the measure with California Democrat Linda Sanchez. He made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.
While there are still points of disagreement... it appears that a new, 145.3-billion dollar state budget for New York state will be on time again this year. That from State Senator Cathy Young... who chairs the Senate Majorities Finance Committee that's held numerous hearings so far on the 2016-17 spending plan. Young made her comments during last Friday's rally, sponsored by Rebuild-New York Now, in Falconer. Those at the rally called for more funding in the state's five-year capital budget for the state Department of Transporation. There are also differences on the proposed phase-in of a 15-dollar an hour minimum wage. However... there is general agreement on a proposed cut to the state's Corporate Tax. The budget is due by April 1st.
"March Madness" continues this week for both the Panama boys and girls Varsity Basketball teams after both won their Far West Regional games last Saturday. The Panama girls won a hard-fought 56-to-51 decision over Wheatland-Chili at Rush-Henrietta High School. Head Coach Jeff Angeletti says his girls had an 18-point lead at one point... but, knew their opponent would made a final run before they secured the victory. Angeletti says they returned home late Saturday... but, still received quite a welcome. Angeletti says his seniors... led by Emily Sperry and Taylor Bowen... played a big role in the win. On the boy's side... Panama defeated C.G. Finney, 70-to-57. Head Coach Ed Nelson says it was a close game through the first half... but, he adds his team turned up the intensity in the third-quarter... and, won by 13 points. The Panama Boys will take on Moriah from Section 2 in the state Semi-Finals at Glens Falls this Friday at 10 AM. The girls play Fort Edward from Section-2 at 9 AM Saturday.
A Warren man is dead following a one vehicle accident Saturday night in Mckean County. The Warren Times Observer reports that 38 year old Kevin Earl Pire II was driving west on Route 59 just before Midnight when for unknown reasons he lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle left the road, hit a tree and rolled several times, ending up on it's roof. Kane based State Police said that pire was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife during a domestic violence incident on the city's eastside. City police were called to the scene at 235 Buffalo Street just after 5 AM yesterday... and, learned that 45 year-old Jason Smith had allegedly grabbed his wife... and, held her by the throat against a wall. Officers say Smith then allegedly slapped her in the face... punched her in the back of the head... and, pushed her against a kitchen stove. Smith is also accused of refusing to allow his wife to leave the room after she tried to do so several times. Police arrested Smith for second-degree harassment and unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation. He's being held pending arraignment.
A Bemus Point man faces charges after allegedly leaving the scene of a two-car accident in the town of Sherman... and, for being drunk at the time. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of the crash on East Main Street in Sherman shortly before 11 PM last Saturday. Deputies say they found the passenger in the second vehicle involved... 23 year-old Ronald Lutgen, Junior... had left the scene in his own vehicle and returned shortly after that. They say Lutgen was found to be in an intoxicated state while operating the vehicle, and he was arrested for driving while intoxicated... and DWI Per Se. Lutgen was released to a sober party... and will appear back in Sherman Town Court at a later date.
A new panel created by Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan will begin meeting shortly to start looking at consolidating services. Horrigan says his Regional Solutions Commission will be headed up by Silver Creek Legislator George Borrello. He says Borrello offered to head up the panel after having success with his involvement in the vote to dissolve the village of Forestville into the town of Hanover. Horrigan says the panel will include people from the public and private sectors. Few specifics have been discussed regarding what services may be consolidated. However... Horrigan did point out ongoing talks with Jamestown about the Sheriff's Department joining forces with the city's police department. He says there's also a study taking place around consolidating, or centralizing fire and other emergency services. Horrigan announced formation of the Regional Solutions Commission during his recent State of the County Address. He made his comments during this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
New York's Conservative Party has chosen Wendy Long as its challenger to Democratic U-S Senator Charles Schumer. The Conservatives chose Long at their meeting in Brooklyn on Saturday... one day after state Republicans designated her as their candidate. Long ran for Senate on the Republican and Conservative lines in 2012. She was beaten decisively by Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Long is a New York City attorney who once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and was a press secretary to two senators. New York Democrats nominated Schumer to run for a fourth term this past Monday. Schumer has $24 million in his campaign account and is a heavy favorite in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.
The New York state Senate has passed a bill to amend a law that exempts some agricultural buildings from taxes. Republican Senator Patricia Ritchie proposed the revision to add equestrian facilities with commercial operations, like boarding stables, to the list of exempt buildings and structures. This wouldn't include riding academies or dude ranches that didn't also qualify as commercial equine operations. A companion bill has been introduced in the Assembly.
A grass-roots effort is underway to make solar energy available at a lower cost for residents and small businesses in Chautauqua County. Solarize Chautauqua, a locally-organized volunteer outreach effort, will hold it's campaign launch a week from Saturday, March 12th... from 10 AM to 12 Noon at Jamestown Community College's North Training Center on Bennett Road. Minda Rae Amiran of the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters says a similar effort was undertaken in Tompkins County. The group is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority which will be vetting proposals from installers through a Request for Proposals. Mary Croxton of the coalition is encouraging the public to attend the launch... saying you can hear from people who already use solar in the county. The campaign is being run by a coalition of local organizations dedicated to promoting the benefits of renewable energy. They do not represent any commercial or for-profit enterprise. For more information... go on-line to solarchautauqua-dot-ORG.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling on phone carriers to make robocall blocking technology available to landline and cellphone customers. Schumer says blocking technology can send an automated telemarketing call to a spam box, much like email spam-blockers do. The New York Democrat says the technology is needed because despite federal ``Do Not Call'' rules, hundreds of thousands of people continue to receive unwanted telemarketing calls. The Consumers Union says there were 305,000 complaints about Do Not Call violations in September 2014. In addition to annoying calls from mortgage companies and credit card firms, robocalls can subject phone customers to scams. Schumer noted the recent robocall tax scam that told victims they owed money to the IRS. Time Warner Cable has announced it will provide its phone customers with access to Nomorobo, a robocall-blocking service.
Young, Goodell, and Giglio announce capital funding awards for local hospitals -- including WCA...
Four local hospitals -- including WCA in Jamestown -- have received $88.4-million in capital funding from the state to upgrade their facililties. The announcement was made this afternoon by State Senator Cathy Young... and, Assemblymen Andy Goodell and Joe Giglio. Young says WCA Hospital will receive $26.7-million to make it "better equipped" to meet the community's needs. She says Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk... and, TLC Lake Shore Hospital will share the largest amount -- $57-milion -- to "transform these health facilities into a state-of-the-art integrated system that will give people the care they need and deserve, and save lives." Young adds that Cuba Memorial Hospital will also receive $4.7-million dollars in capital grant funding. She adds the region's small, rural hospitals really need the help, and this assistance will make a difference for many patients.
Rebuild NY Now and local and state officials rally for more state DOT Funding...
It's time to restore funding parity for key road and bridge projects between the New York City... and, upstate New York regions. That was the message this morning from local and state government, and labor leaders, who took part in a rally in Falconer hosted by Rebuild New York NOW... and, State Senator Cathy Young. Rebuild New York's Carley Hill says the Metropolitan Transporation Authority will receive about $26.3-billion the next five years... versus the state Department of Transporation's $20.1-billion. Young says this is a key issue because "we need that parity... investment, and jobs." She says the lack of parity has put Upstate New York way behind in road and bridge projects that need to be done. She adds the disparity began in 2009 when Democrats took over leadership of the Senate... and diverted more money to the downstate region. County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's time for the state to pay up... because if you delay a $100,000 project it may turn into a $1-million investment later. State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says if the inequity between Upstate and Downstate remains... it will hurt the entire state in the long-run.
Young says the $6-billion needed in added DOT Funding would come from bank settlement monies...
Finding the $6-billion-plus to eliminate the funding gap between the MTA and the state's DOT may not be that complicated. State Senator Cathy Young says budget conference committees are already looking at the multi-billion dollar settlements with large banks. The Olean Repubilcan will only say... right now... that those are a possible resource. She says there are billions of dollars available, and some of those have already allowed the project to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge downstate to move forward. The approximately $4-billion project is well on the way to completion... but, Young says -- in Upstate New York -- there are numerous roads and bridges that are crumbling, and falling into disrepair. She says her constituents call on a daily basis about roads and bridges that need to be repaired or replaced.
Cruz challenge to be on NYS ballot to be ruled on shortly...
A New York judge plans to rule in the next few days whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's presence on New York's primary ballot on April 19. State Supreme Court Justice David Weinstein is considering the claim that Cruz isn't ``a natural born citizen'' of the U.S. as constitutionally required for eligibility to be president. Weinstein says he'll first consider arguments by Cruz's attorney that the challenge at the state Board of Elections was filed 19 days too late. Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. His mother was a U.S. citizen living there. His father is a native of Cuba. Plaintiffs Barry Korman and William Gallo argue that Cruz is a natural born Canadian. The 45-year-old Cruz was elected to the Senate from Texas in 2012.
Silver Creek man escapes serious injury when car crashes into north county pond...
A north county man escaped serious injuries when he lost control of his car... and, it crashed into a pond at the Rosebrook Golf Course in Silver Creek. Sheriff's officers say 64 year-old Leland Lamoreaux of Silver Creek was westbound on Beebe Road in the Town of Hanover about 9 a.m. Friday when he lost control of his speeding vehicle. Deputies say the car slid across a lawn... and, went into the pond. Officers say the vehicle was partially submerged in the pond... and, Lamoreaux was able to free himself from the vehicle prior to first-responders arriving. They say Lamoreaux was taken to Lake Shore Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. No charges have yet been filed.
Another regional air carrier has acquired the current essential air carrier at the Chautauqua-Jamestown Regional Airport. Southern Airways announced late Thursday that it has purchased Ft. Lauderdale-based Sun Air Express, a commuter airline serving eight cities in the mid-Atlantic region - including Jamestown. Sun Air has hubs at both Pittsburgh International Airport... and, Washington-Dulles International Airport. Southern Airways officials say a big reason for acquiring Sun Air is because the smaller carrier has successfully developed a connecting hub model at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Southern Chairman and CEO Stan Little says "we look forward to expanding those connections and adding additional cities in the near future." More on this story later today.
About 100 people forced to evacuate their homes in Ripley because of a freight train derailment were finally allowed to return to their houses early Thursday morning. That's the official word from Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone. Leone says the off-loading of hazardous materials from three cars involved in the nearly 15 car derailment was completed early yesterday morning. The derailment occured about 9:45 PM Tuesday after the derailment... because two of the 15 cars were leaking ethanol. A third car was carrying liquid propane, but it remained intact. Leone says work continues in the clean up of the derailment... and, he says it will probably take several days to complete. In other developments... Route 76 in Ripley re-opened Thursday morning. One of the side streets remains closed. We have also learned that the railroad company, Norfolk-Southern, opened up a claims center Thursday at the Methodist Church in Ripley.
The Chautauqua County Republican Committee has endorsed four candidates for county, state and federal government office this Fall. County GOP Chairman Al Hendrickson says nominations were voted on Wednesday night in Mayville. Hendrickson says Republicans first endorsed the incumbant, three-term Congressman from the 23rd District. Hendrickson says the committee also endorsed incumbant State Senator Cathy Young... and, Assemblyman Andy Goodell. The fourth person endorsed was Fredonia's Jason Schmidt... who will challenge Democrat Patrick Swanson for county District Attorney. Swanson was named Acting D-A by for District Attorney David Foley... who is now Chautauqua County Court Judge. Hendrickson says Republicans never considered Swanson for nomination because he's a Democrat. He adds the Republican Committee also endorsed GOP Election's Commissioner Brian Abram for another term.
The Fredonia man who has been endorsed by the Chautauqua County Republican committee for District Attorney believes he is the right man for the job. North County Attorney Jason Schmidt says he is a "former Felony prosecutor and experienced trial attorney." Schmidt was first hired as an Assistant District Attorney by past D-A James Subjack in 2006... and, served under former D-A David Foley until early 2011. Schmidt believes that his experience in prosecuting hundred's of cases... and, handling appeals for a number of them... qualified him for the office. He adds that -- in his private practice -- he also argued a case before the U-S Second-Circuit Court of Appeals. That's one level below the U-S Supreme Court. He says he values working with the police... and, adds that helping crime victims is important. In his private practice... Schmidt says he's handled all kinds of serious violent and non-violent cases... including murder cases in Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus Counties. Again... he will face Acting D-A Patrick Swanson in November's election.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office is reporting another overdose save through the use of the anti-opiate drug Narcan. Deputies say they were called to the scene in the town of Chautauqua about 12:20 this (Thursday) morning. Officers say ambulance crews from the Chautauqua and Mayville Fire Departments were also called to the scene. Deputies say they administered Narcan to the overdose victim. They say that person subsequently regained consciousness. The subject was then taken to an area hospital for further treatment.
Jamestown's police chief has come out strongly against the idea of a supervised injection facility for Heroin users here... or anywhere. Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings was asked about the news that Ithaca's mayor wanted to offer such a facility where addicts would be able to "shoot up" under the care of a nurse. Snellings says he doesn't know all the specifics of Svante Myrick's proposal... but, says he would "never" support such a concept. Snellings says there's also the issue of liability if someone dies from an overdose in the facility. He says the rationale offered by Myrick and others who support a supervised facility don't make sense. Snellings says treatment needs to be the focus. He adds associated health issues... like Hepatitis C... can be addressed through needle exchange programs -- like the one in Jamestown. Mayor Myrick recently told the A--P that the facility would also connect addicts to recovery services. He called it part of the puzzle to fight the scourge of addiction.
Panama Central School District officials, students and residents can be forgiven if they are suffering a little "March Madness" of their own this year. Both the high schools' Boys and Girls Varsity basketball teams begin play in the New York state tournaments this weekend after winning Section 6 Championships. Panama Athletic Director Chris Payne says the community's having a "great time" there this season. Payne adds community members have also been coming by... and, asking what they can do to help out. But... typically schools find one program... or the other really strong in one particular season. This year... the boy's program under Head Coach Ed Nelson... has won 20 games in a row after a 1-and-2 start. The 21-and-2 Panthers have been led by Jack Payne... Chris Blose... and, Josh Odell. The girls... who made a great run in the state play-offs last year... are led by Seniors Emily Sperry and Taylor Bowen... along with Natalie Angeletti. The boys play at Noon Saturday at Buffalo State... while the girls play at Rush-Henrietta at 5 PM Saturday.
Railroad crews are still at the scene of a train derailment in the town of Ripley involving about 15 cars... including three that were carrying hazardous materials. The derailment was first reported around 9:45 PM Tuesday on the Norfolk-Southern tracks near Shaver and State Streets in Ripley. At a news conference at the Ripley Fire Hall late Wednesday morning... County Executive Vince Horrigan said there was a quick response involving nearly every level of government. About four dozen homes near the derailment were evacuated, involving nearly 100 people. Two of the cars were leaking ethanol. That from County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who says it was the first time firefighters used a special foam unit that was recently acquired from the state. Leone says they sprayed a layer of foam over the propane to stablize the ethanol... and, adds it worked "very well." Crews are currently pumping the ethanol from the two tank cars. They will also be transferring liquid propane from a third car. No one was hurt... but, the cause remains under investigation.
Tuesday night's derailment also interrupted Amtrak passenger service between Chicago and New York City. An Amtrak official says the eastbound Lake Shore Limited is being stopped today at Cleveland while the westbound train is being halted at Buffalo. Buses are being used to ferry passengers in both directions to stations in the two cities.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says the derailment in Ripley serves as a "glaring reminder that we must remain vigilant in making continual and meaningful improvements to rail safety and hazardous response planning." Schumer... who has pushed for numerous rail safety upgrades... was also quick to say the cause is not yet known. He says increased railroad inspections, improved coordination and communication with local first responders... and, technological improvements in rail car and track design can often make a big difference in preventing tragedy. Schumer also says "my hat is off to the brave and professional first responders who worked tirelessly all night to keep the community safe following the derailment."
State Senator Cathy Young is applauding the work of first-responders to the overnight train derailment in Ripley. Young adds that "it's a miracle that no one was hurt from the accident and we are grateful for that fact." She says it's "times like these that remind us how fortunate we are to have such outstanding first responders." Young says local, state and federal agencies are now working together to resolve the danger posed from the derailed propane cars and ethanol spill." She says it was unfortunate that so many families were displaced... and, she hopes they'll be safely back in their homes soon.
The Winter 'roller coaster' we've been on in western New York is continuing for us over the next few days. The National Weather Service in Buffalo let our Lake Effect Snow Advisory expire early this morning... with about 3 to 5 inches of snow in the persistant lake snow areas. Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo says we'll also see blustery winds out of the west... pulling colder air over the great lakes. Hibbert says a couple of areas will see some significant snow through this morning. Hibbert says the Lake Effect will begin to wind down by later this morning. However... he says we'll still be in the upper 20s today... and about 30 to 35-degrees on Friday. Hibbert adds, though, that we'll warm up to the 50s by next Monday... the 60s by Wednesday... and, possibly 70-degrees by Thursday. That also means the vast majority of Lake Erie will remain open water. Our complete forecast follows the news.
Dunkirk Police say a 66-year-old man is dead after he was hit by a car while crossing a street in the north county city. Officials say the accident occured just after 8 PM Tuesday. Police say the victim was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He has not been identified the man as yet. The crash reportedly happened under rainy and low-visibility conditions... and, remains under investigation.
The woman who replaced Hillary Clinton as junior U-S Senator enthusiastically threw her support behind the front-running Democratic candidate for president before 'Super Tuesday' results were known. During a conference call with New York state media regarding legislation to restrict guns from people convicted of domestic violence... Kirsten Gillibrand voiced her support for Clinton... who was a New York senator until the beginning of 2009. That's when Clinton became U-S Secretary of State. Gillibrand adds that she feels Clinton fully understands the challenges middle class families have to make ends meet right now. The upstate Democrat says she "trusts" Clinton... and believes she's the best candidate. Gillibrand was appointed to replace Clinton in January of 2009... and, won a Special Election later that year. She won a full, six-year term in November of 2012.
State regulators say they are taking steps to combat problem gambling at casinos now being built in upstate New York. The New York State Gaming Commission earlier this week proposed rules aimed at the newly licensed facilities being developed in the Catskills, the Finger Lakes and Schenectady. The proposed rules would require each facility to have procedures to combat problem gambling, to regularly report on results and to identify restrictions on advertising and signs. The three new casinos could be opened in 2017.
Authorities say a freight train carrying hazardous liquids has derailed and forced the evacuation of several homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the train was traveling on the Norfolk Southern line near the town of Ripley when about 15 cars derailed around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The governor says in a statement that there are no immediate reports of injuries or fire. But at least three of the derailed cars contain hazardous liquids, including ethanol, and at least one is leaking. He says that as a result emergency crews evacuated several homes, while other residents near the site have been urged to remain inside their homes. WGRZ-TV put the number of evacuated homes at 45. The Buffalo station says firefighters reported about 4:30 a.m. that the leak had been contained.
The sentencing of the two men who have pled guilty to state and federal charges stemming from the murder of a Westfield area woman has been delayed. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that both 44-year-old Jonathan Conklin and 31-year-old Charles Sanford will appear in County Court on March 10th to receive a new sentencing date. Swanson tells us that they are trying to work out a date so that members of Mary Whitaker family don't have to make multiple trips to western New York. Sanford was originally scheduled for sentencing Monday... and, Conklin on March 10th. The victim, who was a concert violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, was found dead in her Titus Road home in the Sherman-area in August of 2014.
"Super Tuesday" went pretty much as predicted... and, there is more clarity as to who has the inside track for both the Democrat and Republican nominations. However... on the eve of Tuesday's primaries... Chautauqua County's Congressman said he's "still looking" at the Republican candidates who remain before deciding who he may endorse. Corning Republican Tom Reed initially backed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush... but, Bush dropped out of the race last week. While he believes any of the GOP candidates would be better than Democrats Hillary Clinton... or Bernie Sanders... Reed did admit that he's troubled by some of the recent rhetoric coming out of the campaign. He says the candidates need to "carry the weight of that office and decorum of the office on their shoulders." Reed says he does not fear the possible impact of Donald Trump being the Republican candidate on Congressional and Senatorial races. He says ALL GOP candidates have a better "vision" for America. There were 23 primaries in all Tueday... including big ones in Texas.
New York's junior U-S Senator is calling for passage of new legislation that would close domestic violence gun loopholes... and, prevent domestic abusers from possessing firearms. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says now's the time for such discussion because a "divided" U-S Supreme Court is considering a gun ban for domestic violence convictions. Gillibrand says in most states right now, convicted domestic violence abusers are able to keep or buy a hand-gun. Gillibrand is urging fellow lawmakers to pass the Lori Jackson Domestic Survivor Protection Act. She says that would close the temporary restraining order, and dating violence loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of more abusers. Gillibrand is also pushing for passage of the Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act which would give states the resources to take guns away from violent, domestic abusers. Gillibrand says both pieces of legislation were introduced last year in the Senate by Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal. She says both are "common sense" pieces of legislation which don't undermine Second-Amendment rights for law-abiding gun-owners.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling for more federal spending to help homeowners pay for lead paint removal. The Journal News says the New York senator made the announcement Monday after visiting an older home in Yonkers. He said it was an example of a property that benefited from a federal program that helps eligible homeowners decrease lead-paint contamination. Schumer called on lawmakers to increase the 110-million dollar budget for the Lead Hazard Control and Health Home grant program to 230-million dollars. He says he's also introduced a bill that would create a 4-thousand dollar tax credit to assist homeowners in paying for lead paint removal. Lead was commonly used in house paint until 1978 when it was banned... and, it has been an issue in the city of Jamestown.
The tragic death of a young Jamestown man will be the focus of a candlelight vigil tonight in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. It's being organized by resident Patti Lamb-Reed... who's family had known 26 year-old Alex Foulk for some time. Foulk died unexpectedly in his home just outside the city last Friday.
Holding the vigil in front of the arena seemed appropriate because Foulk spent a lot of time there as a mult-sport athlete. He was recently part of the Shults Adult Hockey League. Reed says they'll have a speaker... but, they want people to come and remember, and speak about what Alex meant to them. Again... the vigil will be held at 6:30 PM. Reed says for more information... go to her Facebook page... or call her at 490-4924.
A father and daughter from out-of-state spoke in favor of the Jackson-Springs housing project involving Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality during Monday night's City Council meeting. 14 year-old MacKenzie Watson says... thanks to CODE... they got housing. Her father says they were homeless after fleeing a domestic violence situation involving Watson's former wife. Steve Watson says everything has turned out okay in their new home. The Watsons say they are now living at Euclid Gardens in the former Euclid Avenue School. Steve Watson is on disability. His daughter attends Washington Middle School in Jamestown. Both spoke in favor of the proposed Jackson-Springs apartment development... which would be located off Eighth Street between North Main and Spring Streets. The Cleveland-area developer is still arranging financing for the 10-to-11-million dollar project.
Citizens Union says the Cuomo administration's proposed budget for the coming year contains 2.4-billion dollars in 78 lump sums that allow spending decisions by officials after budget bills are passed. The reform advocacy group says that's $200 million lower than the current budget has, but it contains 12 more ``ambiguous'' pots of money, while the Assembly and Senate have yet to add their own discretionary funds. Citizens Union says those funds present ``a risk for corruption'' that needs to be fixed. State Budget Division spokesman Morris Peters says the budget contains ``flexibility to react to needs that emerge during the fiscal year.'' He says every dollar must be spent according to provisions in the law and appropriation language, and is subject to agency reviews. Total proposed spending is $154.6 billion.
Jamestown police are working to find the possible source of a batch of Heroin that may have been involved in a couple of overdose deaths in the area over the past weekend. City Police Chief Harry Snellings adds that there were also a couple of overdose "saves..." thanks to the anti-opiate drug Naloxone -- or Narcan. Snellings says the couple of weeks have been busy ones for law enforcement and first-responders. In addition... there was the overdoes death of a 22 year-old Ellery woman back on February 17th after she was given two doses of Narcan. CPR was also performed on the woman... who later died on arrival at WCA Hospital. At the same time... there have been Narcan "saves" in recent weeks. Snellings confirms there were two involving city police and firefighters last weekend. Two Narcan were administered in one instance. However... Snelling's reiterated that the "treatment side" of the problem needs to be fully-addressed. Until then... he says the area is going to continue to see more members of the community getting involved with Heroin... or other opiates, and unfortunately, more people losing their lives to the opiate addiction crisis.
A Brocton man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting another person last Sunday in the north county village. Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene at 62 Kinney Street just after 2 AM for a reported altercation between two people. Deputies say they found that 20 year-old Sebastian Hernandez-Rojas had punched and kicked the victim in the residence -- injuring the victim. Hernandez-Rojas was arrested for third-degree assault... and, was arraigned in Brocton Village Court. He was then sent to the county jail on 3-thousand dollars cash bail. Deputies say the victim refused treatment.
A more potent Winter storm will move into western New York later today after three straight days of warmer... but, windy conditions. That from National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Hamilton... who says we were still seeing strong winds across the county late last night. Hamilton says that strong, Winter storm is on the way for late Tuesday and Wednesday. He says computer models were showing that storm system would either be over the area... or just to the south and east. Hamilton says that's the difference between steady snow... or a mainly rain event. Hamilton said late yesterday there was still a lot of uncertainty about the amount and type of precipitation that the area will get from the storm. However... late last night... the computer models were showing the snowfall would mainly be to the north of the city of Buffalo.
Local Congressman Tom Reed has revised a proposal he is sponsoring aimed at lowering the cost of college... and, reducing the amount of debt that students and their families face. The Corning Republican says the change is being made to his 'Reducing Excessive Debt and Unfair Costs of Education...' or REDUCE Act. Reed says it requires colleges and universities with endowments larger than one-billion dollars to distribute part of the profits as tuition relief for students from middle class families. Reed says some of those funds are going for extravagant campus enhancements... such as state of the art gyms... and, rock walls. He's also calling for transparency regarding where the endowment funds come from. He adds that he's also signed onto two bills... one that makes it easier to take part in "dual enrollment" programs... where high school students can also take college courses while they're in school. Reed is also co-sponsoring the "Flexible Pell Grant for 21st Century Students Act..." which would allow students who are learning at an excellerated rate in college to draw additional Pell Grant funding.
A New York judge has scheduled arguments TODAY on a lawsuit challenging Republican Senator Ted Cruz's presence on New York's primary ballot on April 19th. State Supreme Court Justice David Weinstein is considering the claim by two men who say Cruz isn't ``a natural born citizen'' of the United States as constitutionally required for eligibility. Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada... though his mother was a U.S. citizen living there at the time. His father was a native of Cuba. Barry Korman and William Gallo argue that in American common law citizenship status cannot simply pass from parent to child. The New York Board of Elections, which put Cruz on the ballot, is defending against the lawsuit. The 45-year-old Cruz, a lawyer, was elected to the Senate from Texas in 2012.
Democrats in New York state have officiallly nominated U-S Senator Charles Schumer to run for a fourth term. State Democratic Committee members unanimously backed Schumer yesterday during a meeting in Westchester County. Schumer appears to be in a comfortable position with eight months to go before the November election. His favorability ratings remain good in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one... and, he has 24-million dollars in his campaign account. The Brooklyn native also is poised to take over the leadership of the Senate's Democrats following the retirement of Minority Leader Harry Reid after the election. Schumer says he will continue to focus on helping the middle class. New York Republicans will hold their nominating convention on Friday in Buffalo.
A former guard has admitted he unwittingly helped two killers escape from a northern New York prison by smuggling in tools. Gene Palmer pleaded guilty in court on Monday to a felony count of smuggling in needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver and two misdemeanor counts related to prison contraband and official misconduct. A judge sentenced him to six month in jail and about 5-thousand dollars in penalties. Palmer also resigned his $74,644-a-year job. Palmer admitted providing inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools and access to a catwalk electrical box at Clinton Correctional Facility. He was accused of giving them hamburger meat that had hacksaw blades hidden inside. His lawyer says he didn't know what was in the meat. Matt was shot and killed. Sweat was wounded and caught.