A second member of the Jamestown City Council has confirmed that he is not running for re-election. First-Ward lawmaker Steve Szwejbka says he's enjoyed working with his fellow council members... but, feels the time is right to step aside... and, let someone else fill the seat. Szwejbka... who switched party affiliations from Democrat to Independence a few years ago... also feels that four-terms is enough. Szwejbka says what he's liked best about being on the council is that they've worked as a team... with the Teresi administration. He says they all have different approaches... but, most often with the same goal in mind. In addition to being on council... Szwejbka is a retired member of the Jamestown Police officer. He most enjoyed helping people solve problems while he was in public service. Szwejbka says he fully intends to work hard for his constituents in his final four months in office. The first council member to announce they weren't seeking re-election was Michael Taylor earlier this Summer.
We have learned that an interesting match-up is taking shape in the Ward-One race. Sources have told us that former Councilman... and, city GOP Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon is going to run on the Republican line. They also say former County Legislator Tara Hall... who has moved into the First-Ward... will be the Democrat candidate. Efforts to reach both yesterday afternoon were unsuccessful.
Heavy traffic is expected on the local highways this afternoon through the Labor Day holiday weekend. With that... area police agencies are urging drivers to drive safely and defensively. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says there are ways motorists can help keep the streets and highways safe. Gerace says patrols will not only be keeping an eye out for intoxicated drivers... but, also for distracted drivers. He says it's becoming a growing problem both nationally... and, here locally. He believes educating motorists better about the dangers is the key. Nationally, the Triple-A projects over 34-million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday travel period... which begins today and goes through Monday, September 2nd.
A north county man is accused of riding his motorcycle over 100 miles an hour on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte. Sheriff's officers say a patrolman spotted the bike... operated by 24 year-old Nicholas Puffer of Nevins Street, Dunkirk... going 101 miles per hour in a 55-mile zone. Deputies say Puffer was stopped without incident just before 12:30 Thursday afternoon... and, he was also found to not have a motorcycle license. He was ticketed for reckless operation... speed in excess of 55 MPH... and, operating out of class. Puffer is to appear in Charlotte Town Court at a later date.
New York's highest court has agreed to hear appeals from a drilling company and a farmer challenging municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The Court of Appeals Thursday -- without comment -- has accepted two cases where lower courts upheld bans in the upstate towns of Middlefield in Otsego County and Dryden, near Ithaca. A midlevel court unanimously concluded that state mining and drilling law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.
It's a "non-issue." That's what Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards is saying about a controversial change he's made to the county's administrative code regarding the potential sale of the county home. A resolution to reject the amendment was defeated by the legislature last night after some -- at times -- heated debate. The measure... proposed by Minority Leader Robert Whitney... got 14 of the 24 votes... but, needed 17 yes votes to be approved. Whitney... a Jamestown Democrat... says he's troubled by one part of that change would elminate the need for a County Home Administrator if the facility is defunded. However... Edwards says he will be funding the home in the 2014 budget. He also says the added language is need to avoid frivolous lawsuits IF a sale goes through.
There has already been some positive reaction to the new, potential buyer of the County Home in Dunkirk. That from County Executive Greg Edwards following Wednesday night's presentation by VestraCare to the county legislature. Edwards says three principle's with the company were on hand... and, earlier toured... and, spoke with staff and residents at the home. The executive says one County Home manager was very impressed with what they had to say. Edwards says the people from VestraCare also met with the president of the County Home's Residents Council... and, told him that in Ulster County... the head of the resident's group was completely against the sale in the beginning. But... now -- even just nine-weeks into their ownership -- they've become the new owner's "best cheerleader." Edwards adds that he feels there are many more positives with this offer than any of the previous ones... namely that VestraCare already operates in New York State... and, they appear to have the funding and resources to make the changes needed to again make the home viable.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities offices will be closed on next Monday, September 2nd, in observance of Labor Day. The Customer Service Office will reopen at 7 AM Tuesday, September 3rd. BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says solid waste normally collected on Mondays will be picked up on Tuesday, September 3rd. Monday and Tuesday's refuse should be left at the curb after 6 PM on Monday. The recyclables for the week of September 3rd will be paper, box board and corrugated cardboard. Robbins says all utility trouble reports, all hours, may be reported to 661-1640.
(**New)Szwejbka not running for re-election to City Council...
Another member of the Jamestown City Council has confirmed that he will not be seeking a fifth-term on the panel. First-Ward lawmaker Steve Szwejbka says he's stepping down because it's time. Szwejbka says he's enjoyed his time on council... though they've been difficult at times. He says he strongly believes in term limits... so he's limiting his to four. Though he switched party affiliations from Democrat to Independence a few years ago... he says council worked well together because they were doing the best they could for their constituents. Szwejbka says city lawmakers worked well as a team with the Teresi administration. In addition to being on council... he's a retired Jamestown police officer... and, heads up the Criminal Justice Program at Mercyhurst College's North East, Pennsylvania campus. Szwejbka says he fully intends to work hard for his constituents in his final four months in office. The first council member to announce they weren't seeking re-election was Michael Taylor earlier this Summer.
With Szwejbka not running again... we have learned that current city Republican Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon is going to run on GOP line. Sources have also told us that former County Legislator Tara Hall... who has moved into the First-Ward... will be the Democrat candidate. Efforts to reach both Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.
An amendment to Chautauqua County's administrative code regarding the potential sale of the county home in Dunkirk sparked some heated debate at last night's legislature meeting. Legislature Minority Leader Robert Whitney wanted the language... added by County Executive Greg Edwards... rejected. However... lawmakers failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority to turn down the amendment. Whitney... a Jamestown Democrat says he's troubled by a part that takes away the need for a Home Administrator if the facility is no longer funded or authorized in the budget. Another Jamestown Democrat... Chuck Nazzaro... said he was suspicious about the timing of the measure with a new, potential buyer in the wings. However... Edwards later defended the move as a way to avoid costly litigation if -- and when -- the county home is sold. He says the CSEA has brought frivolous lawsuits in past cases... and, cost other counties money. In the end... 14 lawmakers voted to reject the amendment... but, 17 were needed for approval.
Officials with a Long Island nursing home and health care company have made their initial pitch to Chautauqua County lawmakers about wanting to buy the County Home in Dunkirk. Three of the four principles with VestraCare of Rosyln, New York made an 11-minute presentation about what they've done at two nursing homes... one a former County Home... and, preliminary ideas for the Dunkirk facility. Edward Farbenblum says their first home... Susquehanna in the Binghampton-area... was a run-down... poorly run facility when they bought it six-years ago. He says they set out to create a "new model" with expanded services. The person charged with putting the new model in place at Susquehanna... Shannon Keyea (Kay)... has worked 25-years in the field of long-term care. Keyea says while Susquehanna's had it's problems... it's now recognized nationally as a "center of excellence" -- especially regarding short term care... and, in working with people that have Parkinson's Disease. As for the Ulster County Home... Farbenblum says they've operated the facility for nine weeks... adding they held extensive "town hall" style meetings with everyone involved so they knew -- fully -- what their plans are.
Doctors in New York are now required to check the new statewide drug database before prescribing painkillers, with pharmacists responsible for recording the related prescriptions they fill. The new law took effect Monday. It's meant to help doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners review patients' drug histories through the state health department's online registry.
A new report shows New York's highest paid municipal workers. The report from the Empire Center for Public Policy of the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute shows one public worker from Long Island receiving nearly 360-thousand dollars in Suffolk County followed by a police officer receiving 306-thousand in neighboring Nassau County.
There were already plenty of activities taking place at Jamestown's annual Labor Day Festival... but, organizers have added more activities for this year's 34th annual event. The festival begins at Noon this Sunday at Bergman Park... and, continues until after the 9 PM fireworks show. It's put on by the city of Jamestown... along with a number of community minded sponsors. In fact... two of them are putting up items to be raffled off to people who park in Bergman Park for the event. That from Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley. Hanley adds that Ahlstrom-Shaffer also helps the city out with a lot of "in-kind" help for the Labor Day Festival. There's also a new fund-raiser for this year's event. City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says that's a 'Zumba benefit' that'll be held late Sunday afternoon at Danielson Field. Ciesla-Hanley says the event begins at 5 PM... and, costs 10-dollars. But... if you bring a bag with school supplies in it... the cost is 7-dollars-50 cents. Admission to Sunday's event is free... but, there is a small charge for parking. More on the festival later.
New crosswalks and traffic signs are now in place in a neighborhood on Jamestown's eastside to address ongoing concerns about child safety in that area. City officials joined neighborhood activists late Tuesday to unveil the crosswalks -- and pedestrian crossing signs at Falconer and Bowen Streets... next to Lillian Dickson Park. One of the neighbors involved in the effort to get the safety measures in place... Kathy Carlson... says they've "very pleased" with the outcome... saying city officials were very receptive to the idea because of the project to improve the park. Carlson's family moved into the area four years ago... and, it was only a short time later that a young child was struck and killed by a car on Falconer Street. She says there were a number of hurdles to clear... but, the end result was worth it. Mayor Sam Teresi says it's part of a multi-step "Neighborhood Engagement effort." That area is also active in Jamestown's Neighborhood Watch Program.
Edwards says county has found new, potential buyer for County Home...
There is another potential buyer in the mix for the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk. That from County Executive Greg Edwards... who says there are three principles involved in the company, called Vestra Care. Edwards says one is a cardiologist, Dr. Anthony Bocci, and two others... and, they have made an offer that was sent earlier this week to the county legislature. He says he received the offer on Monday... and, contacted Legislature Chairman Jay Gould Tuesday. The Busti Republican says the latest buyer has a good track record... and, already owns a former county home in Ulster County. The latest development comes just a week after another prospective purchaser... Richard Platschek of Nassau County... failed to make a required purchase deposit of $1.65-million prior to a special legislature meeting.
Gould says new group interested in County Home will be introduced at County Legislature meeting tonight...
The Chautauqua County Legislature will be introduced to a new group of potential buyers of the County Home at tonight's meeting in Mayville. Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says the group currently owns two nursing homes in New York state. He says County Executive Edwards asked they be put on the agenda for a few minutes to introduce themselves... since they're already in Dunkirk looking over the home. Gould says they felt it would be a good chance to introduce the group, and they could state briefly why they are interested in the home. He says there's always the possibility they may not want to buy once they visit the home... and, check out the particulars. He says they won't be answering any questions. Gould says that'll happen at a special meeting... once they -- and, county -- reach a formal agreement on the sale. He adds that he was reluctant to put the presentation on the agenda because there are three others, as well. Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
Empire Center for Public Policy issues report on municipal, county salaries...
A new report showing pay for New York's county and municipal employees lists one public worker from Long Island getting nearly $360,000 in Suffolk County... followed by a police officer paid $306,000 in neighboring Nassau County. The report from the Empire Center for Public Policy shows the highest average municipal salaries led by the villages of Sands Point, averaging $91,000 for general employees, and Amityville at nearly $176,000 for police. The information based on retirement system data excludes New York City. It covers one year from April 1st of 2012, through March 31st of this year.
Schuyler says last Sunday's mosquito spraying, preliminarily, appears to be a success...
Preliminary reviews of last Sunday night's aerial spraying of infected mosquito pools in the towns of Kiantone and Carroll show the effort was a success. Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says one plane was used by Do-Flo Company of Lowville, New York. Residents in the area say they heard the plane flying over... and, spraying it's insecticide over a significant area along the Conewango Creek where Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus... and, the West Nile Virus were found. Schuyler says the plane spraying covered about 6,300 acres of land along with creek. She eays county Department of Health and Human Services staff were on the ground... monitoring the situation... along with County Legislator Tom Erlandson -- who represents that area. While the spraying is over... Schuyler says there are still precautions people in the area should take... including continuing to protect yourself against mosquito bites... and, wash vegetables from any gardens... and, children's toys that were outside. Schuyler says the state health Department will collect samples from those Mosquito pools later this week... and, those will be analyzed in Albany.
City lawmakers approves new, Chautauqua County Land Bank's application for $3-million in state grant funding...
Jamestown city lawmakers are throwing their support behind the Chautauqua County Landbank's efforts to obtain a $3-million state grant to boost the new landbank's efforts. New York state is making some of the money it obtained from last year's National Mortgage Settlement available to New York's eight landbanks... of which Chautauqua County has one. City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the grant is made up of two parts... the first half of the money would be used for demolishing old, delapitated buildings. The second part will be used to re-develop that property, and, assist with foreclosures. Dolce says it costs the city roughly $10,000 to $15,000 apiece to tear down an old structure... mainly because of the cost of removing asbestos. Right now... he says the city can afford about 10 to 12 demolitions a year. With the fact there are only eight Landbank Corporations in New York state... Dolce says the local landbank group is they're optimistic they'll get some money to help problems in Jamestown, Dunkirk, and elsewhere.
Erie, PA area man arrested for DWI following Ellery Accident...
A North East, Pennsylvania man is jailed on one-thousand dollars bail for allegedly driving drunk when his car crashed into a ditch late last night in the town of Ellery. Sheriff's officers say they responded to a report of a car off the road on Route 430 about 11:45 p.m. Deputies say they determined that the driver... 36 year-old Theodore Applequist... was intoxicated when his car went into the ditch. Applequist was arrested for driving while intoxicated... and, making an unsafe lane change. Officers say the defendant refused to submit to a chemical blood test... and, he was arraigned in Ellery Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Findley Lake man jailed on number of charges after being caught traveling more than 90 MPH on I-86...
A Findley Lake man has been arrested on a number of charges... including a violation of Leandra's Law... for allegedly driving over 90 m.p.h. on Interstate 86 last weekend. State Police in Jamestown tell The Buffalo News that 36 year-old James Spitale was pulled over for driving 94 m.p.h. in a 65-mile zone in Bemus Point early last Saturday night. Troopers say Spitale was also found to allgedly be drunk... and, faces a charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated because there was a child under the age of 16 in the car with him. Police add that he's also charged with a Felony DWI for having a previous conviction... and, unlicensed operation, and speeding. Spitale was also allegedly with a woman who has an active order of protection against him... and, faces a Felony criminal contempt charge. He was arraigned... and, sent to the County Jail on $2,500 bail.
Reed says he won't support "status quo" in upcoming budget talks, but, won't voice support of government shut-down if Obamacare is not defunded...
Local Congressman Tom Reed won't say if he supports a government shut-down over Obamacare... increasing the debt ceiling... and, cutting the size of government. Reed says he believes there are other ways to deal with the Affordable Care Act... other than defunding it. He says there are places where Republicans and Democrats have common ground. First... Reed says he agrees with the president on postponing Obamacare provisions for businesses. However... the Corning Republican says that provision should also be applied to individuals. Reed says he wants to stand up for the people of the country, and see the individual mandate at least be delayed. He adds, though, he wants to see those changes... because he vowed when elected to not support the "status quo." As for other parts of Obamacare that the GOP and Democrats are finding agreement on includes the creation of an "Individual Payment Advisory Board...." which gives those members a lot of authority to make personal health care decisions. Reed also declined to comment on reports that several GOP members of Congress will withdraw their support of Speaker John Boehner unless he put's up a measure to defund Obamacare as part of a new budget... or continuing resolution.
Comptroller's report shows state now has more than restored jobs loast in recession....
The state Comptroller's Office reports New York has more than restored the jobs lost in the recession, including 110-thousand added since last June. The report shows 7.34-million private sector jobs statewide in 2012, up 1.5 percent from 2007, the year before the downturn. Net job losses in manufacturing, construction, information and financial services and government were offset by gains in education, health, leisure and hospitality. Based on federal date... New Yorker's personal income per capita was just over $52,000 last year... compared to nearly $42,700 nationally. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says New York's job growth rate slowed to 1.8 percent last year, trailing the national average of 2.2 percent.
Chautauqua closes for 2013 Season with traditional three-taps of the gavel...
The 140th season of Chautauqua Institution officially came to a close Sunday night. Chautauqua President Tom Becker closed the season with the traditional three taps of the gavel. In his annual remarks to close the season, Becker talked about why Chautauqua exists... saying it's about the "human condition." He said all that Chautauqua does could be described in a simple way... to help people be kinder, and to build a society filled with that feeling. Chautauqua 2014 will open on June 21 of next year, and run through Aug. 24, 2014.
City man and woman arrested for allegedly assaulting each other using stun guns...
A Jamstown couple has been arrested for allegedly using stun guns... on each other... during a domestic incident late last week. City police were called to 93 Barker Street on a report of a physical domestic dispute late Thursday night. Officers say on arrival... they found both 35 year-old Tara Avery and 34 year-old Jeffrey Kulig... were in possession of stun guns. Police say futher investigation showed both Avery and Kulig had used the guns on each other. Officers say both were arrested for criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree harassment. Avery also faces one count of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. Kulig was also charged with second-degee menacing. Both were arraigned in city court... and, freed on bail.
JPD investigation suspicious situation involving as many as three men posing as representatives of telephone, TV, or Internet services...
City police are urging resident to be on the look-out for at least two suspicious subjects posing as representatives or workers for telephone, television, or internet services. Jamestown Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott says there is at least one -- maybe two -- black males... and, one white male involved in the alleged scam. Abbott says they are saying they say they are representing Windstream or DirectTV... and, are riding in vans being described as being either dark green, or black... or a dark-colored truck. Police say the men may be claiming to represent other companies as well. Abbott says none of them have been successful in gaining entry to the residence. Police, though, are urging residents to be observant because its likely they will try to gain entry to commit crimes at a later time. If you encounter such a situation... call law enforcement as soon as possible.
Two Jamestown residents arrested for alleged drug possession...
A Jamestown man and woman are jailed without bail for allegedly being in possession of a number of illegal drugs... some of them narcotics... during a traffic stop. Jamestown police say they spotted 28 year-old Stephen Traver driving a car on Steele Street late last week... and, knew he had a suspended license. Officers stopped the vehicle... and, determined it was Traver. They also spotted a large pill bottle in the vehicle that contained the drug Hashish. Officers asked Traver's passenger... 20 year-old Tiffany Borkowski... to get out of the car, and, a large baggie of pot fell from inside her dress. Both she and Traver were taken to police headquarters... and, during booking... Borkowski was found to be in possession of several kinds of prescription pain killers... while Traver had a large quantity of cash. Both were booked on Felony drug possession charges... while Traver was also charged with unlicensed operation. Both were arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
State Thruway traffic checks underway through Labor Day...
New York State Police say they're planning an enforcement initiative along the Thruway starting today and continuing through the week until Labor Day. Troopers along the toll road that extends across the state are scheduled to be in full force and conduct what's called ``Operation Summer Brake,'' watching for speeders, intoxicated and aggressive drivers and those using cell phones while driving. Captain Michael Eaton says police will also be conducting checks that motorists are wearing seat belts as required. As the last holiday of the summer season... he says that usually means more Thruway traffic.
Small earthquake hits Adirondack region Sunday morning...
A small earthquake has shaken homes in the Adirondacks region near Lake George. Monitors for the U-S Geological Survey say the magnitude 2.7-quake happened at a depth of just more than 6 miles near the Warren County town of Warrensburg at about 9:30 yesterday morning. Local emergency centers got calls reporting shaking and a rumbling sound, but no damage. The USGS says New York's Adirondacks region is among the most seismically active in the northeast because it contains a number of faults in the bedrock.
Former GOP Gubernatorial candidate Paladino buys former Catholic School in Buffalo...
Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino has purchased a closed Roman Catholic high school for $2.9-million. The Buffalo News reports that Paladino submitted the winning bid Saturday for the former Holy Angels Academy. The school closed in the spring because of declining enrollment. The newspaper says Paladino hasn't revealed what he plans to do with the property. It is considered a prime location for development.
The Obama administration says about 1.4 million undergraduate students are enrolled in colleges across New York and those who borrowed money for tuition will graduate with more than $26,000 in debt. President Obama outlined his agenda to combat rising college costs Thursday at appearances in Buffalo and Syracuse. He will conclude his upstate New York bus tour today with an appearance at Binghamton University. A release from the White House Thursday says Obama's plan will measure college performance through a new rating system and tie financial aid to college performance. His plan would also allow borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also spoke at Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday.
Supporters and opponents of natural gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, plan to put on a show for President Obama when his tour bus rolls into Binghamton. The city is in a likely area for drilling to begin if Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifts a 5-year-old moratorium and allows fracking in New York's part of the Marcellus Shale, which stretches through Pennsylvania into West Virginia and Ohio. Obama has spoken in favor of shale gas development. Cuomo acknowledges the economic advantages but says he's still looking at environmental and health implications. Opposition groups are urging members to make a big showing on the Binghamton University campus where Obama will speak Friday morning. The pro-gas Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is holding a rally in a nearby park.
With a second offer to purchase the Chautauqua County Home now officially out of the picture, a candidate for County Executive says it's time to move on from what he calls a "political fight." Democrat Ron Johnson criticizes the current administration by saying they did not fully investigate the offer made by Richard Platschek of Nassau County. Johnson says it's time to move on. Current County Executive Greg Edwards announced yesterday that prospective buyer failed to make the required $1.65 million deposit, so the agreement was terminated. Johnson, who is challenging Republican Vince Horrigan for the county's top political office, says it's time to implement what is needed to turn around the County Home's finances.
Consistant. That is how Chautauqua Institution President Tom Becker describes this 2013 Chautauqua Season. Becker was interviewed by WJTN's Jim Roselle this morning and said that the high level of delivery week after week made the past 9 weeks memorable. Some highligts and high attendance weeks of the 2013 Season included Week 4's More Limits of Markets, Morals, and Social Contract and Week 5's The Pursuit of Happiness. But Becker says there was one week in particular that provided different perspecitves and learning moments for the Chautauqua community. Chautuaqua is in it's 9th and final week. The season closes Sunday with the historic 3 taps of the gavel ceremony.
The New York Health Benefit Exchange has listed health and dental plans for individuals and small business owners that will be available for enrollment starting October 1st... and, coverage beginning next year. The exchange, established under a federal mandate, is expected to help enroll 1.1 million uninsured New Yorkers and includes subsidies for those who meet certain income thresholds. It has also changed its name to ``NY State of Health.'' The 16 health and 10 dental plans that will be offered in the state are listed on an interactive map showing counties where they're available. The department has also posted an online calculator for estimating eligibility for tax credits.
Two "significant" mosquito-borne diseases have been confirmed in Chautauqua County... and, the state's Health Commissioner has declared an "imminent threat" to public health. That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says Dr. Nirav Shah reports that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus has been found in several mosquito pools in the county. Schuyler says the declaration enables a local health department to undertake public health activities to control mosquito populations... in accordance with New York State regulations. She says they're efforts "are focused on reducing the risk of any human cases of mosquito-borne disease."
The Jamestown Planning Commission has approved a revised site plan for changes to the West Eighth Street location of Ben Weitzman Company. Company officials met first with city planners to address issues raised by residents in that area regarding dust... and, traffic congestion during business hours. Principle Planner Bill Rice says they suggested some modifications... including paving the entire lot inside the fences of the scrap metal recycler. Rice says there's been an issue of dust getting in the air... and, getting on vehicles at a nearby car lot... and, that neighbors breath. The traffic that has tended to kick-up that dust is also being addressed. Rice says trucks and other vehicles hauling metal will be directed away from Eighth Street. He says they'll use signage off-site... and, someone will be directing traffic where to go. Rice says there's also a need to bring the fence back... away from Eighth Street... and, creating space for the Chadakoin Riverwalk project. He says with the Planning Commission's approval... city council needs to sign off on a building permit... and, for landscaping planned for a right-of-way.
Local Congressman Tom Reed discussed the need to move low-income populations from dependency to self sufficiency when he held a mid-week Social Welfare Roundtable meeting during a visit to Chautauqua County. The Republican from Corning spoke about the meeting held Tuesday in Mayville when he appeared in Dunkirk with County Executive Candidate Vince Horrigan. Officials with Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated... and, the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County were among the agencies involved. Reed promoted his proposed legislation called the PATH... or "Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help Act." He says the focus is on getting people back to work... and, off the "cycle of dependency." Reed adds it's about empowering people to control their own destiny. He is expected to introduced the measure when House members return to Washington in September.
President Obama's trip to central and western New York is expected to cause some traffic tie-ups on the Thruway. The state Thruway Authority says drivers should be prepared for temporary road closures and slow or stopped traffic on the Thruway today and Friday. He'll be at the University at Buffalo and Henninger High School in Syracuse TODAY. On Friday, he'll participate in a town hall event at Binghamton University.
The man in charge of innovation for Medicare and Medicaid the last three years believes the Affordable Care Act is a strong step forward for healthcare in the US... and most people in medicine would agree. Dr. Richard Gilfillan was Wednesday featured lecturer during Health Care week at Chautauqua. Dr. Gilfillan was director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid innovation from 2010 through July of this year. He says the government and others who pay for healthcare have to come to terms with a 'bias in the system to do more, more, more.' He found a metaphor from Chautauqua... saying imagine inviting food vendors to come in -- and, someone putting as much food on the trays as they could -- and, they weren't charged. But... then you tallied it up at the end, and sent someone ELSE a bill. Gilfillan says imagine what that bill would be like. As for fraud and abuse... Gilfillan says with total expenses of nearly 3-trillion dollars in the U-S each year... it's inevitable some people will try to scam the system. He believes that number is relatively small.
The latest proposal to purchase the Chautauqua County Home has been scuttled after the prospective buyer failed to make the required purchase deposit. County Executive Greg Edwards says he had no choice but to terminate the agreement after Richard Platschek (Plah-SHICK) did not make the required purchase deposit of 1.65-million dollars. Edwards, who announced Platschek's 16.5-million dollar offer about two weeks ago, says he's not sure why the Long Island businessman failed to make the deposit. However... he said it was a major component of the 16.5-million dollar purchase deal for him. Edwards says he's disappointed... but, adds he will continue efforts to find a buyer for the County Home. With this development... tonight's special County Legislature meeting has been cancelled.
Gas prices remained at about the same this week as last week in the Jamestown-area. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded remains around the 3-dollar-79 cent mark to about 3--80. The national average price this week is also the same as last week... about 3-dollars-54 cents per gallon. The Triple-A says drivers across the country continue to enjoy discounted pump prices -- compared to a year ago. That's despite continuing violence in Egypt, Libya and Syria in the Middle East.
A problem with the Buffalo Street pump station will likely cause discolored water on Jamestown's northside through Noon today. That from Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says the problem occured about mid-afternoon Wednesday.
Reed says Welfare Roundtable discussion in Mayville Tuesday was productive...
Local Congressman Tom Reed discussed the need to move low-income populations from dependency to self sufficiency when he held a mid-week Social Welfare Roundtable meeting during a visit to Chautauqua County. The Republican from Corning spoke about the meeting held Tuesday in Mayville when he appeared in Dunkirk with County Executive Candidate Vince Horrigan. Reed says they focused on how to get people back to work across the country... and, in Chautauqua County. Officials with Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., and, the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County were among the agencies involved. Reed promoted his proposed legislation called the PATH... or "Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help Act." He says the focus is on getting people back to work... and, off the "cycle of dependency." Reed adds it's about empowering people to control their own destiny. He is expected to introduced the measure when House members return to Washington in September.
Edwards says Platschek missing required downpayment on County Home was reason for nixing entire contract proposal...
The latest proposal to purchase the Chautauqua County Home has been scuttled after the prospective buyer failed to make the required purchase deposit. County Executive Greg Edwards says he had no choice but to terminate the agreement after Richard Platschek did not make the required purchase deposit of $1.65 million. Edwards says he determined at that time that it was "not a contract we could go forward with." He determined that to be a "breach of the contract." Edwards, who announced Platschek's $16.5 million offer about two weeks ago, says he's not sure why the Long Island businessman failed to make the deposit. However... he said it was a major component of the purchase deal for him. Edwards says he's disappointed... but, adds he will continue efforts to find a buyer for the County Home. With this development... tonight's special County Legislature meeting has been cancelled.
Gilfillan believes Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction...
The man in charge of innovation for Medicare and Medicaid the last three years believes the Affordable Care Act is a strong step forward for healthcare in the US... and most people in medicine would agree. Dr. Richard Gilfillan was Wednesday's featured lecturer during Health Care week at Chautauqua. Gilfillan says the majority of people in healthcare believe these changes were "long overdue." Dr. Gilfillan was director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid innovation from 2010 through July of this year. He says the government and others who pay for healthcare have to come to terms with a 'bias in the system to do more, more, more.' He found a metaphor from Chautauqua... saying it would be like if you invited food vendors to come in -- and, someone put as much food on the trays as they could -- and, weren't charged. However... you then tallied it up at the end and sent someone else a bill... he says you can imagine what that bill would be like. As for fraud and abuse... Gilfillan says with total healthcare expenditures of nearly $3-trillion each year in the U.S., it's inevitable some people will try to scam the system. He believes that number is relatively small.
A Lakewood man is being treated for serious injuries at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital after his motorcycle ran into the back of a Ford Explorer on the city's southside. Jamestown police were called to the scene at the intersection of Newland and Broadhead Avenues about 5:30 PM Monday. Officers say 22 year-old Todd Dean was allegedly speeding west on Newland when the driver of the Explorer... 36 year-old Grant Monroe... pulled away from the curb on Newland. Officers say he was then starting to make a left onto Broadhead when his vehicle was struck. Police say Dean was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. He also faces charges... including speeding and aggravated unlicensed operation. Monroe is also charged with making an unsafe start... and, having an uninsured vehicle. Police say the interesection was closed for about three hours while the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Accident Reconstruction Team helped Jamestown Police with the investigation.
A special meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature to consider a new offer for the County Home in Dunkirk has been cancelled because the prospective buyer has failed to make a required deposit on the purchase. That from Legislature Chairman Jay Gould... who says County Executive Greg Edwards made the recommendation after the potential buyer, Richard Platschek of Long Island, didn't make the 1.65-million dollar deposit. That's 10-percent of the 16.5-million dollar purchase offer made by Platschek. Gould says Edwards told him he is terminating the tentative agreement... and, will continue efforts to find a buyer for the County Home. The meeting was to be held tonight in Mayville.
Two men from Warren, Pennsylvania men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine in their car yesterday morning in Jamestown. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers on patrol pulled over a car... driven by 60 year-old Robert Proctor... at the corner of Foote Avenue and Harrison Street about 8:40 AM for a traffic violation. Samuelson says... while officers were talking to Proctor and his passenger... they spotted a bag of white powder lying on the floor of the vehicle. Samuelson says... given the fact the two men were from Warren... it's likely they came here to buy it. Both Proctor and his passenger... 42 year-old Anthony Russell... were taken into custody. They were both arraigned on charges of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. Samuelson says Proctor was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation... and, failure to signal a lane change. Both were sent to the county jail with bail to be set pending a recommendation from the District Attorney's office.
The unemployment rates in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties are down in the month of July compared to June of this year... and, they're well down from last year's levels. That from State Labor Department Associate Economist Tammy Merino... who says Chautauqua saw it's rate fall from 7.6-percent in June to 7.4-percent last month. The figures... which weren't seasonally adjusted... were released today. Merino says the 2-tenths of a percentage drop in the county was likely seasonal in nature. Merino says that was also the likely factor in Cattaraugus County... which saw a drop from 7.8 to 7.7-percent in July. While leisure and hospitality are big factors in Cattaraugus's figures... she says -- overall -- the western New York region is seeing a "nice, strong decline" in the jobless rate. Merino says leisure and hospitality... and, professional and technical jobs were up "strongly" over the past year. In Chautauqua County... the July jobless rate was down by one-percent over July of 2012. Cattaraugus County's numbers were down by 1.4-percent.
A Dunkirk man who is accused of an attempted robbery at the Family Dollar store in north county city last Sunday... is also being linked with a home invasion that occured earlier that day. Dunkirk Police say 25 year-old Jonathan Davis is facing charges stemming from the incident on South Roberts Road. Police Chief David Ortolano says that occured about two hours before the attempted hold up. Davis... who has been arraigned on the charges stemming from the attempted robbery... will be re-arraigned on the additional charges. Those include first-degree robbery... and, first-degree burglary. He's currently jailed without bail.
New York health officials have begun posting online data about cardiac surgeries, hospitals and the doctors statewide who perform them, including their cases from 2008 to 2010 and mortality rates. Other information posted on the Health Data NY website includes environmental radiation surveys at various facilities and sites around New York. The measures of levels in the air, water, milk, fish, sediment and vegetation are used to determine normal levels and the effects from what people are doing. The site now lists Medicaid program enrollments by region, child obesity by school district, restaurant food inspection results and availability of nursing home beds.
A federal judge has approved Kodak's plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Judge Allan Gropper's ruling paves the way for the photography pioneer to emerge from court oversight as a new company focused on commercial and packaging printing. The company has said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection on September 3rd.
(**New)Special Legislature meeting with potential County Home buyer cancelled...
A special meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature to consider a new offer for the County Home in Dunkirk has been cancelled because the prospective buyer has failed to make a required deposit on the purchase. That from Legislature Chairman Jay Gould... who says County Executive Greg Edwards made the recommendation after the potential buyer, Richard Platschek of Long Island, didn't make the $1.65-million deposit. That's 10-percent of the $16.5-million purchase offer made by Platschek. Gould says Edwards told him he is terminating the tentative agreement... and, will continue efforts to find a buyer for the County Home.
Operators involved in motorcycle-truck accident in Jamestown now identified...
A Lakewood man has been identified as the rider of a motorcyle Jamestown police say struck a Ford Explorer on the city's southside. Officers were called to the scene at the intersection of Newland and Broadhead Avenues about 5:30 p.m. Police say 22 year-old Todd Dean was allegedly speeding westbound on Newland when the driver of the Explorer... 36 year-old Grant Monroe... pulled away from the curb on Newland. Officers say he was then starting to make a left onto Broadhead when his vehicle was struck. Police say Dean suffered a serious injury when his bike went down. He was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. Dean faces charges... including speeding and aggravated unlicensed operation. Monroe is also charged with making an unsafe start... and, having an uninsured vehicle. Police say the interesection was closed for about three hours while the Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team helped Jamestown Police with the investigation.
Two Warren, PA men arrested following traffic stop for allegedly buying cocaine in Jamestown...
Two Warren, Pennsylvania men are jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine in their car this morning in Jamestown. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers on patrol pulled over a car... driven by 60 year-old Robert Proctor... at the corner of Foote Avenue and Harrison Street about 8:40 a.m. for a traffic violation. Samuelson says... while officers were talking to Proctor and his passenger... they spotted a bag of white powder lying on the floor of the vehicle. He says it's likely they got brought the half-ounce of cocaine here... given the circumstances involved. Samuelson says it's another example of the drug issue "plaguing the city." He says both Proctor and his passenger... 42 year-old Anthony Russell... were arrested. Proctor and Russell were both charged with third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. Samuelson says Proctor was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation... and, failure to signal a lane change. Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail with bail to be set pending a recommendation from the District Attorney's office.
Amish girl, 3, seriously hurt when car strikes buggy in Cattaraugus County...
An Amish girl is being treated at a Buffalo-area hospital after the buggy she was riding in last Saturday was struck by a car in the Cattaraugus County town of East Otto. Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley say the girl's father... 39 year-old Ezra Glick... was operating the buggy just after 7:30 p.m. when the car approached from the south. Officers say the vehicle... driven by Dominic Fiorello of East Otto... struck the buggy... and, it overturned. Deputies say Glick... and, his three daughters were thrown from the buggy. Neither he nor two of the girls were hurt. But... the third... who was 3 years-old... was flown to Children's Hospital in Buffalo... where she's in stable condition. Charges are pending... and, the accident remains under investigation.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with three different kinds of drugs -- at least one of them a narcotic -- in his posession. City police say officers spotted 39 year-old Donald Dean entering the 7-Eleven Store on Hazeltine Avenue about 4:15 Monday morning. Officers were aware that Dean was sought on several outstanding warrants... and, he was taken into custody. Police say during a search of the suspect... they allegedly found a quantity of cocaine... Suboxone Strips... as well as some marijuana. Officers say Dean was further charged with one count of Felony 3rd-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and unlawful possession of marijuana. He is being held pending arraignment.
A man was flown to Hamot in Erie following a collision between a Ford Truck and his motorcycle Monday evening. The Post Journal reports that Bystanders say the unidentified man was pulling out of a driveway near the corner of Newland and Broadhead Avenues when the accident occured. We'll have more details as they become available.
According to WIVB TV in Buffalo a Jamestown man has been charged with locking four teens inside a vault on North Work Street in Falconer. First responders were called to the former law office last Friday around 1 a.m. to free four teens stuck inside a walk-in vault that had once been used for record storage. Ellicott Police say Lyle Howard, 19, trapped the teens inside when he shut the vault and spun the locking mechanism. Howard has been charged with second degree reckless endangerment. After being arraigned, he was taken to the Chautauqua County Jail on $500 bail.
A Dunkirk man is facing a number of charges after an attempted robbery at the Family Dollar on East Fourth Street on Sunday. Dunkirk Police say 25 year-old Jonathan Davis allegedly knocked down a 69-year-old man... and, attempted to take the victim's wallet. A foot chase ensued where Davis was tackled by Captain Kenneth Kaus of the Dunkirk Police Department. Police Chief David Ortolano says Davis pulled a knife. Davis was taken into custody without incident. A search of the suspect turned up a quantity of crack cocaine. Further investigation determined that Davis has an outstanding State Parole warrant for a burglary in Tioga County. Ortolano says some of the litany of charges Davis faces include Felony second-degree attempted robbery... and, second-degree assault... and, menacing a police officer. He is being held without bail on the charges.
The city of Jamestown is about to bring it's computer programmer position into the 21st Century. The opportunity comes with the retirement of Programmer Dan Distefano from city employment. The new name... along with salary schedule... were approved by the City Council's Finance Committee last night. Chairman Tony Dolce says... other than the name... everything else pretty much remains the same. Dolce says while there will be six salary steps... where the person hired to take on the new position would begin will be decided by their experience... and, possible service already to the city. He says city officials would like to fill the position as soon as possible... once, it's been approved by the city council.
Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed is proposing a federal, "welfare-to-work"-type program, he hopes will break the 'cycle' of Welfare dependancy. Reed says he will submit the "Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help" -- or PATH Act -- once Congress returns from Summer recess in early September. The Corning Republican says the key component to the measure is that it allows those people who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits... to at least keep some of those benefits if they get a job... and, still can't make ends meet.
While not penalizing those on the welfare system if they find work... Reed does say that state's won't get credit past the five-years TANF is in place -- unless those on welfare have made significant progress towards getting a job -- or, get one. He says this is his proposal at the moment... with no co-sponsors right now. He says the proposal was a product of town hall meetings that he's held in the 23rd Congressional District.
A nationally-known health expert says there are good parts to the Affordable Care Act -- also known as "Obamacare" - but, it won't solve all our healthcare problems. Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the non-partisan Institute of Medicine, was the leadoff lecturer at Chautauqua Institution on the Week-Nine them of "Health Care: Reform and Innovation." Fireberg says the new law will extend care to millions who've never had access to it... but doesn't touch the major escalation in costs. While the U-S spends over twice what most developed nations do... Fineberg says the quality of our people's health doesn't reflect the extra amount spent. He says we need better "outcomes." Fineberg believes the solution to that major problem may be within our grasp if we look carefully at the parts of our system that are already working. Fineberg has also written a book on clinical decision analysis... to help patients negotiate the difficult choices they sometimes face when they are ill. The lectures on healthcare continue morning and afternoon... all this week at Chautauqua.
19 year old Michael Nugent from Lancaster is the Winner of the tenth edition of SE-93's Chautauqua Lake Voices. Nugent has won thousands of dollars worth of prizes, and will perform with the Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra during it's Labor Day Weekend Finale. Other finalists included Teal Weatherly, Nicole Tenpas and Bill Brunacini. For more information on the competition visit Chautauqua Lake Voices dot com
Broadhead Avenue from South to Smith Streets in Jamestown will be closed during daytime work hours for the next two weeks. That from Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins who says the BPU's Wastewater Division's maintenance workers will replace 600 feet of sewer line.
City man arrested on drug possession charges...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with three different kinds of drugs -- at least one of them a narcotic -- in his posession. City police say officers spotted 39 year-old Donald Dean entering the 7-Eleven Store on Hazeltine Avenue about 4:15 a.m. Monday. Officers were aware that Dean was sought on several outstanding warrants... and, he was taken into custody. Police say during a search of the suspect... they allegedly found a quantity of cocaine... Suboxone Strips... as well as some marijuana. Officers say Dean was further charged with one count of Felony 3rd-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and unlawful possession of marijuana. He is being held pending arraignment.
Reed proposes federal "Welfare-to-Work" type program...
The southern tier's representative in Congress is proposing a "welfare-to-work"-type program for the federal government that he hopes will break the 'cycle' of Welfare dependancy. Corning Republican Tom Reed says he will submit the "Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help" -- or PATH Act -- once Congress returns from it's August break next week. Reed says the key component to the measure is that it allows those people who receive benefits to keep at least some while they transition to the workforce. He says the idea is avoiding the "Welfare Cliff" where people are cut off all together... saying he has no problem giving people a "helping hand..." but, you can't create a situation where people are "dependent" on the federal government indefinately. While not penalizing those on the welfare system if they find work... Reed does say that state's won't get credit beyond the five-years of TANF benefits -- unless they have made significant progress towards getting those people on welfare transitioned from "pure welfare to a working environment." Reed says the bill has no co-sponsors at the moment. He says the proposal was a product of town hall meetings that he's held in the 23rd Congressional District.
Reed responds to article about late property tax payments in NYS 38 times in past eight years...
Congressman Reed says he understands that federal lawmakers are held to a higher standard... but, adds that he's not perfect either. Reed responded today to a Buffalo News article today that he's been late paying his property taxes 38 times since 2005. Twenty-five of those times have come since he's been in Congress. During his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media... he said he's ultimately accountable for the oversight. Reed did admit in the article that being elected twice to Congress may have played a role... because he's been involved with partners in a number of investment properties. However... he can no longer have a "day-to-day" role in their operation because of his position. Reed then criticized Democrats for being the possible source of the information.
A large number of the inmates in the Chautauqua County Jail are repeat offenders... who are "cycling" through the system. The county's top-law enforcement official believes if there were good "Alternatives to Incarceration" programs in place... he could significantly reduce the current jail population. Sheriff Joe Gerace says the jail is again having an overcrowing problem... due mainly to an increase in local prisoners... and, parole and probation violators. That's why he wants to meet with county lawmakers and representatives from Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated... The Resource Center... and, other non-profit agencies. Gerace says local judges need a viable option if they're going to release a repeat offender who has not committed a serious, Felony crime. He says the jail can currently hold 303 prisoners at the most... and, they are now having to board out some to other counties. Gerace says that's because they need so much space for female... and, youthful offenders. He says the county should receive enough revenue from housing some federal inmates to help offset the cost of the jail. He made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.
A city man escaped injury... but, is accused of driving drunk after he swerved to miss a deer early last weekend... and, his car crashed in the town of Kiantone. Sheriff's Deputies say 42 year-old Christopher Conti of Jamestown was southbound on Peck-Settlement Road about 12:30 Saturday morning when he swerved to miss the deer... and, struck an earth embankment. Officers say further investigation determined that Conti had been operating the motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was issued traffic tickets for driving while intoxicated and other charges... and, released... pending a future court appearance.
A Westfield man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail following his arrest for allegedly being involved in a recent burglary in the town of Ripley. A Sheriff's Department K-9 unit and Westfield Police say they conducted a warrant check at 7816 North Portage Street in Westfield late last Friday night. Deputies say they found 29 year-old Jonathan Paddock-the-second inside the home. Officers say Paddock was wanted for third-degree Burglary... and, Grand Larceny in Ripley. Paddock was arraigned in Ripley Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up pending further court action.
Chautauqua County Democrats are getting excited about President Obama's visit to Western New York next week. County Democratic Party Chairman Norm Green says there's been a lot of talk about Obama's visit to Buffalo next Thursday. Obama will appear at the University of Buffalo... but, Green adds there haven't been a lot of details released. Obama, who last visited the Buffalo area in 2010, is expected to focus on education. Green says Western New York still plays an important role for Democrats. He says Western New York will vote Democratic if you "give them the right candidate... and, the right set of circumstances." Green says the area is more aligned with midwestern thinking as opposed to East Coast. President Obama is expected to take a two day bus trip that will begin in Buffalo and include stops in Syracuse, Binghamton... and, later in Scanton in northeastern Pennsylvania.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is reporting that state tax receipts for the first for months of the 2013-2014 fiscal year are 13.3-percent higher than they were last year. DiNapoli says most of the growth came in April from strong personal income tax receipts. However, he says the slow pace of economic growth ``calls for continued caution.'' Personal income taxes are up almost 18 percent.
State auditors say nursing homes were overpaid 46-million dollars from Medicaid while the state-run program overpaid 31-million dollars for hospital care for patients who died within 24 hours after they were admitted. The audits fault the New York State Department of Health computer system for failing to deduct a portion of patients' Social Security, pensions and other income sources from their cost of nursing home care. They also found fault with a new payment calculation intended to be fairer to hospitals.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have gone up... but, by just a fraction of a penny over the past week. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for regular, unleaded is now just under 3-dollars-80 cents a gallon. Nationally... the Triple-A says the price is down seven-cents to 3-dollars-54 cents per gallon. Officials say motorists in all but four states are paying less at the pump than one week ago. These declines have been most dramatic in the Midwest where retail prices have tumbled by a dime or more in six states. The largest is an 18-cent drop in Indiana.
The first of numerous civil claims filed against Penn State amid the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal has been settled. Tom Kline, a lawyer for a young man known as ``Victim 5,'' who testified at Sandusky's criminal trial, says his client is relieved. The Philadelphia Inquirer, which first reported the settlement, said it amounted to several million dollars. The paper said settlements are expected soon in 25 more claims over the actions of the former assistant football coach. The university declined to comment. Michael Rozen, a lawyer representing Penn State, told the paper that Victim 5's complaint was among the more serious because the abuse occurred months after school officials were told of San
Manager of Papa John's Pizza shop in Jamestown arrested in connection with allegedly staging robbery July 31...
It was an inside job... and, one employee has now been arrested in connection with last month's armed robbery at the Papa John's Pizza shop in Jamestown. That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they've arrested 24 year-old Ney Garrido in connection with the alleged hold-up at the West Third Street Plaza location. Samuelson says Garrido -- who's general manager of the store -- turned himself this morning. He says Garrido... or another employee... walked into the pizza shop that night... and, allegedly pulled a gun on the clerk. Samuelson says the incident was allegedly staged, and they're still asking people with knowledge of the case to contact them. He says an extensive, two-week investigation led them to learn that Garrido had returned to the store sometime later... and, took the cash from another employee who was working at the time. He says one employee apparently posed as a robber... and, entered the store before he allegedly ran off with money from the register. But... Samuelson says they're still asking for the public's help as the investigation continues. He says Garrido is charged with fourth-degree Grand Larceny... and, more charges are pending... along with another arrest. Samuelson says anyone with information is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7531... or JPD's anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Two people arrested for allegedly dealing crack-cocaine in Jamestown...
Two people -- one from Buffalo -- are jailed following a several month-long investigation into the trafficking of crack-cocaine in and around the city of Jamestown. Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers... and, members of the state Police CNET Team raided an apartment at 114 Water St. shortly before 7 a.m. Friday... and, arrested 27 year-old Ryan Stills of Buffalo.... and, 27 Year-old Vanessa Buck of Jamestown. Samuelson says three small children were also found inside the apartment... along with a large amount of crack... and, cash. He says Stills was arraigned on two Felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminal using drug paraphrenalia... and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Buck was arraigned on a lower count of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Stills was sent to the county jail without bail... while Buck is being held on $2,250. The investigation is continuing.
Worker seriously injured in asphalt plant explosion in Cattaraugus County...
Authorities say a worker has been injured in an explosion at an asphalt plant in rural western New York. State Police in Cattaraugus County say the blast occurred around 6 this morning at the Gernatt Asphalt Products plant in the village of Delevan. Troopers say 53-year-old Thomas Treadway was in the process of shutting down the asphalt plant when an explosion occurred in the conveyor belt, causing significant damage to the facility. Police say Treadway suffered serious burns to his upper body and was taken by helicopter to a Buffalo hospital, where he's listed in serious condition. Gernatt operates more than a dozen plants and excavation sites that supply sand, gravel and other construction materials in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
Four teens face charges after allegedly getting locked-in walk-in safe in Falconer...
Four Jamestown-area teenagers are safe... but, face underage drinking and drug possession charges after being locked in a walk-in safe overnight in the village of Falconer. Ellicott Town Police were called to an apartment house at 19 North Work Street about 1 a.m., where the teens had accidently been locked inside. Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says they first called Falconer Firefighters... then Jamestown... before calling a lock-smith to see if he could rescue the boys. The lock-smith was unable to at first... but, later was able to free them. Ohnmeiss says that was about 4 a.m. He adds the four were given permission to be there. However... he says the teens... who were between 18 and 19 years of age... were found with alcohol and a small amount of marijuana in the vault. Ohmeiss says they're still unclear about all the details... but, none of the teens was hurt. He says they will face underage alcohol, and illegal possession of marijuana charges.
Edwards named as new director of Jamestown's Gebbie Foundation...
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards has been named as the new Executive Director of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown. Edwards adds that he'll be stepping down as the county's top-elected official by Nov. 15 to begin working at his new position. He will replace the retiring John Merino... who will leave the post at the end of this week after 10 years at the helm. Merino put the Gebbie at the forefront of downtown development... and, Edwards says he wants to pick up that torch... and, help the Greater Jamestown area in other ways as well. As for the county executive's position... Edwards says he'll appoint someone -- likely from his administration -- to fill out the rest of the year in November. He says the charter gives him that power. After that... he says whoever wins the November election will take over on January 1st.
Johnson receives CSEA Endorsement for County Exec...
The Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Executive has picked up the endorsement of the county's largest public employees union. The Civil Service Employees Association has announced it has thrown it's backing to Fredonia's Ron Johnson for the county's top-elected post. CSEA-Local 6300 President Bonnie Peters says Johnson will -- quote -- "bring innovative ideas and transparency to county government." Peters adds that he will "work to bring good-paying jobs to Chautauqua County... and, he recognizes the importance of the services public employees provide for residents every single day." She also says Johnson will work to protect the countys "most vulnerable residents, including the frail elderly at the Chautauqua County Home." Johnson says having the CSEA's backing "shows strength and belief in my candidacy... and, the prospect of a better county government."
Fire heavily damages downtown Randolph pizzeria...
Flames have extensively damaged a pizza shop in the Cattaraugus County hamlet of Randolph... and the cause is under investigation. Randolph Fire Department Public Information Officer John Congdon says crews were called to Jumbroni's Pizza at 8 Jamestown St. shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday. Congdon says a man exiting the back of Vern's Restaurant... just a couple of stores away... spotted smoke coming from the building... and, called in the alarm. Congdon says their chief was close by... and, quickly got their response in place. He says they called in East Randolph, Kennedy and Conewango firefighters to assist. The pizzeria is in the old "Tap Room" from the former Randolph Hotel... which Congdon says was coincidently destroyed by fire in the 1970s. He says it took about 45 minutes for the four departments to bring the blaze under control. Congdon says the fire apparently originated in the back. He says no one was hurt. However... Congdon says damage was "severe..." with the back kitchen and storage areas gutted by the blaze. Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.
Chautauqua County now part of expanded quarantine area for Emerald Ash Borer in Upstate New York...
New York state has expanded a quarantine on ash wood products across much of upstate -- including Chautauqua County -- to combat the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer. The beetle's larvae have destroyed tens of millions of trees as it's moved steadily east from Michigan, where it was discovered in 2002. The state has banned untreated firewood from entering New York... and, forbidden moving it more than 50 miles from its source within the state since 2008 as it's tried to hinder the beetle and other pests. It had also imposed local quarantines regulating movement of ash products. The DEC has now replaced the local quarantines with a single ban covering all or parts of 42 counties from western New York to the New England border.
Thunder In The Streets and Cruise In Events Tonight in Downtown Jamestown...
There'll be plenty of food and music available today during this year's annual "Thunder in the Streets..." and, "Crusin'" events in downtown Jamestown. That from Jamestown Renaissance Corporation Event and Programming Coordinator Tiffani Conti... who says registration for both outdoor events is right on schedule with recent years. Conti says Infinity will have both food and music available in the area of the "Crusin'" event... and, a couple of restaurants are getting involved this year. In addition... Conti says they'll also have "Happy Days" and "Nightshift" playing on the main stage at Third and Main Streets during the "Crusin.'" This is the 10th anniversary of "Thunder in the Streets..." and, they'll also have bands playing near the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Conti says they include "Two for Flinching.." "Coltrane..." and, "The Bogarts." She adds there's also an expanded Kids Zone at "Thunder" this year... along with food and motorcycle vendors. Conti thanks their several sponsors... including the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The Media One Group is the main media sponsor of this year's events.
Chautauqua County has submitted it's list of infrastructure and development projects for consideration in the third-round of funding from the state's Economic Development Council program. County Executive Greg Edwards says the applications from the county were sent to the Western New York Economic Development Council before Monday afternoon's deadline. Edwards adds there are "more applications" for bigger and better project from Chautauqua County this time than in either of the two previous rounds. In addition to seven listed in this week's "Monday Memo..." Edwards says there's also one from the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy. One of the key projects Edwards listed... and, called "representative" of those submitted by the county... is the proposed North County Water District. The county is seeking 6.1-million dollars for that effort. He adds there's also a 50-thousand dollar request for an expanded study to complete engineering for the study on installing public sewers around Chautauqua Lake. Edwards says another key item is 753-thousand dollars to facilitate the dredging of the county's three Lake Erie Harbors.
County Executive Greg Edwards also says he received some good news from the Governor's office Wednesday that a replacement for former Cummins Engine Plant Manager David Porter was approved for the Western New York panel. Edwards says the Western New York Council's vice-chairman said Blackstone Business Enterprises President Mike Metzger has been formally okayed by Governor Cuomo, and state Economic Development officials to become a member. That means the county will be represented when this region's Economic Development Council meets on August 20th.
Two people were hurt... but, not seriously...in a two-car, head-on crash on the Hartfield-Centralia Road in the town of Chautauqua. Sheriff's officers say the driver of a westbound vehicle, 61 year-old Gerry King of DeWittville, crossed the center line shortly after 1 PM Tuesday... and, collided with an eastbound car. The driver of that vehicle... 48 year-old Dorothy Desaulniers of Lilly Dale, and King... where taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Further investigation also determined that King had been drinking and driving. He was charged with driving while intoxicated. He was issued traffic tickets... and, will appear in Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.
Ellicott town lawmakers have sent a letter of support to the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency in efforts to bring about development of a new, third hotel near Exit 12 on Interstate 86. Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says the new hotel would be a Holiday Inn Express... and, would be located near the recently opened Hampton Inn between Route 60 and West Oak Hill Road. Miller says a regional developer... Boxwood Hotels, LLC... is involved with that project. He says they're "very experienced" hotel owners... and, have done a great job whereever they've been. Miller adds both they and Boxwood's owners believe that part of the town can handle another hotel. Miller says Boxwood Hotels is seeking a Payment-in-Lieu of Tax agreement with the county IDA. He says the PILOT agreement would include sales tax abatement on construction materials... and, an abatement schedule to phase-in property taxes for 10-years. There are already two hotels... a Comfort Inn, and a Hampton Inn... in that part of the town at the Jamestown City line.
Up until the recent crack-downs on protestors in Turkey... it was considered a model of a growing democracy for the Middle East. Those are the feelings of yesterday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution... who has been imprisoned twice while working overseas. Foreign Affairs Correspondent David Rohde of Reuters has also won two Pulitzer Prizes. Some have said the "Arab Spring" is turning into the "Arab Winter." However... Rohde says he remains a "stubborn optimist" that some kind of Democracy can work in both Egypt... which is under a State of Emergency... and, Turkey. At least 200 had been killed in today's confrontations in Egypt. Back to Turkey... our Jim Roselle asked Rohde why Turkey had -- up until now -- been refered to as a "model for the Middle East." Rohde says two reasons. First was the country's strong economic growth. Second was because Regitib Aartawan was Prime Minister... who was a conservative Muslim, who also embraced Democracy. However... Rohde says he's reacted "very badly" to recent protests there. He spoke at part of "Turkey -- a Model for the Middle East" week at Chautauqua.
Registrations are still being accepted for one of the two "signature" late Summer events in downtown Jamestown this coming Friday afternoon and evening. The 21st annual "Crusin'" is taking place... along with the 10th annual "Thunder in the Streets" motorcycle show. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is putting on both programs for the first time this year... and, JRC Event and Programming Associate Tiffani Conti says entries for the "Crusin'" are coming in very close to what they've seen before. Conti says streets around the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on West Third Street to Washington will be closed for the motorcycle show beginning at 7 AM. As for the "Crusin'..." those streets involved -- mainly East Third Street... will be closed at 3 PM. While streets for "Thunder" close early Friday morning... Conti says there will still be access to the Best Western Hotel... BWB Building... and, Shawbucks Bar and Restaurant. The Media One Group is one of the main sponsors of this year's events.
The man who's been President of Jamestown Community College for the past 19 years will retire after today. Dr. Gregory Decinque has led JCC to regional sponsorship, and added many new programs and buildings to the campuses in Jamestown and Olean. But he hopes his legacy will be people he's leaving behind. Decinque's leadership style has changed during his tenure at JCC. He says he's come to 'trust good people to do good things'. Dr. Decinque will be succeeded by Dr. Cory Duckworth, who's leaving a Vice-President's post at Utah Valley University to come to JCC. Decinque says he and his wife Laura consider Western New York their home, and will stay in the area... but he has no immediate plans to begin any new work.
Two Jamestown teenagers are accused of fighting... and, then robbing another person on the city's southside late last night. City police were called to the fight in the area of 75 Prospect Street about 11:30 PM... and, found two male suspects quickly walking away from the area of the fight. Officers say the pair threw property to the ground... but, were stopped. Police identified them as 19 year-old Jackson Knappenberger... and, a 15 year-old boy. Officers also found the male victim in the middle of Prospect Street... who had injuries to his face. Police say the two suspects pushed the victim to the ground... and, punched him before taking his gym shoes... and, items out of his pockets. Jackson was arraigned on several charges... including second-degree robbery and assault. He was sent to the county jail without bail. The 15 year-old's case is being further investigated.
There was quite a thunderstorm early Tuesday morning... but, a 'fair weather' kind of "thunder" will be taking to downtown Jamestown this Friday. The 10th annual "Thunder in the Streets" motorcycle show... and, the 21st "Crusin'" car show will be held. "Thunder" starts at 12 Noon in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is putting on this year's events... and, JRC Event and Programming Associate Tiffani Conti says thousands of people have attended each year since the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation put the two together. Conti says there are a number of new activities and events coming in this year with "Thunder's" 10th anniversary. She says the JRC has been working with local veteran's groups to put on a "scenic ride" around Chautauqua Lake to benefit the Chautauqua County 4-H... and, the Team FMX stunt riders will put on three shows Friday... with the first one at 3 PM. There'll also be food and music during the day Friday. The Media One Group is one of the main sponsors of this year's "Thunder in the Streets," and "Crusin" events. For more information... call the JRC at 664-2477.
Governor Andrew Cuomo hit the Finger Lakes wineries trail Tuesday in an effort to boost tourism in upstate New York. After the tour, Cuomo was to present the Governor's Cup, which recognizes the best wine in New York state.
The effort to make Democratic reforms in the Middle Eastern nation of Turkey has been a "work in progress..." and, has not been perfect. However... the chief advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister says it's become an "inspiration" to other countries in the region. Those are the feelings of Ibrahim Kalin (E-bra-Him Kah-LIN)... who was Tuesday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution. Kalin says Turkey is a young and dynamic democracy that's seen the elimination of one-party rule... and, military interference. Kalin also points out Turkey is part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization... also known as NATO... and, it has strong relations with the U-S. Turkey has had it's critics, though, who say it has imprisoned record numbers of journalists. Kalin doesn't deny that... but, says it's happened as part of anti-terrorism measures involving the nation's Kurdish population. He says it will be addressed as part of a new reform package... and, says the country is close to a major referendum on a new constitution. He spoke with our Jim Roselle as part of the Week-Eight theme of "Turkey - Model of the Middle East."
Licenses for the upcoming hunting, fishing and trapping seasons are now on sale at sporting outlets across New York. The State Department of Environmental Conservation says the licenses can be purchased at one of the DEC's 15-hundred license sales outlets statewide as well as through the DEC website at DEC-dot-NY-dot-gov. The 2013-2014 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1st.
Due to a scheduling conflict... Nick Battistella has cancelled his performance for tonight, August 14th, at the Desi Arnaz Bandshell in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron. The Nick Battistella "Sinatra Tribute" concert has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 21st from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Desi Arnaz Bandshell. Again... the Celoron United Methodist Church will have hot dogs and drinks available for sale. Residents are urged to bring their lawn chairs... and, enjoy the music in the park.
Overnight thunderstorms bring up to inch of rain to Jamestown-area...
We should see drier, but, cooler temperatures Wednesday through the later part of the week after a cold front moved through the Jamestown-area late Tuesday morning. That downpour produced another tenth-of-an-inch of rain... on top of the three-quarters of an inch to one-inch of rain we saw very early Tuesday morning. That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell from the national Weather Service... who says strong line of thunderstorms roared through the area between 2:15 and 2:30 a.m. Mitchell says the heavier amounts of rain earlier fell near the state line. He says there were no reports of any damage... or flooding from the earlier storm. We did hear about some brief outages in the Greater Jamestown-area early Tuesday morning... and, there was a group of about 300 National Grid customer outages in the Kennedy/Randolph area... where power was restored about 6 a.m.
Two Jamestown teens arrested, one jailed, for alleged assault, and robbery...
Two Jamestown teenagers are accused of fighting... and, then robbing another person on the city's southside late last night. City police were called to the fight in the area of 75 Prospect St. about 11:30 p.m., and, found two male suspects quickly walking away from the area of the fight. Officers say the pair threw property to the ground... but, were stopped. Police identified them as 19 year-old Jackson Knappenberger... and, a 15 year-old boy. Officers also found the male victim in the middle of Prospect Street... who had injuries to his face. Police say the two suspects pushed the victim to the ground... and, punched him before taking his gym shoes... and, items out of his pockets. Jackson was arraigned on several charges... including second-degree robbery and assault. He was sent to the county jail without bail. The 15 year-old's case is being further investigated.
(NOTE: content)Sheffield, PA man arrested for allegedly buying cigarettes for minor girls in return for sexual favors...
A Warren County, Pennsylvania man is free on $50,000 bail for allegedly trading cigarettes for sexual favors from two teenaged girls who are minors. State Police in Warren say 55 year-old David Slack of Sheffield was arrested for allegedly buying several items for the 13 and 15 year-olds inside the Uni-Mart store in Sheffield earlier this month. Troopers say several witnesses told them they saw the girls lifting their shirts, and exposing themselves in front of Slack. He allegedly passed cigarettes to one of the girls after minor physical contact near a picnic bench behind the store. He is also accused of taking them into an area concealed by bushes for a short time before returning to the picnic area. A male witness then walked over to Slack... and told him that he had contacted police... and, several others had witnessed the entire incident. He was arrested... and, charged with corruption of minors... indecent assault... and, furnishing tobacco to minors. Slack was released with the condition of no contact with the two girls.
County residents are being urged to take precautions against mosquito bites after both the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis were recently found in local mosquito pools. That from County Department of Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says they just received results back from the state Department of Health. Schuyler says we've seen West Nile Virus in the past... but, adds this is the first-time Eastern Equine Encephalitis has turned-up here. Schulyer says "Triple-E" is very rare... but, is most often fatal to the person bitten. She says she's not trying to alarm people... but, adds you should be vigilant in avoiding mosquitos... and, taking precautions when you go outside. First off... Schuyler says you should use insect repellent. She say's those should contain DEET... picaridin... or oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. You should also avoid going outside at dawn or dusk. That's when mosquitos are most active. Schuyler adds that... if you have to be outside... wear long-sleeved shirts... long pants... shoes and socks if weather permits. She also says eliminate all standing water around your home.
One person has been killed... while another has been seriously hurt... after their motorcycle crashed in Cattaraugus County town of Machias. State Police in Amity say both the operator... and, his passenger... were thrown from the bike while riding on McKinstry Road Sunday night. Troopers say the passenger, a 43-year-old Machias woman, died in the crash. The operator, a 49-year-old man from Machias, is in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. No names have been released. Troopers are looking into what caused the crash.
A Buffalo-area man is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the truck hauling a camper-trailer he was riding in went out of control... struck a dirt embankment... and, rolled over in the town of Stockton. Sheriff's officers say the camper-trailer... being hauled by Jason Elliott of Hamburg... began swaying on the Hartfield-Stockton Road about 2 PM Sunday as the truck went down a hill. Deputies say the vehicle then struck the earth embankment.. and overturned. The passenger... Tricia Andrezejewski... was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment. No charges have been filed.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's part of an effort to reform the National Security Agency... and, other spy organizations. Corning Republican Tom Reed says the most critical reform is protecting American's Civil Liberties. Reed says he's not calling for ending the NSA... but, demanding more transparency in the FISA Courts that determine who needs to be watched as potential enemies of the state... and, so people that are not any kind of security risk have a way to challenge such determinations. He admits it's a balancing act. Reed says this is the ideal time to be working on such reforms because the Intelligence Reauthorization Bill is up for renewal this Fall. He's been working with Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman on the measure... but, adds there's been some bi-partisan support for reforming the way phone records are handled. Reed adds that he's also heard a lot of concern back in his 23rd District -- especially in the wake of the IRS scandal. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call Monday with Southern Tier Media.
President Obama will spend the latter part of next week riding a bus through two Northeastern states -- including New York -- to talk about the economy and building the middle class. The White House says the president will make stops next Thursday and Friday in Western New York and Pennsylvania. One stop will reportedly be in Buffalo. Last month... Obama began a series of speeches around the country on his ideas for how to build the middle class and boost the economy.
Turkey has been considered a "role model" for the Middle East for adopting democratization over the past 11 years... and, there has been economic growth. However... Monday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution disputes that conclusion... and, has the evidence to back it up. In fact... Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute... Michael Rubin... says Turkey is a model "for the wrong thing." He says even Turkey's own records show murder rate for women has gone up 14-hundred percent between 2002 and 2009. Rubin adds the military should not have a role in Democratization... yet they have that in Turkey because there are no 'checks and balances....' Rubin adds that Aartalan has been jailing jounalists in record numbers. In fact... he says Turkey has become the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. Rubins says that flies in the face of people who say that Turkey is a "western leaning member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.." or NATO. He spoke with our Jim Roselle from Chautauqua to kick off "Turkey - Model of the Middle East" week.
(**Sorry late, Tech. issues)One killed, one in critical condition after Cattaraugus County motorcycle accident...
One person has been killed... while another has been seriously injured after their motorcycle crashed in Cattaraugus County town of Machias. State Police in Amity say both the operators... and, his passenger were thrown from the bike while riding on McKinstry Road late Sunday night. Troopers say the passenger, a 43-year-old Machias woman, died in the crash. The operator, a 49-year-old man from Machias, is in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. No names have been released. Troopers are looking into what caused the crash.
One Buffalo-area person hurt when truck hauling camper-trailer crashes...
A Buffalo-area woman is being treated for some serious... but, non-life-threatening injuries after the truck she was riding in... and, hauling a camper-trailer... went out of control... and crashed in the town of Stockton. Sheriff's deptuies say the camper-trailer attached to the truck -- driven by a Jason Ellicott of Hamburg -- began swaying on the Hartfield-Stockton Road about 2 p.m. Sunday as the truck went down a hill. Officers say the vehicle then struck the earth embankment.. and overturned. The passenger... Tricia Andrezejewski... was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment. No charges have been filed.
Car-pedestrian accident sends Buffalo-area man to ECMC...
A Buffalo-area man was hurt when he was struck by a car while jogging in the town of Chautauqua late last Saturday morning. Sheriff's officers say 18 year-old Richard DuBois of Bemus Point was trying to avoid colliding with a several vehicles on Route 430 about 10:45 a.m. when he struck 53 year-old Ramiro Mireles of Orchard Park with the passenger side of his car. Deputies say the vehicles in front of DuBois had stopped to make left turns onto old Route 17... and, DuBois crested a hill... and, apparently had little time to react. Mireles was taken by ambulance to the DeWittville Fire Hall... then flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment. DuBois was charged with moving from lane unsafely.
Reed working with other federal lawmakers on proposed NSA Reforms...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is part of an effort in the House of Representatives trying to reform the National Security Agency... and, other intelligence gathering organizations. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday... Reed said the most critical reform is protecting American's civil liberties. The Corning Republican says he's not calling for ending the NSA... but, he has three objectives he wants to accomplish. One is to make the agency more transparent, totally accountable, and, protects American's civil liberies. Reed says he especially wants more transparency in the FISA Courts that determine who needs to be watched as potential enemies of the state... and, so people that are not any kind of security risk have a way to challenge such determinations. He admits it's a balancing act. Reed also says this is the ideal time to be working on such reforms because the Intelligence Reauthorization Bill is up for renewal this Fall. He's been working with Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman on the measure... but, adds there's been some bi-partisan support for reforming the way phone records are handled. Reed adds that he's also heard a lot of concern here in the 23rd Congressional District.
Tracy Plaza parapet wall, and leak repair underway...
The $1-million Tracy Plaza renovation project at Jamestown City Hall is proceeding on schedule... and, coming in "on budget." That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who updated city council members on this phase... which includes replacing the parapet wall around the plaza. The wall is completely down... and, on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program... Teresi said construction crews are ready for the next phase of the project to seal-up leaks around the wall... and, on the plaza deck itself. Teresi says those leaks have caused water damage in the city hall parking garage... records area... and, the city police and fire department areas. He says the other part of the project is replacing 24 of the most damaged, and deteriorated windows. Teresi says they found a manufacturer through local broker -- D & S Glass -- who could replace the circa-1970 windows for about $200,000. As for the parapet wall... Teresi says that part of the project will also involve replacing the old one with a shorter one that includes a railing that "opens up" the plaza.
Rubin says Turkey is a "role model" for the Middle East, but, the wrong kind....
Turkey has been considered a "role model" for the Middle East for adopting democratization over the past 11 years... and, there has been economic growth. However... today's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution disputes that conclusion... and, has the evidence to back it up. In fact... Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute... Michael Rubin... says Turkey is a model "for the wrong thing." He says even Turkey's own records show murder rate for women has gone up 1,400 percent between 2002 and 2009. Rubin says it seems to be because there's growing religious conservatism... there's a sense that some parts of society can act on their beliefs, and not fear police retaliation. Rubin adds the military should not have a role in moving towards Democratization... yet they have in Turkey because there are no 'checks and balances.' He says it's allowed Prime Minister Regitieb Aartlan to imprison jounalists. Rubin says it's become the biggest jailer in the world for journalists. He says that flies in the face of people who say that Turkey is a "western leaning member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.." or NATO. He spoke with our Jim Roselle from Chautauqua to kick off "Turkey - Model of the Middle East" week.
Co. Legislature Minority Leader says he has "open mind" on new proposal to buy County Home...
The minority leader on the Chautauqua County Legislature says he'll keep an "open mind" in evaluating the latest proposal to buy the County Home in Dunkirk. However... Jamestown Democrat Robert Whitney says he's going to have a "lot of questions" for regional nursing home operator Richard Platschek at a special meeting in two weeks. Whitney he likes the fact Platschek is majority owner of three homes in the Buffalo-area... but, adds he's concerned about how he's going to handle employees of the County Home. He says he wants to know how people are going to be hired -- or hired back, along with wages, and benefits -- like health care. Whitney is considered by some to be a possible swing vote. He voted against selling the home to Altitude Health Services of Illinois... but, later voted to sell the home -- if the right buyer came along. He says it's still too early to say because he just received a copy of the proposal. Whitney also took a swipe at Majority Republicans... because they already knew who the buyer was two weeks ago. All lawmakers will get the chance to find out more about Platschek's proposal at a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 21 in Mayville.
Croscut announces run for ninth-term on County Legislature...
Chautauqua County Legislator Fred Croscut has announced he's running for re-election... representing the new District 18. The Sherman Republican adds that he's also seeking the GOP nomination in the September 10th primary. Under reapportionment... the new district includes the town of Sherman and most of the towns of Chautauqua and Mina. It also includes the villages of Sherman and Mayville. Croscut has served on the Legislature for 16 years... and, as a county lawmaker... he has held numerous positions including Legislature Chairman... and, Minority Leader. He is also a former member of the Public Safety Committee... currently chairs the Planning and Economic Development Committee. He's also a member of the county's Industrial Development Agency board... and the Farmland Protection Board... among others. Croscut says he was also the first legislator to meet with Public Facilities Director George Spanos... and, County Executive Greg Edwards on how to keep the Sherman DPF Shop open. He also met with employees of the shop... and, took part in a town meeting which led to the closing being reconsidered... and, a study being done on all services provided by the village, town, and county. The life-long resident of Sherman also continued operating his family's dairy operation for 40 years.
U.S. Diplomat outlines need to have an objective... but, also means to carry out regime change...
Diplomacy in the 21st Century requires a "marrying" of objective and means. That from Dennis Ross... Friday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution. Ross... who is with the Washington Institute... is both a diplomat and author... who most recently was a Special Advisor on the Persian Gulf to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ross tells our Jim Roselle that President Obama made a mistake by saying he wanted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power after crack-downs on protestors... but, the means to do it didn't exist. Ross says when Obama said Assad "had to go..." he pointed out an objective. However... if you don't have the means to make it happen -- either alone or with help -- you "highlight our ineffectiveness." Ross adds that... when you do that... you're less likely to get others -- either in the country or out -- to join you. Plus the military remained loyal to Assad. He says it was different in Egypt... even though Hosne Mubarak had been part of the military... and, thought he still had the military's support. Ross spoke to conclude "Diplomacy" week at Chautauqua.
The Jamestown School District saw a drop in last Spring's 3rd through 8th-grade test results close to the 30-percent drop predicted by state Education Commissioner John King education officials. However... new School Superindent Tim Mains admits they were hoping for better proficiency numbers in the wake of new, tougher Common Core Learning standards. During a press conference at the school Administration Offices Thursday afternoon... Mains said people -- especially parents -- should not evaluate where students are by these numbers.
Mains adds it will certainly take more than a year to get to the "top of that mountain..." but, he says the district is implementing a plan to teach students the new curriculm so they understand it. He says that's more important than doing more testing. Director of Schools Tina Sandstrom says there's been a "steep learning" curve... but, teachers will have the new instructional material well before the start of classes on September 4th. In general... Mains says between 20 and 30-percent of their students showed proficiency in both English and Math. Prior to the testing... the numbers were between 50 and 60-percent.
The chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature has gotten a preliminary look at Richard Platschek's proposal to buy the county home... and, likes what he sees. Ashville Republican Jay Gould says the 16.5-million dollar offer not only pays the county what it would have received from the failed Altitude Health Services proposal... it addresses legislator's concerns. There were 14 stipulations lawmakers put into the county's request for proposals... which Gould says this plan addresses. He adds it also goes a couple of steps further on county home employee safeguards. Gould later said he's now called for that special meeting on August 21st... beginning at 6:30 PM. A couple of legislative committees... including Human Services... meet earlier in the day. Part of the reason some lawmakers opposed Altitude Health Services because they were concerned about selling to an out-of-state entity with no local connections. Gould feels this buyer knows and understands nursing home care in Western New York... and, he likes that. Personally... he still feels the home needs to be sold because it's losing several thousand dollars daily.
Two Jamestown brothers have been arrested -- and one remains jailed -- for allegedly assaulting another city man... and, stealing his backpack. Jamestown police were called to an apartment house at 207 Spring Street just after 10 PM Tuesday on the report of an assault. Officers say they found the 32 year-old victim had been punched by the two men... identified as 50 year-old Robert Majak, Junior, and 48 year-old Michael Majak... and, pushed down a stairwell. Police say the Majak's also allegedly stole his backpack. The victim had to be treated for his injuries. Both suspects were arrested for second-degree robbery and third-degree assault. Michael Majak is jailed without bail... while his brother was released after posting one-thousand dollars bail.
State Senator Cathy Young has been tapped for a key political assignment. The Olean Republican has been appointed to chair the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. Young says she is very honored to take over the duties from State Senator Thomas Libous. Libous... who's from the Binghampton-area... is stepping down to fight a recent diagnosis of Cancer. Young spoke about her new duties with the party earlier this week in Dunkirk. Young... who has been a member of the Senate since 2005... says she wants to grow the Senate Republican Conference. The State Senate is the only branch in State government that is under GOP control... but, it's very tenuous. All 63 State Senate seats will be up for election in 2014.
A New York Air National Guard unit is set to stage a disaster drill that will include simulated medical evacuation flights. The 109th Airlift Wing at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia will take part in the exercise through TODAY. It will also involve the Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Civil Air Patrol, and a local volunteer fire department.
The final two days are on tap for the 83rd annual Warren County Fair in Pittsfield, Pennsylvania... and, there's still plenty on tap. Fair Board member Judy Peterson says the pay-one-price ticket remains 9-dollars... and, that's good for all events -- except for tonight's Modified Tractor Pull in the Motor Sports Arena. It's been a good week on the midway... with Bates Brothers Amusements back providing the rides for this year's fair. Bates Brothers recently wrapped up it's first year as the ride vendor for the Chautauqua County Fair. Peterson says the Ohio outfit has always done a good job. Peterson says they've had lots of 4-H activities at the fair during the week... and, there's a Livestock auction taking place tonight at 7 PM. The final day Saturday includes Stock Car Football... and, concludes with fireworks. For more information... call (814) 563-9386... or go on-line to Warrencountyfair-dot-NET.
A Long Island nursing home owner and operator -- who is majority owner of three homes in the Buffalo-area -- has made a purchase offer on the Chautauqua County Home. That from County Executive Greg Edwards... who calls it "great news" that Richard Platschek is offering 16.5-million dollars for the home... which is the same amount as was offered by an Illinois-based company late last year. During a press conference in Mayville yesterday afternoon... Edwards adds the fact that Platshek had a major hand in operating three nursing homes in Western New York is a plus. In fact... Edwards says Platschek bought the three homes... one in Buffalo... another in Tonawanda and the third in Williamsville... were all struggling financially. He says all three have turned the corner... and, have higher ratings than the county home. Edwards says he found Platschek with the help of the national real estate group he hired... Marcus and Millichap. He says he's "thrilled" with the offer... and, adds it's telling that Platschek's company involved in the purchase is called "108-36 Temple Realty, LLC." 108-36 Temple Road is the county home's address.
County Executive Edwards emphasized that Platsheck's offer is only good until the end of September. With that... he says it's important for the County Legislature to begin reviewing the proposal... and, make a decision as soon as possible. He says he's sent copies of the proposal to ALL county lawmakers... and, has talked with Chairman Jay Gould about presenting the offer to committees later this month. Edwards says he only spoke with Gould within the past day... and, that it was mainly about the logistics of getting the proposal on the agenda for the necessary committees. He says they also discussed having a special meeting with the full legislature on the day those committees meet.
New York state education officials warned early on not to expect great results on the first English and math tests given statewide to elementary students under tougher new learning standards... and they're right. The Education Department late Wednesday morning said test results show that 31-percent of students in third through eighth-grades scored proficient in English... with the same percentage meeting or exceeding the standard in math. That compares to last year's results of 55 percent in English and about two out of every three students meeting or exceeding the math standard. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner John King say the scores should be seen as a new baseline, rather than a decrease in student performance.
The Jamestown School District's new superintendent has been on the job since August 1st... but, was officially sworn-in at Tuesday night's school board meeting. Tim Mains was selected to replace the retiring Deke Kathman in early June... and, has been busy meeting people who work in the district... and, in the community during the transition period. The first day of school is September 4th... and, Mains says he's now working to "set the tone and direction" for how they launch the new school year. Kathman retired July 31st after five years as Jamestown superintendent. Mains began his 42 year career in education as a social studies teacher in 1971 in the Greece school district in the Rochester area. Mains was also a K-through-12th grade Social Studies director... and, principal of a larger school in the Rochester district. Outside of education... he was also a member of the Rochester City Council for about two decades... and, ran for mayor at one time.
The New York state comptroller says a special education provider overbilled school districts by more than 600-thousand dollars. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says more than 500-thousand dollars of the unwarranted charges were for employee bonuses. DiNapoli recommended that the state Education Department disallow the charges, which were found during an audit of three years of billing totaling 27.3-million dollars.
Firefighters from several departments from both sides of the state line battled a blaze that destroyed a barn... and, extensively damaged a house in the town of Ripley. Ripley fire crews were called to the scene at 10-244 Route 20 about 5:30 AM Wednesday. Ripley was assisted at the scene by Sherman, Westfield and both Fuller and Cresent Hose companies from North East, Pennsylvania. Ripley Fire Chief Mark Smith helped direct the attack. Smith says there were no injuries. He adds the 3 to 4 occupants of the house were able to make it out safely. The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team has been called to the scene to determine a cause.
A retired member of the Jamestown Police Department who has been involved with many community organizations is this year's recipient of the Joseph H. Mason Community Service Award. The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County presented this year's award during last night's 20th annual "Salute to Labor" event at the Jamestown Elk's Lodge. United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang says they were pleased to present this year's plaque to Robert Servis... for his work in organizing the region Patriot Guard Riders. In addition to the Jamestown Police Department Kendall Club-PBA... Servis is also a member of the local Musician's Union. In fact... in accepting the award... he talked about music being one of his early loves. The past few years, though, Servis has become deeply involved with the Patriot Guard... which he says was initially started to protect soldier's families from protestors. But... he says they now ride to honor our men and women in uniform. In addition to supporting families of fallen soldiers... Servis says they also take part in soldier send offs... and, welcome homes. He's the Ride Captain for Region 1 of the Patriot Guard. For more information on the Patriot Guard... go on-line to PGRNY-dot-ORG... and, click on the "contract" tab.
Fire destroys barn, extensively damages house in Ripley...
The fire was out by mid-morning... but, fire crews remained at the scene of a barn and house fire on Route 20 in Ripley. Sheriff's Department dispatchers report that the call came in just before 5:30 this morning. Initially... the call was for a barn fire... then a nearby house also caught fire. Ripley, South Ripley, Sherman, Westfield and North East, PA firefighters were called out. No injuries have been reported. Route 20 is closed between State Street, and Shortman Road in the Town of Ripley due to the fire. The barn was reportedly destroyed... while the house was extensively damaged. Fire investigators were called to the scene about mid-morning.
No one hurt in blaze at Amish home near Sugar Grove, PA...
More than a dozen fire companies from Pennsylvania and New York helped put out a major blaze at an Amish home in Sugar Grove Towship last night. The Jamestown Post-Journal reports Sugar Grove fire crews were called to the scene at 946 Wilson Road about 8 p.m. Trucks could be seen pumping water into holding tanks at the scene because there was no nearby natural water source. The home was on the border between Sugar Grove and Farmington townships. Amish families assisted firefighters at the scene, moving ladders and hoses, and bringing bottles of drinking water to the scene. Around 9:15 p.m., a ladder truck from Lakewood reached the scene and began extinguishing the flames shooting from the roof. Joining Sugar Grove at the scene were Lander, Youngsville, Starbrick, Pleasant, North Warren, Russell and Wrightsville firefighters. Several other crews from New York at the scene or on stand-by were including Busti, Frewsburg, Kiantone, Lakewood, Ashville, Panama, and Celoron. No injuries were reported.
Trial date set for one of four suspects in Carroll double-homicide case...
A trial date has been set for one of the four Central New York men accused in the brutal deaths of a town of Carroll couple last April. District Attorney David Foley's office Wednesday confirms the trial for 34 year-old Davide Coggins will begin next Mar. 11. No dates have yet been set for 21 year-old Joshua McCormick... and 18 year-olds Ricky Knickerbocker and Steven Todd. The date was set during a pre-trial conference Monday in Chautauqua County Court. All four suspects are from the Elmira-area... face murder charges in the deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner last April 17. Coggins and McCormick are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder... while Knickerbocker and Todd face two counts each of second-degree murder. Coggins and McCormick face first-degree charges because they are over the age of 18. Public Defender Ned Barone is representing Coggins... who is accused of leading the attacks. The other three have been assigned attorneys. The four allegedly stabbed the couple... and, set fire to their home to try and cover-up the crime. Foley is out of town... and, was not available for comment.
New offer for Chautauqua County Home to be announced today...
There is a new purchase offer for the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk. County Executive Greg Edwards says he'll be joined by County Attorney Stephen Abdella for the announcement at 3 p.m. in his office. It's the first solid offer since the county legislature rejected selling it twice... early this year... to an Illinois-based nursing home operator. The legislature voted 16-to-9... then 15-to-9 to sell the Dunkirk home... but, a "super-majority" of 17 votes were needed. Altitude Health Services made the offer of $16.5-million to buy the Dunkirk facility. Edwards has been working with Chicago-based real estate firm Marcus and Millichap to find a new buyer. The home has been running in the "red" for the past few years.
The Jamestown School Board is looking to appoint a new member to replace long-time member Tim Thomas... who resigned because he moved out of the district late last month. That from Board President Joe DiMaio... after the panel discussed the vacancy at last night's meeting. DiMaio says they looked at three options: appointing someone... leaving the seat vacant until next May's election... or hold a special election. Given the cost of a special election... he says the board immediately dismissed the option. DiMaio adds that... because board member Tom Pope is sometimes on the road... reaching a quorum may be a problem. DiMaio says anyone interested in being appointed to the board should contact District Secretary Sue Caronia at the district offices at 197 Martin Road. He says the board wants people to apply with a letter... and, resume. DiMaio says they're also looking for someone who's interested in running for Thomas' seat when it comes up for a vote in May. He says they want all letters of interest in by September 1st... and, plans are to appoint someone by the end of September. Thomas moved out of the district to accept a new position with a Buffalo-area firm.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says New Yorkers should not be alarmed if there's a dramatic drop in this year's standardized test scores in math and English. Duncan says the tests that New York students took last spring will establish ``a new baseline measurement of student learning.'' Duncan joined state Education Commissioner John King... and, New York City school officials Tuesday for a conference call about test results that will be released today. The tests that students in grades 3 through 8 took last spring were harder than in past years.
More than a dozen fire companies from Pennsylvania and New York helped put out a fire that started shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday evening. The Jamestown Post Journal Reports that Flames could still be seen shooting from the roof of the home at 946 Wilson Road more than an hour after the original call. Trucks could be seen pumping water into holding tanks at the scene without a natural water source very close to the property, which rested on the border between Sugar Grove and Farmington townships. Amish families assisted firefighters at the scene, moving ladders and hoses, and bringing bottles of drinking water to the scene. Around 9:15 p.m. a ladder truck from Lakewood reached the scene and began extinguishing the flames shooting from the roof.
New York's senior U-S Senator calls it a win-win-win propsition. New York Democrat Chuck Schumer held a press conference at the Dunkirk City Pier yesterday afternoon to announce his support for the project to "Repower" the NRG electric plant. Schumer called repowering is the most long-term, cost-effective solution for the city of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County. He question's National Grid's proposal to upgrade the transmission system... and, is concerned about importing energy from aging coal plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Schumer says National Grid has a "New York responsibility..." and, they should be standing behind this proposal instead of opposing it. He says he sent a letter to the state's Public Service Commission "strongly" supporting the NRG project... and, he intends to keep up the pressure.
Elected officials from the local, county and state level were on hand for Senator Schumer's appearance in Dunkirk. State Senator Cathy Young says his involvement is crucial... and, "truly does make a difference." State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... County Executive Greg Edwards... and, Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce were among the officials who appeared with Schumer. Labor was also represented, with many holding signs supporting the project.
An Ashville man faces a number of charges for allegedly racing the driver of a second vehicle on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood late Monday night. Lakewood-Busti Police say a patrolman initially spotted 27 year-old Timothy Conrelius just before 10 PM racing his car against another one eastbound from Fairdale Avenue to Southwestern Drive. At that point... officers say Conrelius and the other driver turned around... and, started racing towards Mall Boulevard. However... they had to stop because of traffic turning in front of them. Conrelius was stopped... and, charged with several counts... including unlawful speed contest... reckless driving... speeding... and, unsafe start. Officers say they spotted two other vehicles around Midnight racing at about 55 miles per hour on Fairmount Avenue. It's not known if either was involved in the earlier incident... but, both were stopped... and, ticketed for speeding.
The head of Chautauqua's Department of Religion was honored Tuesday night at the institution's annual 'Old First Night' birthday party. Joan Brown Campbell will leave that post at the end of this year. Our Dennis Webster watched the celebration. Campbell spoke briefly, and recalled the moment she made her retirement announcement to Chautauqua's President Tom Becker. Campbell, who turns 82 later this year, looks forward to visiting Chautauqua next year, and in her words... 'get to play a little... and not work so hard.' She will be replaced as Director of Religion by Robert Franklin, the former head of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
One person arrested in connection with alleged Lakewood street racing incident...
An Ashville man faces a number of charges for allegedly racing the driver of a second vehicle on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood late last night. Lakewood-Busti Police say a patrolman initially spotted 27 year-old Timothy Conrelius just before 10 p.m. racing his car against another one eastbound from Fairdale Ave. to Southwestern Drive. At that point... officers say Conrelius and the other driver turned around... and, started racing towards Mall Boulevard. However... they had to stop because of traffic turning in front of them. Conrelius was stopped... and, charged with several counts... including unlawful speed contest... reckless driving... speeding... and, unsafe start. Officers say they spotted two other vehicles around Midnight racing at about 55 mph on Fairmount Avenue. It's not known if either was involved in the earlier incident... but, both were stopped... and, ticketed for speeding.
Dunkirk police investigating Sunday night stabbing incident...
Dunkirk police are investigating a stabbing that occurred late Sunday night... and, they hope to solve the case soon. Police Chief David Ortolano says a 22-year-old woman suffered multiple stab wounds in the area of East 5th and Leopard Streets last Sunday night. Ortolano says investigators are looking into the incident... which occured about 10 pm. He says if you have any information... call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266. Ortolano says the woman drove herself to the police station to report the stabbing. She was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Two arts organizations in Jamestown that have worked closely together the past several decades will soon be merged into one. The Arts Council for Chautauqua County and the Reg Lenna Civic Center boards have announced they have both approved the merger... and, that it should be finalized by late Summer. Arts Council Board member... and, Marketing Committee Chairwoman Vanessa Weinert says both panels began discussions... and, found they have a similar mission... and, "very similar" vision for the Jamestown area. With the foundation's support... Weinert says they commissioned the New York Council of Non-Profits to begin looking at whether a merger was feasible first. She says it was found to be... and, they began planning what the new organization should look like. Weinert says they already have merged the boards for the new Reg Lenna Center for the Arts... that will hopefully be able to get more programming in place... and, hire a new executive director for the combined organization. Neither has had one for five years... and, she says the new board has already begun reviewing possible candidates for the new position.
4 Contestants remain in SE-93's Chautauqua Lake Voices competition. Teal Weatherly, Nicole Tenpas, Bill Brunacini and Micheal Nugent remain following Monday's Madonna and Bon Jovi night. For more information visit Chautauqua Lake Voices dot com.
Sales tax revenues for the city of Jamestown for the first half of this year are right about where they were one year ago at this time. That's both good and bad news for the city because... last year Jamestown's third and fourth-quarters exceeded expectations... and, received much more revenue than was expected. City Comptroller Joe Bellitto says the city just received it's payment for the second-quarter of this year... and, learned the figure is down slightly from last year. Still... Bellitto says the city is at 48-percent of revenues... which is half-a-percent over last year's half-year total. He says that's not far off projections. However... to make the year-end projection of 5-million-775-thousand dollars... Bellitto says they will have to have big third and fourth-quarters again this year. He says the city will have to get "99-percent" what they took in last year to make year-end projections. Bellitto reported the second-quarter figures at last night's City Council Work Session... and, earlier at the Finance Committee meeting. Committee Chairman Tony Dolce called the news "mixed..." because lawmakers were hoping for a little stronger second quarter.
A Forestville woman died Sunday from injuries suffered when her car crashed into a tree in northwestern Cattaraugus County. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 37 year-old Tara Evert of 10-747 Hanover Road was southbound on Countyline Road in the town of Perrysburg about 2 PM when her Hummer went off the side of the road. Deputies say the vehicle went into a small ravine... then struck the tree. Officers say Evert was taken to Lakeshore Hospital... where she later died. Sheriff's officers say the accident remains under investigation.
Binghampton-area state Senator Thomas Libous... who orchestrated the Republicans return to power through tough campaigns... is stepping down as campaign chairman as he fights cancer. He'll now serve as an adviser to new Senate Republican Campaign Chairwoman Cathy Young of Olean in next year's legislative elections.
Linking manufacturers with higher education is the idea behind a bill... co-sponsored by local Congressman Tom Reed... that he says will provide the needed workforce to stimulate the nation's manufacturing base. The Corning Republican is sponsoring the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 with Massachusetts Democrat Joe Kennedy. Reed says his goal with the bill is to help the United States produce and export more products abroad. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier media Monday... he said the bill will create a network of regional institutes across the country. Reed says a roundtable discussion he hosted earlier this year at Jamestown Community College's Manufacturing and Technology Institute directly influenced creation of the bill. He serves as co-chairman of the House Manufacturing Committee... and, adds he spoke with Kennedy about the concept. Reed says Kennedy... who is on the House Science Committee... has also been looking at the issue. A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give companies and their employees tax-free lives for 10 years if they come to New York is now projected to cut more than 300-million dollars from the state's tax revenue over three years. Although Cuomo said his plan to boost the economy wouldn't cost New Yorkers, a new budget projection released Friday night reflects a loss of $323-million in anticipated revenue over three years. That reflects the loss of revenue from tax-paying jobs the state budget office expected would have come to New York, but will instead be covered by the tax-free program. The Cuomo administration insists there is no cost to New Yorkers and the bold jobs program will spur growth in communities.
A former Mid-Hudson Valley woman who... as a teenager... was at the center of a racial controversy has started making payments to a man who won a defamation judgment against her. The New York Post reports Tawana Brawley has paid just over 3-thousand-700 dollars to Steven Pagones. When Brawley was 15, she said she had been raped by a group of white men. Brawley is black. The allegations set off a racial firestorm but a grand jury ultimately decided they were false. Pagones, a county prosecutor at the time, later won a claim against her and her advisers after he was named as one of the attackers. She was initially ordered to pay 190-thousand dollars... but, now owes more than 400-thousand with interest. Brawley, 40, now lives in Virginia and works as a nurse.
North County woman killed when her vehicle hits tree in Cattaraugus County...
A Forestville woman died Sunday afternoon from injuries suffered when her car crashed into a tree in northwestern Cattaraugus County. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 37 year-old Tara Evert of 10-747 Hanover Road was southbound on Countyline Road in the town of Perrysburg about 2 p.m. when her Hummer went off the side of the road. Deputies say the vehicle went into a small ravine... then struck the tree. Officers say Evert was taken to Lakeshore Hospital... where she later died. Sheriff's officers say the accident remains under investigation.
Authorities confirm Jamestown race driver died after being striken with heart attack during E-Mod Feature race at Stateline Speedway...
For the first time in it's storied history... there's been a driver fatality at Stateline Speedway. Lakewood-Busti Police report that 50 year-old John Kelsey of Jamestown apparently suffered from a pre-existing medical condition. Sources have told us Kelsey apparently suffered a heart attack while racing in the E-Mod Feature last Saturday night at the Busti facility. Sources say the race car slowed... and, struck the wall between turns three and four after the driver was striken. However... police say crashing into the wall did not cause Kelsey's death. He was pulled from the car, and, put on a back-board, and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Up until this point... in the 57-year history of Stateline Speedway... there had not been a fatality among drivers racing on the track.
Reed introduces Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act with Kennedy...
Linking manufacturers with higher education is the idea behind a bill co-sponsored by local Congressman Tom Reed he says will provide the needed workforce to stimulate the nation's manufacturing sector. The Corning Republican is sponsoring the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 with Massachusetts Democrat Joe Kennedy. Reed says his goal with the bill is to help the United States produce and export more products abroad. During his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media Monday... he said the bill will create a network of regional institutes across the country that will provide the education "arena" so workers can be trained in the appropriate skills. Reed says a roundtable discussion he hosted earlier this year at Jamestown Community College's Manufacturing and Technology Institute directly influenced creation of the bill. He serves as co-chairman of the House Manufacturing Committee... and, adds he spoke with Kennedy about the concept. Reed says Kennedy... who is on the House Science Committee... has also been looking at the issue. It might seem strange for Reed and Joe Kennedy to team up for the legislation... but, Reed says he's become known in Congress as someone who will sit and talk with members on the other side of the political aisle to get issues addressed. A companion Senate measure has been introduced by Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri... and, Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Mains hits the ground running as JPS Superintendent...
It's been a busy first two days for new Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains... meeting with as many people from inside and outside the district as possible. Mains says the idea is to get further introduced to the new system... and, all the resources available locally. He spent his first-day last Thursday meeting with the district's various stakeholders. Mains... who was an administrator for the Rochester City School District until being hired at Jamestown... says he's still getting to know people -- and, the district -- better. He says he's meeting with people in the district, and then those in the wider community to learn about all the resources available in Jamestown to further education. Initially... Mains says he's been very impressed by the commitment people in the district have to it... and, that people outside view the schools as a "tremendous asset" to the community. Mains also began implementing his "Entry Plan" for the district... which he says is mainly to benefit him as an outsider. However... he says it will also help the school board and community because it's the first time in many years that someone from "outside" the district has been superintendent. Mains replaces the now-retired Deke Kathman.
There's been a driver fatality during a race for the first time in the 57-year history of Stateline Speedway in Busti. Lakewood Busti Police report that 50 year old John M Kelsey of Jamestown apparently suffered from a pre-existing medical condition while racing in the E-Mod Feature last Saturday night at the Busti racing facility. One source says the race car slowed going into turn-three... and, struck the wall between the third and fourth turns after the driver was striken. However... sources say the race car did not hit the wall hard... and, did not cause the death. Up until this point... while there have been serious crashes... there had not been a fatality among drivers actually racing on the track. We did place a call to Stateline Owner Jennifer Seamens last night for further detail... but, were unable to reach her.
The 69th Gerry Rodeo was "a very successfull" one. Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley says it was highlighted by a near capacity crowd for the fifth and final performance last Saturday night. Cooley says the four-day event drew a record number of contestants from 26 states. He says the weather was "near perfect... " with about three-minutes of rain one night. Cooley says that lended to solid attendance -- about 14-hundred -- per show for the four days. He says it was pretty good... considering all the activities going on over the weekend. Cooley adds Rodeo officials were also pleased to have a record, 172 entrants. Those included Saddle Bronc Winner Jacobs Crawley from Stephenville, Texas... who is ranked number-four in the world. Cooley says Crawley took home the most purse money... 2-thousand-986 dollars of the record 48-thousand dollar purse. Justin Thigpen of Waycross, Georgia won Best All-Around Cowboy at the event. Cooley adds they sold 34-hundred of the Gerry Fire Department's famous beef barbecues during the four-days of the Rodeo. The 70th Annual Gerry Rodeo will be held next July 30th through August 2nd.
The directors of county and city veteran service agencies in New York will have to get federal accreditation within three years under a new law. The measure signed last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo says those directors, who are appointed by county executives and mayors, will have to take all necessary steps to be accredited as a veterans' service organization representative. That gives them authority from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families pursue benefit claims. The law requires new appointees to get accreditation within 18 months. The state Division of Veterans' Affairs says it can train and accredit them at no cost.
New York is following the federal government's lead in dropping the requirement that automated teller machines have posted signs disclosing their potential fees. The measure was signed last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo... and, takes effect immediately. Sponsors say ATM operators are also required to disclose fees on their computer screens or else on a paper notice once the transaction has been initiated. Congress recently passed legislation to eliminate the ``outdated requirement'' for notices on machines, and they say the New York measure conforms to that.
A Buffalo-area man is accused of stealing a canister being used to collect donations for a cancer patient at a gas station in the town of Irving. Sheriff's officers say they arrested 44 year-old Kevin Henningan of Elma for allegedly grabbing... and, running off with the canister from the Routes 5 and 20 Kwik Fill late this past week. Henningan was found to not be connected with the donation effort. He was charged with petty larceny... and, issued an appearance ticket for Hanover Town Court.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly harassing and shoving an employee of a Bemus Point hotel last weekend. Sheriff's Deputies say they were called to a harassment complaint at the Hotel Lenhart last Saturday afternoon. After interviewing the people involved... officers say they arrested 26 year-old Andrew Hodges. In addition to allegedly harassing the employee... Hodges is also accused of breaking a lamp inside the Lakeside Drive hotel. He's charged with second-degree harassment... and, criminal mischief. Hodges was issued appearance tickets... and, will appear in Ellery Town Court at a later date.
A group opposed to abortion is protesting special treatment for an abortion rights group by New York's Democrat-dominated ethics and lobbying commission. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom is asking for the same protection from having to identify its donors that the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics granted to NARAL Pro-Choice New York.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli... once the target of headline-grabbing criticism from Eliot Spitzer... says current Spitzer foe Scott Stringer has the temperament, vision and qualifications to be New York City's comptroller. DiNapoli tells The Associated Press he'll leave it to voters to decide if Spitzer is qualified for the job. DiNapoli continues to endorse Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, in the Democratic primary. In 2007... then-Governor Spitzer called him ``thoroughly and totally unqualified'' for the job when the Legislature appointed DiNapoli to succeed disgraced Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
(**Bulletin)E-mod racer dies of apparent heart attack during feature race at Stateline Speedway...
For the first time in it's storied history... there's been a driver fatality at Stateline Speedway. Multiple sources have told us the racer apparently suffered a heart attack while racing in the E-Mod Feature last Saturday night at the Busti racing facility. One source says the race car slowed... and, struck the wall between turns three and four after the driver was striken. However... hitting the wall reportedly did not cause the man to die. He was pulled from the car, and, put on a back-board, and taken by ambulance to the hospital. We are withholding the racer's name -- at this time -- because he has not been identified by authorities. Up until this point... in the 57-year history of Stateline Speedway... there had not been a fatality among drivers actually racing on the track. We did place a call to Stateline Owner Jennifer Seamens for further detail... but, were unable to reach her.
Westside residents in Jamestown urged to provide any information on what they may have heard... and, seen when pizzeria shop was robbed Wednesday night...
Residents on Jamestown's westside who might have been in the area of last Wednesday night's robbery are being urged to contact city police if they think they might have saw or heard something. That from Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they are still looking for the suspect in the armed hold-up of the Papa John's Pizza location in the West Third Street Plaza. The robbery occured about 10:15 p.m. when a man... who's described as being about 6' tall and 180-pounds... entered the store... displayed a gun... and, ran off with an undisclosed amout of cash. Samuelson says they're not sure if he ran off himself... or to a waiting car. He says the person was seen walking west from the store. Samuelson says the man was wearing a black ski mask to cover his face. He also was wearing a blue Hoodie that had white lettering on it... and, a pair of blue jeans. Samuelson says if you have any information that may be of help to the investigation to call City Police at 483-7537... or their anonymous tips line 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Two people hurt in two-car crash in Lakewood Thursday...
Two people were hurt in a two-car, rear-end collision on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood Thursday afternoon. Lakewood-Busti Police say the driver of the front vehicle, 62 year-old Jill Messinger of Jamestown, was westbound near the intersection with Chautauqua Ave. when the accident occured just after 2 p.m. Sergeant Invest. Paul Gustafson says Messinger's Sports Utility Vehicle was struck from behind by a car, driven by 18 year-old Michael Eddy of Randolph. Gustafson says he's been charged with following to closely. Eddy suffered a forehead injury... and, had some chest pain... and, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. Messinger was taken to WCA for treatment of minor injuries... including arm pain.
Nowinski's Pierogies bought out, being moved to Westfield...
A well-known regional maker of Pierogies has been bought out by two former workers... and, is moving into a business location in Westfield. The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency late Thursday announced that a "collaborative effort" is allowing Rae Foods to start-up operations at 75 Bourne Street. Nowinski Pierogi's was recently bought out by Rachelle McFeely and Beverly Braley... who have also closed on the purchase of the 15,000 square foot facility. McFeely says they've "very excited about our new facility in Westfield." She says the opportunity to buy the business came when Nowinski's owners said they were ready to retire. McFeely and Braley were assisted by the IDA... which agreed to a 10 year Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement... and, a $640,000 loan to assist in the acquisition of the property... and, assets. Once the new Nowinski's Pierogies is fully operational... the owners project 13 new jobs will be created in the first year of business, and 50 within the next five years.
Horrigan and Barmore hold onto Conservative Party lines for November elections, barring court appeal...
Barring an appeal... it looks like two Republican candidates running for county-wide office this Fall will also have the Conservative Party endorsement as well. Both County Executive candidate Vince Horrigan... and, County Clerk candidate Larry Barmore... had received endorsements from the county's Conservative Party. But... those endorsements were challenged. North County Attorney Mike Sullivan... who represented both Horrigan and Barmore... says Conservative Party Chairwoman Anna Wilcox testified at this week's court appearance. Sullivan says a "dissatisfied" member of the county's Conservative Party brought the suit... and, it was ruled on by State Supreme Court Judge John Dillon. Dillon ruled that the Conservatives executive committee had followed the party's rules.
Reed votes for new Student Loan program compromise bill...
Congress has approved a bi-partisan bill to lower the cost of getting a student loan... and, the county's representative in the House is urging President Obama to sign it as soon as possible. Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the majority that voted Wednesday night for the Bi-Partisan Student Loan Certainty Act... which he says is nearly identical to the House version that was passed in May. Reed says the best part of the bill is it "protects" college students on a "long-term basis" because it takes the student loan issue out of "the political arena." Congress has passed the bill that initially sets the interest rate of new Stafford loans at 3.9-percent for undergraduates... and, 5.4-percent for grad students. The rates are locked in for a year, but then change with the financial market. There has been some criticism of that part of the agreement... but, Reed says there are "back-stops" to prevent steep increases.
Domestic Violence up in NYS...
Crime data show an uptick in domestic violence across New York last year, with more than 85,000 victims, while related homicides declined sharply. The Division of Criminal Justice Services reports 54,848 domestic violence victims outside New York City in 2012, up more than 1,700, or 3 percent, from the year before. The New York City Police Department, using data that excludes some lower level crimes, says there were 30,428 domestic violence victims last year, an increase of 15-hundred. State criminal justice officials say Wednesday the increase in police reports about domestic assaults, sex offenses and violations of protection orders may reflect an ongoing push for victims to contact authorities. Domestic homicides dropped to 136 from 171 the year before. Authorities say it's difficult to draw conclusions from one year's data.
Newly renovated Gateway Train Station to play major role in Lucy-Desi festival...
Many of the events taking place the next couple of days during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will be held at the newly-renovated Gateway Train Station on West Second Street in Jamestown. In fact... Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center Director Journey Gunderson says it's figuring "prominantly" in their afternoon activities. Gunderson says the events.. including grape stomping... will begin at 12 Noon. One of the highlights will be the 5 PM "Happy Hour of Comedy." Gunderson says... earlier on Saturday... festival goers will have a chance to take part in creating an interactive Radio Channel with the help of Pandora Internet radio. She says there will also be two auctions on Saturday at the station. Prior to tonight's 8 p.m. Program with headliner Kathleen Madigan at the Reg Lenna... "The G-I's of Comedy" will perform their program "Danger: Armed and Laughing..." begins at 5:30 p.m. It's a group of former military men who have found comedy therapudic for them. For more information... go on-line to LucyComedyFest.com, or call 484-0800.
Jamestown Police are on the look out for an armed robber. Just after 10pm Wednesday night a male in a black ski mask entered the Poppa John's restaraunt on Third Street, allegedly displayed a hand gun and demanded money. The robber did get an unknown sum of money and was last seen running off towards Hall Avenue. The Robber is a male 6 feet tall and 180 pounds and was wearing a Black Ski Mask, A Blue Hoodie with white writing, and blue jeans. Jametown Police are asking anyone with information to call 483-7536 or their anonymous tips line 483-Tips or 483-8477.
The public's help is being sought in finding a second car speeding on Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown late last Monday night when one of the vehicles crashed into a tree. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators have talked with several witnesses to the crash... which occured near Meadow Lane about 10:30 PM. Both male occupants in the red Chevy Cobalt were hurt. Samuelson says they are now looking for information on the second car... a blue Malibu... which was also eastbound on Fairmount. He says police are still looking into whether or not the drivers were racing each other. One of the males in the red car was ejected from the car... and, Samuelson clarified that that person was flown to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of serious injuries. The other person in the car was rushed to WCA Hospital for treatment there. Samuelson says they have two witnesses who in two different vehicles that were passed by the two speeding cars. He adds the second car did not stop when the accident occured. If you have any information on the crash... call JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip-line at 483-8477.
The Sherman man convicted in 1979 in one of the most notorious murder cases in Chautauqua County history has died in prison. We have learned that 66 year-old Robert Earl Sawyer died at the Great Meadow prison this past Sunday... and, it was confirmed by the state Department of Corrections website. Sawyer was found guilty by a County Court Jury of shooting, and killing 19 year-old Jeanne Ann Humm of Stow in February of 1977. The murder occured when he robbed the Hogan's Hut store on Route 394. Humm was a part-time store clerk, who also attended Jamestown Community College at the time. The state's Appellate Court overturned the conviction in 1981 on grounds that Sawyer was not properly advised when he chose to defend himself without a lawyer. However... a state Supreme Court Jury in Buffalo convicted Sawyer a second-time in January of 1984. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Sawyer initially fled the state following the crime... but, was found in Portland, Maine in June of 1977. The Department of Corrections did not release a cause of death for Sawyer.
Governor Andrew Cuomo spent the day Wednesday traveling among three western New York cities with casinos to deliver gambling revenue that was withheld by the Seneca Nation of Indians during a lenghty dispute with the state. Cuomo's last stop Wednesday was in Salamanca... where a symbolic 350-million dollar check was presented to him by Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Sr. Cuomo then presented a 34.5-million dollar check to Salamanca Mayor Carmen Vecchiarella. The first check presentations were at the Seneca Niagara casino in the city of Niagara Falls. After that... Cuomo and Snyder went to Buffalo. Nearly 140-million dollars was given to the local governments as their share of Casino revenues. Cuomo and Snyder announced last month that the Senecas would resume sharing the tribe's casino revenues with the state. The tribe suspended the payments in 2009.
A record number of entries are taking part in the 69th annual Gerry Rodeo... which got underway last night at the Rodeo Grounds on Route 60 in Gerry. Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley says 172 Cowboys and Cowgirls are taking part this year. Prize money will approach 45-thousand dollars. Cooley says tonight's second performance is at 8 PM. He adds that the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's and Cowgirl's Associations will compete in their usual, and popular events -- especially one. Cooley says they'll also have a midway with 20 vendors available through Saturday's matinee show... and, the very popular Barbecue Beef Dinners are back... beginning at 5 PM each night. In fact... he says some people come for just the dinners. Rodeo Chairman Tom Atwell... who is Second-Assistant Gerry Fire Chief... says they have a new event each night that'll be part of the Rodeo. Atwell says Dusty Barrett is the "Roman Rider..." which is where the rider stands on the back of two horses. Shows each night begin at 8 PM. For more information on the Gerry Rodeo... call 985-4847... or go on-line to Gerryrodeo-dot-ORG. Proceeds -- as usual -- benefit the Gerry Fire Department.
The ribbon has been cut on a new restaurant that has opened... with longer hours... at the front entrance of WCA Hospital in Jamestown. The Corner Coffeehouse is being operated by Joe and April Glarner... who also own and operate The Corner Coffeehouse and Bistro in Frewsburg. Both are from the region... and, feel they have been able to find a "niche" with their new location. Joe Glarner has been a private chef with several resort restaurants... and, says they've been focusing on what the cafeteria at WCA does not offer. While they serve food... a lot of which is organic... Glarner says their big specialty is their coffee... which they purchase from around the world. He adds they roast their own beans... and, serve it in their two locations. As for specialty foods... Glarner says one was yesterday's "special..." Glarner says they're excited about their new venture... and, thanked WCA Hospital and it's staff for being so welcoming. The Corner Coffeehouse at WCA Hospital is open weekdays from 6 AM to 9 PM.