The man in charge of the state's Education Department is scheduling a new set of public meetings to discuss the new Common Core standards... and, one of those will take place in Jamestown. School Superintendent Tim Mains has announced that Education Commissioner John King, Junior will be in Chautauqua County in early December. Mains says they're excited that King will be at Jamestown High School on December 4th from 5 to 7 PM. He says it will give local residents a chance to hear about reform efforts in the state... and, later ask questions. Earlier in the school year... King was shouted down at a couple of public forums on the Common Core Curriculum - mainly by groups that opposed the curriculum. More recent meetings have been more strictly formated by local districts... and, have allowed for more "give-and-take" between King... parents... and, others.
The first 90-days of Jamestown's new school superintendent's tenure has gone well... and, the district is making "good progress." However... Tim Mains says there are still areas the district needs to improve on... especially in boosting the achievement level of some students groups. Mains updated the school board on his Entry Plan at last night's meeting. He says district teachers and staff did a "very good job" getting the new Common Core curriculum started. Mains says there has been a some success to report in terms of meeting the "core" requirements for third through eighth graders. However... during his nearly half-hour presentation... he pointed out a number of reasons why some students -- for example those speaking mainly Spanish -- struggle. Mains says that may point to the need for early intervention for some students... and, sometimes spending more time with others. He pointed to two area he plans to address right away. One is getting all students to be able to read "grade-level" by the second-grade. The other is to allow officials to assess district-wide math scores better using a "math screener" program.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has approved three division budgets... including Wastewater for 2014. The action was taken at this afternoon's monthly meeting. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the Wastewater Division spending plan was first presented last month... and, included a 6-percent rate increase. However... he credited Business Manager Mike Anderson... and, Assistant General Manager Mike Saar and their staffs for getting that budget down to NO increase. Leathers says it's the fifth straight year there's been no rate increase. The board also approved Sanitation and District Heating and Chilling Budgets.
An alleged drug dealer from Jamestown is jailed without bail... accused of selling heroin over the past several weeks from his home. City police say investigators and uniformed police raided the lower apartment at 607 Pine Street last Friday... and, arrested 50 year-old Samuel Rossotto. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the arrest culminated a several week investigation into alleged sales of the narcotic drug from the residence. Samuelson says Rossotto was basically a street-level dealer. Samuelson says police found a quantity of heroin packaged for sale... along with other controlled substances inside the apartment. He says it reflects the growing problem heroin has become in the city over the past three years as drug abusers look for cheaper kinds of painkillers. Samuelson says Rossoto was arraigned on one Felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one misdemeanor count of drug possession. He's jailed pending a preliminary hearing later this week.
Chautauqua County's Acting Executive says his first full-day Monday was a "busy one." But... County Attorney Stephen Abdella was actually put to work on Sunday night due to the wind storm that came in from the Midwest. But... fortunately Abdella says the storms didn't hit the area as bad as places like Illinois. Otherwise... he says he's doing what needs to be done to do both jobs. Abdella says his biggest focus is working with County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan to make for a smooth transition of power. He adds, though, that he's been through that with transitions in past years. Abdella says there's nothing major that needs to be done before the end of the year... but, adds he's trying to keep a couple of projects moving foward... including the Public Facilities' Departments Falconer Shop upgrade. A new maintenance facility is in the design phase right now. Abdella says the other project is development of the Roberts Road project in Dunkirk. Abdella will serve through the end of the year.
This year's city Christmas Tree in Jamestown is being provided -- by the city itself. That from city Arborist Dan Stone... who says the large Spruce Tree was found on a city Right-of-Way on Camp Street -- near the Countryview Estates. Employees of the Jamestown Parks Department... and, the Board of Public Utilities were on hand yesterday morning. Stone tells our Terry Frank they have everything planned out. Stone says public works crews are putting a new sewer line on that part of the city's southeast side... and, had to remove a Willow Tree. They also found they needed to remove the Norway Spruce. Stone says the tree will fit perfectly on Tracy Plaza because it's got "nice form..." and, the shape and size are good. He says they'll take 15-feet off of the bottom to make it 45-feet tall. Stone says they took the tree down to Foote Avenue... then over the Washington Street Bridge to Second Street -- and, the plaza. They've been set up there to take the tree from the Lake Shore Paving truck... and, stood up on the plaza. It'll be decorated with 25-hundred LED lights... which will be lit during Jamestown's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.