News Update for Fri., May 31, 2013

(**New)Private helicopter crash lands on Chautauqua Lake in Lakewood; no one hurt...
A Lakewood man and his daughter were not hurt when their helicopter lost power... and, had to make a crash landing in Chautauqua Lake. Lakewood-Busti Police, and Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene on West Lake Road, near the Packard Estates, shortly after 5 p.m. Lakewood...-Busti Police Sergeant Investigator Paul Gustafson says the owner and operator of the helicopter... 52 year-old Gordon Wueboldt... was taking off from a helipad off a private dock... when the chopper lost power about 15-feet in the air. Gustafson says the helicopter went down in about seven-feet of water. However... Wueboldt and his 18 year-old Caitlyn... got out safely... and, swam to a nearby dock. The Sheriff's Department DIVE Team was also called in... and, authorities were able to prevent any fuel spillage into the lake. The helcopter was pulled from the lake early this evening. Gustafson called it a "very uncommon" occurance in Lakewood. The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in to investigate.

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News Update for Fri., May 31, 2013

Hot temperatures continue through Friday, slightly cooler weather Saturday, but that includes more of a chance of rain...

We've having another day of sunny... hot... and, humid conditions in the Jamestown-area today.  But... there have been few complaints.  An early afternoon thunderstorm Thursday held temperatures in the low 80s.  But... the National Weather Service says we'll see temperatures reach 88 to 90 -- depending on the storm situation.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell in Buffalo says It won't be quite as warm Saturday... but, there's more of a chance of rain and thunderstorms.  Mitchell says it'll be more humid on Saturday... and the chance of rain goes from 40-percent today to 80-percent tomorrow.  He says there is a chance of new records being set across the region today... with current records being around 90.  On Saturday... Mitchell says the high will be about 80 to 82 with a 40-percent chance of rain and thunderstorms.  A cold front moves through early Sunday morning... and, that'll bring a good chance of rain late Saturday night... and into Sunday.


Calif. man killed in CSX Train accident Wednesday now identified...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has now identified the California man who fell to his death from a CSX train in the town of Sherican this past Wednesday.  Deputies say 31 year-old Brian Kircher of Greenwood, California was allegedly riding on the train illegally.  At about 5 p.m., Kircher apparently fell from the moving train... and, sustained fatal injuries from the fall.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  Silver Creek Police assisted in the investigation.


"Bulls and Barrels" rodeo event set for Gerry tonight and tomorrow night...

A new fund-raising event for the Gerry Fire Department gets underway tonight... and, if you enjoy the annual Gerry Rodeo... this will serve as a preview.  The first-ever "Bulls and Barrels" will be held this evening and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., and, will feature a strong field of professional cowboys and cowgirls.  Gerry Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley says their Stock Contractor... Shawn and Shana Graham of Painted Pony Rodeo... has put together a strong field that'll contest for $5,000 in prize money.  Cooley says there'll just be bull riding and barrel racing... with 32 bull riders... and, 30 barrel racers.  He adds the number of entries for this "mini-rodeo" have exceeded expectations... and, that will give local rodeo fans a lot to look forward to.  He adds they also have some added attractions... including the "Coopertown Clown" Bert Davis... and, his "Muttley Crew" of nine trained rescue dogs.  There'll be a midway... and, they'll also serve beef barbecue sandwiches made the way the beef barbecue dinners are for the Rodeo later this Summer.  Tickets are $15 for adults... and $10 for children ages 4 to 12.  Parking is free... or by donation.  Tickets are available through Ticketmaster... and, at the gate.


TRC set to hold another "Street JAM" 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament this weekend...

The Resource Center's annual three-on-three basketball tournament will be going all day Saturday and Sunday in the vicinity of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  The Tournament Director for Street Jam, Vicky Bardo, says the brackets for this year's event are full... with more than 300 teams taking part.  Bardo says it draws a lot of interest to the downtown area.  The public is invited to watch the games at no charge throughout the weekend.  Street Jam is a fund raiser to help persons with disabilities... and, Bardo says it's raised a large amount of money -- more than 750-thousand dollars -- in its 17 year history.  She says the tournament runs rain or shine.  If there is lightning, play will be suspended until it is safe to go back on the street.


Gas prices hold steady for second week in a row... 
As the summer travel season kicks off... gas prices in the Jamestown-area continue to hover around $3.72 a gallon.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says that figure's been unchanged for the past two weeks.  On the national front... the AAA says the average price for gallon of regular, unleaded gas is now $3.63.  That's 13-cents more than one month ago... but, is 3-cents less than one week ago.  The average American motorist has enjoyed a lower year-over-year pump price for 87 straight days.  The Fuel Gauge says the recent decline in the national average has been keyed by dramatic price drops in the Midwest where many motorists have seen pump prices retreat from historic highs.  Crude oil prices have also remained flat.

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Local News

It's going to feel more like early to mid-July over the next couple of days in Western New York... and, the Jamestown-area.  It's may be the end of May... but, we're going to see temperatures reaching the upper 80s to near 90 degrees.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell at the National Weather Service in Buffalo says that's due to a large "Bermuda High" that's just off the coast of the southeastern United States.  Mitchell says the clock-wise rotation is bringing a lot of warm air up from the south. Mitchell says there will be some moderation along the Lake Erie shoreline due to the lake breezes... which he says will hold the highs down to the upper 70s to low 80s.  He says we'll see a big change in the weather early Sunday morning, though, as a cold front moves through the area.  Ahead of that... Mitchell says we'll see some rain and thunderstorms ahead of that late Saturday night.  The front will come through early Sunday... so that should lessen the chance for severe storms.  Mitchell adds that with the heat and humidity of the next two days... there is at least a chance of a "pop-up" thunderstorm each day.

 

Part of one county road has now been reopened after it was closed due to flooding from Tuesday's storms.  The county's Department of Public Facilities reports that Kabob Road... between Route 380 and Waterman Road in the town of Stockton is now open.  DPF officials add... though... that Wattlesburg Road between State Route 76 and County Road 303 in the town of Ripley remains closed.

 

A Buffalo man is jailed on one-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being found with a gun... and a quantity of drugs in his possession on Jamestown's southeast side.  City police were called to the scene at 321 Allen Street about 6 PM Wednesday night... where they spotted a man fitting the description of the suspect on the back porch.  The man... later identified as 33 year-old Jermaine Cooley... gave police a false name... and, was found to have a small amount of marijuana in his possession.  Officers say they also found an "authentic looking" metal pellet pistol nearby.  Cooley was taken into custody... and, was also found to be on parole.  In addition... police say they also allegedly found a small quantity of "crack" cocaine in Cooley's possession during booking.  He was arraigned.. and sent to the county jail on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance... false personation... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.

 

The head of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is baffled over the New York Business Council's position on closing the NRG Plant in the city of Dunkirk.  The Business Council joined the Sierra Club in announcing yesterday (Wednesday) that the State Public Service Commission should "reject" the current repowering proposals for both the Dunkirk plant... and, the Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says he is troubled by the position the Business Council has taken.
Tranum says the Chamber has worked closely with Business Council for years.  He was surprised by yesterday's announcement and hopes it doesn't distract from the issue at hand.In the release... the Business Council and the Sierra Club argue that the PSC should investigate other solutions including energy efficiency... renewable power generation... and, demand response as clean and cheaper options.  The groups' comments have been filed with the commission which is now deciding the fate of the repowering projects.

 

Reducing tobacco advertising that's geared towards children is the emphasis of "World No Tobacco Day" today around the globe -- and in Chautauqua County.  That from the head of the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs... Laurie Adams.  Adams it's part of a world-wide effort being headed up by the World Health Organization's "Convention on Tobacco Control" to keep children from becoming the next generation of smokers. Adams says locally... they've begun commemorating the day by visiting several of the some 22 pharmacies in the region that have decided not to give "Big Tobacco" access to their customers... nor allowed advertising. However... Adams adds that it's still a tough sell because just about all of the bigger, chain pharmacies still sell tobacco products.  A member of the anti-smoking "Reality Check" high school program says it just makes sense.  "A doctor wouldn't ever prescribe cigarettes, so why would a pharmacy still carry them?"

 

A new report shows ``shocking'' violations at day care centers statewide and inadequate enforcement of persistent violators.  The few most egregious cases include corporal punishment of children, frightening or humiliating a child, isolating children in closets and abuse or maltreatment.  The state Office of Children and Family Services says Thursday the report is alarmingly misleading.

 

 

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News Update for Thurs., May 30, 2013

Hot and Humid conditions move into Jamestown-area through Saturday night...

It's the end of May... but, the next three days are going to feel more like "mid-summer" with temperatures reaching the upper 80s to near 90 degrees.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell at the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we've already started to see more heat build into the region.  Mitchell says the hot and humid conditions are due to a large "Bermuda High" that's just off the coast of the southeastern United States.  He adds the clock-wise rotation is bringing a lot of warm air up from the south.  However... Mitchell says areas along the Lake Erie shoreline will see some moderation due mainly to lake breezes that'll hold the highs to the upper 70s to low 80s.  Mitchell says we'll see a big change in the weather early Sunday morning, though, early Sunday morning as a cold front moves through the area.  He says we'll start seeing rain and possibly some thunderstorms out ahead of the front late Saturday night... and, through the day Sunday as the front move through the area.


One county road reopened, one still closed after Tuesday night storms...

Part of one county road has now been reopened after it was closed due to flooding from Tuesday's storms.  The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities reports that Kabob Road... between Route 380 and Waterman Road in the town of Stockton is now open.  DPF officials add... though... that Wattlesburg Road between State Route 76 and County Road 303 in the town of Ripley remains closed.  It will remain closed until the barricades have been removed.


Tranum says he's "baffled" by state Business Council decision to reject NRG "repowering" proposal...

The head of the county's Chamber of Commerce says he's disappointed by the state Business Council's position on closing the NRG Plant in the city of Dunkirk.  The Business Council joined the Sierra Club in announcing Wednesday that the State Public Service Commission should "reject" the current repowering proposals for both the Dunkirk plant... and, the Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says he's baffled by the position the Business Council has taken.  Tranum says Business Council officials were in Jamestown last February... at which time they enlisted the organization's support to keep the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk open.  However... Tranum says they weren't even "given the courtesy of a conversation" about the plant.  Tranum says the Chamber has worked closely with Business Council for years.  He was surprised by Wednesday's announcement and hopes it doesn't distract from the issue at hand... because it's "so critically important" for the county... and, all of Western New York.  In the release... the Business Council and the Sierra Club argue that the PSC should investigate other solutions including energy efficiency... renewable power generation... and, demand response as clean and cheaper options.  The PSC is now deciding the fate of the repowering projects.


Still no identity given on Sheridan train fatality...

There's still been no identity given yet on the man from California killed when he apparently fell from a CSX Train he was traveling on illegally Wednesday afternoon in the town of Sheridan.   Sheriff's Deputies say they... and Silver Creek Police... were called to the scene about 5 p.m.  Upon further investigation... officers determined the man... who's name is being released... fell from the train while it was in motion.  Deputies say the rider sustained fatal injuries... and, was found dead at the scene.  Officer says the man's name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

 

 

 

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Local News

A man from Califorina traveling illegally on a CSX Train apparent fell to his death Wednesday afternoon in the north county town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's Deputies say they... and Silver Creek Police... were called to the scene about 5 PM.  Upon further investigation... officers determined the man... who's name is being released... fell from the train while it was in motion.  Deputies say the rider sustained fatal injuries... and, was found dead at the scene. Officer says the man's name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

 

Despite "challenging" economic times for hospitals... WCA Hospital in Jamestown finished "in the black" for fiscal year 2012.  That news was among several high-lights outlines at WCA's 18th annual "Meeting of the Corporations" yesterday morning.  WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says they were "very pleased" to finish the year with solid surplus.  Wright cited the leadership of the WCA Board of Directors, the physician leadership and employees and supporters for making it happen. Wright says WCA brought in 107.89-million dollars in revenues... and, paid out 107.5-million.  This year's meeting theme was "High Tech Meets High Touch."  Wright says it incorporates the hospital's investment in "high-tech" devices... and, computer technology to improve the "human touch" needed in patient care.  She says that was helped along by the opening of WCA's new Emergency Department.  Wright also noted the addition of robotics... and, the way it's helped their physician's ability to do minimally invasive... and, single-site surgeries.  WCA is the first Southern Tier hospital to use robotic surgery.

 

The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees has selected a top administrator from Utah Valley University to be it's next president.  However... JCC officials say the selection of Dr. Cory Duckworth is pending the approval of the State University of New York's board of trustees... which will meet next month.  College officials say Duckworth is expected to begin his new position on or about September 3rd.  Once approved by the SUNY Board... he will succeed Gregory DeCinque... who is retiring from JCC after a 19-year presidency.  Doctor Duckworth currently serves as vice-president for Student Affairs at Utah Valley University.  He's held that post since 2003.  He previously served as vice president for university advancement and marketing at Ferris State University, and other posts at Utah Valley... St. Cloud University... Minot (My-not) State University... and, Southern Utah University. 

 

Some powerful thunderstorms hit parts of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties Tuesday night accompanied by strong winds and torrential rains.  There were reports of downed trees at Chautauqua Institution... and, in Kennedy.  At least two roads reportedly had high water.  There were Moon Road near Sinclairville, and Horton Road north of Jamestown.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini (Answeeney) with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the severe storms were part of a warm front that raced through the region. Ansuini also says Meteorologists from the State College, Pennsylvania Weather Service office went to the Erie, Pennsylvania-area Wednesday to determine if a tornado touched down near Edinboro, Pennsylvania.  He added we were also under the gun late yesterday.  However... no storms cropped up in the immediate Jamestown-area.  Unofficially... one of our neighbors here on Orchard Road in West Ellicott recorded 2.3-inches of rain last Tuesday night.  We also had a report of 3.5-inches in Columbus, Pennsylvania. 

 

Parts of two county roads are now closed due to flooding from Tuesday's storms.  The county's Department of Public Facilities reports that Kabob Road... between Route 380 and Waterman Road in the town of Stockton is shut-down.  In the town of Ripley... Wattlesburg Road between State Route 76 and County Road 303 is also closed. The county DPF says the closure will remain in effect until the barricades are removed.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman was in Lakewood yesterday rallying support of federal legislation designed to avoid significant cuts for local Hospice programs.  Corning Republican Tom Reed was on hand at the Hospice Chautauqua County headquarters to call for local support of the Hospice Evaluation and Legitimate Payment -- or HELP Act.  Reed says the legislation mainly protects current reimbursement rates... and, eliminates the requirement to see a doctor first to qualify for services.  He adds there's also a provision to increase quality.
State Hospice and Paliative Care Association of New York State President Cathy McMahon was on hand for Reed's visit... and, says they appreciate Reed's efforts.  She says federal reimbursements are slated to drop over the next 10 years... and, recent sequestration cuts really hurt.  McMahon says that reduced reimbursements by 2-percent.  She adds that taking away the requirement to see several other kinds of health professionals really helps people in rural areas where getting a doctor to do the evaluation is more difficult.

 

Assembly Republicans are calling for further investigation of Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver's role in a secret settlement using public money to end sexual harassment claims against a member.  The Republicans are demanding that Silver reimburse taxpayers 103-thousand dollars for the deal he made with lawyers for women who accused Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez of systematic sexual harassment.  This month, the state ethics board accused Lopez of civil violations of the public officer's law, but found no crime or ethical violations by Silver.  But... the Republicans are questioning Wednesday whether the board was authorized to look into misdeeds by Silver.  Another report... by a Republican prosecutor, was limited to activity by Lopez in his Brooklyn district.  The Republicans also question if fraud was committed because the 103-thousand dollars wasn't identified as a settlement.

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LOCAL NEWS

Authorities say a tornado touched down in northwestern Pennsylvania, where no injuries were immediately reported but some buildings were damaged and at least one mobile home was destroyed. The National Weather Service office in Cleveland, Ohio said a tornado warning was issued for Erie County shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday after a funnel cloud was sighted. Meteorologist Martin Thompson said the tornado touched down near Edinboro, with reports of power lines being brought down and structural damage to homes. The Erie County emergency management agency said one and possibly two tornados were reported, and one went through the Union City area.Training administrator Jack Cater said officials had confirmed that a mobile home was destroyed, and there were also reports of building damage, trees down, and a ruptured gas line.

 

Keeping access to "quality" health care in rural areas is the main focus of two pieces of legislation local Congressman Tom Reed is co-sponsoring in the House and Senate.  Reed says the Rural Hospital Access Act is in response to proposed cuts in Medicare reimbursements to rural hospitals, and their patients.  The Corning Republican announced Tuesday that he is teaming up with U-S Senator Charles Schumer... and, others... to back the bi-partisan measure.  Reed says he's talked with several hospital administrators in the area about the situation. Reed says he is especially concerned because rural hospitals dot the landscape of his 23rd Congressional District.  He says he's been told hospitals need those reimbursements continues to keep open... staff employed... and, services in place.  Reed says the Rural Hospital Access Act does not entail ANY change in the current Medicare reimbursement model... but, would keep it where it is right now without change.


        
The second-bill Congressman Reed and other lawmakers are introducing is the Hospice Evaluation and Legitimate Payment provision under the Health Care Laws of America.  Reed says he will be a "strong voice" for supporting Hospice and Palitative Care in the U-S... and, the 23rd District. Reed says the legislation just makes sense in providing "end of life" care to the elderly... and, others with terminal illnesses.  He made his comments during hit weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Reed plans to talk more about the bills in the next several days across the district... beginning in Jamestown.

 

A special meeting called for tonight to clear up home rule legislation to renew Chautauqua County's 2-percent bed tax to maintain the county's lakes and waterways has been cancelled.  The special legislature session was originally called by Chairman Jay Gould for 6:30 PM.  It was to address a bill lawmakers received just a short time before last week's meeting.  Legislators were unclear -- at that time -- whether the 510-thousand dollars that would be raised would be used mostly for Chautauqua Lake.  After much discussion... the measure was approved, 16-to-8.  However... questions remained... and, the special session was tentatively set.  However... Gould said late yesterday the meeting was called off "due to a lack of need..." and possible lack of a quorum.

 

A group of about 60 Ripley residents is suing the school district to nullify the board's decision to dissolve Ripley High School... and, tuition-out students to the Chautauqua Lake High School.  The Buffalo News reports the citizen's group also wants four members of the school board ousted.  The News says the lawsuit, filed by Buffalo-area attorney Steven Cohen, seeks to removed Board President Bob Bentley, Vice-President Nancy Rowe... and members Ted Rickenbrode... and, Fred Krause.  In addition... the group is reportedly asking the state Comptroller's office to do an audit of the district.  They say the district -- quote -- "appears to have been engaging in an illegal and unethical course of fiscal conduct for several years."  Tuesday afternoon... the district issued a printed statement... saying they are aware through media reports, about a group of people intending to bring legal action against the board -- or board members.  However... they say the board is unable to comment at this point because "no lawsuit has been filed... and, we do not know any specifics about the purported claims. 

 

The utility company that wants to repower its Dunkirk plant is taking issue with National Grid's analysis that was filed with the state Public Service Commission last Friday.  The utility concluded that upgrading the transmission system was a better way to go.  But... Jon Baylor, Senior Director of Development for NRG, says there were a lot of flaws in the report.  He says that the report assumes the plant would not only benefit New York, but nearby Pennsylvania.  He says that's a faulty assumption. Baylor also questions National Grid's estimated cost for the proposed tranmission upgrades. Company officials emphasized that the Public Service Commission, not National Grid will have the final word on the project. NRG has filed a request with the PSC for an additional two weeks, until June 5th, to file a response to National Grid's report.

 

Nearly seven months after Superstorm Sandy, a third of the money the Red Cross raised to assist storm victims is still unspent.  The relief organization says it has roughly 110-million dollars remaining out of the 303-million donated specifically for Sandy work.  Red Cross officials say having cash in reserve will help it address needs that weren't immediately apparent after the disaster.  Some disaster aid experts say that's a smart move because the toughest and most expensive relief work comes in the rebuilding phase, after the public's attention has waned and new donations are scarce.  But... others say the Red Cross isn't a long-term rebuilding agency and should give the remaining funds to local organizations better positioned to assist in the reconstruction effort.

 

 

 

 

    

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Tornado Warning for Warren County

 

The National Weather Service has issued this Tornado Warning for Warren 
County, Pennsylvania:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE PA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  NORTHERN WARREN COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA...

* UNTIL 915 PM EDT

* AT 812 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AND TRAINED SKYWARN
  WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR UNION CITY. THE STORM
  CONTAINING THE TORNADO WAS MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
  COLUMBUS AROUND 830 PM EDT...
  SPRING CREEK AROUND 835 PM EDT...
  LOTTSVILLE AROUND 845 PM EDT...
  YOUNGSVILLE AROUND 855 PM EDT...
  RUSSELL AND WARREN AROUND 910 PM EDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT THE FOLLOWING MAJOR ROADS...ROUTE 6...ROUTE 62...
STATE ROAD 59.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER INSIDE NOW. DO NOT WAIT TO SEE OR HEAR THE TORNADO. MOVE
TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST LEVEL OF A STURDY BUILDING. PUT AS
MANY WALLS BETWEEN YOU AND THE OUTSIDE AS YOU CAN. AVOID WINDOWS.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

PLEASE REPORT FUNNEL CLOUDS...STRONG WINDS OR WIND DAMAGE TO THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE THROUGH TWITTER OR
FACEBOOK.

&&

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News Update for Tues., May 28, 2013

Group of Ripley residents suiting school board on "tuitioning-out" high schoolers, and actions of certain board members...

A group of about 60 Ripley residents is suing the school district to nullify the board's decision to dissolve Ripley High School... and, tuition-out students to the Chautauqua Lake High School.  The Buffalo News reports the citizen's group also wants four members of the school board ousted.  The News says the lawsuit, filed by Buffalo-area attorney Steven Cohen, seeks to removed Board President Bob Bentley, Vice-President Nancy Rowe... and members Ted Rickenbrode... and, Fred Krause.  In addition... the group is reportedly asking the state Comptroller's office to do an audit of the district.  They say the district -- quote -- "appears to have been engaging in an illegal and unethical course of fiscal conduct for several years." 
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Monday afternoon... the district issued a printed statement... saying they are aware, through media reports, about a group of people intending to bring legal action against the board -- or board members.  However... they say the board is unable to comment at this point because "no lawsuit has been filed... and, we do not know any specifics about the purported claims. 


CRCF continues 35th Anniversary celebration, urges residents to give to "undesignated funds..."

The "Caring and Giving Campaign" is a major focus of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's 35th anniversary celebration this year.  Foundation Executive Director Randy Sweeney says they've received a largely positive reaction to the effort.  Sweeney says it's good to look back on the accomplishments of the past... but, he says their board felt it was also important to look at the Greater Jamestown-area's current and future needs.  Sweeney says they want to be "visionary... " along the lines of the foundation's founders, so future generations can enjoy the area the way "we are today."  Sweeney says there are two components to the campaign... the first being to bring awareness to the Community Foundation... and, what it does.  The second was raising addition funds for future needs... and, asking people to contribute to their undesignated funds.  Sweeney says they call them "funds for the region.." which is mainly the entire southern Chautauqua County area.  More events... including fund-raisers... are coming up.  Sweeney made his comments on this past weekend's Community Spotlight program on the Media One Group stations.  For more information on the foundation... call 661-3390... or go on-line to www.crcfonline.org.


Gerace favors national move toward .05 BAC for drunk driving...

Local police agencies are out in force this long Memorial Day holiday weekend... looking out for drunk and aggressive drivers.  That as the discussion continues over whether states should lower the drunk driving Blood Alcohol limit from .08 to point .05.  Sheriff Gerace is among those who favors the move.  He says it will "only help in reducing the number of tragedies that occur each day in this country."  The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended the move... predicting it would save at least one-thousand lives a year.  Gerace says other countries have seen the benefits... statistically... with deaths rates going down dramatically.  He says he would not be surprised if the federal government winds up forcing states to lower the BAC by threatening to with-hold highway aid... similar to what it did in 2000 when the BAC was reduced from .10 percent to the current level.  However... he is not aware of any push in Albany to go to the lower limit at the present time.


NRG takes issue with National Grid analysis filed on repowering Dunkirk power plant...

The utility company that wants to repower its Dunkirk power plant is taking issue with National Grid's analysis that was filed with the state Public Service Commission last Friday.  The utility concluded that upgrading the transmission system was a better way to go.  But... Jon Baylor, Senior Director of Development for NRG, says there were a lot of flaws in the report.  He says that the report assumes the plant would not only benefit New York, but nearby Pennsylvania.  He says that's a faulty assumption because the new plant, or converted one, would be solely for the New York market.  Baylor also questions National Grid's estimated cost for the proposed tranmission upgrades.  He says they estimate "low-ball cost" for their transmission solution... but, at the same time... Baylor says National Grid admits that those costs could be two to three-times higher than first thought.  Company officials emphasized that the Public Service Commission, not National Grid will have the final word on the project.

 

 

 

 

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Local News Headlines

In the town of Busti yesterday... one of the first Memorial Day observances in Chautauqua County was held. The Southwestern Middle School Marching Band performed the National Anthem as part of the service at the Gazebo near the hamlet's five-corners.  The main speaker was the Reverend Roy Ferguson of Busti Federated Church... who told the story of 16 year-old Nancy Sullivan... who grew up in Minnesota in the 1950s.  She was struggling to understand why her late Uncle Bud... who was killed during World War-Two... was a hero.  Sullivan asked her grandmother about it... and, she got out a metal box with his belongs retrieved from a battlefield in Italy.  Nancy right away related to his driver's license.  Then her grandmother pulled out the deed to her house.Nancy Sullivan's story was in a recent "Guideposts" magazine.  Ferguson says she began thinking about what life might have been like if he had lived.  At that point... Ferguson says... Sullivan realized what sacrifice... and, being a hero meant.

 

A bizarre, two-car accident involving a deer in Warren County's Pine Grove Township last Sunday has left one person dead.  State Police in Warren say one of the vehicles, operated by 57 year-old Daryl Buchanon of Russell, Pennsylvania was northbound on Route 62 about 2 PM when he first struck the deer with his pick-up truck -- near of Valentine Road.  Troopers say the deer became airborne... and, went through the driver's side windshield of a southbound car... driven by 33 year-old Vickie Hussey of Warren.  Police say Hussey was pronounced dead at the scene.  One of her two passengers was taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  The other passenger... and, Buchanon... were not hurt.  Several fire companies responded to the scene... along with All-Star EMS from Jamestown.

 

In Jamestown... those who gave the ultimate sacrifice were remembered during the annual service at Soldier's Circle... but, especially... those in Vietnam.  The main speaker was local veteran Mike Rauh... who made special mention of those who served during the 1960s and early 1970s.  Pastor for the Jamestown service... Ron Lemon of Koinania (Coin-uh-Nee-uh) Christian Fellowship Church in Frewsburg... says Rauh's speech struck a special cord with him.  Lemon says many of those veterans are still struggling with physical, and psychological problems caused by combat. Lemon has an uncle who served overseas in Vietnam.  As for being asked to be presiding pastor for the annual service... he says it was a great honor. ALSO Monday... the annual Fentonville Methodist Church Memorial Day service was held... followed by the march to the Fentonville Cemetery.  County Legislator Tom Erlandson was the guest speaker.  And... the Lakewood-Celoron Parade and service was held late Monday morning.  The parade began at Southwestern Central School and proceeded to Sunset Hill Cemetery.  The service followed.

 

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling "crack cocaine" in Jamestown and the surrounding area.  City police say 23 year-old Alex Oliveras was arrested at the corner of Harrison and Institute Streets early last weekend as part of their ongoing investigations into the sale of narcotics.  Officers say they found Oliveras was selling and distributing "crack."  Oliveras was taken into custody... and, later arraigned on charges including third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.  Anyone with information on illegal narcotics sales is asked to call the JPD Tip-Line 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

State officials are urging New York residents to prepare for hurricane season.  The season starts June 1st and lasts through November.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week there is a 70-percent chance that this year will be more active than an average hurricane season.  Governor Andrew Cuomo noted that New Yorkers are continuing to recover from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  His administration is asking New Yorkers to develop or review their household disaster plans.  Among other steps, state officials say people should have an emergency phone list and enough non-perishable food and water on hand to last about 10 days.

 

A New York state county executive plans to announce a new effort to bring fiscally stressed local governments together to share their best ideas before they become ``distressed'' under a new state definition.  Ulster County Executive Mike Hein (HYN') wants local governments to help each other before they reach the ``distressed'' status that could trigger state involvement in restructuring local operations.   TODAY... Hein says he will announce a series of statewide forums to identify the ways local governments have eased their fiscal pain that, left unchecked, can mean higher taxes and reduced or eliminated services.  Hein is president of the New York State County Executives Association and has discussed the effort with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 

Police are investigating a tractor-trailer rollover that led to the spill of about 6-thousand gallons of liquid manure in the Southern Tier.  The Steuben County Sheriff's Office tells local media that a tractor-trailer owned by a local dairy farm rolled over last Saturday afternoon on a road in Bath... about 60 miles south of Rochester.  The rollover ruptured a tank containing the manure.  As many as 40 gallons of diesel fuel also was spilled.

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Local News Headlines

He's sorry about the late timing on the legislation... but, state Assemblyman Andy Goodell says language the proposed home rule legislation to renew the county's 2-percent occupancy tax is aimed at Chautauqua Lake... as well as the county's other lakes and tributaries.  County legislators received the proposed legislation an hour or two before last night's session... causing considerable confusion and concern.  Goodell says a lot of the delay is due to the end of session being about a month away. Goodell says he also got a lot of input from legislative leaders and local organizations.  He says the language was changed to insure that funding goes for tourism and most of that activity occurs on the county's lakes and waterways. County lawmakers passed the emergency resolution by a 16 to 8 vote, but a special meeting of the legislature was scheduled for next Wednesday just in case legislators voted in favor of the measure should change their mind and rescind it.

 

There was a lot of confusion over home rule legislation that would renew the county's 2-percent bed tax that is used to maintain the county's waterways and lakes.  The measure prepared by State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell reached the legislature only an hour or two before Wednesday night's session began.  Fredonia Democrat Bill Coughlin feels the changes were designed to send more funding to Chautauqua Lake.
But... other legislators believe the changes would still allow the county to use funding for other lakes and waterways.  Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore says it appears lawmakers have little choice. The measure passed.  But... a special meeting of the Legislature may be held next Wednesday night... according to Chairman Jay Gould.  He says County Attorney Steve Abdella will get more information from the county's state representatives over the next week.  Legislators will then decide if they want to vote on rescinding the resolution during the special session.

 

The New York State Thruway Authority will halt construction on its roads around the state to make it easier for travelers this Memorial Day weekend.  Starting Thursday... projects from Yonkers to Canajoharie and from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line ceased operation.  They'll restart on Tuesday, May 28th.  Starting today... projects from Little Falls to Canandaigua will go quiet.  Those road projects will start up again Monday night, May 27th.  The authority also reminds motorists that a seatbelt enforcement action is ongoing and will be in full swing over the weekend.

 

County sheriffs across the state have asked to join the federal lawsuit challenging New York's tough new gun restrictions.  They call some provisions vague and impossible to enforce fairly.  The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their position to the record.  They support gun rights advocates seeking to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and the tighter definition of assault weapons.  The sheriffs agree with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association that the law, passed after the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, is unconstitutional because it will prevent citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense.  The law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and generally prohibits loading them with more than seven.

 

Ground has been broken on the latest phase of the city of Jamestown's Chadakoin Riverwalk project in the Brooklyn Square area.  City officials were joined by Gebbie Foundation leaders on the property recently bought by the foundation on the northside of the river.  The foundation is giving the city about one-thousand feet of property... to about 25 feet from the shoreline.  The property starts at the Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics building --- and goes west.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi thanked the foundation for partnering in the effort. Teresi says the project will entail blacktopping the pathway... installing decorative lighting... stablizing the riverbank... and, putting in amenities... such as benches and picnic tables.  Gebbie Foundation Executive Director John Merino says they're pleased to be part of the effort... because it ties in with their current focus on economic development projects. The Gebbie Foundation is also giving the city a 19-thousand dollar grant for the project... which will cost 244-thousand dollars.  Jamestown is also getting a 112-thousand-500 dollar grant from the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

 

 

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News Update for Thurs., May 23, 2013

Goodell tried to clear confusion on 2%-Bed Tax voted on by county lawmakers Wednesday...

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the language proposed in the legislation to renew Chautauqua County's 2-percent occupancy tax is aimed at Chautauqua Lake... as well as the county's other lakes and waterways.  Goodell today is trying to clear up some confusion on the part of county lawmakers after they received the proposed legislation an hour or two before Wednesday night's Legislature meeting.  There was some misunderstanding over the language in the bill.  Goodell says he was late getting the measure to the county because the end of the state's session is about a month away.  He says they've had a number of bills... with a lot of paperwork as the session wraps up.  Goodell says he also got a lot of input from legislative leaders... and, local organizations.  He says the language was changed to insure that funding goes for tourism... and, most of that activity occurs on the county's lakes and waterways.  Goodell admits that Chautauqua Lake is "a major focus of the legislation" because it's a major draw for the county.  But... he adds other lakes can take advantage of the funding... including Lake Erie.


Even with confusion, County Legislature approves 2% Bed Tax bill...

County lawmakers have approved an emergency resolution that renews the 2-percent bed tax that can be used to maintain county waterways and lakes.  However... a change in language of the home rule legislation caused confusion and concern Wednesday night.  The measure... prepared by State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell... reached the legislature only an hour or two before the session began.  Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek wanted it tabled.  Borrello says it's supposed to be a "renewal" of an existing law... but, it has a lot of language changes.  He was concerned about their possible impact.  But... Legislator Fred Croscut of Sherman says county lawmakers didn't have much choice, and the county doesn't want to lose $510,000 in revenue.  After a phone call was made to Goodell... legislators passed the measure.  A special meeting of the Legislature will be held next Wednesday.


Sheriff's across NYS ask to join federal lawsuit challenging NY SAFE Act...

County sheriffs across the state have asked to join the federal lawsuit challenging New York's tough new gun restrictions.  They call some provisions vague and impossible to enforce fairly.  The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their position to the record.  They support gun rights advocates seeking to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and the tighter definition of assault weapons.  The sheriffs agree with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association that the law, passed after the Newtown, Conn. school massacre, is unconstitutional because it will prevent citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense.  The law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and generally prohibits loading them with more than seven.


Road construction on state Thruway to be halted during Memorial Day Weekend...

The New York State Thruway Authority will halt construction on its roads around the state to make it easier for travelers this Memorial Day weekend.  Starting Thursday... projects from Yonkers to Canajoharie and from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line ceased operation.  They'll restart on Tuesday, May 28.  Starting today... projects from Little Falls to Canandaigua will go quiet.  Those road projects will start up again Monday night, May 27.  The authority also reminds motorists that a seatbelt enforcement action is ongoing and will be in full swing over the weekend.

 

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Local News Update

Chautauqua County legislators have approved an emergency resolution that renews the 2 percent bed tax that can be used to maintain county waterways and lakes, but a change in language of the home rule legislation caused confusion and concern last night.  The measure prepared by area State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell reached the legislature only an hour or two before the session began.  Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek wanted it tabled. But, Legislator Fred Croscut of Sherman says the county lawmakers didn't have much choice. After a phone call was made to Assemblyman Goodell, legislators passed the measure by 16-8 vote.  A special meeting of the Legislature will be held next Wednesday. Chairman Jay Gould says they will try to get more information from the state lawmakers involved. Gould says they tried to do committee work on the floor of the legislation because of the short notice. He says it's something they try to avoid if possible.

 

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Local News Headlines

A state Supreme Court Judge has ruled that a civil trial to determine whether convicted sex offender Nushawn Williams remains imprisoned will be closed to the public.  The Buffalo News reports the order follows a stunning claim that Williams... who was accused in the mid 1990s of infecting 13 young women in the Jamestown-area with HIV... does not have the virus that causes AIDS.  Williams' attorney... John Nurcherno (Nerr-Chur-ee-no) says -- "it's time we start slowly setting the record straight.  He never had it for a moment.  It’s not my contention. It’s the result of a University of Massachusetts Medical School examination of his blood."  Nuchereno made the comments following Wednesday’s appearance in front of Justice John Michalski (Mih-Call-Ski).  The State Attorney General’s Office wants to keep Williams confined under the state’s mental hygiene law, arguing that he’s a sexual predator likely to infect others with HIV.  Jury selection in the civil trial is scheduled to begin in a few weeks in Chautauqua County.  If he were to be freed... Nurchereno says Williams plans to move to Virginia, where his wife and mother live.

 

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine in the city over the past several weeks.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the department's Drug Enforcement Unit... along with the State Police C-NET Team... raided an apartment at 402 Lafayette Street about 1:45 this (Wednesday) afternoon... and, arrested 35 year-old Tyrone Schaffer.  They also found a large quantity of "crack" inside... along with drug paraphernalia... and, a quantity of cash.  Samuelson says they're looking for any connections to previous arrests... but, adds the sale of "crack" has been on the rise. Samuelson says Schaffer was arrested without incident... and, charged with Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... first-degree criminal nuisance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He adds police are continuing to investigate to see who else may be involved in "street-level" sales of "crack..." such as Schaffer.  He was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail with bail to be set once the D-A's office makes a recommendation.

 

Jamestown police have been very busy in recent months... arresting alleged drug dealers with the help of the State Police.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they've been working with that agency's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team to help with a number of investigations into "mid and street-level" drug dealing.  Samuelson says their work with the C-NET group began in March of last year once the department ended it's association with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. Samuelson adds the general public has also been a big help.  City police have publicized their Tip-Line as a way for people to anonymously help them with finding current drug dealers... or one's who have just moved into the area.  Samuelson says they've had a "terrific response" from the public.  If you have any information on drug activity in the city... Samuelson says you're encouraged to call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS.  That's 483-8477.

 

A Jamestown man faces a number of charges following a traffic stop.  Jamestown Police pulled over a vehicle Just before midnight this morning after the driver, 34 year old Richard Jabczynski failed to stop for a stop sign on Superior at Forest Avenue.  Jabczynski was asked to get out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests.  Officers spotted a plastic baggie sticking out of Jabczynski's pocket that contained a white powdery susbstance.  The Substance tested positive as cocaine. Jabczynski also failed the sobriety test. Jabczynski is being held at the city Jail awaiting arraignment.

 

A long-time human service agency in Jamestown will be shutting it's doors at the end of next month.  Media One News has learned that the Joint Neighborhood Project will be closing June 30th due to funding contraints... and, an effort to prevent "duplication of programs and services."  In a letter sent to supporters and church groups... Interim Executive Director Patty Perlee says "everything has it's own season, and after 50 years, the season for Joint Neighborhood Project is coming to a close."  JNP began in the 1960s as a provider of recreational opportunities for children in that part of the city.  A Jamestown couple began the effort in 1963... and, three churches joined forces in 1969 to create JNP.  It became the first local sponsor of GED classes... and, the USDA sponsored Women, Infants, and Children -- or WIC -- Program was first housed at JNP's 532 East Second Street location.  We were unable to reach Patty Perlee for comment yesterday.

 

A Fredonia man has now been identified as the person killed late Tuesday night on a one-car crash in the north county town of Pomfret.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say 49 year-old David Lewandowski was northbound on Chestnut Road shortly before 10 PM Tuesday... and, failed to negotiate a curve.  Deputies say Lewendowski's vehicle traveled through a lawn before the car struck a tree on the driver's side.  Officers say he was pronounced dead at the scene.  The Fredonia Fire Department's rescue team was also called to the scene.

 

Fifth-graders from throughout the area swarmed the grounds of Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp Wednesday for the annual Conservation Field Days.  The event is put on by Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Southwestern Central student Matthew Barton says he had a great day learning. There are 29 different stations at this year's Conservation Field Days covering everything from making maple syrup, to how to stay safe in the woods, and deal with animals that may approach.  Fifth-grade Teacher Melissa Deppas from Southwestern says Conservations Field Days is a genuine educational experience. There's a second Conservation Field Day set for Thursday at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp. 

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News Update for Wed., May 22, 2013

Sheriff's Dept. identifies man killed in town of Pomfret accident...

A Fredonia man has now been identified as the person killed late Tuesday night on a one-car crash in the north county town of Pomfret.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say 49 year-old David Lewandowski was northbound on Chestnut Road shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday... and, failed to negotiate a curve.  Deputies say Lewendowski's vehicle traveled through a lawn before the car struck a tree on the driver's side.  Officers say he was pronounced dead at the scene.  The Fredonia Fire Department's rescue team was also called to the scene.


JNP to close on June 30, says letter...

A long-time, Christian-based human service agency in Jamestown will be shutting it's doors at the end of June.  We have learned that the Joint Neighborhood Project will be closing it's location at 532 East Second St. due to funding contraints... and, an effort to prevent "duplication of programs and services."  In a letter obtained by Media One News... Interim Executive Director Patty Perlee says "everything has it's own season, and after 50 years, the season for Joint Neighborhood Project is coming to a close."  JNP began in the 1960s as a provider of recreational opportunities for children in that part of the city.  We were unable to reach Perlee for comment Wednesday afternoon.


City man arrested during drug raid in Jamestown...

A several week-long investigation has landed a Jamestown man in jailed for allegedly selling large quantities of "crack" cocaine in the city.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the department's Drug Enforcement Unit... along with the State Police CNET Team... raided an apartment at 402 Lafayette St. about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday... and, arrested 35 year-old Tyrone Schaffer.  Samuelson says they also found a quantity of cocaine... drug paraphernalia... and, a quantity of cash inside.  He says Schaffer was arrested without incident... and, charged with Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... first-degree criminal nuisance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Samuelson says there is no doubt there's been a rise in "crack" cocaine trafficking in the city... it's a matter of "supply and demand..." and unfortunately... there are people here ready to service the demand.  He adds police are continuing to investigate to see if their most recent arrests are connected.  Schaffer was considered a "street-level" dealer.  He was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the County Jail without bail... pending a preliminary hearing.


Bemus Point school officials "shocked" by budget defeat...

Bemus Point school officials are expressing shock today after their proposed, $13.1-million dollar spending plan was rejected by residents in a close vote.  The district's budget was the only one in Chautauqua County to be defeated Tuesday.  Bemus Point Superintendent Jackie Latshaw says what was most shocking was the fact they had worked so hard to get the community involved in deciding what kind of programming they wanted in the final spending plan.  Latshaw says people asked for smaller class sizes in the elementary grades... and, even restoration of some programming that had been taken out.  She says she's not sure why the budget -- which included a 5-percent tax increase -- was rejected, 215 "yes" to 227 "no."  She says there were a lot of competing events taking place... and, people may have assumed the spending plan would pass.  As for the next move... Latshaw says the board will meet soon... and, review it's options.  They could put the same budget up for a vote... put a revised budget up for a vote... or move to a contingency spending plan.  Latshaw says they have until June 18 to hold another public hearing... and, get a budget in place.


Dunkirk man pleads guilty to filing 122 tax returns under names of recently deceased people...

A Dunkirk man has pleaded guilty to filing more than 100 tax returns under the names of people who had recently died.  The U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo says 42-year-old John Berry, Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a false claim against the United States.  Prosecutors say he filed 122 false income tax returns in 2008 and 2009 seeking refunds totaling $218,000.  Authorities say more than $92,000 was deposited directly into his bank account.  Berry faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced in August.

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Local News Headlines

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man was killed after his pick-up truck crashed head-on with a beverage truck in Sugar Grove Township yesterday morning.  State Police in Warren say 26 year-old Melvin Murvine of Youngsville was northbound on Route 27 just after 8:30 AM when his truck crested a hill about half-a-mile south of Route 69.  Troopers say Murvine's truck went into the southbound lane for an unknown reason... and, slammed into the larger delivery truck... operated by 48 year-old Scott Williams of Sugar Grove.  Police say Murvine was pronounced dead at the scene.  Williams was taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment of back pain... and, later released.  Police say both men were wearing their seat belts.  No charges were filed.

 

One person is dead following a one vehicle accident in the Town of Pomfret.  The Chautauqua County Sherriff's Department reports that the operator of the vehicle was traveling north on Chestnutt Road just before 10pm Tuesday and failed to negotiate a curve.  The driver travelled through a lawn before striking a tree.  The drivers name is being withheld until the family is notified. The Fredonia Fire Department was also at the scene.

 

With no tax increase... and, no teacher lay-offs... the Jamestown School District budget was approved overwhelmingly Tuesday by a 5-to-1 margin.  The tally was 320-to-68 in a low voter turn-out.  Voters also approved a 795-thousand dollar bus proposition.  The tally there was 302-to-79.  School Board President Joe DiMaio says it was a "good night...." The Jamestown district plans to buy five full-sized buses... and, three other smaller ones with the proposition.  Most of the funding will come from state monies.  The vote also gave School Superintendent Deke Kathman a budget victory in his final year before retiring from the district.  DiMaio was also re-elected to the Jamestown School Board.  The Board President received the most votes... 304.  Patrick Slagle... who was elected last year to replace Barbara Piazza on the board... was second with 282 votes.  Challenger Todd Rushforth was third with 118 votes.

 

All but one school budget in south and center Chautauqua County passed in Tuesday's votes.  The 13.1-million dollar spending plan proposed for the Bemus Point School District was defeated by just 12 votes.  District officials say the vote was 215 in favor... 227 against.  That spending plan included a 424-thousand dollar increase in the tax levy... and, a spending hike of about 645-thousand.  There is no word on what district officials will do in the wake of that budget defeat.  However... a 205-thousand dollar bus proposition was approved, 251-to-193.  Barry Swanson and Lisa Allenson were voted onto the school board uncontested.

 

At Southwestern... new superintendent Maureen Donahue saw her first budget plan approved by the voters by a better than 2-to-1 margin.  The 25.8-million dollar budget was adopted, 324-to-126.  School officials add a companion bus proposition for up to 216-thousand dollars was also adopted by more than 200 votes.  Bill Burk ran unopposed for the school board.
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Falconer School District residents approved a 21.6-million dollar budget for the new school year, 167-to-59.  There were no other propositions... and, Todd Beckerink and Christopher Hannon were elected to the school board.
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In Frewsburg... district voters approved a proposed, 15.5-million dollar budget, 153-to-95.  A proposition to buy two new buses was approved, 159-to-74.  Three incumbants... and, one newcomer ran unchallenged for the school board.

 

Voters in the Cassadaga Valley Central School District have approved a 2013-2014 budget by about a 3-to-1 margin.  The vote was 232-to-82 for the 19.9-million dollar spending plan.  A 306-thousand dollar transportation proposition for two full-sized buses... one mini-bus, and a suburban was also approved 219-to-88.  Jeanne Oag was re-elected to one school board seat with 319 votes... and, Daniel Pavlock was elected with the same number.
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In Panama... voters approved a 12.2-million dollar budget that included no tax increase, 127-to-40.  They also approved a 90-thousand dollar bus purchase 129-to-38.  Incumbant school board members Robert Delahoy and Greg Hudson were re-elected uncontested...
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In Brocton... voters approved the district's spending plan, 189-to-66.  Beth Jagoda and Robert Mead-Colegrove won re-election to the school board.
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Voters in the Sherman Central School District approved an 8.77-million dollar budget that includes a 71-cent per thousand tax rate decrease.  The vote was 160-to-37.  They also approved a transportation proposition for two-buses... and, one Tahoe.  That vote was 151-to-40.  Emily Kidd ran unopposed for the school board.
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Budgets were also adopted in the Pine Valley, Clymer, Westfield, Ripley, and, Chautauqua Lake School Districts.

 

The major power outage last Sunday night in Jamestown that lasted about an hour-and-a-half was caused by a fault in the 35-thousand volt line that carries electricity from the Dow Street Substation to the Carlson Generating Station.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage occured shortly after 5 PM... and, affected the city's south and west sides... West Ellicott... and, Celoron.  Robbins says a piece of equipment -- known as "termination" -- the point at which overhead lines transition to underground cable... failed... and, is being replaced.  She says troubleshooting continues as it relates to the root cause of the failure.

 

The Ellicott Town Board has decided to hold their meetings on the first and third Monday of the month at an earlier time in hopes of getting more residents to attend.  That from Town Supervisor Cecil Miller... who says he had asked for the earlier meeting time for one of their June meetings.  However... he says discussion Monday night moved to changing the time to 6 PM permanently. Miller says they very seldom have people attend their meetings... unless there is a controversial issue before the board.  He says they're hoping the earlier time will be more convenient... and, with meetings also ending earlier... residents can be home at a more reasonable time.  Miller says the new start time of 6 PM will take effect with the Ellicott Town Board's June 3rd meeting.

 

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News Update for Tues., May 21, 2013

School budget votes: Jamestown's approved easily, Bemus Point's is defeated by 12 votes...

With no tax increase... and, no teacher lay-offs... the Jamestown School District budget was approved overwhelmingly Tuesday by a 5-to-1 margin.  The tally was 320-to-68 in a low voter turn-out on the $75.3-million spending plan.  Voters also approved a $795,000 bus proposition... and, re-elected Joe DiMaio and Patrick Slagle to the school board.

For the most part... all other budgets in southern and central Chautauqua County were approved by wide margins... except in a couple of cases.  However... the $13.1-million dollar budget in Bemus Point was defeated by 12 votes.  District officials say the vote was 215 in favor... 227 against.  There is no word on what district officials will do in the wake of the defeat.  However... a bus proposition was approved, 251-to-193.  Barry Swanson and Lisa Allenson were voted onto the school board uncontested.

At Southwestern... new superintendent Maureen Donahue sees her first budget plan approved by the voters by a better than 2-to-1 margin.  The $25.8-million spending plan was passed, 324-to-126.  A companion bus proposition was also adopted by more than 200 votes.

Budgets were also adopted in the Cassadaga Valley, Falconer, Frewsburg, Panama, Pine Valley, Clymer, Brocton, Westfield, Ripley, Sherman, and Chautauqua Lake School Districts.

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Local News Headlines

 

It's school budget vote day in New York state... and, the Jamestown-area's first district to allow voters to cast their ballots will again be Southwestern.  That district's voters will decide on a 25.8-million dollar budget that raises taxes by about 2.44-percent.  Polls will be open at the high school from 7 to 9 this morning.  New Superintendent Maureen Donahue says spending is up from 2012-2013 by about 118-thousand dollars.  Donahue says there were a number of factors that led to the spending increase... including rising pension, and health insurance costs.  However... she says there were some cuts, too. Donahue says the loss of state Foundation -- or base -- aid over the past five years has been the biggest driver of increased costs.  She says the district is seeing a just over 8-percent increase in foundation aid in 2013-2014... due in large part to a 417-thousand dollar restoration in the district's -- "gap elimination adjustment."  Donahue says the 2.44-percent tax increase... including exclusions... comes in under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  Polls at Southwestern will also be open from 2 PM to 9 PM tonight. Residents in the Southwestern District will also vote on a transportation proposition to purchase three new buses. Donahue says the cost is to not exceed 216-thousand dollars.  Donahue says one is a full-sized bus... while the other two are 14-passenger vehicles.  In addition... there's one school seat up for a vote.  There were to be three... but, Donahue reminds voters that they approved cutting the school board from 9 to 7 members.  Incumbant Bill Burk is seeking re-election.

 

Falconer School District residents will vote today on a 21.6-million dollar budget for the new school year.  School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the spending plan includes a 2.5-percent tax increase over the current year's spending plan.  However... Penhollow says -- with exclusions -- the increase still falls under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  Except for a couple of mandated areas... he says they were able to hold the line on spending.  He says school officials tried to be as "balanced" as they could be in laying out the budget.
Some districts have taken up the state on it's offer to use "pension-smoothing" to hold down costs... but, Penhollow says... Falconer school officials decided that was not "a good option" for them.  He says the 2.25-percent cut they would get would -- at some point -- have to be paid to the state... with interest. Penhollow says there are no other propositions on the ballot... and, two people are running for two board seats.  One is current board President Todd Beckerink.  Voting in Falconer is from 2 to 8 PM today.

 

City lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved five measures officials say will help save the city on it's health... property and liability insurance costs.  Four of the five were unanimous... and, four are with the same company as last year.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the moves will also save the city money... and, improve the efficiency of it's insurance programs.  The lone change was in Jamestown's "stop-loss" program that covers health care costs above the amount set on each worker.  In that case... Dolce says the contract went to H-M Premier Company... instead of Veracity. City Comptroller Joe Bellitto says they'll have about a 10-thousand dollar savings with Premier handling their "stop-loss" program.  The ceiling for that is 150-thousand dollars.  However... lawmakers voted to keep Veracity -- which is in Jamestown -- for consulting and employee benefit services.  Councilwoman Kim Ecklund voted "no" on that measure.  Ecklund says she has some questions on the service contract she wanted more answers to.  She feels Veracity has done a "very good" job for the city in the past... her issue was more with not having one of the two companies take both the "stop-loss" and consulting and employee services.

 

The local TEA Party group did not seek the "tax-exempt" status from the IRS... but, will be joining in a peaceful, nation-wide protest outside IRS offices this afternoon.  Southern Tier TEA Party Express spokesman Mel McGinnis is urging local members... and, others from the public... to join them at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown at 12 Noon. There were also a number of high-profile conservatives that were reportedly targeted by the IRS.  McGinnis says the local TEA Party organization made an early decision to NOT file for 501(c)4 status that would have made them tax-exempt.  He says they kept themselves "away from the IRS as much as possible."  However... he says they wanted to demonstrate in support of TEA Party groups that were targeted.  McGinnis remembers hearing stories "two or three-years ago" that the IRS was asking intrusive questions about local and national TEA Party organizations when they filed for 501(c) 4 status.  He says now that the allegations have been found to be factual... it's upsetting.

 

The resignation of a New York state lawmaker embroiled in a sex harassment scandal has become official a month earlier than he had originally planned.  Assemblyman Vito Lopez of Brooklyn announced on Saturday that his resignation from the 53rd Assembly District seat is effective as of 9 this (Monday).  The surprise announcement came just a day after the 72-year-old Democrat defied demands by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign immediately.

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News Update for Mon., May 20, 2013

Natural Gas explosion leads to fire that destroys vacant home in Westfield...

Firefighters from five departments battled a house fire that apparently began as an explosion in the town of Westfield.  The fire on Route 5 -- near McKinley Road --- was reportedly shortly before 11 a.m.  That from Westfield Fire Chief Steve Pacanowski... who ways the building was fully engulfed by flames when they arrived.  Pacanowski says it appeared to be a vacant house that had seen some kind of explosion... possibly involving a natural gas feed.  Pacanowski says manpower was "thin..." and, that he had to call for mutual aid from Brocton, Portland, Fredonia... and, Ripley along with county fire coordinators.  No injuries were reported.  County fire investigators have determined a natural gas explosion triggered the blaze.  The home was supplied with natural gas from a nearby well.  Route 5 from Route 394 to Pratt Road was closed for about an hour because of the fire.


Reed concerned about IRS head of implementing Obamacare's possible role in agency's "targeting" scandal...

Congressman Tom Reed says he is "troubled" that the woman who headed up the tax-exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service during the recent scandal will head up implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the IRS.  During his regular weekly telephone news conference today... Reed says Sarah Ingram-Hall will have a lot of clout... and, access to health care information on virtually all Americans... and, whether or not they are complying.  He says the person will have information available to them as to what people have for health care coverage, and compliance information will be available.  Reed says the House Ways and Means Committee... which began hearings into the IRS scandal last Friday... wants to make sure the right person heads up the IRS's implementation of Obamacare.  He says if Ingram-Hall was involved directly in the targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny... that's a problem.  Reed adds that Committee Democrats are also outraged.  He pointed to New York's Joe Crowley's questioning of the current head of the IRS's tax-exempt division, Lois Learner.  Reed says that says to him the problem is "not about politics... but, the abuse of power in government."


Local TEA Party members to protest in front of Jamestown IRS office in support of TEA Party organization's targeted in IRS "targeting" scandal...

The local TEA Party group did not seek the "tax-exempt" status from the IRS... but, will be joining in a peaceful, nation-wide protest outside IRS offices Tuesday afternoon.  Southern Tier TEA Party Express spokesman Mel McGinnis is urging local members... and, others from the public... to join them at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown at 12 p.m.  McGinnis says they want to raise awareness on this "aggressive overeaching IRS agenda against certain groups" that also go "beyond the TEA Party itself."  There were also a number of high-profile conservatives that were reportedly targeted by the IRS.  McGinness says the local TEA Party organization made an early decision to NOT file for 501(c)4 status that would have made them tax-exempt.  He says they kept themselves "away from the IRS as much as possible."  However... he says they wanted to demonstrate in support of TEA Party groups that were targeted.  McGinness remembers hearing stories "two or three-years ago" that the IRS was asking intrusive questions about local and national TEA Party organizations when they filed for 501(c) 4 status.  He says now that the allegations have been found to be factual... it's upsetting.


BPU Outage remains under investigation...

Parts of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities service area were without power for at least an hour-and-a-half early last evening.  The widespread outage was first reported to Jamestown Police shortly after 5 p.m.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage affected areas mainly on the city's south and west sides.  Parts of the town of Ellicott... including West Ellicott... and, Kiantone were also affected.  Robbins says the widespread outage was triggered by a "power fault" in a major line between the Carlson Generating Station... and, the Dow Street Substation.  Jamestown police reported power was coming back to parts of the city about 6:30 PM.  Everyone was back on about 7 p.m.  The cause of the fault remains under investigation.

 

 

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Local News Headlines

Parts of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities service area were without power for at least an hour-and-a-half early last evening.  The widespread outage was first reported to Jamestown Police shortly after 5 PM.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage affected areas mainly on the city's south and west sides.  Parts of the town of Ellicott... including West Ellicott... and, Kiantone were also affected.  Robbins says the widespread outage was triggered by a "power fault" in a major line between the Carlson Generating Station... and, the Dow Street Substation.  Jamestown police reported power was coming back to parts of the city about 6:30 PM.  Everyone was back on about 7 PM.  The cause of the fault remains under investigation.

 

Four people have been arrested... and, a large quantity of cocaine, and other drugs have been confiscated... in Cattaraugus County following a traffic stop -- and, three raids.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force officials say Sheriff's Deputies first pulled over 30 year-old Alexis Erickson of Allegany on Route 417 in Ellicottville early last weekend on a search warrant.  Officers say she was found with about 11-thousand dollars of cocaine in her possession... and, she was jailed on a Felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Task Force members then raided three apartments on Route 417 where Erickson lived.  They arrested 26 year-old Jerome Hayes on warrants charging him with failure to appear on a number of charges -- including assault.  Hayes was also charged with two Felony drug possession charges.  He's accused of having nearly 9-grams of heroin in his possession... along with 16 Oxycodone tablets.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 50-thousand dollars bail.  Two other men from Buffalo were also arrested with unlawful possesion of marijuana... and, released pending future court appearances.  Investigators say more charges are pending.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman feels the targeting of conservative groups... and, other problems revealed about the IRS... could be headed off with a simplified tax code.  Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments after the first of what are expected to be a number of hearings by the House Ways and Means Committee last Friday.  Reed says most of the testimony by the man just forced out as Acting Chief of the Internal Revenue Service was "appalling."  Reed says it's been confirmed that conservative groups got tougher scrutiny for their applications for tax exempt status. However... while Acting IRS Director Steve Miller apologized to the committee last Friday... he refused to acknowledge there was deliberate targeting of groups that have names like "Tea Party..." "Conservative.." or "Constitution" in their name.  Reed adds he's upset that Miller wasn't immediately fired. Reed says it's all too apparent that the IRS had a "culture of targeting groups.  Miller insisted that political bias wasn't the reason for the heightened scrutiny.  He says the IRS was struggling to efficiently handle growing numbers of applications for the tax-exempt status.  But... Reed says that's just a "convenient excuse."

 

A State Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing young female staffers for years says he will resign before he's expelled from the Legislature.  Assemblyman Vito Lopez informed leaders on Saturday he will resign effective this morning.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had planned a rare expulsion proceeding against Lopez beginning today.  Lopez was once a powerful Brooklyn Democratic leader and has been in the Assembly's Democratic majority since 1984.  Two reports released last week detailed lurid accusations of sexual harassment of several women on his staff, but neither report found proof of a crime.  Silver was trying to expel Lopez on the basis of apparently violating Assembly policies against sexual harassment and retaliation.  The state ethics board has also accused Lopez of civil violations of the Public Officer's Law.

 

Seneca Nation of Indians President Barry Snyder says Governor Cuomo of taking part in ``playground bully tactics'' over their casino disagreement.  The comments come a day after the governor said the Senecas could lose their ability to operate casinos after their compact expires in 2016.  At issue is more than 500-million dollars in casino payments the Senecas have withheld from the state since 2009.  The Seneca's claim the state has violated the compact by allowing video slot machines into facilities within the compact area.

 

The New York state parks system is adding 36 new officers to the ranks of its police force responsible for safety at 179 parks and 35 historic sites.  Officials with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced this week that 36 recruits have graduated from the New York State Park Police Academy in Rensselaerville... which is just outside Albany.  It's the agency's first training academy graduation since 2008.  Academy classes were put on hold because of state budget cuts brought on by the recession. Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey says the class of 2013 represents the beginning of the rebuilding of the Park Police force and the entire state parks system.  The 36 recruits will be assigned to regional commands throughout the state.

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News Update for Fri., May 17, 2013

Roberts pays tribute to Jackson in Jamestown on 10th anniversary of RHJ Center...

The current Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court paid tribute to late Justice Robert H. Jackson Friday on the 10th anniversary of the center bearing his name in Jamestown.  Justice John Roberts, who was born in Buffalo, spoke for about 20 minutes about Jackson from the porch of the Jackson Center.  Roberts talked a lot about Jackson's quick assention and dedication.  He says that was never more evident than 59 years ago Friday when Jackson returned to the court to hear the final opinion in the Brown versus Board of Education case.  Jackson had suffered a major heart attack back on March 30 of 1954.  Roberts says Jackson left the hospital on May 17 so he could hear the decision announced.  A few months later, Jackson suffered another heart attack that ultimately took his life.  However... Roberts says Jackson left behind a "inspiring legacy of a public servant, and true patriot."  While he spent only 13 years on the high court... Roberts says Jackson made a lasting impact... and, added "what a mark he left."  He says Jackson issued 154 "Opinions of the Court..." 115 Dissents... and, 46 "Concerning Opinions."  However... Roberts also injected a lot of judicial humor into his talk... saying that when a judge speaks in court, he will likely disappoint half of the people.  When he speaks in public... he has "a fair chance of "disappointing everyone."  Roberts also reflected on the changes in the Supreme Court since Jackson sat there but noted that today's judges share the same ideals as their predecessors.


RHJ Director calls Roberts visit a very rare occasion...

Prior to his address... Chief Justice Roberts took a tour of the Jackson Center... and, it's many exhibits honoring Jackson's contributions to the high court... and, Nuremberg.  This is the third time a sitting Chief Justice of the U-S Supreme Court has visited Jamestown.  That's an honor few -- if any other -- small towns in the U-S can claim.  Jackson Center Executive Director Jim Johnson told our Jim Roselle that public appearances by the Chief Justice are "very rare."  Johnson says he may do three or four appearances a year... but, that's often at college commencements, or other major events.  He says they hope Roberts enjoyed his tour of the Jackson Center.  He also applauded the work of the small army of volunteers that helped in the planning and logistics to get the Chief Justice here for the event.  Following Chief Justice Roberts' speech... he and several other dignitaties and members of the local judiciary went back inside the Jackson Center for a special luncheon.


Canada earthquake register's 5.1-magnitude, shakes parts of WNY for a short time...

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake in Ontario, Canada has been felt across upstate New York from Buffalo to the Vermont border.  Canada's government agency that monitors earthquakes says the quake occurred at 9:43 a.m. Friday about 13 miles northeast of Shawville, Quebec, about an hour's drive outside of Ottawa.  Local media outlets in northern New York say people in communities along the St. Lawrence River and as far east as Lake Champlain on New York-Vermont border reported feeling their homes shake.  There are also reports from residents of Buffalo and surrounding suburbs who say they felt their houses sway and the ground shake for less than one minute.  Rochester and Syracuse media outlets also report that the quake was felt in those areas.  There are no reports of damage.


North county fires damage two structures, one a garage...
Firefighters from six departments had to battle a house fire on Route 20 in the town of Portland overnight.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatch center says the first call came in around 1:30 this morning.  Portland had mutual aid from Brocton, Westfield, Mayville, Stockton and Fredonia.  Route 20 was closed for over three-and-a-half hours because of the fire.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation has been called in to determine a cause.  No injuries have been reported.
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About 30 firefighters were called to put out a blaze that damaged a garage on Howard St. in the village of Fredonia.  Second Assistant Fredonia Fire Chief John Lanphere says the fire at 93 Howard Street was first reported about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.  Lanphere says the first crews reported heavy fire conditions from the garage that was attached to a home.  Fire crews were able to quickly douse the flames, with the fire confined to the garage.  No injuries were reported and all occupants were able to get out of the house.  The County Fire Investigation team is now looking for a cause.

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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

Local News Headlines

 

A Ripley man is being treated for serious injuries after his speeding motorcycle crashed into a guard rail in the town of Ripley early Thursday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene on Route 76 shortly after 12 Midnight on a report of a single-vehicle accident.  Officers say 24 year-old David Baum was southbound at a very high rate of speed when he lost control on a curve... and, the bike overturned before it struck the guard rail.  Deputies say Baum was treated at the scene... then flown to UPMC-Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Officers got a blood test from Baum at the hospital... and, say charges are expected at a later date.

 

Final details were being tended to late yesterday in preparation for this morning's appearance in Jamestown by U-S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.  Roberts will be delivering the keynote speech at the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Robert H. Jackson Center at 10 AM.  Several hundred people... including about 15-hundred school students... are expected to be on hand when Roberts speaks from the center's Fourth Street porch.  Jackson Center Executive Director Jim Johnson believes the Chief Justice will gear many of his remarks to those students. Speaking with our Jim Roselle and Dennis Webster... Johnson said Roberts fully understands Jackson's place in history... both on the Supreme Court... and, at Nuremburg.  He adds that Roberts himself could wind up making history before he's done because he's in his mid-50s.  Johnson says he's served seven years as chief justice... and, if he serves another 27 years... he will be the longest serving chief Justice ever.  The longest serving Chief Justice in the history of the U-S Supreme Court was John Marshall... who served 34 years on the high court.  You can hear full coverage of Roberts' speech... and, events leading up to it... here on WJTN.

 

Chautauqua County has finished 2012 in the black... and, the county's top-elected official credits some tough decisions... and, using innovative approaches to produce the savings.  County Executive Greg Edwards says the county's year end audit for 2012 shows a 5.8-million dollar surplus for the general fund.  Edwards says that's a major turnaround from the significant defict that was projected in 2011. Edwards says the surplus should help the county as work begins on the 2014 county budget.  He says the biggest savings stemmed from the merger of the Department of Social Services... and, the Department of Health.  Christine Schuyler now heads up both areas... and, their work saved about 2.7-million dollars.  While more tough decisions are expected... Edwards says the surplus and efficiencies should help reduce a projected 13-million deficit going into 2014 by nearly 10-million.  Next year's budget will be the last one for Edwards... who recently announced that he was not seeking a third term as County Executive.

 

A top Democrat in the U-S Senate plans to revive legislation that would protect journalists and their employers from revealing their sources.  New York lawmaker Chuck Schumer made the announcement days after it was revealed that the Justice Department secretly obtained Associated Press phone records.  A congressional official said Schumer plans to reintroduce the 2009 bill.  The legislation stalled in Congress in past years.  The government obtained the records from April and May of 2012 for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists... including main offices.  A-P's top executive called the action a massive and unprecedented intrusion into how news organizations do their work.  The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to publicly discuss the senator's plans.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area continue to drop this week.  In fact... the nearly 3-cent a gallon decrease means prices have gone down for eight straight weeks now.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report says the cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded is now 3-dollars-72 cents.  Nationally... the Triple-A reports the average price for a gallon has climbed 6-cnets to 3-dollars-58 cents.  That's the largest weekly increase since February.  Higher crude oil prices are among the factors for the increase.

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

The final autopsy on a Jamestown man who was tasered while in police custody last February shows he died from what a coroner calls the "acute intoxication of two drugs."  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 30 year-old Charles Baker had apparently ingested the two drugs before, and, as he was being arrested following a traffic stop on February 16th.  Baker allegedly became combative with police as he was being arrested... and, officers used a Taser to subdue him.  Foley says the Buffalo-native was put in a "confinement" chair for about two hours before being put into a cell where he suffered his first seizure. Foley's office investigated to see if the tasering had anything to do with Baker's death.  However... the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office reports that high-levels of cocaine... and, the pain killer Tramadol... were the cause.  Police say Baker allegedly tried to destroy several cocaine "baggies" while he was being arrested, and booked.  Authorities say he ingested at least one baggie... and, possibly two.  With the autopsy complete... Foley says the case has been closed.

 

A vehicle stop in Jamestown late yesterday morning has led to the arrest of a city man whose allegedly been involved in the sale and distribution of "crack" cocaine in the area.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the department's drug investigators and the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team stopped the vehicle on Cole Avenue -- near South Main Street -- just before 11:30 AM Wednesday.  Samuelson says they found a passenger inside... 29 year-old Joseph Zaso... who was reportedly in possession of more than three ounces of "crack"... and, more than 2-thousand dollars cash.  He says authorities believe the drug was in the process of being sold on the street.  Zaso has been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, is being held pending arraignment.  City police say more arrests are expected.  Anyone with information on the illegal sales of narcotics in Jamestown is asked to call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... or 483-8477.

 

A city man has been arrested on several charges... including one Felony... after allegedly fighting with police following a reported domestic incident.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 15 Kenmore Avenue shortly after 11 o'clock Tuesday night... and, found the female victim inside the garage adjacent to the home.  The suspect... 27 year-old Thomas Cashmore-the-second... was also there.  The victim told officers that Cashmore allegedly broke an exterior window outside the residence.  Police then began talking to Cashmore -- who was initially calm -- and talked about what happened.  However -- without warning -- police say he charged at them and tackled one officer to the ground.  Following a brief struggle... officers say they subdued Cashmore and arrested him.  But... he later spit blood on an officer's uniform.  He's awaiting arraignment on charges of criminal mischief... obstruction... and, resisting arrest.

 

The Majority Leader on the Chautauqua County Legislature has announced that he wants to be the next county clerk.  One day after long-time Clerk Sandy Sopak announced she was not running for re-election... Gerry Republican Larry Barmore says he'll seek the GOP nomination to run for the open seat.  Barmore's admits that he had actually been looking at running for the past six to eight-months.  The owner and operator of Gay Mark Tire and Wheel in Cassadaga for the past 40 years... he says he was waiting to see what Sopak was going to do first.
Barmore is finishing up his third-term on the county legislature... and, has served on the Administrative Services... and, Public Facilities Committees.  He has also been Majority Leader the past few years.  He says he has "vast experience" in managing a staff... and, working within a budget. Barmore admits that running for county-wide office will be a bigger, and different challenge... but, one he looks forward to.  He says he looks forward to a "vigorous campaign."  If he was to stay on the legislature... Barmore was likely to face a primary challenge by fellow Republican Mark Tarbrake because reapportionment put both into the same legislative district.

 

Governor Cuomo says he has a plan to distressed upstate cities and counties in New York restructure and save money.  Cuomo is also putting at least 80-million dollars in state assistance behind his proposal made Tuesday. He's calling for creation of a state financial restructuring panel.  He says the board will help those local governments wanting help to merge and consolidate services... possibly lay off more workers... and, to permanently restructure operations. Some local officials -- including Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi -- were in Albany for Cuomo's announcement... and, welcomed the approach as another tool to maintain needed services.  Teresi says -- to him -- "that's one of the real attractions of a program like this."  However... some mayor's felt it avoided the biggest issues.  Syracuse's Stephanie Miner, who wasn't invited to Cuomo's event, says local governments are burdened most by pension and health care costs mandated by Albany. 

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News Update (correction)

(Update corrected)Baker death ruled accidental... not from tasering, but, ingestion of two drugs...

A Buffalo-area man who was tazered while in Jamestown Police custody last February died from what a coroner calls "acute intoxication of two drugs."  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says Charles Baker had apparently ingesting powder cocaine... and, the drug Tramadol prior to -- and, as he was being arrested following a traffic stop.  He allegedly became combative with police in the Feb. 16 incident... and, officers deployed a taser.  Baker later suffered two seizures, and died at WCA Hospital.  Police say Baker was trying to throw away baggies of cocaine that were in his possession.  More on this story later.

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News Update for Wed., May 15, 2013

Baker death ruled accidental... not from tazering, but, ingestion of two drugs...

A Buffalo-area man who was tazered while in Jamestown Police custody last February died from what a coroner calls "acute intoxication of two drugs."  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says Charles Baker had apparently ingesting powder cocaine... and, the drug Tramadol prior to -- and, as he was being arrested following a traffic stop.  He allegedly became combative with police in the Feb. 16 incident... and, officers deployed a tazer.  Baker later suffered two seizures, and died at WCA Hospital.  Police say Baker was trying to throw away baggies of cocaine that were in his possession.  More on this story later.


Cuomo proposes panel to help distressed cities and counties; Teresi welcomes approach...

Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting at least $80-million in state assistance behind his proposal to help local cities and counties restructure their finances to survive.  Cuomo provided more detail Tuesday about his proposed financial restructuring panel.  He says the board will help local governments in distress merge and consolidate services, possibly lay off more workers, and to permanently restructure operations.  He says the plans will be specific for that locality... be it Syracuse, or Jamestown.  Some local officials -- including Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi -- were on hand for Cuomo's press conference... and, welcomed the approach as another tool to maintain needed services.  Teresi says that's one of the "real attractions" of Cuomo's plan.  However... some mayor's felt it avoided the biggest issues.  Syracuse's Stephanie Miner, who wasn't invited to Cuomo's event, said in an interview that municipalities are burdened most by pension and health care costs mandated by Albany.


No on attends JPS Budget Hearing; plan further outlined...

Jamestown school board members got a further update on the district's proposed, 2013-2014 budget, as no one from the public attended last night's required public hearing.  That was likely due to the fact there is no tax increase... and, no personnel cuts in the $75.3-million dollar spending plan.  The budget also includes $1.42-million less in spending than the current year's budget.  Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow says this was a difficult budget to work on.  Weatherlow agrees it was made that way because not only did the board want a no-tax increase spending plan... but, Superintendent Deke Kathman wanted to avoid any more lay-offs to protect their instructional programs.  Weatherlow says it's the fourth-straight "zero-tax increase" budget district officials have put before the voters.  He says a number of spending lines... including certified staff wages are down significantly.  He says that's because 16 people have retired... or will retire this year.  Some positions are not being filled.  Others are being replaced with entry-level employees.  
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District officials also announced the three people running for two full-terms on the school board next week.  Board President Joe DiMaio... and, newcomer Patrick Slagle are seeking three-year terms.  They're being challenged by Todd Rushforth.


JPS District residents to also consider transporation proposition next Tuesday...

Voters in the Jamestown School District will also be voting next Tuesday on a $795,000 transporation proposition to buy eight new vehicles.  Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow also outlined that proposal during Tuesday night's public hearing.  Weatherlow says the district does maintain a "significant fleet" that is also aging.  He says five are regular buses, and three are smaller vehicles that are between 10 and 12 years-old.  Weatherlow says it's "just like our (own) vehicles... you have to replace them after a certain period of time."  He says most of the cost will be picked up by state aid... and, adds that they'll be paying off the cost over five years... so it matches up with the aid payments to the district.  He says that makes the move the "best way to go..." because the vehicles being replaced have gone through a lot of repairs... and, have failed state DOT inspections several times.  The transportation measure will be Proposition-2 on next Tuesday's ballot.  Voting on the Jamestown school budget and transporation measures... and, school board seats will take place next Tuesday from Noon to 9 p.m.  Residents will cast their ballots at Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Schools.
 


 

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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

Local News Headlines

 

The early morning fire Monday that destroyed the Krempa Medical Associates building on Jamestown's southside was the work of an arsonist.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says the determination was made following a joint investigation by City police... the Jamestown Fire Department... and, the county's Forensic Investigation Team.  City firefighters were called to the scene at 23 Ivy Street about 2:30 AM Monday.  A couple of witnesses who spotted the blaze said they heard an explosion of some kind before seeing the flames... but, Samuelson couldn't confirm that. Samuelson also wouldn't say if they suspected a disguntled patient -- or employee set the blaze.  He says they are investigating "every angle possible" in the case.  Samuelson also says if you have seen someone with a recent, suspicious burn... or have other information... call City Police at 483-7531.  You can also leave anonymous tips at the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury fighting the blaze.

 

In the north county... fire investigators have ruled last week's business structure fire in Dunkirk as "suspicious."  Dunkirk Fire Chief Keith Ahlstrom says an exact cause could not be determined because of the amount of damage caused by the blaze at 100 Ruggles Street back on May 8th.  Ahlstrom says, though, that the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team will continue to look into the cause. Dunkirk firefighters were called to the former Community Christmas-Sharing with Children program that was at the corner of Ruggles and Talcott Streets.  Fredonia firefighters assisted at the scene with their Tower-18 truck.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting at least 80-million dollars in state assistance behind his proposal to help local cities and counties restructure their finances to survive.  Cuomo provided some more details about his proposed financial restructuring panel on Tuesday.  He says the panel will help local governments in distress merge and consolidate services, possibly lay off more workers, and to permanently restructure operations.  Some local officials -- including Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi -- were on hand for Cuomo's press conference... and,  welcomed the approach as another tool.  But... some felt it avoided the biggest issues.  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who wasn't invited to Cuomo's event, says in an interview that municipalities are burdened most by pension and health care costs mandated by Albany.  The state Association of Counties also called for the state to reduce unfunded mandates.

 

The Jamestown school district's 2013-2014 budget proposal was outlined in detail during a public hearing last night.  However... no one attended... mostly likely because it doesn't include a tax increase.  The 75.3-million dollar also includes a 1.42-million dollar spending decrease over the current year's spending plan.  Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow says it's the fourth-straight "zero-tax increase" budget district officials have put before the voters.  Weatherlow says a number of spending lines... including certified staff wages are down significantly.  He says that's because 16 people have retired... or will retire this year. Weatherlow adds that their equipment budget is down 77.7-percent in the new budget.  District officials were hoping that they would have more aid reinstated in the final state budget.  However... they only received 130-thousand more to help plug a 4.5-million dollar deficit.  Weatherlow says they took a big hit on building aid because what ended up being a miscalculation by the district. However... Weatherlow says the state aid formula for them has changed three times in since 2002.  He also outlined a nearly 800-thousand dollar transportation proposition that will also be on next Tuesday's ballot. District officials also announced the three people running for two full-terms on the school board next week.  Board President Joe DiMaio... and, newcomer Patrick Slagle are seeking three-year terms.  They're being challenged by Todd Rushforth.

 

The final details are being put into place for this Friday's historic visit to Jamestown by Chief Justice John Roberts of the U-S Supreme Court.  Roberts is slated to be here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Robert H. Jackson Center.  The center is named after the former U-S Supreme Court Justice... who was also Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trial following World War-Two.  Jackson Center Co-Founder Greg Peterson is acknowledged as the person who pushed hardest to get Roberts to come... because of Roberts' high-regard for Jackson. Reinquist was the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to appear in Jamestown on May 16th of 2003 for the official dedication of the Jackson Center.  During an interview on WJTN yesterday morning... Peterson said he didn't know what Roberts will talk about... but, knows he WON'T talk about cases currently before the high court.  Peterson believes he'll reflect on Jackson's legacy... and, how it applies to the court today.  Roberts speech from the porch of the Jackson Center begins at 10 AM Friday.  (**WJTN will carry the address live.)

 

A couple of schools in the Jamestown area have had a special treat this week. The West Virginia University Percussion Ensemble is playing concerts at Jamestown High School and Southwestern as part of its annual end of semester tour.  The seventeen member ensemble is led by WVU percussion professor, George Willis. The group travels with a 26 foot truck filled with drums and percussion instruments from around the world.  One of the members of this year's ensemble is WVU senior and Jamestown area native, Hannah Webster. Hannah is the daughter of Media One announcer Dennis Webster and his wife Sheila. (The ensemble will return to Morgantown late in the day Wednesday.)

 

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News Update! for Tues., May 14, 2013

Blaze at Krempa Medical Associates on Monday in Jamestown ruled an arson...

The blaze that destroyed the Krempa Medical Associates building in Jamestown was intentionally set.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says the determination was made following an extensive investigation by City police... the Jamestown Fire Department... and, the county's Forensic Investigation Team.  City firefighters were called to the scene at 23 Ivy St. about 2:30 Monday morning.  Fire officials say the blaze had a big head start.  Samuelson says investigators combed through the debris most of the day... and, determined the cause was arson.  He says they're looking for the public's help... and, are especially looking for anyone who may have seen someone with a suspicious burn and, was seeking treatment.  A couple of witnesses who spotted the blaze said they heard an explosion.  Samuelson said he can't confirm that... but, did say "there was an ignition" of some kinds.  He wouldn't say if they suspected a disguntled patient or employee of setting the blaze... but, added they are looking into that, and other possible angles.  Samuelson says if you have seen someone with a recent, suspicious burn... or have other information... call City Police at 483-7531.  You can also leave anonymous tips at the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury in the blaze.


Three people arrested in April 30th drug raids in Lakewood now formally charged...

Three Jamestown residents have now been formally charged in connection with a major marijuana growing and trafficking operation found at two locations last month in the town of Busti.  Lakewood-Busti Police add that 31 year-old John Boardman and 30 year-old Jennifer Grundstrom of 529 Busti-Sugar Grove Road... and, 30 year-old Brad Strickland of 515 Busti-Sugar Grove Road were arraigned in Busti Town Court on several drug-related charges.  Boardman was jailed on 30-thousand dollars bail on charges that include second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, and unlawfully growing Cannibis.  Police add that Strickland was jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail on similar charges.  Boardman was ticketed for criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, marijuana.  More than 500 growing pot plants... and, a controlled substance were seized during raids on the two locations.


Cuomo and ex-wife lobbying for passage of Farmworker Bill...

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy, are each pushing to protect migrant farm workers' rights.  Kennedy says the workers are abused under remnants of Jim Crow laws.  Kennedy appeared in Albany with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to support the bill that would give overtime pay, days off, worker's compensation and other benefits to farm workers who pick fruits and vegetables in the state.  Separately... Cuomo says he's pushing Senate Democrats who, if they united, could out-vote the Republican senators who have blocked the bill for more than a decade.  Cuomo says he will also meet with the Farm Bureau.  It argues the abuses are overblown, driven by unions seeking more members, and that most farm hands have good, long-term relationships with their employers.

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

Another top-elected official in Chautauqua County is announcing she isn't running for another term.  After two decades of service... County Clerk Sandy Sopak says she'll be retiring at the end of this year.  Sopak won election in 1994... and, became only the third woman to hold the office of County Clerk since 1811.  She admits to being a little sad about the idea of retiring.  However... Sopak adds that she's done everything she set out to do when she first took office. That often times has been difficult.  Sopak says she had to take the Clerk's Office from -- "the dome to sub-basement of the courthouse" -- and, get it organized and upgraded to join the information age.  She says the biggest accomplishment by her and her staff was getting 1.6-million dollars in grants to help computerize records... and, bring electronic imaging to their documentation. Under her administration... Sopak says they were also able to develop a state-of-the-art archival facility to preserve hundreds of thousands of valuable historical documents. Her efforts have been recognized across the state, and the country with numerous awards.  That included a 1999 Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society.

 

The city of Jamestown received a slight increase in sales tax revenue in the first-quarter of 2013.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who told lawmakers at last night's City Council work session that he just received the figures from the county.  Bellitto says the city is getting 1.344-million dollars for the first three-months of the year.  He says that's a just over 30-thousand dollar increase over the first-quarter of last year. Bellitto says the city received just under 23-percent of it's total sales tax for 2012 in the first three-months of last year.  He says Jamestown officials budgeted 5.775-million dollars in total sales tax revenue for 2013.  That's up slightly from last year.  City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce adds it's also good news because consumer spending was expected to be flat... or down in the first quarter due to reinstatement of the 2-percent payroll tax cut at the beginning of the year.

 

There will be an added focus on demolishing condemned buildings... and, improving infrastructure in the city of Jamestown's Community Development Block Grant... and HOME Programs in 2013.  That from Development Director Vince DeJoy following last night's second, required hearing on the approximately one-million dollar program.  DeJoy says since holding their first hearing... the city's receive a "lot of citizen input" on what should be in the plan. A representative from the Chautauqua Housing Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation spoke last night about CHRIC's (Cricks) plans to acquire homes through auction... and, other means to rehabilitate them into owner-occupied structures.  DeJoy says that falls right in with the purpose of the CDBG Funds... which are doled out by the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development.  However... the amount of money continues to go down in the program.  DeJoy says they're received no specific dollar amount the city will be receiving... but, he says generally... the cut will be about 5-percent.  The City Council will vote on the plan at next week's voting session.

 

A medical office on Jamestown's southside has been extensively damaged in an overnight fire Monday.  City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says first arriving crews at the Ivy Street offices of Doctors Jeffrey and David Krempa found flames leaping from the building about 2:30 AM.  Salemme says the building was heavily-engulfed in flames. Salemme says it was a tough fire to put out because of the way the roof ultimately collapsed.  He says it caused a lot of "void areas..." which are hard to get water into.  Salemme says they had to pull some debris back to get to the flames.  Fire investigators have been making their way through what remains of the structure to determine what caused the blaze.  There were no reports of anyone inside the building at the time.  Salemme says one firefighter suffered a minor injury.  In addition to the medical offices of Doctors Jeffrey and David Krempa... Podiatrist Dr. John Susz also had an office there.  An off-duty shift was called into assist.

 

A 21 year-old man was arrested late Sunday for allegedly throwing a large planter urn through the window of a Greenhurst area bar.  State Police in Jamestown... and, Ellicott Town Police were called to the undisclosed scene on a report of a disorderly subject.  Troopers say Donald Paulson of Greenhurt allegedly became unruly when the bartender refused to serve him because of how intoxicated he was.  Police say... as Paulson left the tavern... he struck the door -- damaging the window frame.  He then allegedly threw the planter through the 4 foot-by-8 foot front window.  Some bar patrons were struck by the glass... but, were not hurt.  Paulson was arraigned in Ellery Town Court on Felony charges including third-degree criminal mischief... and, two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... reckless endangerment... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.   He was then sent to the county jail with bail to be set.

 

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News Update for Mon., May 13, 2013

Sopak to retire at end of current term at end of 2013...

Another top-elected official in Chautauqua County is announcing she isn't running for another term.  After two decades -- that's five-terms -- in office... County Clerk Sandy Sopak says she'll be retiring at the end of this year.  Sopak won election in 1994... and, became only the third woman to hold the office of County Clerk since 1811.  When she took office... Sopak says it was prior to the introduction of computerizing records and electronic imaging of documents.  Through several grants more than 1.6-million dollars... Sopak was able to upgrade the clerk's recording and filing system with the latest records management technology, and scanned millions of documents to make the images available electronically.  Under her administration, a state-of-the-art archival facility was developed to preserve hundreds of thousands of valuable historical documents. Sopak says -- "when I walked into the clerk's office that first day, it was as if time stood still and we were still in the 1800's. Today, I'm proud of the modernization of the way we capture and maintain the records while still being surrounded by the beautiful architecture and ambiance of this historical building and our historical documents."  Sopak's efforts have been recognized across the state, and the country with numerous awards.

 

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Local News Update

Fire has caused extensive damage to a medical office at 23 Ivy Street in Jamestown.  Flames were reportedly leaping from the building when firefighters arrived around 2:30 AM today.  Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says Fire investigators are beginning to make their way through what remains of the structure to determine what caused the fire.  There were no reports of anyone in the building at the time. One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  The building on Ivy Street housed the offices of Drs. Jeffrey and David Krempa, and a podiatrist Dr. John Susz. As a result of the fire, Foote Ave is closed between Barker St. and Cole Ave.  Expect traffic delays in that neighborhood for awhile. 

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Local News Update

The Jamestown Fire Department remains on the scene of a fire at a medical office on Ivy Street.  The fire broke out around 2:30 AM.  As a result of that fire, Foote Avenue between Cole Avenue and Barker Street will be closed for awhile.

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines  

 

A city man is jailed after police found him and a woman inside an apartment on Jamestown's eastside that neither lived-in late last Saturday night.  City Police were called to the scene about 9:40 PM for a alleged burglary in progress.  On arrival... officers saw the unidentified female suspect inside one of the apartments.  She was detained... as was the second subject... identified as 33 year-old Jay Peck of Walnut Street.  Peck was reportedly found hiding elsewhere in the apartment.  Police determined the woman had a valid order of protection against him... and, Peck was arrested for first-degree criminal contempt... and, aggravated family offense.  He was being held pending arraignment.

 

Last Friday's heavy rains are being partially blamed for one car crashing into another vehicle... then a building... in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's Deputies say 18 year-old Lydia Baake of Angola was eastbound on Routes 5 and 20 just after 7:30 PM when she lost control of her vehicle... and, it and hydroplaned into oncoming traffic.  Deputies say Baake's car struck an oncoming vehicle operated by 78 year-old John Peterson of Dunkirk.  Officers say her car then continued forward... and, struck the building.  Baake and her passenger... 20 year-old Matthew Mardino of North Collins... were unhurt.  John Peterson also wasn't hurt... but, his passenger, 73 year-old Carol Peterson... was taken to Lake Shore Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Baake was ticketed for speeding... and, failure to keep right.

 

A local maker of heavy-duty truck and vehicle engines will soon become one of the first in the world to make a natural gas-powered engine.  Jamestown Engine Plant Manager Mike Abbate tells us that getting the new, X-12 on-line is one of the company's biggest challenges in competing in the U-S and Global Markets.  During a recent interview... Abbate said they're excited about the move... which will involve making the current X-12 line inter-changeable for diesel and natural gas.  However... he adds they want to make sure they maintain their high standards of quality. Abbate says they'll also continue to have their other two, diesel engine lines running -- including their long-time stand-by, the ISM, 11-liter motor.  He says Cummins has been able to stablize it's labor situation at the Jamestown plant by grabbing a larger share of the U-S market.  In fact... he says 40-percent of the heavy-duty trucks you see on the road have a Cummins engine inside it.  Abbate says they've done it by being ready for changes in the marketplace.

 

A Dunkirk man who fled the state before being convicted of sex abuse has been sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.  Local media outlets report that 47-year-old Paul Turley was sentenced last Friday in Niagara County Court... where his trial was underway in January when he left the courtroom and didn't return.  U.S. Marshals tracked him down, along with his wife, in Tucson, Arizona, in February.  He and his wife, Diane, were found hiding out at a home of an acquaintance.  After taking off... Turley was found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls in North Tonawanda during the 1990s.  Diane Turley has been charged with hindering prosecution.

 

Federal tax records show a lobbying group created to support Goveronr Andrew Cuomo's policies saw a drop off from 17-million dollars in donations in 2011 to zero after donors had to be identified by law.  The Committee to Save New York received 17.4-million dollars in donations in 2011 when contributors were anonymous.  But... when the state ethics board required donors to be identified after July 2012, the group got no donations.  The tax record provided by the committee shows the group received 1.15-million dollars in January of 2012, five months before names would have to be revealed.  Those included a payment by one person of 600-thousand dollars.  The business-based committee has funded TV ad blitzes boosting Cuomo's proposals and popularity at no cost to his campaign.

 

A motion supporting the "re-powering" project at NRG's Power Plant in Dunkirk has been introduced by two Jamestown Democrats on the Chautauqua County Legislature.  Current Minority Leader Robert Whitney... and, past Minority Leader Lori Cornell are pushing for the measure... which will go to committee this week.  Cornell has criticized past use of motionis... but, says the proposed, 500-million dollar project is one that needs state support for a number of reasons. Cornell says she believes a motion is appropriate in this case because the project has a "direct impact on our local economy... and, local tax base."  The Dunkirk native says if there is enough support, the motion would then be considered by the full County Legislature later this month.  If there is state support for the Re-powering Project... it would convert the NRG Plant from a coal-fired facility to one powered by natural gas.

 

A New York man who was charged with fraud after filing a lawsuit claiming part ownership of Facebook wants a judge to stop the criminal case from moving forward.  Paul Ceglia of Wellsville says he believes Facebook is behind the criminal charges.  The Menlo Park, California-based social media company declined to respond to the allegations.  Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Ceglia last fall, saying he tried to swindle Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg out of part of the company by doctoring a 2003 contract.  That contract is the basis of Ceglia's 2010 civil suit.  Ceglia's lawyer, Joseph Alioto, asked a judge in Buffalo on Friday to suspend the criminal case until the civil action is over, arguing it's interfering with the suit. The judge reserved decision.  A magistrate judge's recommendation that the civil case should be dismissed is pending.

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News Update for Fri., May 10, 2013

Severe Weather produces possible funnel cloud sighting in northern Chautauqua County, lightning and hail...

A number of severe thunderstrom cells -- and possibly a tornado in northern Chautauqua County -- roared through the Jamestown-area late Friday afternoon.  There was a report from a resident along the Lake Erie shoreline of a possible funnel cloud in the Brocton-area about 5 p.m. while that part of the county was under a Tornado Warning.  However... the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department reports nothing touched down between 4:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. when the warning was in effect.  Dispatchers say there was a brief power outage in Westfield.  There was a lot of wind in some areas... and severe lightning... but, little if any damage.  There were reports in and around Jamestown of pea to dime-sized hail.  Dispatchers also reported the heavy rain washed-out part of Brownell Road between Enink and Raybergen Roads about 9 p.m.


Seven arrested as part of two drug raids in Jamestown Friday morning...

Seven people were arrested Friday morning during a pair of drug raids on the city's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says JPD Investigators... and, members of the State Police C-NET Team... capped a several month-long investigation into the illegal trafficking of "crack" cocaine from a pair of apartments Friday at 916 No. Main St.  Samuelson says the raids began at 9:15 a.m., and, they were looking for two people... 51 year-old Cleophis Harris... and, 54 year-old Fattah Rahim in particular.  He says the two men rented the apartments to deal drugs from.  Samuelson says they also found several items that had been reported stolen, including a lap-top computer and flat-screen TV.  He says investigators found a quantity of "crack..." prescription pills... and, a quantity of cash inside the apartments.  He adds they also determined that other criminal activity was taking place at the apartments... and recovered a number of stolen items... including a lap-top computer.  Samuelson says all face a least one charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  In addition to Harris... and, Rahim... police also arrested 49 year-old Anthony Woods... 34 year-old Allison Turner... and, 32 year-old Sue Ann Gifford of Jamestown.  They also took 35 year-old Dwight Logan and 34 year-old Chantelle Logan of Buffalo into custody.  An 18 year-old from Elmira sought on several warrants there was returned to Elmira.


Eight arrested in Dunkirk during two drug raids there, and fight on Deer Street...

Eight people from Dunkirk are jailed on various drug-related charges after undercover drug agents and police raided two homes in the north county city Thursday night.  Dunkirk police add one person was also arrested after they investigated a fight in the 600-block of Deer Street.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed search warrants... the first at 107 South Beaver St. just after 6:30 p.m.  The second took place about 8:15 p.m. at 114 South Gazelle St.  Task Force agents say they found a quantity of "crack" cocaine... powder cocaine... a 12-gauge shotgun... and, several "edged weapons at 107 South Beaver.  Three people... 51 year-old Monserrate Silva, Jr.... 18 year-old Alvin Jusino... and, 24 year-old Angel Garcia were arrested.  Arrested at the Gazelle Street location were 57 year-old Joseph Szach.. 20 year-old Monserrate Silva III... 39 year-old Ramon Santiago... and 47 year-old William Green.  Task Force agents were called to the scene of the fight about 9:30 p.m.  They found 17 year-old Zachary Plumley was among the combatants.  He was arrested on a county Grand Jury warrant for alleged drug possession and sale.  Task Force... and police officials credited the public with providing them with a "large amount" of information over the five-month investigation into the eight defendants.


Foul play ruled out in unattended death in Jamestown Thursday...

There was apparently no foul play involved in the death of a Jamestown woman whose body was found inside her Bush Street home Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 11 Bush about 2:30 p.m. after the unidentified woman was reported missing earlier in the day.  Samuelson says she had not actually been seen since earlier in week.  He says her body was found a short time after the missing person's call.  Samuelson says they initially called the death suspicious because of where the body was found inside the home... but, declined to give further details.  He says the woman's body was further examined at WCA Hospital under the guidance of County Coroner John Sixbey.  Samuelson says Sixbey determined there was no criminal activity... nor foul play involved... and, the case has been closed.  He would only say the woman was a 52 year-old white female.  There will be no autopsy.  The county's Forensic Investigation Team... and, District Attorney David Foley were also called to the scene.

 

 


 

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

The Post Journal is reporting that The Jamestown Police Department responded to a suspicious death at 11 Bush St. in Jamestown around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Captain Robert Samuelson says a woman in her 50s who is believed to have been a resident of the address, was found deceased inside the home. The Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team was called to the scene, as well as District Attorney David Foley. Samuelson said the body was going to be taken to the Erie County Medical center in Buffalo where an autopsy will be performed today.

 

The new manager of Cummins Engine's Jamestown Engine Plant says he's long aspired to be the head man at one of the region's largest employers.  Mike Abbate (Ah-BAY-T) had been the Jamestown plant's director of Materials and Supply Chain the past 10 years.  A short time ago... he was named Interim Plant Manager after David Porter was promoted.  Abbate had the "interim" tag officially taken off his title this past Tuesday... and, says he's "very excited" to be leading the plant that he's spent the past 31 years working at. Abbate is a native of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania... who says he moved to the area to work for Cummins in 1981.  He says he's excited about the team of people they have assembled at the Jamestown Engine Plant... what they do there... and, the "opportunities ahead."  After a sluggish start... Abbate says they're anticipating the number of engine orders to pick-up through 2013... and, that's why they've been hiring.

 

New Cummins' Jamestown Engine Plant Manager Mike Abbate replaces David Porter... who had been plant manager for the past several years.  Porter has moved into a leadership post with Cummins' High Horsepower Oil and Gas Business.  He was a high-profile manager for Cummins'... being involved with a number of community organizations and business groups.  Abbate praised Porter for his work... adding that Cummins' has "strived to be a responsible corporate citizen."  He says they're long-term success is "very strongly tied to the health of the community.  Abbate says that's why Porter was so heavily-involved in the community... and, he will follow suit.  He says he "absolutely" looks forward to being involved in the Greater Jamestown community.  Most noteably... he was a member of the Western New York Economic Development Council that developed proposals to compete for a share of millions of dollars in state funding.  Those projects approved by the state received funding to move forward.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York's Indian casinos could face competition in their backyards if tribes and the state fail to reach agreements in the coming months.  The administration's talks with the Senecas, Mohawks and Oneidas come as Cuomo tries to bring three casinos in yet-to-be identified locations upstate.  Three of the six upstate regions Cuomo is looking at already have Indian casinos.  Cuomo said Thursday he's working with the tribes to resolve existing issues, like revenue sharing with the state.  Cuomo says they won't try to site a casino near casinos run by tribes in good standing with the state.  A public referendum to change New York's constitution to allow non-Indian casinos could be on the ballot as early as November.

 

Two Kennedy women were hurt when the car they were riding in struck a tanker truck early Thursday afternoon that was backing into a farm in the town of Ellington.  Sheriff's Deputies say the crash occured on Waterboro Hill Road about 12:30 PM when the car... operated by 62 year-old Donna Burdic... crested a hill... and, struck the front end of the truck.  The truck driver, 28 year-old Robert Behnke, Junior of Cattaraugus, was not hurt.  However... Burdic, and her passenger, Nora Jo Rogers -- both of Kennedy -- were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of their injuries.  Officers say their investigation showed that Burdic didn't slow down when the car crested a hill... and, was ticketed.  She's to appear in Ellington Town Court at a later date.

 

Chautauqua County officials and Cornell University will be hosting a final workshop tomorrow to update residents on the county's efforts to modify regulations on Septic systems along Chautauqua Lake.  County Executive Greg Edwards says the last "Homeowner Education Workshop on Improved Wastewater Management for Lakeshore Communities" begins at 9 AM Saturday at Building "A" of the Hewes Educational Center-BOCES in Ashville.  Edwards says the workshop is free... and, is sponsored by the county's Planning and Economic Development Department... the county's Department of Health... the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District... and, Cornell.  Edwards says it's designed to educate homeowners, private businesses, and local, state and federal officials on the importance of properly maintained wastewater treatment systems near lakes and waterways.  People attending will hear... and, interact with experts on the role waterfront septic systems can play in polluting the lake and creating potential health risks.  They will also learn about the department of Health's efforts to modify lakefront septic system regulations to improve water quality.  Edwards says "having a properly designed and maintained septic system is one more step lakeshore residents can take to help reduce the amount of phosphorous that enters Chautauqua Lake and feeds the weeds."  For more information... contact County Watershed Coordinator Jeff Diers at 661-8915.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it official.  The New York State Fair this summer will include some of the nation's top entertainers from Carly Rae Jepsen and Toby Keith... to Reba and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Cuomo made the announcement yesterday.  The State Fair begins in Syracuse on August 22nd.

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News Update for Thurs., May 9, 2013

Abbate says he's "thrilled" to be the new manager at Cummins' Engine's Jamestown Engine Plant...

The new head of Cummins' Jamestown Engine Plant says he's "very excited" to be the manager of one of the county's major employers.  Company leaders in Columbus, Indiana have announced that Mike Abbate had officially taken over for David Porter this past Tuesday.  Speaking with Media One News Thursday afternoon... Abbate said he's been with Cummins for 31 years... all with the Jamestown Engine Plant.  The Harborcreek, PA native says he moved to the area in 1981.  Abbate says, personally, he's very excited to be part of the community... and, their plant, assembled team, and the opportunities ahead.  For the past 10 years... Abbate served as the Jamestown plant's director of Materials and Supply Chain.  Manufacturing Executive Director Kevin Aker says -- quote -- "Mike has been a strong contributor throughout his career and is very deserving of this new role.  His ability to cultivate strong relationships with customers and suppliers has been integral to the success of JEP and the Engine Business."  Abbate received his Bachelor's degree from Penn State University in Mechanical Engineering.  Abbate and his family reside in the Jamestown-area.


Flames cause heavy-damage to commercial building in Dunkirk...

Dunkirk city firefighters -- with help from a Fredonia crew -- battled a blaze that's heavily-damaged a building at the corner of Ruggles and Talcott Streets.  Dunkirk Fire Chief Keith Ahlstrom says crews got the call around 9 p.m. Thursday night.  Ahlstrom says they found the building "fully-involved" on arrival, and the roof starting to collapse.  With that... he says they made "an exterior attack only."  Ahlstrom says his department's Ladder-#1... and, Fredonia's Tower-18 were used to help put out the flames.  He says the cause of the fire is under investigation.  Ahlstrom says the county's Fire Investigation Team has been called in to assist.  The building formerly housed the Community Christmas-Sharing with Children program.


Two hurt when car strikes tanker truck in Ellington...

Two people were hurt when the car they were riding in struck a tanker truck that was backing into a farm in the town of Ellington Thurday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say the collision occured about 12:30 p.m. on Waterboro Hill Road when the car... operated by 62 year-old Donna Burdic... crested a hill... and, struck the front end of the truck.  The truck driver, 28 year-old Robert Behnke, Jr. of Cattaraugus, was not hurt.  However... Burdic, and her passenger, Nora Jo Rogers... were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of their injuries.  Deputies say their investigation showed that Burdic failed to reduce her speed at the hill crest... and, was ticketed.  She's to appear in Ellington Town Court at a later date.


Reed optimistic over Schumer comments regarding Immigation, Farm bills...

Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he feels House Republican's are getting closer to agreement on a five-year, federal Farm Bill with the Senate.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he's been working with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas... and, is encouraged by the progress being made.  Reed was also encouraged by comments made recently in Jamestown by U-S Senator Charles Schumer... who says new Immigration legislation will finally deal with migrant farm worker issues in the northeast.  He says "we're close."  He says a lot of the issues that held-up a bill in 2012 have also been more fully vetted.  The House and Senate were unable to reach finally agreement on many parts of a Farm Bill... especially the time period it covers.  But... Reed says he's pleased to hear Schumer taking a more active role in trying to help New York farmers.  Reed says they're also trying to address some "antiquated" areas of the Dairy Industry... including federal subsidies... and, guest worker provisions.  He says he wants to see the dairy industry treated like "other farming industries" in the country.  Reed says he believes there are opportunities to -- "make sure that dairy is promoted..." and, that lawmakers listen to the voices on the "front-line."


Police in Olean area looking for thieves stealing items from cars...

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office is notifying residents in the Olean-area to lock their vehicles... and, not leave valuables in their vehicles.  A rash of car break ins have been reported this week in the town of Allegany, Village of Allegany  and the Town of Olean.  Some of the break-ins occured while vehicles were parked in garages.  Sheriff's Deputies... State Police... Olean City Police, and Allegany Village police are working together on extra night time patrols.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department at 938-9191.

 


 

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Two people face a number of drug related charges after authorities found  256 growing Marihuana plants while executing a search warrant Wednesday in the Town of Portland.  Just after 7:15am  members of the Chautauqua County Sheriffs SWAT team and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 7145 Plank road in the town of Portland and arrested 44 year old Jerry Erhard and 37 year old Jenell Long both of that address.   Along with the Marihuana plants they found a quantity of processed marihuana, controlled substances, three long guns and a large quantity of cash associated with the growing operation.  The value of the Marihuana is approximately 250 thousand dollars. Both Erhard and Long face a number of drug related charges.  Authorities continue to ask anyone that observes narcotics related activity in their community to call the Southern Tier Drug Task Force or their local police agency.

 

There's a new plant manager at Cummins Engine's Jamestown facility.  Company officials in Columbus, Indiana have announced that Mike Abbate took over the reins from David Porter this past Tuesday.  Abbate was serving as interim manager after Porter was named to be part of Cummins' High Horsepower Oil & Gas Business.  Company Spokesman Jon Mills says Abbate has been with Cummins for 31 years... working in several leadership roles in operations and manufacturing support roles at the Jamestown Engine Plant.  For the past 10 years... Mills says Abbate served as the Jamestown plant's director of Materials and Supply Chain.  Manufacturing Executive Director Kevin Aker says "Mike has been a strong contributor throughout his career and is very deserving of this new role."  His ability to cultivate strong relationships with customers and suppliers has been integral to the success of JEP and the Engine Business."  Abbate received his Bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University in Mechanical Engineering. Abbate resides in the Jamestown, NY, area with his wife, Kathy, and their family.
 


A suburban Rochester volunteer fire company that lost two members in a shooting rampage last Christmas Eve has welcomed its first recruits since the killings. WHAM-TV reports  that three men and a woman were introduced Tuesday during a meeting for the West Webster Fire Department. The new volunteers were approved last month. They're the department's first volunteer class since two members were killed and two others wounded when William Spengler opened fire on them early on the morning of Dec. 24. Authorities say Spengler shot the four men after setting fire to his home on the Lake Ontario shore. New volunteer Quentin Spiegel says the incident inspired him to join the department.

 


The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office is notifying residents in the Olean area to lock their vehicles and not leave valuables in their vehicles.  A rash of car break ins have been reported this week in the town of Allegany, Village of Allegany  and the Town of Olean.  Some of the break ins occured while vehicles were parked in garages.  Sherrifs Deputies, State Police, Olean Police, and Village of Allegany  police are working together on extra night time patrols. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cattaraugus County Sheriff's  at 716-938-9191.

 

Mail Carriers will be picking up more than just the mail this Saturday as they take part in Stamp Out Hunger.  Stamp Out Hunger is the nations largest single day food drive.  Local food drive coordinator Dana Pattinato says making a donation is as easy as leaving it out by your mailbox. Local donations will be going to food pantries at the Salvation Army and Joint Neighborhood Project. Donated food items should be put in a sturdy bag - and again, no glass containers will be accepted. Canned items should be dent free.  Financial donations can be made in by check with "Stamp Out Hunger" written in the memo line. Stamp Out Hunger is this Saturday May 11th.

 

Motorists who travel the New York State Thruway are being advised to be alert for deer on the highway this spring. The Thruway Authority and state police Troop T have issued their semi-annual ``antler alert'' to remind motorists that deer are more active in May and June. Officials say the most deer-vehicle collisions on the Thruway occur during the next two months and October through November. More than 2,000 vehicle collisions with deer were reported along the Thruway in 2012. The Thruway Authority says deer are more active during evening, dusk and dawn. Motorists should slow down when they spot a deer along the highway and be aware that others may be nearby.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the New York State Fair this summer will include some of the nation's top entertainers from Carly Rae Jepsen and Toby Keith to country music legends Reba and Lynyrd Skynyrd (LIHN-urd SKIHN-urd).Cuomo says country music Entertainer of the Year Luke Brian will perform Aug. 29. Keith will perform Aug. 23, pop music star Jepsen will perform Aug. 24, Reba will perform Aug. 25, and Southern Rock legend Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform Aug. 26, among other acts. Comedian Jeff Dunham will perform Aug. 27.The Great New York State Fair near Syracuse is scheduled for Aug. 23 through Sept. 3.  Cuomo plans to announce the schedule Thursday as part of his effort to bolster state tourism this summer.

 

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A nurse from Olean has been arrested by local and federal authorities on child pornography charges.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced late Tuesday that 46 year-old Willie Reid... a Registered Nurse at Olean General Hospital... was arrested... and, charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.  Hochul says Reid duties at Olean General included working in the Pediatric Unit.  The complaint states that between February 9th of last year... and, this past February 8th... Reid downloaded videos and images of child pornography using a 'peer-to-peer' file sharing program.  Some of the videos and images included pre-pubescent children and depictions of violence.  The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the U-S Department of Justice.  The FBI and Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department were involved in the investigation.  Hochul says the charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 5-years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of 250-thousand dollars.

 

There's still no cause for a late night fire Monday that damaged the front entryway to an apartment house on Jamestown's northside.  Fire Battlion Chief Matt Russo says crews were called to the Euclid Apartments at 28 Euclid Avenue shortly before 11:30 PM Monday... and, found fire coming from around the entrance doors.  Russo says firefighters attacked the flames with a single-hand line... and, knocked it down quickly.  They found no extension... but, did have to clear some smoke from the building.  No one was hurt... but, crews were at the scene for about an hour and a half.

 

Four city teens are under arrest for allegedly shooting paintballs at several people.. houses and vehicles around Jamestown Monday night.  City police were called to the area around 364 Fluvanna Avenue about 6:30 PM on several complaints of youths shooting the paintballs.  Officers got a description of the suspect vehicle... and, later found it... and, the teens inside.  Three of them... an 18 year-old and two 16 year-olds... face several charges... including two counts of second-degree assault... and one count each of reckless endangerment... criminal nuisance... and, conspiracy.  Police say a 15 year-old who's accused of taking part will have his case petitioned to Family Court at a later date.

 

A long-vacant restaurant location on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott is being transformed into a new business.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Cecil Miller confirms that Clearview Pools of Western New York has leased the former Yum-Yum's... and, will be opening sometime in the near future.  Miller says he and other town officials are "very excited" about the development.  He says a developer purchased the property several months ago... and, began sprucing up the property.  Miller says the tenant is renovating the inside and outside of the building. Miller did not identify the developer.  He adds no zoning changes are needed for the new store... which will specialize in above... and in-ground pools and spas.  We have learned that the local franchiser for Clearview Pools of Western New York is Scott Axelson... who is returning to the area from the New England region.

 

Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he's not against a proposal that could end tax-free shopping on the Internet.  However... Corning Republican Tom Reed says he will only support the enforcement of state sales taxes on those sales.  The U-S Senate yesterday (Monday) approved a bill that empowers states to require businesses with more than one-million dollars in "out-of-state" sales to collect taxes for products they sell on the Internet... in catalogs... and, through radio and TV ads.  Reed says many Internet sales ARE taxable.
Reed says there is an issue of fairness with "brick and mortar" business that have to collect sales tax on merchandise not considered to be 'basic necessities.'  He says the problem is there is no penalty in place for Internet sale sites.  However... Reed adds he does NOT support a new tax. Under the legislation passed 69-to-27 in the Senate... the sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.  Current law says that states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if the merchant has a physical presence in the state.  As a result, many online sales are tax-free.

 

A Jamestown man is jailed after allegedly grabbing an early morning snack... and, stealing several bottles of booze from a downtown hotel.  City police arrested 56 year-old Robert Cavender of East Fifth Street about 3 AM Tuesday at the Ramada Inn on West Fourth Street for allegedly breaking into the kitchen and banquet-area during the overnight hours.  Officers say a hotel employee reportedly found Cavender inside a large kitchen cooler eating shrimp, breakfast sandwiches, and ice cream bars.  The suspect ran off... but, later returned... and, was found in an elevator in possession of several liquor bottles from the banquet room.  Cavender allegedly ran off again... but, was found by police a few blocks away.  He was arrested... and, arraigned on charges of Felony burglary, criminal mischief and petty larceny.  Cavender was then sent to the Chautauqua County Jail with no bail set.

 

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News Update for Tues., May 7, 2013

Jamestown firefighters make quick work of entryway blaze at Euclid Apartments...

Jamestown fire investigators are looking into the cause of a late night blaze Monday that damaged the front entryway to an apartment house.  Fire Battlion Chief Matt Russo says crews were called to the Euclid Apartments at 28 Euclid Ave. shortly before 11:30 p.m. Monday... and, found fire coming from around the entrance doors.  Russo says firefighters attacked the flames with a single-hand line... and, knocked it down quickly.  They found no extension... but, did have to clear some smoke from the building.  No one was hurt... but, crews were at the scene for about an hour and a half.


Four Jamestown teens accused of shooting paint balls at people and property...

Four city teens are under arrest for allegedly shooting paintballs at several people.. houses and vehicles around Jamestown Monday night.  City police were called to the area around 364 Fluvanna Ave. about 6:30 p.m. on several complaints of youths shooting the paintballs.  Officers got a description of the suspect vehicle... and, later found it... and, the teens inside.  Three of them... an 18 year-old and two 16 year-olds... face several charges... including two counts of second-degree assault... and one count each of reckless endangerment... criminal nuisance... and, conspiracy.  Police say a 15 year-old who's accused of taking part will have his case petitioned to Family Court at a later date.


Pool dealership slated for long vacant restaurant building in West Ellicott...

A former restaurant location on East Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott is finally getting a make-over... and, will soon open as a pool store.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Cecil Miller confirms that Clearview Pools of Western New York has a lease for the former Yum-Yum's... and, will be opening sometime in the near future.  Miller says he and other town officials are "very excited" about the development.  Miller says they specialize in pools and spas -- both above and in-ground.  He says a new owner bought the property several months ago... and, now has a tenant.  Miller adds that the developer... who was not identified... will do some work on the deck, and some landscaping is being done.  The local franchiser of Clearview Pools has also been doing a lot of work on the building's interior in preparation for their opening.  Miller adds no zoning changes are need for what's being done.  Miller says town officials are especially excited because the former Yum-Yum's property has been vacant for several years... and, had fallen into disrepair.  We have learned that the local franchiser for Clearview Pools of Western New York is Scott Axelson... who is returning to the area from the New England region.


Reed not opposed to legislation to define collection of sales tax from Internet sales... but, is opposed to any new taxes... 
Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he's not against a proposal that could end tax-free shopping on the Internet.  However... Corning Republican Tom Reed says he will only support the enforcement of state sales taxes on those sales.  The U.S. Senate Monday approved a bill that empowers states to require businesses with more than one-million dollars in "out-of-state" sales to collect taxes for products they sell on the Internet... in catalogs... and, through radio and TV ads.  Reed says many Internet sales are taxable... but, the taxes are not inforceable right now.  He says there is an issue of fairness with "brick and mortar" business that have to collect sales tax on merchandise not considered to be 'basic necessities.'  He says the problem is there is no penalty in place for Internet sale sites.  However... Reed adds he does not support a new tax... which he wants to make sure is not in the final bill.  The legislation was passed in the Senate, 69-to-27.  The legislation would have the sales tax on Internet sales sent to the state where a shopper lives.


Jamestown voted Best Tasting Water in Chautauqua County...

There is a new winner in this year's annual Chautauqua County Best Tasting Water Contest.  Water Specialist Bill Boria with the county's Health Department says the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities dethroned Fredonia in last Friday's competition at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.  Boria says well over 100 people took part in the taste testing contest.  Boria says Fredonia... which had a lock on the competition the past five years... had to settle for second this time around.  He says the eight competing municpalities were divided into two catagories in the beginning rounds... groundwater or surface water.  The top two from that round went to the next round.  The final round was head-to-head... regardless of whether they were ground or surface water.  Boria says the other municipal water supplies taking part were: Westfield... Brocton... Ripley... Frewsburg... Mayville... and, Sherman.  Boria commended all the municipal water system operators for their efforts to provide "safe and abundant" water supplies.  Jamestown will next take part in regional competition in July. 


City man jailed for allegedly helping himself to food and drink from downtown restaurant...

A Jamestown man is jailed after allegedly grabbing an early morning snack... and, stealing several bottles of booze from a downtown hotel.  City police arrested 56 year-old Robert Cavender of East Fifth St. about 3 a.m. Tuesday at the Ramada Inn on West Fourth Street for allegedly breaking into the kitchen and banquet-area during the overnight hours.  Officers say a hotel employee reportedly found Cavender inside a large kitchen cooler eating shrimp, breakfast sandwiches, and ice cream bars.  The suspect ran off... but, later returned... and, was found in an elevator in possession of several liquor bottles from the banquet room.  Cavender allegedly ran off again... but, was found by police a few blocks away.  He was arrested... and, arraigned on charges of Felony burglary, criminal mischief and petty larceny.  Cavender was then sent to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of bail.

 


 

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City lawmakers will vote in two weeks on allowing the Board of Public Utilities to consolidate two substations on Jamestown's westside into one.  Last night... the City Council's Finance Committee approved the BPU proposal to shutdown two older substations... one on Jones and Gifford Avenue near the boat landing... and, the other on Washington Street -- next to the Gateway Train Station on West Second.  Council President Greg Rabb says the proposal to combine both at Isabella Avenue was unanimously approved at  last month's BPU meeting. Rabb says putting up the single substation on Isabella Avenue also has an upside... because it's only been used as a "snow dump" during the Winter months by the city Public Works Department.  Rabb says... once the project is completed... the development site on Washington Street near the train station will become more marketable.  He adds that the park area on Jones and Gifford will also increase in size around the McCrae Point boat landing.

 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Solid Waste Division's annual "Spring Clean-up" in Jamestown is underway.  BPU officials say clean-up at homes where normal garbage pick-up is Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays... began yesterday... and,will also take place today and tomorrow.  Residents whose garbage is collected on Thursday or Friday will have their spring clean-up items picked up on May 16th and 17th.  Residents should bring their Spring Clean-up items at the curb with their garbage after 6 PM the night before their regularly scheduled pick-up.  Clean-up items should be contained in plastic garbage bags whenever possible.  Regular garbage will be picked up as usual during Spring Clean-up.  But... no recyclables will be collected during this first week of the clean-up.  Next week... beginning May 13th... paper, box board and corrugated cardboard will be recycled.  The utility will accept landfill disposable items weighing less than 40 pounds -- including no metal -- and, easily handled by one person including clothes, dishes, glassware, toys, and, carpet remnants cut in small pieces.  For more information... call the Garbage Hotline at 661-1651.

 

The process of narrowing down the field of candidates for the Jamestown School Superintendent's position to three began last night... and, continues through mid-week.  The school board began holding closed-door, executive sessions last night... and, the other two are tonight and Thursday night with several school committees to review the candidates.  The district began with about 20 people.  That field was narrowed slightly to more serious candidates.  School Board President Joe DiMaio says they're pleased with the work done by the BOCES Superintendent in getting that list together. The new superintendent will likely be selected before the end of the school year so that person can begin working with out-going Superintendent Deke Kathman on the transition.  Kathman announced earlier this year that this would be his fifth... and, final year.  Kathman will retire from the district on July 31st.  Prior to replacing Ray Fashano in 2006... he was Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.  Kathman and his wife, Debbie -- who is a Jamestown native -- say they plan to retire here.

 

Another city man was arrested earlier Sunday night for an alleged domestic violence incident on Jamestown's westside.  Officers were called to the scene shortly after 6 PM... and, learned that 19 year-old Luis Santana-Lazuranis had restrained the female victim... and, damaged several items belonging to her.  Police add that Santana-Lazuranis also took the woman's cell phone when she tried to call for help.  Officers later found him at a different location... and, he was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, unlawful imprisonment.  Santana-Lazuranis arraigned... and, sent to the county jail on 25-hundred dollars bail.

 

Manufacturing is poised to make a renaissance... and, Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed believes the region can be a major player in that resurgence.  However... Reed says there is work to do to make sure manufacturer's have the energy... and, skilled workforce needed to seize upon that opportunity.  The Corning Republican held the first meeting of his Manufacturing Advisory Board in Jamestown late last week at the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier headquarters.  He says there were a number of "fantastic ideas" that came out of the meeting... including ways to free up venture capital for new businesses... or business expansion. Reed adds that another "common theme" during the meeting was the need to further develop oil and natural gas reserves across the region... and, nation.  He says that's because it can be a source of power that drives utility costs down... and, keeps U-S Manufacturers competitive in the global market.  Reed says Jamestown is a good example of connecting local colleges to manufacturer needs.  They've done that through the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College.

 

A motorcycle accident in Warren County Sunday afternoon sent two one person to the hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.  State Police in Warren say 59 year-old David Reagle of Bear Lake was northbound on Old Route 77 in Spring Creek Township just before 1 PM when he lost control on a curve.  Troopers say Reagle was flown to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital for treatment.  His passenger... 47 year-old Virginia Brown of Youngsville... was treated at the scene for minor injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

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News Update for Mon., May 6, 2013

Three meetings set for first four days this week in Jamestown School District Superintendent search...

The process of narrowing down the field of candidates for the Jamestown School Superintendent's position to three begins tonight... and, continues through mid-week.  The school board will be holding closed-door, executive sessions tonight... tomorrow and Wednesday nights with several school committees to review the candidates.  The district began with about 20 people.  That field was narrowed slightly to more serious candidates.  School Board President Joe DiMaio says they're pleased with the work done by the BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke in getting a list together of solid candidates together.  DiMaio adds they're making progress in getting three finalists.  The new superintendent will likely be selected before the end of the school year so that person can begin working with out-going Superintendent Deke Kathman on the transition.  Kathman announced earlier this year that this would be his fifth... and, final year.  Kathman will retire from the district on July 31.  Prior to replacing Ray Fashano in 2006... he was Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.  Kathman and his wife, Debbie -- who is a Jamestown native -- say they plan to retire here.


Warren Co. teenager identified as victim in fatal motorcycle crash...

A Warren, Pennsylvania teenager was killed late Saturday night when her motorcycle crashed head-on into a car on Route 6 in Erie County, PA.  State Police in Corry tell the Warren Times-Observer that 18 year old Paula Southwell was eastbound on Route 6 in Union Township about 11:20 p.m. on a 1991 Honda motorcycle between Lyons and Tarbell Roads... and, was following two vehicles.  Troopers say Southwell, who was a senior at Warren Area High School, crossed into the westbound lane to pass the two vehicles... and, collided head-on with a westbound car.  Police say Southwell, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected from the motorcycle.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.


Another motorcycle crash sends operator to Erie, PA hospital...

Another motorcycle accident -- this one in Warren County -- yesterday sent two men to the hospital... one for treatment of moderate injuries.  State Police in Warren say 59 year-old David Reagle of Bear Lake was northbound on Old Route 77 in Spring Creek Township just before 1 p.m. when he lost control on a curve.  Troopers say Reagle was flown to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital for treatment.  His passenger... 47 year-old Virginia Brown of Youngsville... was treated at the scene for minor injuries.  Corry and Spring Creek fire rescue crews assisted at the scene.  No charges were filed.


Reed pleased with outcome of Manufacturing Advisory Board meeting in Jamestown...

Manufacturing in the Southern Tier is an opportunity "that must be seized upon."  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed after the first meeting of his Manufacturing Advisory Board in Jamestown late last week.  Reed... who is a member of bi-partisan Manufacturing Caucus... hosted the session with local manufacturing leaders at the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier headquarters.  The Corning Republican says there was one "common theme" during the meeting... and, that was the need to further develop oil and natural gas reserves across the region... and, nation.  Reed says that's because it's a source of power that drives down energy costs... and, helps U.S. manufacturer's become more competitive in the global marketplace.  Reed says a number of "fantastic ideas" came out of the meeting... including expanding workforce development across the region and nation.  He says Jamestown is a good example of connecting local colleges to manufacturer needs.  Reed says Jamestown Community College has been filling those needs through it's Manufacturing Technology Institute.  He says another idea is the need to curb restrictions on getting capital into the hands of manufacturers to expand... or develop new companies.


City man arrested in domestic incident involving choking...

A Jamestown man is jailed for allegedly choking the victim during a domestic incident on Cherry Street in the city last Sunday night.  Jamestown police were called to the scene about 9 p.m., and, on arrival spoke with the victim... who said they were also held against their will.  Officers say 30 year-old Randall Langworthy is also accused of damaging property inside the home.  Langworthy was arrested without incident... and, taken to the city jail on charges including second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail on $1,500 bail.


Second Jamestown man arrested for domestic violence...

Another city man was arrested earlier Sunday night for an alleged domestic violence incident on Jamestown's westside.  Officers were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m., and, learned that 19 year-old Luis Santana-Lazuranis had restrained the female victim... and, damaged several items belonging to the victim.  Police add that Santana-Lazuranis also took the woman's cell phone when she tried to call for help.  Officers later found him at a different location... and, he was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, unlawful imprisonment.  Santana-Lazuranis was also arraigned, and jailed on $2,500 bail.

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The Warren Times Observer reports that A Warren teenager was killed in a motorcycle-car collision on Route 6 in Union Township, Erie County, late Saturday night. According to Corry-based state police, 18 year old Paula Southwell was eastbound on Route 6 at 11:20 p.m. on a 1991 Honda Night Hawk motorcycle between Lyons and Tarbell roads, and was following two vehicles. Police said Southwell, who was a senior at Warren Area High School, crossed into the westbound lane to pass the two vehicles  and collided head-on with a westbound 2008 Toyota Matrix. Southwell, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected from the motorcycle, according to police. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Erie County Coroner.

 

State conservation officials say continuing dry weather has raised the risk and danger of wildfires.  They are advising rural and suburban residents that all residential brush burning is prohibited during the usually high fire risk period now through May 14th.  State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says the number of seasonal fires has dropped 35-percent since the open burning regulation took effect in 2009.  Violators can face a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.

 

New York Sen. Charles Schumer says the ability for making an untraceable and undetectable gun with a 3D printer is ``stomach-churning.'' The senator on Sunday displayed a photo of a plastic gun made by a Texas company using the 3D printer technology. He said the guns are capable of firing real bullets and pass unnoticed through metal detectors.    Schumer said the technology means anyone ``can open a gun factory in their garage.'' He said the company, Defense Distributed, last week announced it had successfully made the plastic gun using a 3D printer. The senator said the company plans to post blueprints for the weapon online this week. A spokesman for the company couldn't be reached for comment.

 

There's been some new interest expressed in buying the Chautauqua County Home... and, County Executive Greg Edwards still believes there is an opportunity to sell the Dunkirk facility before he leaves office.  However... Edwards says there is also a sense of urgency to get the financially-strapped home sold so it doesn't have to be closed.  The Busti Republican says that's was leaders in Suffolk County on Long Island just recently had to do.
Edwards has said that... even if the county were to follow all of the recommendations in the Center for Regional Governance report... county taxpayers would still have to subsidize the County Home.  He adds that more and more people he's talked with around the county are coming to the realization that selling it to a private operator is the best way to go.  He says his administration... and, the real estate firm Marcus and Millichap are getting potential buyers all the information they need.  Two times earlier this year... the county legislature came up just short of the needed votes to sell the County Home to Altitude Health Services of Illinois.

 

A city man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife early last weekend in their Buffalo Street residence.  Jamestown police were called to the scene of the domestic violence incident about 3:30 AM Saturday.  On arrival... they found that the suspect, 42 year-old Jason Smith, had fled the scene.  Officers say Smith's wife told them that he had grabbed her by the hair... and, slammed her against a wall and the floor.  He's also accused of hitting her head on the floor... and, choking her to the point of being unconscious.  Smith was found a short time later at another location... and, arrested without incident.  He's in the city jail pending arraignment on charges of third-degree assault... 2nd degree Strangulation... and, criminal mischief.

 

The Grape Discovery Center near Westfield will open to the public Saturday, May 25th.  The center, on Route 20 just west of the village,  is a project of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, and has been nine years in development.  Westfield area native Mackenzie Cady will manage the center.  She's excited about the opening.
The Grape Discovery Center will have a tasting area for wine and juice... educational exhibits... and many grape related items for sale.  The Executive Director of the Heritage Association, Andy Dufresne (du-frane), expects thousands of people will come over the next few years. Dufresne says Memorial Day weekend will be a 'soft opening', as some of the exhibits won't be finished until later this year.  State Senator Cathy Young secured just over a million dollars in state money to start the Discovery Center.  Over 350 thousand dollars has been raised locally to help sustain it. 

 

National Grid has two more weeks to finish up work on it's analysis and recommendations regarding the proposed re-powering of the NRG plant in Dunkirk.  The utility will now have until May 17th to issue its response.  National Grid Spokesman Steve Brady says they'll be looking some key factors... including service and cost to their customers. That's because the customers ultimately pay through their energy bills.  Brady also says the PSC wants National Grid to address the community impact of the plant in the report.  As the former owner of the plant... Brady says they're "very much aware of what it means to the community in terms of jobs and tax base."  Once they received National Grid's response... the state's Public Service Commission will take a look at the analysis and recommendations from the utility... and, the NRG proposal and make a final decision.  Brady says the utility expects to meet the May 17th... but, he does not know when the State PSC will make a determination.

 

Shareholders at Entergy have rejected a resolution by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that calls for minimizing nuclear waste the company stores in spent fuel pools and transferring it into dry-cask storage.  The comptroller's office says the preliminary count yesterday shows the proposal received about 5 percent of votes cast.  The proposed resolution says dry-cask storage of spent, cooled nuclear fuel in steel containers surrounded by inert gas is safer.

 

A 15-year volunteer with the JHS Marching Band is the newest member of the Jamestown High School Band Hall of Fame.  Bill Johnston was honored Saturday night at the bands' spring concert.  Band director Meghan Murray helped present the award... and, called Johnston an "essential member" of the band's pit crews... and, one of it's biggest advocates.  He began volunteering when his children were in the band... and stayed with it after they graduated.  Johnston says he enjoys helping the young musicians. Bill Johnston is a retired batallion chief for the Jamestown Fire Department... and, now serves as Deputy Fire Coordinator for training in Chautauqua County

 

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News update for Fri., May 3, 2013

Police release name of victim in Farm Tractor accident in Busti-area...

A West Ellicott man has now been identified as the person killed when a farm tractor rolled down a ravine on Orr Street Extension in the town of Busti Thursday night.  Lakewood-Busti Police now say that 60 year-old James Hall was operting the tractor... towing a brush-hog on a narrow dirt road.  Officers say the tractor and brush hog went off the road... and, down the 30-foot ravine.  They say Hall was ejected... and, the tractor landed on him.  Hall's wife tried to reach him by phone... and, later found him with a friend... and, called police about 9:15 p.m.  Police say he was pronounced dead at the scene.  Lakewood and Busti fire rescue crews responded to the scene. 


 

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News Update for May 3, 2013

**Alert -- Man killed in Busti farming accident...

One person was killed in a farming accident on Orr Street Extension in the town of Busti last night.  Lakewood Busti-Police say a man died when his tractor rolled on top of him about 9:15 p.m.  Officers say they found the overturned tractor... and, determined the unidentified male operator was dead at the scene.  The man is not being identified at this time.  The Busti and Lakewood Fire Departments were also called to the scene.  The accident is still under investigation and further details will be released when they are available. 


Schumer proposing legislation to deal with scrap metal thefts...

Senator Charles Schumer is proposing legislation targeting thieves who strip and sell copper and other metal from homes and businesses.  The New York Democrat was in Niagara Falls earlier in the day Thursday to push a bill he's co-sponsoring that would require metal sellers to prove ownership.  It would also require scrap yards to keep detailed records of what they buy.  The bill also would cap the amount buyers could pay at $100... and make it a federal crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure.  Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Police Chief Bryan DalPorto and victims of scrap metal joined Schumer for the announcement.


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly burglarizing Fulton St. home...

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's northside early Thursday morning while a 5 year-old victim was inside.  City police were called to the scene on Fulton Street about 12:30 AM on a report of a burglary in progress.  Officers say 18 year-old Syvel Fields entered the residence through a window... and, he refused police commands for him to come out.  However... police were able to taken him into custody without incident a short time later.  Fields was arraigned late Thursday on charges of second-degree burglary... endangering the welfare of a child... and obstruction.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.


Jamestown-area observes National Day of Prayer...

There was singing... praise... readings... and, prayer for the Jamestown-area and the nation on this annual National Day of Prayer yesterday.  The annual gathering on Tracy Plaza was held before a large crowd brought out by the Summer-like conditions... and, the need for understanding in the wake of a terrorist attack... and, locally murder.  The Reverend Cameron Linehardt of Trinity United Methodist Church in Frewsburg spoke about dealing with the recent double-homicide in the town of Carroll.  Linehardt says he wanted to convey a message of hope in the wake of such a horrible tragedy.  Linehardt says he was asked to deliver the message by the pastors who are part of the group that organizes the local Day of Prayer.  A Carroll couple... Gordon and Joyce Skinner... were killed during what authorities call a home invasion-attack.  The Reverend Roy Ferguson of the Busti Church of God says the theme of "Pray for America" is never more evident than it has been in recent days.  Ferguson says the National Day of Prayer is a good time to remember on "whom we need to depend."

 

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

New York's senior U-S Senator is calling on the Veteran's Administration to end the "disconnect" between the federal government... and, the localities that distribute the benefits they've earned.  Brooklyn Democrat Charles Schumer was in Jamestown yesterday to launch a new plan to help ensure that veterans returning home get a crucial property tax credit that can help them afford a new home... or keep the one they have.  During a stop at the Chautauqua County Veterans Services Agency... Schumer noted that only half of the county's 14-thousand veterans have applied for the property tax benefit.  He says most of them don't know about it. Schumer says the V-A needs to share that list as soon as possible with each county... and second... they should include an application for the credit with each veteran.  Schumer says the third part is to push social media... such as Facebook... to join an on-line ad campaign to reach younger veteran's and boost awareness in new ways.  He says veterans are eligible for tax breaks of 10 to 35-percent... depending on their service.

 

Senator Charles Schumer is proposing legislation targeting thieves who strip and sell copper and other metal from homes and businesses.  The New York Democrat was in Niagara Falls earlier in the day Thursday to push a bill he's co-sponsoring that would require metal sellers to prove ownership.  It would also require scrap yards to keep detailed records of what they buy.  The bill also would cap the amount buyers could pay at 100-dollars... and make it a federal crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure.  Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Police Chief Bryan DalPorto and victims of scrap metal joined Schumer for the announcement.

 

Chautauqua County is a "special, special place..." and, U-S Senator Charles Schumer says he's working on several fronts to help the region... and, all of New York State.  Schumer was the keynote speaker at last night's Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Annual Banquet in Jamestown.  He finished up a busy day in Western New York by updating local Democrats on federal legislation he says will benefit the county.  One is Immigration Reform... which the Brooklyn Democrat says will keep people entrepreneurs here... and, kick-out those who have expired visas. On the agricultural front... Schumer says they're also working on a better Farm Bill that will have more focus on worker issues in the northeast.  He says previous bills dealt more with the south and the midwest.  Nationally... Schumer agrees with balancing the budget... and, cutting wasteful spending... but, NOT what created the middle class. While there seems to be a lot of gloom and doom coming out of Washington these days... he says he's encouraged by the work "Gang of Eight" he's been part of that's drafted the new Immigration Reform Act.  Schumer spoke to more than 100 party faithful at the new, Gateway Train Station in Jamestown.

 

The long-time head of the Democratic Committee in the city of Dunkirk is the 2013 Chautauqua County Democrat of the Year.  Frank Gawronski was presented with the honor at last night's County Democratic Committee Banquet in Jamestown.  Gawronski thanked the committee for the honor... and, introduced several members of his family... including his soon-to-be 88 year-old mother, Carrie.  He says he was the oldest of seven children who grew up in the old "Veterans Projects" for low income residents. Gawronski adds that his committee of 26 Democrats have been very successful in getting party candidates elected in the north county... including current Mayor A-J Dolce... and, four of the five council seats.  However... among his proudest moments was the showing by Congressional candidate Nate Shinagawa in last year's election.  Gawronski says the Tompkins County legislator... who lost a close race to Republican Tom Reed... won Dunkirk with a large plurality.

 

The former head of the Southwestern New York chapter of the American Red Cross has announced his intention to run for Chautauqua County Executive.  County Legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point is formerly announcing his candidacy Thursday... after announcing his intentions to local Republican's at last Wednesday night's County GOP reception in Dunkirk.  The District 17 representative says he "fell in love" with the area 57 years ago after his family moved her from Ohio.  He adds that heading up the area's Red Cross chapter also helped him get a "feel" for local issues. Horrigan has been a county legislator for the past year and four-months... and, has been heavily involved in landfill issues in the town of Ellery... and, has researched the need to sell the county home.  After a 27 year career in the U.S. Air Force... Horrigan returned to the county 15 years ago to head up the local Red Cross.  In making the announcement... he said --quote -- "I care very deeply for this place."

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News alert for Thurs., May 2, 2013

Horrigan announces run for Chautauqua County Executive...

The former head of the Southwestern New York chapter of the American Red Cross has announced his intention to run for Chautauqua County Executive.  County Legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point is formerly announcing his candidacy this morning... after announcing his intentions at last night's Chautauqua County Republican reception in Dunkirk.  The District 17 representative says he "fell in love" with the area 57 years ago after his family moved her from Ohio.  After a 27 year career in the U.S. Air Force... Horrigan returned to the county 15 years ago to head up the local Red Cross... and, now calls Chautauqua County home.  In making the announcement... he said "I care very deeply for this place."  County GOP Chairman Al Hendrickson recently said there were three "good candidates" Republicans were looking at, but, declined to name them.  More with Horrigan later today on the Media One stations, and wjtn.com.

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing several children between the ages of 11 and 14 in the Salamanca area.  Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley say 71 year-old Leonard Redeye of 37-61 Center Road faces six counts of first-degree... and, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse.  These charges stem from an investigation in which it's alleged that Redeye engaged in sexual contact with the children on a number of occasions from 2002 to now.  Redeye was arraigned in Town of Salamanca court and released on his own recognizance.  He is scheduled to appear in town of Salamanca Court at a later date.

 

Four people were sent to the hospital following a head on collision in Warren, Pennsylvania Tuesday.  State Police in Warren say 29 year old William Fiscus of Sheffield was traveling west on State Route 6 onto Cherry Grove Road in Mead Township when he pulled into the path of an eastbound vehicle causing them to hit head on.  The crash sent the second vehicle driven by Renee Bloom of Kane across the lanes of the road and into an embankment.  The drivers and their occupants were all taken to Warren General Hospital with minor to moderate injuries.  Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

 

The Lakewood Village Board will decide in two weeks on putting a moratorium on allowing adult novelty stores in the village until it's zoning can be updated.  That from Mayor David Wordelmann... who says the board will hold a public hearing on the matter at it's May 13th meeting at 6:45 PM.  The move comes after a proposal to open a store in the Jamestown Mattress Company Plaza on Fairmount Avenue was withdrawn.  Wordelmann says the owner of the proposed store had gone before the planning board... but, the panel had nothing to refer to in deciding on whether to issue a special permit. Wordelmann is referring to the fact the board passed a similar moratorium on earlier this year regarding vehicle sales... storage sheds... and, electronic advertising signs. The person applying for the special use permit... Jill Laemmerhirt (Laymmer-hurt)... told village officials she wanted to put the shop in an area away from schools... parks... and, where children generally would be.  Laemmerhirt was to lease out space in the small plaza near the intersection with Shadyside Avenue.  However... The Post-Journal reports the deal apparently fell through.

 

Months after the Cuomo administration promised a decision ``within weeks'' on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, it now says there's ``no timetable for a decision.''  State officials say recent meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have provided new information that's factoring into the state health review.  Health commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah says Wednesday he recently met with EPA officials in Washington to discuss the drilling technology known as ``fracking.''  It's fiercely opposed by environmental groups and Cuomo's Democratic base.  Supporters of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from upstate shale deposits say it will provide a long-needed economic boost to the region.

 

Governor Cuomo wants to postpone a referendum on whether to allow major casinos off Indian land in New York.  That vote by the public to amend the constitution to allow casino gambling beyond tribal facilities had been anticipated this November.  But... Cuomo says the lack of statewide political races could reduce voter turnout and support for the referendum.

 

Registration is underway for the city of Jamestown's annual comprehensive "Spring Clean-up" later this month.  "Hands on Jamestown" is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th... beginning with check-in at 8 AM on Tracy Plaza.  However... there are a couple of changes this year.  The event is now being put on by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, it's not just focused on the downtown-area.  JRC Event and Marketing Associate Tiffani Conti says they'll be spreading out into some of the city's neighborhoods... so they could use some extra hands this year. Conti says people should come prepared to pick-up litter... sweep... rack... and mulch.  She says "Hands on Jamestown" has become a major event because it kind of "kicks-off" the busy Summer season downtown.  Conti urges people to register so they have an idea of how many people will be attending.  She adds that this year -- for the first time -- you can register on-line at jrconline-dot-ORG.  Conti adds that those who pre-register will get a free T-shirt as a "thank-you" for your time and effort.  Check -n on May 18th begins at 8 AM on Tracy Plaza... and, a continental breakfast will be provided.  M & T Bank is back this year as the event's main sponsor.

 

Jamestown-area motorists are enjoying slightly lower gasoline prices again this week... as the price per gallon is down 2 cents.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the cost for regular, unleaded... is now 3-dollars-79 cents.  That's about 28 cents higher than the national, retail average of 3-dollars-51 cents.  The national price is a penny less than one week ago... and, 13 cents less than one month ago.  Gas stations in much of the country must make the retail switch to selling summer-blend gasoline by June 1st.  However... refineries make the shift to summer blend in March and April in order to meet a May 1st production deadline.  During this switch... regional production is reduced and supplied markets are more sensitive to unexpected disruptions, as was the case during the recent storms in the Midwest.

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Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines

 

Three people have been arrested... and, more than half-a-million dollars worth of marijuana was seized... during two simultanious raids Tuesday morning in the town of Busti.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they and members of the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team executed two search warrants at 515, and 529 Busti-Sugar Grove Road about 8:45 AM.  Task Force members say the warrants were issued earlier by County Court Judge John Ward following a two-month long investigation.  As a result... a quantity of marijuana and controlled substances were seized at 529 Busti-Sugar Grove Road.  It also resulted in the arrest of 31 year-old John Boardman... and, 29 year-old Jennifer Grundstrom.  Following a search at 515 Busti-Sugar Grove Road... officers seized a sophisticated marijuana growing operation... with 582 growing pot plants and a loaded shotgun.  As a result... Boardman and 26 year-old Brad Strickland will be charged with Unlawfully Growing Marijuana and Criminal Possession of Marijuana.  Authorities are asking residents to call either 1-800-344-8702... or your local police when they see narcotics related activity in their community.

 

Police in Erie, Pennsylvania have confiscated about 400 pounds of marijuana and arrested two men.  The Erie Times-News reports that one man is charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.  Authorities say one man was trafficking in the drug in Erie between January 2012 and November, and another was arraigned on one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.

 

One person suffered minor injuries when a school bus was struck by a car that was rear-ended by another vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Gerry yesterday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies say the Cassadaga Valley School bus, operated by 56 year-old Scott McKinney, had stopped on Route 60 at the intersection with Wilson Road just after 8 AM to pick up some students.  Officers say the second vehicle... driven by 29 year-old Allen Thomas of Fredonia... had stopped behind the bus.  However... the other car... operated by 19 year-old Danna Neureuther of Orchard Park... did not stop and struck Thomas' vehicle from behind... pushing it into the bus.  Neureuther admitted to not paying attention... and, she did not see the stopped bus or vehicle.  None of the seven children on the bus were hurt.  The only person in the accident hurt was Thomas -- who was treated for shoulder pain at the scene.  Neureuther faces charges... including following too closely.

 

Chautauqua County GOP Committee Chairman Al Hendrickson says he was "not really surprised" by County Executive Greg Edwards' decision to not run for re-election.  Hendrickson says he had spoken with Edwards five weeks ago about running for a third-term.  However... the West Ellicott Republican says Edwards would not commit to running for another term... but, didn't say no until just recently.  Hendrickson says he wishes Edwards had made his final decision sooner so there would have been more time to pick select someone else.  As it is... Hendrickson says they already have three "good" candidates. Hendrickson says county Republicans will meet on May 30th to decide on candidates for the November elections.  He's not identifying the three possible executive candidates because the GOP still has an interview process to go through before they, and the candidate make a decision.  Edwards stunned and surprised many with last week's announcement that he would NOT run again.

 

A Silver Creek man escaped serious injuries when his motorcycle tipped over on a curve... and, crashed in the town of Hanover last Monday night.  Sheriff's Deputies say 38 year-old David Coia (CO-ee-ah), Junior was riding his two-wheeler on Beebe Road just before 7 PM when he missed a curve.  Officers say the motorcycle tipped over... and, slid across the roadway before coming to rest on the shoulder.  Coia was initially taken to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for treatment... then flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for further treatment.  A hospital spokeswoman says he was treated... and, released late Monday night.

 

Temperatures have warmed... and, are to stay that way through the end of the week.  With that... you'll be seeing more and more motorcycles hitting area highways and roads.  That means drivers of four-wheeled vehicles need to watch out for riders on their two-wheelers.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says there seem to be more each year. But... the sheriff says motorcycle riders need to do their part and ride defensively.  He adds they need to anticipate that drivers of other vehicles won't always "treat them the way they should."  Gerace says that... like other vehicles... motorcycles must also obey all the traffic safety laws including the speed limit.

 

Authorities say a motorcyclist from Westchester is in jail after he led police on a chase over an upstate road that topped 150 miles per hour.  State police tell the Middletown Times Herald-Record that a trooper observed a road rage incident on Route 17 in Orange County on Sunday morning involving two motorcycles and a car.  One of the motorcycles and the car got away, but police pursued the other biker, 24-year-old David Brown.  Troopers say at one point, he was estimated to be going more than 150 miles an hour on his 2007 Yamaha.  The chase ended in Wallkill after Brown left the highway and collided with police cruisers on a cul-de-sac.  He's being held in the Orange County Jail on 6-thousand dollars bail.

 

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