Ground was broken during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival on the first Phase of the proposed National Comedy Center on Jamestown's westside. The first part of the Comedy Center... which is proposed to be part of the Gateway Train Station... will be the National Comedy Center Park. The park will be located on a large piece of land on the northside of the train station. National Comedy Center Board President Tom Benson showed the crowd assembled Saturday night an architectural design of the park... and, showed what the "patio area" will look like. Benson says the green area north of the tracks will be connected by a lighted path to the city's Riverwalk along the Chadakoin River. Among those on hand for the ground-breaking was Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's daughter, Lucie, who is excited to see the project moving forward... adding her mother and father would be honored to have a lasting legacy. Benson says a lot of the money needed for the project is in hand... thanks to local foundations. They are also seeking a 6-million dollar, state grant which has been supported by the city. National Comedy Center officials estimate total cost of the project at 33-million dollars.
The curtain has come down on the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... and, by all accounts... it was a huge success!!! There was a festive atmosphere outside the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena prior to Saturday night's sold-out headliner show with Jay Leno. There was music, classic cars, and street vendors during a pre-show party. Prior to Jay Leno doing his stand-up act before 22-hundred people at the arena... the crowd was entertained by Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, who did a brief musical set to welcome the audience. In some regards... she says it's like being home. Leno did about a 70-minute stand-up show to the delight of the audience... most of them familiar with Leno having hosted "The Tonight Show" for many years. The show had been a sell-out for since shortly after they went on sale last Spring. Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Comedy Center Board Treasurer Mike Latone said there were "hundreds of people" downtown during the day. Board Vice-President Lou Deppas says people from 36 states... and, several countries -- including Canada -- were represented during the five-day festival.
A man from Toronto, Canada died from injuries suffered early last weekend when his motorcycle crashed into a guard rail on a rural road in Warren County, Pennsylvania. State Police in Warren say 37 year-old Isa Hussain missed a curve on Longhouse Scenic Drive about 3:15 PM Friday when he lost control... and, the two-wheeler hit the guard rail. Troopers say Hussein was rushed to Warren General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A Jamestown man faces a weapon's charge after a stun gun was found in his possession when his car was pulled over for speeding in the town of North Harmony. Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 25 year-old Jason Bang, Junior on Route 394 about 10 PM last Friday. Deputies say they found the stun gun during their investigation. Bang was arrested... and, charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, speeding. He will answer the charges in North Harmony Town Court at a future date.
The union representing about 175 workers at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk is taking their concerns about stalling contract negotiations to the public. Members of SEIU-Local #1199 held a rally in Washington Park late last week after conducting an informational picket outside the hospital. SEIU member Kathleen Jackman, a 32-year Brooks employee, says the main concern is for their patients and the community. Local State Senator Cathy Young spoke at the rally and expressed her concerns about the future of the hospital and the workers. The Olean Republican who has been trying to assist Lake Shore Hospital with a pending sale... is also concerned about Brooks Memorial's future. Union employees expressed concern about the influence of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on negotiations since the three top Brooks Administrators have UPMC connections. The union's three-year contract expired at the end of April. The hospital is also involved with negotiations with the union representing its nurses.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, under fire for dismantling his anti-corruption panel, isn't the only candidate whose actions are being questioned by federal prosecutors. Westchester County executive Rob Astorino, the Republican challenging Cuomo's re-election, has been ordered by a judge to submit to a deposition. A federal monitor alleged that Astorino has been lying about a housing desegregation settlement. Astorino denied the charge... but, the judge ordered him to submit to seven hours of interrogation.
A former Chautauqua County legislator has been appointed as dean of Arts, Humanities, and Health Sciences at Jamestown Community College. Maria Kindberg most recently oversaw JCC's "College Connections" program... which provides college course opportunities for high school students the past eight years. The program, which achieved National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships accreditation in 2009, offered 52 different credit courses in 40 area high schools during the past academic year. Kindberg was a member of the Chautauqua County Legislature from 1996-1999 and 2003-201l.