2016 was one of "the most significant years of accomplishment" Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has seen in his 17 years as the city's top-elected official. That was Teresi's very brief address to the City Council last night as he delivered his State of the City Message to lawmakers. Teresi again opted not to give a major speech to high-light the past year's accomplishments... and, look ahead to the new year. However... the mayor later told members of the media that 2016 was a "tremendous year in many areas...." The Restore-New York grant will be used to help get the former Key Bank building at East Second and Main Streets back in use. The buyer is looking at locating some commercial ventures, and residental units inside the three-story building. Teresi says 2016 was also a year of "challenges..." especially in enlisting state help to plug a budget shortfall this year. In addition to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative... Teresi says he's looking forward to moving ahead on the city's one-million dollar, Empire State Poverty Reduction program. Teresi publicly thanked the city's 450 employees... and, namely his department heads... for their efforts over the past year.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Donald Trump's executive order to halt the Syrian refugee program... and, temporarily suspend immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. Over the past weekend... Trump said the order is to "protect U.S. citizens and the border" and insisted it's "not a Muslim ban.'' Congressman Reed says the order is necessary to make sure the safey of American citizens is "first and foremost...." Reed says this threat is "real... and, we have to be correct 100-percent of the time." However... the Corning Republican declined to get into reasons why some majority-Muslim nations... such as Saudi Arabia... were left off the list. Most of the "9/11" attackers were from the Middle Eastern country. Reed says the order will not restrict those with Green Cards from traveling to the United States.
Democrats in the New York state Senate say the state should prohibit officials at New York City airports from cooperating with federal authorities enforcing President Donald Trump's travel ban. The legislative proposal announced Monday would bar the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from providing any support, office space or even air conditioning to federal officials enforcing the new rules at Kennedy Airport and other Port Authority facilities. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says the entry ban on refugees and residents of seven Muslim-majority nations is "an assault" on American values and that New York must stand up to fight it. The bill faces challenges in the Republican-led state Senate. Assembly Democrats say they are working on their own legislative proposals for pushing back on Trump's order.
President Trump is expected to announce his choice to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U-S Supreme Court tonight in a prime-time speech. Chautauqua County's Congressman says he looks forward to seeing which person from Trump's list of about 15 candiates will be nominated. Corning Republican Tom Reed says he's hoping it will be a justice who will "uphold the Constitution..."and, not one who legislate's "from the bench...." Reed says he's looking forward to someone who will "interpret, and enforce" what's in the constitution. He says the final decision is up to the U-S Senate... but, adds he's hopeful that lawmakers will consider and act on the nominee quickly. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with southern Tier Media.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to amend the state constitution to codify abortion rights should Roe versus Wade be overturned. Addressing hundreds of abortion-rights supporters rallying in Albany, the Democrat said the state must ensure that legal access to abortion services and birth control continues regardless of the policies of President Donald Trump and Washington Republicans. Trump says he plans to announce his first nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Abortion-rights supporters say they worry the new court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. New York statute legalized abortion three years before Roe. However... Cuomo says a constitutional amendment is needed to ensure current abortion rights aren't rolled back. Constitutional amendments require two separate legislative votes before going to voters.
The ribbon has been cut on the expansion project at the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College. It also includes new office space for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier. The man who heads up both agencies says he's very pleased with the way the project has turned out. On this past weekend's Community Spotlight program on the Media One Group of stations... Todd Tranum says it's allowed the chamber and MAST to "renew" it's relationship with JCC. Tranum says the new space has allowed for some new classrooms and class room space... and, it's also included some new equipment -- including welding equipment. He says there's also something new called "Maker Space" for people with a small start up... or interest in launching a product... there is space available to hlep support that. The Manufacturing Technology Institute at JCC includes programs like computer-aided Design & Computer Numerical Control... Engineering Science... and, Welding Technology. For more information on the programs... call 338-1324.
A Bemus Point man is under arrest for allegedly driving drunk while his car was involved in a crash last weekend in the Sinclairville-area... and, he was in possession of a number of weapons and fireworks. Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Route 380 in the Pickard Hill shortly before 2 AM Saturday. Deputies say they found the unoccupied vehicle had struck a telephone pole, and, was in a ditch. They say the windows were smashed out... and, they were able to see inside... and saw an assault rifle with numerous loaded magazines, a sawed off shotgun, commercial fireworks, home made fireworks, throwing stars, and numerous quantities of various ammunition. Following an investigation... officers found the driver... 29 year-old Michael Thompson, at a home near the accident scene. He was arrested on several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a weapon for having an assault weapon with large-capacity ammuntion feeding devices... and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, unlawful possession of fireworks. He was arraigned in Ellery Town Court and jailed on 75-thousand dollars cash bail. The investigation is continuing.
Two people were killed late last Friday in a two-car crash on Route 242 in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville. Town Police say they were called to the scene about 3:30 PM... and, say the driver of one of the vehicles, 60 year-old Clinton Krivulka of Conewango... was eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle... and, it spun into the on-coming lane of traffic. Krivulka's car struck the second auto, driven by 45 year-old Henry Williams of Chaffee. Officers say Krivulka and an unidentified, 15 year-old passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene. Police say a 16 year-old front seat passenger in Williams' car was taken to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville... then transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. Officers say Williams was treated and released at the scene... while a passenger in his car was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of chest injuries. No charges have been filed. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office and State Police were among the several agencies involved in the on-going investigation.
Two people have been arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin and marijuana from a home on the city's southside. Police report that the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a residence at 323 Newland Avenue late last Friday morning... and, arrested 25 year-old Devonte Chandler. Task Force members say they found Chandler in possession of 58 bags of Heroin. Officers say they also found a woman inside the apartment... Neishayhathu Soto... who was being disorderly during a search of the apartment. They say Soto was allegedly found with 14.6-grams of pot in her possession. Chandler was arraigned on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, jailed without bail. Soto was charged with unlawful possession of marijauna.. and, disorderly conduct. She is jailed on 500-dollars cash bail in Mayville. Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in Jamestown is asked to contact the JPD Tips 4-1-1 App... or their confidential Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
It's State of the City time for both city's in Chautauqua County. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas delivered his first State of the City address in the north county city late last Friday. In the the nearly 50 minute address... Rosas gave a presentation -- complete with power-point presentation. He included an overview of projects that were accomplished in 2016 and listed his priorities for the year ahead. Among the accomplishments, progress on mandated improvements at the water treatment plant and the securing of zero percent financing and a state grant for the wastewater treatment plant. Rosas says Phase-Three of the water treatment plant will be completed this year. Besides infrastructure improvements... Rosas also focused on economic development efforts including a new hotel on the city's waterfront. He says the first round of negotiations with a development firm out of Erie were held on Monday. Rosas says he believes negotiations went well on the first day... and, they're looking forward to it's opening. Here in Jamestown... Mayor Sam Teresi is slated to give his State of The City Address tonight during the City Council's January voting session. The message is typically delivered during remarks at the beginning of the meeting. Last year... the mayor gave lawmakers are written report... but, gave no verbal address. He has not said whether he will do that again this year... or not. Tonight's meeting begins at 7:30 PM.
One person suffered serious injuries after his snowmobile collided with a second machine on private property on Route 394 in Mayville last Saturday afternoon. Sheriff's officers say they responded to the crash near 60-46 Route 394 about 2:15 PM... and, found that 24 year-old Samuel Fabin of Pennington, New Jersey... and, 24 year-old Adam Martin of Salem, Virginia... were riding snowmobiles when both collided head-on at the crest of a hill where the visability of obstructed. Deputies say Fabin was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment. Martin was apparently not hurt. Officers say no charges were filed.
Statewide testing for lead in drinking water at schools in New York has found 14 percent of outlets sampled in nearly 3,000 schools outside New York City had unsafe levels of the toxic metal. Schools are required to turn off any outlet with lead levels above 15 parts per billion and implement plans to fix the problem. More than 256--thousand taps were tested. All schools that had those numbers have to test drinking water for lead under legislation signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in September. The state Health Department said Friday that 96 percent of schools outside of New York City have done the testing and 88 percent have reported results. New York City results are expected in mid-2017. Lead exposure can cause significant neurological impairments in children. The lead testing data is posted on Health Data New York online.
The sixth Annual Soup-er Bowl at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club put on Sunday by UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital was a major success. A total of 14 competitors took part offering a variety of soups to a record number of people in attendance. The winner of this year's event was the Gametime Sports Bar and Grill. Jim Mee owner of the Gametime Sports Bar and Grill talked about his winning entry the Cheesy Chicken Fiesta. He said they wanted to try something new. Last year... the Souper-Bowl raised over 7-thousand dollars for the Robotic Surgery Department at UPMC Chautauqua WCA... and, the Rappaport (Rap a pour) Family Fund. With an estimated 600 people in attendance... the total amount raised this year is expected to surpass last year's total. Final totals from the Soup-er Bowl are expected to be announced later today. The Media One Group of Radio Stations, Shults Auto Group and Maplevale Farms were the major sponsors of the Sixth Annual Soup-er Bowl.
Affinity One Federal Credit Union in Lakewood is holding it's second-annual Joe DeAngelo Memorial Ice Fishing Tournment on Chautauqua Lake in February. Affinity one Marketing and Sales Representative Tony Valvo... says the event begins on Feburary 1st. Valvo says you don't have to be a member to take part... however, you do have to sign up. Valvo urges ice anglers to make sure the ice is safe where they go to fish... and, to obsere all New York State rules. We asked him if the tournament would be held if the lake remains unfrozen. He says they'll cancel the event. However, they'll still have the event with door prizes if that occurs. Valvo says you can enter at either Affinity One branch in Jamestown or Lakewood... or at "Chautauqua Reel Outdoors."
The Homeland Security Department says a New York court order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban will not affect the overall implementation of the White House executive action. The agency said the court order affected a relatively small number of travelers who were inconvenienced by security procedures upon their return. The department's statement said: "President Trump's Executive Orders remain in place- prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety," according to the DHS statement. Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, said that nothing in the judge's order "in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president's executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect."
A Dunkirk woman is facing charges after a traffic stop in the north county city late Saturday afternoon. Dunkirk Police pulled over a vehicle traveling south on Main Street at about 4:30 PM for a traffic violation. Police say the driver, whose license was suspended, tried to deceive officers by giving the name and date of birth of a relative, whose license was also suspended. After further investigation, the driver... 41-year-old Joielyn Burlingame... was charged with 3rd-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and 2nd-degree criminal impersonation. Burlingame will appear in Dunkirk City Court at a later date.
Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect until early Sunday night...
There will be a break in the Lake effect snow that has been falling across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties during the day today... as the snow moves more into the Buffalo-area. However... Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service says the wind will shift slightly... and, the snow will return by early this evening. Ansuini says we'll see another 4 to 8 inches -- mainly in the traditional snow belt areas, and the Chautauqua Ridge area -- through early tomorrow. We could see anotehr 3 to 5 inches Sunday. Ansuini says the traditional lake snow areas will see about 2-feet of snow on the ground by early Sunday night.
Duplex-type home extensively damaged from early Friday morning fire...
Fire has significantly damaged part of a 2-and-a-half story duplex on Jamestown's eastside. City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says firefighters were called to the scene at 944 East Second Street about 2:45 a.m. Friday... and, found smoke and fire coming from one side of the building. Fortunately... Coon says no one was inside the structure. He adds that they were able to make an interior attack on the blaze... which they had under control in about 30 minutes. Coon says damage was pretty much confined to the one-side of the structure in the second-floor and attic space of the structure at 944 East Second. He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist. One firefighter suffered a minor injury. The investigation into the cause is continuing.
New Shults Ford-Lincoln Mercury opens on Washington Street...
The ribbon has been cut on the newest facility for the Shults Auto Group in Jamestown... with the opening of the new Shults Ford Lincoln Mercury at 2257 Washington St. Several local officials were on hand for the event... which culminated a lengthy project to completely upgrade the showroom and service facilities. Shults Auto Group President Tim Shults says it's an exciting time for the dealership... and, praised General Contractor Kessel Construction for helping to create an "over the top" facility... which has state-of-the art drive-in service. The operator of Shults Ford-Lincoln Mercury... Ed Shults-III... also praised Kessel... along with their employees for keeping the operation going during the construction project. He says they developed the facility with a vision of it's being a place for "community-type" events.
East Otto woman killed in SUV--Tractor-Trailer crash...
A Cattaraugus County woman was killed... and, a man seriously hurt... when their sports utility vehicle crashed into the side of a tractor-trailer at an East Otto intersection Thursday afternoon. Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 52 year-old Grace Armbruster of East Otto was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash... which occured at the intersection of East Otto-Springville and Bowen Roads about 1:45 p.m. Deputies say Grace Armbruster was a passenger in the SUV... which was northbound on Bowen Road... and, driven by 30 year-old Andrew Armbuster. Officers say he failed to stop at the intersection with East Otto-Springville Road. The SUV then struck the tractor of the big rig... which was driven by Jeffrey Laydecker... and, was eastbound on East Otto-Springville Road. Officers say both Armbrusters were ejected from the vehicle. Grace was pronounced dead at the scene... while Andrew was taken to ECMC in Buffalo for treatment of serious injuries. Laydecker was not hurt.
Souper Bowl Sunday set for this Sunday in Lakewood...
A yearly sports-themed fund-raiser for UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital's robotic surgery program is set to go this Sunday afternoon in Lakewood. The annual Souper Bowl Sunday will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club. WCA's Director of Development, Megan Barone, says more than a dozen local restaurants will be offering specialty soups for people to try... and, there'll also be prize give-aways and raffles. None of the businesses taking part have announced what soups they'll be serving Sunday... but, they are often a little different from the standard fare. Barone says the money raised will help them continue the work of their DaVinci Robot used in Cancer surgeries. Tickets will be sold at the door for $12 each... and, there may still be some pre-sale available at the hospital... or the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club for $10 each.
The worst parts of our "long-duration" Lake Effect Snow event will be today through tomorrow. However... we won't see any of the 3-to-4 inch an hour snowfall that accompanies many of these events through Sunday night. That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service... who says we remain under a Lake Effect Snow Warning now through 7 PM on Sunday. MItchell says we're seeing colder air now, after receiving an initial 2 to 3 inches of snow in the Jamestown-area. Once the colder air gets in... he says we'll see another 7 to 11 inches of snow in the snow belt areas by late this evening. While ski country and the Chautauqua Ridge areas will see upwards of 2-feet -- or more -- through Sunday night... Mitchell says there won't be any of the real "heavy snow" on Saturday. He says the heaviest snow rate during the weekend will be about one to one-and-a-half inches an hour. Mitchell says the worst of the wind and blowing snow conditions will be during the day today through tonight. Wind gusts will be about 40-mile per hour. Our complete forecast is coming up.
A Westfield woman has been arrested for allegedly setting two separate fires in her home in the town of Chautauqua last Fall. Sheriff's officers say they took 41 year-old Lacie Mockus into custody late Wednesday for allegedly setting the fires... and, endangering first-responders and neighbors. Deputies say the incident at 6375 Centralia-Hartfield Road occured last October 16th... and, add that Mockus was the only person home at the time. Officers say she's been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment... and, was issued an appearance ticket for Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.
Firefighters made quick work of a blaze that broke out early yesterday morning at a 2-and-a-half story home in Dunkirk. Dunkirk Fire crews responded to 133 Lake Shore Drive East at about 4:15 AM. Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews found flames on the first floor and extending to the second floor. The fire was contained to one room, and everyone in the building made it out safely. Firefighters were at the scene for about one hour. No one was hurt... and, the cause is under investigation. The local Red Cross is assisting all eight residents who were displaced by the fire.
In Dunkirk, two people suffered burns in a kitchen fire Wednesday night. Firefighters responded to an apartment at 47 West Courtney Street just before 9:30 PM, and on arrival, found that the victims suffered burns as a result of hot grease from a pan spilling on them while trying to remove the pan from the apartment. Both victims were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment. One suffered severe burns and was later flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center.
Plans to construct more than 100 wind turbines in three northern Chautauqua County towns are being rammed though without full consideration of residents feelings... and, no full evaluation of the impact on the local environment. Those are the feelings of two town of Villanova residents... and, one from Arkwright... who addressed the county legislature Wednesday night. Angelo Graziano has been a Villanova Town Board member since 2014, when the projects were first proposed. Graziano says he asked the company involved with that project... "R-E-S America..." for more information... but, got none. Graziano says he believes the company has only done the minimum required to get the project through. Another resident... Tina Graziano... says many in the town remain unaware of the project and it's potential implications. She says only town government, and the actual property owners will get any benefit from the project. She says residents will have to "suffer" with 123, 500-foot tall wind turbines. Arkwright resident Fred Keller was also concerned about the project... and, it's impact in his town. Keller contends that the U-S Army Corps of Engineers found no opposition there because only contiguous neighbors have been notified regarding the project, and public meetings about it.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has been a proponent of the turbine projects... and, was somewhat stunned by the opposition voiced at Wednesday night's meeting. However... Horrigan says he appreciates what the residents had to say. He also says the three companies involved in the projects are going through the State Environmental Quality Review process, as required. Horrigan says he was aware of some opposition early... mainly dealing with the flight paths for airport traffic. However... Horrigan says the projects also have to be reviewed by the Chautauqua County Planning Board. He says he's not surprised that there is some friction between the people who own the property where the turbines will be... and, others in the towns. The residents say.. while they've seen problems with the process... the one underway for the Cassadaga Wind Farm has been a "fair" one.
A state lawmaker wants to stop New York from doing business with companies working on President Donald Trump's promised border wall. The proposal from Assemblywoman Nily Rozic would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the wall project. The Queens Democrat says Thursdaythat she wants to send a signal to companies considering whether to work on the wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico, a proposal she calls wasteful and ineffective. Existing rules prohibit state contracts with companies that do business in Iran or that boycott Israel. Rozic says New York must honor its tradition of diversity and tolerance. The legislation could do well in the overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly but may face challenges in the Republican-led Senate.
Residents of the town of Ellicott who live in the Celoron area have the chance to pay their town and county taxes directly this Saturday. Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says he'll hold his annual tax collection at the Celoron Village Hall from 10 AM to 1 PM this Saturday, January 28th. Again, those hours are 10 AM to 1 PM.
We will see some significant changes in our weather during the day today in the Jamestown-area. The change begins this afternoon... as the National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 1 PM until 7 PM Sunday for some significant snow in some parts of the regioin. Forecaster Bob Hamilton says the cold air that's been bottled up in the Arctic the past couple of weeks has finally reached the Upper Midwest of the United States. He says that's coming our way.
Hamilton says the lake effect snow won't be very well organized when it starts... but, he says it'll beginin the higher terrain of northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... and, southern Erie County. He says we'll get a few inches initially in the Chautauqua Ridge, and ski country... and, it'll become more organized later on Friday. Hamilton says the precipitation will start as rain tomorrow (this) morning... then turn into a rain-snow mix in the afternoon as temperatures begin to fall from the upper 30s to the upper 20s by evening. By Sunday evening... he says some locations will have up to 2-feet of snow on the ground.
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a 15-year lease extension with Jamestown Aviation Company to remain the fixed-base operator at the County Airport near Jamestown. Lawmakers approved the measure at last night's monthly meeting in a 15-to-1 vote... with Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro casting the lone "no" vote. County Executive Vince Horrigan, who negotiated the new deal, says the agreement reduces the county's local share of costs... and, will bring in about 23-hundred dollars more a month in rent. The county will see a 2-percent annual increase in the rent from Jamestown Aviation. However... the fixed-base operator will be able to terminate the contract without cause with two-years notice if the airport still has commercial passenger service... one year if it doesn't. Legislator Nazzaro says he has problems with a 15 year agreement that gives Jamestown Aviation termination rights... but, none for the county. The current rent for Jamestown Aviation to handle the fueling, hangar and parking work is 37-hundred-dollars a month... with 24-hundred of that subject to the 2-percent fee increase each year.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't favor a proposal by the Trump Adminstration to dole out Medicaid funding to individual states in the form of strictly "block grants" only. The Corning Republican also agrees that such an idea -- on it's own -- could lead to some contentious debate in the House and Senate. Reed says there are about 180 members of Congress who come from state's where there had been an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act... including New York. He says it's something that will be discussed as part of the repeal and replacement of the ACA. Reed adds that the issue becomes a sticky one for politicians in Washington because there are Democrat, and Republican-led state's that have taken part in the Medicaid expansion. He says that's why the GOP may have to go in another direction. Chautauqua County would face a significant cut in Medicaid if the just the block grant program were to be implemented. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
Congressional Republicans are heading to Philadelphia where they will hear from President Donald Trump at their annual policy retreat. The joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans comes as Trump's presidency gets off to a rocky start. Republicans hope to come together and chart a course forward on a range of policy issues, particularly repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law. Lawmakers will also hear from British Prime Minister Theresa May, the first time a foreign head of state has addressed such a gathering. And football star Peyton Manning will appear. The two-day conclave of work sessions, speeches and schmoozing gets under way Wednesday, with the high point coming Thursday with Trump's lunchtime speech. Lawmakers hope the gathering will help solidify their agenda for the year.
The Jamestown school district has received some good fiscal news from New York state. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the district is no longer among the school systems in New York facing any level of "fiscal stress." DiNapoli released his office's listing of 59 school districts facing at least a "susceptibility" to fiscal stress. Over the past couple of years... Jamestown was considered to be in "moderate stress..." but, no longer is. District officials say that's great news... and, more information will be forthcoming. DiNapoli says the only district facing any kind of fiscal stress in Chautauqua County now is the Ripley District... which is "susceptible" to fiscal stress.
The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you. Dozens of restaurants are seeking "sanctuary" status, a designation owners hope will help protect employees in an immigrant-heavy industry and tone down fiery rhetoric sparked by the presidential campaign. First inspired by churches... the label is something cities and other public entities have sought to offer local protections to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, whether it's barring police from asking citizens about immigration status or refusing to cooperate with federal agents. Roughly 80 restaurants across the country have signed up, from down-home delis to upscale bistros. The restaurants agree to anti-discrimination policies, display signs that pronounce their sanctuary status and receive know-your-rights training - what to do if there's a workplace raid by immigration agents.
New York state lawmakers are questioning the price tag for Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give middle class students free tuition at state universities and colleges. During a hearing on the proposal Tuesday... legislators from both parties asked state higher education officials whether Cuomo's $163-million dollar cost estimate is too low. The Democratic governor's proposal would cover remaining tuition costs for students from families making $125,000 or less after other sources of federal and state aid are factored in. Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York system, said officials are continuing to refine the cost estimate. Skeptical lawmakers said they wanted to see details before voting on the state budget, which they hope to approve by April 1st.
City lawmakers will vote next week on a proposed change to the Jamestown city code that no longer requires JPD officers to supervise the towing of vehicles from private property. Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings and Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman outlined the proposal for the city council's Public Safety Committee. Snellings says... even with the change... officers would still supervise towing on public property. Fiore-Lehman says... currently... the towing company would have to wait for JPD officers to arrive at the scene. Mayor Sam Teresi says the problem is, sometimes the tow operator would have to wait for half-an hour to an hour before city police can wrap up a call they're already on... and, then go to the scene. Teresi and Snellings say the idea behind the change to the towing ordinance is to free up police officers to be on the streets... and, not unnecessarily tied up dealing with having to supervise a tow from a private residence... organization or business. The measure will be acted on at next Monday night's meeting.
A staff recommendation has led the Jamestown Board of Public Utiliites to ask the city to begin the process of annexing property on the city line with the village of Falconer that's used for a major BPU substation. The BPU voted Monday to request the city council begin proceedings to acquire the Dow Street Substation land from the town. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board owns the property where the facility is located between Dow Street and Tiffany Avenue. Leathers says it will save more than 300-thousand tax dollars for the city and BPU. However... Leathers says -- if the annexation goes through -- the BPU would still make "tax equivalent payments" to the city and Jamestown school district. He says those would total about 80-thousand dollars a year. He says the amount is based on a percentage of the asset's valuation. Leathers says the land is assessed at about 7.86-million dollars. He says the resolution gets the process going... and, says the City Councill will now have to discuss the measure... and will likely hold some public meetings on the matter before a vote is taken.
The head of New York state's Public Service Commission is stepping down to take a job in Australia. PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman announced her departure Monday. She intends to stay on until the end of March before going to work for the Australian Energy Market Operator, which oversees electricity and natural gas markets and networks. Under Zibelman... the Public Service Commission worked to expand the state's use of renewable energy and approved ratepayer subsidies for nuclear plants. She also oversaw votes on scores of decisions and regulations affecting utilities. In a statement... Zibelman said it has been a "great honor" to serve in Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration and to assist in Democrat Cuomo's goal of increasing "affordable, clean and resilient" power for the state.
It was a total team effort that pushed the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County over it's 2016 Campaign goal of 1.3-million dollars. General Campaign Co-Chairman Anne Hedin at last night's celebration at Jamestown Community College and her husband -- and co-chair -- Paul... announced the final total raised was 1.338-million dollars. He praised United Way staff members, and volunteers for their efforts to get them to the finish line. Paul Hedin adds that they got more donations from several businesses... and, added a few others to the mix this year. United Way officials say they did a record number of workplace presentations to let workers know what the money they pledge goes towards. There were 50 of those made during the just over three-month effort. Several local workplaces were honored for increasing the number of donors they had in 2016... and, some others were thanked for taking part for the first-time ever. More than 60 people were on hand for last night's annual celebration at JCC. The money will benefit 42 programs at 25 partner agencies.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have remained steady for the third-straight week. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the their local survey finds the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas to be 2-dollars-56 cents. On the national front... the average price has now fallen to 2-dollars-31 cents a gallon. Triple-A says an increase in oil production has led to the 3-cent decrease. The price is now down 4-cents per gallon on the month... and, have now fallen for 14 of the past 15 days. Triple-A now says prices in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have followed the national average down over the past week. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that total Northeast gasoline stocks increased to their highest level since August of last year.
New York lawmakers will again consider legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician. The bill introduced Monday in Albany would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal. Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason. The bill passed an Assembly committee last year but didn't get a full vote in the Legislature.
A horrific, nearly head-on crash involving a coach bus and a vehicle on Route 60 near Sinclairville has claimed the life of a Lakewood man... and, injured three others. Crews from five area fire departments, Chautauqua County Emergency Services, the Sheriff's Office and State Police responded to the crash around 9 AM. Sheriff Joe Gerace says it appears that the vehicle -- driven by 19 year-old Justin Romaniuk may have crossed into the opposite lane and into the path of the bus. The bus driver... identified as 61 year-old Debra Lee Grimes of Lakewood... suffered serious... but, non-life threatening injuries. Both she and Romaniuk were pinned inside their vehicles. Gerace says the Accident Reconstruction Team was also called to the scene of the crash to investigate. Route 60 was closed in both directions between Sylvester Road and Jamestown Street for about 4-hours. Sinclairville firefighters were assisted by Cassadaga, Ellery Center, Ellington and Gerry fire crews.
The storm that spurred tornadoes in the south will be moving up along the East Coast... and, will bring a wintry mix to much of the Northeast. However... Chautauqua County may be one of the few counties in the state not under any kind of warning or advisory. Cattaraugus County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 10 AM today. Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says rain turned over to snow in most places mainly to the east last night. Hitchcock says the tricky part of the forecast involves Chautauqua County because the temperature will be around the freezing mark this evening. He says we cold see more mixed presciptation here than anywhere else.
The city of Jamestown is looking to annex property on the city line -- used for a major substation for the Board of Public Utilities -- from the town of Ellicott. The BPU Monday afternoon voted to initiate the proceedings to acquire the property from the town. The resolution passed at the board's meeting states that the BPU owns the property where the Dow Street Substation is located between Dow Street and Tiffany Avenue. It also says the city of Jamestown pays just over 322-thousand dollars on the land... which is assessed at 7.86-million dollars.
Two Republican members of the U-S Senate says they're putting the finishing touches on legislation that would let states keep President Obama's health care overhaul... or design their own programs. Local Congressman Tom Reed says the plan is what's being called the "Patient Freedom Act..." and he calls it an appropriate step to take while the repeal and replacement process is underway. The measure is being proposed by Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine. Reed says House members met with Cassidy late last week on the proposal. Reed says several steps will be needed because some parts of the Affordable Care Act can be replaced in the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes. However... others will require a 60-votes. He says another aspect for implementation will be having new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, in place. His confirmation is still pending, though. Some say the Patient Freedom Act represents a retreat from years of Republican calls to repeal Obama's law and then replace it. President Trump has said he wants to keep parts of Obama's health care law.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Donald Trump's decision to follow through on a campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the much-debated, 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Mr. Trump says he prefers trade treaties with individual countries... also called "bi-lateral" agreements. Reed says the move allows the U-S to us Trump's ability as a "deal-maker" to get a better agreement for America. Until recent months... a number of national manufacturer's support the TPP agreement... and, Reed agrees the president will have to work hard to bring about agreements that manufacturer's like and trust. However... he says re-negotiating trade agreements will be in America''s "best interests." Reed adds, though, that ther need to be stiffer penalties if the other trade partner renegs on the agreement. Trump has also announced his intention to renegotate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. However... no formal steps have been taken.
A Chautauqua County man has been arrested in Erie County, New York for allegedly selling Heroin and other illegal narcotic drugs in the town of Ellington. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they had an outstanding bench warrant for 29 year-old William Bogal of Old Chautauqua Road in Ellington... who was located yesterday afternoon in Erie County... but, the exact location was not released. Task Force members say Bogal was accused of selling the drugs to undercover officers from his home. He was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court on one count each of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the County Jail without bail. Task Force members ask that if you observe suspicious or narcotics-related activity in your area... call them at 1-800-344-8702..
Route 60 accident involving bus and car now a fatal...
Authorities say a 20-year-old Lakewood man has died after his vehicle collided with a tour bus on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte this morning. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the crash occurred shortly after 9 a.m. near the village of Sinclairville. Gerace says Justin Romaniuk had to be freed from the wreckage... but, died at the scene. The driver of the bus... Debra Lee Grimes... suffered serious -- but, non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a Buffalo-area hospital. She and two passengers were injured. The other two were also sent to a neaby hospital. Route 60 was closed for about 4-hours while the highway was cleared... and, the scene was investigated.
**Bus crash on Route 60 forces road closing in that area....
At least one serious injury has been reported in a reported crash involving a Coach Bus, and another vehicle on Route 60 near Sinclairivlle. Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say the accident occured about 9 this morning, and has forced the closing of the road between Silvester Road and Jamestown Street. Both drivers were reportedly pinned inside their vehicles. Several EMS and Fire units are at the scene. More when it becomes available.
City man and woman arrested late last week on warrants, allegedly found with drugs...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested on drug-related charges after city police did a warrant check on both suspects at a southside home. Jamestown Police say officers located 26 year-old Giselle Bennett at 943 Newland Ave. late Thursday night. Officers say she was sought on a City Court warrant. They add that they also found 27 year-old Brandon Hogg at the residence... who was wanted on a parole warrant. Police say they found a quantity of Suboxone in Hogg's possession that he did not have a prescription for. Bennett is also accused of being in possession of a stimulant. Both were additionally charged. Bennett was freed on bail... while Hogg is being held on $4,000 bail.
Pennsylvania man caught going 109 MPH on I-86 in Chautauqua County...
State Police have arrested a Pennsylvania man for allegedly fleeing them at nearly 110 miles an hour on Interstate-86 near Kennedy. Troopers say they clocked 20 year-old Tristan Drake of Troy going 109 MPH in the eastbound lanes before he finally exited the super-highway at School House Road. State Police say Drake was eventually stopped in the Village of Randolph and arrested. He was arraigned in Poland Town Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County jail with bail to be set.
Fredonia man arrested for alleged sex abuse...
A north county man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a victim in the village of Fredonia. Sheriff's officers say they took 49 year-old Duane Green of Park Avenue in Fredonia into custody shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday. Deputies say Green was arrested on a warrant for first-degree sexual abuse... and, forceable touching. Officers say he was taken into custody without incident at a location on East Main Street... and, sent to the county jail in Mayville with bail to be set. He'll appear in court at a later date and time.
Almeter named as new Chautauqua Co. Airport and Parks Manager...
A career Naval officer who has a wide background in both the public and private sectors has been named as Chautauqua County's new Airports and Parks Manager. County Executive Vince Horrigan and Public Facilities Director George Spanos Friday afternoon announced that Rochester-native Ron Almeter will head up both departments -- beginning next Tuesday. Almeter says he's both excited and delighted to start work... now that he's retired from the Navy. Almeter says he was also involved in managerial work for a large construction firm in Texas. Almeter says he and his family had retired to the Westfield-area about a year ago... and, heard about the job while looking for some kind of work while in retirement. Horrigan says he comes from a similar-type for background, and both he and Spanos and the Airport Commission, decided Almeter was their man. At the same time... Spanos says he and other county officials were pleased with the number of applications they received from interested candidates. Almeter says the airports can serve as a "storefront" for Chautauqua County to the rest of the world. Horrigan says, with his hiring, all county leadership posts have now been filled.
Reed confirm's House Republican plan to cut $10.5-billion from federal budget over 10 years...
Majority Republicans in Congress are eyeing a proposal to cut about 10.5-billion dollars in spending from the federal budget over the next 10 years. Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is aware of the proposal, which was reported on in thehill.com late last week. Reed calls it "sizable..." and, he feels the time is right to have a conversation about non-manditory, and manditory spending... which he says show's "how ambitious and how aggressive this administration is going to be when it comes to the issues of spending and debt." He feels that "every dollar" needs to be part of the discussion... and, it will likely be discussed and debated in the House Ways and Means Committee that he sits on. The Corning Republican says he would first look at "waste, fraud, and abuse." Reed says it's an opportunity to run the government in a "much more effective and efficient manner." President Trump is expected to meet with bipartisan Congressional leaders at the White House tonight to discuss his Congressional agenda which includes repealing and replacing the nation's health care law and passing tax reform. Reed made his comments during a Special Inauguration conference call with regional media.
Several hundred people attend Doors Open Jamestown program...
'Doors Open Jamestown' on Saturday had weather more like April than January... and a lot of people headed for the hills... to the Martz-Kohl Observatory on Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg. President, Gary Nelson, said they had about 200 visitors, and even though it was sunny, they were looking at a star -- the Sun. Nelson says they have a special telescope that reduces the ultra-violet rays that are harmful to human eyes. Ordinarily, looking directly at the sun can be hazardous to the retina. The Fenton History Center's Joni Blackman thinks the fair weather brought families to their front door. Blackman says they had a lot of young families that brought their children through. Blackman is one of the principal organizers of 'Doors Open'. She estimates around 800 people visited the museum last Saturday. A total of 17 locations were open and free for the public last Saturday.
Two Jamestown residents face several drug-related charges following a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon on the city's eastside. City Police say a patrol spotted the car, driven by 32 year-old Charles Washington, fail to signal a turn in the area of 65 River Street about 2 PM. Officers say they found Washington's passenger, 18 year-old Mariah Snyder, in possession of a small amount of marijuana. However... further investigation found Snyder also allegedly had 9 grams of cocaine, and more than 6-grams of 'crack" cocaine, in her possession. Police say they also found more than 11 ounces of marijuana inside the car... along with drug paraphernalia and packing materials. Washington faces charges including Felony third-degree criminal possession of marijuana... while Snyder faces charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one count of third-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Both are being held pending a preliminary hearing.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has found his new Budget Director in the Sheriff's Office. Horrigan has announced the appointment of Kathleen Dennison to replace Kitty Crow on February 1st. The Fredonia resident will replace current director Kitty Crow... who will become the county's new Finance Director on that same date. Horrigan says Dennison has served as the Accounting Supervisor for the Sheriff's Office for the past five years. He adds that she has over 30 yeaeers of experience in budgeting, payroll, and financial reporting.
Prior to her current position... Dennison served as Assistant General Manager at the Clarion Hotel from 2010-2011, General Manager a hotel in Mongolia from 2009-2010, Accountant at Lake Shore Savings and Loan in 2009, and Innkeeper and Owner of The White Inn from 1993 to 2009. Horrigan adds that Dennison's "distinct background in financial management will be a great asset to the county and I look forward to working with her in her new role as Budget Director." Dennison says she is "honored" to be selected.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released his proposed state budget last night that he says is aimed at strengthening the middle class. It also addresses some vital infrastructure issues in the state... namely water utilities. Cuomo says the 152-billion dollar spending plan includes 2-billion dollars in spending to help deal with water quality issues facing certain places in upstate New York... and, Long Island. Back to the Middle-Class... Cuomo is proposing a middle-class income tax cut... and, a "free-tuition" program for the State University of New York... and, City University of New York. He says that program would cost 163-million additional dollars... and, would be for instate students only. He says the budget also increases education aid by one-billion dollars to 25.6-billion... along with an expanded child care tax credit. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said the college tuition plan is just one of the budget proposals that will get close scrutiny from lawmakers. The governor says the budget holds spending growth below two percent for the seventh consecutive year.
State Senator Cathy Young says the Governor's budget presentation was "very unusual..." and, lacked in transparency. Young was among the Senate Majority members who attended a power-point presentation at the Governor's Mansion. However... the Olean Republican says few details about the plan were offered. Young says she would like to see the budget presentation return to being made to the entire legislature... with the media present... and, more disclosure. Young says she does have serious concerns about the governor's proposal of "free tuition" for in-state low and middle-income taxpaying families who have members attending either SUNY or CUNY. However... she says it will all be sorted out by the Senate Finance Committee that she chairs. Overall... Young says -- like always -- the budget has it's good and bad points. She says her panel is already holding budget hearings on the spending plan.
Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is saying he stressed to President-elect Donald Trump the impact of federal spending on state budgets. Cuomo had a nearly hour-long meeting with the Republican president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday. The governor said they discussed the impact of federal tax policy and the potential repeal of the federal health care law on New York. Cuomo has placed major infrastructure projects at the center of his agenda and said he hopes Trump will authorize federal spending for some of the projects, including a rehabilitation of Kennedy Airport. Cuomo said, "New York is ready to build." Cuomo is a rumored 2020 presidential candidate.
The region's State Senator has introduced legislation that would make it a Felony to injure a police K-9 officer in the line of duty. Olean Republican Cathy Young has proposed "Mitchell's Law..." named after Jamestown Police K-9 "Mitchell" who was seriously injured apprehending a murder suspect late last November. Young says that Mitchell, a six-year-old German Shepherd who has been with JPD since 2011, was grievously injured during a confrontation with suspected murderer Keith Robbins following a six-hour standoff. During the apprehension of Robbins, K-9 Officer Mitchell was stabbed in the throat and under his jaw, causing the knife to penetrate his tongue, resulting in emergency surgery. During a visit to Senator Young’s office, "Mitchell" and his handler, Officer Eric Kraft, and Police Chief Harry Snellings asked Senator Young to sponsor legislation that would make it a felony to injure a K-9 officer in the line of duty.
A Jamestown man sought for an alleged break-in in the town of Harmony last month has been arrested on a warrant on the city's eastside. Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers executed an arrest warrant at 144 Chandler Street about 12:45 AM Wednesday... and, took 48 year-old Luis Sanchez into custody. Deputies say Sanchez was wanted for fourth-degree grand larceny... and, conspiracy. They say the charges were the result of a December 2016 incident at 51-51 Fairbanks Road in Ashville. Sanchez was arraigned... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.
An Erie, Pennsylvania-area man has died after being struck by a vehicle in a utility work-zone on Kinzua Road in Warren County's Mead Township. State Police in Warren say the driver of the vehicle, 78 year-old Eugene Schwanke of Warren, was westbound just before Noon Sunday when he approached the unmarked work area. Troopers say Schwanke allegedly failed to see a flagger, who was standing on or near the west shoulder, and, the worker was struck. Police say the flagger... identified as 46 year-old Michael Robertson of Waterford, Pennsylvania... was thrown into a nearby lawn. Troopers say he ws flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie where he died several hours later. The investigation into the accident is continuing.
Temperatures will rise to above normal levels again this week, but expect some icy weather before the warm up. The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory now through 10 this morning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties. Meteorologist Dave Thomas says up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible. The freezing rain will eventually transition to just plain rain by Tuesday afternoon. Thomas says temperatures are expected to remain on the mild side for the next couple of weeks, but there are indications that arctic air will return later this month. He says the cold, artic air, is currently bottled up around the Arctic, will begin to move further south. Until the pattern change... temperatures are expected to remain generally above normal.
It's a "huge start." Those are the feelings of one of the main people on the front-line of the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis in the Jamestown-area. The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, says he was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the news about the new, 20-bed long-term treatment facility that will be opening soon at UPMC Chautauqua WCA. Huber says he was in a meeting with County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman in Mayville when they got the word. O'Brien and UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright announced the 700-thousand dollar grant... and, the process they still have to go through to get the facility up and running at the Jones Memorial Health Center on Glasgow Avenue. Huber says he's also pleased that the facility will deal with each case in a "highly-individualized" manner... which is one of the things that's "very nice" about the proposal. He says having those local beds means local addicts aren't having to fight for beds in Erie, Pittsburgh or Buffalo.
There will be two parts to the 2.5-million dollar fiscal--economic funding from New York state... which is designed to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid financial footing. That from Mayor Sam Teresi says city officials received word recently from state Division of Budget, breaking down the money... and, what it will be used for. Teresi says the largest chunk, 1.5-million dollars, will go towards the effort to move retirees of the city's own health-insurance plan. He says it will fund a formal study, and support that effort. Teresi says the state will incentivize the program by providing a payment to retirees to help them avoid payments for their health care under Medicare... or some other program. He adds the other one-million dollars will be used to help plug the city's 825-thousand dollar funding gap... and, support consolidating services. Teresi says all the moves are geared towards making city operations more efficent... and, less costly. He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
As the nation celebrated the life of the late Martin Luther King, Junior yesterday... a large crowd turned out for a luncheon that was held at the Moose Lodge in Dunkirk to reflect on the slain civil rights leader's dream and how to restore it. The luncheon's theme, "Rise Up-Restore the Dream," was the focus of guest speaker Dr. Cedric Howard. The State University of New York at Fredonia's Vice President for Student Affairs says that Dr. King's dream is "not a one step process..." As the nation prepares for a new president to take office on Friday... Dr. Howard told us we can all make a difference -- locally -- when it comes to furthering Dr. King's dream. He says first, we need to have "attentive ears..." and, realize we're all in this together. The Luncheon Committee also presented the Janice Slaton Esq. scholarships. Among the winners, Chad Butts who will be attending Jamestown Community College's Dunkirk Campus to pursue a career in criminal justice.
The state's official Martin Luther King Day observance was held yesterday at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center adjacent to the Capitol. Emmy-winning violinist Damien Escobar joined the Syracuse Children's Chorus and others in performing at the annual event. Escobar appeared on the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent" and has performed on numerous talk shows and at the White House. Education advocate Geoffrey Canada delivered the keynote address. He's an internationally recognized advocate for children and innovator in the field of education. There was also a performance by actress and singer Tina Fabrique, best known for her award-winning portrayal of Ella Fitzgerald in "Ella" in regional theaters.
Tax season is looming in New York. The state Department of Taxation and Finance says the income tax filing season officially begins Monday, January 23rd. The deadline to file 2016 tax returns will be a few days later this year - on April 18th. That's because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington D.C. that Monday, which pushes the federal and state deadline to Tuesday, April 18th. New York tax officials are reminding residents that electronic tax return filers typically receive refunds twice as fast as paper filers.
Chautauqua County to be under Freezing Rain Advisory through late Tuesday morning...
Temperatures will rise to above normal levels again this week, but expect some icy weather before the warm up. The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory from 8 p.m. tonight to 10 a.m. Tuesday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties. Meteorologist Dave Thomas says up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible, especially Tuesday morning on untreated roads and sidewalks. The freezing rain will eventually transition to just plain rain by Tuesday afternoon. Thomas says temperatures are expected to remain on the mild side for the next couple of weeks, but there are indications that arctic air will return later this month. He says the cold, artic air, is currently bottled up around the Arctic, will begin to move further south. Until the pattern change... temperatures are expected to remain generally above normal.
Huber "very pleased" to get news about funding approved for Long-Term Drug Rehab Facility in Jamestown...
It's a "huge start." Those are the feelings of one of the main people on the front-line of the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis in the Jamestown-area. The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, says he was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the news about the new, 20-bed long-term treatment facility that will be opening soon at UPMC Chautauqua WCA. Huber says he was in a meeting with County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman in Mayville when they got the word. He says "we've needed that for a long-time, and it's going to save some lives." Huber mainly credited Director Andy O'Brien with WCA's head of drug rehab and mental health programs. O'Brien and UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright announced the $700,000 grant... and, the process they still have to go through to get the facility up and running at the Jones Memorial Health Center on Glasgow Avenue. Huber says he's also pleased that the facility will deal with each case in a "highly-individualized" manner... which is one of the things that's "very nice" about the proposal.
Ortolano says latest sentences from major cocaine ring bust sends strong message...
The sentencing of three more defendants to federal prison time in the city of Dunkirk's biggest-ever drug bust ever should send a strong message to the north county's residents -- and other potential drug dealers. That from Police Chief David Ortolano... who says he's pleased to see last week's sentencings for three more people found guilty of being part in the cocaine traffickng operation. Ortolano says Rafael Burgos, Alvin Torres Jr. and Angel Pierluissi, were arrested in June of 2015 after a lengthy investigation that involved several levels of law enforcement... including his own. He says it was a "major undertaking" by them, the U-S Attorney's Office... and, the U-S Drug Enforcement Agency. Burgos was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine... and, was sentenced to 75 months in prison. Torres and Pierluissi, who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, were each sentenced to a year-and-a-half each.
JPS's new interim Superintendent Silvia Root looks forward to her latest role...
The new, Interim Superintendent for the Jamestown School District says she's very impressed with what she's seen of the local district as she get's acquainted with the district, and it's leaders. Springville's Silvia Root will replace Superintendent Tim Mains after spent 20 years as a school administrator... and, doing six other stints as an "Interim" Superintendent. Root reetired in 2005 from the Potsdam District in northern New York. Root was formally introduced at last Thursday night's board meeting... and, says she knew a little about Jamestown prior to being asked to fill-in once Mains moves on Feb. 26. She says she's been "very impressed" with the core values of the board... and, that "students come first." Root was contacted by Erie-2 Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke about replacing Mains... who has accepted the Superintendent's position in the Pine Bush Central District in the mid-Hudson Valley. She says her biggest task right now is learning the lay of the land... and, getting to know everyone she'll be working with.
Dunkirk School Board learns more about where NRG Repowering Project is going...
The NRG repowering project was one of the issues that was discussed during the Dunkirk School Board meeting late last week. State Senator Cathy Young hosted a conference call with school, city and county officials to confirm the go ahead with plans for the NRG repowering project. School Superintendent James Tracy says they are encouraged about the project that had stalled in 2016... and, says it looks like all the roadblocks have been removed. Tracy says that without the PILOT agreement, the District receives a reduced amount in transition aid with decreased amounts decrease each year...he adds that with the hopes of the repowering project, the funding will help keep class sizes reasonable and jobs intact. No set timeline on the repowering project has been determined.
UPMC Chautauqua WCA receives funding for long-term drug rehabiliation facility at Jones Hill Memorial Center...
A long-term drug rehabilition facility is much closer to becoming reality in the Jamestown-area... thanks to a $700,000 state grant to get the facility up and running at UPMC Chautauqua-WCA. Officials with the hospital held a news conference Friday afternoon to confirm the grant... one of eight announced late Thursday by Governor Andrew Cuomo. UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says they're thrilled to be getting the funding after not getting funding in their first two tries. Wright says the facility is "much-needed..." and was the payoff for persistance by the hospital and community. The grants as approved by a number of agencies -- including the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services -- also known as OASAS. Wright and WCA Board President Steve Kilburn say this is "an example" of the expansion of services at UPMC Chautauqua WCA that were promised when they merged with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. WCA's Director of Inpatient Chemical Dependency and Out-Patient Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Services, Andy O'Brien, says the 20-bed program will be "highly-individualized." He says they want their patients to help set their own goals, and use whatever time they need -- 6 to 12-months -- to get better and get clean. UPMC Chautauqua WCA officials say the beds will be located on the fourth-floor of their Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown. The grant will help them make the renovations and buy needed equipment for the facility. The other treatment facilites getting money are in six other counties in central and western New York and the Capital District.
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs, and being in possession of more than 100 bags of Heroin...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs... and, being in possession of 113 bags of Heroin. Jamestown police add that a 13 year-old child was in the car when officers pulled over 31 year-old Felix Rodriguez-Gomez about 5 p.m. Thursday. Officers accuse Rodriguez-Gomez of driving recklessly when he was pulled over near North Main and West 11th Streets. Police add that they found him under the influence of a narcotic drug and he was arrested for driving while ability impaired. Officers say they also found a 13 year-old child in the car with Rodriguez-Gomez... and, he was also charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated -- a violation of Leandra's Law. Police add they also found the packaged Heroin. Rodriguez-Gomez is also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Ortolano pleased with sentencings of final three members of cocaine drug ring...
The city of Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased with the outcome of a major drug bust in the city of Dunkirk that is sending three more people to spend time in prison. Rafael Burgos, Alvin Torres Jr. and Angel Pierluissi, were arrested in June of 2015 after a lengthy investigation that involved several levels of law enforcement. That from Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano... whose department was involved in the investigation. Burgos who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine was sentenced to 75 months in prison. Torres and Pierluissi, who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, were each sentenced to 18 months in prison. Ortolano indicates he’s satisfied with the sentences and says its sends the message that they will do whatever it takes to get drug out of the community.
Reed voted with majority in Congress to repeal Affordable Care Act -- aka Obamacare...
Local Congressman Tom Reed was in the majority late Friday in voting for a budget bill that begins the effort in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act... also known as "Obamacare." The Corning Republican supported the resolution... which would prevent Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a bill to annual and replace President Obama's signature health care law. Reed says this starts the process of repealing and replacing the ACA by requiring each committee in Congress submit its policy ideas for the replacement efforts by January 27th. Hes says -- "it's Important to recognize that this is the first step in the process. The current provisions are still intact until we can get a replacement in place, but this allows Congress to start developing the replacement policies."
JCC receives $1.1-million grant from Sheldon Foundation for music program...
A local foundation is giving a $1.1-million grant to Jamestown Community College, and the JCC Foundation, to help renovate the music facilities on the Jamestown Campus. JCC officials say the Sheldon Foundation's gift will be used to upgrade classrooms, equipment, and facilities for the music program in the Arts-and-Sciences Center. JCC Vice-President of Enrollment Management and institutional advancement, Kirk Young, says the foundation has -- for many years and through several important initiatives -- provided financial support to JCC. Young says "the foundation’s contributions have greatly enhanced the college’s ability to perform its critical mission. He says -- overall -- the Sheldon Foundation has contributed nearly $5-million to the college
Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains will be leaving at the end of February to become the head of the rural, Pine Bush Central School District in Orange County, New York. The district last night sent out a printed press release... saying that Mains would leave the district on February 26th. Members of the Jamestown School Board says they will address questions regarding Mains’ departure at the regular board meeting at 6 this evening in the Jefferson Middle School auditorium. He became the city district's superintendent on August 1st of 2013. During his tenure... board members say the district has made great strides and achieved a number of milestones. Those include increasing graduation rates from 69-percent in 2012 to 77-percent this past year. He also worked to increase the district's focus on curriculum and instruction in order to meet the new, more rigorous state standards. School Board President Paul Abbott says "we have been very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Tim since 2013. Tim is a tireless professional, and I appreciate everything he has put into our district and our community during his time here." He says the board will now begin the process of seeking a new superintendent.
There is now a threat of widespread flooding in western New York... including Chautauqua County... with temperatures above freezing the next couple of days. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch from 7 this (Thursday) morning through Saturday morning for the region... and, forecasters are keeping an eye on local streams and creeks. Meteorologist Bob Hamilton in Buffalo says abnormally high temperatures and a prolonged period of rain will melt much of the existing snowpack. Some areas may see over an inch. Hamilton says Cattaraugus Creek near Sunset Bay will be one of the areas of concern. Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county has a plan in case flooding should occur... and, he says County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone has his crews ready to go on a moment's notice. Horrigan is encouraging people who live near creeks and streams to monitor the latest weather information and be prepared to take action should flooding develop.
Jamestown city lawmakers are looking at a new, local property tax abatement incentive for redevelopment of vacant and condemned homes. That from City Development Director Vince DeJoy... who outlined the proposal for the City Council's Housing Committee... and, the entire council at Monday night's work session. DeJoy says city officials have discussed such a program for just over a year now... and, he says the idea is to provide a 12-year tax incentive for new single and two-family homeowners. DeJoy says there are a number of criteria involved with the program... including the fact that the property must be residential, vacant or condemned... and, has outstanding code violations. He says there can also be a plan to put up a new, single or two-family home on the site of a torn-down structure. Mayor Sam Teresi says there are also stipulations for the tax abatement to take effect... including that all pertinent certificates and permits have been issued. The abatement would include no taxes for the first through third years... an, 80-percent abatement for year's 4 and 5... all the way to no abatement by Year-12.
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to efforts to reducing property taxes and the costs of local governments. That's County Executive Vince Horrigan's reaction to a proposal outlined by Governor Cuomo during a State of the State message given Tuesday on Long Island. Cuomo wants counties to prepare plans for local residents to vote on in November. During an interview Wednesday morning... Horrigan says the county already formed a Regional Solutions Commission and is identified some projects. Horrigan says there have been some successes including the recent vote in Forestville that clears the way for dissolution. He also noted the defeat of a plan to dissolve the village of Sherman by two votes. Horrigan also praised the work the Regional Solutions panel in looking for better ways to carry out services.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a 750-mile paved biking and hiking Empire State Trail for completion by 2020. The trail would actually be a network of trails running east-west between Albany and Buffalo and north-south from the Canadian border to Manhattan. The Democratic governor outlined plans for the network in his state of the state address Tuesday. Plans call for paving 350 miles to fill gaps in the state's existing trails: the Erie Canalway and the Hudson River Valley Greenway. State Bike Route 9 that runs along Lake Champlain to Canada would complete the trail from Manhattan. The Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete; the Greenway nearly 50 percent. Cuomo says he'll propose $53 million for the first of three phases.
Someone in the Jamestown-area is more than 30-thousand dollars richer. That after they picked the winning numbers for Thursday night's TAKE 5 drawing. The New York State Lottery has announced that the top-prize ticket for the January 10th TAKE 5 drawing was sold at Tops Markets on Foote Avenue in Jamestown. The winning ticket is worth 30-thousand-990 dollars. The TAKE 5 winner gets the top prize by matching five out of five numbers. In addition... 247 players each purchased winning tickets worth $376 by matching four out of five numbers for the drawing. In total, there were 87-thousand-104 TAKE 5 winners for the January 10th drawing. The winning numbers for the January 10 TAKE 5 drawing were 03-06-17-24-32. The Lottery encourages everyone who bought a New York Lottery draw game ticket, to check their tickets again, as they could be holding a winner. Tickets expire one year after the game’s drawing.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are up six-cents a gallon over the past week to nearly 2-dollars-56 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for last week was 2--49 a gallon... while it was 2-dollars-21 cents per gallon a year ago. Nationally... the Triple-A says the price continues to increase... and, is now 2-dollars-37 cents a gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports that price is the highest it's been since June 2016. Triple-A says gas prices have moved higher by almost three cents per gallon on the week and 17 cents per gallon on the month. Retail prices have increased for 40 of the past 42 days as a result of market reactions to the OPEC oil cut agreement.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing another "Buffalo Billion" program... but, this one would be designed to help not just Buffalo -- but, the entire Western New York region. Cuomo delivered his "Western New York" regional State of the State Message Monday afternoon at the University of Buffalo. Mayor Sam Teresi was on hand as the governor spoke about the need to use another 500-million dollar boost the regional economy... and, Cuomo first proposed a major infusion of money for the new National Comedy Center. Cuomo says he decided to call this second-part of the "Buffalo Billion..." the Buffalo Billion-Squared. He says another measure to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid, economic footing... would also be part of the proposal. That would provide the city with 2.5-million dollars to help deal with a structural deficit. Also in his proposal.... he's proposing a new Middle Class Recovery Act that focuses on three parts. The first is jobs and infrastructure... improve education... and, lower taxes. Cuomo's proposed free public college tuition for 2 and 4-year schools is part of that program. He included proposals for the city of Niagara Falls in the plan as well.
Jamestown's top-elected official says he was very pleased to hear Governor Cuomo "call-out" Jamestown for two-areas of funding in the coming year. Mayor Sam Teresi was among the local leaders on hand for the governor's State of the State Address in Buffalo Monday. Teresi says the 5-million dollars in "gap funding" for the National Comedy Center means it should have all the funding in place to the project to go full-speed ahead.
Teresi adds that it's also important because there will be additional money freed up in other areas for economic development. He says the Comedy Center was looking at receiving 2-million dollars in "gap funding" from the city's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. Teresi says the 2.5-million dollars to help get the city back on "solid" financial footing will help deal with it's structural budget issues. He says it will likely be used to help implement the city's proposals to cuts costs, and make further consolidations of services. While nothing is guaranteed once the governor's budget is proposed... and, then is adopted by the legislature... Teresi says it's "good that we are on the governor's radar screen."
Earlier... Governor Cuomo said New York state can be an alternative to Republican President-elect Donald Trump by showing how government can expand opportunities while respecting diversity. In his State of the State Speech at the World Trade Center... Cuomo said investments in education, government support for high-tech industries and progressive policies like a higher minimum wage can create an economy that works for all. The governor has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but he has said he's focused on running for re-election next year. However, his speech appeared to be crafted for a national audience. He spoke of the anger of a middle class that feels squeezed economically and forgotten by political elites.
The city of Jamestown is looking at another emergency demolition to bring down a vacant, dilapitated building in the downtown area... and, has already closed the sidewalk in front of the structure. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says a building inspector notices a "shift" in the facade at the Stearn's Building at 34 North Main Street. That's just one building north of the former CONRAIL Viaduct, and railroad tracks. DeJoy says the Stearns Building is basically wedged between two other structures. DeJoy says they have been monitoring the building's status for the past few years... and, says the inspector noticed the instability last week. He says an emergency demolition has been ordered... but, adds it's not likely going to be a case of just "tearing it down." DeJoy says it may require a lot of "manual deconstructing" to bring it down. He says they are working with various contractors, and, the owner -- Prideful Properties -- on the best way to bring down the structure as soon as possible. He says Prideful acquired the building through the county's Tax Foreclosure process last year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to strengthen state laws against computer hacking, identity theft and other cybercrimes. The Democratic governor also called for the creation of a new "cyber incident response team" to help state agencies prevent and respond to cyberattacks. The recommendations would enhance the criminal penalties for tampering with a computer or using a computer to steal the identities of large groups of individuals. The proposals are part of Cuomo's larger agenda for the year, which he plans to detail in a series of speeches around the state beginning Monday. Cuomo says computer hacking and cybercriminals represent an "ever-increasing threat" to New York and to the privacy and financial health of citizens.
With only 10-days to go before the new Trump Administration takes office... the President-elect's transition team is hard at work... working to make recommendations on three-thousand plus appointments. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a member of the Trump Transition team. Reed says they were given their directive by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence... who heads up the transition... to recommend the best people for those positions. Reed says some of those positions are in individual departments... and, others are in the judiciary. However... he says once Attorney General-appointee Jeff Sessions is confirmed... Sessions will handle filling those positions. Reed says the committee will mainly deal with under-secretaries... and, ambassadors. Otherwise... Reed says -- from his perspective -- the transition process has been hectic... but, has gone well. He says one of his biggest tasks will be helping to design and drive reform of the nation's tax code in the House Ways and Means Committee. Reed made his comments during his weekly media conference call.
A portion of Falconer and the Levant-area were impacted for about an hour yesterday morning when a power outage affected about 230 customers. Board of Public Utilities' Spokewoman Becky Robbins says the outage occured when part of a circuit opened in error about 9:35 AM. Robbins says the area affected ran from Fancher Chair to the Gerry-Levant Road. Power was restored about 10:45 Monday morning.
The U-S Senate has taken the first step towards repealing the Affordable Care Act. However... Republicans will need Democratic support in order to approve a replacement measure. That from local Congressman Tom Reed as the Senate voted 51-to-48 last week to repeal President Obama's signature health care law. Reed says repealing and replacing "Obamacare" will take several steps... and, will have to go through the federal budget process.
Reed says there will also be a vote in the House of Representatives shortly to first repeal the law. As for a replacement... that has already been a topic of discussion itself. Some Democrats have contended there is no replacement legislation. However... Reed says replacing the ACA will require Democratic help in the Senate... where 60-votes will be needed. CNN reports that the Senate will next begin 50 hours of debate on the budget measure, which sets up repeal of much of Obamacare through a separate budget reconciliation bill.
In the weeks after November's election... President-elect Donald Trump and incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer sounded like potential allies. Trump tweeted about their "good relationship" and about Schumer's "ability to get things done." Schumer spoke of issues such as infrastructure and trade where Trump had embraced Democratic positions, and the New York Democrat pointed to common ground with the next president. But just days into the new Congress, the Trump-Schumer courtship has turned cold, and the potential allies now sound more like antagonists. Trump has taken to attacking Schumer as Democrats' "head clown" in their party's defense of President Barack Obama's health law. Schumer goaded Trump by repurposing Trump's campaign slogan into Democrats' new rallying cry against GOP efforts to repeal the health law: "Make America Sick Again."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo breaks with tradition and takes his state of the state address on the road in the coming week. That includes an address at the University of Buffalo this afternoon. Instead of a single address to lawmakers, Cuomo will deliver six speeches in different locations throughout the state. He'll also be in New York City today for the first speeches. Additional addressed are planned for Long Island, Westchester County, Albany and Syracuse. The top Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the Assembly are skipping the event in another sign of the tension between the Legislature and the Democratic governor. Instead... lawmakers will return to Albany today for the second week of the 2017 legislative session.
Tickets for Chautauqua Institution's 2017 season go on-sale this morning... and, officials say there will be more than four-thousand events coming up during the nine-week session. That from Chautauqua's Marketing Manager, Vanessa Weinert, who says the season opens on June 24th with a first-ever Chautauqua visitor... who will perform in the new Amphitheater. Weinert says the excitement is growing already. Weinert adds that they have "An Evening with Garrison Keillor" on July 21st... which will be another take-off on his famous PBS Series "A Prarie Home Companion." There is also the weekly lecture series... which will feature a week-six program with the National Comedy Center on Comedy. Weinert says many Chautauqua staff members lobbied for the week on comedy... which will conclude in time for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... which runs August 3rd through 6th. Wienert adds the final concert of the season feature's The Beach Boys to conclude Week-Nine. For ticket information... go on-line to chqtickets-dot-COM... or call 357-6250. Weinert adds that you can also go on-line to ciweb-dot-ORG.
The National Comedy Center is partnering with CNN to help promote the network's upcoming docu-series on "The History of Comedy..." which starts February 9th. That from Center Director Journey Gunderson... who says CNN approached them last August during last Summer's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Gunderson says the promotion will involve a four-city "live tour..." which will feature some of the "freshest and funniest" stand-up comics. Gunderson says the CNN Producers interviewed several people while they were here last Summer... including one of the three headliners that were here... for the docu-series. She says Lewis Black was interviewed, along with Mark Russell, and Richard Pryor's daughter, Rain Pryor. CNN Originals is putting the series of eight programs together. Gunderson says the promotion tour will include stops in New York City... Boston... Chicago... and, Los Angeles. For more information... and, to purchase tickets... go to the Comedy Center's website at Comedycenter-dot-ORG. "The History of Comedy" Series begins on Thursday, February 9th at 9 PM.
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has announced new, emergency measures for those who are homeless during inclement Winter weather. Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says during those periods when temperatures fall to 32-degrees Fahrenheit... or lower... those who are homeless are encouraged to seek emergency shelter through her office. She says anyone experiencing those conditions... may report to either the Jamestown or Dunkirk offices during normal business hours from 8:30 AM through 4:30 PM where assistance will be provided. However... Schuyler says during those times, and after-business hours... all local law enforcement departments, along with the Department of Mental Hygiene, UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Brooks Hospital, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Mobile Crisis Team are available to assist with arrangements for emergency shelter for those experiencing homeless conditions. For more information... call 661-8830. After hours... call 753-4231.
A Jamestown man is accused of being in possession of "several types" of narcotic prescription pills during a traffic stop last weekend in the town of Ellicott. Sheriff's officers say they stopped a vehicle operated by 33 year-old Sean Carlson for a traffic violation shortly after 2 AM Saturday on Route 60. Deputies say they found Carlson in possession of the drugs... which he did not have a prescription for. Officers add his license was also suspended. Carlson was arrested on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance... aggravated unlicensed operation... and, failure to keep right. He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.
New Lake Effect Snow Warning now in effect for Chautauqua County...
More Wintry weather is on tap for this weekend in Chautauqua County and the western Southern Tier. The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning now through 7 p.m. Sunday. That from Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says the traditional snow belt areas -- including the Chautauqua Ridge -- will see up to a foot to 2-feet of snow now through Sunday evening. Hamilton adds we'll continue to see frigid temperatures -- and wind chills through Sunday. He says temperatures will be about 10-degrees below normal for the period. Hamilton says there will be a bit of a break during the afternoon today. However... the Lake Effect machine kicks in again tonight.
Chautauqua County provides help for the homeless during severe Winter outbreaks...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has announced new, emergency measures for those experiencing homeless conditions during inclement winter weather. Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says during those periods when temperatures fall to 32-degrees Fahrenheit... or lower... those who are homeless are encouraged to seek emergency shelter assistance through her office. She says anyone experiencing those conditions... may report to either the Jamestown or Dunkirk office locations during normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. where assistance will be provided. However... Schuyler says during those times, and after-business hours, all law enforcement departments in the county... along with the Department of Mental Hygiene, UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Brooks Hospital, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Mobile Crisis Team are available to assist with arrangements for emergency shelter for those experiencing homeless conditions. For more information... call 661-8830. After hours... call 753-4231.
Goodell pleased with Assembly committee assignments...
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says making New York more "business-friendly" continues to be his goal as the 2017 session begins. Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell will be assistant floor leader for the GOP in the coming session... and, says he's excited about that. Goodell says he's also pleased to be back on the committees he served on in 2016... including Social Services... and, the Judiciary... which deals with judicial and government operations. He'll also be on the Cities Committee... which deals with small cities such as Jamestown and Dunkirk. He adds that another priority will be dealing with the ongoing Heroin and Opioid Drug crisis. The state legislative session began this past Wednesday in the Assembly and Senate.
Jamestown BPU pushing new sanitation regulations for 2017 in interest of health and safety...
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities have made some changes to it's solid waste regulations to make the operation more efficient and safe. That from BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins... who says the biggest change is enforcing a bag limit of eight per customer. Robbins says officials decided on the move because... in some cases... crews are picking up 20 to 30 grocery-sized plastic bags. She says the BPU wants customers to use 30-gallon trash bags to cut down on the number of bags that workers have to pick-up. Robbins says -- starting now -- anyone leaving 15 or more bags a week will be charged a $3 fee for each of the extra bags. If someone is still putting out 9 to 11 bags... they will get a letter in February. In addition... Robbins says the requirement to put lids on garbage cans has already stirred some controversy. However... she says they want to avoid problems with rats... and roaches during the Summer months. If the trash is NOT in a can, though, there will be no penalty -- at this point. The basic sanitation fee remains $10.50. If you have any questions... you're asked to call the garbage hotline at 661-1651.
BPU warns about Customer Service Scam...
It appears a scam involving a person calling customers of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities... and, identifying themself as a BPU representative... and, threatening service shut-offs has resurfaced. BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says three separate customers Friday reported receiving such calls... and, threatening to cut off service unless the customer went to a local pharmacy to pay the caller with a money card. Robbins says the BPU receives payments only in its 92 Steele St. Customer Service Office, the City Clerk’s Office and the Town of Ellicott’s Clerk’s Office. Customers may pay on-line or by phone... but, the customer must initiate such payments.
Lake Effect Snow returned to Chautauqua County overnight after spending Thursday afternoon and evening in the South Buffalo and Orchard Park areas. The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning though 5 PM today... and, parts of northern Chautauqua County could see another 12 to 18 inches of snow by tomorrow night. That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo... who says most of the snow will fall from the Chautauqua Ridge north to the Lake Erie Shoreline area.The Jamestown area and north saw about 5 and 9 inches of snow during the night. Hibbert says the lake effect bands will stay down here though the end of the lake effect system tonight. He says the greatest amounts of snow will fall in the higher elevations this time... namely the Chautauqua Ridge. Again... Hibbert says the band have moved back into the North County area late tonight. The Weather Service is continuing our Lake Effect Snow Warning from now through 5 PM.
Parts of upstate New York near lakes Erie and Ontario had already received nearly 2 feet of snow yesterday morning... while forecasters say some areas could get up to 4 feet by the coming weekend. The National Weather Service says areas south of Buffalo had gotten up to 22 inches by Thursday morning... and, parts of the Tug Hill region north of Syracuse have received nearly 20 inches. Weather service meteorologists say lake-effect storms blowing off the eastern end of Lake Ontario could dump up to 48 inches of snow across the sparsely populated region by the time storms lessen later Friday.
Local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's "very pleased" to have been named Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore for this year's session. Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua announced late Wednesday that Goodell will fill the position this year... and, will play a "vital role" in preparation of floor debates. The Jamestown-area Republican says he'll be involved in determining what bills from Majority Democrats the GOP wants to question. Kolb says Goodell has "worked diligently over the years to fight for the issues that matter to his constituents in Chautauqua County." In addition to being Ass't Pro Temp... Goodell says he'll again be the Ranking GOP member of the Assembly Social Services Committee... where he will work again on Welfare Reform to try and break the "cycle of poverty" for so many people. He says he will also be on the Judiciary... Government Operations... and, Cities Committees. Goodell has represented the 150th Assembly District since 2010.
State Senator Cathy Young will again serve as the chair of the Senate's powerful Finance Committee as she begins her sixth, full-term in officer. Young was sworn in in Albany yesterday as the Senate began the 2017 legislative session. She is also an active member of several other committees. Young says serving has been "a tremendous honor..." and, adds that the 2017 session "will be a busy and important year, especially since there are so many significant issues that need to be addressed. Our hardworking residents deserve significant tax relief, our business climate needs to be strengthened, and our communities need a strong voice against the tax-and-spend polices being pushed by downstate legislators." The Olean Republican adds that she will "continue to sponsor legislation that improves people’s quality of life, protects public safety and nurtures economic development. People need and deserve to have good paying jobs. Our young people must have career opportunities locally, so they can stay after they graduate."
Governor Cuomo is taking some heat for his decision to deliver his "State of the State" message in six different regions of the state -- including Albany. However... the one in Albany won't be given while the legislature is in session. That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who is among those lawmakers who aren't happy about the governor's decision. Goodell says he likes the idea of continuing the regional "State of the State" messages... but, adds. One of Cuomo's more regional stops will be in Buffalo next Monday... where he will give a Western New York "State of the State" at 3 PM. However... Goodell says he's in session in Albany on Monday, and cannot be at the Buffalo presentation. Cuomo's presentation will be delivered at the Center for the Arts at the University of Buffalo's North Campus.
New York state lawmakers have gathered in Albany to begin their work for 2017. The Senate and Assembly both convened Wednesday for the first time since they adjourned last summer. This year's six-month session is expected to feature big debates over the cost of higher education, government ethics and Uber's proposal to expand into upstate cities like Buffalo and Syracuse. Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, says lawmakers will also work to stand up to President-elect Donald Trump if he and Congressional Republicans move to rein in abortion rights, immigration, health care benefits or efforts to fight climate change. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo skipped the Legislature's first day. Cuomo has had frosty relations with lawmakers in recent months and chose to hold an event in New York City instead.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are on the rise again this week... with prices now at 2-dollars-55 cents in many places. At the start of the New Year... the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price increased to 2-dollars-49-cents for regular, unleaded. However... it's now jumped about six more cents, making the increase since last week about 10-cents a gallon. Nationally... the average has increased for 35 of the past 36 days, largely due to market reactions to last fall’s OPEC deal. Pump prices increased by six cents on the week to about 2-dollars-35 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded. It's up by 18 cents per gallon on the month, and are up by 36 cents on the year. Retail averages in the region continued to climb higher throughout the busy holiday travel weekend with drivers paying the highest New Year’s gas prices since 2014.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to increase a child care tax credit for middle-class parents. The Democrat said Thursday that his plan would raise the average child care benefit from 169-million to 376-million dollars for households making between $60,000 and $150,000. If approved by lawmakers... the change would cost the state $42 million and help an estimated 200,000 families. Cuomo says too many parents choose not to work because they can't afford quality child care. In tax year 2014... almost 520,000 New York families received child care tax credits totaling nearly $189 million. Cuomo announced the plan ahead of a series of state-of-the-state addresses next week when he is expected to detail his proposals for the year.
A local school board in upstate New York has voted to hire a law firm in the board's efforts to remove a Donald Trump supporter over his insulting comments about President Barack Obama and his wife. The Buffalo School Board voted during a special meeting Wednesday night to hire an attorney to petition the state Education Department to remove board member Carl Paladino. Paladino, a wealthy developer who co-chaired Trump's presidential campaign in New York, has said he won't resign. He wasn't at the meeting. Last month... the 70-year-old former New York gubernatorial candidate told a Buffalo alternative newspaper that he wanted the president to die of mad cow disease and first lady Michelle Obama to "return to being a male." Paladino said the comments weren't meant for publication.
Lake Effect Snow Warning in place until Friday afternoon; north county to get most of the snowfall...
The first major lake effect snow storm of 2017 really got going early last evening... and, dropped about 2 to 3 inches of snow by late evening in the Jamestown area. A Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. Friday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties. However... unlike the other recent lake effect events... Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the North County will see a good share of the snow this time... and, the snowfall won't be as elevation-driven. Wood says some parts of northern Chautauqua County may see upwards of 1 to 2-feet of snow by the time the storm is over. Besides the snow... Wood says colder temperatures and strong winds will bring some frigid wind chills in the single-digits. He says we'll still see wind gusts up to 40 to 50 m.p.h. that will produce white-out conditions at times.
Marketing Director Murphy leaving Chautauqua Institution...
The man who helped market Chautauqua Institution in new and different ways over the past six years has left the institution for a new venture. Chautauqua's Director of Communcations... Jordan Steves... confirms that George Murphy has left to work full-time on the branding of a new product in the market-place. Steves says the institution will definately miss Murphy... who was Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer. He says Murphy allowed the institution to "really understand it's audience..." and, target the people who should be coming to Chautauqua, and who needs to come back. Steves says Murphy was one of five Vice-Presidents at the institution... and, adds that replacing him will be one of new Chautauqua President Michael Hill's first priorities. Murphy has been a major player in the marketing and "branding" industry... having worked at General Motors, Coca-Cola, and Chrysler before coming to Chautauqua Institution in 2011.
Chautauqua sends out new, four-year contractor proposal for Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra...
Member of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra now have the institution's latest contract proposal in hand to replace the one that expired last Saturday night. That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications, Jordan Steves, who says the newest offer is "new and better" than the last one. Steves says the new offer is a four-year deal... which they hope is attractive to the membership. He says they also want to build on the success of new Director Rossen Milanov the first two years. Steves says the contract offer went out around New Years to the 74 members of the orchestra... who are now scattered all over the United States... and, two are working overseas. With that... he says the institution will give the Orchestra's Negotiating Committee until later in the month to review the contract offer.
Merchant says Red Kettle Campaign falls short of 2016 goal...
The Salvation Army of Jamestown's annual Red Kettle Campaign wound up about $13,000 short of the 2016 goal. As of Tuesday... Salvation Army Captain John Merchant says they wound up with $103,000 for their numerous programs... in addition to their food pantry. Merchant says they wound up with about another $8,000 during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. He says they "struggled" to get enough bell-ringers this year... and, adds they will have to "tighten their belts" unless they get some additional donations in early 2017. Merchant says you can still sent a contribution to their headquarters at 83 South Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701. Merchant says you can also donate by going on line to the Salvation Army website, and going to the Jamestown chapter's page. You can also get more information by calling them at 664-4108.
Himelein elected new County Legislature Chairman...
The new chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature received unanimous support from fellow lawmakers during Tuesday's organizational meeting. Republican David Himelein of Findley Lake succeeds Frank "Jay" Gould... who held the position for the last five years. Himelein served as majority leader before taking over his new duties. He outlined his goals in his acceptance speech... including infrastruture growth... including completion of the Sherman Public Facilities' Garage. He adds they he will also continue to "strive to keep property taxes as low as possible." Also Tuesday... Republican members of the legislature chose Paul "P-J" Wendel of Lakewood as majority leader and Mark Tarbrake of Ellicott as the assistant leader. Democrats selected Jamestown's Chuck Nazzaro as minority leader and Robert Bankoski of Dunkirk as assistant leader.
It was an uneventful start to the New Year weather-wise... with slightly above normal temperatures. However... our warm-up comes to an end by mid-week. The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch... starting Wednesday afternoon... with up to 15 inches predicted in some areas through Friday. That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we're currently under the influence of a weather system that's moved in from the south. Reynolds says the high temperatures by this Thursday and Friday will only be 15 to 20 degrees. Reynolds says the Chautauqua Ridge -- and, traditional snow belt areas -- will probably see the most snow... between 8 and 15 inches. He says we'll likely see those very cold temperatures for several days once they reach the area late Wednesday. In fact... the projected high next Saturday and Sunday is only between 15 and 20-degrees.
A Jamstown man is accused of theatening a woman and her two small children with a knife during a domestic violence incident on the city's southside early yesterday morning. City Police say they were called to the scene at 816 Newland Avenue around Midnight... and, found the three victims visibly upset and crying. Officers say 39 year-old Nicholas Alianell also damaged a door during the incident. He was arrested without further incident... and, he was found to have an active Order of Protection against him to stay away from the children. Alianell was arraigned on two counts of aggravated family offense... and, second-degree criminal contempt... and, menacing. He was then sent to the county jail without bail.
The Christmas and New Year's Holiday period is usually a big one for local ski resorts... and, this year has been a good one. That from Holiday Valley Ski Resort Marketing Manager Jane Eshbaugh... who says the Ellicottville ski area has had a "wonderful" start to the 2016-17 season. Eshbaugh says they had all but one slope open for Christmas... thanks to recent lake effect snow, and their ability to make snow. Eshbaugh adds that the only slope that hasn't opened yet is "The Wall..." which is their steepest slope at Holiday Valley... but, she says they hope to open that this weekend. She says they've already received about 90 inches of snow in Ellicottville this Winter. She says the skiing was terrific on New Year's... with a "great crowd" on hand. Eshbaugh says they expect to keep the momentum going because it's "Canadian Friendship Week..." with all Canadian public schools closed this week. Holiday Valley is open from 9 AM to 9 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays... 9 AM to 10 PM WednesdayS through Fridays... and, 8:30 AM to 10 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
In addition to it's skiing... Holiday Valley is also know for it's special events and promotions. Marketing Manager Jane Eshbaugh says they have a reduced rate for "Learn to Ski" Week this week. Eshbaugh says they're cutting the usual lift pass price in half to encourage people to come out and give the sport a try. Eshbaugh also says Holiday Valley will try to set a new Guiness World's Record this Friday afternoon for the largest number of people taking a ski lesson at once. She says they'll start at 1 PM... and, the best part is the lesson will be free. Eshbaugh says they hoped to try to beat the record last year... but, the weather didn't cooperate. For more information on Holiday Valley... call 699-2345... or go on-line to Holidayvalley-dot-COM.
About 200 state investigators and staffers are being assigned to spread the word about New York's recent minimum wage increase - and to make sure businesses comply. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the task force Monday in New York City. The minimum wage was previously 9-dollars an hour statewide until Saturday. Now, it varies by location and size of business, from $9.70 an hour in much of the state to $11 an hour in New York City businesses with 11 or more workers. The Democratic governor and the state Legislature agreed in March to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour statewide by 2021. Cuomo says the task force initially will mainly inform employers and workers about the increase, but over time, the group will focus more on complaints and enforcement.
A Sears department store in the Hudson Valley is closing in the new year, putting nearly 100 people out of work. The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that 96 jobs in the department store and auto center located at Galleria at Crystal Run will be lost. That's acording to a notice published on the state Department of Labor website... which says lay-offs will begin two weeks before the April 9th closing date. The struggling retailer has continued to downsize in the face of declining revenue. Sears Holdings reported to the state labor department earlier in the week that four Sears department stores, three that have companion automotive centers, will close in New York. Two are in Erie County. None of the closings involve the West Ellicott K-Mart... or the Sears in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.
A new state law coming to New York aims to ensure that consumers know what they're buying when they purchase fish labeled "white tuna." The regulation taking effect in January requires any fish sold in a restaurant or market as "white tuna" to come from actual tuna. It's intended to prevent fish from other species from being passed off as tuna, which can sell at higher prices. The law is also targeting a fish known as escolar, which officials say is commonly sold as white tuna. Escolar has been known to cause digestive problems. Lawmakers passed the legislation in June. It was signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo back in September.
As the nation fights a spiraling drug epidemic, a top federal prosecutor is speaking out about the death of his son from a heroin overdose. Bruce Brandler is the new interim U.S. attorney for a region that covers the eastern half of Pennsylvania. He has never before publicly discussed the 2007 overdose death of his 16-year-old son, Erik, but says he feels a responsibility that comes with his new, higher-profile job. He tells The Associated Press he wants to "evaporate the myth that heroin addicts are just homeless derelicts," urging parents to "open their eyes" and talk to their kids. Brandler's office has announced a strategy for combating overdose deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers, part of a directive from the Justice Department to the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys.
The Heroin and Opioid Addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County is still increasing... and, not showing many signs of letting up. That's the assessment of the head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, who says his recovery coaches in Jamestown are busier now than they've ever been. Huber says he recently read a story about the situation in Lima (Lee-muh), Ohio... where their coaches are dealing with their own crisis. Huber says the county needs to be more aggressive on getting people into short and longer-term rehabilitation. He says it's going to get "interesting" if the county doesn't re-allocate funding to deal with the drug abuse crisis. Huber says you just "need to get creative..." and expand treatment court to make sure people with addiction issues get the help they need. If those steps were taken... he says it would reduce the population of the Chautauqua County Jail... which would allow the Sheriff to again make money by housing federal prisoners.
A city man is accused of holding a Jamestown woman against her will... and, choking her during a domestic incident on the southside on New Year's Eve. City police were called to the scene at 114 Palmer Street about 1 PM Saturday... where the victim was visibly upset and crying. Officers say she told them that 25 year-old Jayrd Clark had restrained and choked her during the incident. They add that Clark is also accused of damaging several doors, walls, and a cooking stove. He was later found by Ellicott Town Police in Falconer... where he was arrested for unlawful imprisonment, and obstruction of breathing or circulation. He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
Another round of targeted crude oil rail inspections has been completed in upstate New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo says federal and state inspection teams examined approximately 140 miles of track and 87 switches, and have corrected seven critical defects and 32 non-critical defects. Critical defects are important maintenance issues that must be addressed immediately but they do not necessarily indicate safety lapses. Non-critical rail defects must be repaired within 30 days. Among tracks inspected were a CSX mainline route through Albany and Greene counties, a section between Rome and Canastota in central New York, and three other sections between Syracuse and Buffalo. Inspectors also examined Canadian Pacific-owned tracks in Essex and Clinton counties, and between the state capital of Albany and Clifton Park in Saratoga County.
Local and state elected officials are pleased to hear from Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (HOKE-ul) that the NRG repowering project is back on track. Hochul told the media during a visit to Dunkirk late last week that Governor Andrew Cuomo remains committed to the project and that it was moving ahead. Assemblyman Andy Goodell tells us that he has heard the same thing. In announcing the Governor's re-commitment to the project... Hochul indicated they don't have a timetable for the project to begin. She says there is still some "background work" that has to be done, and then they'll have a firmer start date. Goodell says that NRG is now working with NFG to upgrade the pipeline that will be required for the plant's conversion from coal to natural gas. Hochul was in Dunkirk Thursday to announce an expansion at Fieldbrook Foods that will create 61 new jobs.
New York lawmakers will return to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017. The six-month legislative session gets underway Wednesday. This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize state voting rules, address government corruption and permit Uber and Lyft to expand upstate. Democrats say they'll also look for ways to stand up to Republican President-elect Donald Trump if he moves to restrict abortion rights, deport immigrants or roll back efforts to address climate change. Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Lawmakers expect to adjourn in June.
The man who has headed up the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation the past few years will be leaving at the end of January for a new position in Stamford, Connecticut. JRC Executive Director Greg Lindquist tells the Jamestown Post-Journal that he's accepted a job with the city of Stamford to go to work with that city's Downtown Special Services District. Lindquist says he'll be handling a lot of similar activities to those he's been doing in Jamestown. His last day with the JRC will be January 20th. He begins his new position on January 30th. Lindquist's wife, Patty accepted a new position last year with Stamford Health as a chemistry supervisor. Lindquist said he wanted to try commuting between Jamestown and Connecticut... but, found the distance was too much to manage.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pardoned 101 New Yorkers who committed non-violent crimes as 16- and 17-year-olds. The Democratic governor announced the pardons Friday. Those receiving pardons have had clean records for at least 10 years. The pardons may be withdrawn if they reoffend. Cuomo says those pardoned deserve a second chance to "live up to their full potential" and overcome the stigma of conviction. Cuomo issued several other pardons and commutations Friday, including one for former radical Judith Clark. The 67-year-old former member of the Weather Underground has served 35 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence for her role in a deadly 1981 armored car robbery. Cuomo's office described Clark as a model inmate. She won't be released under the commutation but will be eligible for parole next year.
It was a year that saw New York's leaders vote to raise the minimum wage, legalize mixed martial arts and once again struggle with Albany's history of political corruption. The year also marked the end of a state sales tax on tampons and the opening of the first state-regulated casino. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through a paid family leave benefit and his plan to phase-in a $15 minimum wage. But... his administration was rocked when a federal bribery and extortion case ensnared two senior advisers and several politically connected developers. Meanwhile, lawmakers lifted the ban on professional mixed-martial arts and enacted regulations for daily fantasy sports. They also authored a plan to address heroin addiction and expanded access to breast cancer screening.
At the top of Pennsylvania's campaign outlook for 2017 are two elections that won't even occur next year - Republican jockeying for position to become the party's nominees for governor and for U.S. senator. The fact that the two Democratic incumbents, Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey, plan to run for re-election may not scare away ambitious Republicans. They're eager to build on Donald Trump's win in Pennsylvania and a string of Republican electoral successes in the Legislature. It'll be another year before the governor's re-election campaign gets underway in earnest.