The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has voted to impose a one-year labor contract between the BPU and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local-#459. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says Monday's vote comes comes after the union and management failed to reach agreement on a negotiated contract. Leathers says they did have a tentative agreement by late last October... but, the union -- which represents about 80 employees -- failed to muster the votes needed to ratify the agreement. Leathers says the major sticking point was a "split-wage" scale which would pay newly-hired, future employees less than current employees, in most cases. He says the idea was to avoid impacting current personnel... but, bringing in future hires at a lower wage. Leathers says that would provide a "control mechanism" for future expenses... but, Local-#459 had "no interest in a secondary wage scale." The imposed contract is for a one-year period under the same terms and conditions of the expired agreement... and, is retroactive to this past April 1st.
A former Chautauqua County Legislator has been named by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi to fill a recent vacancy on the Board of Public Utilities. Teresi put up the names of several people to be confirmed for various board vacancies... and, Chuck Cornell was named to replace Fred Larson on the BPU. Larson had to step down from both the legislature and BPU when he was confirmed to be Jamestown's second City Court Judge. Teresi says Cornell fit all five criteria for sitting on the board... the first being someone with "deep roots" in the community.
Teresi adds the fact Cornell is director of Fredonia's Center for Regional Advancement is also a key reason because -- while primarily serving Jamestown -- the BPU has become more regional in scope. He adds that investing in the city's infrastructure was also critical... and, says Cornell believes in that. Teresi adds that understanding Customer Service is another component Cornell understands. He feels Cornell will be "an asset" to the board... and, pointed out that council approved the appointment unanimously.
Two city men are in the county jail after they were arrested when the car they were in was found with a quantity of Heroin... and, drug paraphernalia inside. City officers were in the area of East Second and Kipp Streets about 8:15 yesterday morning when they were spotted trying to sell a mountain bike that was hanging out of the trunk. Officers took the two men... identified as 43 year-old Jesus Suarez... and, 39 year-old Jose Lopez... into custody for seventh-degree criminal posession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic needle. Both were arraigned. Lopez was jailed on 4-thousand dollars bail... while Suarez was being held on one-thousand dollars bail. Police are looking for the owner of the bike. If you believe it's your's... call 483-7531.
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the legislative session that wrapped up on Friday was a good one for Chautauqua County. The Bemus Point Republican says a number of bills cleared the State legislature in the first half of 2014 that should benefit the county. Working with State Senator Cathy Young... Goodell says they were able to get the second, Family Court Judge position for the county. The deadline for petitions was extended for candidates running for the seat. And it won't take as many signatures to get on the ballot.
While it's a much better bill than it was at the beginning of the just-concluded State Legislative session... there is still some "tweeking" that needs to be done on the just-passed Medical Marijuana legislation. That from State Senator Cathy Young... who was among the majority in the legislature's upper chamber to vote for the bill. The Olean Republican reiterates that she is strongly opposed to generally legalizing marijuana... but, says for some families... the medical form of the drug is their last hope for children with seizure-issues. One mother from Cuba, New York was in the Senate Chamber with her son, who has serious epileptic seizure issues to observe the vote. She also believes the 18-month period before the program is fully implemented is needed to ensure there are no abuses of the program. Otherwise... Young touted her "Homes for Heroes" legislation... which will be administered through the New York Housing Trust Fund Corporation... and, would provide grants to eligible not-for-profits that help veteran's make changes to their homes because of any kind of disability.
A Rochester-area teenage girl whose disappearance sparked an Amber Alert has been arrested. Police in the town of Greece tell the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that 16-year-old Cassidy Geffert was arrested on a charge of fourth-degree grand larceny. Geffert was found unharmed Monday in the Brockport area... about 15 miles west of her home after an Amber Alert was earlier in the afternoon by State Police. It said the girl was taken from a Greece residence around 10 AM Monday. Police did not give any other details surrounding the incident.
It's been a year of Anniversary's here at WJTN... and, the Media One Group of stations... and, we celebrated another this morning. We've been celebrating the station's 90th year of broadcasting... and, Jim Roselle's 60th on the air with us. This (Monday) morning... we commemorated another milestone for Jim... his 40th year of live broadcasts from his studio at Chautauqua Institution. Media One General Manager Jeff Storey joined with Chautauqua officials for a special presentation. Jeff Storey says the plaque thanks Jim "for his dedication, friendship, and 40 years of live WJTN Broadcasts from these grounds." As he typically does... Jim deflected the accolades... and, said -- unlike he usually is -- he had trouble coming up with 10 words to say in reaction, aside from "Wow..." and, "thank-you." This first week at the institution kicks off Roger Rosenblatt and Friends Week. (**Retired NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw was today's (Monday's) featured lecturer. He was unable to talk with Jim to save his voice for his amphiteahter appearance at 10:45 due to his treatments for Esophigial Cancer.)