A Jamestown man will spend just over 10 years in federal prison after being convicted of being involved with several others in obtaining a large amount of heroin with the intent to sell. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced late this past week that 35 year-old Boris Aguayo-Matos was given 121 months behind bars by U-S District Court Judge William Skretny. Hochul says Aguayo-Matos had been found guilty of conspiring to possess... and, distribute one kilogram of heroin in the region. He was also convicted of one count of possession of a firearm for use in drug trafficking. Hochul says Aguayo-Matos was arrested as part of a two year-investigation into heroin trafficking in 2011 during a traffic stop on Interstate 86. Authorities found 60-thousand dollars in alleged drug money inside one of the car's wheels. The investigation used a number of confidential informants... customers... street-level dealers... and wire-taps. At the time... it was the largest amount of heroin ever seized in the Jamestown-area.
Domestic production of crude oil has picked up in the U-S over the past few years... and, rail is one of the major ways it's being transported to refineries to produce gasoline and other petrolium products. In recent months... rail safety has become a key concern for many... due to possible derailments. A number of rail lines go through populated areas of western New York... including the Lake Erie Shoreline. The concern was raised by County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone during last weekend's first responders forum with local Congressman Tom Reed. Leone says local responders need some help in dealing with such threats. Reed agrees that local first responders should get the equipment and support they need to deal with such dangerous and potential volatile situations. He says this is an instance where the federal government shouldn't wait for such an emergency to take place before taking action. Earlier this year... U-S Senator Charles Schumer says voluntary standards agreed to by federal regulators should be amended to phase out unsafe tanker cars... and, reduce train speed in populated areas.
New York lawmakers are putting forward a package of legislation that seeks to fight the resurgence of heroin with tougher penalties for dealers, more funding for overdose-reversal drugs and increased insurance coverage for treatment. The proposals are expected to be detailed later Monday. They follow a series of forums that Senate Democrats held around the state about the sudden spread of the drug from New York City to upstate communities and Long Island suburbs. Experts told lawmakers that a crackdown on prescription drugs has pushed addicts to heroin, which is significantly cheaper and easier to obtain.
The former lieutenant governor who helped New York City avoid bankruptcy in the 1970s is warning that cities around the U.S. can expect more fiscal troubles in the years ahead. Richard Ravitch served as lieutenant governor under former Governor David Paterson and has spent years studying the financial health of governments. He says cities around the nation will be forced to consider cutting services and investments in education and infrastructure unless they can address their fiscal challenges head on.
Public input plays a major role in determining what ends up on the city of Jamestown's yearly Community Development Block Grant... and, HOME Program Action Plans. That's the main reason why the U-S Department of Housing an Urban Development is now requiring a Citizen Participation Plan from city's that receive those federal dollars. That from Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy... who says the city council will vote tonight on the plan... which tells where people can comment... and, how they do it. DeJoy adds, though, that there will be little -- if any change -- in how the city obtains it's input from the public. Currently... he says there are still two required public hearings with a number of methods for public notice, outreach, accessibility... and, written surveys... obtaining citizen input. DeJoy adds there are various ways the public can obtain a copy of this year's action plan. DeJoy says the city will also continue it's extensive, informal public input early in the process to get initial ideas from the public, and various agencies. The main public hearing on this year's CDBG and HOME Program is set for tonight in City Council Chambers at 6:30 PM. The council's voting session begins at 7:30 PM. Earlier... there'll be two other public hearings. One is at 7:20 PM on the proposed abandonment of Outlet Avenue... near the Ben Weitzman Scrap Yard. The other... at 7:25 PM... is on a plan to de-dedicate Rose Alley between West Second Street... and, the railroad tracks.
The New York state comptroller has withdrawn shareholder proposals calling for supply chain accountability at retailers Dollar Tree and Dillard's citing their agreements to have their suppliers report on factory safety. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of New York's 173-billion dollar pension fund, says the agreements help protect the companies and investors from financial and reputational damage should factory suppliers fail to meet recognized safety standards. Dollar Tree operates nearly 5,000 stores in 48 states. Dillard's has 300 department stores in 29 states. The New York fund owns more than 598,000 shares of Dollar Tree worth about $30.7 million and nearly 59,000 shares of Dillard's worth about $5.6 million.
With the number of measles cases up nationwide... New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is encouraging residents to make they're vaccinated against the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 129 cases of measles have been reported in 13 states so far this year. That's the highest number of cases in the first four months of a year since 1996. Twenty-nine of those cases were in New York state.