Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 2, 2023

Hochul presents $227-billion, 2023-24 budget proposal...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has released a 2023-24 budget proposal that would increase state school aid by 10%... hike tuition for public universities... and raise cigarette taxes to a nation-high $5.35 per pack.  Hochul touted her $227-billion dollar spending plan during her budget address in Albany Wednesday... saying her plan takes into account "affordability, livability, and safety and includes groundbreaking proposals in housing, mental health... and public safety."  In addition... Hochul's budget... which includes no income tax increase... will include a record investment in public schools... and other areas -- including mental health.  She says the budget also includes new public safety initiatives... but, also boosts the state's Gun-Involved Violence Elimination -- or GIVE -- Program.  The Jamestown Police Department has been part of the GIVE program for several years now.  Hochul's spending plan also includes a proposal to yet again revise the state's bail reform law, which is expected to be resisted by liberal state lawmakers.  The proposal kicks off weeks of negotiations with state legislative leaders as they try to agree on a finalized budget by the April 1 deadline.

Borrello finds Hochul's budget has "much of the same" policies, ete...
Details still have to be fleshed out... but, local State Senator George Borrello says his initial takeaway from the governor's budget proposal is that "we are looking at more of the same policies and approach that got us where we are."  However... it did include one "non-financial" item that he wanted to hear something about... and, that was revising the state's bail reform law.  Governor Hochul called on lawmakers to have a discussion about taking "contradictory language out of the law."  While there is no income tax increase in the budget... Borrello says New York still has some of the highest income taxes in the country.  He also says there was no mention of the state's ongoing population loss... which he says is the highest in the nation.

Wendel concerned that federal aid that's to go directly to countys to pay Medicaid costs will be taken by NYS in new budget plan... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel was keeping tabs on the governor's 2023-24 budget presentation... and, has several concerns about it.  Wendel says he's mostly concerned about a proposal that would take away local counties Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government.  The Lakewood Republican says that would be a $4.3-million hit to the county budget.  Wendel says the status of that was unclear Wednesday morning... because the person involving in dealing with that in the budget has left the governor's office.  He says they're hoping that Hochul and or the legislature will take that out of the final spending plan.  Wendel says the move would likely be because the state has spent a lot of money dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says another concern is how the additional $1-billion in funding to boost mental health services will be used... and, says mental health beds are needed in the north county.  Wendel says county officials would like to see more state funding to protect and maintain Chautauqua Lake.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

Jamestown man arrested for obstruction following burglary investigation...
A city man is accused of failing to comply with Jamestown Police while they were investigating an alleged burglary on the city's westside early Tuesday evening.  Officers were called to the unidentified location about 5:30 p.m., and, on arrival, tried get someone to answer the door of the apartment involved... but, no one came.  Police were able to get a neighbor to contact the tenant... who returned with the maintenance manager.  Police were let in through a common hallway... and, told 26 year-old Dakota Morse to come out from a back room several times... but, he refused.  Morse was taken into custody on one count of obstructing governmental administration... and, issued an appearancet ticket for city court.  He was not charged with burglary because he's known to the tenant of the apartment... who did not pursue charges for him being on the premises.

City man arrested for illegal firearms possession during domestic call...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a domestic incident during which police found him with a loaded, modified flare gun.  City police were called to an eastside address just after 2 p.m. Tuesday... where the male suspect allegedly brandished a firearm.  When they arrived... officers detained 43 year-old Michael Melendez-Bane who allegedly possessed the modified flare gun that had a 20-gauge shot gun shell inside.  Police say their investigation found that Melendez-Bane had threatened to shoot the vicitim while in the presence of a juvenile.  He was arrested for second-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... second-degree menacing... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Melendez-Bane was jailed pending arraignment.

Rosas touts $10-million DRI Award to Dunkirk during State of the City address...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas delivered his 2023 State of the City message via video message late Tuesday.  The nearly 20 minute video highlighted projects and events from 2022.... and, looks ahead to 2023.  Rosas says one of the biggest accomplishments was the recent announcement of the city receiving a $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award from New York State... and, the planning for DRI projects that will get underway this year.

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 27, 2023

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