A Jamestown man faces several charges -- including Felonies -- after he was arrested for allegedly possessing a stolen handgun, and illegal narcotics during a traffic stop late Saturday afternoon. City police say a patrol spotted a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street at the intersection of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street about 3:30 PM... and, began a traffic stop. Officers say they found the driver, 34 year-old Shanis Garcia-Guzman, in possession of a small amount of Heroin, and marijuana, and a hypodermic instrument. During the search... police say they also found the stolen, 9-millimeter hand-gun, within reach of four youths inside the car. Garcia-Guzman was arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal posession of a weapon... fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sent to the county jail without bail.
Three people were hurt... but, not seriously... when their car collided with another vehicle on the Cassadaga-Stockton Road in the town of Stockton late last Saturday night. Sheriff's officers say 60 year-old Jeffrey Ball of Clymer was westbound about 10:20 PM when his car crossed the center line for an unknown reason. Deputies say the driver of the on-coming vehicle, 52 year-old Salvatore Sciascia of Cassadaga, swerved left to avoid a crash... but,the passenger sides of the two cars collided. Officers say Ball's vehicle continued across the road and struck the bank, and a tree on the south side of the road. Ball and his wife, 60 year-old Holly Ball, and another passenger, were taken to Brooks Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Sciascia and his young passenger were not hurt. Jeffrey Ball was ticketed for fail to keep right in Stockton Town Court.
A new parts maker for a St. Cloud, Minnesota bus manufacturer will soon be located in a vacant, commercial building on Jamestown's northside. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says New Flyer of America, Incorported, will be locating the facility in about 40-thousand square feet of the former Quality Markets store on Fluvanna Avenue. DeJoy says New Flyer, which is based out of Winnipeg, Canada, will rent the space from Shults Real Estate Group. DeJoy says the city, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, and New York state began working on the project early in 2016. The effort to get New Flyer began after Shults was unable to land a local Toyota dealership. DeJoy adds it's "amazing" how the company has been able to convert the old supermaket into a bus parts manufacturing facility... and, he says the expect to be up and operating in about two-weeks. The project became big news last Friday when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced another 39 businesses -- including New Flyer -- had joined START-UP NY across the state. Cuomo says New Flyer is a leading maker of heavy-duty buses.
A state trooper was not hurt in an alleged shooting incident last Saturday night in the town of Arkwright. State Police Captain Eric Balon... who is Zone-Three Commander for the State Police... says the incident occured about 6 PM on Route 83. Balon tells The Post-Journal that a trooper was running radar at the scene -- near Route 60 -- when he heard a gunshot. The trooper said he turned and reportedly saw a hand pointing a gun outside a window of a nearby residence and fire a second shot. Balon says the man "wasn't pointing the gun right at the trooper, but it was in his general direction." Balon says troopers and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Officer took the unidentified shooter into custody. No motive has been determined.
A Cattaraugus County man has been sentenced to just-over a year in prison for being found to be in possession of a weapon while he was a convicted Felon. Retiring U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior has announced that 53 year-old Salvatore Faliero of Franklinville received the sentence from Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. In addition, the defendant was sentenced to 15 months in prison -- to be served concurrently -- for a violation of his supervised release. Hochul says Faliero was on federal supervised release following a 2009 conviction of accessory -- after the fact -- when he was arrested on the gun charge. Prosecutors say state Troopers investigated a complaint back on November 29th of last year that Faliero was shooting a firearm from his vehicle. Two other complaints were also filed before Troopers were able to pull Faliero over... and, find a loaded rifle in the back seat. Faliero had been convicted in 1985 of possessing illegal drugs, and in 1998 for attempted burglary.
He wasn't endorsed by the National Rifle Association... but, Democratic Congressional Candidate John Plumb says he is a "staunch supporter" of the Second Amendment. Plumb, who is a Captain in the U-S Naval Reserves, answered criticism of his stance on the right to bear arms during a candidates forum on the Media One Group's "Community Spotlight" program. The Jamestown-area native says he is a hunter... and, -- given his military service -- has a weapons background. However... while he is a strong supporter of the second-amendment... Plumb does not believe that people on terrorist "No fly" lists should have access to guns. He sys its "absurd" that the discussion can't even be held in Congress. Plumb says his stance on the right-to-bear arms is another position that his opponent... incumbant Republican Tom Reed of Corning... has misrepresented. Reed recently received the endorsement of the NRA for his opposition to any further gun control. Reed and Plumb held their first one-on-one debate in Elmira last Friday night. They'll face off again in Mayville tomorrow night.
New York state's new online Department of Motor Vehicles system is proving to be a big hit. The state says New Yorkers have used the system to make more than 1.4 million DMV reservations since it went online in 2013. Many DMVs are seeing big increases in the number of people who use the system to schedule a time to visit instead of waiting in line. The online system also provides more than 60 services, allowing many motorists to complete their transactions without having the travel to the DMV. Officials say the website has helped reduce wait times at the state-run DMV offices to 30 minutes, down from an average of 72 minutes in 2013.
New York state will award local governments $45-million dollars to help them upgrade and modernize their emergency 911 systems. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the funding on Friday. Counties across the state can apply for the money. It can be used to modernize and upgrade existing 911 systems, expand emergency radio coverage or support 9-1-1 dispatch centers. New Yorkers pay a phone bill surcharge to support local 911 systems, but the state has regularly spent the money on other things. A coalition of county leaders and 911 center officials is urging lawmakers to dedicate more money to 911 systems, which they say are struggling to keep up with the proliferation of cellphones.
The statue of Robert H. Jackson that now stands outside the Jackson Center was officially rededicated Saturday evening. The event also marked the 15th anniversary of the Jackson Center. The keynote speaker was Tanja Beyer, attorney for the Consulate General of Germany in New York City. She recalled Jackson's role at the Nuremberg war crimes trials 70 years ago. The statue, created by Dexter Benedict of Penn Yan, New York... was moved earlier this year from Love School to the corner of 4th and Prendergast, downtown.
The Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band... in its first year in the National Class... finished 8th out of 8 in the state championships in Syracuse Sunday. Jamestown's show, 'Crazy Train', earned 87.75 points. Arlington,from the lower Hudson Valley, won the class with a score of 96.75.
The Falconer Marching Band also competed at the show at the Carrier Dome in the Small School 3 division, finishing 11th, with 66 points.
Horrigan reacts to Cuomo's announcement on New Flyer Bus Company coming to Jamestown...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that another 39 businesses have joined START-UP NY across the state... and, one of them will be locating in Chautauqua County. New Flyer of America, Incorporated, a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty buses in the U.S. and Canada, will establish operations in Jamestown and will create 31 new jobs and invest over $1.5-million. County Executive Vince Horrigan says the project has been in the works for a while with the city, and the county's Industrial Development Agency. Horrigan says the governor's office wanted to make the formal announcement. Governor Cuomo says New Flyer is known for breaking new ground with the first low-floor bus, the first diesel-electric bus and most recently the world's first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell fleet. The company is working with the Shults Real Estate Group to locate a bus "parts maker" facility in the former Quality Markets location on Fluvanna Avenue. It has also become the first announced START UP-NY project in Chautauqua County.
The news about New Flyer comes on the heels of Jamestown City Council approving a $500,000 Direct Economic Development Loan from the city to help the business get started. In approving the loan... council members say New Flyer could bring upwards of 50 jobs to the Jamestown-area.
Horrigan pleased to see State Supreme Court judge rule in favor of county in landfill lawsuit...
State Supreme Court Judge Frank Sedita has issued a ruling in a lawsuit filed by Ellery Town officials against Chautauqua County and the State Department of Environmental Conservation, over the expansion of the county landfill. County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced that the court has ruled in favor of the county... and, he tells us that they will now be able to proceed with the 53-acre expansion, which will keep landfill fees stable for the next 20 years. The court heard arguments from both sides in the case back in July. Horrigan says the ruling was filed earlier this week with the Chautauqua County Clerk's Office.
Gerace pleased to see $100,000 in funding for "In-Car Cameras" for Sheriff's Dept. patrol cars...
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office can now move ahead with an in-car camera program... starting next year. That after the legislature approved a $270-million budget this past Wednesday night... and, County Executive Vince Horrigan signed the measure Thursday. Lawmakers removed about $50,000 from the $150,000 for the cameras in the original budget. However... Gerace says Horrigan stayed behind the program... and, says they'll look for ways to get all patrol cars outfitted. He says there's more involved than just putting cameras in patrol cars... and involves a lot of behind the scenes work getting servers, and other technology in place. He says they will soon begin work on the bidding process shortly. He adds he expects they will begin implementing the program next year.
DiNapoli says Wall St. in line to post record profits in 2016...
Wall Street is on track to post higher profits this year and end three straight years of declines. That's the conclusion of a new report from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who says Friday the city's securities industry earned pre-tax profits of $9.3-billion in the first half of 2016. Last year... the industry earned even more in the first half of the year but posted a fourth-quarter loss, ending the year with $14.3-billion in profits overall. DiNapoli says there's no reason to expect a similar loss in this year's fourth quarter, and he predicts Wall Street will end the year with its first year-over-year increase since 2012.
Audubon Nature Center in Jamestown announces new name, and expanded programming...
There's a new name... and, new, expanded programming taking place for the Audubon Nature Center on Riverside Road... south of Jamestown. The new organization is called the Audubon Community Nature Center to reflect on it's move into the north county, and just south of the state border. That from Audubon President Ruth Lundin... who says yesterday afternoon's announcement follows two-years of work to expand the community they serve. The programming will be included in the Warren, PA and Dunkirk-Fredonia areas. Lundin says the effort actually started three-years ago when the decision was made to expand membership, and participation at the wildlife sanctuary. She says the Sheldon Foundation provided a "membership challenge" grant... which helped them grow. Lundin says the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation helped with the Dunkirk-area program... while the Community Foundation of Warren, and others, helped out with programming in their schools. Officials from the Dunkirk-Fredonia... and, Warren-area's were on hand for Friday's announcement. Lundin says the Audubon begins it's Winter Hours next Tuesday, November 1st. For more information, call 569-2345.
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly leaving her 3-year-old child asleep inside her car while she was inside a nearby restaurant. City police were called to the 200-block of North Main Street just after 2:30 Thursday afternoon on a report of a child left alone, inside a vehicle. Officers say they found the child asleep inside the unattended vehicle. Police say they determined the child had been left alone for about 20-minutes. Police then located the mother... identified as 22 year-old Sarah Nazzaro... exiting the restaurant. Nazzaro was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child, and sent to the city jail pending arraignment.
An Erie, Pennsylvania area man escaped serious injury late Wednesday night when his car struck a tractor-trailer from behind on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman. Sheriff's officers say 52 year-old Daniel Rossman of Fairview was westbound about 10:30 PM when the accident occured. Deputies say Rossman did "significant damage" to his own vehicle. However... officers say the operator of the tractor-trailer was unaware that another vehicle had rear-ended it... and, continued westbound. Rossman was accused of being drunk at the time, and was arrested. He was later released with tickets to appear in Sherman Town Court. Rossman faces charges including Driving While intoxicated, and following to closely. Anyone with any information on the accident is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department.
County Executive Vince Horrigan says he can live with the changes the County Legislature made to his original budget plan. With that... his office says Horrigan signed the measure this afternoon. Horrigan says the 270-million dollar spending plan cuts the tax levy by about 200-thousand dollars. He says lawmakers did add some money back into his original spending plan. Horrigan says he's glad to see the legislature come together to approve the spending plan... which cuts the tax rate by about 7-cents per thousand full value. He says "stability and lower property taxes over the long term" were the goals going in... and, the legislature was on board with it. The 2017 budget has to be sent to Albany by November 1st.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the new budget, just approved by county lawmakers, should help launch two programs that are intended to improve public safety in the county. The $270 million spending plan that Horrigan expects to sign today will contain enough funding for a new Fly Car program. He believes it will help improve the delivery of emergency medical services. The budget will also contain funding to assist the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in implementing an In-Car Camera program. While lawmakers removed about 50-thousand dollars from what was originally budgeted, Horrigan believes they should still be able to equip most Sheriff's office patrol cars. He says it's a "world of video" that's hard to argue with now-a-days. As for the reduction of funding, Horrigan says they will see how the bids come in for the program. He says they can always amend the budget should the county find the extra dollars needed for the program. And Horrigan is not ruling out including additional funding in the 2018 budget.
The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County last month increased nearly half-a-percent to 5.5-percent. However... that's still considered a good rate for the area. That from state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says the jobless rate was 5.1-percent in August... with a total of 54-thousand-800 residents in the labor market. He says 32-hundred of them were unemployed. Slenker says manufacturing is among the sectors that has held stable in recent months... staying at 92-hundred workers. He says the biggest changes were in two areas in September and were "seasonal" in nature. He says Leisure and Hospitality was down 500 for the month... and, Health and Education was down 300 jobs. Slenker says all other sectors were pretty much stable for August to September. He says the jobless rate in Chautauqua County in September of 2015 was 5.6-percent. State-wide... the jobless rate increased from 4.8 to 5-percent last month. Nationally... the unemployment rate fell from 5-percent in August to 4.8 in September.
The Resource Center will honor the contributions of the late Mike Felice... and his family, by re-naming their building at Sixth Street and Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown. The announcement was made Wednesday night by Greg Peterson at the annual Disability Awareness Awards. Peterson says he worked with Felice, and his wife Laura, on many Resource Center projects dating back to the late 1970's. He says Felice was the "inspiration" for many of the center's corporations. Many of those affiliated corporations are now headquartered in the Sixth and Fairmount building. Mike Felice was also instrumental in the establishment of the TRC Foundation... that helps persons with disabilities throughout the county. Mike Felice died earlier this month at the age of 85. He moved to Jamestown in 1971 and worked for Trend Broadcasting, Incorporated, then owned by WKSN and WHUG. Mike served as General Sales Manager and later was promoted to Vice-President of the stations. He was then Vice-President of broadcasting when the stations were later purchased by Derrick Publishing.
About three-dozen middle and high school girls from around the Jamestown-area got the chance to see -- and hear -- first hand about manufacturing careers for women. "Dream It -- Do It" Western New York hosted a "Women in Manufacturing Night" at Cummins Engine Company's local plant in Ashville last night. "Dream It -- Do It" Coordinator Justin Hanft provided the students... and, their parents... with a packet of information... including the kind of money they could make. The local chapter of the American Association of University Women also took part in the program... and, the AAUW's Janet Forbes says they learned a lot of last year's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- or STEM Wars... at Jamestown Community College. Forbes says when they met the young women there... there was one overriding theme. They wanted to meet women who were involving in working in... and, helping to manage local manufacturing plants. In addition to the panel discussion last night... the students got to tour the Cummins plant.
The two-time state champion, Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band will compete in the state finals in Syracuse on Sunday night. But, director Meghan Murray says they'll perform their show 'Crazy Train' for the public before they leave 2:30pm, Saturday at Strider field. The JHS band was moved up to 'National Class' this year, the highest class in the Field Band Conference. Meghan Murray says they are up against some well funded districts from other areas of the state including the Syracuse and Long Island. Murray adds that if the weather is rainy, the 2:30 PM Saturday performance will be cancelle
Horrigan signs county budget after legislature gives approval Wednesday night...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he can live with the changes the County Legislature made to his original budget plan. With that... his office says Horrigan signed the measure this afternoon. Horrigan says the $270-million spending plan cuts the tax levy by about $200,000. He says lawmakers did add some money back into his original spending plan... including utility revenues, another $25,000 for 4-H, and cutting $50,000 for in-car cameras for the Sheriff's Department. Horrigan says he's glad to see the legislature come together to approve the spending plan... which cuts the tax rate by about 7-cents per thousand full value. He says "stability and lower property taxes over the long term" were the goals going in... and, the legislature was on board with it. The 2017 budget has to be sent to Albany by Nov. 1.
Legislature unanimously approves 2017 budget plan...
The final, 2017 Chautauqua County budget has cleared the County Legislature and in the end... without opposition. Legislators approved the $270-million spending plan 18-0. County lawmakers removed about $200,000 in spending from the original plan submitted by County Executive Vince Horrigan. Legislator Terry Niebel did proposed an amendment that would have reduced the tax levy by $300,000 through the use of a portion of unbudgeted intergovernmental transfer payments from the former County Home. Only Niebel and Legislator Bob Scudder of Fredonia supported the amendment that failed. Both went on to support the final budget. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he was glad the legislature came together in the end to approve the spending plan.
Horrigan further discusses new programs in the 2017 budget...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the new budget, just approved by county lawmakers, should help launch two programs that are intended to improve public safety in the county. The $270-million spending plan that Horrigan expects to sign today will contain enough funding for a new Fly Car program. He believes the three new Fly-Cars will help improve the delivery of emergency medical services, in partnership with local volunteer fire companies. The budget will also contain funding to assist the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in implementing an In-Car Camera program. While lawmakers removed about $50,000 from what was originally budgeted, Horrigan believes they should still be able to equip most Sheriff's office patrol cars. He says their needed because it's a world of video... and, it's "hard to argue with video." As for the reduction of funding, Horrigan says they will see how the bids come in for the program. He says they can always amend the budget should the county find the extra dollars needed for the program. And Horrigan is not ruling out including additional funding in the 2018 budget.
Chautauqua Co. jobless rate goes up 4-tenths of a percent in September...
The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County last month increased nearly half-a-percent to 5.5-percent. However... that's still considered a good rate for the area. That from state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says the jobless rate was 5.1-percent in August... with a total of 54,800 residents in the labor market. He says 3,200 of them were unemployed. Slenker says manufacturing is among the sectors that has held stable in recent months... staying at 9,200 workers. He says the biggest changes were in two areas in September and were "seasonal" in nature. He says Leisure and Hospitality was down 500 for the month... and, Health and Education was down 300 jobs. Slenker says all other sectors were pretty much stable for August to September. He says the jobless rate in Chautauqua County in September of 2015 was 5.6-percent. State-wide... the jobless rate increased from 4.8 to 5-percent last month. Nationally... the unemployment rate fell from 5-percent in August to 4.8 in September.
Cattaraugus County jobless rate up slightly...
The jobless rate in Cattaraugus County went up slightly in September... to 5.3-percent from 5.2 in August. Labor Analyst John Slenker says the situation was similar to Chautauqua County... with 32,500 people employed... which is up 200 for the year. Slenker says one area... including higher education... was up the most of any catagory. He says Education and Health went up 600... due mainly to additions at St. Bonaventure University just outside of Olean. Slenker adds that leisure and hospitality was also up for the month by 200 jobs. He says the unemployment rate in Cattaraugus is also down from 5.5-percent in September of 2015.
Jamestown woman arrested for allegedly being found with "large quantity" of Crystal Meth...
A city woman is jailed without bail after she ws allegedly found in possession of a "large quantity" of Crystal Methamphetime during a traffic stop late Tuesday. Jamestown police say officers pulled over 30 year-old Celeste Carr's mini-van at the corner of East Second Street and Foote Avenue for texting while driving. Police, though, say Carr was ordered to get out after they found she was driving with a suspended license. Officers say Carr then tried to start the vehicle and drive off when they jumped into the vehicle, and stopped it. Police then accuse Carr of fighting with them to get her out of the vehicle. Following her arrest... officers found the crystal Meth, a digital scale, and other drug paraphernalia. She was arraigned on several charges... including two Felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, first-degree reckless endangerment. Carr was sent to the county jail lock-up.
How best to deal with the local Heroin and Opioid Abuse problem is the biggest issue facing Chautauqua County. That was the consensus of candidates on hand for a south county candidates forum in Jamestown last night. However... Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson -- a Democrat -- and Republican challenger Jason Schmidt... differ on how to get there. Swanson... who's been with the local D-A's office for four-years... stressed the need to build partnerships with local police and other agencies. Former Assistant District Attorney Jason Schmidt has headed up his own criminal defense attorney's practice since leaving the local D-A's office in 2009. Schmidt says he has laid out a plan to deal aggressively with the drug trafficking issue. Swanson touted the fact that he's been endorsed by five, local police organizations in his run for a full, D-A Term. Schmidt contends he hasn't received any because he's represented several dealers, aggressively, and rubbed some in the police ranks the wrong way.
The two candidates for Family Court Judge also answered questions during the forum at Jamestown Community College. Both Republican Mike Sullivan and Democrat Sally Jaroszynski touted 25 years each in working on cases in Family Court. Jaroszynski... whose from Falconer... says in addition to drugs... mental health, domestic violence and poverty are also big issues. Sullivan says he's not only been involved with Family Court... but, development of it's Drug Treatment Court component. He says treatment works... but, adds the commitment to make it work sometimes isn't there. Last night's forum was put on by JCC, the county's League of Women Voters... and, the local chapter of the American Association of University Women.
There are just two weeks until Election Day... and, there's been an increase in the amount of activity at the Chautauqua County Board of Elections. Officials say they have received a lot of inquiries about writing in a candidate for President. Republican Elections Commission Brian Abram says the State Board of Elections has prepared a list of official write-in candidates. So... a vote for anyone other than those appearing on the official list will not be counted. On another voting related matter, the County Board of Elections says there is still time for residents to take part in absentee voting. Abram says one-stop absentee voting is available at the Board of Elections in Mayville... and, the office will have extended hours until 7 tomorrow night... and, November 2nd until 7 PM. To be eligible for an absentee ballot, a voter must plan to be out of town on Election Day. Voters who have a permanent or temporary physical disability or who are a caregiver to a voter with a physical disability, can also apply for an absentee ballot.
More results of water tests from area schools are starting to trickle in. The Pine Valley Central School has become the fourth area district to report elevated levels of lead in a water source. In a letter to the district... Superintendent Scott Payne indicated that a total of 66 water samples were tested... and, only one showed lead levels above the 15 parts per billion threshold. The water sample came from an infrequently used hand wash sink located in the kitchen at Pine Valley Elementary School. Payne indicated that the district is taking a number of steps to correct the problem.
City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved a local law that would allow the city to exceed the state's 2-percent property tax cap in the 2017 budget. The measure was approved at Monday night's voting session, 8-to-1. First-Ward Councilman Brent Sheldon cast the lone "no" vote. The city lawmakers have approved the move in the past... but, have not needed to exceed the cap. However... Mayor Sam Teresi's 35-milion dollar proposal includes a point-96 percent tax increase -- which would bring the city to it's constitutional taxing limit. Council President Greg Rabb says they're still looking for ways to bring the increase below the cap limit of point-69 percent. Rabb says lawmakers don't intend to exceed the cap... but, may have no choice this year, given the city's financial condition. Even with the maximum, 150-thousand dollar tax levy increase... Mayor Teresi's proposal includes an 878-thousand dollar shortfall. The tax levy increase is currently about 43-thousand dollars over the tax cap. Teresi says he will hold a public hearing on the override local law on Monday, November 7th, at 9 AM.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are up slightly this week... about a penny to just over 2-dollars-34 cents a gallon. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for regular, unleaded fuel was just over 2-dollars-33 cents last week. Nationally... Triple-A says the price is down two-cents a gallon to 2--22 a gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports the average price has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days... for a total savings of 4 cents per gallon. The National average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June at 2-dollars-39 cents a gallon. This year’s seasonal refinery maintenance continues across the United States and select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of planned and unplanned maintenance.
A judge has allowed the New York Farm Bureau to intervene in a lawsuit that could dramatically affect farm wages in the state. The New York Civil Liberties Union in May filed a legal challenge to a state law that prohibits farmworkers from unionizing. The NYCLU claims the law is unconstitutional, while opponents say allowing unions on farms could lead to higher labor costs and strikes among New York's 60-thousand agricultural workers. A state judge recently granted the Farm Bureau's motion to intervene. The farmers' group says they intend to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Governor Andrew Cuomo decided his administration would not seek to defend the law in the face of the lawsuit by the NYCLU.
A New York man has denied charges that he brought 280 bags of heroin emblazoned with "Donald Trump" into Vermont. The Rutland Herald reports 29-year-old Danny Main Jr. of Hoosick Falls, New York, pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony count of trafficking heroin from out of state. Defense attorney Frederick Bragdon said if Main had heroin, it was for his own personal use and not for sale. Main allegedly told police during his July 26 arrest he was bringing the drugs to three customers. It's common for heroin dealers to put stamps on packages as a way of branding their drugs. The names are frequently taken from pop culture.
The vacant building that partially collapsed last Thursday night on Jamestown's eastside has now been stablized, and, the rest will be torn down once the proper permits have been obtained. That from City Development Director Vince DeJoy... who updated the City Council prior to last night's voting session on the structure at 10-to-12 East Second Street. DeJoy adds that they've also been able to get the title to the building transferred from the Chautauqua Housing and Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation to the Chautauqua County Landbank.
DeJoy says that is great news... because final demolition costs are expected to be between 150-thousand and 200-thousand dollars. He says he's never seen a title able to be transferred that quickly. DeJoy says the "emergency demolition" is now over... and, the contractor is getting the necessary permits to finish the job. He says it takes about 10-days to get the permits for the "controlled" demolition. The construction and demolition debris will be taken to the Chautauqua County Landfill. DeJoy says about 50-percent of the three-story structure remains between the Fenton and Pintagro Buildings. He says once the structure is down, a decision will be made on what to do to make the property safe.
City lawmakers have approved a couple of moves designed to make operations more efficient... and, save money. The City Council unanimously approved using 555-thousand dollars in restructuring money from the state to change out 900 existing street and security lights with more efficient LED fixtures. Council President Greg Rabb says that's about 25-percent of all the city's lights. Rabb says the Fleet Management Study has been suggested by the Public Works Department's Pat Monahan... who believes the city... and, it's Board of Public Utilities... can do better in that area. Rabb says the study by Mercury Asscoates will cost 58-thousand dollars. The cost for that will also be picked up by the state's Restructuring Board... which has made 5-million dollars available to the city to make these moves. Back to the LED lights... Rabb says the city will also be converting the Main Street and Cherry Street Ramps to the new lights.
No one was hurt... but, a town of Kiantone family has been left homeless following a fire about mid-evening Sunday. Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say Kiantone fire crews were called to the scene at 679 Kiantone Road shortly before 9:30 PM. Kiantone was joined at the scene by firefighters from Falconer, Panama, Kennedy, Busti, and Lakewood. Dispatchers say the blaze was knocked down by 11 PM... and, crews were dousing hot-spots. The local Red Cross is assisting the family involved. The cause is under investigation.
Dunkirk Police have arrested a 37-year-old man after he allegedly fired a gunshot at a location on Columbus Avenue early last Sunday morning. Officers heard the gunshot around 4:30 AM... and, through investigation... determined that Raven Bush of Deer Street allegedly shot one round from a pistol in front of 613 Columbus Avenue, which caused another person to fear for their life. Police took Bush into custody and recovered the loaded pistol. Bush was also found to have a previous Felony conviction prohibiting him from possession of the pistol. He's been charged with second-degree and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... both Felonies. He's also charged with second-degree menacing. Bush was arraigned in City Court... and, held without bail. Police were assisted by Fredonia Police and the State Police.
Three elementary schools in northern Chautauqua County are among those found in early state testing to have elevated lead levels in their water. Parents were recently notified in the Fredonia, Forestville and Silver Creek School Districts. They were among the first 11 districts in Western New York to have notices sent out. Water Specialist Bill Boria with the county's Department of Health and Human Services says the levels in those districts was above the "Action Level" of 15-parts per billion. Boria says the findings for elementary schools may be somewhat skewed because levels were taken from every fixture, in addition to those used for drinking and cooking. He says the fixtures that aren't used that often tend to have more lead found in them. Boria says the state had not sent out any written guidance for schools on what fixtures needed to be tested... and, what didn't... prior to the elementary school testing deadline in late September.
Local State Senator Cathy Young recently announced -- formally -- her re-election bid to the Senate in Albany. But, Young is not only concerned about her own re-election... but, whether Republicans can maintain their majority in the New York State Senate. During a recent stop in Dunkirk, Young spoke about the situation that Republicans are facing in the Senate. Young, an 11 year-veteran of the State Senate, is facing a challenge from Democrat Lee Hyson of Salamanca. She won run-off 12 years ago for the 57th Senate Seat after former Senator Pat McGee died while in office.
Democratic Congressional Candidate John Plumb is getting the backing of a former Southern Tier Congressman from Jamestown. Former City Mayor, and Lieutenant Governor Stan Lundine has officially endorsed Plumb in his race against incumbant Congressman Tom Reed. Lundine says he's "excited" about Plumb’s candidacy for Congress. He says -- "I’m confident that John’s military experience and strong roots in the Southern Tier will make him an excellent and independent advocate for our entire region. I believe he will serve with the honor and integrity that has been ingrained in him through over two decades of service as a U.S. Navy Officer." Plumb... who is now a Captain in the U-S Navy... says he's "honored" by the endorsement. The Lakewood man says Lundine always "put the needs of our rural communities first, bringing people together to find solutions that benefited the entire region."
New York's Senate race this year pits an established incumbent in line to become the top Democrat in the Senate against a little-known lawyer who lost her last race in a landslide. Republican Wendy Long has attracted scant attention and polls show her with little chance of defeating three-term Democrat Senator Charles Schumer. As Schumer airs TV ads around the state promoting his work for New Yorkers, Long casts herself and Donald Trump as fellow warriors fighting the elite establishment. Schumer hasn't faced a serious challenge in this heavily Democratic state since winning his Senate seat in 1998. He's expected to succeed retiring Senator Harry Reid of Nevada as leader of Senate Democrats next year, meaning he would become majority leader if Democrats retake the Senate.
It'll be a night filled with fun and games when the city of Jamestown hosts it's 32nd annual Halloween Fun-Fest next week at the former Allen Park Ice Rink. City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the event next Monday night runs from 6-to-8 PM... the same at trick-or-treat hours in the city. Ciesla-Hanley says the free event is held as an "alternative" to trick-or-treating and is held indoors, and in a safe environment. Ciesla-Hanley says the one rule they have is children under the age of 6 must have an adult with them... and, if you're over the age of 12... you must have a child with you. She says the music this year will be provided by "Take-2..." which has been a staple at the city's annual Labor Day Festival. Ciesla-Hanley says they'll be performing age-appropriate Halloween music, and more. In addition to the city... Ciesla-Hanley says the sponsors include Northwest Savings Bank... and, the Jamestown Cycle Shop... which is providing the two bicycles that'll be awarded as grand prizes for the costume contests. The Media One Group... which is a media sponsor of the event.
A Kennedy man has been arrested after allegedly being found in the basement of a home on Jamstown's northside early yesterday morning. City police were called to the scene at 346 Crossman Street shortly before 1 AM. On arrival... officers set up a perimeter around the house... and, brought in K-9 Mitchell to try and find the suspect. Police say the K-9 searched... and, found 28 year-old James Tuttle hidding under the basement stairs. Tuttle was arrested for second-degree burglary... third-degree criminal mischief... second-degree obstruction... and, being in possession of burglars tools. He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
Work is to resume this morning on clearing the scene of the partial building collapse on Jamestown's eastside last Thursday night. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the three-story, commercial building at 10-to-12 East Second Street actually had a smaller collapse earlier this year. However... DeJoy says Thursday's all-day rains were too much. DeJoy says demolition crews are being "very cautious" because of the structure's proximity to the Fenton and Pintagro Buildings. He says the building... which has been eyed by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation for re-purposing and re-development... has suffered from a lot of neglect. No one has reportedly occupied the structure for the past decade or so. Part of the back roof collapsed... and, that pushed a large part of the east wall out. DeJoy says his office, and the engineers have been working to get the building down as quickly as possible.
The "job is not done." That's why three-term Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed says he's running for another two-years in the U-S House of Representatives. The Corning Republican says he appreciates the support he's received across the mammoth, 23rd District. However... he says that's why he does town hall meetings for constituents across the district, and has now handled more than 10-thousand cases for the residents here.
Reed says he has worked on a number of issues in the House... and, has especially pushed the need for advanced manufacturing... saying it has the potential to "reinvigorate" the Southern Tier economy. However... he has also thrown his support to other projects... including the National Comedy Center in Jamestown. Reed says he's also worked to keep health care strong in the region. He says he will "put his record of commitment and accessbility to the people up against anyone." He made his comments for late weekend's "Community Spotlight" program. His Democratic challenger, John Plumb of Lakewood, joins us next week.
The confidential law clerk to Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley is running for State Supreme Court... and, she is the only candidate from Chautauqua County. Grace Hanlon says one of the main reasons she is running is that the county hasn't had a state Supreme Court judge from the county since 2003. Hanlon is one of four candidates seeking two seats in the 8th Judicial District. She tells us that having a judge from Chautauqua County can make a difference because they're familiar with the area. Hanlon says... for example... there was a Supreme Court Judge from Buffalo that presided over the case involving the sale of the Sheldon House in Jamestown. She says the judge, admittedly, didn't know what the Sheldon House was because he wasn't from here. The last state Supreme Court Judge from the county was former County Executive, and state Agriculture and Markets Commissioner, Joseph Gerace. The Eighth-Judicial District covers eight counties in Western New York.
A new report finds that schools play an important role in providing fresh fruits and vegetables but that creating successful farm-to-school programs can be a challenge for local education officials. The analysis released Friday by the office of New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that 43 percent of all school districts in the state participate in farm-to-school programs. DiNapoli says that while the state has increased funding for such programs, officials can do more to help school officials team up with local farmers.
A debt-collection company specializing in student loan defaults says it's adding 200 jobs in western New York, nearly doubling its workforce. The expansion of Coast Professional in Geneseo (jen-uh-SEE'-oh) comes after U-S Senator Charles Schumer stepped in to make sure the company didn't lose a federal Department of Education contract. Schumer announced last week that the company will now hire more than 200 new employees in addition to rehiring 170 that were laid off when the Department of Education was considering ending its contract with Coast in June 2015. With a new five-year contract secured... the company plans to start building a 15,000-square-foot expansion within the next 30 days and hire new workers over the next two years.
The out-going president of the Zonta Club of Jamestown has received the local organization's Zontian of the Year Award. Bonnie DeJoy, a member of Zonta since 2006, headed up the group from 2013-to-2015. She is a Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Trinity Biotech USA, has a daughter... Danielle DeJoy Moss. Zonta's president-elect, Rosie Papalia, says -- Bonnie has "supported and advocated for women locally and internationally. She was an organized and fantastic President. She's a solid communicator. She's a great representative to have from the U.S." DeJoy says she was quite surprised by the honor... adding that "it's what we do as an organization both locally and worldwide that means the most to me. We make a difference, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in some significant ways, but it all matters." For more information on the Zonta Club... go on-line to Zontajamestown-dot-ORG.
Airbnb says it will file a lawsuit challenging a new law in New York authorizing fines of up to 75-hundred dollars for people who advertise short-term rentals of vacant apartments. The company says the law signed last Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo is unconstitutional and benefits "price gouging" hotels at the expense of everyday New Yorkers who rent out space. The fines would be imposed on those who advertise a vacant apartment in a multiunit building for 30 or fewer days. Residents who rent spare bedrooms or single-family homes won't be fined. Supporters say the law targets illegal, unlicensed hotels that divert affordable apartment units from the residential market. Enforcing the law, though, will be a challenge. Despite a 2010 law prohibiting short-term rentals in multi-unit buildings... many are still listed.
Gerace says death of Deputy from medical emergency "stuns and shocks" department...
There's been a lot of support coming from around the community following the death of a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy who died from a medical emergency Wednesday while he was off-duty. Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office has received a lot of support after learning of the death of Deputy Kevin Link. Gerace says Link, a 16-year member of the Sheriff's Department, had a tremendous impact on the force and the community. He says members of his department are "saddened, stunned, and shocked" by Link's passing. The 50 year-old Link was the School Resource Officer at Silver Creek High School for about three years. Silver Creek School Superintendent Todd Crandall says Kevin genuinely cared for the students he worked with. For the past two days, Crandall says students have been signing a poster that has been hung in the school cafeteria with photos of the SRO. It will be presented to Kevin's family according to Crandall. Gerace says the Sheriff’s Office is receiving support from other police agencies throughout the area.
Jamestown Police investigating car theft, arson fire...
Jamestown police are investigating the alleged arson fire of a car stolen from an address on the city's westside. City firefighters and police were called to the scene at 62 Lister Avenue about 4:45 Friday morning... and, found the 2010 Toyota Camry fully-engulfed in flames. Police say they found the car had earlier been stolen from a home on Lovell Avenue. Officers say investigators are looking for whoever stole the vehicle, and then set it on fire. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call JPD's anonymous tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. You can also call CRIMESTOPPERS at 867-6161.
County legislature committee finds $203,000 in savings in 2017 budget proposal...
County lawmakers have been able to reduce local spending in Executive Vince Horrigan's proposed, 2017 budget proposal by another $200,000. That from Chairman Pierre Chagnon of the legislature's Audit and Control committee... which wrapped up budget deliberations Thursday. Chagnon says they did it through a number of changes to the more than $270-million spending plan. He says those were in the Sheriff's Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Chagnon says the panel did find about $90,000 in cost reductions in the Sheriff's Department... which is where the vast majority of additional local dollars were going. He says the biggest cut was trimming $50,000 to the line for new, in-car cameras. That leaves $100,000 to begin buying the new cameras next year. Chagnon says they also reduced the Sheriff's Department by $40,000 in the fuel account, anticipating that costs won't go up by that much. He says they also found some additional state dollars -- about $168,000 -- for DHHS. He says they also increased appropriations by $110,000... including $25,000 more for the county's 4-H Program.
Chagnon says the $203,000 savings will be split in two areas. He says one half will go to further the tax rate by just over a penny per thousand... cutting the rate to $8.48 per $1,000 full value. The other half will be used to replenish the county's undesignated fund balance.
University strike in Pennsylvania over...
The chancellor who oversees Pennsylvania's 14 state universities says a tentative contract agreement reached Friday with the faculty union is an opportunity for "a fresh start." The deal brought an end to a strike by professors that lasted three days and disrupted classes for more than 100,000 students. Chancellor Frank Brogan is thanking students for their patience... and, he's also praising Governor Tom Wolf for helping break the impasse.
City officials say part of delapitated commercial building on Jamestown's eastside is being torn down after partial roof, building collapse...
Structural engineers are back at the scene of a partial building collapse on Jamestown's eastside to find the best way to bring down the rest of the structure. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the three-story, commercial building at 10-to-12 East Second St. actually had a smaller collapse earlier this year. However... DeJoy says Thursday's rains were too much, and it forced an emergency demolition situation after the roof came down, and blew out the eastside wall of the building. He says the building... which has been eyed by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation for re-purposing and re-development... had suffered from a lot of neglect, and hadn't been maintained for some time. DeJoy believes the last use of the building was for a bar, night-club back in the 1990s. He says the Fenton Building is on one side of the structure... while the Pintagro Building is on the other side. DeJoy says his office, and the engineers are working to get the building down as quickly as possible because of it's closeness to the other buildings.
NWS forecasters say still the potential for plenty more rain today...
A slow moving weather system is bringing a widespread and soaking rain to the area through this evening. Meteorologist Steve Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said late Thursday that rainfall will be measured in inches... anywhere from 1 1/2 inches to about 4 in the Finger Lakes Region. The rainfall should help the drought that hit much of Western New York during the summer. Welch says there won't bring enough water to completely eliminate the drought. The chance of rain through today is about 100-percent. However... it's down to 70-percent tonight and 60-percent tomorrow.
Lead levels higher than safety standards call for at Forestville Elementary School...
Forestville school officials have notified parents about the discovery of lead levels that exceed state safety standards in the water that flows from the taps at Forestville Elementary. According to a statement on the district's website... lead was found to exceed state safety standards in samples taken from 23 sources of potable water in the school building. A total of 84 water samples were taken. The school is prohibiting the use of the water sources until a lead remediation plan is developed and carried out.
Young announces $500,000 grant for Point Gratiot Park in Dunkirk...
The city of Dunkirk has received a $500,000 grant from New York State towards various improvements at Point Gratiot Park. State Senator Cathy Young made the announcement during a news conference Thursday afternoon at Point Gratiot... and, presented the check to Mayor Willie Rosas, and other city officials. Rosas says the $500,000 will be used primarily to repair the roofs on all six of the pavilions at the park, and will also go towards improving the bathrooms in the park and adding some street lights as well as lights in the buildings. Rosas says those are much-needed upgrades to the park, and the grant will allow the work to be done without cost to city taxpayers. He says that's "huge" for them because the upgrades are much needed. Rosas says the city will now be looking to bid out engineering services, and that work on the projects will likely begin by the end of winter.
Out-of-State man arrested in Dunkirk for allegedly stealing motorcycle...
A Rhode Island man was arrested in Dunkirk Wednesday after he was found riding a motorcyle that was reported stolen in Boston, Massachusetts. Police were called to the 400-block of Columbus Avenue just before 2pm where they found 22 year old Jorge Rivas-Santo spinning the rear wheel of the motorcycle. Rivas-Santo spotted the officers and fled. He led police on a chase that ended up back on the 400 block of Columbus Avenue where Rivas-Santo jumped off the motorcycle and fled on foot. Upon inspection it was the found the motorcyle was reported as a stolen vehicle. Jorge Rivas-Santo was arrested and now faces charges including Reckless operating and 29 other vehicle and traffic violations.
Warren, PA-area Motorcycle accident sends man to UPMC Hamot...
A Pleasantville, Pennsylvania man was taken to the hospital after his motorcycle crashed into a car in Pittsfield Township on Wednesay. State Police in Warren say 52 year-old Robert Sayers was riding his Harley Davidson Motrocycle on Route 27 when he lost control while trying to pass a car just after 2:30 p.m. Troopers say the bike crashed into the car... and, Sayers became separated from the bike and slid approximately 162 Feet before coming to a rest on the east berm of the road. Sayers was taken to Hamot Medical Center in Erie Pa for treatment of unknown injuries.
The Panama and Clymer school board's have agreed to move ahead with having a feasibility study done on a potential merger of the two districts. During a joint meeting of the panel's Tuesday night in Clymer... the boards agreed to have BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke to work with Panama and Clymer Superintendent Bert Lictus to solicit proposals to do the study. Lictus says O'Rourke was on hand for the meeting... and, further discussed the process. Lictus adds there would first be a "straw poll" vote... then a "binding" vote by district residents. However... he says that is still a ways off, and he says it's important to get district residents all the information they need to make a decision. Lictus says they'll be working quickly, though, to get the RFPs out so they can get them back... and, decide on who will do the study. He says there is no definate timetable for the study to be done... but, adds there are only about "3 or 4" different entities in Western New York that can do such studies.
A Kennedy woman who has been a corrections counselor at the Gowanda Correctional Facility has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a minor inmate at the facility. State Police in Colllins say their Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 35 year-old Megan Trask following a recent investigation. Troopers say Trask is charged with Felony third-degree rape... and, Official Misconduct.
Voters in the Jamestown-area will get to see and hear all the candidates for Chautauqua County and state elected offices in one setting next week. The American Association of University Women... Chautauqua County League of Women Voters... and, Jamestown Community College will co-host the candidates forum at JCC's Weeks Room. League Spokeswoman B. Delores Thompson says the forum will run from 7 to 9 PM next Tuesday, October 25th.
Thompson says Minda Rae Amiron heads up the effort to schedule the candidates... and, the locations for the forums. She says the candidates for state office will be high-lighted first... with the two state Senate candidates -- incumbant Cathy Young and challenger Lee Hyson. Young has the Republican and other lines on the ballot... while Hyson has the Democrat, Working Families, and Women's Equality Parties. The other part of the first hour will include Assembly candidates, incumbant Andy Goodell and Jason Perdue. Goodell is the endorsed Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform Parties candidate. Perdue is backed by the Democratic and Working Families Parties.
A celebrity turned senior advocate was in the north county yesterday to announce an endorsement in the 23rd Congressional District race. Jon Bauman... who is better known as "Bowzer" from Sha Na Na... was in Dunkirk to announce the group he co-founded -- 'Senior Votes Count' -- is backing Democratic challenger John Plumb. Bauman says they like where Plumb stands on the issues... and, are critical of incumbent Republican Tom Reed's voting record. Plumb, who grew up watching Sha Na Na, says he appreciates having the backing of Bauman and the organization. He says it's an honor because he remembers watching Sha Na Na at his grandmother's house years ago. Plumb has been criss-crossing the district in recent weeks, speaking on a number issues. He's challenging Reed who is seeking his fourth term in the House of Representatives.
One person suffered minor injuries after their car was struck by another vehicle that apparently ran a red light at the intersection of Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive in the town of Ellicott. Town police say a 29 year-old Jamestown woman was eastbound on Fairmount about 8:30 yesterday morning... when she didn't see the red light due to the angle of the sun. Officers say her car collided with the other vehicle... which was northbound on Southwestern Drive. Police say the 19 year-old Panama woman was turning left onto Fairmount Avenue when her car was struck. Officers say the 19 year-old was treated at WCA Hospital for minor injuries. The unidentified Jamestown woman was ticketed for failure to stop at a stop light.
A broad coalition of environmentalists, anti-hunger advocates and agriculture groups is urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation giving farmers a tax break for donating food to food banks. Writing to the Democratic governor earlier this week... the group said the bill would address a growing hunger problem while reducing food waste. Farmers already donate millions of pounds of food every year, but say the credit of up to $5,000 annually would reduce the costs of harvesting and transporting surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste. The coalition's 144 members include the New York Farm Bureau, regional food banks, the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Cuomo vetoed the bill last year because lawmakers didn't include it in the budget.
Federal agents have arrested the owner of several western New York restaurants on charges he employed workers who were in the country illegally. U.S. Attorney William Hochul (HOh-Kul), Junior, says Sergio Ramses Mucino was among three people charged Tuesday with conspiracy to harbor aliens. He has pleaded not guilty. Mucino operates the Don Tequila and Agave restaurants in Buffalo and two others in nearby suburbs. Prosecutors say the majority of those he hired are in the country without legal permission and were paid in cash and housed at nearby apartments which he and the co-defendants rented or owned. Several employees have been charged with illegal re-entry. Mucino was released on $85,000 bail after appearing Tuesday in federal court.
Professors, students and supporters are taking to picket lines at state universities around Pennsylvania, including dozens at West Chester University, outside Philadelphia. Faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, affecting more than 100-thousand students. At West Chester, picketers are carrying signs and chanting "2, 4, 6, 8 why don't you negotiate?" Victoria Tischio, a full-time tenured English professor, says some 500 of the university's about 950 professors had signed up for the walkout. About 77 percent of the university's professors are full-time union members. The school's approximately 17, 000 students received an email from administrators telling them that the university will not close. University spokeswoman Nancy Gainer says students are expected to attend classes because not all professors will strike.
It felt more like mid-July or August yesterday than mid-October... and, we should see one more day of above-average temperatures today. However... the National Weather Service in Buffalo reported no new records yesterday afternoon. Forecaster Bill Hibbert says the mercury crept to near 80 in many areas... but, adds Tuesday's winds held down any possible records. Regarding the winds... Hibbert expected some gusts to be about 45 to 50 MPH... especially along the lake shore. However... speeds generally were between 30 and 40 miles per hour. While temperatures were about 20-degrees above normal... they did not reach Buffalo's record high of 82 for October 18th.
If Chautauqua County's additional point-5-percent sales tax had been distributed to local municipalities like it typically is... the city of Jamestown's pending deficit could have at least been cut in half. City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce lamented the issue following Monday night's initial review of Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 2017 budget plan. Dolce says it's frustrating... but, adds if the city was getting half of that additional sales tax, like the original was set up, it would cover the entire amount. Teresi pointed out that the sales tax was established in the late 1960s for counties to use for helping provide services to their communities... and, that it would also be shared with towns, villages and cities to provide other essential services. City lawmakers reviewed both the Public Works and Parks budget's on Monday... and, learned about vehicle and equipment needs... especially for the parks where some trucks are 10 to 12 years old. In the past... Dolce says city lawmakers have been creative in obtaining funding for such purchases... including borrowing money once the debt is paid off on some bonds. Late last year... the state approved the county's request to increase the sales tax by half-a-percent to help fill a 6-million dollar structural deficit, and replenish a depleted fund balance. However... in return, the state had certain budgetary stipulations that had to be met.
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to 7-and-a-half years in state prison for making and trafficking Methamphetime. Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 45 year-old Christopher Swanson received the sentence from Acting County Court Judge John LaMancuso. Swanson says Christopher Swanson was given the term for his conviction on three counts of third-degree unlawful manufacturing of Methamphetime. Acting D-A Swanson adds the defendant received 2-and-a-half years on each count... along with one-year each of post-release supervision. Another Jamestown man... 22 year-old Laquil Hilson... was sentenced to 4 years determinate in state prison. Swanson says Hilson also received three years post-release supervision after being convicted of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. A third Jamestown man has been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prision for one count of Aggravated Criminal Contempt. D-A Swanso adds that 31 year-old Michael Hetrick was also ordered to stay away from the victim for eight-years.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is continuing to insist that voter fraud poses a significant threat at the polling booths. However... the A-P reports there is a lack of of evidence that it does. Trump's running mate, Vice-Presidential nominee Mike Pence, says he and Trump will abide by ``the will of the American people'' on Election Day. Pence has suggested that the claim of a ``rigged'' election stems from Trump's belief that a biased national media is ganging up on him. Local Congressman Tom Reed is the Co-Chair of Trump's New York campaign. A few have called Trump's recent statements and actions, moves of desperation. However... Reed... who is running his own campaign for re-election to a fourth-term in Congress... is not. The Corning Republican admits, though, that there is some frustration with -- quote -- "some of the potential bias that has been uncovered" in this campaign. Reed adds that Elections officials need to remain diligent to potential voter fraud. But, he says there is no evidence of any wide-spread fraud.
The Business Council of New York has announced it's state legislative endorsements for the November 8th election. But... locally... the list is more notable because of who is NOT on it. State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is among those members receiving the Business Council PAC's endorsement. However... State Senator Cathy Young -- who has received the endorsement in the past -- did not this time. Business Council Spokesman Zack Hutchins says, though, that Young didn't get it during this time because she either had no sought the endorsement, or had not filed out their questionaire. Hutchins says Young still ranked "very high" in their most recent rankings of business-friendly lawmakers. He says most everyone's grade went down this election cycle because the legislature recently approved new, minimum wage increases.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are about the same as they were last week... at just under 2-dollars-34 cents a gallon. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price is determined by the average of 19 reporting service stations. Nationally... Triple-A says the average price has now dropped for nine straight days to just over 2--24 a gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports the average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago... but, remains five cents more than last month. However... drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year. Prices continue to wobble as areas of the country impacted by Hurricane Matthew work to replenish supply and several refineries across the country address planned and unplanned facility maintenance.
The Trolley Car Restoration Project is nearing completion... and there's one last chance to see it before it leaves the train station for Falconer. Bob Johnston is one of the leaders of the restoration effort. He says there'll be an open house on Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Johnston says a Ideal Coatings off South Work St in Falconer has volunteered a new space. The move is expected to happen sometime next week. The trolley, number 93, was used on the streets of Jamestown from 1926 to around 1938.
New York education officials are looking for feedback on several concepts being considered as the state prepares to implement the new federal education law. Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says a "think tank" with representatives from school districts, unions, parent organizations and others met over the summer to compile ideas. The 36 concepts outlined Monday include using chronic absenteeism and suspensions to measure student engagement and giving extra credit to schools whose students excel academically. The department will solicit feedback during meetings to be held around the state in October and November.
Buffalo public school teachers have a new contract for the first time in more than a decade. The Board of Education approved the three-year contract with a 7-2 vote last Monday night. The Buffalo Teachers Federation ratified it later in the evening. The agreement replaces one that expired 12 years ago. The contract lengthens the school day by 25 minutes. Teachers will have to start contributing toward their health insurance and will no longer have a cosmetic surgery rider. In exchange... they'll see a 10 percent pay raise in the first year, and 2 percent raises in the second and third years. Teachers also will receive one-time bonuses of between $2,000 and $9,000.
A New York Power Authority contract will allow 300 electric vehicle charging stations to be installed at public locations around the state. The five-year contract enables the state authority to make charging station infrastructure and services available to local governments at lower costs and with favorable financing. There are currently about 1,600 charging stations in the state. The contract is part of the Cuomo administration's broader goal of having 3,000 charging stations online in New York by 2018. The power authority has installed 100 charging stations at 37 locations in New York.
The city of Jamestown is caught between a budgetary "rock and a hard place" for next year. That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, as lawmakers began formal deliberations on Mayor Sam Teresi's 2017 budget proposal last night. The budget includes a 150-thousand dollar tax increase... which would bring the city to it's constitutional taxing limit. But, it also includes an 878-thousand dollar shortfall. Dolce says lawmakers don't have a lot of options this time around. Dolce says the problem is they don't project much in the way of any additional revenue... and, their costs for benefits -- especially health care costs -- are going up. Lawmakers have cut most departments down to the bone at this point... but, Dolce says council will look at any potential cuts -- or restorations -- that are necessary. He says they then need to look at the budget "structurally" to see what can be done to balance the budget. City lawmakers looked at the Department of Public Works and the Parks Department last night... but, no decisions were made.
County Executive Vince Horrigan says he welcomes the current budget review by lawmakers of the proposed 2017 spending plan presented last month. Horrigan's spending plan calls for a slight decrease in the full value tax rate. County lawmakers are looking to make further cuts to the local share of the budget. While he encourages a thorough review, Horrigan says lawmakers will have to be careful where they cut. One area of concern is the Sheriff's Office and funding for new equipment -- dashboard cameras for patrol cars -- given the spat of recent incidents across the nation involving police. Horrigan says he will attend this week's meeting of the Legislature's Audit and Control where the budget is expected to be discussed... along with any possible cuts. In a related development... Horrigan says Chautauqua County has received the paperwork for transitional aid to help cover the loss of revenues from the mothballing of the NRG power plant in Dunkirk. He doesn't expect in problem in receiving the special aid.
Jamestown police have now identified the 22-month old boy who died in last Saturday morning's tragic house fire in the city's northside. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the boy has been identified as Diandre Hubbard. Fire Lieutenant Bruce Sheldon says fire crews were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 8 AM Saturday. Sheldon says firefighters were alerted to the fact that Hubbard was still inside the second-floor apartment when they arrived. He says crews had to fight smoke and fire coming from inside, but, found the child deceased. Sheldon says the Diandre died in the area where the most fire was. An autopsy was performed at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office. However... the cause of death and the fire are still under investigation.
Chautauqua County fire investigators say arson is the cause of a mid-afternoon house fire Sunday afternoon on the Centralia-Hartfield Road in the town of Chautauqua. Sheriff's officers say Mayville fire crews were called to the scene of the blaze at 63-75 Centralia-Harfield Road in Mayville about 2:30 PM. Firefighters from Hartfield, Chautauqua, Dewittville and Maple Springs also responded to the scene. No one was hurt. County fire investigators say they found the fire was intentionally set... and, the investigation has been turned over to the Sheriff's Office.
There's three weeks to go before Election Day... and, the challenger in the local Congressional race says the incumbant is beholden to special interests. Jamestown-area Democrat John Plumb says that Republican Tom Reed accepted nearly 30-thousand dollars from Political Action Committees and major finanial interests last month alone. Plumb says -- in fact -- that the Corning Republican is very much part of Washington's "culture of greed and self-interest." Reed says that's not the case... and, that campaign contributors believe in what he's doing compared to what his opponent will do. Plumb's campaign high-lighted the 20 or so entities in September... including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley... who contributed between one-thousand and 2-thousand dollars each. As for Plumb and the financial contributions the challenger has received... Reed says he's not going to play "political tit-for-tat." He says he's worried about the "American people, and the people in his district." Plumb is a U-S Navy veteran who recently rose to the rank of Captain.
New Yorkers have again set a record for online voter registration ahead of this year's presidential election. Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced today (Monday) that 214,356 people filed online voter registration applications between October 1st and last Friday, the deadline. That's far more than the previous one-month record of 140,602, which was set last month. The single-day registration record was also set on Friday, when nearly 68,000 people signed up to vote. Of those who registered online this month, more than 122,000 are first-time voters.
The new chairman of the Jamestown City Democratic Committee says one of his priorities is getting new, young Democrats involved in the process. Long-time city businessman Jim Walton was elected to the position late last week... and, he tells us that he wanted to "return the city committee to it's former level of activity with regular monthly meetings... and, have an active and inclusive organization...." In addition... Walton says the committee has also named a new treasurer. He says another long-time member, Jim Olson, has stepped down... and, John LaMancuso, Junior, a local attorney, will be taking on that role. He says it's a little late to put on a push this "election cycle..." but, he says they'll be active over the next 22 days leading up to Election Night on November 8th. He says they're going to try to return to offering people rides to the polls... and, do a "get out the vote" effort on election day. While there are no local races in the city this year... Walton says they're excited about the Democratic candidates for office this year for state and federal positions.
City police release name of toddler killled in last weekend's fire in Jamestown...
Jamestown police have now identified the 22-month old boy who died in last Saturday morning's tragic house fire in the city's northside. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the boy has been identified as Diandre Hubbard. Fire Lt. Bruce Sheldon says fire crews were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 8 AM Saturday. Sheldon says firefighters were alerted to the fact that Hubbard was still inside the second-floor apartment when they arrived. He says crews had to fight smoke and fire coming from inside, but, found the child deceased. Sheldon says the Diandre died in the area where the most fire was. An autopsy was done late Saturday at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office. However, the cause of death and the fire are still under investigation.
Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of last Saturday morning's apartment house fire that killed a nearly 2-year-old boy. City Fire Lieutenant Bruce Sheldon says crews were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 8 AM. Sheldon says firefighters were alerted to the fact a child was still inside the second-floor apartment when they arrived by the boy's mother. He says crews had to fight smoke and fire coming from inside. Fire officials says they still haven't heard back from the medical examiner about whether the boy died from burns or smoke inhalation. However... Sheldon says the bedroom was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival. Sheldon says two other people -- the child's mother and an uncle, were treated after trying to rescue the child. He says both had smoke inhalation and some burns. No names have yet been released. Sheldon says firefighters had the flames knocked down fairly quickly. An off-duty shift of 15 firefighters and a shift commander was called in. Sheldon says another child alerted the mother to the fire. Crews were at the scene about 2 hours.
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly dealing Methamphetime during a traffic stop last Friday night on the city's westside. City police say they spotted the driver of the car, 39 year-old Walter Whitfield, using his cell phone while driving his vehicle on West Third Stgreet. Officers say Whitfield was pulled over near the Best Western Hotel... and, was acting "very suspiciously" when he was pulled over. Police say they found that he was wanted on several warrants out of city court. Further investigation uncovered several hundred baggies commonly used to sell illegal drugs... 14.8-grams of Meth... and, scales. Whitfield and his passenger, 35 year-old Lannie Philbrick, were arrested for second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia. Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
The Warren County School District will be back in session on Tuesday... following a "very productive" negotiation session with the teacher's union last Saturday afternoon. Media One Group News received a call from a district official Sunday about school resuming... but, he did not provide details. However... a press release on the district's website says the meeting resulted in a "conceptual agreement" that resolves all outstanding issues. At this point... officials say they and leaders of the Warren County Education Association are working quickly to put final details in writting. The district's press release adds that with the agreement in place, "both parties look forward to completing a final agreement, and moving on to work together for their common purpose of serving kids."
The Jamestown City Council formally begins it's review of Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 35-million dollar, 2017 budget this evening. Teresi says the spending plan would push the city to it's constitutional taxing limit... but, would still have an 878-thousand dollar shortfall. Lawmakers will look at the Public Works and Parks Departments during this evening's session. On this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program on the Media One Group stations... Teresi emphasized he wants to avoid borrowing money for operations. Teresi's budget plan already includes a couple of restructuring moves to save money. He says the most savings would be seen if 25 to 30-percent of the city's retirees would accept an incentive to take another Medicare Supplimental Insurance program. He says it would save both the city... and, the retirees a "significant" amount of money because they would be given an incentive to get out of the city's self-insured plan. Teresi says the city has "pitched" the plan to the New York state Restructuring Board they have been working with to try and find costs savings in the budget. The city has budgeted a 600-thousand dollar savings from the move. Tonight's session begins at 6:30 PM.
The union representing about 350 workers at SKF Aeroengine in Falconer has overwhelmingly rejected the company's latest contract offer... but, will not be going on strike at this point. That from UAW Local 338 President Rick Weilacher... who says the vote was taken late this past Saturday morning. Weilacher declined to give exact vote totals. However... he did says that union members will continue working at SKF while trying to work out a new agreement.
A Dunkirk School Board member who recently became the city's Public Works Director will no longer be able to serve on the board. Board President David Damico (Dah-mih-Co) says that Robert Bankowski had wanted to continue to serve on the board... but, had to step down because of state education law. Damico says... under Small City School Districts... the law says a city employee cannot serve on the board. Besides being Dunkirk's DPW Director... Bankoski is also a member of the Chautauqua County Legislature. The Board will begin an active search to fill the vacant board seat.
Donald Trump has some choice words for "Saturday Night Live." The Republican presidential candidate tweeted early Sunday morning that the show's skit depicting him this week was a "hit job." Trump went on to write that it's "time to retire" the show, calling it "boring and unfunny." He added that Alec Baldwin's portrayal of him "stinks." Saturday's show featured a send-up of the second presidential debate last held last Sunday at Washington University in St. Louis. Baldwin, who retweeted Trump's critique, has been playing him on "Saturday Night Live" since its 42nd season kicked off a few weeks ago, with Kate McKinnon depicting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Trump himself hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live" last November.
A Westfield teenager has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of marijuana... and, drug paraphernalia... during a noise investigation in the town of Sherman. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 76 shortly before 1 AM Saturday. Deputies say they found 18 year-old Brandon DeJohn when they arrived... and, found him with one-ounce of pot, paraphernalia, and a digital scale. They say Dejohn was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana... and, was released with an appearance ticket for Sherman Town Court.
The natural gas industry is challenging new regulations in Pennsylvania that govern surface development of shale gas wells. Drillers in the Marcellus Shale filed suit against the state's Department of Environmental Protection and the state's Environmental Quality Board over rules that took effect last week. The regulations have been under development since 2011... and, are the first major rewrite since energy companies began drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas formation. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group, says some of the new rules are vague, burdensome and unlawful. The lawsuit seeks to block their enforcement. The suit was filed last Thursday in Commonwealth Court.
New York tax officials expect about 350-thousand state income tax returns to be filed ahead of the extension deadline. New York residents who were granted a filing extension must file their returns on or before today. Once the returns are finalized, the Tax Department says it will have processed more than 10-million personal income tax returns this year.
Toddler dies in apartment house fire in Jamestown...
A young boy has died in an apartment house fire that occured on Jamestown's northside early this morning. City Fire Lieutenant Bruce Sheldon says crews were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 8 a.m. Sheldon says firefighters were alerted to the fact a child was still inside the second-floor apartment when they arrived. He says the adults were outside, yelling that a child was still inside... and, firefighters went quickly to the apartment, but, found the 22-month-old child dead inside. Sheldon says he hasn't heard back from the medical examiner whether the boy died from burns or smoke inhalation. However... he says the bedroom was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival. Sheldon says two other people -- the child's mother and uncle -- were treated at WCA Hospital after trying to rescue the child. No names have yet been released. Sheldon says firefighters had the flames knocked down fairly quickly. An off-duty shift of 15 firefighters and a shift commander was called in. Sheldon says another child alerted the mother to the fire. Crews were at the scene until about 10:30 a.m. The cause is under investigation.
Florida man hurt seriously in single-car crash in Ellicott...
A Florida man was seriously hurt when his car slammed nearly head-on into an embankment at a town of Ellicott intersection late Thursday night. Town Police say 20 year-old Aaron Nauert of Palm Harbor was northbound on Curtis Street... just outside of Jamestown... shortly after 11:30 p.m. when the accident occured. Officers say Nauert was apparently traveling at a high-rate of speed when he passed a stop-sign at the intersection with Horton Road. Police say the car jumped a ditch, and hit the embankment. Nauert was flown to the UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment. No charges have yet been filed.
Union members at SKF Aerospace reject company contract offer, but, are not going on strike...
The union representing about 350 workers at SKF Aerospace in Falconer has overwhelmingly rejected the company's latest contract offer. However... the membership will not be going on strike at this point. That from UAW Local-#338 President Rick Weilacher... who says the vote was taken late this morning. Weilacher would not give exact vote totals. However... he says union members will continue working while trying to work out a new agreement. The new offer from the company was for one-year.
BPU chief says board looked at several options before deciding to purchase natural gas pipeline...
Several options were considered... but, in the end... the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has decided to buy the natural gas pipeline that supplies their gas turbine on Steele Street. That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says the board decided the move was "best for our customers..." and, voted to approve a contract to purchase the pipeline from Emkey Transporation of Erie, Pennsylvania. Leathers says the $5.4-million dollar purchase puts them in a "strong ownership position..." and, saves their customers about 25-percent on their fuel adjustment cost. Leathers says the purchase will take 90 to 120 days to conclude with the state's Public Service Commission. He adds the Fuel Adjustment is the cost for the energy supply to make electricity. Leathers says they had a 20-year lease agreement with Emkey to pipe natural gas the 27 miles from Mayville to Jamestown... but, it was going to run out in 2020. He says the main company... Emkey Gathering... will continue to operate and perform maintenance on the pipeline and related equipment under a separate agreement. The system has been in use since 2001.
Rosas releases his first Dunkirk city budget...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has released his proposed, 2017 city budget to the Dunkirk Common Council... and, it does NOT include a change in the tax rate. The proposed spending plan totals just over $21.9-million, and it calls for the tax rate to remain at $17.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. Rosas says while cuts have been made to the general fund, all city services will remain unchanged. Rosas says he has also included "transitional aid" in the budget to cover 80-percent of the loss of PILOT money from NRG.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has bought a natural gas pipeline that will bring the fuel from Mayville to the Carlson Generating Station in the city. That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says the board Thursday approved a contract to purchase the pipeline from Emkey Transporation of Erie, Pennsylvania for 5.4-million dollars. However... Leathers says the main company... Emkey Gathering... will continue to operate and perform maintenance on the pipeline and related equipment under a separate agreement. The system has been in use since 2001 when the BPU began using it's gas-fired generator to make electricity. Leathers says owning the system will provide "cost certaint for our customers the next 15-to-20 years.
A pair of state legislature mailers from incumbant State Senator Cathy Young is again raising the issue of sending these to constituents during a re-election campaign. Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says... while it's perfectly legal... it's an "unfair" practice that benefits incumbants... and, at taxpayer expense. Green estimates the cost of the district-wide mailers to be about 50-thousand dollars. He says lesser funded challengers don't stand a chance. Green acknowledges that he supports Democratic Challenger Lee Hyson of Cattaraugus County... who is a private contract engineer who has "great fresh new ideas..." including term limits. However... he says Hyson can't match what Young is able to mail out. Green admits that Young is consistantly rated as one of the "most powerful" people in Albany... and, delivers for the district, and provides "great constituent service." He also questions the need for such a mailer at this time in the election cycle. Green says Young doesn't need to do this to get re-elected. He says it may take her election totals from "64-to-65-percent." The election is November 8th.
A spokesman for State Senator Cathy Young's campaign says Norm Green's statements are "patently false... " adding it's nothing but "fabricated partisan nonsense." In response... Bob Driscoll says Green and Lee Hyson are making a desperate attempt to mislead the public. Driscoll says the mailers were sent out in the proper time frame... and, says every rule was followed. He adds that while Young is fighting hard and working on behalf of the people in her district every day, her opponent has been "virtually nonexistent." He says the Young campaign has determined that Hyson... who does a lot of contract work outside the region... has only been at about seven events in district over the past seven months. Driscoll says Young stays closely in touch with her district... and, attends "up to seven events in just one day." He also says Hyson has not only aligned himself with "the radical New York City-controlled Senate Democrats... but, also questions how much he has even lived in the district over the past 16 years.
A young Jamestown couple has received the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce 'Person of the Year' award for 2016. Heather and Richard Turner III own Blackstone Advanced Technologies, a sheet metal fabricator.
Several hundred people attended the award ceremony Thursday night at SUNY Fredonia. The county chamber's 'Economic Development' award went to Peak'n Peek in Findley Lake, which welcomed back PGA golf this summer. Owner Nick Scott, Jr. says they bought the business out of bankuptcy six years ago. The Jamestown Chamber's 'Community Service' award went to Rick Huber, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association... on the front lines of fighting drug abuse. Huber thanked the association's supporters and staff. Among the other 'Community Service' awards was one presented to Habitat for Humanity by the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce.
Watchdog groups were in Albany Thursday calling on legislative leaders to hold hearings on corruption in state contracts, and to enact reforms. The recent indictments of former aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo on federal charges has dragged corruption in Albany back into the headlines. Dick Dadey, who heads the Citizens Union of New York, says they have a list of actions the Legislature could take to increase transparency and accountability in state government. Dadey says those reforms include competitive and transparent contracting for the awarding of all state funds and giving the State Comptroller the power to review and approve all contracts. He says they also want the state to give the public access to a list of all state contracts on a "data base of deals..." something six other states have already done. The most recent corruption scandal involves the awarding of more than one-billion dollars in state funds... and, allegedly involves a former top aide to Governor Cuomo... and, the president of the SUNY Politecnic Institute.
A state lawmaker says a recent bomb blast in New York City makes clear that the state should restrict access to explosives like Tannerite, commonly used in targets at some shooting ranges. Assemblyman David Buchwald, a Westchester County Democrat, sponsored legislation that passed the Assembly earlier this year that would restrict access to compounds sold with instructions how to combine them to facilitate a detonation. Tannerite is made by combining ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. Buchwald says the materials are easy to buy and press reports indicate its residue was found in the Manhattan bomb that hurt 29 people last month.
Most police agencies in Chautauqua County will be taking part in the next STOP-DWI crackdown in the county....during Halloween weekend from October 28th through 31st. Sheriff Joe Gerace says the county was recently awarded funds to continue the crackdowns during the state's 2016-17 fiscal year. Gerace says extra patrols will be out looking for drivers who may be drunk or under the influence of drugs. Gerace says the State Police, along with most local police agencies in the county, will be taking part in the state-wide crackdown. In the last crackdown... held during the Labor Day weekend, there were two arrests for DWI along with 137 other vehicle stops, arrests and summonses.
A Gowanda woman has been arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance outside Silver Creek Central School... and, resisting arrest. Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Dickinson Street just after 9 AM Thursday on a report of a disorderly person. Deputies say they saw 32 year-old Stephanie Hart yelling, and causing a disturbance in the school. Officers say they tried to calm Hart down and advised her several times to stop yelling. However... she continued to cause a disturbance.. and, as deputies tried to take her into custody... she physically resisted. Hart is also accused of biting the arm of one of the deputies, injuring him. The deputy was treated and released from a local hospital. Hart was arrested and charged with second-degree assault... resisting arrest... and, Disorderly Conduct. She was arraigned in Hanover Town Court... and, sent to the county jail in lieu of bail.
There is hope that the Teacher Strike in Warren could come to an end. YourErie.com reports that The Warren School District and the Teachers union negotiated for ten hours Tuesday. The school district and teachers union negotiated until nearly 3 in the morning on Wednesday. Both sides say there has been significant movement. Union reps note that they've lowered their salary proposal and increased the amount they'd contribute for health insurance. They say that saves the district $1 million. School board president Donna Zariczny says she hopes both sides come to an agreement next week. Zariczny says she fels the parties are close. The next negotiation session is set for next Wednesday at 5 pm. They are hoping that at that point in time a new tentative agreement will be reached and that the students could be back in class as soon as next Friday.
It's been a long-time coming... but, ground has been broken on the new Jamestown Honda dealership on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood. County and village officials were on hand yesterday afternoon for the start of the 5.2-million dollar project at 207 East Fairmount Avenue. The president of the new dealership... Bill McFadden... says they've "very excited" to finally be breaking ground on the project... adding it's been six-years in the making. McFadden says... with the groundbreaking underway on the 25-thousand square foot facility... it should take about 8 to 10 months to complete construction. That's great news for Zone Sales Manager for New England American Honda Motor Company, Gerard Herrington. He says it's been a long-time since there's been a Honda dealership in the Jamestown-area... but, adds soon there will be because they have a lot of "loyal local customers." McFadden says the new Jamestown Honda dealership will employ 45 people... and, be part of McFaddens other two dealerships to form an automotive campus. Of the 45 people who'll be hired... 10 will be in sales... while another 15 will be managers.
A Rochester man is accused of trafficking Heroin in the Jamestown-area following his arrest during a home visit to a parolee on the city's southside Tuesday night. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were assisting Parole officers at 222 McKinley Avenue shortly before 8 PM when they found a man allegedly smoking marijuana inside the apartment. Samuelson says 31 year-old Jemarr Smith allegedly gave police a false name, and he was arrested. Samuelson says the Smith was apparently trying to dispose of the 95 bags of Heroin. He says the suspect was obviously in town to traffic the illegal drug. Samuelson adds that he faces five total charges... including third-degree Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, and tampering with physical evidence. He says no gun was found during the detail... and, the parolee did not have any drugs in his possesion, either. Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown is asked to call the confidential tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Jamestown man has been charged with animal cruelty following a home visit to his apartment on the city's northside. City police were assisting state Probation with the check on 38 year-old Jose Ortiz at 853 Prendergast Avenue. Officers say they found a pit-bull during the visit... shortly before Noon Wednesday without water. They add the dog was "visibly emaceated" and had not been properly taken care of. Officers say Ortiz has been charged with an Agriculture and Markets charge of overdriving, injuring, and torturing animals... and, failure to provide sustenance.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are up nearly 5-cents a gallon this week -- to between 2-dollars-33 and 2-dollars-34 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says... entering the new week... the local average was 2--33.6 a gallon. Nationally... Triple-A says the price was up about 3-cents a gallon to just under 2-dollars-26 cents. The Fuel Gauge says pump prices in the Great Lakes region saw significant increases over the past week. Regional prices remain impacted by two factors - seasonal refinery work at key plants like BP’s Whiting refinery and replenishment of inventory lost last month, when product had to be moved from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to assist states in the Southeast impacted by problems on the Colonial Pipeline.
The north county woman who has headed up Chautauqua County's Finance Department for the past four-and-a-half years will be retiring early next year. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says Susan Marsh will be stepping down from her position as Director of Finance next January 31st. Horrigan says Marsh was appointed as director in April of 2012 by former Executive Greg Edwards... and, has stayed on during his administration. Horrigan says Marsh has also been a member of the Chautauqua Tobacco Asset Securitization Corporation Board. He says Marsh previously had a 30-year career in financial management in the Dunkirk area... last with Cott... a food processing company. Horrigan says a bi-partisan search committee will now be formed to look for a successor. He says they hope to name a replacement by the beginning of 2017. Marsh says she's "enjoyed working for the county for the past 4-and-a-half years...." and, says "it's been a pleasure working with the past two County Executives and helping to move this county foward."
A blaze that has destroyed a garage and damaged a portion of a nearby home on Mill Street during the early morning hours Monday in Brocton is under investigation. Fire crews from Brocton responded to the fire at 19 Mill Street about 3:30 AM. They received mutual aid from Westfield... Portland... Stockton... East Dunkirk and Rescue 71 from Fredonia. There were no reports of any injuries. Again... the cause is under investigation.
A group of students, parents and education advocates that set out on foot from New York City more than a week ago to draw attention to school funding problems arrived in Albany last Tuesday. The 20 walkers joined supporters for a rally outside the Court of Appeals before walking to the state Capitol, the final destination in a 150-mile trek that took them from Manhattan through Poughkeepsie, Catskill, Schenectady and other places. Organizers say the walk was meant to draw attention to the billions of dollars the state owes students in the wake of the 2006 Campaign for Fiscal Equity case that found New York was underfunding schools. A group of bicyclists pedaled 350 miles from Buffalo to catch up with the walkers for the final leg of their journey.
Public health authorities say the number of people who reported getting sick after eating refried beans at a popular Buffalo, New York fast-food restaurant has topped 160. WGRZ-TV reports that the Erie County Department of Health said that 140 people have reported getting ill after eating at a Mighty Taco restaurant between September 30th... and, October 6th. Health department officials in neighboring Niagara County say an additional 27 people have reported getting sick.
Taxes in the city of Jamestown would go up to the constitutional taxing limit... but, that still leaves an 878-thousand dollar deficit in Mayor Sam Teresi's 2017 budget. The mayor unveiled a 35-million dollar spending plan at City Hall yesterday afternoon to the public, and three members of the city council. Teresi says the budget increases the tax levy buy just over 150-thousand dollars... bringing the full value tax rate to the maximum 23-dollars-77 cents. He says it's the cumulative effect of five years of 'fiscal stress' brought on by "the Great Recession...." Teresi says... if there's any growth in sales tax... it will be minimal, and won't provide much help to the bottom line in 2017. He says the biggest issues are employee benefits... including increased health care costs. He also noted that 77-percent of the city's employees are under some kind of union contract... and, those negotiated contracts cannot be reneged on. Teresi did offer some good news on the health insurance front for retirees thanks to some work they've done with the state's Restructuring Board. However... that will provide more help in later years.
The Chautauqua County Legislature has set an objective of cutting the local share dollars in County Executive Vince Horrigan's 2017 tentative budget by half. The Audit and Control Committee has finished it's initial review of the approximately 270-million dollar spending plan... which includes a slight tax decrease. Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says it's the "best tenative budget" he's seen in the past three years. Chagnon says the local share in the spending plan is up 1.3-million dollars... and, that's almost solely in the Sheriff's Department. He says other departments are showing either some increase... or some decrease. Chagnon says the plan now is for each standing committee to review their individual budgets to find about 650-thousand dollars in cuts. He says member sof the home committee each know their particular budgets better than the others. Chagnon says Budget Director Kitty Crow pointed out during the review late last week that the Sheriff's Department has fewer outside funding sources... and, therefore is more dependant on local share dollars than most other departments.
County Executive Vince Horrigan's 2017 budget proposal is balanced by using another approximately 400-thousand dollars from the undesignated fund balance. Horrigan says that's to offset ongoing decreases in sales tax revenues, and other areas. Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says... due to the use of more fund balance in the budget... the panel is weighing whether to return the savings to fund balance, or provide a larger tax cut. The tax levy in the County Executive's budget is up slightly in the 2017 budget... due mainly to 2.77-percent increase in total assessments. However... the spending plan does include a 6-cent per thousand full value tax rate decrease. Chagnon says his committee wants the futher cuts to local share for their meeting a week from this Thursday. The legislature is slated to vote on the spending plan at it's October 28th meeting.
A Jamestown man looking for drug money has been arrested for allegedly robbing two local convenience stores last weekend. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says surveillance cameras showed the same man robbed the Kwik Fill Station on West Third Street in Jamestown just after 8:30 PM last Saturday... then the Kwik Fill at 700 East Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott just before 9 PM Sunday. Samuelson says 37 year-old Victor Rivera was able to get a "substantial amount" of cash from the two robberies. He says they worked with Ellicott Town Police to find the bandit... and, says a patrol picked Rivera up Monday on an unrelated warrant. While it appears the suspect may have had a weapon inside his hoodie... Samuelson says none was found. He says it had to be a scary situation for the clerk's involved. Regardless... Samuelson says Rivera has now been charged with two counts of second-degree robbery for the two hold-ups. Those are Class-C Felonies. No one was hurt in either instance. Rivera was being held pending arraignment.
The leader of a New York state research institute has resigned after being charged in a bribery and bid-rigging case that has shaken the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros resigned late Monday. His attorney, Mike Miller, said Tuesday that Kaloyeros had resigned because he didn't want his criminal charges to become a distraction to his colleagues. Miller says his client is innocent. Kaloyeros faces state and federal charges that allege he steered lucrative state contracts to hand-picked companies. He's one of several men charged in an investigation into Cuomo's high-profile economic development projects. Kaloyeros is a nanotech expert who led many of Cuomo's efforts to attract high-tech jobs. He has a salary of more than $800,000 and was the state's highest-paid employee.
The county's Congressman brought his "Working and Listening Tour" to Dunkirk yesterday afternoon with a visit to Fieldbrook Foods. Corning Republican Tom Reed... who is seeking re-election... says he is pleased to hear about the addition of nearly 50 jobs. Reed says he looks forward to working with the ice-cream maker in the future. Reed did speak about GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump's controversial comments on women from 2005, calling them "just plain wrong." But... Reed also reaffirmed his support for Trump because he believes the Billionaire businessman can create more jobs, and better provide security for the nation. It's the second business Reed has visited in Chautauqua County in less than a week. Last Wednesday... Reed outlined his plan to bolster American manufacturing during a stop at Blackstone Advanced Technologies in Jamestown.
A woman who accused former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer of assaulting her is being held on one-million dollars bail on charges she extorted nearly $400,000 from him. Svetlana Zakharova appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday following her arrest in New York. The 26 year-old openly wept throughout most of the proceeding. A judge set the bail after a prosecutor described Zakharova as an extreme flight risk. Her attorney said she had no reason to flee. Authorities say the Russian woman fled the U.S. after accusing Spitzer in February of assaulting her at The Plaza Hotel. Spitzer denied the allegations. Zakharova is charged with grand larceny by extortion.
The U.S. Senate's most moderate female Republican is helping Senator Pat Toomey (TOO'-mee) make an appeal to suburban Philadelphia women, a voting bloc crucial in the close Pennsylvania race. Maine Senator Susan Collins held up Toomey on Tuesday as an independent thinker who's made extraordinary efforts to break partisanship. Toomey is one of the Senate's most vulnerable Republicans. He's being challenged by Democrat Katie McGinty. Toomey needs to persuade Democrats to split their votes and win independents to overcome the roughly double-digit advantage Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds over Republican Donald Trump. Toomey has distanced himself from the GOP presidential nominee and on gun control from his party. But... Toomey hasn't ruled out voting for or endorsing Trump.
As Warren County Schoolteachers continue their strike there is word that the union will be meeting with the School Board today at 5pm to possibly discuss a contract. You Erie dot com is reporting that Warren County teachers have been working without a contract for more than 2 years, and the school board cut teachers health insurance benefits last week following the strike. Now many teacher's families are without coverage. The contract the teachers are fighting for includes a 2.17% percent pay raise. Also written in the contract, a savings of $380 thousand on health care benefits. School board members declined to comment.
Jamestown fire investigators say someone intentionally set Monday morning's blaze on a loading dock at a westside machine shop. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says the cause of the blaze at Miles Machine at 85 Jones and Gifford Avenue is arson. Firefighters were called to the scene about 6:30 AM... and, found flames coming from the wooden, loading dock. Salemme says it took about 10 to 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control. An off-duty shift of 12 firefighters, and a shift commander were called in to assist. Salemme says no one was hurt... but, he adds some smoke got into the shop. He says a sprinker knocked down the flames in the tunnel area. Salemme says no firefighters were hurt. Fire damage was confined to the loading dock. Crews were at the scene for about three hours.
The plaintiffs involved in the Small City Schools case say they have formally appealed the decision to throw out their case... which had been handed down last September 19th. The decision by Acting State Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor came more than 17 months after a lengthy trial held in the Spring of 2015. The case, known as "Maisto versus the state of New York," is a constitutional challenge by parents from eight districts -- including Jamestown -- to the State’s failure to provide their children with a constitutionally mandated "sound, basic education." Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says he's in "complete agreement with our appeal of Judge O’Connor’s disappointing decision. We cannot give up the fight for fair and equitable funding to small city schools, like Jamestown." During the time the case has been underway... he says the city school district has been shortchanged by more than 146-million dollars. He says a successful ruling in the case would require the State to ensure adequate resources and funding are available in these eight districts by fully funding the Foundation Aid formula.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he is continuing his support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as an "outsider who will shake up D-C." Corning Republican Tom Reed is clarifying his position after condeming Trump's 2005 comments last weekend as "just plain wrong, " and "I will not defend them." However... he says a "Hillary Clinton presidency is unacceptable." Reed adds that she "is looking for a liberal Supreme Court to enact her agenda. She demonstrated extreme recklessness regarding classified information and risking American lives simply for her own personal convenience."
A new, proposed "Fly-Car" emergency transport system in Chautauqua County would be a self-sustaining program once the initial investment is made. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who included the proposal in his 2017 budget plan. Horrigan is providing more details on the program... which was recommended in a recent study of EMS services in the county. He says they would establish three "Fly-Car" teams in the county at an initial cost of about 40-thousand dollars. Horrigan says a decreasing number of Emergency Medical Technicians... and, volunteer firefighters... is the reason for the need for such a service. He says a 'para-medical' will be part of each Fly-Car Team... which will be paid for by Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for their service. Another proposed "investment" is one-million dollars to upgrade equipment for roads and bridges. Horrigan says the problem with equipment in the Public Facilities Department became very apparent over the past Winter season. Work is continuing on his proposed budget... which the legislature is slated to vote on later this month.
General Mills is increasing its cereal production in western New York. A 25-million dollar expansion project includes the purchase of new packaging equipment, upgraded ingredient systems, and the addition of Corn Chex and Honey Nut Chex at the Buffalo plant. Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority each will give General Mills a 500-thousand dollar grant for the expansion. The grants are in addition to 5,100 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower and 500 kilowatts of electricity the plant received from the Power Authority. The company's Buffalo location currently employs 417 workers and produces Lucky Charms and Cheerios. The plant has milled flour in Buffalo for more than 110 years and is General Mills' oldest cereal plant in the United States. Governor Cuomo announced the expansion early last weekend.
An animal getting onto a power line is the apparent cause of a widespread power outage that occurred shortly after 10 AM Monday in the Celoron-area. That from Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says power was retored about 10:55 Monday morning. Robbins says the area affected included Conewango, Duquesne, Dunham, and Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott... as well as Livingston Avenue... and, Jones and Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. Robbins says it took a little over 30 minutes to restore electric power.
Turkey Hill is recalling some mislabeled packages of ice cream. The Conestoga, Pennsylvania-based dairy says some of its 48-ounce containers of Dutch Chocolate Premium Ice Cream actually contain Rocky Road Premium Ice Cream instead. Rocky Road contains almond and egg ingredients that could pose problems for people with allergies. The dairy is recalling all packages of Dutch Chocolate ice cream that have Rocky Road lids and a sell-by date of May 23rd, 2017. The dairy has told stores to pull the ice cream from their shelves. There have been no reports of illness.
Jamestown Firefighters are still on the scene of a fire at 85 Jones and Gifford. Fire officials say the call for the fire at Miles Machine came in around 6:30 this morning. An extra shift was called in to help fight the blaze. No word on the severity of the damage or any injuries. We will have more details when they become available.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a significant amount of marijuana during an early weekend traffic stop. City police say a patrol pulled over 28 year-old William Blakey on East Seventh Street at Lincoln Street about 2 PM last Friday. Officers say they found Blakey had a suspended driver's license... and, further investigation led them to discover 49.8-grams of pot in his possession. Blakey was arrested for fifth-degree criminal possesion of marijuana... aggravated unlicensed operation... and, several other vehicle and traffic violations. He was being held in the city lock-up pending arraignment.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of marijuana and cash after being pulled over for a traffic violation. City police say they, and State Police, stopped the vehicle on North Main Street just before 2:30 PM Saturday. Officers say they noticed a strong odor of pot coming from the vehicle... and, arrested 42 year-old Nathan White after he was found with 2-ounces of marijuana... and, 4-thousand dollars in cash. Police say White has been charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.
The head of the new National Comedy Center says she and other officials are very pleased with how this past weekend's fourth-annual Lucy-Town Half Marathon and Comedy Show went. Center Director Journey Gunderson says she was "thrilled" with how the two-day program went from Sunday's 13.1-mile race... to the near-sold out show for Comedianne Tammy Pescatelli. Gudnerson says the race may never draw "thousands of runners..." but, adds they do have a special niche. Gunderson says they added a "best costume" award for this year's run... which has featured people dressed up like Lucy in the previous three years. A couple of San Diego, California won the first award for being dressed up like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Gunderson adds that several runners expressed their appreciation for Saturday night's comedy show with Pescatelli. Back to the Half-Marathon... Gunderson says she announced first through third-place finishers for the Half-Marathon... and in several cases... people from out of town were announced. She says those included Virginia Beach, Virginia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. There was also a 5-K run/walk held Saturday afternoon... and, a 2-K Kids run before the Half-Marathon. Those events were sponsored by Univera Health.
GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump is under fire from Republican lawmakers -- including local Congressman Tom Reed -- for making vulgar and sexually charged comments about women that were caught on tape in 2005. However... Reed last weekend stopped short of calling for Trump to step down as the party's standard-bearer. In a printed release last weekend... the Corning Republican said women "are never to be talked about in this way. Reed adds that "as someone with eight older sisters, a wife and daughter I care deeply about, it is disappointing and offensive to hear these words." Reed's opponent... John Plumb... accused Reed of "dangerous-double-speak." Plumb says it's clear that Reed "made a self-serving political calculation that this is the best way to advance his Washington career, and the special interests that he protects."
There is a new Firefighters Memorial Momument dedicated to late members of the Celoron Volunteer Fire Department. Presiding over Saturday's ceremony at the front of the Fire Hall was the Chaplain for the Chautauqua County Fire Chief's Association, Peter Dawson. Dawson adds that the Memorial stone and new flagpole were being dedicated in "memory of those who committed themselves... and, have been called to their last alarm." Celoron Fire Department Vice-President Rose Nelson says it was an "emotional service..." but, adds it was an important one to hold. Nelson says Hinman and Crandall Memorials created the stone... and, they purchased the flag-pole from Ace Flags in Buffalo. Dawson called the ceremony a fitting tribute... but, was also able to work in one light-hearted moment. He says a firefighter once asked "why would any sane person volunteer to do all that is required?. Dawson says the answer is simple "sane people don't." The Celoron Hose Company also hosted an Open House following the ceremony... featuring food and refreshments... a bike give-away... face-painting... an Mason's fingerprinting for children.
Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, was allegedly involved in a brawl at his brother's high school football game in New York. It happened during a game between his brother's team, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, and Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School on Friday night. Buffalo police suspended the game. There have been no reports of arrests. The scuffle began after Chad's brother, Casey Kelly, reportedly took a late hit. Chad ran onto the field, and video shows him being restrained on the field by several coaches. Chad Kelly has been in trouble before. In 2014, he was arrested after a bar fight, eventually pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. The Buffalo native is in his second season at Ole Miss after stops at Clemson and junior college at East Mississippi.
Police in Warren County are investigating several alleged acts of vandalism in Elk township... not far from the border with Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. State Police in Warren say the vandalism includes stolen or damaged road signs... and, tampering with road barricades. Anyone with information on who may have been involved in these crimes is asked to contract Crimestoppers... or State Police at (814)-728-3600.
Friday proclaimed as "Manufacturing Day" in Chautauqua Co. at Monofrax...
Several current and "future" manufacturers were on hand near Jamestown to celebrate a day set aside for them in Chautauqua County Friday. A number of local leaders... and, about 30 students from Randolph... were on hand for a "Manufacturing Day" proclamation at Monofrax in Falconer. County Executive Vince Horrigan had been in Dunkirk earlier for a P-Tech Program with Athenex... which plans to open a major, manufacturing plant in the north county. In addition to the added jobs... Horrigan noted that several thousand people will be retiring over the next few years, which means the students will be the ones taking over these jobs. Governor Cuomo's local representative, Lori Cornell, was also on hand. Cornell says the great news of the Athenex plant start-up is another indication that New York state is bettering it's business climate. Cornell adds that Cuomo has also supports the program that sponsored Friday's program... "Dream It -- Do It" of Western New York. Cuomo supported the $500,000 Consolidated Funding Application grant for the program... helping it get off the ground. Some students later also got to tour Artone Manufacturing in Jamestown.
"Dream It -- Do It" director pleased with Manufacturing Day activities...
Setting aside a day to celebrate manufacturing is part of the effort to showcase job opportunities... and, show that the industrial sector of the U-S has come a long way. That from "Dream It -- Do It" western New York Director Justin Hanft... who was pleased with the turn-out for the program in Jamestown. Hanft says having state and county officials on hand underscores how much local manufacturing is valued. He says he was pleased with the participation. Officials say 17-percent of local jobs are in the manufacturing sector.... and, those make up 31-percent of local payroll. In addition... those businesses bring in about $4.5-billion a year. Hanft says programs like these are important in breaking the stigma that manufacturing jobs are "dark, dirty and dangerous." He says they're trying to educate to both the teachers and students. Hundreds of local school students have gone through the "Dream It -- Do It" program... which offers programming to expose them to possible careers in manufacturing. In addition to the stop at Monofrax in Falconer... many students today also visited Artone Manufacturing in Jamestown.
Former So. Tier Congressman, Amo Houghton, among former GOP lawmakers renouncing Trump for 2005 comments about women...
Former Southern Tier Congressman Amo Houghton has signed onto a joint statement with 29 other retired Republican lawmakers urging voters to reject their party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. The Buffalo News reported Friday that Houghton -- who was a moderate Republican -- signed the letter issued by a group of moderate to conservative Republicans criticizing Trump in fairly harsh terms. It says that, by nominating Trump, the GOP has "asked the people of the United States to entrust their future to a man who insults women, mocks the handicapped, urges that dissent be met with violence, seeks to impose religious tests for entry into the United States, and applies a de facto ethnicity test to judges." Asked why he signed the letter, Houghton told the News, "I want my name to be out there" in opposition to the GOP nominee. However... the former lawmakers did not endorse anyone for president.
City woman arrested following alleged Domestic incident...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly hitting a man's car... and, throwing several items at him when an argument between the two escalated. City police were called to the scene on Hedges Street shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday for a reported domestic incident. When officers arrived... they say the victim told them that 33 year-old Stephanie Lockett had hit his vehicle with a baseball bat... and, a metal rod. He also said that he was injured when Lockett allegedly threw several items at him. Lockett was found at her home... and, she was arrested without incident. She was arraigned on charges including third-degree assault, and criminal mischief.
National Fuel Gas prices projected to be going down this Winter...
It appears that home heating bills will remain at near record low-levels in Western New York this Winter season... unless it's a colder than expected Winter. Those are the feelings of officials from National Fuel Gas. Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says that on average, residential heating customers should expect their five-month winter bill to total just under $500-dollars. That forecast -- of course -- depends on the weather. Merkel says the cost will remain at $497-dollars provided the weather is more typical for the time of year. Among the factors behind the relatively low heating costs... says Merkel... is the abundance of natural gas and the lowest prices in nearly two decades. She says there is "cost-effective" and abundant natural gas being produced in several nearby states. The only bump in the road could be the return of a colder than normal, similar to two years ago.
BPU garbage and recycling collection will take place Monday...
While it's Columbus Day next Monday... garbage and recycling collection will take place as usual in the city of Jamestown. That from Board of Public Utilities Spokesperson Becky Robbins... who says the Solid Waste Division will be picking up trash and recycleables Monday. Robbins says Columbus Day is not a holiday for BPU employees.
Chautauqua County's Congressman was in Jamestown Thursday afternoon to lay-out his "Vision for American's Manufacturing Future." Corning Republican Tom Reed was at Blackstone Advanced Technologies to outline his eight-point plan to bolster U-S manufacturing. In his 10-page proposal... Reed said his "vision" includes the implementation of his bi-partisan 'Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act' which was approved by Congress two years ago. He adds there are two other important components. However... Reed says another key item is workforce development to make sure that people filling those jobs are well-trained. To that end... Reed was joined by Chautauqua County "Dream It -- Do It" Director Justin Hanft... who says the county has a "rich" industrial history Hanft says it's important for the story to be told about what's happening in the Jamestown-area. "Dream It -- Do It..." is supported locally by the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce." Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also on hand to voice his support for Reed's efforts to help manufacturers.
The union representing about 370 teachers and education professionals in Warren County is now on strike. Several teachers and other members of the Warren County Education Association were seen peacefully picketing in front of Eisenhower High School in Russell, Pennsylvania yesterday morning. An Association official delivered a strike notice to the Warren Times-Observer this part Monday at 4:30 PM. The union is required to give 48 hours notice before striking. Association members say they have "lost faith" in the school board's willingness to reach an agreement. We have been unable to make connection with Warren County Superintendent Amy Stewart for comment as yet.
The man who has headed up the Western New York regional office of the U-S Attorney's Office for just over six years has announced he is retiring at the end of the month. William Hochul, Junior... says today that he will be stepping down after a 30-year career in public service. The 57 year-old Hochul says while the threat to Americans has changed over the decades... certain fundamental truths have remained constant. He says first... "the commitment of law enforcement to protect and serve the public has never wavered, and it has been an honor to work with these heroes. Second, the system in which we operate is truly the best the world has ever seen." Finally, he says "it has been a great privilege to be able to achieve justice for those who have been targeted or hurt by vicious predators, unscrupulous fraudsters, and criminals of every type." Hochul was first appointed as an Assistant U-S Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1987. President Barack Obama nominated him to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York in 2009. Hochul was unanimously confirmed by the U-S Senate in 2010.
One of the laywers chosen to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963 will be part of the latest event coming to the Robert H. Jackson Center. The center will host it's latest in it's 'Continuing Legal Education' seminars at the Center next Tuesday, October 11th. One of the center's Founders, Greg Peterson, says "Seeking the Truth: Scandals and Conspiracies" begins at 8:45 AM... but, the main part of the program will be an interview at 11 AM with Cuyahoga County of Ohio Common Pleas Judge Burt Griffin. Peterson says the first seminar will be a session that should be of interest to most people... and, that's "Estate Planning: Tranformational Planned Giving." He says that begins at 8:45 with Attorney Cameron Brooks leading that program. Peterson says the second part will be at 9:45 AM... and, will feature his interview with author Charles Fountain who wrote the book; "The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball." Peterson says they'll conclude with a luncheon featuring retired professional hockey player Craig Muni. The seminars are free and open to the public. For more information... call 483-6646.
The National Comedy Center in Jamestown is making final preparations for this weekend's 2016 Lucy-Town Half Marathon & 5-K race... and, interest is already growing. The Center's Executive Director, Journey Gunderson, says tickets are still available for Tammy Pescatelli, who will be appearing at the Willow Bay Theatre this Saturday evening. Gunderson describes Pescatelli as one of the hardest working women in comedy today.
Gunderson says Pescatelli's brand of comedy is suitable for the entire family. She says you still get tickets on-line at Lucyrace-dot-COM. Again... Gunderson says the show will begin at 7:30 PM. She says you can also get more information by calling 484-0800. The 2016 Lucy Town Half Marathon and Univera Kids 2-K will each take place on Sunday, while the Lucy Town 5K will take place on Saturday.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are down slightly this week... falling about 6-tenths of a cent... to 2-dollars-29 cents a gallon. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price was just over 2--29 a gallon last week. Triple-A says that's still above the national average price... which is now 2-dollars-22 cents a gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports that nationally... prices have climbed higher as compared to the previous week, even though many states have switched over to "Winter-Blend" gasoline and there remain abundant crude oil supplies. Triple-A says the national average for regular, unleaded gas moved higher each of the past seven days reaching today’s average of 2--22 per gallon.
Grape harvests are underway at vineyards in the Northeast where unusually dry warm weather this summer was ideal for growing grapes. But... in parts of New York and southern New England, where drought struck, some growers are seeing decreasing yields. New York, the country's third largest wine producer, was hit hard by drought in the Finger Lakes wine region. Gene Pierce, owner of Glenora Wine Cellars on Seneca Lake, said his and other vineyards are seeing smaller crop yields, ranging from a 10 percent decline to as much as 30 to 40-percent. On the other hand, dry weather can bring a more intensely flavored wine. In Vermont... which escaped much of the drought, Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven is on track for a record or near record harvest.
An investigation into a reported shooting incident last Sunday morning has led to the arrest of three people in Jamestown for allegedly trafficking illegal narcotics. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers arrested 20 year-old Emil Deprospo during a raid on a Barker Street late Monday afternoon. Samuelson says Deprospo is accused of firing a single-shot during an alleged altercation at 81 Hazard Street about 4:30 AM Sunday. Samuelson says Deprospo and the two others... identified as 18 year-old Kevin Philbrick... and, 17 year-old Donald Dean, Junior... were arrested. He says they found a quantity to powder cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills, packaging material... and, drug paraphernalia inside. Samuelson adds that Dean also faces one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly having a stun gun inside the home. However... he says they are still looking for the gun allegedly used by Deprospo in the Hazard Street incident. Anyone with information on the incident... or other drug activity... is asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A Jamestown man has been arrested in the town of North Harmony for allegedly selling more than an ounce of Methamphetime to an undercover police officer. Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 61 year-old James Bess, Junior last Sunday afternoon at a location on Stow Road. Task Force agents add that they also seized more than 3-ounces of additional Meth... as well as a large quantity of money and scales that are used to weigh the drug. Based on the alleged sale and seizure... Bess was initially charged with one count each of second-degree criminal sale of a Controlled Substance... and, third-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance. He was also charged with second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. Bess was arraigned in North Harmony Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on 100-thiousand dollars cash bail. However... further investigation led the Task Force to a motel in the Town of Ellicott where they seized several additional ounces of Meth. after a search. With that... Bess will be arraigned on a second count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance at a later date. The task force again urges anyone to call them if they spot suspicious... or narcotics related activity at 1-800-344-8702.
The Democratic challenger for Congress in the Jamestown-area was in town yesterday to hear more about what's been done... and, needs to be done to address the Heroin and Opioid Addiction crisis. John Plumb was invited by a recovering addict who works for his campaign to be at the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County. Plumb says while it was more of an urban problem years ago... Heroin is as much a rural problem now. More than a dozen people... many of them recovering addicts and their families... spoke with Plumb. One emphasized the need for a long-term treatment facility... and, transitional housing. Plumb says there are also some other options... including the use of the drug Vivitrol for "more serious" addictions. He adds that he's also encouraged by what he's heard about Drug Treatment Court. As for the campaign, he says it's been very well-received. Plumb says people have become increasingly frustrated with the politics of Washington. He is a former Naval Commander, who has also worked at the Pentagon.
A Westfield man has been arrested for allegedly trying to use a counterfeit 100-dollar bill to purchase items at a convenience store in the village of Mayville. Sheriff's officers say 62 year-old Rance Freeman, Senior of Walker Road allegeldy entered the Crosby Store on North Erie Street just after 5 PM Sunday... and, tried to make the purchase with the fake bill. Following a brief investigation... officers say they found that Freeman was the suspect... and, an arrest warrant was issued out of Chautauqua Town Court for first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument... and, petty larceny. Freeman was arrested, and arraigned in town court... and, sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars bail.
Chautauqua County has a new Veteran's Services Agency Director who will take over for the current director when he retires next month. County Executive Vince Horrigan announced Tuesday morning that Celoron native Greg Carlson will replace Gary Chilcotte when Chilcotte retires on Veteran's Day. During a press conference at the Veteran's Services office in Jamestown... Horrigan said Carlson's 'unique' military career before recently retiring from the U-S Air Force... stood out. Horrigan says Carlson served as a liason to the Army during a stint at Fort Drum, New York. Most of all... he adds that Carlson's passion also stood out. The new director adds that he's excited to be taking on this new challenge... because this is a "very patriotic" area. Carlson says he's not going to be able to fill Chilcotte's shoes... but, will benefit from his leadership and guidance while heading up the agency the past three years. Chilcotte says he'll be working with Carlson until he takes over in November.
County Executive Vince Horrigan also spent much time Tuesday lauding his retiring Veteran's Services Director. During the announcement of Greg Carlson taking over the position next month... Horrigan praised Gary Chilcotte for his "incredible work" done on behalf of the county's 11-thousand veterans the past three years. He cited the retired Air Force Colonel's work with State Senator Cathy Young to get a new "peer-to-peer" program underway.
The "peer to peer" program is designed to help address the issues facing veteran's who return from the battlefield overseas in rejoining society... and, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Horrigan says Chilcotte showed his passion for helping veteran's by being at events, parades, and nursing homes during his time leading the agency.
A potential raise for New York state lawmakers has become a campaign issue in this fall's elections, with many challengers saying lawmakers don't deserve more money following a wave of corruption arrests. An appointed commission is now considering whether to recommend an increase for legislators, whose $79,500-a-year salary has stayed flat since 1998. Some lawmakers, particularly from New York City, say a raise is needed to keep up with the cost of living. A decision is expected shortly after the election, and any increase will take effect automatically unless lawmakers vote to block it. Several candidates challenging incumbents are blasting the idea of an increase, noting that lawmakers have done little to address widespread corruption that has seen many lawmakers leave office facing allegations of misconduct.
The public process of determining which projects will be supported by the city of Jamestown's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant is underway. A kick-off meeting of the Local Development Committee with it's state consultant took place Monday afternoon. Mayor Sam Teresi is co-chairing the committee with President Michael Metzger of Blackstone Advanced Technologies... and, says they met with several state officials.Teresi adds that the money for each project will likely not flow to the city first... but, will go directly to the entities directly involved. City Council Housing Committee Chairwoman Marie Carruba is not a member of the committee... but, sat in on the committee meeting... and, says she was "very impressed." Carruba says downtown stakeholders are a big part of the process... and, a few of them are involved with the committee. She says there are more and more people living downtown... and, with that will need services that a "liveable, walkable community" can provide. The outside consultant for Jamestown during the final planning process is H-R-and-A Associates of New York City.
Firefighters from 13 fire departments responded to the scene of an early morning barn fire yesterday morning that heavily-damaged the structure in the town of Portland. The first crews reached the scene at 82-86 Thayer Road just before 4:30 AM. Brocton Fire Chief Phil Gerace says responding departments included several tanker trucks. Gerace says all the animals got out safely. Gerace says no animals... nor humans were hurt. He says most of the 13 departments called in responded with tanker trucks to get water to the scene. Gerace says they used two back-hoes to separate... and, pull hay from the barn to help stop the flames. He says the cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.
Police in southern Erie County say a Dunkirk man riding a sport bike with a group of other motorcyclists died after he hit a turkey vulture on a town road. First responders arrived at the scene near County Road 323 in the Erie County town of Evans Saturday afternoon. Town police say the motorcyclist had been travelling faster than the 55 mph speed limit when the crash happened. Police say the 25-year-old Dunkirk man, who hasn't been publicly identified, was thrown from the bike. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reports police say several turkey vultures had been eating a carcass on the side of the road where the biker hit one of them.
Federal approval of a new, artifical pancreas is "exciting news" for America's approximately 36-million diabetics... and, their families. That from Local Congressman Tom Reed... who says the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the machine for use by Type-One diabetics. Reed says he learned of the new tool in fighting the disease through the Congressional Diabetic Caucus... which he co-chairs with Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette (De-Get). He says the news is 'great' for his family. Reed says there were 340 house members who co-signed to support the Special Diabetes Program... which targets research efforts surrounding Type-One Diabetes. In addition... the Corning Republican also sponsored legislation which would require Medicare to cover Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems. He says they already have 260 co-sponsors for that legislation. Reed says the Artificial Pancreas... which is an external machine... is available now. He says it's a closed-loop system that continuously monitors blood sugar. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
There's been an increase in the number of new voters in Chautauqua County... and, state-wide. However... there are no local figures yet. That from County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green. Green tells us the board has been busy trying to keep up with the volume. Green says the increase is undoubtedly connected with the presidential election... and, there are indications that social media has been helping to stir up interest in voting. He says there have been a lot of new, young voters who have been drawn in by Facebook and other platforms. Statewide... the deadline for registering by mail is a week from Friday, October 14th. The last day for in-person registration is Saturday, October 15th. Green says they will be holding special hours for registering at the Mayville office from 2 to 9 PM on the 15th.
Officials at the Greater Chautauqua -- Jamestown Airport are looking for a new operator for the restaurant at the facility on West Oak Hill Road in the town of Ellicott. Airport and Parks Manager Bill Tucker confirms that the lease for the Tarmac Restaurant expired on September 30th. We have learned that the operators have now opened a restaurant, called Tarmac-Two... on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott. Tucker says the county will soon develop a Request for Proposals to find a new restaurant operator, but, declined further comment. It's been difficult in the past keeping an operator at the restaurant due to lack off foot traffic at the airport.
A possible strike by teachers in Warren County could begin as soon as this Thursday. The Warren Times-Observer reports that the Warren County Education Association officially delivered it's notice to the paper about 4:30 PM Monday. The newspaper says WCEA President Louise Tharp stated in the notice that the association's members have "lost faith" in the school board's willingness to reach an agreement. Until the strike starts on Thursday... the teachers and education professionals that are part of the union will continue to work. In Pennsylvania... the union is required to give 48 hours notice before striking.
Residents in the city of Corry, Pennsylvania are enduring another day without water unless it's been boiled. We have learned that an unknown contaminant turned up in the water supply late last week... and, a boil water order was issued for anyone on city of Corry water. We have also learned that any restaurant on Corry water has been closed because the Erie County Health Deparment hasn't met with them yet. Once that's done... they may be able to open sometime tomorrow. More when it becomes available.
No official records are kept... but, it appears that Chautauqua County is on track to see at least 200 drug overdose deaths this year. That from Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County Chief Executive Officer Rick Huber... who says the county has been seeing at least two overdose deaths a week. Huber says... the problem remains the way deaths are recorded in the county. During last weekend's event... put on by the group "Be Part of the Solution" Huber expressed his frustration with the lack of longer-term drug treatment facilities... and, programming in the county. In some cases...the families of overdose victims said Saturday that their loved one had been in a 30-day program... but, again fell prey to their addiction after leaving short-term rehab.
Barn heavily-damaged in fire in town of Portland...
Firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments assisted at the scene of a blaze that's heavily-damaged a barn in the town of Portland. The first crews reached the scene at 82-86 Thayer Road around 4:30 AM. Brocton Fire Chief Phil Gerace says they got a lot of help at the scene... with 13 departments responding. Gerace says they included several tanker trucks. He says all the animals got out safely... and, they separated hay to bring the flames under control. Gerace says firefighters were able to save about six to nine animals that were inside. There were no reports of any injuries. The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time.
Dunkirk man killed in southern Erie County after motorcycle hit's Turkey Vulture...
Police in southern Erie County say a Dunkirk man riding a sport bike with a group of other motorcyclists died after he hit a turkey vulture on a town road. First responders arrived at the scene near county Road 323 in the Erie County town of Evans Saturday afternoon. The town police department says the motorcyclist had been travelling faster than the 55 mph speed limit when the crash happened. Police say the 25-year-old Dunkirk man, who hasn't been publicly identified, was thrown from the bike. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reports police say several turkey vultures had been eating a carcass on the side of the road where the biker hit one of them.
Most recent restaurant operator at Chautauqua County Airport leaves after lease expires...
Officials at the Greater Chautauqua -- Jamestown Airport are looking for a new operator for the restaurant at the facility on West Oak Hill Road in the town of Ellicott. Airport and Parks Manager Bill Tucker confirms that the lease for the Tarmac Restaurant expired on Sept. 30. We have learned that the operators have now opened a restaurant, called Tarmac-Two... on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott. Tucker says the county will soon develop a Request for Proposals to find a new restaurant operator, but, declined further comment. It's been difficult in the past keeping an operator at the restaurant due to lack off foot traffic at the airport.
Hockey games, band, ceremonies high-light "Be Part of Solution's" latest event...
Dozens of people were on hand at the Northwest Arena in Jamestown last Saturday afternoon to call attention to being part of the solution to the area's drug addiction crisis. The event: "Alex: Celebrate the Life, the Smile..." was organized by his mother, Kim Carlson, to celebrate what would have been Alex's 27th birthday. Carlson worked with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County -- and others -- on the event. Carlson was able to bring together many hockey players that Alex played with for two exhibition games... but, adds it was hard to watch at first because it was like watching Alex play. All the players wore special jerseys with Alex's number... 44... on them. Chief Executive Officer Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County says it's events like last Saturday's that raise awareness of the Heroin and Opioid problem. However... he was disappointed that elected officials were not on hand.
Cuomo vetoes Opioid Legislation allowing loophole in electronic prescriptions...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill he says would roll back efforts to fight prescription opioid abuse with a "loophole" in the state law requiring electronic prescriptions. It would have exempted doctors at nursing homes and other institutions, noting they often issue prescriptions orally and some lack the computer technology. Instead... Cuomo says he's extending their current waiver under the law through October 31st of 2017. He has vetoed another bill to require the health department to develop a central database to warehouse all electronic prescriptions, intended to give consumers flexibility in choosing pharmacies. Cuomo says it costs too much and has security risks. He has signed an amendment to let doctors log limited legal paper prescriptions in a patient's chart rather than reporting them directly to the health department.
Corry, PA imposes Boil Water Order after contaminant gets into water supply...
Residents in the city of Corry, Pennsylvania are enduring another day without water unless it's been boiled. We have learned that an unknown contaminant turned up in the water supply late last week... and, a boil water order was issued for anyone on city of Corry water. We have also learned that any restaurant on Corry water has been closed because the Erie County Health Deparment hasn't met with them yet. Once that's done... they may be able to open sometime tomorrow. More when it becomes available.
Victim in fatal Dunkirk Train-Pedestrian accident identified...
Dunkirk police have now identified the person killed in this past Wednesday's fatal train-pedestrian accident near the CSX rail line west of Middle Road. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they have also concluded their investigation into the incident. Ortolano says the victim -- 37 year-old Athena Dipirro -- was walking along the tracks with her dog. He says the dog had run into the area of the trucks, and she went to save her dog. Both Dipirro and the dog died in the accident. Ortolano says they couldn't determined why Dipirro was in the area of the tracks... adding that she lived on Middle Road... just few blocks from the scene. He says she may have been walking home at the time. There have been a number of fatalities over the years along the tracks that traverse the city of Dunkirk. Ortolano warns area residents to stay away from the tracks, saying that you can't always see or hear a train until it's often too late.
Ludlow, PA man died in pick-up truck accident...
A McKean County, Pennsylvania man was killed late Thursday afternoon after his truck went off the road and crashed about a mile from the Warren County line. State Police in Warren say 38 year-old Raymond Eckstrom, Junior of Ludlow was westbound on State Route 6 shortly before 5 p.m. when his Ford pick-up went off the northside of the road. It finally came to rest about 500 feet from the highway. Troopers say Eckstrom was taken to Warren General Hospital... where he later died.
September of 2016 will go down as sixth-warmest ever in WNY...
The month of September will go down as one of the warmest September's ever on record in western New York. While it's been rainy and cool in recent days... Forecaster Steve Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the average temperature was 67.2-degrees. It will be the sixth warmest September on record. As for our rainy as we wrap-up the month... he says it's helped our drought situation... through the north county remains under a moderate drought. Welch says having a warm September in recent years has not been unusual. The September of 2015 was the fifth warmest on record since they were kept starting in 1871.
NYS to spend $2.5-million to help farms cut Carbon emissions...
New York state is spending $2.5-million dollars on efforts to help local farmers reduce their carbon emissions. The funding announced this week can also be spent on local initiatives to help prepare farms for droughts and other effects of climate change. The money will be awarded to local soil and water conservation districts. Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose office announced the funds, says climate change is a "new reality" and that helping farms reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is one way to reduce the impact. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball says droughts and floods are becoming more common.
Goodell says he's proposed Ethics reforms, other measures to try and deal with Albany corruption...
Chautauqua County's current state Assemblyman says he... and, other members of the chamber's minority party... will continue to push hard for ethics reform in Albany. Bemus Point-area Republican Andy Goodell says he's especially been pushing to eliminate what's commonly called "Pay to Play." On this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations... Goodell says he's drafted legislation to end it. Right now, the ability to donate to lawmakers dealing with legislation that directly impacts the donor is allowed. Goodell adds that he's also proposed legislation for pension forfeiture... which has been an issue in the most recent, major corruption cases. Those involve former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos... both of whom can still receive their pensions. As for allowing lawmakers to received outside pay while serving as a part-time lawmaker... Goodell doesn't see it as a problem. In fact... he feels having legislators with other backgrounds are a benefit. However.. his opponent this year's election... Brocton-native Jason Perdue... feels lawmakers should be full-time. At the same time... Perdue says they not receive more pay.
County's Office for Aging to hold three Medicare Open Enrollment Forums...
Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15... and, the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging will be holding three public forums on enrolling, or changing plans next week. Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says the first forum will be held at the Findley Lake Community Center next Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. Spanos says these forums are for people currently on Medicare... or who are about to turn 65... and, want to know their options... and, insurance companies will be able to announce their program changes from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Spanos says Traditional Medicare... or Part-A... usual has few -- if any -- changes. She says there will be a presentation at each forum from their Certified Medicare Counselor... and, all the insurance providers involved will be represented. Spanos says there are usually changes to Medicare Advantage Plans... and, Medicare Part-D. She adds the forums are also geared to help caregivers, and veterans. The second forum will be held next Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Harvest Chapel in Fredonia from 1 to 3 p.m. The third one will be at Heritage Ministries in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood on Thursday the 6th. That'll also run from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information... call 753-4471.