News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 30, 2016

City "Crack" Cocaine dealer arrested...

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly being a mid-level "street dealer" of "crack" cocaine following a drug raid Thursday on the city's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant about 1:15 PM at 115 Crossman Street.  Samuelson says the JPD SWAT Team helped with entry, and they arrested 25 year-old David Brown at the scene.  He says investigators also found just 35 grams of "crack," and more than $1,000 in cash.  Samuelson says Brown was arraigned on the two charges, and then sent to the county lock-up.  Anyone with information about the sale and trafficking of illegal narcotics in the immediate Jamestown-area is asked to call the Metro Task Force at the confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Jamestown men one of two arrested on federal charges for allegedly trafficking synthetic drugs...

Two men... one from Jamestown... have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to traffic quantities of synthetic drugs... including ecstacy and "molly."  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced the arrests of both 47 year-old Richard Clarke, a Canadian citizen living in Buffalo... and, 32 year-old Barrett Johnson of Jamestown.  
Assistant U-S Attorney Michael Adler... who is handling the case... says federal authorities identified Clarke through surveillance during an investigation that began last March.  He was allegedly supplying the two drugs to Johnson at his Buffalo business... Iconz Barbershop on Hertel Avenue.  The two were then caught on Elmwood Avenue, where police observed Johnson approaching Clarke’s vehicle, and the two exchanged what appeared to be a blue-colored bottle.  During a later raid on Clarke’s Nottingham Terrance residence... officers seized specific amounts of powder molly and ecstasy pills as well as about $13,000 cash.  If convicted... both men face up to 20 years in federal prison, and a $1-million fine.


Teresi discusses need for long-term drug rehabilitation facililty in State of City...

The city of Jamestown will continue efforts to root drug dealers out of the city... but, officials are also working with other entities to get more drug rehabilitation services in the community.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi in his State of the City Message to the City Council this week.  Teresi says he made it clear in last year's address that turning up the heat on drug dealers was a priority for the Jamestown Police Department.  He says that hasn't changed... but, he adds they also need to deal better with the "demand side" of the problem.  Teresi also adds Jamestown and other communities with the same problem realize they "can't simply arrest their way out" of the drug problem.  He says helping those addicts who want and need help needs to be a priority as well.  Teresi says they're part of a coalition including county officials, health care providers, and religious organizations working to get much-needed out and in-patient rehabiliation facilities here.  City Council President Greg Rabb also outlined some basic goals for rehab faclities in 2016 back on New Year's Day.


Teen snowmobiler killed in accident in Cattaraugus County...

Authorities are investigating the cause of a snowmobiling accident in Cattaraugus County that claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy who was riding with family members earlier this week.  State park police say Gabriel Brzezinski of Buffalo was riding a snowmobile in Allegany State Park last Sunday when he lost control and hit a tree in the town of Red House... located on the Pennsylvania state line.  A state parks office spokesman says a medical helicopter flew the teen to nearby Olean General Hospital, where he died from his injuries.


JPS District among those in State Comptroller's report in "Moderate" Fiscal Stress...

The head of the Jamestown Public School system says he's not surprised that the district one of 82 in New York state that's in fiscal "stress."  State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office reports the city School District is in "Moderate Stress" as of the end of the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.  DiNapoli's office used several financial indicators in ranking the districts.  Mains says they're on the list for the second-year in a row... and, it "shouldn't surprise anyone in the community."  He says that's because they're trying to do a "whole lot" without enough resources.  Mains says those resources are basically not enough State school aid for Jamestown... which is classified by New York as a "high-needs" district.  The State Comptroller's office says the financial indicators the use include year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing and patterns of operating deficits.  Mains says they've had to make numerous cuts in recent years to balance their budget.  However... he says it does validate what they've been telling state officials.  Eight districts... including West Seneca in the Buffalo-area... were listed as "Significantly Stressed."  Jamestown had a 55-percent score... which listed it as 11th among distircts that were "Moderately Stressed."

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a local law that will allow the county to use excess capital project monies to expand one of it's industrial parks.  The legislature last night approved the measure to pool money to bring more property into the Mason Industrial Park just outside of Jamestown.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's a great opportunity. The utility rates come from the hydro-power allocation to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilites.  Horrigan says there is some definate interest in the added property the county would be adding.  He says there are "several prospective businesses" that have expressed an interest... and, he adds there may also be more land available.  Horrigan did not identify any of the parties showing interest in the additional space in the south county Industrial Park... which is located in the town of Ellicott.   

 

Chautauqua County fire investigators are continuing to look into the cause of a fire that destroyed a single-family home in the town of Carroll early yesterday morning.  Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene at 321 Bragg Road about 3:15 AM.  Third-Assistant Frewsburg Chief Cliff Marsh says the blaze had a big head start on them.
Marsh says they were joined at the scene by Kiantone... Kennedy... Gerry... and, Busti fire crews.  Russell, Pennsylvania was on stand-by.  He says they had some difficulty getting the blaze under control... due partly to a steel roof on the house, and getting water to the scene.  Crews had to use a shuttle.  They were at the scene until about 10 AM.  No one was hurt... but, it's not known if the family living there was home at the time.  About 30 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze.

 

Dunkirk firefighters were called out to working fire on Lake Shore Drive East yesterday morning.  The fire at the Busy Bee Laundromat at 123 Lake Shore-East was reported shortly after 10:30 AM.  Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says they found a lot of smoke when they arrived. Edwards says firefighters had the fire out within minutes.  The cause of the fire is under investigation with moderate smoke damage being reported throughout the facility.  There were no injuries, with fire crews at the scene for about 45 minutes.

 

One person was hurt -- but, not seriously -- when her car struck a farm tractor hauling a manure spreader on Route 60 in the town of Gerry last Tuesday night.  Sheriff's Deputies say 57 year-old Debra Roy of Bard Road was southbound about 9:30 PM when the accident occured.  Officers say Roy's car struck the tractor and spreader from behind.  The man driving the tractor... 59 year-old Darell Gross of Route 60... was not hurt.  Officers say Roy was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment.

 

The head of two local business organizations say they intend to keep their eyes on the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and the city due to concerns over the direction of the BPU.  Todd Tranum is the president of the county's Chamber of Commerce... and, Executive Director of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  Tranum says they feel the need to "protect" the BPU, and the jobs it "upholds" in the Jamestown-area.  He cites recent changes to the board. Both the Chamber and MAST have had problems with the city taking a dividend payment from the BPU over the past three years.  However... both the BPU and City Council have had to approve those moves.  Three former board members who opposed the payment were not re-appointed by Teresi earlier this year.  Those three combined for 42 years of service on the board.  Tranum says Teresi has removed about 100 years of combined experience from the board.  Three new members attended their first meeting of the BPU earlier this week.  At that meeting... Tranum asked the board to withdraw it's "mini-rate" case currently before the state's Public Service Commission. Tranum declined to discuss a letter that he had sent on behalf of both panels suggesting that Mayor Teresi wants to dissolve the BPU... and, make it part of city government.  The issue was raised in a recent article in the Jamestown Post-Journal.  Teresi says the BPU is already part of city government, and says there has been not discussion raised about dissolving the board.

 

While having issues with the changes Mayor Sam Teresi has made the the BPU... Chamber and MAST leader Todd Tranum says he has no problem with the board's decision of a chairman.  The board earlier this week named former County Legislator Chuck Cornell as chairman of the BPU.  Cornell has most recently been the head of the Department of Governance at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Tranum feels Cornell is a "very capable" chairman.

 

New York's largest teachers union is suing the state over changes to the teacher evaluation law.  The New York State United Teachers, along with a handful of teachers and local teachers' unions, filed suit in Albany late Tuesday.  The union is challenging recent state measures that allow superintendents to impose improvement plans on teachers who receive poor evaluation scores.  The suit also disputes the Education Department's ability to require changes to districts' collectively bargained evaluation plans.  NYSUT says the state's actions violate Taylor Law collective bargaining rights.  State education officials declined to respond, citing a policy against discussing pending litigation.

 

Tourists hoping for a glimpse of a dry Niagara Falls will have to wait until at least 2019. Parks officials say there's no funding yet for a bridge replacement project that could involve shutting down the water flowing over one section of the falls by building a temporary structure to redirect it.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Crews were kept busy fighting a house fire in the Town of Caroll overnight.  Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that the call came in at 3:15 this morning for the house fire at 321 Bragg Road. No injuries were reported and the extent of the damage is not known. Frewsburg and Kiantone fire crews were at the scene with mutual aid provided by Kennedy, Gerry and Busti.


A young child is being treated for a serious gun-shot wound at a Buffalo hospital after apparently being shot during appears to be a drive-by shooting.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson say officers were called to the scene at 9:20 PM Monday for a child with a gun-shot wound.  On arrival... officers say they learned that multiple gun shots were fired into the house. Samuelson says they especially want to hear from anyone who may have seen a vehicle drive up to the home... or if someone walked up to the dwelling.  He says the unidentified child did not suffer a "life-threatening" wound.  Samuelson says the child is now in stable condition at Women and Children's Hospital.  JPD investigators are asking anyone who may have information on the incident to call them at 483-7537... or the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.

 

There were some tense moments about mid-morning Tuesday when the Jamestown Public Schools became aware of a social media posting an alleged threat to Lincoln Elementary School.  However... it was found to be a Lincoln School in another state.  That from School Superintendent Tim Mains... who says in a printed statement that city police were notified.  Mains says police investigated the threat, and "concluded that it was directed to another Lincoln School elsewhere in the country."  He adds the out-of-state jurisdictions are actively investigating.  Mains also says school officials "want to ensure parents, families and the community that there has not been a threat made to Lincoln Elementary School or any Jamestown Public School."  He says both the Jamestown Public Schools and the city Police Department "continue to maintain the safety of all our students."

 

The city of Jamestown is looking to save as much money as it can in areas that have been costing the city a lot of money over the past few years.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi in his 2016 State of the City Message... which was delivered to lawmakers Monday night.  However... Teresi put a slight twist into this year's message by not making a formal address to City Council.  However... his written report outlined some 21 goals and objectives.  One was to provide retired city workers the option of a "Self-Insurance Opt-Out."  Teresi adds this is something they can't do with current city workers. Teresi says this would be primarily for former city employees who are 65 or older.  He emphasizes this is "voluntary..." and, would use a pool of resources as an incentive for those retirees to get out of the plan.  Another item in the Mayor's state of the city called for moving ahead with a vote on a plan to consolidate the Jamestown Police Department with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department.

 

State health officials are reporting progress curbing Medicaid costs for 6.3-million New Yorkers, telling lawmakers annual spending growth has dropped to 1.4 percent.  Testifying at a budget hearing late Monday... Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says overall quality of care has improved along with growing enrollment.  The Cuomo Administration proposes spending 63.3-billion dollars for that medical care of low-income residents in the coming fiscal year, the largest single component of its proposed $145.3 billion budget.  Half is federally funded.  Several New York City legislators faulted Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to make the city pay for its own growing Medicaid costs.  Other lawmakers questioned the lack of budget specifics about paying health care aides more under Cuomo's proposed $15 minimum wage.  Zucker notes the proposed wage increases would be phased in.

 

New York state lawmakers are pressuring New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to accept the same property tax cap that now applies to every other local government in the state.   Appearing at a budget hearing Tuesday in Albany... de Blasio argued against the tax cap, saying his administration has found billions of dollars in savings and is committed to building financial reserves to prepare for the next economic downturn.  He says the state should not impose new restrictions on its largest city and greatest economic engine.  The state Senate voted Tuesday to impose the 2-percent cap on New York City.  Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says the cap has been a ``tremendous success'' in giving relief to taxpayers throughout the state.

 

Thanks to a surge in the final two weeks... the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's general campaign met... and, exceeded it's 2015 goal.  Campaign Chairman Hans Auer announced during late night's Campaign Celebration at Jamestown Community College that the effort had raised just over the 1.3-million dollar goal.  Auer recalled meeting with United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang just before the campaign began... and, says reaching the goal was "really rewarding...." However... Auer adds that there are still a few final pledges expected to come in yet.  Auer thanked several people... including the dozens of volunteers to help get pledges for the effort.  He says this year... they saw more contributions from small businesses in the campaign.  In fact... Irgang says she and her staff made 35 workplace presentations this year... and, believes those had an impact.  Auer says 100-percent of the money raised in the 2015 campaign stays here to help between 35 and 40 human service agencies in southern Chautauqua County.

 

Ex-New York state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son are seeking a new trial six weeks after they were convicted of federal corruption charges.  They were convicted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges on December 11th.  Prosecutors said the Long Island Republican used his influence to arrange payments and jobs for his son, Adam.  Their lawyers filed a motion Monday in Manhattan federal court seeking acquittal on all the counts and a new trial, arguing the trial evidence failed to prove the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.  The presiding trial judge denied the lawyers' motion for acquittal after the trial ended but before the verdict was announced.  The Skeloses' sentencing is set for March 3rd.  Their lawyers and the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office declined comment on the motion.

 


The New York state Senate has passed legislation intending to define and prohibit the sale of synthetic cannabinoids.  Also called synthetic marijuana, bill sponsors say the synthetics, which attach to the same brain receptors as actual marijuana, can be dangerous.  Senator Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, says currently packets of synthetic cannabinoids and other synthetic drugs are sold at bodegas or other stores for around $4 each.  He says that under current law, stores only face a possible $250 fine.  Deirdre Canaday, an advocate for the legislation, says her 26-year-old son died in 2011 after smoking synthetic marijuana.  She says it suppressed his central nervous system, he fell asleep and never woke up.

 

0
comments


**WJTN NEWS UPDATE**

A 10 year-old child from Jamestown is being treated at a Buffalo hospital after being shot during was appears to be a drive-by shooting.  City Police say officers wee called to the scene at 9:20 PM last night for a child with a gun-shot wound.  On arrival... officers say they learned that multiple gun shots were fired into the house.  The child was taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo for further treatment.  JPD investigators are asking anyone who may have information on the incident to call them at 483-7537... or the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A child was reported to have been shot in Jamestown last night.  Jamestown Police did not give any details, but the Jamestown Post Journal reports this morning that authorities were called to 411 East Second Street right across from Jamestown High School for a reported gunshot victim. According to scanner reports the small child was reportedly taken to the heli-pad for transportation to an undisclosed hospital.  We will have more details when they become available.

 

Several northside residents are expressing frustration over an apparent lack of communication regarding a new housing development being eyed for the area of North Main and Spring Streets.  Two of them spoke at last night's City Council voting session.  One, Spring Street resident Donald Tane, said the only information they have about the proposal has come from the local developer involved... Citizens Opportunity for Development and Equality -- or CODE, Incorporated.  Tane opposed the proposal if another Appleyard Terrace was involved. However... City Council member Vickeye James noted there was a meeting last week called by the developer, NRP of Cleveland, Ohio.  City officials say NRP has joined with CODE to find a location where they can put up some "middle-income housing units in the city that would NOT be Section-8 Housing -- like the Appleyard Terrace units on East Second Street.  Tane and another resident said the city had not responded to their inquiries.

 

Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy and other city officials stayed after the meeting to talk with residents.  He says the preliminary proposal by NRP would be a big improvement to that northside neighborhood.  DeJoy says NRP is the main driver of the project... which would involve eight properties... and, tear-down five condemned homes still up on Eighth and Spring Streets.  DeJoy says that area has a lot of issues, and this would be a boost to that area.  He adds no zoning changes would have to be made. That was the other point city officials made.  The proposal by NRP is very preliminary... and the developer is currently putting a finance package together to make the project go.  DeJoy says NRP is looking at building about 40 total units that would have one and two-bedrooms.  DeJoy says there would not be the 3 to 4-bedrooms the Appleyard developments have... for mainly "working people."   He adds that CODE is mainly helping NRP get it's proposal, and financing together in this market.

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi again broke with tradition Monday in "delivering" his 17th State of the City message to the city council.  Teresi started 2016 by being sworn-in during a private, versus public forum.   However... last night, the State of the City was only presented in written form.  The City Charter only requires the mayor deliver the message at the first voting session of the year.  It has to be written... but, can also be given verbally.  However... Teresi elected not to do that this year... emphasizing the need for get to work.  In his written address... Teresi noted 21 items that he would like to see accomplished this year... or at least see good progress made on them.  One was providing a "Self-Insurance Opt Out" for retired city workers.  Teresi says there would be NO change to current workers health insurance program... but, such a program would provide needed relief to what's been an overburdened system the past few years.  He also expected a proposal to consolidate the County Sheriff's Department, and Jamestown Police Department, to be acted on later this year.  More on the Mayor's State of the City at Noon.

 

A preservation group and some residents of Chautauqua Institution have won a temporary halt to demolition and construction of a new Amphitheater.  Attorney's for the group "Save the Amp" and the institution went before State Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita-the-Third yesterday afternoon... and, argued their points.  In the end, Sedita sided with the "Save the Amp" group.  However... "Save the Amp" attorney Arthur Giacalone says Sedita also ordered both sides back to court a week from yesterday to formally argue their cases.  The group and residents filed suit late last Friday to stop the 41.5-million effort to build a new Amp.  Giacalone (Jack-uh-Lony), noted that the legal action was started once the town of Chautauqua issued demolition and building permits for the project... which the institution has called a "renewal" of the amphitheater.  He adds that Sedita had a list of questions he wanted the institution to respond to by this Thursday... and those responses will be provided to Giacalone prior to next Monday.

 

Chautauqua County's top police official says he favors a decrease in the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers and feels a recent recommendation made by a federal agency should be discussed.  The National Transportation Safety Board recommends a lowering of the BAC from .08 to .05... saying it would make our roads safer.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he would support lowering it... but, says there needs to be some dialogue. Gerace says there's been an increase in deadly alcohol related crashes... and, believes it would help make a difference.  He emphasizes that "driving and alcohol don't mix."  This is not the first the N-T-S-B has made a recommendation lowering the BAC to .05.  It made the same recommendation in 2013. 

 

Legislation that changes the outcomes of the federal government's welfare programs to help people to get out of poverty, and work again, has been proposed by Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has introduced the Help Americans in Need Develop their Ultimate Potential -- or HAND-UP Act -- to help families that are "mired" in poverty.  Reed says the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- or TANF Program -- is up for re-authorization next September... and, he hopes this will be part of Welfare Reform.
Reed says his proposal... would give state's the flexibility to change how they administer TANF.. and, the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program... known as SNAP... to help make sure money gets to those who need it... but, also cuts costs.  Reed says the idea is to get families with children working... but, not losing benefits until they can make it on their own.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media. Reed's office also released statistics for state and local poverty rates.  Those figures show the state's poverty rate at 15.9-percent... with 22.6-percent of children -- nearly 937-thousand -- living in poverty.  In Chautauqua County... that figure is 19.8-percent... with 31.7-percent of children -- just over 87-hundred -- living in poverty.

 

The homeless issue may not often grab headlines here in the Jamestown-area... but, overall... it is a problem in Chautauqua County.  There's also the matter of where people go if they find themselves without a place to stay.  During his State of the State Address... Governor Cuomo called for the homeless to be sheltered when the temperature falls to 32-degrees or colder.  Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated Director Roberta Keller is pleased the governor specifically talked about poverty, and the homeless issue.  Currently... Keller says there is no shelter in the county. Currently... the homeless who go to agencies... such as COI... get a voucher that allows them to stay at a participating hotel.  They are also helped by a group called the United Christian Advocacy Network, and the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.  The last shelter -- primarily for men, at the Union Gospel Mission -- closed with the retirement of the Reverend John Steinhauser.

 

Nearly 140 water boards, community development agencies and other types of state and local authorities in New York have failed to file financial reports with the state as required by law.  The state's Authorities Budget Office released the list of 139 non-compliant authorities on Thursday as a warning to their leaders to pay closer attention to state laws intended to promote government accountability and transparency.  The authorities are all required to file various financial documents with the state, including audits and annual reports.  They include the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency... the Jamestown Local Development Corporation... the Dunkirk Industrial Development Agency... and, the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation.  However... City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the city was late due to upgrades being made to it's website, where the reports are listed.  They are there now.  However... if an authority continues to violate the rules the office can recommend the dismissal of authority board members.
 

 

 

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Two Randolph residents have been arrested for allegedly operating a Methamphetime lab in their Hall Street apartment.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided the apartment at 162 Hall Street shortly after 11 PM last Friday.  Task Force members say they immediately found the Meth lab when they entered... and, the state Police C-C-SERT Team was called in to secure the lab, and materials used to make Meth.  Task Force agents also arrested the two residents... 27 year-old Robert Richardson, and 35 year-old Nicole Hauck.  Both are charged with Felony unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, criminal possession of Methamphetime precursors.  Both were arraigned, and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 5-thousand dollars bail each.  More arrests are expected.

 

Four people have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of Methamphetime during a parole check at a home in the town of North Harmony last Thursday night.  Sheriff's officers say 38 year-old Gregg Morrison of Wall Street in Ashville... was allegedly wanted by the state Parole Division.  Deputies say they found a quantity of Meth, and various pills inside the residence.  In addition to Morrison... officers also arrested 23 year-old McKenzie Paulson of Jamestown... 26 year-old Sarah Short of Panama... and, 40 year-old Denver Komenda of Ashville.  Those three are charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Morrison was arrested for violation of probation.. and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  All four people were arraigned, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set pending court appearances.  The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and, Jamestown Police K-9 Mitchell assisted the investigation.

 

A hearing will be held later today on whether the preservation group "Save the Amp" and five residents at Chautauqua Institution can get a temporary restraining order on the project.  The group and residents filed suit late last Friday in State Supreme Court to stop the effort to "raze" the current amphitheater, and construct a new one at the current site.  In a press release issued last weekend... "Save the Amp" attorney, Arthur Giacalone of Buffalo, noted that the legal action was started once the town of Chautauqua issued demolition and building permits for the project... which the institution has called a "renewal" of the amphitheater.  "Save the Amp" Co-Founder Brian Berg recently told us momentum was building for the lawsuit. Giacalone says "Save the Amp" wants the institution and town to fully comply with two laws... the first being the town's own Waterfront Consistancy Law... and, the other is the State Environmental Quality Review -- or SEQR - Act.  In response... the Institution says it's "disappointed" about the lawsuit.  Officials add that in developing the project, "we have taken care to study the issues carefully and and thoroughly, to proactively seek outside input and to make sure that all of our actions and filings comply with any and all requirements."  Giacalone says their Article 78 Proceeding was filed late Friday.

 

New York's attorney general has relaunched the office's website containing public information to match lobbying disclosures with specific legislation proposed and passed by state lawmakers.  According to the attorney general's office... NYOpenGovernment.com now links Joint Commission on Public Ethics filings by lobbyists with specific bills, enabling people to more easily track issues that lobbyists and their clients are advocating for, as well as the results.  The website is intended to promote the public's right to know about governmental decision-making.  It includes data on campaign financing, lobbying, charities, state contracts, legislator grants, corporate registrations, elected officials and legislation.

 

A Georgia woman visiting relatives in Buffalo in recent months has been found dead inside her parked car in a parking lot in Fredonia.  The Buffalo News reports village police found 48 year-old Darlene Depto of Adairsville inside the vehicle shortly before 5 PM last Friday in teh rear parking lot of the McDonald's on Route 60.  Officers say there was no apparent cause of death... and, an autopsy has been ordered for today.  They say snow had been plowed around the car... which had tinted windows.  That made it difficult to see anyone inside.  Depto is formerly from West Seneca.  However... it appeared the car had been there for some time.  Family members reported her missing last Tuesday.

 

Dunkirk's new Mayor says he remains hopeful that the NRG repowering project will eventually move forward.  However... Democrat Willie Rosas, who is in his first month in office, says he is also developing a plan should the "worse case" scenario happen.  That would be mothballing the plant. Rosas, who gave an update on the plant during this week's Common Council meeting, indicated there is state funding available to communities facing similar situations.  There is 19-million dollars in state funding set aside for communities that have to "retire" coal-powered plants.  Meanwhile... NRG spokesman David Gaier says the plant is moving ahead with the actual mothballing of Unit 2, which was the last unit in operation.  Gaier also says the company submitted the re-powering project in late December as part of the New York Independent System Operator's Public Policy Planning Process.  He says the next step is for NYISO to evaluate the proposed projects, including NRG's.  The proposals will be presented stakeholders and the State Public Service Commission in mid-2016.

 

New York has established a 5-billion dollars clean energy fund to encourage renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar.  It's part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to generate half of the state's energy from renewable sources by 2030.  The state's Public Service Commission approved the initiative last Thursday, eight days after the Democratic governor announced the proposal in his state of the state address.  The money will be used to subsidize solar energy, spur energy research and development and incentivize private investments in clean energy projects.  It will also support programs that increase consumer energy efficiency.  It will be funded through utility bill surcharges, but the state anticipates that it will lead to consumer savings as early as this year and ultimately save consumers $39 billion in 10 years.

 

The pilot of a single-engine plane safely landed in a backyard field at western New York home after the engine iced-up during a flight from Massachusetts.  Pilot Jeremiah Coholan and passenger Richard Medeiros took off from New Bedford Thursday... and, were approaching the Rochester area around 1:45 PM when the engine of their Cessna began seizing up as ice clogged the carburetor.  Coholan says he looked for a place to land and found a small, snow-covered field behind a home in the Wayne County village of Macedon... just east of Rochester.  The plane landed safely. The two men weren't injured.  State police say Federal Aviation Administration representatives went to the scene to inspect the plane.

 

0
comments


News Headlines for Sun., Jan. 24, 2016

"Save the Amp" groups filed Article 78 lawsuit against Chautauqua Institution to stop Amp. project...

A hearing will be held Monday afternoon on whether the preservation group "Save the Amp" and five residents at Chautauqua Institution can get a temporary restraining order on the project.  The group and residents filed suit late last Friday in State Supreme Court to stop the effort to "raze" the current amphitheater, and construct a new one at the current site.  In a press release issued last weekend... "Save the Amp" attorney, Arthur Giaclone of Buffalo, noted that the legal action was started once the town of Chautauqua issued demolition and building permits for the project... which the institution has called a "renewal" of the amphitheater.  "Save the Amp" Co-Founder Brian Berg recently told us momentum was building for the lawsuit... with residents expressing their feelings about their displeasure with the $41.5-million project.  Giacalone says "Save the Amp" wants the institution and town to fully comply with two laws... the first being the town's own Waterfront Consistancy Law... and, the other is the State Environmental Quality Review -- or SEQR - Act.  In response... the Institution says it's "disappointed" about the lawsuit.  Officials add that in developing the project, "we have taken care to study the issues carefully and and thoroughly, to proactively seek outside input and to make sure that all of our actions and filings comply with any and all requirements."  Giacalone says their Article 78 Proceeding was filed late Friday.


Head of COI applauds Cuomo on State of the State's way it is addressing poverty...

The head of a human service agency in the county is praising Governor Cuomo for making the fight against poverty one of the "centerpieces" of his State of the State Address.  Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated Executive Director Roberta Keller says the governor proposed record funding levels to combat homelessness... bolster early education intervention... and a minimum wage that meets "modern-day indexing standards."  Cuomo is targeting 10 small cities in particular for help... and, one is Jamestown.  Keller says she's hopeful that everyone will come together to help people get to "a better economic position."  Keller says the poverty rate in Chautauqua County is about 28-percent... but, she adds there are a "significant" number of other people in hard times who don't meet the "arbitrary" figures that poverty is based on.  She also praised Cuomo for wanting to tackle the issue of homelessness in New York state... which has become a major issue in the state.  She says -- at this time -- Chautauqua County does not have a homeless shelter, and is in need of one. 


Olean man convicted of murder in death of man at scenic outlook in 2014...

A Cattaraugus County man has been found guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting a man and leaving the victim's body at a scenic overlook in 2014.  The Olean Times-Herald reports the jury in the case of 29 year-old Gary Maull of Olean came back with a guilty verdict after about 4-hours of deliberations.  The Cattaraugus County Jury got the case late Thursday afternoon... and, resumed Friday morning.  Prosecution witness testimony concluded that Maull shot 54-year-old Otis Lamont Parks of Olean to death for a report "drug debt..." and, because Parks was to testify against him in another case.  Maull is to be sentenced in March.


Randolph man being treated for serious injuries after single-car crash...

A Randolph man is being treated for serious head and leg injuries following a one car crash after he failed to stop at a stop sign in the town of Randolph... and, his car struck an earth embankment.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say 27 year-old Adam Chandler was southbound on Sample Road about 3:30 a.m. last Sunday... when he drove through the intersection an struck the embankment head-on.  Officers say Chandler was knocked out... and, was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then flown to the Hamot Medical center in Erie, Pennsylvania... where he's being treated.  He was last listed in critical condition.  Charges of failure to stop... DWI... and, not wearing a seat belt are pending.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A state official came to Chautauqua County yesterday to deliver Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State and budget message in person.  Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government, Dierdre Scozzafava spoke to the Dunkirk Community Chamber of Commerce in the morning... and, in the afternoon at Jamestown High School.  Among the items she outlined were initiatives to help  local governments.  Scozzafava says there is a huge amount of funding proposed for local road and bridge projects.  She says the governor is also offering incentives for regionalizing local governments. Scozzafava says she impressed with how local and county leaders have worked together in Chautauqua County... namely on the North County Water District.  She also scheduled a pair of visits in the Jamestown area Wednesday afternoon.  While in Dunkirk, she spoke at the Dunkirk Community Chamber's annual meeting and awards luncheon.

 

The political divide between upstate and downstate New York is on full display as state lawmakers question whether Governor Andrew Cuomo's transportation plan shortchanges one region to benefit the other.  During a hearing on the governor's transportation proposals on Wednesday... several upstate lawmakers noted that Cuomo is calling for 22-billion dollars for projects helping upstate New York, and commits to a $29 billion upgrade plan for New York City transit.  State Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll, a former mayor of Syracuse, said he understands the need to balance resources and that Cuomo wants to advance the interests of the entire state.  Lawmakers also questioned how the state would pay for Cuomo's plan, which includes bridge and highway upgrades... as well as a plan to freeze Thruway tolls until 2020.

 

It's a small business that's become a big success in it's three short years of existance... and, Chautauqua County's Congressman wanted to see how they're doing it.  Corning Republican Tom Reed was in Lakewood yesterday afternoon to take a tour of Water Street Brass on Gleason Road in the town of Busti.  Reed says the company began three years ago with just four employees in Jamestown... and, has now grown to 31 at it's new location. Water Street Brass makes brass fixtures... such as doorknobs.  Reed says he's "very hopeful" about manufacturing in the region when he sees success stories like Water Street... which is owned and operated by Matt Churchill.  He says Churchill is very optimistic about the company's future.  However... Reed says there are still challenges -- including workforce development... and, tax policies that help small businesses.  He says they often have their money tied up in investment...  inventory... and, machines.  However... when the government comes calling with a tax bill... he says that can devastate a business.

 

Under a deal reached with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, two national retailers have agreed to stop asking job seekers about their criminal histories in New York state.  One of those has a store in Jamestown.  Schneiderman's office announced Wednesday morning that Big Lots and Marshalls agreed to the change after an investigation by his office determined they were violating a Buffalo law that prohibits employers from asking applicants about their criminal background on initial employment applications.  Schneiderman says job applications that ask about past crimes can prevent former offenders from finding a job, something that he says is often ``crucial'' to ensuring they don't re-offend.  As part of the settlement, Big Lots agreed to pay a monetary penalty of 95-thousand dollars... and, Marshalls agreed to pay $100,000.  Messages were left with both retailers seeking comment.

 

Two public input sessions have been scheduled for the next two weeks to give Jamestown school officials input on what the priorities should be in the 2016-17 budget.  School Superintendent Tim Mains told school board members at Tuesday night's meeting that the first session would be next Thursday, January 28th... beginning at 7 PM at the Board Offices on Martin Road.  Mains has had such sessions each year he's been in the district. Mains says they'll review the current spending plan... which is about 77.6-million dollars... during that first session a week from tonight.  He says they'll provide an orientation to the different parts of the budget... and, how much they're spending... and, break that out over the next five years.  Mains says the sessions allow school officials to take a step back in their five-year, strategic plan, and determine a "starting point" in the new spending plan.  He says the second public input session will be a week later at the District Board Room on Thursday, February 4th, at 7 PM.

 

Mayors from across the United States say they worry about their cities' aging infrastructure and they'd like more state and federal support.  A survey of 89 mayors released Wednesday also found that mayors get policy ideas by studying other cities.  New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles received the most mentions.  The Menino Survey of Mayors is named for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who died in 2014.  It was conducted by Boston University's Initiative on Cities and funded by Citibank.  It's release coincides with the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which starts today (Wednesday) in Washington, D.C.  The mayors say aging and underfunded infrastructure is their most pressing challenge.  Mass transit, roads and water top the list of priorities.

 

As the East Coast braces for what could be a nor'easter with heavy snowfall later this week... the Syracuse area already has more than a foot of snow.  The National Weather Service reports that Onondaga County got large amounts of snow on Tuesday including more than a foot in Camillus, west of Syracuse.  There was also 10 inches in Clay, just north of the city.  The city of Syracuse itself received 14 inches over a two-day period ending Tuesday.  The lake-effect snow created whiteout conditions along stretches of the New York State Thruway west of Syracuse.  Hazardous conditions and multiple accidents caused portions of the Thruway to temporarily close.  Forecasters say a major winter storm could hit the Northeast later this week, with heavy snow from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

0
comments


News Headlines for Wed., Jan. 20, 2016

Reed urges Senators to approve Security Act so intelligence agencies share information on refugees...

The county's Congressman is calling on the U-S Senate to approve new security measures to more fully-vet refugees coming to the U-S from war-torn Syria and Iraq.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says the 'American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act" is a "common sense" policy to make sure Americans are kept safe from potential terrorists blending in with refugees.  Reed says the measure should be taken up by Senators late this week.  He says it would at least guarantee a strong and coordinated effort to ensure that security risks are "highly mitigated."  Reed says the Foreign Enemies Act calls for certification for each refugee coming into American by several agencies... including the FBI... and, Department of Homeland Security.  While refugees are being "vetted" at his point... Reed says members of those agencies say they aren't sharing that information the way they should.  He supported the measure when the House acted on it late last year.  Reed says the Senate will need 60 votes to pass later this week.  He made his comments during his weekly Media Conference Call.


City man jailed for allegedly trying to rob man on city's eastside...

One of two men who allegedly tried to rob another man on Falconer Street in Jamestown early Tuesday morning is jailed... pending further court action.  City police say they were called to the scene at the corner with Lakeview Avenue just after 4 a.m. on a report of the victim being assaulted by two men.  Officers say the victim was able to describe one of the alleged assailants... and, that was given to an Ellicott Officer in the area.  That officer found and detained a man matching the description.  The victim then identified the suspect as 19 year-old Askia Faison, who was charged with second-degree attempted robbery and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  The victim was treated at WCA Hospital.  The investigation is continuing.


Mains says there is mostly good news in Cuomo's 2016-17 budget proposal...

There are three pieces of good news for the Jamestown Public School District in Governor Cuomo's 2016-2017 budget proposal.  That from School Superintendent Tim Mains at last night's school board meeting.  First off... Mains says the district did get school runs before leaving Albany... showing the governor has increased Foundation Aid by about $1-million.  He says that's about a third of the increase the district should be getting... but, adds it's a start.  Mains says Foundation Aid will increase from $43.4-million to $44.3-million under the governor's plan.  He says there are two new Aid catagories the district will benefit from.  One is for $422,000 under the Community Schools Program... which the district has already received a grant for.  That's to "bring agencies and community resources" into the schools to help students at Fletcher Elementary School.  The third item is a new Poverty Initiative program... of which the city of Jamestown will be part of.  He says district children and their families who live at or below the poverty line should benefit from that.


State School Board's Director give's Cuomo's budget plan mixed -- but, mostly positive reviews...

The New York State School Boards Association is giving Governor Cuomo's new budget proposal mixed reviews.  But... overall, Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer calls it a "good starting point."  There's about a one-billion dollar increase in the total school education aid package this year... but, Kreamer says... just to keep current programs and services in place would cost $1.7-billion.  He says that also doesn't even touch new initiatives... and, getting rid of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.  Kreamer says the Governor is proposing a two-year phase out of the GEA because some district's don't have a big problem with that.  But, Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan of Long Island wants it eliminated.  Kreamer says many of those districts that want more "Foundation Aid" include many in Chautauqua County.  He says Cuomo's budget proposal is about 4-billion dollars short in that area.  Kreamer says they'll like a three-year phase-in of that additional money.  The GEA allowed the state to reduce school aid when New York started running deficits.


Kreamer says Cuomo makes a good move giving Common Core back to task force...

The head of the state School Board's Association says the organization is also pleased to see the governor "stepping back" from his involvement in the implementation of Common Core in New York.  Governor Cuomo was highly-criticized last year for pushing state testing, and tying testing to teacher evaluations under the new curriculum.  Tim Kreamer says, this year, Cuomo has recommended moving on 21 recommendations by his Common Core Task Force.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

It's been a difficult travel period the past 24-hours in many parts of Chautauqua County... and, especially on Interstate 86 to the west.  The Sheriff's Department says an accident involving two tractor-trailers in the westbound lanes between Stedman and Sherman led to that stretch being closed just over two hours Monday.  Dispatchers say the accident... occurred shortly after 11 Monday morning near Sherman.  It's unclear what caused the accident... though there was Lake Effect Snow in the area.  No one was hurt... and, traffic was re-routed between Exits 6 and 7 until the accident scene is cleared shortly before 2 PM.  We received a few more inches of Lake Effect Snow overnight... and, our Warning expires at 7 AM.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  Task Force members say they arrested 41 year-old Juan Perez-Aponte at 66 Ellicott Street late last week on an arrest warrant.  Authorities accused Aponte of selling Heroin to agents several times in the city of Jamestown.  Aponte is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal sale, and possession of a controlled substance.  Task Force members say he was arraigned in City Court... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.  Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in the area is asked to call the Southern Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

Working smoke detectors are being credited with saving a family of three from their burning home on Jamestown's northside Sunday morning.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says firefighters were called to the scene at 613 Spring Street just after 7:30 AM... and, found heavy fire in the front of the structure.  However... Russo says the two adults and one 6-month old child were outside on arrival.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Fire damage was confined to the front of the structure.  The two adults had to be treated for smoke inhalation.  But, Russo says there were no other injuries.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The cause remains under investigation.

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he's hoping a renewed effort by a combined City--Board of Public Utilities task force will find some cost savings for both entities in the future.  Teresi also says he's pleased that -- despite what appeared to be some stall-tactics in 2015 -- the chairman of the Joint Task Force on Government Efficiency and Consolidation has scheduled a meeting for later this week.  At the City Council's last work session... Councilman Tony Dolce noted that the panel will be meeting this Friday at City Hall. The task force was initially to look at 35 items brought up by the county's Chamber of Commerce... and, the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier... for possible cost savings.  Teresi says he set five general areas he wanted the panel to get through.  They did get through the 35 items submitted by the Chamber... and, MAST.  However... they did not get through the five major areas... partly because not everyone could make it to all the meetings.  Teresi -- though -- also questioned other motives after reviewing minutes, and meeting tapes -- and found the group have to keep going "over and over" areas already covered.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to extend a tax credit to small wineries, distilleries and alcoholic cider makers to encourage an industry that he says helps promote the entire state.  In his State of the State address last week... Cuomo also announced a plan to overhaul the regulations governing online sales of craft alcohol to make it easier for producers to sell their products on the Internet.  The tax credit is now given to small craft breweries, and Cuomo says it makes sense to offer the same incentive to craft wineries, distilleries and cider makers.  He estimates that the credit would save these businesses $2 million a year, money that he says they can reinvest.  Cuomo also wants to eliminate existing alcoholic beverage taxes that are imposed on free tastings.

 

Chemists at the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry are leading the way in protecting New York’s lakes.  Students and staff have been working with a public volunteer program to collect thousands of water samples from more than 130 lakes.  They’re looking for blue-green algae blooms, which graduate student Zach Smith says is associated with a harmful bacteria that can cause liver, intestinal and nervous system issues in both humans and pets. The school’s Great Lakes Research Consortium works in conjunction with the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program -- a state-run, volunteer-based monitoring and education program.  The blue-green algae blooms have been a problem the past few years in Chautauqua County... on both Chautauqua Lake, and Findley Lake.  If toxins are detected, officials say the positive results are transferred to state environmental or health departments, so the proper advisories and warnings can be issued.

 

One person was hospitalized following a two-vehicle accident late Sunday morning in the city of Dunkirk.  Police in the north county city say a Jeep, driven by 62-year-old Angelo Zappie of Dunkirk, was traveling south on Washington Avenue shortly after 11 AM.  Officers say a vehicle driven by 31-year-old Aaron Shanahan of Silver Creek pulled out of a parking lot and crashed into Zappie's vehicle... causing it to roll over.  Zappie was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.  Shanahan was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way.

 

A 24-year-old man distraught over a recent break-up stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend and another college student in her off-campus apartment in Geneseo... then killed himself.  Officials late Monday said Colin Kingston entered the apartment of 21-year-old Kelsey Annese just before 6 AM Sunday near the SUNY College at Geneseo. Kingston found her with another student, 24-year-old Matthew Hutchinson, of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Police say Kingston killed them both with a large knife.  Investigators say the former Geneseo student called his father before turning the knife on himself.  Kingston's father called police and officers found the bodies.  Annese played basketball for Geneseo. Hutchinson played hockey for the college.

 

Hundreds of people packed into a New York City church as comedian Chris Rock, actor Michael B. Jordan and others performed historic speeches in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Monday's event at the Riverside Church in Manhattan was meant to celebrate King's legacy and provide a discussion on how to continue his message in today's climate.  Organizer Shawn Dove says the event was meant to ``ignite'' the audience, which he said was ``hungry'' for change.  King delivered a sermon expressing his views opposing the Vietnam War at the Manhattan church in 1967.  Composer and Tony winner Lin Manuel Miranda recited a portion of the speech at Monday's event.  Jamestown's annual MLK Observance took place last Sunday at Immanuel Baptist Church.

 

 


 

0
comments


News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 18, 2016

Westbound lanes of I-86 re-open after two tractor-trailers crash late this morning...

It's been a difficult travel day in many parts of Chautauqua County today... and, especially on Interstate 86 to the west.  The Sheriff's Department says an accident involving two tractor-trailers in the westbound lanes between Stedman and Sherman has led to that stretch being closed.  Dispatchers say the accident... occurred shortly after 11 this morning near Sherman.  It's unclear what caused the accident... though there was Lake Effect Snow in the area.  Traffic was re-routed until the accident scene was cleared... shortly before 2 p.m.


LES Warning continued until 7 a.m. Tuesday...

One of the lake effect snow bands from the current storm system has moved back into the city of Jamestown... bringing some new Lake Effect Snows to the area.  Until a break late this morning... about 5 to 8 inches of new snow had fallen in the area since yesterday afternoon.  The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 7 a.m. tomorrow.  Forecaster Steve Welch with the Weather Service's Buffalo office says they had a 7 AM report of 5-inches in the city.  However... amounts were much larger in some of the snow belt areas... including 18 inches in Perrysburg.  Welch says we should see about 5-to-9 inches of snow in the heavier lake snow areas by tonight... with another 4 to 7 inches tomorrow.  He adds that... along with the snow... we'll see cold temperatures, and winds gusting to about 35 to 40 mph will produce blowing and drifting snow.  Welch says we should be out of the heavier lake effect after 7 a.m. tomorrow.  However... the county could see another 2 to 3 inches in those Lake Snow areas.


Cattaraugus County man killed when car crashes into town of Napoli pond...

A tragic accident in the Cattaraugus County town of Napoli has claimed the life of a Little Valley man.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on Route 242 about 5:30 last Friday night on a report of a motor vehicle accident.  Deputies say the driver, 58 year-old Elias Ruela, Junior of 9671 Route 242, was trying to back out of a private driveway when his car went off the road.  They say the vehicle then overturned, and, crashed into a pond.  Ruela was pronounced dead at the scene.  The investigation into the accident is continuing.


City man arrested for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover cops...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  Task Force members say they arrested 41 year-old Juan Perez-Aponte at 66 Ellicott Street late last week on an arrest warrant.  Authorities accused Aponte of selling Heroin to agents several times in the city of Jamestown.  Aponte is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal sale, and possession of a controlled substance.  Task Force members say he was arraigned in City Court... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.  Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in the area is asked to call the Southern Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


House fire in Jamestown Sunday morning chases family of three out of home...

Working smoke detectors are being credited with saving a family of three from their burning home on Jamestown's northside Sunday morning.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says firefighters were called to the scene at 613 Spring St. just after 7:30 a.m., and, found heavy fire in the front of the structure.  However... Russo says the two adults and one 6-month old child were outside on arrival.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Fire damage was confined to the front of the structure.  The two adults had to be treated for smoke inhalation.  But, Russo says there were no other injuries.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The cause remains under investigation.


Convictions announced by Swanson in County Court...

A Mayville man will spend the next six-years in state prison for selling and possessing Methamphetime.  Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 43 year-old John Noel-the-third received the six-years... and, five years post-release supervision... for second-degree criminal possession of a  Controlled Substance.  Swanson says Noel was also sentenced to two-years concurrent... and, one-year of post-release supervision... for second-degree Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine.  In addition... a Jamestown man will spend 2-and-a-half to 5 years in state prison for third-degree burglary.  Swanson says 50 year-old Kevin Weary received the sentence last week in County Court. 

 

0
comments


News Headlines for Fri. night, Jan. 15, 2016

Two city residents arrested for allegedly trafficking prescription pills illegally from eastside apartment...

Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking a large quantity of presciption painkillers and amphetamines from their eastside home.  Members of the Jamestown Area Metro Drug Task Force... and, the state Police C-NET Team raided the upstairs apartment at 310 East Sixth St. shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday.  Police officials say the JPD SWAT Team assisted in the raid... where they arrested 41 year-old Clarence Carte, and 29 year-old Maranda Lopez.  Officers say they also found the drugs inside.  Both Carte and Lopez were taken into custody on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one each of fifth-degree criminal possession.  Lopez was also charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child because her two small children were also found in the apartment.  Both Carte and Lopez were arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is asked to call the Task Force's Anonymous Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Lake Effect Snow to return to Jamestown-area by late weekend...

Chautauqua County is getting a break from the lake effect snow that dumped over a foot in some areas earlier this week.  However... there is another round of lake effect in store for us, starting late this weekend.  Meteorologist David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a cold air mass moving over Lake Erie will fire up the lake effect machine on Sunday.  Thomas says it is too early to tell right now which areas will get hit hardest by this round of snow, but adds this storm has the potential for significant accumulation through the early part of next week.  He says it's still a little too early to tell where the Lake Effect bands will be setting up.  Our recent lake effect snows have been fueled by the still-unfrozen waters of Lake Erie... which is currently at 34 degrees at the eastern end of the lake.


Cuomo still supports ballot measure on holding Constitutional Convention...

Saying New York's system of government is ``broken...'' Governor Andrew Cuomo is reiterating his support for a state constitutional convention which he says offers voters the chance to reform their state government.  Voters will decide in 2017 whether to hold a constitutional convention, and they would get the chance later to approve or reject any changes recommended to the state's governing document.  Cuomo says a convention would give the voters an opportunity to address chronic government corruption and revise the rules under which government operates.


Hinderleider has "interim" removed from his title at new JSBA Arena GM...

The man who has been interim General Manager of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena has now been named to head up the facility on a permanent basis.  The Center City Development Corporation's board of directors has announced that Craig Hinderleider has been promoted to full-time GM.  Hinderleider has been with the arena since it opened... and, replaces former G-M Brian Cersosimo... who stepped down last August.  The new G-M says it's an exciting time for him because he started from the bottom at the arena when it first opened in 2002.  The board says his "work ethic and arena knowledge" has given him these opportunities... and, he looks forward to getting more people to come to the arena.

 

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly firing the shot that accidently wounded a young boy he was hunting with just after last Thanksgiving in the Falconer-area.  Ellicott Town Police say 22 year-old Cody Didomenico was arrested last weekend by Jamestown Police at his Euclid Avenue home.  Didomenico was arraigned on charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree reckless endangerment... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  Police were called to the scene on East Elmwood Avenue the morning of November 27th... and, found the youth with a shoulder wound.  Officers say they learned that Didomenico was hunting with two others, and they split up.  However... police say the suspect thought the other two were a deer moving through the brush, and he fired.  The boy was treated at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, and is now recovering at home. 

 

Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says he likes a lot in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2016-17 budget plan... but, he also has a problem with a couple of other proposals.  Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell says the positives include the plan to cut the small business tax rate.  Goodell says he feels the 2.5-percent reduction in that rate will be a plus for the county's employers. Goodell says he also likes Cuomo's plan to boost tourism funding... increasing the "I Love New York" program to 50-million dollars a year.  He says it's proven to be "very effective..." and, has helped Chautauqua County tourism greatly.  On the downside... Goodell says he's opposed to the governor's multi-year plan to phase-in a 15-dollar an hour minimum wage.  He says it will put all New York employers at a "huge competitive disadvantage" compared to neighboring states because the New York wage would be twice as high as the others.  Goodell also doesn't agree with expanding Family Leave legislation to paying for 12-weeks.

 

A commitment of major dollars to improve upstate New York's aging roads, bridges and other infrastructure is what State Senator Cathy Young likes about the governor's budget proposal.  The Olean Republican says it's "great to hear" that Governor Cuomo wants to upgrade the state's "crumbling" infrastructure to deal with 21st Century needs.  Young says there's one particular project that she's interested in for the 57th Senate District. Those opportunities include a proposal to cut the Small Business Tax by 2.5-percent.  Young says she was pleased to hear Cuomo talk about the push to convert coal-fired power plants to natural gas.  She says there is a lot of concern over the future of the NRG Plant in Dunkirk... and, adds "we need to get that project underway."  On education... Young says the Senate GOP Majority is pushing to get the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment" taken out of the public school aid forumula.  Cuomo said in his speech that lawmakers will get that done.  Young will be the Senate Majority's Finance Chair for the Conference Committee with the Assembly.

 

A leading business group says it remains ``adamantly opposed'' to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour.  President and Chief Executive Ofifcer Heather Briccetti with the Business Council of New York State says such an increase would be particularly harmful to the upstate economy... and, could lead to fewer entry-level jobs overall.  Cuomo, a Democrat, repeated his call for a $15 minimum during his state-of-the-state address to lawmakers on Wednesday.  If approved, that would be the highest state wage floor in the nation.  The Business Council also has concerns about Cuomo's proposal for paid family leave... a measure which would grant up to 12 weeks of paid time off for workers caring for sick loved ones or a new child.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan was among the local officials who attended Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address in Albany on Wednesday.  Horrigan says Cuomo revealed an "ambitious" 2016 agenda in his annual address... and, budget message.  The executive applauded Cuomo's efforts at improving the upstate economy. Horrigan not only backed the governor's plan for a record 22 billion-dollar, five-year investment in roads and bridges... and, his call for 250-million towards rebuilding local sewer and water infrastructures... but, he was also pleased to hear Cuomo acknowledge the threat of ISIS in New York State.  Among the items that Horrigan criticized is Cuomo's plan to increase the state's minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour... which he says will hurt small business growth.  He says he also wanted to hear Cuomo address the issue of opioid abuse, an issue which he says is a "big priority" in Chautauqua County.

 

The new mayor of Dunkirk is back from a successful trip to the state Capitol in Albany.  Not only did Willie Rosas listen to Governor Cuomo's State of the State message... but he also had an opportunity meet face-to-face with the Governor following the speech.  Rosas tells us the brief meeting occurred at the Governor's Mansion. Speaking of NRG... Rosas says he also met with the Deputy Director of State Operations Mathew Millea.  He says they are well aware of the situation and are willing to work with the city... and, he says Millea pledged to do all they can to help get the project going, as well as help them if the plant doesn't stay open.  Besides the Governor... Rosas also met State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  The Mayor was pleased with the trip felt the city and Western New York were well represented in Albany.

 

The Acting District Attorney in Chautauqua County was also among those from the county on hand for Wednesday's State of the State Address.  Fredonia's Patrick Swanson was invited to the address, and budget presentation by Governor Cuomo's office.  Swanson says it's "nice to see that they are paying attention to us in Albany.  It was an honor to attend the Governor's address representing the citizens of Chautauqua County."  Swanson adds it's the first time he's attended that kind of event.  He adds that he's still settling into his new role... and, "understanding where our state is heading as a whole, will only help me in crafting a plan for my office."  While in Albany... Swanson also said he had informal meetings with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

 

New York state health officials are announcing that 479 CVS pharmacies across the state will start selling the heroin antidote naloxone -- or Narcan -- without a prescription.  State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says he hopes the agreement with CVS announced late Thursday will save lives and get drug users on the road to recovery.  Narcan temporarily blocks the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers.  It has been used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms for decades.  People who receive naloxone as a treatment should go to a hospital before the drug's effects wear off.  The health department says naloxone itself has no potential for being abused because it has no effect unless a person has opioids in his or her system.

 

 

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state of New York is strong... and, poised to build for the future.  For the first time yesterday... Cuomo combined his State of the State and Budget messages.  This year's budget is up by 1.7-billion dollar to 145.3-billion dollars.  It includes spending the state's 2.3-billion windfall from court settlements with financial institutions mainly for public infrastructure and housing for the poor and homeless.  The spending plan includes a 20-billion dollar boost for Upstate New York. Cuomo adds that his budget proposal also includes a one-billion dollar increase in state school aid... and, will end the controversial "Gap Elimination Adjustment."  It also would cut Medicaid by 350-million dollars to 63.6-billion dollars.

 

Several upstate New York Mayors were on hand for Governor Cuomo's State of the State message... including Jamestown's Sam Teresi.  Teresi says he was impressed... and, adds Cuomo always gives a "great speech."  However... he adds there was also a lot in the speech he was happy to hear about.  Teresi says he was most encouraged by the governor's latest proposal... which he says will help local businesses. In addition... Teresi says he was also pleased by the governor's emphasis on "leading by building..." and, the need to upgrade the entire state's infrastructure.  He also liked Cuomo tying in his family, with the need for Family Leave... and, funding for Cancer research and, treatment.

 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas was in Albany Wednesday to hear Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message.  Rosas will also be taking part in meeting that Cuomo will have after the speech with several mayors.  Earlier today... Rosas said he had been invited to be part of that gathering. Rosas was also going to meet with other elected officials including area state legislators... including Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and State Senator Cathy Young.  As for the Governor... Rosas said he was hoping that Cuomo would address some of the issues facing small cities like Dunkirk during his State of the State message.

 

A Frewsburg man has been sentenced to nearly 5-years in federal prison following his conviction for possession of Child Pornography.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior has annouced that 47 year-old Jeffrey Paden was given 57-months behind bars by U-S District Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Mango and Scott Allen, Junior... who handed the case... say Paden was found with more than 600 images of child porn back on September 20th of 2007.  They were stored on a personal computer after Paden obtained them over the Internet.  Prosecutors say some of the images depicted pre-pubescent minors -- or minors less than 12 years of age.  The investigation was handled by special agents with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force.

 


Only one minor injury was reported following Tuesday's major crash on the State Thruway in the town of Portland.  Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says it could have been much worse... since the multi-vehicle crash involved several tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. The victim had to be extricated from the wreckage before being transported to a local hospital.  Leone commended the work of all responders... which included Portland, Ripley, Westfield, and the Emergency Services Office... along with the county's HazMat Team.  He says weather conditions were "very cold and very windy."  Leone also credited the Thruway Authority for its quick response in closing the westbound lanes between Exits 59 and 60 for about four hours.  No word on what caused the crash, although there were frequent white outs reported before the accident.

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are down by about 4-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now 2-dollars-21.5 cents a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge reports the price was based on reports from 19 local service stations.  Triple-A says the price was 2--79 a gallon this time last year.  The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now one-dollar-96.5 cents.  Nationally... Triple-A says prices are continuing to drop with the current average being the cheapest average price since March 23rd of 2009.  Gas prices have fallen for 55 of the past 66 days for a total savings of 26-cents per gallon and should remain relatively low because there is more than enough oil and gasoline around the world to meet demand.

 

Staff, friends, and supporters of the Robert H. Jackson Center gathered for a 15th anniversary luncheon, Wednesday at the center.  Co-founder Greg Peterson says a small idea has become something quite big.
In January 2001, the Scotish Rite Temple at 4th and Prendergast became available, and significant community support from individuals and foundations got the project started.  The Jackson Center's new Executive Director, Susan Murphy, was impressed with the history. Robert H. Jackson was born in nearby Pennsylvania, and spent his formative years in Jamestown... eventually ascending to the US Supreme Court and the Chief Prosecutor's role at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. 

 

Local lottery outlets are busy as ever... as the largest lottery jackpot in the world was is up for grabs tonight in the latest Powerball drawing.  Officials say the prize has now climbed to an estimated 1.5-billion dollars.  Like most places... the Jamestown-area has caught "Powerball Fever..." with people playing their favorite numbers or taking quick picks.  Robo Enterprises Owner Kim Carlson says it's been "crazy" and exciting at the same time.  She says people were talking about what they'd do if they won. Carlson says Robo's Marion Street location has been a lucky location for lottery players... and, reminded us of a one-million dollar winner they had a couple of years ago.   She says the boyfriend of one of her employee's won the million dollars on a scratch-off game on Thanksgiving.  Carlson also agrees that all the excitement generated by the huge jackpot has given businesses -- like her's -- a big boost.  She says people have also been spending money on other lottery tickets... drinks, gas and sandwiches.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "disappointed" overall with President Obama's State of the Union Address because it "doesn't connect with the American people.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says it's always good to hear from the president... but, adds he outlined "the same themes for the last eight years."  Reed says there a two issues that need leadership right now... the economy, and national security.  He says you need to look no further than his 23rd Congressional District to find problems with a "fragile" economy.  Reed says "rather than talk, we must come together and find the solutions and the way toward a more secure future of opportunity for all Americans."

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A rough morning commute is in the forecast today for many parts of Chautauqua County today after the latest cold front pushed through the area yesterday afternoon.  That from Forecaster Steve Welch with the National Weather Service... who says the area remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning through 10 o'clock tonight.  Welch says lake effect bands made travel difficult late Tuesday afternoon... and, he adds they'll be back this morning. Welch says Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties were looking at between 4 and 7 inches last night... and, will look at another 4-to-7 today.  He tells us that some parts of the county may see a foot and-a-half to 2-feet of snow from this latest system.  Welch says the immediate Jamestown-area will see a little less than that.  Again... a Lake Effect Snow Warning is in place until 10 PM tonight.  The Sheriff's Department Dispatch center was busy late yesterday with several calls.  There were problems with cars off the road, and several accidents -- most of them minor.  One dispatcher says the roads were "terrible" during the drive home.

 

A portion of Interstate 90 in Chautauqua County was shut down for several hours after a multiple-vehicle pileup Tuesday afternoon.  State Police in Fredonia say four tractor-trailers... and, two passenger cars were involved in the accident, which occurred in the westbound lanes of I-90 near Lake Avenue in the Town of Portland.  The accident was called in about 2:30 PM.  Troopers say multiple fire companies, including Westfield and Portland, responded to the scene.  One person was taken to a local hospital for a minor injury.  The westbound lanes of I-90 between Exits 59 and 60 were closed while officials cleared the scene.  State Police are continuing to investigate.

 

The story of how Cummins Engine came to have a plant in southern Chautauqua County will have to wait until another day.  That from one of the people who organized tonight's session in the town of Busti.  Retired State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Gerace says officials decided to cancel the session due to the weather forecast.  As Busti Town Supervisor in the 1960's... Gerace was working with other officials to find someone for the Baker Street plant left vacant by the collapse of Art Metal. Art Metal made desks and file cabinets... and, was a major employer in the area.  Joe Gerace says job prospects were bleak when company closed... but, he says Cummin's became a "shining beacon" when it started up operations.  Also at the Wednesday program... former Cummins plant manager Craig Colburn will talk about what led the company to approve a plant in the Jamestown area.  And, current Plant Manager, Mike Abbate will show a video of the plant's operation today.

 

The state Assembly's Democrat Majority has voted down several proposed changes to legislative rules designed to reduce corruption.  The proposals included term limits for legislative leadership positions... and, a requirement allowing every lawmaker to bring at least one bill to the floor for a vote.  Chautauqua County's representative, Andy Goodell, proposed several measures dealing with election of the Assembly Speaker.  One deals with candidates who are running for Speaker. Goodell says the key one was a provision setting the Speaker's term at no more than eight-years.  A third measure called for the naming an "Acting Speaker" while a new one is being selected.  He says the Majority Leader would become speaker -- temporarily -- if a vacancy occurs.  In addition... the fourth would also allow the rank-and-file 2-minutes each to explain their vote for Speaker.   Other reforms proposed by Assembly Republicans included having televised committee hearings.  Minority Leader Brian Kolb says the changes would help ensure power doesn't become too concentrated in Albany.   Ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, were convicted last year of corruption.

 

Advocates of medically-assisted suicide want New York lawmakers to pass legislation authorizing terminally ill patients to request drugs to end their lives.  But... they also acknowledge the measure faces significant challenges.  The proposal would require two physicians to certify that the requesting patient suffers from a terminal illness and is competent to make the decision.  Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has safeguards to prevent abuse.  Opponents say the proposal is too loose and could lead to heirs encouraging ill relatives to kill themselves.  Both sides came to the state Capitol on Tuesday to lobby lawmakers.  California will soon become the fifth state allowing medically assisted suicide.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to encourage local governments to award more contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women. The Democratic governor on Monday proposed extending the state's existing goal of awarding 30 percent of contracts to minority and women-owned businesses to all state-funded contracts awarded by cities, towns and school districts. Cuomo says his idea, which must be approved by the state Legislature, would help businesses led by minorities and women compete for the $65 billion in state funding that goes to local governments.  The measure is expected to be one of many detailed by the governor on Wednesday when he delivers his annual state-of-the-state address to lawmakers in Albany.

 

A central New York village has agreed to hire federal sharpshooters to cull its deer population.  The Onondaga County village of Fayetteville voted earlier this week to hire professional sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture... and, not use volunteer archers as originally planned.  The village near Syracuse wants to manage the deer population in hopes of decreasing cases of Lyme disease, among other things.  Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson says the sharpshooters are expected to use suppressed rifles, which are generally prohibited for hunting under state law. The village is expected to talk with an aviation company on Wednesday to choose a fly-over date to count the deer.  The mayor says that the agency will let the village know when it can start once that happens.  Sharpshooters will cover four sites over a couple weeks.

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown-area men have been arrested during a raid in the town of Busti for allegedly running a Methamphetime operation.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they were joined by other agencies -- including Lakewood-Busti Police -- for the raid at 29-97 Burton Road.  Task Force members say entry was made just before 5 PM yesterday without incident.  The warrant was based on information uncovered by the Southern Tier Task Force, and Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  As a result of the search... police say a quantity of equipment and other items used in the production of "Meth" were found.  Task Force members say they arrested 54 year-old Jimmie Williams of the Burton Road address... and, 33 year-old Adam Swanson of Institute Street, Frewsburg.  The State Police C-C-SERT Team was called to the scene to collect the toxic materials that are produced during the production of methamphetamine.  Officers say they also found two children, ages 5 and 9, inside.  Both Williams and Swanson are charged with one count each of third-degree Unlawfully Manufacturing Methamphetamine... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Both men were arrested pending further court action.  Swanson was first taken to Jamestown... where he was sought on an unrelated warrant.

 

The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees has approved the offer of a local developer to buy the Sheldon House, and convert it into an office building.  However... Lynn Development would first have to get a waiver from the city because the property is only zoned for residential use.  JCC's Vice-President of Enrollment, Marketing, Communcations, and Athletics, Kirk Young, says the action was taken last week by the board.  Young says the college had sought 250-thousand dollars for the building and property it's located on. Young says there's not a lot of detail that's been given by Lynn as to what they want to use the property for -- aside from office space for the services they provide.  However... since Lynn is reportedly not seeking to have the Sheldon House used for residential purposes... they would require a waiver from the city's Zoning Board of Appeals.  That would have to be granted first... then Lynn's request, and proposal would have to be approved by JCC's three sponsoring entities... the Jamestown City Council... the Chautauqua County Legislature... and, the Cattaraugus County Legislature.

 

A group of residents on the city's northside has already come out in opposition to Lynn Development's plans to convert the Sheldon House into office space.  Members of the Lakeview Avenue Community Action Project were at last night's City Council Work Session to express that opposition.  Lakeview group Spokesman Paul Leone says they're "very concerned" about what's being proposed... and, have two issues with it. Leone, and two others on hand for the work session, emphasized the amount of work the Action group has done in trying to improve that northside neighborhood.  However... he feels -- if the waiver for office use is approved -- the impact will be felt beyond Lakeview Avenue.  Mayor Sam Teresi and Council members told Leone that if the proposal is rejected by the Zoning Board of Appeals... the project will likely die.  However... Teresi says the sale must also be approved by all three bodies that sponsor JCC -- including the City Council.  He adds the SUNY Board must also okay the sale.

 

The Lake Effect Snow that pounded northern Chautauqua County Sunday and Monday is gone... but, another storm system is on the way.  That from the National Weather Service... which discontinued our initial Lake Effect Snow Warning late yesterday afternoon.  Forecaster Dave Thomas in Buffalo says, though, we are now under a Lake Effect Snow Warning for early this afternoon, through the day Wednesday.  He adds another cold front will cross the area. Thomas says once the front moves through... the area will see between a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow in the persistant Lake Snow areas.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... he says we could see up to 9-inches.  Thomas adds we'll see winds of 20 to 30 MPH... with gusts up to 40... and, adds that'll produce blowing and drifting snow.  He adds that'll be enhanced by the amount of snow already on the ground from the first storm system.  Thomas says the wind chills and colder temperatures will really take hold by Wednesday... when our high will only be 10 to 12-degrees.

 

A structure fire early Monday morning in the town of Busti has destroyed an "out-building" at a well-known dairy farm.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says crews were called to the Kidder Farm at 837 Shadyside Road about 4:20 AM.  Volpe says they found flames shooting from "Silo Bunker" used to store feed... and, a front-end loader. Volpe says they were joined at the scene by firefighters from Lakewood, Panama, Ashville, Kiantone, and Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.  He says Celoron was on stand-by.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to bring the blaze under control.  Crews were there until about 7 AM.  No one was hurt... and, the cause remains under investigation.  Volpe says... despite the cold weather... they had no problems running a tanker shuttle from the five-corners of Busti to get water to the scene.

 

New York's graduation rate increased slightly to 78.1-percent last year... but, remained below the national rate of 82 percent.  The state Education Department says Monday the four-year graduation rate for students who began high school in 2011 was 1.7 percentage points higher than for the previous class.  But... the department says it's still concerned by the nearly 7 percent of students, around 15,000 of them, who dropped out of high school.  The majority of those dropping out were black or Hispanic and from economically disadvantaged families.  Last month, federal education officials put the U.S. high school graduation rate at 82 percent. Leading the way was Iowa, with a graduation rate of nearly 91 percent.  The District of Columbia had the lowest rate, 61 percent.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to see President Obama talk about the economy, and growing jobs during his final State of the Union Address tonight.  The Corning Republican says he also wants to make sure his 23rd Congressional District "isn't left behind because of the President's failed policies."  Reed says the economy and boosting manufacturing remain his top priorities. Reed says there have been areas of common ground found between the President and Republican's in Congress.  One is the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation -- or RAMI Act... which he authored... and, says will bring about 610-million dollars in new, local investments in photonics.  Reed says his guest will be Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... a retired U-S Air Force Colonel.  He says having Horrigan on hand helps in two ways.  One is the perspective of a local government leader... and, the other is the perspective of a former military leader on keeping the troops strong, and safe.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown-area men have been arrested during a raid in the town of Busti for allegedly running a Methamphetime operation.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they were joined by other agencies -- including Lakewood-Busti Police -- for the raid at 29-97 Burton Road.  Task Force members say entry was made just before 5 PM yesterday without incident.  The warrant was based on information uncovered by the Southern Tier Task Force, and Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  As a result of the search... police say a quantity of equipment and other items used in the production of "Meth" were found.  Task Force members say they arrested 54 year-old Jimmie Williams of the Burton Road address... and, 33 year-old Adam Swanson of Institute Street, Frewsburg.  The State Police C-C-SERT Team was called to the scene to collect the toxic materials that are produced during the production of methamphetamine.  Officers say they also found two children, ages 5 and 9, inside.  Both Williams and Swanson are charged with one count each of third-degree Unlawfully Manufacturing Methamphetamine... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Both men were arrested pending further court action.  Swanson was first taken to Jamestown... where he was sought on an unrelated warrant.

 

The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees has approved the offer of a local developer to buy the Sheldon House, and convert it into an office building.  However... Lynn Development would first have to get a waiver from the city because the property is only zoned for residential use.  JCC's Vice-President of Enrollment, Marketing, Communcations, and Athletics, Kirk Young, says the action was taken last week by the board.  Young says the college had sought 250-thousand dollars for the building and property it's located on. Young says there's not a lot of detail that's been given by Lynn as to what they want to use the property for -- aside from office space for the services they provide.  However... since Lynn is reportedly not seeking to have the Sheldon House used for residential purposes... they would require a waiver from the city's Zoning Board of Appeals.  That would have to be granted first... then Lynn's request, and proposal would have to be approved by JCC's three sponsoring entities... the Jamestown City Council... the Chautauqua County Legislature... and, the Cattaraugus County Legislature.

 

A group of residents on the city's northside has already come out in opposition to Lynn Development's plans to convert the Sheldon House into office space.  Members of the Lakeview Avenue Community Action Project were at last night's City Council Work Session to express that opposition.  Lakeview group Spokesman Paul Leone says they're "very concerned" about what's being proposed... and, have two issues with it. Leone, and two others on hand for the work session, emphasized the amount of work the Action group has done in trying to improve that northside neighborhood.  However... he feels -- if the waiver for office use is approved -- the impact will be felt beyond Lakeview Avenue.  Mayor Sam Teresi and Council members told Leone that if the proposal is rejected by the Zoning Board of Appeals... the project will likely die.  However... Teresi says the sale must also be approved by all three bodies that sponsor JCC -- including the City Council.  He adds the SUNY Board must also okay the sale.

 

The Lake Effect Snow that pounded northern Chautauqua County Sunday and Monday is gone... but, another storm system is on the way.  That from the National Weather Service... which discontinued our initial Lake Effect Snow Warning late yesterday afternoon.  Forecaster Dave Thomas in Buffalo says, though, we are now under a Lake Effect Snow Warning for early this afternoon, through the day Wednesday.  He adds another cold front will cross the area. Thomas says once the front moves through... the area will see between a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow in the persistant Lake Snow areas.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... he says we could see up to 9-inches.  Thomas adds we'll see winds of 20 to 30 MPH... with gusts up to 40... and, adds that'll produce blowing and drifting snow.  He adds that'll be enhanced by the amount of snow already on the ground from the first storm system.  Thomas says the wind chills and colder temperatures will really take hold by Wednesday... when our high will only be 10 to 12-degrees.

 

A structure fire early Monday morning in the town of Busti has destroyed an "out-building" at a well-known dairy farm.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says crews were called to the Kidder Farm at 837 Shadyside Road about 4:20 AM.  Volpe says they found flames shooting from "Silo Bunker" used to store feed... and, a front-end loader. Volpe says they were joined at the scene by firefighters from Lakewood, Panama, Ashville, Kiantone, and Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.  He says Celoron was on stand-by.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to bring the blaze under control.  Crews were there until about 7 AM.  No one was hurt... and, the cause remains under investigation.  Volpe says... despite the cold weather... they had no problems running a tanker shuttle from the five-corners of Busti to get water to the scene.

 

New York's graduation rate increased slightly to 78.1-percent last year... but, remained below the national rate of 82 percent.  The state Education Department says Monday the four-year graduation rate for students who began high school in 2011 was 1.7 percentage points higher than for the previous class.  But... the department says it's still concerned by the nearly 7 percent of students, around 15,000 of them, who dropped out of high school.  The majority of those dropping out were black or Hispanic and from economically disadvantaged families.  Last month, federal education officials put the U.S. high school graduation rate at 82 percent. Leading the way was Iowa, with a graduation rate of nearly 91 percent.  The District of Columbia had the lowest rate, 61 percent.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to see President Obama talk about the economy, and growing jobs during his final State of the Union Address tonight.  The Corning Republican says he also wants to make sure his 23rd Congressional District "isn't left behind because of the President's failed policies."  Reed says the economy and boosting manufacturing remain his top priorities. Reed says there have been areas of common ground found between the President and Republican's in Congress.  One is the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation -- or RAMI Act... which he authored... and, says will bring about 610-million dollars in new, local investments in photonics.  Reed says his guest will be Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... a retired U-S Air Force Colonel.  He says having Horrigan on hand helps in two ways.  One is the perspective of a local government leader... and, the other is the perspective of a former military leader on keeping the troops strong, and safe.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


 

0
comments


News Headlines for Mon. Jan. 11, 2016

(Corr.) Fire at local dairy farm destroys "Silo Bunker..."

An early morning fire in the town of Busti has destroyed an out-building at a well-known dairy farm.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says crews were called to the Kidder Farm at 837 Shadyside Road about 4:20 this morning.  Volpe says they found flames shooting from "Silo Bunker" used to store feed... and, a front-end loader.  Volpe says the building was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival... but, there was no danger to nearby buildings.  He says they were joined at the scene by firefighters from Lakewood, Panama, Ashville, Kiantone, and Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.  Celoron was on stand-by.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to bring the blaze under control.  Crews were there until about 7 this morning.  No one was hurt... and, the cause remains under investigation.  Volpe says... despite the cold weather... they had no problems running a tanker shuttle from the five-corners of Busti to get water to the scene.


Lake Effect returns to WNY, and Jamestown-area with a vengance...

The coldest air so far this Winter season has brought Lake Effect Snow... and, very cold temperatures through late this week.  That from the National Weather Service... which is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning through 7 p.m. tonight.  Forecaster Dave Thomas in Buffalo says the snow and cold began when a strong cold front moved in from the west through the Jamestown-area about mid-afternoon yesterday.  Thomas says we'll see between 7 and 14 inches of snow by tonight.  He says the higher totals will be across the snow-belt regions, and ski area of the western Southern Tier.  Thomas says temperatures dropped in the Jamestown-area over a one-hour period by 10 degrees when the front came though.  That started up the Lake Effect Snow machine.  Thomas says our "second shot" of cold air comes in on Tuesday... and, that will re-start the lake effect snow with more snow... and, blowing snow across the region.  The snowing and blowing snow conditions in the north county led to the closing of several school districts along the Lake Erie Shoreline, and the state Thruway was closed for a couple of hours between Ripley and Angola.


Amish mother and son hurt, but, not seriously when their Horse and Buggy are hit by a car on snow-slicked road...

An Amish mother and her son were hurt in the town of Chautauqua when their horse and buggy was struck by an oncoming car on Burdick Road near DeWittville.  Sheriff's Deputies say the accident occured just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday when the driver of the car, 58 year-old Timothy Brown of Mayville, lost control of his southbound car on a curve at the top of a hill.  Officers say the car then went down the hill... and, struck the horse and buggy.  Both 44 year-old Elizabeth Pyler and her son, 16 year-old Jon, were thrown from the vehicle.  Deputies say Elizabeth Pyler was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment... but, her son did not.  Officers say Brown was ticketed for using Speeding... and, will appear in court at a later date.


Cuomo promising to unveil aggressive 2016 Agenda in Wed. State of the State Address...

Governor Andrew Cuomo is promising to unveil his most ambitious list of proposals yet when he delivers his State of the State address on Wednesday.  The Democratic governor has already announced several big proposals, including billions in transportation funding, a $15 an hour minimum wage, an upgraded Penn Station, a freeze on Thruway tolls and 300-million dollars in small business tax relief.  He's also promising changes to address Albany's corruption problem and a blueprint for helping the homeless.  Cuomo is calling his agenda ``Built to Lead,'' a title that he says continues New York's tradition of big investments like the Erie Canal.  The latest proposal, announced last Saturday, is for $200 million in funding to revitalize upstate airports.


Southwestern Senior Morgan Johnson wins state Distinguished Young Woman competition...

Morgan Johnson of Lakewood has been named 'Distinguished Young Woman of New York'.  She received the honor at the state event in Albany on Saturday.  Morgan says she won three awards just before being named... and, knew she had a chance... but, adds it was quite a moment when she was actually named.  The Southwestern High School Senior also won the scholarship, fitness and talent awards.  She'll be competing in Mobile, Alabama in June in the national 'Distinguished Young Women' program.  Morgan was a 'little sister' in the local program when she was in elementary school, and won the title 'Distinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area' last November.  She credits DYW has changed her life.  Morgan Johnson's win in the state event is the second for a young woman from Chautauqua County in two years.  Heather Dorler of Cassadaga won in Albany in 2015.


Horrigan pleased with how first two-years of four-year term has turned out...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's pleased with the progress made by his administration as he reaches the half-way mark of his four-year term.  Horrigan says he "feels good" about what's been accomplished in his first two years.  On this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations... Horrigan pointed to two areas where his administration has had the most success.  The first is significantly cutting property taxes... and, privatizing the County Home.  Horrigan says the county still has it's challenges... but, adds there are new opportunities as well -- especially what local projects have brought in from the state's Consolidating Funding program.  The National Comedy Center and other entities have received significant start-up funding over the past years.  Horrigan also acknowleges the need to have good people to work with... and, says that's been the case with the previous County Legislature.  He also believes it'll be the same with the new panel for this year and in 2017.

 

0
comments


News Headlines for Fri., Jan. 8, 2016

Two men arrested for alleged possession of Meth and other drugs following traffic stop in Sinclairville...

A Sinclairville man has been arrested following a traffic stop for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime... and, the materials used to make Meth.  Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 21 year-old Jace Warner for allegedly violating vehicle and traffic laws just after 7 p.m. Thursday.  Deputies say they searched the car... and, found several controlled substances -- including Meth and Suboxone.  As a result of the investigation... officers say Warner was arrested on several counts... including fifth and seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance... and Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetamine.  Warner was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on $10,000 bail.  A front seat passenger in Warner's car... Andrew Olson... was found to be in possession of various controlled substances outside the original container, and was also arrested on several counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, possession outside of the original container.  Olson was  also arrested... and, sent to the county jail on $2,000 bail.  The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force assisted throughout the course of the investigation.


Despondent person talked down from overpass bridge over Thruway in town of Dunkirk...

The state Thruway in the town of Dunkirk was closed for a while late Thursday night while police talked a despondent person off the ledge of the Interstate 90 overpass at Route 60.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 11 p.m., and, found the person outside the safety fence... standing on the ledge of the bridge that passes over the interstate.  The thruway was shut down for a period of time as the incident unfolded... and, contact was made with the despondent subject.  Officers on scene spoke with the subject for some time, eventually persuading the subject to make his way back across the ledge and off the overpass.  The person was taken to Lakeshore Hospital for a mental health evaluation.


Reed pleased with outcome of vote on ACA Repeal in Congress, and Senate...

The Affordable Care Act has been a "job-killer..." and, made health care less-affordable for residents in the Southern Tier.  That's why local Congressman Tom Reed voted with the majority in the house for the Senate reconciliation bill to repeal the ACA -- also known as "Obamacare."  While the measure faces a certain veto when it reaches the White House... Reed says it's important for the House and Senate to be on record as opposing the measure... and, he adds "we can do better."  He says it's had a bad impact on jobs, and the ability to afford insurance.  House Speaker Paul Ryan says -- quote -- ``We are confronting the president with the hard, honest truth'' that ``Obamacare doesn't work.''  Democrats called the vote pointless political theater.  However... Reed says it's important during this Presidential Election Year to frame the debate with what's good about the ACA... and, what needs to be replaced.  He says one aspect he wants to see is the ability to buy insurance across state lines.  Reed also says that Tort Reform will also help lower costs.  He made his comments during a conference call with Southern Tier media.


Jamestown School Board approves JHS A'Cappella Field Trip to D.C...

The Jamestown school board has approved the high school A'Cappella Choir's four-day field trip to Washington, D.C. next April.  Board members approved the trip, 4-to-3, following about 45 minutes of discussion and debate at this week's meeting.  The matter was brought up by School Superintendent Tim Mains... who was looking for direction from the board after he felt the time out of school should be limited to one day instead of two.  The trip will take place April 15 -- 18... but, Choir Director Norm Lydell had requested an early release from school the day before.  That will not be part of the trip... but, Lydell says it's not a problem because Thursday Apr. 14 was going to be a travel day anyways.  The discussion included an earlier, 5-to-2 vote to have the trip cut to a day out of school with the time out early on the prior Thursday approved.  However... that was rescinded... and, the second vote was taken.  All board members felt the trip would be beneficial... but, were concerned about the two days off from school... especially because it was planned two weeks before students take their Advanced Placement Exams.


North County woman arrested for alleged theft from Lakewood Wal-Mart...

A Dunkirk woman is jailed on $6,000 bail on numerous charges after allegedly leading police on a car chase through three towns after she allegedly stole items from the Lakewood Wal-Mart Supercenter.  State Police in Jamestown say 37 year-old Tanya Boyd was arrested this past Saturday after her car ran over 'stop sticks' put down by police in Route 60 to end the chase.  Troopers say they had observed a car in the Kennedy-area matching the description of the vehicle involved in the Wal-Mart larceny... and, then a vehicle pursuit by Ellicott Town Police.  Police tried to stop her... but, Boyd drove off on Route 62... and, had a flat tire from the stop sticks and was arrested.  She was found to be in possession of the stolen property... and, faces charges including fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... reckless driving... and, three counts of Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle.  Boyd was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court... and, sent to the County lock-up.


Gas prices drop slightly locally, fall below $2 mark nationally...

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County continue to drop... while the national average has now fallen below $2 a gallon.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the local price has fallen to $2.25 per gallon for regular, unleaded... just under a penny a gallon.  AAA says that's based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area.  The price was $2.81 per gallon this time last year.  The Fuel Gauge says the national average is now $1.99.  That's the cheapest average since March 25, 2009... and, is due to an abundance of crude oil.  Pump prices are down by 22 cents a gallon on the year.  AAA says "market fundamentals" are positioned to continue to support consumer savings in 2016... though retail averages are likely to increase leading up to the summer driving season.

0
comments


News Update for Thurs., Jan. 7, 2016

Powerball secondary-prize winner in Fredonia!...

There were no winners of that huge Powerball jackpot last night... but, a ticket matching five of the numbers was purchased at a store in Fredonia and it's worth one-million dollars.  The winning ticket was sold at Fredonia Food Mart on Temple Street in the village.  Store owner Mark Stuczynski says the winner came by the store Thursday morning.  At the time... she was not aware that was carrying a winning ticket.  Stuczynski says she was checking on some other tickets when the woman... named Amy... learned she was the winner.  She says she's going to use some of the money to get a new roof put on her house.  Stuczynski says this is the largest prize of any winning ticket ever sold at the store.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A Warren, Pennsylvania woman is being treated for serious injuries after losing control of her car shortly after 11 yesterday morning in Pleasant Township... and, slamming into a tree.  State Police in Warren say 67 year-old Marie Davenport was traveling on Pleasant Drive about 11:25 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle, and it struck a ditch.  Troopers say the car then struck the tree.  Police say Starflight Helicopter and Emergycare were brought to the scene... and, Davenport ws flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  We have no word on her condition.

 

State Senator Cathy Young has been appointed to be the panel's first woman Majority Finance Committee Chairwoman.  Young was named to the post Wednesday afternoon by the GOP Leadership... which she has been a part of the past several years.  The Olean Republican says getting the leadership post is "great news" for her 57th Senate District.  Young says she's both "honored and humbled" by the appointment.  She adds that it "gives our entire region tremendous clout and a strong voice in state budget matters and policy decisions.  My goal is to deliver more attention and resources to our part of the state to address the unique needs of our economy, schools, and infrastructure."  As Chairperson... Young will lead hearings to conduct a thorough review of Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Budget Proposal.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigana says he'll be in attendance for next Tuesday night's State of the Union Address in Washington, D-C.  Horrigan says he's been invited to be in the gallery for the speech by President Barack Obama.  He says he'll be the guest of local Congressman Tom Reed, who is a fellow Republican.  However... Horrigan won't have much time to reflect on that speech, because he'll be at Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address on Wednesday. At the same time... Horrigan says he's "honored" to be invited to the State of the Union.  He says Reed invited him to be in Washington late yesterday (Tuesday).  In addition to the State of the State... Governor Cuomo will unveil his budget proposal next Wednesday.  Horrigan says he'll be interested to see what new economic development initiatives the governor may unveil.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

The new mayor of Dunkirk is getting a lot of attention for becoming the state's first Hispanic mayor... and, he's been invited by Governor Cuomo to attend next week's "State of the State" message.  Mayor Willie Rosas says he will be making the trip to Albany... and, will be recognized during the speech.  Rosas acknowledges his place in history. Rosas says he has also heard from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer's Office.  Schumer tweeted out his congratulations to Rosas through Twitter.  Since his election... Rosas says he was in touch with Schumer's office... adding New York's Senior Senator had intended on being at his inauguration.  However... he says that wasn't able to happen.  Rosas says his first few days have been very busy as he settles into his office at Dunkirk City Hall.

 

State Police are looking for information regarding money stolen from a lockbox that belongs to Boy Scout Troop 22.  The money was stolen between December 7 -- 14 at the Irvine Presbyterian Church on National Forge Road in Brokenstraw Township.   Anyone with information is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police at 814-728-3600.

 

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says raising the minimum wage, investing in education and supporting working families are his top priorities as lawmakers begin their work for 2016.  The Bronx Democrat tells the Associated Press Tuesday that other priorities for Democrats this year include support for child care and family leave.  The legislative session starts Wednesday. Democrats control the Assembly and Republicans lead the Senate.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to gradually raise the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour.  Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco tells reporters the increase could harm small businesses.  The Syracuse Republican says he also expects proposals to address corruption... but, says the convictions of Silver and ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos should put other legislators on notice that existing rules need to be followed.

 

New Yorkers with cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's Disease or other qualifying conditions will soon be able to obtain medical marijuana.  The state's medical marijuana program is scheduled to begin today, 18 months after lawmakers passed the law.  Twenty-three states now have medical marijuana programs.  New York's is considered one of the strictest, as only non-smokable forms of the drug will be allowed.  The state picked five companies to produce the medication. They will operate 20 dispensaries throughout the state.  To receive medical cannabis an individual must have one of several qualifying conditions, and a certification from a physician who is registered with the program.  Columbia Care NY plans to open its first dispensary, near Manhattan's Union Square, this week, with locations in Suffolk, Monroe and Clinton counties opening later this month.

 

There' a new, second-tier minor league, professional basketball team in the area, which plays it's first game at the Jamestown Community College physical education.  The Jamestown Jackels will play in the Premier Basketball League... and, open their season with a 7 PM tip-off.  Team president Kayla Crosby says the team is a professional, minor league basketball team. The team will play 23 games this season... including 12 at the JCC gym against teams from around the Northeastern United States.  Crosby tells us the players are selected for the team based on their basketball skills and their character.  The Russell, Pennsylvania native says the team's "big passion" is to educate youth and adults in the community through the players -- and the game of basketball.  Crosby says the look for "positive role models.  The Jackels are owned by an non-profit called "#IntegrityFirst."  The team's first game is tonight at JCC against Rochester... and, will again start at 7 PM.  Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students.

0
comments


News Update! for Tues., Jan. 5, 2016

(**Alert)Becker announces retirement at end of 2016 Chautauqua Inst. season...

Chautauqua Institution President, Tom Becker, has announced his retirement.  He says he and his wife, Jane, made the decision together... adding it's a "very emotional time for us."  Becker says it's not only the right time for he and his wife, but for Chautauqua as well... that with the successful conclusion of a major fundraising campaign expected this year, and a new Amphitheater in 2017.  The plans for a 'renewed' Amphitheater have been controversial... but, Becker says the acrimony is not what led to his decision.


Frigid Weather greats upstate New York... Chautauqua County...

It was the coldest morning of the Winter Season in Upstate New York... and Chautauqua County today.  The National Weather Service reports several readings of about zero... or below across the region.  There were readings of 8 and 10-below in Sherman this morning... and, minus-8 in Cassadaga.  Across the U-S... Saranac Lake in the Adirondack's had the lowest temperature this morning... 21-below zero.

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

A Sherman native has been named to replace Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley until a Special Election can be held next November.  Fredonia's Patrick Swanson was named by Foley last Friday to replace the former D-A.  Foley became County Court Judge January 1st after being elected without opposition.  Swanson admits "it's a big job..." but, adds he's looking forward to the challenge. Swanson will serve as Acting D-A until the election... unless there is a gubernatorial appointment.  However... Swanson says he has not heard about one being made at this point.  He won't say -- at this point -- if he will run for the position in next Fall's election.  Swanson says the "politics will sort itself out... and, his focus is to run the office as "ethically and as honorably as Foley did.  He adds that Foley has left the office in great shape... and, says he was left with a "great staff."  Swanson has been with the local District Attorney's office the past four years... mostly recently as an Assistant D-A working felony cases in the north county area.  Prior to this... he worked a year in Erie County, New York.

 

The city will have to tear down both vacant homes that were torched by an alleged "serial arsonist" last week on Jamestown's northside.  During the city council's first work session of 2016 last night... lawmakers learned that both buildings... one at 1052 North Main Street and the other at 866-1/2 Spring Street... will have to be razed.  The one on Spring was already condemned.  In addition... Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they learned the city will have to pay 50-thousand dollars to have the bricks at the North Main Street location disposed of. Dolce says the money will come out of the DOD's 2016 budget... but, adds that won't leave much left for other demolitions in that budget... or the city's general fund.  After that... he says they have to look for funding in "other ways."  No one was hurt in either fire... the first was called in shortly before 4 AM last Wednesday morning at 1052 North Main.  While fire crews were there... the second call came in about 5:30 AM for the fire at 866 1/2 Spring Street.  City police now believe those fires... one on Falconer Street last October... and three others last year... were all set by the same person.

 

Chautauqua County Legislators have re-elected Legislator Jay Gould to a fifth term as Chairman during their annual organizational meeting held in Mayville Monday afternoon.  The vote was 18-0, with Legislator John Hemmer the lone member absent from the session.  In his acceptance speech, Gould spoke about the legislature's accomplishments of the last two years. In looking ahead to 2016, Gould says there are two major issues facing the legislature…expansion of the County Landfill in Ellery and the uncertainty concerning the future of the NRG plant in Dunkirk.  After the meeting, Gould indicated he looked forward to working with the Legislature's four new members…Kevin Muldowney, Robert Bankoski, Christine Starks and Mark Odell.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman says President Obama should make sure that gun control systems now in place work before he takes any executive action.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says... otherwise... he opposes any effort to keep "law-abiding citizens" from exercising their second-amendment right.  Reed says it's a right that "must be respected."  He says that he prefers to deal with the "root causes" of gun-violence in the U-S... namely mental illness and criminal intent. The president says his actions will be "consistant" with the second-amendment... but, offered no specifics following a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch... and, FBI Director James Comey.  In the case of mental health... Reed says it's a matter of an individuals rights versus public safety.  It's widely believe that the President's steps are expected to include expanding background checks on gun sales.  That would include forcing more sellers to register as federally-licensed gun dealers.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

The first arctic blast of the Winter season is only going to be around through this morning.  A warm-up begins later today... but, there are indications that a longer lasting blast could be on the way next week.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service says expect some frigid temperatures through about mid-morning... but, a warming trend will begin... and, we'll be in the low 40s by the end of the week.  Hitchcock adds there are still indications that a longer lasting pattern change is on the way... possibly next week.  He says there'll be an initial wave of cold air early next week -- then a colder one.  In addition... with a wide-open Lake Erie, there is sure to be more lake effect snow on the way during that time period. 

 

A former Chautauqua County planning official has taken a new job as Senior Planner for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  North County resident Mark Geise... who had been the county's Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development... began his new job with the JRC yesterday.  Renaissance Corporation Executive Director Greg Lindquist says the position opened up when former Senior Planner Peter Lombardi took a consulting job with CZB... a Buffalo-area planning firm... in the middle of 2015. During his time with Chautauqua County... Geise led the latest county Comprehensive Plan Development process -- known as "Chautauqua 20/20" -- and, he also founded the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation.  Lindquist says Geise has already hit the ground running... working on JRC's applications for the next round of state Consolidated Funding grants.  Lindquist says Geise will also be working to implement some of the potential projects identified by the Downtown Jamestown Economic Strategy program developed by A-E-COM Associates.  Geise and his wife, Katie, live in Fredonia with their three children.


Jamestown Renaissance Corporation Director Greg Lindquist says... while Peter Lombardi has gone to work for CZB Associates... he'll still be involved with planning in Jamestown.  Lombardi went to work for CZB in late June... but, remains in Jamestown while working at CZB's satelite office here.  Lindquist says Lombardi will do some part-time work for the JRC.  He says the JRC has ended up with the best of both world's by hiring Mark Geise... and, still being able to tap into Peter Lombardi's expertise.

 

Restaurant owners in New York state have written to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to hold the line on the base wage paid to servers and other tipped workers for five years.  Tipped workers had made between 4-dollars and 90-cents... and, $5.65 before Cuomo raised it to $7.50 an hour before tips in 2015.  The increase took effect last Friday.  More than 100 restaurant owners wrote to Cuomo and top lawmakers asking that they agree to keep the tipped wage stable to give the industry time to adjust to the increased labor costs.  Workers such as restaurant servers are paid less than the minimum wage on the assumption that tips will make up the difference.

 

State police say a New Jersey man led them on a chase that topped 120 MPH on an upstate New York highway before crashing.  Troopers say they spotted 24-year-old Trevon Clement of Newark traveling at nearly 100 MPH around 9:40 PM on New Year's Day in the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 in the Broome County town of Barker... just north of Binghamton.  Police say Clement fled from troopers, hitting almost 127 mph as he drove on state Route 17's westbound lanes, where he crashed into a guide rail in the neighboring town of Chenango.  Clement was charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer and numerous other traffic violations.  He was released from the Broome County Jail after posting bail.  It couldn't be determined if he has a lawyer for his pending court appearance.

 

 

 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines

Sheffield firefighters battled a fire at an apartment building at 17 Center Street for 14 Hours this past Saturday. The Warren Times Observer reports the initial call came in just after 3am.  The fire was spotted and called in by a resident of the building and the tenant was able to evacuate his building and another apartment building located about 30 feet from the scene.  The apartment house was a total loss, but all of the residents were evacuated safely with no injuries. The Cause of the fire is still under investigation by state fire marshalls.  Firefighters from Cherry Grove, Kane, Ludlow, Clarendon, Starbrick, Youngsville, Lander and Pleasant Township all played a part in putting the fire out.  The Red Cross was not needed as all of the tenants have family had family or friends to stay with.

 

Falling temperatures and snow slicked up roads in the Jamestown-area late yesterday afternoon... triggering a few minor accidents.  A car rolled onto it's side... sending one person to the hospital in the town of Busti.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene at the intersection of Southwestern Drive and Baker Street Extension about 4:30 PM.  Officers say the woman driver was taken to WCA Hospital as a precaution.  Police say two other cars also went off the road at the same time... but, no one in those vehicles was hurt.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested on several charges for allegedly assaulting a woman last weekend at a home on the city's southside.  City police were called to the scene at 170 Baker Street about 7:30 AM Saturday for an "in-progress" domestic violence incident.  On arrival... officers say they spotted the suspect -- identified as 34 year-old Michael Hecht  -- trying to flee from a second-story window.  They contacted the victim... and, then found Hecht trying to hide in an attic crawl space.  Police say their investigation resulted in Hecht being charged with counts including second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 7-thousand dollars bail.  Police say Hecht is also wanted in the Buffalo-area on several outstanding warrants.

 

A New Year's day raid of a home in the north county has led to the arrest of a Forestville man for allegedly running a Methamphetime Lab.  Sheriff's officers say they had an arrest warrant for 34 year-old Shaun Ellison of 8 Lodi Street for allegedly running the lab.  Deputies say they and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force had been called to that location earlier for an unrelated incident.  While investigating the initial incident... police say they allegedly found a "Meth Lab."  Once it was located... officers brought in State Police C-C-SERT Team to collect evidence... and, clean-up the toxic residue from making Meth.  Sheriff's officers and Task Force members say they found more than 8 ounces of "Meth Oil" and, the lab.  Ellison is charged with one count of third-degree Unlawfully Manufacturing Methamphetamine.  More charges are pending.  Police say Ellison was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars bail.  Task Force officials continue to ask members of the community to call their number at 1-800-344-8702 if they spot any illegal narcotics-related activity.

 

The three new members of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for the next four years have very diverse business and education backgrounds.  The three new members replace long-time board members John Zabrodsky, Carl Pillitierri, and Wayne Rishell.  Mayor Sam Teresi's appointments -- including the three new members -- were approved unanimously by City Council at last Friday's reorganizational meeting.  Teresi says the first appointee is Tyler Case... who comes from the world of Human Resources. Teresi says the other two are: Terrance Horner... a retired Biomedical Technician at WCA Hospital... and, Vietnam Veteran... and, Jamestown Metal Products Operations Manager Ralph Wallace.  Wallace was also a member of Teresi's original Budget Advisory Committee.  The mayor also took time to thank the former board members... who served 12, 14, and 16 years on the panel... saying they were "good board members."  He also thanked them for their service and accomplishments.  Zabrodsky, Pillitierri and Rishell became known for opposing the city taking a Dividend Payment from BPU profits.

 

The out-going Third Ward City Councilman in Jamestown says he'll remain involved in civic matters... while pushing for more involvement in the community.  Pastor Alfonso Pagan was on the City Council for just over a year... and, while it was challenging... he enjoyed what he did.  Pagan adds he "learned a lot" about how the city operates.  He also complemented his fellow council members for their commitment. Pagan... who is pastor of the Hispanic church affiliated with First Covenant Church in Jamestown... says he will now try to encourage more people to get involved in the community, and run for office.  Pagan was the first member of the Hispanic community to be on council in several years.  He admits that sometimes "it takes something bad to get people to come together..." or say they'll do something about it.  Pagan was defeated in a close race last November by former County Legislator and Jamestown Youth Bureau Director Vickeye James.

 

New York lawmakers returning to Albany this week face a long list of challenges as they seek to move past a disastrous 2015.  The Legislature kicks off the 2016 session on Wednesday.  It will likely be dominated by debates about a 15-dollar-an-hour minimum wage, education funding and efforts to address a chronic corruption problem that last year toppled the leaders of both the Assembly and the Senate.  Also expected are proposals to let the ride-hailing service Uber expand upstate and to address homelessness in New York City.  Lawmakers are eager to turn the page on 2015.  But... it remains to be seen whether they will heed calls to pass tougher ethics rules.  Last year they passed only modest changes.

 

A town of Stockton man has been arrested for allegedly making Methamphetime in a lab inside his West Railroad Avenue home.  Sheriff's officers say they initially went to 34 year-old Jesse Erhard's home back last December 22nd to serve an unrelated warrant.  However... deputies say they found items used to manufacture Meth.  Another warrant was obtained... and, agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force raided the home shortly before 9 PM on New Year's Eve.  The county's HazMat Team was also called in to clean-up the residence.  Erhard was arraigned in Stockton Town Court on one count of Unlawfully Manufacturing Methamphetime... and, sent to the county jail on 25-thousand dollars bail.  Task Force members say that if you know of any illegal narcotics activity in your area... call them at 1-800-344-8702.

 

A 25-year-old Republican has been sworn in as the mayor of Oswego, New York, becoming the youngest mayor in New York state.  Billy Barlow was sworn in Friday and promised to support small business owners.  According to WSYR-TV... Barlow said he wants to reform the city's code enforcement and building and permits process to make it easier for businesses to expand.  Barlow won a four-year term in November. He received 2,216 votes to Democrat Amy Tresidder's 1,728.  The salary for the mayor's post is 40-thousand dollars.  Barlow graduated from Arizona State University and is a co-owner of his family's business, Barlow's Concessions.  Oswego is a city of about 18,000 on Lake Ontario in north-central New York.

 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is turning up the heat on a pair of daily fantasy sports websites.  Officials confirmed late last week that Schnedierman filed a lawsuit seeking that FanDuel and DraftKings give back all the money the sites won in New York State.  The attorney general is asking that the money be returned to the users who lost it and that the sites pay a fine up to $5,000 per case.  The sites took in about $200 million in entry fees last year from about 600,000 New Yorkers.  The lawsuit is the latest battle between Schneiderman and the increasingly popular sites.  He has attempted to stop them from operating in New York, saying they are operating an illegal gambling operation.  Neither site immediately returned a request for comment.

 

A Cassadaga man was arrested just before the New Year for assault following a party in the town of Charlotte back on December 12th.  State Police in Jamestown say 22 year-old Benjamin Torres allegedly got into a fight with "intent to cause serious physical injury."  Troopers say Torres allegedly broke the victim's jaw and nose... and, caused a concussion.  He was arrested following a two-week long investigation... and, charged with second-degree Felony assault.  Torres was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of 3-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

Students attending JCC in Jamestown will be getting a new cafeteria in 2016.  College President, Dr. Cory Duckworth says the current cafeteria on Falconer Street hasn't been touched in decades. While the Collegiate Center facility is shut down, a temporary cafeteria will be up and running in the Weeks Room in the Arts and Science Center.  The other major construction work at the local college in 2016 will be for maufacturing technology.  Work is expected to begin on expanding the Manufacturing Technology Institute in Jamestown in the next few weeks.  And the first ever MTI facility in Olean is already under construction, and will open this fall.  Dr. Duckworth says these projects are a response to communities needs. A smaller construction project will be taking place at the Physical Education Center on the Jamestown campus.  Some offices and a classroom will be added to support the new 'Sports Management' curriculum JCC is putting together. Dr. Duckworth made his comments on a New Year's edition of Media One's High School Bowl.

0
comments


News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 2, 2016

Rabb elected council president in Jamestown again...

The man who has headed up the Jamestown City Council the past eight years will again lead the panel in the coming year.  At Friday afternoon's re-organizational meeting... lawmakers elected Councilman at-large Greg Rabb to continue as Council President.  Rabb thanked his collegues for the privledge of serving again in that capacity.  Rabb told fellow lawmakers that he looked forward to "reshaping the way we do business..." and, pointed to their collective strength -- that being diversity.  He also laid out some fairly specific agenda items for 2016... and, urged each Council committee to "persevere" in the new year.  He called for lawmakers to move forward with consolidating the Jamestown Police, and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Departments.  In addition... Rabb called on the Council's Public Safety committee to work with the public and private sectors to address the local drug problem as a "public health crisis..." and, establishing for a local, residential treatment center.
----

There was no address by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi... who began his fifth, four-year term Friday.  Teresi was sworn in during a private ceremony late New Year's Eve attended by several family, friends, and collegues at City Hall.


Teresi appoints three new citizen members of the Board of Public Utilities...

In addition to electing the Council President... city lawmakers also approved Mayor Sam Teresi's several appointments to a number of boards and committees.  The most anticipated nominations were for three citizen representative seats on the city's Board of Public Utilities.  Teresi says he decided to go with three new people who come from different segments of the community.  They are Tyler Case of The Resource Center, retired Biomedical Technician Terrance Horner, and Jamestown Metal Products Operations Manager Ralph Wallace.  Teresi says the appointments were "nothing about the three members" that had served 12, 14, and 16 years of "dedicated" service to the BPU.  Those members... John Zabrodsky, Carl Pillitierri, and Wayne Rishell... were all Teresi appointees.  However... all three opposed the city's push to have the BPU make a Dividend Payment to the city each of the past three years.  Asked about that... Teresi said he would not make this about what happened "in the past."


Rosas inaugurated as new Dunkirk Mayor...

The first elected Hispanic mayor in New York State is excited about taking over the leadership of the city of Dunkirk.  Retired Buffalo City Judge Raul Figueroa gave the oath of office to Dunkirk's new Mayor Willie Rosas before an overflowing crowd at Dunkirk City Hall on New Year's Day.  In his inauguration address... Rosas outlined his goals...the top one...keeping NRG Power open in Dunkirk.  He also says it won't be business as usual... adding that he has appointed people who are ready to go to work for the residents of Dunkirk. Council members also seem to welcome the new mayor.  New Councilman at-Large Andy Woloszyn, a former City Assessor, says he's looking forward to working with Rosas.


Frewsburg woman arrested for allegedly tatooing two young boys...

A Frewsburg woman has been arrested for allegedly tatooing the backs of her two juvenile boy's hands in Jamestown in late November.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Officers were called to check on the well-being of the two boys, ages 12 and 13, at their home on Emery Hill Road on New Year's Eve.  After their investigation... deputies arrested 34 year-old Chantilly Thomas.  Officers accuse Thomas of personally using a tattoo gun to permanently tattoo the words "Ride or Die" on the 12 year-old's hand... and, a Lightning bolt on the 13 year-olds.  However... deputies say she did not have a license to perform tattooing in any state in the U-S.  Thomas was charged with second-degree Unlawfully Dealing with a Child... and, released pending a future court appearance in Jamestown.


Frewsburg fire crews make quick work of New Year's Day cabin fire...

Quick work by five fire departments New Year's Day spared a cabin owned by an Ohio family from extensive damage near the Cattaraugus County Line.  Frewsburg Fire Chief John Lindsey says his department was called to the scene on Sawmill Run Road in the town of South Valley about 8:30 AM.  Lindsey says flames had come through the roof of the two-bedroom home when they arrived... but he adds they made a "good stop" on the blaze.  Crews had the fire under control in about 45 minutes... and confined the blaze to an area near the chimney.  Lindsey says Cattaraugus County Fire Investigators believe a crack in the chimney started the fire. 

 

0
comments


Our Daily Deal

Get your $50.00 gift certificate for hair care services for 50% OFF while supplies last!

BUY NOW!

Local News

News Headlines for Sat., Nov. 17, 2018

JPD still investigating Friday afternoon shooting incident, and seeking the public's help... City police are asking for the public's help in finding the man who allegedly got into a fight wit...

Read More


Join Us Online