With no tax increase and, some positions and programming being added back into the final budget a 2017-18 spending plan for the Jamestown school district was easily passed Tuesday in a light turn-out. 

 

District residents approved the 84.9-million dollar budget, 509-to-106.  Interim School superintendent Silvia Root says she appreciates the support the people who came out gave the spending plan. The proposition to lease-purchase six buses at a cost of up to $780,000 we also approved overwhelmingly, 498-to-109. 

 

Root says it's "unfortunate" that such elections and budget votes get "overlooked" but, she's pleased with the large margin of support.


Voters in the Southwestern Central School District easily approved a 27.3-million dollar budget Tuesday. 

 

District officals say the new spending plan which includes a 0.5% tax increase was adopted 242-to-59.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says there are mainly spending increases in the technology, and instructional areas of the budget.

 

Donahue says the district is also retaining all teaching and staff positions.  An up to $372,000 transporation proposition to purchase two full-sized buses and, one 42-passenger wheelchair bus was approved 256-to-59.  Three people Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden ran unopposed for three school board seats.


In Falconer... residents approved a no-tax increase, 22.6-million dollar, 2017-2018 budget plan handily yesterday, 261-to-69.  School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the budget holds the line on spending and, retains current staffing and teaching levels. 

 

Penhollow thanked local state legislators for working to get them more state aid, helping keep taxes down. In addition to the budget... Penhollow says voters also approved a 22.9-million dollar capital project, 251-to-78 to make safety and maintenance upgrades. 

 

They also include an all-weather field, and track and fire alarm service upgrades.  Newcomer Jennifer Olson was leading vote getter in the school board vote with 221 tallies.  Board incumbant Tom Frederes was second with 211 votes while incumbant Cathy Kimball was third with 208 votes.  That means final results won't be known until the vote canvas is taken.

In other school district votes last night a 15-million dollar budget was approved in the Bemus Point School District, 149-to-46... while a $200,000 bus proposition was also approved.  Board incumbants Tina Hall and Bethany Seastrum were both re-elected, running unopposed.

In Frewsburg... the 2017-18 Budget was approved with 142 yes votes...while 83 residents voted against the proposition.  A bus purchase was also approved, 151-to-75.  Larry Lodestro was voted onto the school board with 201 votes while Jason Ruhlman was second with 194 and, Thomas Fenton was third with 189 votes.

A nearly 10-million dollar budget was adopted in the Sherman Central School District, 113-to-41.  A second proposition to purchase two school buses for up to 267-thousand dollars was adopted, 116-to-38.  Colleen Meeder was re-elected to the school board with 127 votes.


Two alleged drug traffickers are under arrest after an apartment in the village of Falconer was raided by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Monday afternoon. 

 

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they received information during a recent "Targeted Enforcement" Detail in the Prendergast Avenue corridor about the operation at 19 South Work Street in Falconer.  Snellings says they were assisted by other agencies in seizing a large quantity of cocaine cash and, a stolen pistol that was loaded.

 

Snellings say they arrested 38 year-old Demario Chatmon and 39 year-old Damien Thomas during the raid.  He says the amount of cocaine seized totaled about three-quarters of a pound.  Snellings adds that they also found just over $21,000 in cash and, a loaded 9-millimeter pistol allegedly stolen in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

 

Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeis says drugs are an increasing problem in the town and villages of Falconer and Celoron.  Ohnmeiss expressed his disappointment over having to pull out of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force due to town budget constraints. 

 

Chatmon faces a Felony charge of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, both he and Thomas are charged with third-degree criminal possession.


A weekend spike in overdose deaths has led to new warnings from western New York health officials. 

 

The AP reports that Erie County saw eight suspected fatal overdoses over the weekend while Chautauqua County also is reporting deaths in recent days.  Erie County's health commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, says the deaths appear to have resulted from various drug combinations of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

 

She says the fentanyl being seen in the county is increasing in potency.  During last weekend's "Fresh Start" Fund "Rockin' for Recovery" event in Jamestown Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz says this has become a major concern.

 

Here in Chautauqua County authorities say the recent overdoses have been concentrated in the northern part of the county, including in the city of Dunkirk and village of Fredonia.  At least two people have died and other victims were revived.


Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey has been sentenced to home confinement, and to pay 54-thousand dollars in restitution for stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the 85 year-old Frey was recently convicted of wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions.  Kennedy says he was sentenced to six-months home confinement by U-S District Judge Richard Arcara and, was ordered to pay the restitution. 

 

Frey was Dunkirk mayor from 2003 through June of 2012... and, was accused of devising and executing a scheme to defraud the co-owners of a Dunkirk hotel, and the owner of a food production company in Dunkirk by inducing them to make contributions to his mayoral and other political campaigns. 

 

After receiving checks from these people Frey simply spent them for himself, rather than depositing the funds into a campaign or official account.  Those totalled $54,361 dollars.  He also refused to disclose those contributions.

 

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