The second Jamestown man wanted as a "Person of Interest" in connection with the March 26th armed robbery at the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square is jailed on 50-thousand dollars bail. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 29 year-old Dennis Harmon was taken into custody during a routine traffic stop in the city last Saturday night. Samuelson says Harmon was a passenger in the car... and, was arrested for violating conditions for City Drug Court. Samuelson says Harmon is currently jailed on a charge of Violation of Drug Court... and, a new charge of Felony Drug Possession just leveled Monday morning. He's says it's not clear yet how soon Harmon will be charged in connection with the actually robbery at CVS. Samuelson says Harmon was arrested without incident... and, is being held on the drug possession and violation charges... pending arraignment in city court. The primary suspect... 23 year-old Thomas Lawson of Jamestown... was arrested last Thursday afternoon. Samuelson says several citizen tips assisted in locating Lawson... who had been leasing out Van's Texas Hots on North Main Street. After obtaining a search warrant... police say they found several items allegedly taken in the CVS robbery. Lawson is also accused of holding up the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street on March 24th.
Jamestown school officials have used a combination of added state aid... budget and program adjustments... and, elimination of eight positions to produce a 2014-15 budget that slightly increases taxes. That from Superintendent Tim Mains... who outlined the 76-million dollar spending plan with Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow at last night's school board meeting. Mains feels, though, that the 1.31-percent tax increase is "reasonable, realistic, and responsible." He says district officials decided to restore 400-thousand dollars to the district's fund balance... or "rainy day fund..." because it had become so depleted the past five years. While eight positions are being cut to save 408-thousand dollars... but, Mains says only one of those positions will be an actual lay-off. That's for an assistant for the Out-of-School Suspension program. The other staff reductions are mainly through retirements. Mains says the big reason actual spending is only up point-67 percent is due to an additional 1.9-million dollars in state aid the district is receiving. Under the state's 2-percent property tax cap formula...the district could increase the levy by up to 1.46-percent and not need a "supermajority" public vote on May 20th. If adopted, the proposed budget would increase the levy by just over 192-thousand dollars.
The head of the Jamestown School Board is pleased that the additional state aid has made the district's budget process more "manageable." Board members got their first look at the proposed budget with final aid during last night's meeting. Board President Joe DiMaio says he was pleased the district received another 1.9-million dollars -- mainly in one area -- to help avoid major lay-offs and a big tax increase. DiMaio also thanked many in the large gathering on hand for last night's meeting for writting their state lawmakers. Under Governor Cuomo's proposal... the Jamestown district's budget gap was 2.55-million dollars. DiMaio says he had hoped the state would go further, and completely eliminate the "Gap Elimination Adjustment..." but, he said the changes were a good start. The district received 1.4-million dollar more in Foundation Aid... and, 476-thousand dollars in additional GEA funding. DiMaio says they'll now further crunch... and, review the numbers before adopting the budget at the board's next meeting on Tuesday, April 22nd.
Many gun owners expect the deadline for registering assault weapons under New York's strict new law to be largely ignored. The state law passed soon after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in neighboring Connecticut immediately banned New York sales of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines and one military-style feature. For an estimated one-million older guns already owned by New Yorkers the law requires registration by April 15th. Critics say hardly anyone is signing up. A few thousand people gathered in Albany last week to protest the law and registration.
Some of the grapes no longer taken by Carriage House are going to Welch's. Regional Manager Jim Joy is with the National Grape Cooperative... which owns Welch's. Joy says they were looking to add grapes at the same time many vineyard owners were getting cancellation notices from ConAgra -- which owns Carriage House.
Joy says despite the many challenges in the juice business... Welch's continues to grow. This week... he says the company is putting out a brand new product at stores throughout the country. It's called "Farmer's Pick..." which is a new, unfiltered, natural product. Their prime flavor is Concord Grape... which is grown locally. Joy made his comments during the Farm Bureau's Pride of Chautauqua, where the new 'Farmer's Pick' products were being sampled by the public. Joy said the response was 'terrific'.
Incumbent New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is rejecting public campaign financing for his fall re-election bid, although any opponents can still use it. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature last week authorized testing public financing in one statewide election this year -- the race for comptroller.