A Ripley Man is dead following a Tuesday afternoon house fire. Shortly after 4pm the Ripley Fire Department was called to a fire at 108 West Main Street. When fire crews arrived they entered the home and found 61 year old Kevin Lantz inside. Lantz was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital where he died a short time later. An investigation revealed that an electronic device accidentally caught fire. Lantz was able to get the device out of the home before the fire spread further. Lantz went back inside and was unable to come back out due to smoke inhalation. The investigation is continuing, but the cause appears accidental. Ripley received assistance from the Sherman and Westfield Fire Departments.
Flames sparked by burning trash nearby triggered about a half-acre brush fire on Trask Road in the town of Busti yesterday afternoon. Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says crews were called to the scene -- near Baker Street Extension -- about 4:20 PM. Volpe says the property owner was burning some cardboard near a large pile of pine trees that had been cut down. He says the flames spread to the grass... and, firefighters were called in. Volpe adds they were concerned about a wooded area and house were close by. Busti and four mutual aid companies had the flames under control in about 30 minutes. No one was hurt.
There were some results to celebrate... but, overall results of last Spring's standarized testing for third through eighth-graders in the Jamestown School District remained flat compared to 2013. But... at the same time... the district's Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Jesse Joy, says there was a slight increase in math scores for many students. Joy adds some increases were cause for "celebration." Two were a significant increase among third-graders... and, fourth-grade English Language Arts. Joy also pointed out that there were gains made by many students who had gone through the standardized testing in 2013. However... Joy points out that the curriculum was aligned with the testing for the first time this past school year... so, school officials will boost professional development for staff this year. The school board approved a 300-thousand dollar allocation in this year's budget for teacher and professional development to assist with teaching the new, tougher programs. That will include the use of teaching "coaches."
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities new Residental Recycling Program is only a few months old... but, so far has been a big success. That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who told city lawmakers last night that the board's Solid Waste Division has seen an "excellent" response to the program... which rewards residents with lower trash collection rates if they recycle at least once a month. During Monday night's work session... Leathers says a big help has been using technology to track use of the new orange bins. The recycling bins use a computer chip to make sure the resident is accurately credited for leaving the recycleables out so they can get the lower rate. Leathers says... before the program began this past spring... they would get 35 to 37-percent participation. However... he says that's now up to 60-percent on recycling days... and, they're on the way to 65-percent. The issue... Mayor Sam Teresi says... is whether some budget adjustments need to be made to cover their costs. For more information on the BPU's Recycling Program... contact the Garbage Hotline at 661-1651.
People should not be afraid to ask friends or family members if they need help for Depression. That from yesterday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution. Daniel Weinberger is the Chief Executive Officer of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development... which has done a lot of research on Mental Health health issues. Depression has come to the fore due to the recent suicide of legendary Comedian Robin Williams. Weinberger tells our Jim Roselle one in three people will have depression at least once in their lifetime. Weinberger says Depression is a circumstance of how a person's brain is working. In youth... he says it's often shown outwardly as irratibility... or difficult behavior. In young and middle-aged adults... he says it's usually a mood change. Weinberger says those people feel increasingly hopeless and helpless. He says that was the case for Robin Williams... who suffered "Chronic Depression." Weinberger spoke as part of "Health Care: Bench to Bedside" Week at Chautauqua.
Supporters of Governor Andrew Cuomo were back in court Tuesday in an effort to force his primary challenger off next months' Democratic Primary ballot. A trial judge rejected the challenge to Zephyr Teachout's campaign last week. The ruling was appealed, and the challenge went before an appellate court Tuesday in Brooklyn. A decision is expected later this week. The two men behind the challenge are listed online as Cuomo campaign interns. In court papers... they allege that Teachout is ineligible to run against Cuomo because she doesn't meet a five-year residency requirement. They note that Teachout obtained her New York driver's license this year. Teachout says she has lived in New York since she took a job as a law professor at Fordham University in 2009. The primary is September 9th.
Another member of the Media One Group staff has accepted the "Ice Bucket Challenge" that's been sweeping the Jamestown-area... and, nation. News Director Terry Frank has been challenged by one of his former college roomates to have a bucket of ice dumped on him to raise money for the fight against ALS... also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Station Manager Andrew Hill took the challenge Monday night during the finals of "Chautauqua Lake Voices" in Bemus Point. Terry had already been planning to get the ice dumped on him this morning... but, received the challenge late yesterday. By late yesterday... the challenge had already raised 22.9-million dollars for the ALS Association.