Jamestown Democrats have begun looking for candidates to fill the county legislature seat that's being vacated by Fred Larson... who will become the second, full-time City Court Judge. In addition... Mayor Sam Teresi will have to find a new citizen member of the Board of Public Utilities. Larson was confirmed by the city council Monday night after being appointed by Teresi. Teresi says the replacement will have big shoes to fill... and, there's already "lots of interest" in filling the legislature position on an interim basis. He adds finding the right person for the BPU will also be difficult. While he will be involved in the process of finding a person to fill out the year for Larson on the legislature... the County Charter calls for a special election to fill that spot this Fall. The temporary replacement must come from the same political party... and, from that district. The new, full-time judge's position was approved by state lawmakers late last year.
The Minority Leader on the County Legislature says he is happy for Jamestown legislator Fred Larson... who will become the city's second, full-time City Court Judge. Since Mayor Sam Teresi appointed the legislator to the judgeship... Larson will have the leave the legislature. That from Democrat leader Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk. Larson was just elected to the Legislature last November. There are only six Democrats who make up the Legislature's minority. The Jamestown city Democratic Committee will begin a search for a successor.
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area gas are up almost 5-cents a gallon this week. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the average price is 3-dollars-82 cens a gallon... and, adds that some locations had already reached the 3-dollar-80 cent level last week. Nationally... Triple-A reports the average price for regular, unleaded is 3-dollars-69 cents per gallon. This is about 3-cents more than last week... and, 14 cents more than one month ago. Ongoing geo-political tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain a central reason for crude oil prices remaining elevated.
The 15th annual Cents for St. Susan's campaign is underway to raise money for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen. The campaign kicked-off Wednesday with major sponsors picking up more than 100 canisters at the Board of Public Utilities to distribute through-out the community. The BPU is again the main sponsor of the effort... which St. Susan's Executive Director Sue Colwell calls timely. Colwell says they're busier than ever at their Water Street headquarters... and, they've also seen a wide spectrum of people in need. Colwell adds those numbers are up significantly from last year at this time. She says they could not serve all those in need without the help of the people putting their change into the canisters... and, major sponsors backing the effort. Colwell says other major sponsors include Jamestown Savings Bank and Key Bank... Asplundh... Boyles Motor Sales... Century 21/Turner Brokers... and, Valu Hearing. The Media One Group and The Post-Journal are media sponsors. In recent years... the drive has netted more than 12-thousand dollars annually.
State troopers report issuing just over 24-thousand traffic tickets in their recent ``speed week'' crackdown and another 34-hundred-71 tickets in ``operation hang-up.'' That campaign targeted drivers using hand-held phones, texting or using other electronic devices. The April 17th through 24th focus on speeders produced 2,156 more tickets than a year earlier. It also resulted in 1,034 tickets for so-called ``distracted driving'' while texting or chatting on a hand-held cell phone.
A dozen people who stood out in volunteering their time and effort were recognized by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County last night. The human service agency hosted it's annual Volunteer of the Year Reception at the Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown. United Way Board Vice-President Mike Roberts told the individuals and organizations that "volunteerism is at the heart of our mission to build a stronger community." Roberts adds that... while these are people who often shun the spotlight... it's important they be recognized. Roberts says a recent study showed that if a dollar-amount was put on volunteerism in the United States... it would be worth 28-dollars per hour. He says -- when you look at the number of hours per year -- and number of years many volunteer -- the numbers are astounding. Among the one dozen volunteers... or volunteer groups were Lin Baylis for the American Red Cross... IBEW Local-106 for the Boys and Girls Club... Ken Hardley for Chautauqua Adult Day Care... George Panebiano for the YMCA... and, "Jack" Kachermeyer for Chautauqua County RSVP. The United Way also used the occasion to recognize each of the employee groups and companies that took part in the agency's "12 Months of Caring" initiative as it's Volunteers of the Year. Executive Director Tori Irgang talked about that... and, we'll hear from her later today.