Two arrested in connection with high-speed car chase in north county...
Two men have been arrested for allegedly being involved in leading police in Chautauqua County in a high speed pursuit through the north county that ended in the town of Westfield. Sheriff's officers say they received a report late Friday morning about a speeding vehicle entering the county from the town of Brant in Erie County. Deputies located the vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret commit a traffic infraction... and, tried to stop the car. However... the driver -- later identified as 20 year-old Galen Steele, Junior of Toledo, Ohio -- sped off into the village of Fredonia. Police later stopped the pursuit because Steele was driving recklessly. Officers later spotted the vehicle on Route 5 in the town of Portland... and, it was pursued into Westfield... where they deployed spike strips, and the vehicle came to a stop. Three people -- including Steele -- ran off... and were later found with the help of Sheriff's K-9 Drake. In addition to Steele... officers arrested a passenger, 21 year-old Lorenzo Martinez of Buffalo for criminal possession of marijuana. Two other occupants of the vehicle were released without charges.
Electrical problem blamed for small fire that causes smoke damage at Sinclairville Dollar General...
A late night fire in the village of Sinclairville caused heavy smoke damage to the Dollar General Store on Jamestown Street. Chautauqua County Fire Investigators say Sinclairville fire crews were called to 5817 Jamestown Street shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday. The fire investigation team determined four coolers attatched to each other caught fire. Deputies say surveillance footage indicates one of the coolers had an electrical issue about 11 p.m. Wednesday. The fire wasn't discovered until employees came to work Thursday morning. The coolers were in an area of the store where the flames didn't spread to anything else. Police say -- fortunately -- the fire burned itself out and the Dollar General suffered minor fire damage.
Dunkirk woman found not guilty of manslaughter in stabbing case...
A Chautauqua County Court jury has found a Dunkirk woman not guilty of second degree manslaughter. 26 year-old Ashleyanne Lopez-Lopez was on trial for stabbing death of 15-year-old Jefreda Brown that occurred last May. The jury reached the verdict around 1 p.m. after spending much of the morning in deliberations.
Mitrano, local doctor, call for Universal Health Care to make sure people have insurance, and to reduce costs...
The decision by a small group of Southern Tier doctors to poll some of their own money to pay off medical debts for some low-income families has caught the eye of the area's Democratic Congressional candidate. Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano hosted a press conference Friday at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown with retired local doctor Ralph Walton... who was one of the doctors who helped pay off half-a-million dollars in debt. Mitrano says, though, it's just an example of what many Americans are dealing with... because it's costing some $8,000 a year for each person to support the current system. Walton says most of these families who don't have insurance often have to decide between paying for food, or medication. He says $170,000 of the debt was held by 23rd District residents. Walton says the dilemna facing these families should not be happening in America. He says... of the 36 developed nations in the world... the U-S is the only one that doesn't have Universal health care. Mitrano says that's wrong... and, says incumbant Republican Tom Reed is part of the problem. She will host five Health Care town Halls next week... one in Jamestown at the Unitarian Church Tuesday night.
Doors Open Jamestown being held today...
The annual 'Doors Open Jamestown' is Saturday. Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, says 17 places are taking part this year, and it runs until 5 p.m. One of the added locations this year, the new Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of Third and Main. The other locations this year are: the Audubon, Busti Mill, the Harbor Hotel, Sports Hall of Fame, the Doubletree, Fenton History Center, Prendergast Library, the Lucy-Desi Museum, Martz-Kohl Observatory, Marvin House, the Reg, the Jackson Center, the Peterson Institute, DAR House, and the Children's Activity Center. Each location will have a raffle prize, and there'll be a chance to win some overnight stays at the Doubletree, as well.
Group of Jamestown residents pushing for city to be featured on HGTV's Home Town program...
A group of citizens and development leaders are pushing to have the city of Jamestown featured in an HGTV Special slated for production this year. Several dozen people gathered on Tracy Plaza Friday afternoon to shoot a quick video and pictures of the group to submit to HGTV's Home Town program. One of the organizers... Josie Monfort... says they're applying to be part of "Home Town Takeover." Monfort believes it would help in casting Jamestown in a more positive light. Details of what the city would have to do to make it onto Home Town Takeover are still being fleshed out... but, Monfort says they would likely work on ways to improve part of the downtown... and, possibly do some exterior home improvements in some areas of the city.
Fredonia leads Small Business Revolution voting heading into the weekend...
With five days left in the competition... the village of Fredonia is in first-place in the Final-5 of the 'Small Business Revolution.' That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum... who adds, though, that "larger communities are close behind. We are up against communities three times larger than ours! We must maintain the momentum if we are going to win this." Fredonia was announced as making the Top 5 in the competition for a $500,000 first-prize. Tranum says people need to continue to vote on-line at www.smallbusinessrevolution.com.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has now identified the man killed when his pick-up truck slammed into a manure spreader being hauled along a road in the town of Charlotte.
Deputies say they were called the scene on Charlotte Center Road about 9:40 PM Wednesday, after the truck -- driven by 64 year-old Jack Abbey -- struck the spreader. Officers say Abbey died at the scene. The spreader was being pulled by a southbound tractor, operated by 49 year-old Jason Johnson of Sinclairville. He was not hurt. Local fire departments and the Chautauqua County Accident Reconstruction Team assisted police at the scene.
The historic Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin next Tuesday in the U-S Senate and one member says she would like to have witnesses testify.
However, it's still unclear if that will happen or not. New York's Junior U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who will be one of the body's "jurors" in the matter, believes there should be witnesses. The Democrat says if there are no witnesses, it's not a trial. Several Senate Republicans and the president maintain that the Impeachment articles, delivered by House leaders Wednesday are nothing more than a "hoax."
Just before formal Impeachment matters got underway in the U-S Senate, the panel overwhelmingly approved the new U-S, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement. The USMCA was approved, 89-to-10 and is being called an improvement on the 25 year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. However, not everyone is happy with it. New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says it has three flaws, the first being that nothing in it addresses climate change.
Gillibrand also says the USMCA is a "giveaway" to Mexican pharmacutical companies at the expense of U-S citizens. Thirdly, she says she doesn't see the bill boosting manufacturing the way the Trump Administration says it will, especially for Upstate New York. Gillibrand voted against the USMCA when it was taken up earlier this week by the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. However, the overall committee approved the measure before the entire Senate approved it.
New York's two U-S Senators are calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to priorize funding in the coming year for a feasiblitly study to help protect Chautauqua Lake.
Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand Thursday announced that they have sent a letter to the Corps, calling on them to support funding in it's 2020 Work Plan for the study. Schumer and Gillibrand say the lake, and it's surrounding communities suffer from continued environmental, public health, and economic damage caused by repeated harmful algal blooms. They add that the study would allow the Corps to evaluate excessive phosphorous runoff that causes the blooms... and, they would be able to study flood risk management measures, assess ecosystem restoration efforts, and address the accelerated erosion along it's tributary streams. They says that erosion has resulted in excessive sediment deposition, which also impairs the lake’s water quality. Both Schumer and Gillibrand were successful in pushed to get the Chautauqua Lake Feasibility Study into the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
Local Congressman Tom Reed has been selected to chair President Donald Trump's re-election campaign in New York State.
The announcement has been made by Donald J. Trump for President, Incorporated, and the Republican National Committee. National Campaign Manager Brad Parscale says "our New York Trump Victory leadership team will work to elect Republicans across the state." Reed says he's honored to serve the president as a chairman for his New York campaign. The president’s agenda of creating jobs and making America more safe and secure resonates with New Yorkers." Reed defeated Tracy Mitrano in a decisive victory in November of 2018.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he is optimistic that local and regional elected officials may be able to pursuade Truck-lite Corporation to keep it's manufacturing facility in Falconer open.
Corning Repubilcan Tom Reed confirmed this week that he's been in contact with Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel and, others about the announcement that the vehicle lighting company was looking to cease those operations by the end of the year.
Reed says he's optimistic because all of Truck-Lite's statements so far have emphasized that the move is "tentative..." which he hopes will provide a "window of opportunity" to get company officials to change their minds. In a printed release, the company noted that the "level of productivity" at the Elmwood Avenue plant was a factor in their decision. Truck-lite, which manufactures vehicle lighting, started in Jamestown in the mid-1950's and currently has 10 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe.
The annual 'Doors Open Jamestown' is Saturday. Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, says 17 places are taking part this year.
One of the added locations this year, the new Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of Third and Main. The chamber's Sheila Webster says one of the features there will be 'Imagine Jamestown' a part of the Jamestown Strategic Partnership, that asks people what kind of city they want. The other locations this year are: the Audubon, Busti Mill, the Harbor Hotel, Sports Hall of Fame, the Doubletree, Fenton History Center, Prendergast Library, the Lucy-Desi Museum, Martz-Kohl Observatory, Marvin House, the Reg, the Jackson Center, the Peterson Institute, DAR House, and the Children's Activity Center. Each location will have a raffle prize, and there'll be a chance to win some overnight stays at the Doubletree, as well. (WJTN will be doing the "Times of Your Life' broadcast from the Sports Hall of Fame from 10 to 11 AM).
New York has become the 10th state in the U-S to allow adopted adults unrestricted access to their original birth certificate, a step that will help some investigate their family histories.
A new law effective Wednesday does away with restrictions dating back to the 1930s that required adoptees to seek a hard-to-get court order to access their original birth records. Those rules had originally been intended to protect the privacy of parents who relinquished their children. But, attitudes have shifted about the rights of adopted individuals, and social media and DNA technology have made it easier for long-separated relatives to connect.
With five days left in the competition, the village of Fredonia is in first-place in the Final-5 of the 'Small Business Revolution.'
That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum, who adds, though, that "larger communities are close behind. “We are in day three and, cannot let up. We are up against communities three times larger than ours! We must maintain the momentum if we are going to win this." Fredonia was announced as making the Top 5 in the competition for a half-a-million dollar first-prize. Tranum says people need to continue to vote on-line at "smallbusinessrevolution.com”
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident involving a tractor in the Town of Charlotte.
Deputies say they were called to a personal injury accident Wednesday night on Charlotte Center Road and a tractor hauling a manure spreader was traveling south when a pick-up truck reportedly struck the back of the spreader. Officers say the unidentified male driver of the truck was pronounced dead at the scene. Local fire departments and the Chautauqua County Accident Reconstruction Team assisted police.
The Jamestown public school's top nurse is urging parents to keep track of their children's health after two cases of Whooping Cough in the high school were confirmed, along with several others of the flu.
District Nurse Practitioner Jill Muntz says they were notified Tuesday that the two students had been identified by the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Department and, says the appropriate notifications have been made. However, Muntz says most students who were in close proximity to those students have no symptoms.
Muntz says the symptoms of Whooping Cough can begin like a mild cold. It's then followed by severe coughing fits. If necessary, she says there is a vaccine to protect against it. Muntz adds that there are siblings involved, so don't assume it's been stopped. She says they can't always account for each exposure to the illness. She says anyone with a severe cough should stay home from work or school. She adds that flu cases in New York are way up, so use good hand-washing, cover your cough or sneeze, wash your hands often and, if you're sick, stay home.
City police are continuing to investigate a report of shots-fired on Jamestown's eastside about mid-evening Tuesday.
The Post-Journal reports police received multiple calls about shots being fired in the area of Falconer and Thayer Streets about 9 PM. Police say further investigation revealed that the shots had been fired towards a vacant house at 112 Thayer Street. One round reportedly struck the home, but no one was hurt. Anyone with information is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537, leave an anonymous tip at 483-TIPS, or use the Tips 4-1-1 cell phone app.
The Jamestown Police Department is already falling behind on getting evidence processed and to prosecutors under the new 15-day Discovery law in New York state.
That from Police Chief Harry Snellings, who says his department actually began implementing the new rules last December to get a better "feel" for the law once it took effect January 1st. Snellings updated City Council on the matter at this week's work session. He says even with the one-month trial run, they've struggled with getting both physical and digital evidence.
Snellings also updated council on the replacement of several downtown surveillance cameras through the city's I-T Manager. He adds that Mark Dean is also working with them to get four new cameras installed. Snellings says two of the proposed locations for the new cameras are Third and Main Streets and, Second and Buffalo Streets. He also says they had 159 arrests in the month of December and adds that's "a lot of processing" his department has had to do.
The state's criminal justice reforms have now been in effect for about two weeks, but other local law enforcement officials are also noticing some impacts on the system.
hautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says one of the biggest changes has been with the inmate population at the County Jail in Mayville, where the numbers have been falling. Quattrone says it may be difficult to pin it directly to bail reform.
The changes in discovery are already impacting the Sheriff's Office, as they struggle to comply with the requirements. Quattrone says they are falling behind in getting records that have to be submitted to prosecutors in a timely fashion due to the new 15-day requirement. He says they are looking at ways to speed up the process, including the use of more electronic field reporting. The office is also in the process of filling a new operations assistant’s position. But, Quattrone questions whether they will ever be able to catch up.
Local Congressman Tom Reed is part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers who have introduced a new measure that provides a tax credit that incentivizes new "clean energy sources."
Reed has been joined by his co-chairman of the Problem Solver's Caucus, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer, in introducing the Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act... which he says will "combat climate change." While some Republicans have dismissed climate change as a "hoax..." the Corning Republican says he has not.
Reed says it's time to "unleash the greatest asset we have available to prevent this pending crisis – the power of American ingenuity and innovation." He says using tax credits has "proven time and time again to solve world problems – and this situation will be no different...".
Gottheimer says "protecting the environment and improving energy efficiency are issues that everyone, Republicans and Democrats, can come together on.” Reed adds that the incentive will "sunset" once that particular energy innovation becomes viable commercially. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
A Gowanda teenager was arrested for allegedly taking a vehicle that did not belong to him from a home in Cherry Creek early Monday.
Sheriff's officers responded to a home in the village about Midnight, and spoke to individuals with information regarding the vehicle. Deputies say their investigation led to the arrest of 19 year-old Joseph Chadwick for Unathorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. The owner did recover the car... and, Chadwick was processed and released with an appearance ticket for Cherry Creek Court at a later date.
The Village of Fredonia has a new trustee, with the village board filling a vacancy with a former trustee during Monday evening's meeting.
EvaDawn Bashaw has returned after leaving the board in 2000.
Meanwhile, Mayor Doug Essek and Trustee Roger Britz opposed the way the appointment was handled. Essek says he didn't expect an effort to fill the post inmmediately... but, Bashaw's appointment was approved by a 3-to-1 vote.
New York lawmakers could ban flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes amid growing concern over the tobacco industry's use of flavorings to attract young people and African-Americans.
A spokesman said Monday that the Democratic Senate Majority plans to pass a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and prohibition on smokeless flavored tobacco products as soon as next week. It's less clear how lawmakers will act on a Senate Democrat's bill to ban all flavored tobacco products -- including menthol cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
Political leaders in New York say they have reached an agreement to pass new limousine safety bills inspired by deadly crashes in 2015 and 2018.
Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the proposals target unsafe limos and lax regulations and will hold companies accountable. The legislation also includes immobilization of defective limousines, GPS and customer service resource requirements... and drug and alcohol testing.
Vote, vote, vote! That's the message from the hosts of the Small Business Revolution Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington....
Brinkman who is Chief Brand Officer for the show's production company -- Deluxe -- talks about why Fredonia made the Top 5 for Season 5 of the on-line TV show.
Pennington, a renovation icon, says it takes everyone's help -- and votes -- to make it to the top. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce helped put on a live viewing of the Facebook Live announcement at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. Chamber President Todd Tranum says it's exciting but, adds there's little time to celebrate because the final vote is underway. Today’s announcement was made on Facebook shortly before 7 AM and, it received a large cheer from the crowd that filled the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. On-line voting at "VoteMyFredonia.com" continues until January 21st.
The village of Fredonia has made it to the top five of the TV show "Small Business Revolution." Sheila Webster from The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce was at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House when the announcement was made just after 6:30 this morning...
Over 200 people gathered for the announcement and burst into cheers when Fredonia was named. A one week period of voting is now open, and Sheila says all area residents can support the north county village, visiting VoteFredonia.com on any device you have. She says you can vote as many times as you want. At stake is a half-million dollars in investment in Fredonia businesses, and a TV show on Hulu and Amazon Prime. Four other communities will be up against Fredonia in the competition.
City lawmakers in Jamestown have again rejected a request to allow seven on-street parking spaces be designated for customers of the Chautauqua County Department of Motor Vehicles....
County Clerk Larry Barmore sent a letter to the Department of Public Works for consideration, this time requesting that the spaces be "bagged" for two months to see if that relieves congestion in the DMV lot off of West Third Street. Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Nelson read the letter to lawmakers.
In talking with DPW Director Jeff Lehman, Nelson says the city can't give them "special parking privledges" in front of a building the DMV leases because then they would have to do it for everyone. DPW Traffic Engineer Chris Brown has reviewed the matter, and says there are "several spots" around that area that are available as well., including 4 or 5 spots on nearby Monroe Street that are free. Councilwoman Marie Carrubba adds there are also some free spaces available on Clinton Street, adding that it's a short walk to the DMV from there.
Chautauqua County and state and federal lawmakers are working to put together a meeting with officials at Truck-lite Corporation about the company's tentative plan to end production operations by the end of the year...
That from County Executive P-J Wendel, who says that he's working with State Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Congressman Tom Reed on setting up a meeting to see if they can keep the vehicle lighting company here.
While the manufacturing part of Truck-Lite would end before the end of 2020, Wendel says they were told initially by Truck-lite that their professional staff -- including marketing and sales -- would remain in Falconer. Other-wise, he says nothing else about the potential move is "clear-cut" at this point. The company has said it will help workers look for work elsewhere with the company, or locally. The production division at Truck-lite involves about 100 workers. Truck-lite was started in the Jamestown-area back in the 1950s.
Two Jamestown men were arrested for drug possession during a traffic stop in the city last Saturday....
Officers on patrol stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Myrtle and Linden Avenue just before 10 PM and, found Malcom Roberts and Jeffrey Payne -- both 27 -- allegedly in possession of marijuana. Police say Payne was released with an appearance ticket. However, officers say Roberts was also found with a quantity of cocaine during the stop and, he faces other charges including criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was sent to the city jail where he was released with an appearance ticket for Jamestown Court.
The TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus was scheduled to close its doors by January 1st, but some of the services are continuing at the Irving campus.
That from State Senator George Borrello, who continues to work on developing some options for the healthcare facility in Irving. Borrello says the New York State Office of Mental Health has not given its approval for ending those services.
The Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced the closing of the TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus in early December. Borrello says there will be a meeting later this week in Albany regarding future plans for the hospital. Borrello, who lives just a short distance from the hospital, says TLC faces a difficult situation, but he says the needs of community have to come first.
The investigation is continuing into a weekend fire that destroyed a former restaurant building in the village of Silver Creek....
Firefighters from Silver Creek, Sheridan, and Sunset Bay responded to a vacant building at 42 Lake Avenue -- the site of the former Hideaway Bay Restaurant -- shortly after 7:15 Saturday morning. Dunkirk Fire Ladder 1 and Chautauqua County EMS also responded to the scene. No injuries were reported. The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is still looking into the cause.
One person has been arrested following a domestic incident in which he allegedly acted disorderly and combative towards investigating officers....
Ellicott Town Police say they were called to an undislosed scene in West Ellicott last Friday night and, arrested 39 year-old Philip Gardner. Gardner was taken into custody and, released with appearance tickets for resisting arrest, obstruction and, harassment. He will appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date.
A restaurant that provides "fine dining at a reasonable cost" has opened in downtown Jamestown....
The ribbon was cut Monday afternoon on 'The Chop House on Main' in the Fenton Building at the corner of Main and Second Streets, with owners Andrew and Amber Carlson doing the honors. They were joined by Mayor Eddie Sundquist, County Executive P-J Wendel and officials with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. Andrew Carlson says they strive to provide a "unique" dining experience.
Carlson says their Angus Steaks are aged at last 28-days. Chef Berk Lindquist from LaFamilia Restaurant at Chautauqua is partnering with the Carlson's on the venture and will be using local in-season vendors as much as possible. The Chop House on Main is open Monday through Thursday's from 4 PM to 9 PM and, on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 10 PM. For more information or reservations, call 708-6978.
Gusty winds early yesterday morning in the Jamestown-area Sunday triggered a number of power outages in both the Board of Public Utilities and National Grid territories.
BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says their outages occured sometime around 5:30 AM Sunday... and, the biggest was in the village of Celoron. Robbins says a tall Pine tree was brought down on Jones and Gifford Avenue... knocking down power lines... affecting most of the village. Power was restored about 8:30 AM. Robbins says crews also responded to some isolated areas of the city and one in West Ellicott... and, the Fluvanna Avenue area between Fluvanna and Old Fluvanna Road.
The main part of downtown Lakewood was in the dark about 4 hours early Sunday. The intial outage in the area of West Summit Avenue occured just before 2:30 AM. Power was restored about 6:30 AM. By late afternoon... National Grid was still reporting about 40 outages in Chautauqua County.
Education officials in New York are calling for a general increase of about two-billion dollars to the already record levels of funding for public schools.
However... they also realize the state is facing about a $6-billion dollar shortfall. State School Boards Association Communications Director David Albert says that's why they are calling on lawmakers to phase-in the increase over the next three years.
Albert says there are a number of areas where additional funding is needed... including mental health services for students, along with school safety measures. In his State of the State Address... Governor Andrew Cuomo called for some state aid to be taken away from wealthier districts... and, put that money towards the poorest ones. Albert says needier districts get about 70-percent of the state's education funding already. During his address... Cuomo noted that some wealthier districts are able to spend about $33,000 -- per student. However... the poorer ones only spend just over $13,000. The governor's budget plan will be released later this month.
The State Assembly's top leader says he will oppose making any changes to New York's bail reform law.
Media reports from Albany indicate that Speaker Carl Heastie wants to let the law continue the way it is. While there's a push to amend the criminal justice reforms that went into effect on January 1st... State Senator George Borrello says he still wants to see the reforms repealed.
Borrello says he doesn't think there's a fix to the new laws. He believes there are "so many holes in this plan that are so dangerous" that trying to fix parts of it isn't worth it. Governor Andrew Cuomo was criticized by local state lawmakers for not addressing the reforms during his State of the State address.
Two people from Jamestown have been arrested -- one for allegedly violating Leandra's Law -- following a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Kiantone late last week.
Sheriff's Deputies say they stopped a vehicle... driven by 45 year-old Selena Santiago... for only having one working headlight about 12:30 AM Friday. Officers say they could smell marijuana coming from inside the car... and, the passenger -- 21 year-old Dakota Raymond -- produced a marijuana cigar. Deputies say Santiago was failed sobriety tests, and was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs. There was also a 2-year-old child in the vehicle... and, so the charge became a Felony. Raymond was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.
Flood Watch in effect through Sunday afternoon...
There's been some steady... but, not heavy rain yet n the Jametown-area. However... the rain will be more steady and present heading into this afternoon through late Sunday morning. A Flood Watch has been issued from 1 this afternoon to 1 p.m. Sunday. That from Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll be getting the rain in "two waves" over the weekend. Kelly says the first wave produced about half-an-inch of rain... but, the second one -- later today -- will produce 1 to 1-and-a-half inches in the Jamestown-area. Kelly says the rainfall totals will likely be higher to our north... and, west through the weekend. Kelly says the heavier rain should be wrapping up by early afternoon on Sunday. It appears most of the rain will fall between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. A High Wind Warning has also been issued for early to late Sunday morning.
Truck-lite official confirm's "tentative" end of production at plant by end of 2020...
Truck-Lite Corporaton is confirming that it has "tentatively" decided to end production at it's long-standing plant in Falconer by the end of the year. That from Spokeswoman Beth English... who did not provide details... but, says the decision only affects manufacturing positions at the Falconer plant. The number of jobs impacted has not been released. However... the manufacturing part of Truck-lite -- at last word -- had about 130 workers. English confirms the news was given to employees and union officials on Thursday afternoon. The level of productivity at the large local plant was noted as a factor in the decision. English says Truck-lite... which makes vehicle lighting... is not making the decision lightly. She says they will help relocate displaced workers to other Truck-lite facilities. The ending of production would not impact other parts of the local operation.
Jamestown woman faces Leandra's Law violation after being found under influence of drugs with young child in car...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested -- one for allegedly violating Leandra's Law -- following a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Kiantone. Sheriff's officers say they stopped a vehicle... driven by 45 year-old Selena Santiago... for only having one working headlight about 12:30 a.m. Friday. Deputies say they could smell marijuana coming from inside the car... and, the passenger -- 21 year-old Dakota Raymond -- produced a marijuana cigar. Officers say Santiago was failed sobriety tests, and was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs. There was also a 2-year-old child in the vehicle... and, so the charge became a Felony. Raymond was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.
Kennedy man arrested for allegedly kicking pet chihuahua...
A Kennedy man was arrested after he allegedly kicked a person's pet chihuahua during a domestic incident Thursday. State Police in Jamestown responded to the home... and, learned 31 year-old Joshua Ross arrived... and walked into the victim's residence without invitation. Troopers say Ross allegedly kicked the dog during the argument. When the victim attempted to call 9-1-1, Ross reportedly knocked the phone out of their hand and across the room. Troopers were eventually contacted by a third-party and placed Ross in custody after he resisted arrest. He was sent to the county jail pending arraignment.
NYSSBA official says Cuomo's State of State includes "promising initiatives..."
There are a "lot of promising initiatives" in Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message regarding public school education. However... officials with the New York State School Boards Association are taking a wait-and-see attitude until the governor releases his 2020-21 budget plan. That from Association Communications Director David Albert... who says they include increasing funding for Pre-K and after-school programs... and, recruiting bi-lingual teachers. Albert says they're also awaiting details of the governor's plan to funnel more state money to help poorer... "high-needs" districts the Cuomo says aren't performing because they have fewer resources. He says the State Boards Association would rather see the governor follow through on the state's long-held promise to fully-fund the "foundation aid" formula. He says the state needs to treat public education as the priority it should be. Albert says another issue for some poorer districts has to do with the state's 2-percent property tax cap.
Dunkirk woman's manslaughter trial begins Friday...
The trial for a Dunkirk woman who is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge in the stabbing death of a Dunkirk teen got underway this morning in Mayville. Opening Statements were given in the case of 26-year-old Ashlyann Lopez-Lopez, who is accused of stabbing Jefrena Brown in the 100 block of Lincoln Avenue last May 15th. She died a day later at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.
Senate Majority pushing revised bill to automatically add anyone filling out a state form to voting rolls...
New York would automatically add to the voting rolls any citizen who fills out a state form, under a revised bill that passed the state Senate on Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, voting advocates and other Democrats say the bill targets an estimated 1.1-million eligible New Yorkers who aren't on the voter rolls. The bill passed the state Senate 40-20. It now heads to the Assembly. The vote on the revised legislation comes a day after Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo called for automatic voter registration in New York in his annual State of the State address.
The Jamestown area could lose a significant number of manufacturing jobs later this year.
The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that Truck-lite has 'tentatively' decided to end production at its long-standing plant in Falconer. The exact timeline and the number of jobs affected have not been confirmed. The news was apparently handed out to workers and union officials on Thursday afternoon. The level of productivity at the large local plant was noted as a factor in the decision. Truck-lite, which manufactures vehicle lighting, started in Jamestown in the 1950's and currently has 10 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe.
The theft of a loaded hand-gun from an unattended, parked vehicle in Jamestown has led city police to issue a warning about leaving cars unlocked.
JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says you should always lock your vehicles when they are left parked and unattended... even if it's in your own driveway. Samuelson adds it's "not uncommon for individuals to go around and check vehicles to see if they are unlocked" because they're looking for items they can steal and sell for money, or trade for drugs. He did not say where the vehicle was where the gun was taken... but, he says valuables such as wallets with money, computers or firearms should never be left inside an unattended and unlocked vehicle. Samuelson says if your gun is taken in such an instance... you can have your pistol permit suspended.
Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says -- if circumstances are right -- he may run for governor in two years.
Corning Republican Tom Reed confirmed this week that he is weighing his options... but, was also quick to say that he is committed to running for another term in the House of Representatives later this year. Reed says he's talked to numerous people recently who have said he should consider a run... but, in the end... it'll be up to the people to decide.
The possibility of Reed running for governor has been brought up in recent news stories in the region... especially after Reed has publically criticized Governor Cuomo, and other Democrats in the state for being influenced by the party's more progressive members. He called out Cuomo for holding up funding for a stetch of the State Thruway earlier this year. However... it's likely that after the 2020 Census... New York state will lose two seats in Congress. Those would likely be in the upstate area.
A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly robbing a gas station in the Village of Falconer early Thursday morning.
Ellicott Town Police were called to the Kwik-Fill at 455 West Main Street just after 6:30 AM for a robbery in progress.... and, the suspect fled the scene. Police say 40 year-old Andrew Piatz-junior approached the store clerk and demanded they hand over the money. He also allegedly took items from the store without paying for them. Piatz was found a short distance away from the scene and sent to the County Jail pending arraignment for third-degree robbery and petty larceny. Town Police were assisted in the investigation by the Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit and Jamestown Police.
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York state Assembly says there were 'some positives' in Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual State of the State message.
However... it also lacked a lot of specifics. Republican Assemblyman Andy Goodell had a front row seat at the governor's address in Albany... and, says, while it was brought up in his speech... there wasn't much else.
Goodell says he did like the governor discussing plans for a small business tax cut... along with moving ahead on a pair of middle class tax cuts. He says New York has had a reputation for being a "high-taxed" state. Goodell also liked proposed legislation to deal with Algal Blooms on Chautauqua Lake. That's an initiative was part of an overall Climate Change agenda the governor high-lighted yesterday. He wants lawmakers to approved a referendum for the Fall to raise $3-billion for new programs to improve the environment. The rubber will meet the road later this month when the governor proposes his 2020-2021 budget plan.
The State Assembly officially kicked off it's 2020 session Thursday afternoon... and, new Minority Leader Will Barclay announced that Andy Goodell would again be Minority Leader Pro-Temp -- otherwise known as "Floor Leader for the Day."
State Senator George Borrello attended his first State of the State Address Wednesday... and, has plenty of questions about how Governor Andrew Cuomo will tackle an approximately 6-billion dollar budget deficit.
Cuomo did not offer many specifics in his address... but, did indicate that much of the increase stems from growing Medicaid costs. Borrello says the governor pointed out that counties have not borne the brunt of increased Medicaid costs the past six years.
Borrello adds that... if Cuomo proposes eliminating the local cap on Medicaid costs... he and others will work to stop it. Currently... the state's 50-percent share of the costs is split just about evenly between the state and local counties. Due to increasing costs in the program six years ago... the cap was imposed after pressure was put on the state by local governments. The governor is expected to release the next fiscal year's budget sometime later this month.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual "State of the State" address Wednesday, outlining his progressive vision for addressing intolerance and legalizing adult-use marijuana....
However, the third-term Democrat is navigating a looming $6-billion budget shortfall, largely due to Medicaid costs. Cuomo says the state redesigned that program several years ago so increased costs weren't piled onto local governments. He says they have to do it again to cut a $4-billion deficit in that program.
Cuomo also touted his biggest past achievements and trumpeted a long list of future policy initiatives, many of which he has previewed in a series of announcements over the past month. He says progressive government works, because it delivers "real results." Among his biggest initiatives are proposals to deal with climate change, including a $3-billion referendum to fund the "Restore Mother Nature Bond Act." Cuomo says the money would be used for natural restoration and resiliancy programs. He made the address at a convention center in downtown Albany.
A federal appeals court is considering whether to lift the final nationwide temporary injunction against a Trump administration policy that would deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits....
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard arguments Tuesday over an injunction that had been issued in October by a federal district court in New York that prevented the policy from going into effect while a lawsuit against it is proceeding. A regional injunction issued in California and another national injunction issued in Washington have already been lifted by other appeals courts.
Court documents show a state Republican lawmaker charged with drunken driving blamed his wife for a New Year's Eve crash.......
The documents released Tuesday include a witness statement that accuses Brian M. Kolb of blaming the crash on his wife and saying, "You know how women drive." A separate court filing by an Ontario County sheriff's deputy shows that the former top Republican in the New York State Assembly had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16%, double the legal limit of .08% for driving.
Temperatures will be cold and blustery to start the day today in the Jamestown-area......
However, a gradual warm-up will be felt, starting today and through the weekend. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kirk Apfell in Buffalo says we'll start the day today at about 10-degrees but, get into the mid and upper 30s later today. Apfel says a strong, high pressure system will be moving in.
Apfell says temperatures will reach about 50 tomorrow and we'll push 60-degrees on Saturday. However, he adds we're going to see a lot of rain, with most of the area seeing at least an inch of rain during that time period, with the possibility of 4-inches in some places. On Wednesday, we had brief stints of wind-driven, lake effect snow, along with sunny and calm conditions at times. Conditions were especially harsh in the morning between Interstate 86 and the Mayville-area. The area generally received about 3 to 4 inches of new snow... while some places -- like Cherry Creek -- reported half-a-foot of the white stuff.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he "appreciates" President Trump's decision to launch the attack in Iraq that killed a top Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander. The Corning Repubican says General Qassem Soleimani was a bad actor, and terrorist, who was a threat to Americans in the region....
Iran retaliated Tuesday night by firing ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops, but President Donald Trump said there were no casualties. Trump added that Iran appears to be ``standing down.'' Reed says he's happy to see both sides backing away from hostilities. However, he say the lifting of sanctions depends on Iran to stop supporting terrorist groups across the region and, secondly, give up it's nuclear ambitions. Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says the Common Council's decision to remove three appointed city officials, and dissolve one of the positions, could wind up in court...
Council passed resolutions removing Human Resources Director Dave Campola, Executive Assistant Vicki Westling, and City Attorney Richard Morrisroe by 4-1 votes. Councilman James Stoyle also amended the resolution.
Rosas says he intends to veto the resolutions. The mayor was asked about what would happen if there is a veto override. At that point, he says the city is prepared to go to court -- if need be. Until a determination is made... Rosas says all three appointed officials will remain on the job.
A veteran Central New York Republican has been unanimously elected as the state Assembly's next Minority Leader. Oswego County's Will Barclay was elected Tuesday afternoon... one day before the opening of the 2020 Legislative Session. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell -- another Republican -- says Barclay has a "wealth of experience."
Barclay... who replaces Canandaigua's Brian Kolb... says he's proud of the work the Minority Conference has done on behalf of the people of New York, and he's "humbled" to have the support of his colleagues. Goodell says Barclay is already focused on two key areas of concern... one is keeping taxes down, and the other is getting rid of, or reforming the "misguided" bail reform law in the state. Goodell has most recently been a Floor Leader Pro-Temp for the Assembly Minority... a position he believes he'll be reassigned to in the new session... which begins with today. Kolb resigned as leader last weekend after he was arrested New Year's Eve for driving while under the influence of alcohol in a state-owned vehicle.
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he'll be listening for a couple of issues, in particular, during this afternoon's State of the State Address.
The Jamestown-area Republican says he's glad to hear Democrats "opening the door" to changes in New York's bail reform law as the legislative session begins.
Law enforcement officials and Republicans have spent months raising red flags on the changes, but their criticism caught more fervor in the last week as courts across the state have released people who would have remain behind bars under the old rules. Goodell says he's also interested to hear how Cuomo proposes dealing with a just over $6-billion budget deficit.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was filmed helping a man out of a van that crashed on a major New York City highway.
Footage taken by his staff Monday showed the Democratic governor helping a man out of the driver's seat of a large catering van that had run up the median and turned on its side on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The New York Police Department had not yet arrived on the scene when Cuomo's vehicle pulled over and the governor cut the man out of his seat belt... and, helped him to safety. He received assistance from the state police troopers he was traveling with.
A Silver Creek man is accused of using his car to ram another vehicle in the town of Hanover on New Year's Eve in an apparent dispute with the people in the other vehicle.
Sheriff's officers say they responded to a report of the car, driven by 31 year-old Javier Cruz, striking another vehicle intentionally about 12:30 PM on December 31st. Deputies say no one was hurt... but, Cruz was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court at a later date.
The Jamestown City Council plans to vote later this month on another new, 10-year water service agreement with a nearby municipality.
Lawmakers Monday night heard about the proposal for the new contract with the town of North Harmony. Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says the new agreement replaces one that expired back in March... and, says they're pleased to have negotiations on a new one completed. This would be the second, 10-year agreement with a local municipality in recent months the city has agreed to. The city -- through the Board of Public Utilities -- has a number of agreements with local towns and villages to supply water.
A local grocery store chain announced plans to roll out an end to single-use, plastic bags ahead of a state-wide ban that goes into effect March 1st.
Wegman's Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy says the decision comes after successful pilot programs at its stores in Corning and Ithaca.
Mehaffy says Wegmans Food Markets then made the decision to remove plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores starting Monday, January 27th. Under the new law.... local counties will have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. Counties would get 3-cents for each bag sold, while 2-cents would go towards the state's Environmental Protection Fund. It's unclear if Chautauqua County will opt in to the fee. At stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge 5-cents per bag... which will be donated to the local food bank serving each region.
With the Plastic-Bag Ban scheduled to begin state-wide March 1st, Wegmans grocery stores announced they will be removing all single-use bags from their stores ahead of the deadline.
In a printed release, Wegmans Packing and Sustainability Manager Jason Wadsworth... indicated a successful pilot program at its Corning and Ithaca stores led to the decision.... and, will be implemented in all its New York state stores Monday, January 27th. Wadsworth says the goal is to shift all customers to reusable bags. Under the new law, local counties will have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. Wegmans officials say the amount of money collected from the charge will be donated to the local food bank. It's unclear if Chautauqua County has made a decision on whether to opt in to the fee.
The city of Jamestown may become one of the first muncipalities to vote to urge state lawmakers to either repeal, or reform the new bail reform laws that took effect on January 1st.
The City Council's Public Safety Committee discussed such a measure, which has now been approved by the Evans Town Board in Erie County. Committee members discussed the matter earlier with Police Chief Harry Snellings. Council President Tony Dolce says, thankfully, there haven't been any issues locally, as yet.
Snellings says he's on board with several other police chiefs... and local District Attorneys who oppose the new law. Dolce says there have been issues state-wide with the new bail reforms... which eliminate cash bail for some 400 or so offenses that were considered by a majority of state lawmakers to be "non-violent." Dolce says Public Safety may have a resolution to look at next week.
There will be some hold-overs at Jamestown City Hall through late January when the City Council is expected to vote on a few new department heads... and, members of boards and commissions.
In recent years... lawmakers typically suspended their rules, and voted on those people at that particular meeting. However... last Wednesday... they automatically tabled action until on several new appointments made by new Mayor Eddie Sundquist.
The new appointments include City Clerk/Treasurer Rudy Andelora... who is a retired school teacher in Jamestown, and Corporation Counsel, Elliot Raimando. Sundquist says Raimando is a Jamestown native, who worked in Albany on labor issues. Sundquist's appointments also included three new members of the Board of Public Utilities. He says he has spoken with the people currently holding those seats, along with the new appointees. Sundquist says part of the reason for the change is his desire to have the BPU look into developing municipal Internet services.
The city of Jamestown's first demolition of the new year will take place at the location of a former westside business after the building collapsed last weekend.
City firefighters were called to the former Quality Rebuild at 823 Clinton Street late Saturday afternoon... where they found the top floor had caved in on the building. Acting Development Director Crystal Surdyk says the area has been closed off... and, a crew will begin demolition work this morning.
Surdyk says it will take about 10 days to complete the demolition because materials inside have to be tested, and properly disposed of. Mayor Eddie Sundquist says fortunately, no one was hurt when the building collapsed. But... he says there were a number of vehicles in and around the building. He says most were not part of the business property. It also appears the city will not be able to recoup any of it's demolition costs from the defunct ownership.
A Gerry woman was arrested for Unsafe Backing and driving while intoxicated nearly three times the legal limit last Saturday night.
Jamestown Police and Sheriff's Deputies say they were investigating a reported fight at Jeremy's Belview restaurant on Foote Avenue, when they allegedly saw a grey Dodge Journey back up into a parked vehicle in the lot nearby. Officers determined the driver -- 33 year-old Brittany Abramson -- was drunk and placed her under arrest. She was sent to the Jamestown City Jail and released with an appearance ticket. Police say no one was injured during the incident.
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating what appears to be a deliberate attempt to release bedbugs in a Walmart store in Edinboro.
A police spokeswoman said Monday that troopers have made no arrests and do not have any suspects. A manager from the store in northwestern Pennsylvania contacted police Saturday after store employees found pill bottles with bugs in them. Police say a hygiene services contractor contacted by Walmart found bugs crawling around in the men's fitting room and identified them as bedbugs. Troopers were testing for fingerprints on the bottle while store officials were reviewing surveillance video.
One person suffered minor injuries in a single-car crash in the town of Gerry early last weekend.
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Old Chautauqua Road, and found a car had crashed into a ditch. Deputies say the driver, 28 year-old Casey Eaker, of Gerry, lost control of the vehicle about 4 PM Friday, and the car slammed into the ditch. One of Eaker's four minor passengers was hurt, and taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment. No charges were filed.
Dunkirk city firefighters responded to a house fire around 7:30 last night at 414 Mullet Street....
When crews reached the scene, the fire was reported in the living room of the one story house. Firefighters were able to extinguished the blaze and checked for extension. All of the occupants were accounted for at a neighboring house, although a dog and a cat were rescued and resuscitated at the scene by firefighters using a pet resuscitation mask that was recently donated by a citizen. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
A north county man was arrested early last Friday in Cassadaga for allegedly driving without a license, being found in possession of drugs and having a court warrant against him....
Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 40 year-old Fred Bristrisky, Junior on Main Street just before 9 AM and found there was a valid bench warrant for his arrest. Bristrisky was also found to have a revoked driver's license. He faces charges including second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Chautauqua County's Cornell Cooperative Extension has completed its move to Jamestown Community College.
Executive Director, Emily Reynolds, says they are open for business at the Carnahan Center at JCC in Jamestown. Their internet is fully connected, but are still working on the phones. You can leave a message at 664-9502, you won't be able to reach the office directly by phone until midweek. Reynolds adds all Extension and Four-H meetings and events are now being held at the college. They did have to leave a number of things behind at the Ag Center near the Airport, which will be offered to the public on 'Community Partners Day', Tuesday, January 14th from Noon to 6 PM. Those items include office furniture and supplies and a variety of other materials. They will be offered at no cost, but any donations will be gratefully accepted.
The Jamestown City Council meets for the second-time in 2020 tonight and there will be two new committee chairpersons heading up their meetings.
New Council President Tony Dolce made his appointments official at last Wednesday's re-organizational meeting. The Second-Ward Republican says Republican Kim Ecklund, who has a lot of financial experience, will head up that panel.
Dolce says he will remain a member of the Finance Committee with Demcrat Marie Carrubba in 2020. He adds that the other new chairperson will head up the Public Safety Committee. He says that's First-Ward GOP representative Brent Sheldon, who chaired that panel the last time Republican's held the majority. The other two committees will be chaired by Democrats. Dolce says Tom Nelson has a good working relationship with Public Works Director Jeff Lehman and, will lead that committee. Housing Committee Chairwoman Vickye James will remain head of that panel in 2020. Tonight's first work session of the new year begins at 7:30 PM in the Mayor's Conference Room at City Hall.
A New York lawmaker who has been charged with drunken driving is stepping down from his post as the top Republican in the state Assembly.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb said Friday late he will resign his post as Assembly minority leader. Kolb, though, is not resigning from his Assembly seat. Authorities said the 67-year-old Kolb was driving his state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch near his home Tuesday night. They said his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. The arrest came a week after Kolb published a column in the upstate Daily Messenger newspaper that warned against driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Now that he has been formally appointed County Executive through the end of the year, Republican P-J Wendel says he will be meeting with his predecessor, now State Senator George Borrello.
The Lakewood lawmaker tells us that he wants to discuss some on-going initiatives, including the Ripley Welcoming Center. Wendel says another area of concern is forthcoming budget. Indicating that it will pose a challenge, Wendell says he wants to take a "think outside the box" approach.
Meanwhile, State Senator George Borrello says he looks forward to working with Wendel, and new County Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon. He says they will continue to work as a team -- just in "different seats." Borrello attended the County Legislature's reorganization meeting held last Thursday, where Wendel's appointment was unanimously approved. Chagnon was approved as chairman, 13-to-5.
Investigation continuing into Broadhead Ave. Stabbing in Jamestown...
Jamestown Police are continuing to investigate a late night stabbing Thursday that's left a 27 year-old man in serious but, stable condition at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called 310 Broadhead Avenue shortly before 10 p.m., and, found a person with multiple stab wounds. Samuelson says the unidentified victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment. He was later sent to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie. Samuelson adds that it was a "targeted" incident... and, the suspect may have also been hurt. Police were conducting interviews Friday. If you have any information... police ask you call them at 483-7537... or the tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. You can also go anonymously to JPD's Tips 4-1-1 app.
Sheriff's Office no longer to designate Chautauqua Institution police as "Special Deputies..."
Officials at Chautauqua Institution are expressing disappointment over a decision by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office to no longer designate institution police as "Special Deputies." The designation had been in place for the better part of four decades... but, institution officials say they were made aware of the impending change late last year. With that... they say they are currently pursuing both Constable and Peace Officer status for their police force. Officials say "we are confident in our ability to retain a similar level of safety and security to our property and patrons as that which we have provided for 40 years under a shared services cooperative arrangement with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office." They add their police are "all trained law enforcement officers, employed as sheriff’s deputies or officers within local municipalities." They serve under Director of Campus Security and Safety Joe Gerace, who was Chautauqua County Sheriff for nearly 25 years. Current Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he made the decision in concert with the state Sheriff's Association because continuing the practice could open up the county to "liability and other legal consequences."
Wendel says he'll follow Borrello's footsteps as County Executive...
Chautauqua County has a new county executive who will hold the post through the end of the year. P-J Wendel's appointment was unanimously approved during the County Legislature's organizational meeting on Thursday. The Lakewood Republican spoke about following George Borrello who is now seated in the State Senate... and, says it will be "no small feat." Wendel adds, though, that he will also bring in his own initiatives, and twists to county government. Wendel, who intends to run in a special election for the post in November, will face competition. County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green in a statement says Democrats will be "vigorously opposing" the GOP candidate.
Dolce says Council will likely take on expanded role in 2020 with new Mayor in office...
The Jamestown City Council may take slightly larger role in driving policy in the new year... with first-term Democrat Mayor Eddie Sundquist now in office. New Council President Tony Dolce is in that full-time role for the first time in his nearly 25 years in office. Following this week's Inauguration and reorganizational meeting at Jamestown Community College... Dolce agreed there's going to be change. He says they "leaned a lot" on former Mayor Sam Teresi's knowledge and experience, and now "they are going to have to step up, and be a little more aggressive in setting policy and being a watchdog." At the same time... Dolce says the new Republican-majority panel will be there to support Sundquist achieve goals that will advance the city. He says the big thing right now is Sundquist getting his "feet wet..." and, getting up to speed. As for council... Dolce says he plans to pursue his idea of going back to having meetings in the wards at various times during the year... because some people may feel intimidated coming to City Hall. He says they may look at having those meetings at schools in those individual wards. Council did get out for one meeting this past year at Jackson-Taylor Park on the northside.
Kolb steps down as State Assembly minority leader...
A New York lawmaker who has been charged with drunken driving is stepping down from his post as the top Republican in the state Assembly. Assemblyman Brian Kolb said Friday late he will resign his post as Assembly minority leader. Kolb, though, is not resigning from his Assembly seat. Authorities said the 67-year-old Kolb was driving his state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch near his home Tuesday night. They said his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. The arrest came a week after Kolb published a column in the upstate Daily Messenger newspaper that warned against driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Lockport Schools begin using facial recognition technology to look for threats, over objections of civil rights groups...
An upstate New York school district has begun using facial recognition technology to look for threats. But... civil rights advocates want to stop it, saying it infringes on student privacy. The Lockport Central School District says it activated the system Thursday after meeting conditions set by the state, including that no students be programmed in. Superintendent Michelle Bradley says it will alert staff to guns as well as people like sex offenders and suspended staff who may pose a threat. Facial recognition technology has made its way into airports and casinos, but is so far rare in schools.
Chautauqua County Legislators have approved the appointment of a new county executive.
During the Legislature's reorganizational meeting in Mayville Thursday afternoon, PJ Wendel was approved to fill the post until the end of the year. He looks forward to the new job and, says he is committed to running in a special election in November and beyond. In other action, the County Legislature elected Pierre Chagnon to be its next chairman over Charles Nazzaro by a 13-5 vote.
The new mayor has officially taken office in Lakewood, with a pledge of working together to solve some of the village's pressing issues.
Republican Randy Holcomb defeated Acting Mayor Ted McCague last November and, took his oath during a ceremony at the Lakewood Firemen's Grounds on Summit Avenue. Holcomb earlier mentioned one matter he and other board members want to resolve as soon as possible.
The locating of the cell tower has been in the courts for the past two years or so. Holcomb says getting sidewalks "all the way" on Summit and Terrace Avenues is another matter. He adds that improving water service on the village's southside is also an issue. The village board also welcomed a new member -- Republican Rich Fisher -- on Wednesday. In addition to Holcomb and Fischer, voters in Lakewood also re-elected trustee Ellen Barnes to another term of office. Holcomb officially replaces former Mayor Cara Birritierri, who resigned amid controversy in October of 2018.
The village of Fredonia's new mayor is off and running for a four-year term.
Family Court Judge Michael Sullivan gave the oath of office to Mayor Doug Essek and new trustee Roger Pacos on Wednesday. Essek spoke afterwards about taking a team approach.
Essek is facing some major tasks as he assumes the top office in the village. Besides the selection of a new police chief, Essek says trustees will have appoint a trustee to fill his old seat.
Also on New Year's Day, Democrat Willie Rosas was sworn-in for another term as the Dunkirk City mayor.
Despite some winter weather last November, the Harrison Street Bridge re-opened to the public yesterday afternoon.
The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities says the opening was delayed after a 16-inch water main pipe that crosses the Chadakoin River, under the bridge deck, was replaced and needed to be tested prior to restoration. Officials also report additional time was needed to find and fix a valve leak on an 8-inch connected water line. Testing is now complete and has passed all requirements. As of Thursday, crews were still clearing equipment and is unclear if the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic. Public Facilities officials say temporary bridge walls and sidewalks will be installed until permanent fixtures and final paving surfaces can be completed in early Spring.
With a new year come City and Chautauqua County tax bills in Jamestown.
Executive Secretary Leigh Anne Jordan says they've received several calls from people who have received their 2020 tax bills, asking if they have to be paid at city hall, or at Community Bank like the School Tax Bills. She says checks should be made payable to the "City Treasurer" by mail or in person. It is also stated on the bill.
Customers of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in Jamestown and the surrounding area will see no rate hikes in any of it's five divisions this year and, just one over the past two years.
BPU General Manager Dave Leather says -- in fact -- there won't be any increase in Electric Division rates until after 2021. Leathers credits the "good work" of the team managers in that division but, otherwise, the only increase in recent times has been in the Solid Waste Division.
In recent years, the BPU has had two different rates for Solid Waste collection. There's a lower rate for residents who recycle items at least once a month and, another slightly higher rate for those who do not recycle. Leathers adds that there will also be no increases in the Water, Wastewater, and District Heating Divisions.
Democratic Congressional members from New York are lauding the recent passage of increased funding to help improve security at houses of worship.
Nine Democratic U.S. representatives appeared at a press conference on Thursday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Grant workshops will be held throughout New York City area in the coming months to help high-risk nonprofit institutions learn about the program and apply for funding.
Breaking... missing Jamestown teenager found safe...
A city teenager reported missing last October has been found safe and returned home to her parent. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 13 year-old Gianna Coleman was located New Year's Day about 1 PM in Jamestown after JPD received a tip by an unidentified citizen.
A woman was killed New Year's Eve after the car she was in crashed into a Chautauqua County snowplow on Big Tree Road in the town of Busti.
Lakewood-Busti police say the accident occurred around mid-afternoon and, first responders found the female passenger trapped inside the car. Lakewood and Busti firefighters used a hurst tool to remove the roof. However... the woman was declared dead at the scene. Two other people were reportedly taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment. The identities of those involved have not been made public, as yet.
The city of Jamestown has it's first new mayor in 20 years.
City Court Judge John LaMancuso did the honors of swearing in Democrat Eddie Sundquist on New Year's Day during an inauguration ceremony at Jamestown Community College. Sundquist says it's both "exciting and sobering" to become the city's new top-elected official. Sundquist did not lay-out a laundry list of agenda items for the new year... but, focused on what makes Jamestown great.
Sundquist later said he'll likely spend his first 100 days listening, mainly to employees to get a better feel for what needs to be done to make the city work better. He made a number of appointments, which were tabled by the City Council until the January voting session. They include Rudi Andelora as the new City Clerk/Treasurer and Corporation Counsel Elliot Raimando, who is moving back to Jamestown from the Albany-area.
The Jamestown City Council, featuring two new members, was also sworn-in during yesterday's annual reorganizational meeting at JCC.
Those new members, Jeff Russell and Grant Olson, give the GOP at 5-4 majority on the panel. As expected, the longest serving member of the council, Second-Ward representative Tony Dolce, was elected Council President. He welcomed the new mayor and, pledged to help move the city forward to meet it's many challenges.
Dolce also pledged to follow-up on several calls during the campaign to make city government more "open and transparent." He says he would like to see the panel hold some of it's meetings in each of Jamestown's six wards, and publish weekly agendas to provide more public access. Dolce also shared a lighter moment about the fact he and the incoming mayor both celebrate their birthdays on New Year's Eve.
Dolce also made official his list of committee assignments. Veteran Republican Kim Ecklund will chair the Finance Committee, while fellow Republican Brent Sheldon will lead Public Safety. Democrat Tom Nelson will remain chair of the Public Works Committee and, Democrat Vickye James will remain head of the Housing panel.
The outgoing president of the City Council spoke briefly during completion of the panel's year-end meeting yesterday, but thanked several people for their support.
Demcrat Marie Carrubba presided the past two years, when the panel had it's first-ever female majority. Carrubba especially thanked out-going Mayor Sam Teresi, who was not on hand for the meeting. During Monday's session, she talked about Teresi using the writtings of Mother Teresa.
Carrubba thanked her Democratic colleagues for having faith in her ablities to lead the council and, Republican members for "setting aside" partisan differences and worked for the betterment of the city. Mayor Teresi spent the past 20 years as mayor and, prior to that, was City Development Director for more than 10 years. Lawmakers also said fairwell to outgoing council members Maria Jones, and Andrew Liuzzo.
A city man faces several charges, including burglary, following a New Year's Eve altercation at a home on Jamestown's westside Tuesday afternoon.
City police were called to a home on Livingston Avenue and, arrested 21 year-old Tyler Coulter. Officers say Coulter unlawfully entered the home, and got into the altercation with the female victim, who had an order of protection against him. Police add the incident occured in front of a 4-year-old child. Coulter was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on charges including second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal contempt, and endangering the welfare of a child.
The Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band and A Cappella Choir returned home late last night from their trip to Disneyworld.
Band director, Meghan Murray, says the band marched in a parade down 'Main Street USA' on New Year's Eve, the busiest day of the year, with some 45,000 people in the park. The A Cappella Choir sang twice in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center last Saturday. Director, Norm Lydell, says the JHS musicians performed to the 'high bar' that Disney sets for all performances. A total of 157 JHS students took the trip. Both directors say they are always looking for opportunities to show off the talent of Jamestown students, but the Disney trip will be hard to top.
A portion of Interstate-86 is closed off this morning as first responders assist at the scene of a crashed semi tractor-trailer.
Chautauqua County dispatchers say the accident occurred shortly before 6 AM in the eastbound lanes and, has now shut down the 7.4-mile stretch between Exit 8 (Lakewood/Mayville) and Exit 11 (Strunk Road). Dispatch says State Troopers and Sheriff's Deputies responded to the scene alongside Ashville and Bemus Point Fire crews and County EMS. No injuries have been reported, but police are assisting with traffic control at this time.
Many of the major arguments against Jamestown annexing the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation into the city are the same as they were two years ago.
That was what the majority of about 150 people felt during last night's public hearing held at Jamestown High School. Falconer School Superintendent Stephen Penhollow... whose district stands to lose about $153,000 in tax revenues, says the city should abide by an appellate court ruling just over a year ago.
However... Jamestown officials and some residents last night argued that the annexation would save the BPU, and city about $330,000 a year. Board Chairman Greg Rabb says the BPU did it's "due diligence..." and, they have to look out for their ratepayers. Rabb adds the BPU has twice voted unanimously to proceed with annexation. The Jamestown City Council, Falconer Village Board, and the Ellicott Town Board now have 90-days in which to review the material and testimony in the matter... and, vote on whether the proposed annexation is in the "public interest."
The Jamestown City Council has moved ahead with buying two new pumper trucks and, refurbishing the main ladder truck for the fire department.
Lawmakers approved two measures... at a total price of about $1.3-million dollars, at last night's year-end meeting. Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says all three items were part of the major capital investment program adopted this past Fall.
Dolce says city lawmakers were pleased with how the bids came in on all three vehicles. The city is buying the two pumper trucks from Four Guys Stainless Steel Tank and Equipment in Pennsylvania for just over one-million dollars. The ladder truck is being refurbished by Churchville Fire Equipment in Churchville, New York... for just under $300,000.
A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly threatening a woman with a metal pipe last Saturday.
City police responded to a residence on Lakeview Avenue, about 9 PM, on a report of a suspicious person. On arrival... officers learned 34 year-old John Matteson-junior threatened the victim in her vehicle. Matteson was taken into custody for second-degree menacing and sent to the city jail pending arraignment.
Nearly 10 area fire departments battled a blaze that destroyed a building that housed apartments on Route 62 near Conewango Valley.
The fire was first reported just after 3 AM Monday, with crews from departments in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties responding. The fire closed a portion of Route 62 for about four hours. Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone now says authorities have located the missing two occupants who lived upstairs, and their safety was in question.
Quattrone says two others inside were accounted for at the scene. The fire caused heavy damage to the building. Quattrone says county fire investigators were still at the scene late Monday morning trying to determine the cause. He says they were interviewing witnesses, combing through the rubble, and checking what video may be available. Quattrone says the structure is so badly damaged that he expects there may have to be emergency demolition.
A Dunkirk man has been arrested as part of a Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force investigation of alleged drug trafficking in the East Second Street and Columbus Avenue area.
Members of the Task Force and Dunkirk Police say they arrested 35 year-old Efrain Aguiar-Rodriguez early last weekend on Chautauqua County Grand Jury warrants at 11 North Gazelle Street. Task Force agents say Rodriguez is charged with three Felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was arrested without incident and taken to the county jail with bail to be set. If you have information on possible illegal drug trafficking, contact the task force at 664-2420... or the JPD tips line in Jamestown at 483-8477.
The New York State Farm Bureau has named 77 state legislators, one from Chautauqua County, to it's annual "Circle of Friends" list.
Farm Bureau President David Fisher says the award is "an indication of the individual lawmaker’s support of New York agriculture and Farm Bureau..." and, is based on each lawmaker's voting record on issues of agricultural importance, and other evidence of legislative support. Republican State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is one of those on the list. Fisher adds -- "we appreciate their support of bills and budget items that benefit farm families, and we hope to continue this partnership in the 2020 legislative session. We aim to work together with all lawmakers to support local food production and address the needs of our rural communities." Fisher says being named to the "Circle of Friends” is not an endorsement, and this distinction only recognizes the 2019 legislative session.
This year's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will spotlight efforts to combat climate change when high school science teachers and students press the button that begins the famous 60-second countdown.
Organizers announced the plan Saturday. The two teachers and four students have done a clean-air project and a fundraising walk to raise money for places without clean water. Young climate activists gained new prominence this year, when Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg sparked school strikes around the world calling for more action to fight global warming. But, 2019 also was a year of setbacks and disappointment for climate activists.
Firefighters from Ellington, Kennedy and several other departments are fighting a major structure fire in Conewango Valley.
Chautauqua County Fire Dispatch says crews were summoned around 3:30 AM. The reported address of the fire is 5521 Route 62. There's no known personal injury, but Route 62 in that immediate area may be closed for a time as firefighters continue to work the blaze. Additional detail on the fire is expected later today.
A Jamestown teenager with a history of running away from home has been reported missing, but, may still be in the area.
City police say 13 year-old Gianna Coleman was first reported missing last October 21st... but, she has reportedly been in contact with several people via social media. JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they have received several tips on Coleman's whereabouts... but, she has not been found, and has not returned home. Gianna is black, 5"5, and weighs about 150 pounds. If you have any information on her whereabouts, call JPD at 483-7537... or their tip-line at 483-TIPS. You can also contact police through their Tips 4-1-1 app.
The Jamestown City Council will hold it's year-end voting session earlier than usual this evening to make way for the rescheduled public hearing on the proposed annexation of land in the village of Falconer.
Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce says the voting session will begin at 6 PM... and, has a number of items to be acted on. Then... at 7:30 PM... they'll hold the postponed hearing on the annexation of the Dow Street Substation property belonging to the Board of Public Utilities. He says they want to give everyone a chance to make their views heard.
Dolce says the city council could vote in favor of restarting the legal process within 90-days of the hearing... or could vote not to do so. He adds that if they take no action, and the measure would die after that 90-day period. The previous action cost the city and the BPU just over $500,000. It has cost the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott, and Falconer School District nearly $400,000. Tonight's hearing begins at 7:30 PM in the Jamestown High School Auditorium.
Committee chairmanship on the Jamestown City Council will be evenly split among Republicans and Democrats in 2020.
That from incoming Council President Tony Dolce... who was recently elected to the post by the new GOP majority members. Republicans hold a 5-to-4 edge on the panel next year... but, Dolce has decided to put experience ahead of politics. He chaired the Finance Committee in recent years -- even with a Democratic majority at that time. Dolce says another experienced member will replace him on that panel.
Dolce says another Republican will replace Democrat Maria Jones... who was defeated in last November's election. He says Brent Sheldon will head up the Public Safety Committee. Dolce says he's chosen Democrats Tom Nelson and Vickye James to remain chairs of the Public Works and Housing Committees, respectively.
The council's reorganizational meeting will be held this Wednesday -- New Year's Day -- at the Scharmann Theater at Jamestown Community College beginning at 12 Noon.
Once the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk's historic kiosk program is complete... there will be a total of eight story-board kiosks along the walk-way.
That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says the six put in by the city can now be found on the riverwalk map on the city of Jamestown's website. Teresi says the other two are located on the walkway near the Board of Public Utilities. He credits new City Historian Ashley Senske for the project moving foward.
Teresi says the storyboard project was part of the overall Riverwalk project done in concert with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He says the department was very happy to hear about the historic nature of the project.
Incoming Jamestown City Council President Tony Dolce announces committee chairs for 2020...
With a 5-to-4 majority on the Jamestown City Council next year... it's expected that the longest-serving councilmember will be the panel's president in 2020. Second-Ward Republican Tony Dolce says, though, leadership under him will be split next year. Dolce was recently elected unanimously by the incoming majority to be Council President... and, he says he's gratified by his fellow lawmakers trust... and, says he's ready to go for the new year. He says it's an "honor" to be selected by the caucus, due in large part to his ability to work across the political aisle to get things done. One of Dolce's first assignments has been to decide on committee chairpersons... and members. He says he wanted the committees to have experienced people on board, and put the two new council members where their strengths can be utilitzed. Dolce was part of a council that bickered many years ago... and, he says because of the city's many challenges... they can't have that because "things don't get done." At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund will replace Dolce as Finance Committee Chairperson... while fellow Republican Brent Sheldon will chair the Public Safety Committee. Dolce says Democrat Tom Nelson will remain Public Works Chairman... while Democrat Vickye James will remain head of the Housing Committee in 2020.
Long-time Lakewood Village Clerk retiring on New Year's Eve...
One of the longest-serving village clerks in Chautauqua County will be calling it a career at the end of business on New Year's Eve... next Tuesday. Lakewood's Joe Johnson says he'll miss "the people of the village, and those I've worked with" during his 35 years in the position. Johnson was appointed Village Clerk in 1984 by late Mayor Tony Caprino. Prior to that... Johnson was hired by the village in 1978 to be what was called a "storekeeper" for the village's Highway Department. In that capacity, he keep track of records, and also handled purchase orders. Johnson will be replaced by current assistant clerk, Mary Currie, who was appointed at the village board's December 9th meeting.
Fire heavily damages apartment in Dunkirk...
Flames extensively damaged an apartment Thursday afternoon at the Porter Manor Apartments on Greco Lane in the city of Dunkirk. Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to the call around 3 p.m... and, found heavy fire on the second-floor. Edwards say crews extended hoses, and knocked down the fire, and got remaining residents out of the building. He says the blaze was contained to the apartment of original, with some water and smoke damage reported to the adjacent apartments. No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation.
Cold Spring man arrested for menacing...
A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly pointing a firearm, and threatening another person in the town of Randolph. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to a location on Perimeter Road in Cold Spring early last week... and, arrested 37 year-old Jordan John for second-degree menacing. Deputies say John and the other person had gotten into an argument when John allegedly pulled out the firearm. No one was hurt. John was booked in Randolph Town Court and released pending a future court appearance.
Teresi, other leaders unveil new Riverwalk historic kiosks...
People who like to walk along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk now have the chance to see historic photos of that part of the walkway from years past. City Mayor Sam Teresi was joined by other officials at the bridge on North Main Street to unveil one of the six new kiosks that are part of the Riverwalk Kiosk Historic Photo Project. The pictures on that kiosk highlight Brooklyn Square from the 1940s and 50s. Teresi says the pictures will provide context for what was in that area years ago with what is there now. The picture in Brooklyn Square is of Main Street, heading south. He says the riverwalk project actually began in the 1970s, and used leftover money from the Brooklyn Square Urban Renewal project at that time. However... work on getting the riverwalk into full use began about 15 years ago... and, Teresi says it's now about two-thirds done. He expressed his appreciation to the city's new Historian, Ashley Senske, for spearheading the kiosk project. Teresi adds that the pictures that are in the kiosks can also be seen on the city's website at Jamestownny.net... and just go to the riverwalk part of the site.
Washington's Crossing reenactment held on Christmas...
Thousands turned out to watch the annual reenactment of George Washington's daring Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River in 1776. It was the first time the crossing was completed in three years. The event was scrapped because of bad weather the last two years. The crossing is the highlight of a historical reenactment that draws thousands of people to the banks of the river in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and Titusville, New Jersey.
The investigation is continuing into a pair of drive-by shootings that took place over Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day in two different parts of the city of Jamestown. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were first called to a northside intersection shortly after 11 PM on Tuesday, Christmas Eve.
Samuelson says they also believe the second shooting incident... near the corner of Newland and Forest Avenues about 4:30 PM Wednesday... was a targeted one. He says it also appears to be unrelated to the first one. In the second incident... a Sports Utililty Vehicle was struck by a silver-colored four-door car... and, those inside the car reportedly fired on the SUV. Samuelson says they've received several helpful tips already... and, they are following up on them. No one was hurt in either incident. However... while they appear to be "targeted" incidents... Samuelson says police are taking the threat very seriously. If you have any information on either incident... call City Police at 483-7537. You can also call the JPD Tip-line at 483-8477. Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential. You can also contact them on their Tips 4-1-1 app.
A man struck by a mini-van on Jamestown's southside early yesterday afternoon has now died of his injuries... and, the vehicle involved has been found.
City police were called to the scene on Newland Avenue about 1:30 PM on a report of a hit-and-run accident. Officers say the man was walking his bike when he was struck. Police say video surveillance video in that area helped identify the suspect vehicle... which was later found on Fairmount Avenue by Lakewood-Busti Police. Police say the driver of the vehicle was an 82 year-old woman, who may have had a medical emergency prior to the incident. Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the woman was transferred to UPMC Chautauqua and later to UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA. No names have been released... and, the investigation is continuing.
As state lawmakers get ready to return to Albany in January... local State Senator George Borrello is preparing for his first session as a member of the legislature.
Borrello says one of the biggest issues facing the state is a projected budget deficit of nearly $6.1-billion. He says rising Medicaid cost is a major factor behind the deficit, accounting for nearly $4 billion. Borrello says New York spends more per capita than any other state in the nation. The Irving Republican believes much of it is due to fraud and waste, something he feels the state needs to address.
A new program to put up permanent wayfairing signs, and "Smart" parking meters in the city of Jamestown will be getting underway early in the new year.
That from Mayor Sam Teresi... says the city has received approval for a $400,000 Federal Highway Administration grant through the state Department of Transportation. Teresi says the Parking Task Force made some key recommendations... including making the downtown area easier to navigate, and find parking for those people coming from out-of-town.
Teresi says the task force's recommendations included changing most of the free parking spaces downtown back to paid parking. However... spaces where the SMART meters are located will be able to take cash, as well as credit cards, or you can pay using a phone app. The Gebbie Foundation put up the $100,000 match for the federal grant. Teresi says the recommendations came from a study by Bergmann Associates. He says just over $400,000 from the matching grant will be used to put up the new wayfairing signs, as well as fund 200 new Smart Meters.
Chautauqua County police agencies say the conducted 30 vehicle stops, arrests and summonses during last month's New York State STOP-DWI Thanksgiving Enforcement Crackdown.
Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the crackdown began on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, and continued through Sunday, December 1st. Quattrone says the event is funded by a 2019-2020 grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, and is part of a national crackdown effort. In Chautauqua County... he says "removing intoxicated drivers from Chautauqua County roadways is one of our top priorities. If you choose to drink, don't drive. Drunk drivers not only put themselves in danger, they threaten everyone who shares the road with them." The Chautauqua County STOP-DWI Program is funded by drinking and driving fines collected from convicted drunk drivers.
City police investigating reported drive-by shooting on Jamestown's southside Christmas Day...
Jamestown police have been investigating a possible drive-by shooting early Christmas Day that occured on Newland Avenue. City police confirm this morning there was an incident... but, no details have yet been released. The Post-Journal is reporting a witness told dispatchers that two vehicles, a dark-colored SUV and a silver sedan, may have been involved and that a nearby window had been struck. However... no injuries were reported. Another witness later told police the two vehicles may have been chasing the other when four to five shots were heard in an area east of Forest Avenue.
Bear Lake woman arrested for DUI Accident in Warren Co. that downed power lines...
A Warren County, Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for driving drunk when her car crashed in Freehold Township... and, her vehicle caught fire. State Police in Corry say they were called to the scene on Route 957 about 11:30 p.m. Monday, and found the car on fire with live power lines down around it. Penelec was called into turn-off power to the lines... and, Wrightville Firefighters put out the blaze. No one was inside the car... but, the operator was allegedly found at her home in Bear Lake about two-miles away unhurt. Troopers say the unidentified 33 year-old woman was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of a hit and run accident.
JHS A Cappella Choir and Marching Band head out today for trip to Disneyworld...
Today, 157 members of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir and Red Raider Marching Band will leave for Disneyworld in Florida for some high profile performances there. One of the students is Meridith Rohlin, a JHS Senior and President of the A Cappella Choir. Rohlin says they're excited about this "once in a lifetime" trip. The A Cappella will perform in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. on Saturday. Choir Director, Norm Lydell, says it's a high honor to be chosen. The marching band will be in the Magic Kingdom parade at 10:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve, next Tuesday. Band director, Meghan Murray, says the 'pre-trip' meeting with parents was revealing, because they learned that 75 to 100 of the kids have never been to Disney. Both directors say the Jamestown community has been very generous in its support of this adventure for their students.
Gas prices expected to hold steady across the region and U.S. through New Year's...
This day after Christmas will be another big travel day across the U.S. -- and the Jamestown-area -- and gasoline prices should remain stable through the New Year's time period. That from the AAA's East Central Gas Price report... which says prices locally should remain slightly over $2.86 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. Regional Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says traffic volumes will remain up through New Year's Day... as people head out for other locations for other Christmas celebrations through the weekend. Carey says the New York state average price for gas is about $2.69 a gallon... while it's a little higher -- $2.75 -- in Pennsylvania. She says there have also been slight increases in New Jersey and Delaware. The national average is now $2.54 a gallon.
Fugitive from Justice arrested during I-86 traffic stop...
A Pennsylvania man sought on drug trafficking charges has been arrested in Chautauqua County as a fugitive from justice. State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 47 year-old Joseph Zimmerman of Adamsville late last weekend after pulling over a car Zimmerman was in on Interstate 86 in Bemus Point. Troopers say neither Zimmerman nor the other occupant, was wearing a seatbelt. A background check showed there was an active violation of parole warrant for Zimmerman issued by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation, and Parole for sale of cocaine. He was placed under arrest and taken to the Chautauqua County Jail, pending arraignment.
Chautauqua County residents, businesses, urged to support Fredonia for appearance on Small Business Revolution...
While representatives from the Small Business Revolution have made their initial visit to Fredonia, and received a rousing welcome, there is still more that can be done to help the village make the top five. Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says the entire area can help give Fredonia a boost in the TV show that is shown through Hulu and Amazon Prime. Tranum says making the show will also be big exposure for the county as well. Tranum is also encouraging everyone to support the village, and it's efforts to make the top five on social media... including Twitter. He says use the hashtag #MyFredonia, and highlight local businesses, and reasons "why you love Fredonia." The announcement of the top five is expected to take place on Jan. 14.
Lawmakers pushing for adult Sexual Abuse victims to have the chance to sue...
Some New York state lawmakers want to give victims of sexual abuse an opportunity to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation. Churches, youth groups and schools were hit by a tsunami of lawsuits this year after the state gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a one-year window to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation. Now, some lawmakers want to open the same window for people abused as adults.
A Pennsylvania woman was killed... and four others were injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Harborcreek Township yesterday morning.
Erie News Now reports the accident occurred around 7 AM on Interstate-90 in the Westbound lanes near Exit 35. The woman was said to be operating a Toyota Corolla in the left lane when it hit the Sports Utility Vehichle traveling in front of her. Erie News says -- according to investigators -- It caused the Corolla to turn sideways, and the vehicle was then hit by a Buick sedan that was unable to stop. The force of the crash pushed the Toyota into the SUV. Five people were sent to local hospitals and the 33 year-old female --from Saint Mary's -- was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot. Reports indicate she was not wearing a seatbelt... and, two children in her vehicle... a two-year-old girl and a male infant who is not even a year old yet - were flown to Pittsburgh for treatment of their injuries. Both were allegedly buckled in their safety seats. The two other drivers were also taken to Hamot with suspected minor injuries.
A strong economy is fueling what's going to be a record-number of Americans are planning to travel during this two-week holiday season.
That season began last Saturday... and, runs through New Year's Day. However... things will pick up again today -- on Christmas Eve. Triple-A Western New York Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says 115.6-million people are expected to be traveling... with 104-million going by car. Carey adds the weather will be good for that.
Nationally... Carey says Triple-A is projecting a nearly 4-percent increase over last year in travel during the holiday period from last Saturday, December 21st, through New Year's Day. She says today will be very busy for travelers because there were still some reasonably-priced flights across the nation. For those of us traveling by car the next two weeks... Carey says we'll enjoy two bonuses. The first is we are expecting great weather for traveling... and, the other is relatively stable gas prices.
Catholic Charities of Buffalo has promoted from within the Buffalo Diocese to name a new President and Chief Executive Officer.
The charity arm of the Diocese announced Monday that Deacon Steve Schumer of South Buffalo will replace Dennis Walczyk next January 6th. New Bishop Edward Scharfenberger says Walczyk is completing 22 years in leadership roles with the agency after first joining Catholic Charities in 1997. The Board of Trustees added the title of President in 2018 when the Board re-organized to a single executive from a dual-leadership structure.
A city woman was arrested early Monday morning for allegedly being found in possession of a small quantity of Heroin during a traffic stop on Jamestown's westside.
City police say a patrol was traveling west on West Third Street just before 3 AM when officers spotted a car making a traffic infraction near Logan Avenue. Officers say they stopped 38 year-old Sarah Lundsten, and found the heroin in her possession. She was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and jailed pending arraignment.
Bi-Partisan legislation has been introduced in Congress that would drastically cut the cost of insulin for people suffering from diabetes, and have trouble paying for it.
Corning Republican Tom Reed... who co-chairs the Diabetes Caucus... says he and Democratic Co-Chair Diana DeGette of Colorado... have introduced the voluntary "Insulin Price Reduction Act." He says it would cut insulin costs by 75-percent. He says it's an optional program for the three insulin makers, who would then no longer have to go through the rebate negotiations with insurance companies in order to get their product covered. Reed, whose son is a diabetic, says the rebate programs have actually caused the price of insulin to skyrocket in recent years. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
Two people were arrested for allegedly arguing with police and firefighters at the scene of a minor structure fire last Saturday night on Jamestown's southside.
City firefighters were called to 15 Partridge Street shortly before 8 PM and, say 27 year-old Blake McAffee began screaming in the face of fire personnel, and preventing them from doing their duties. City police were then called in, and say McAffee was angry that no one asked if he was okay. However, he was asked seven times by personnel if he needed an ambulance. A woman, 30 year-old Cynthia Howie, then jumped into the fray and both were arrested. McAffee faces two counts of second-degree obstruction, and one of resisting arrest. Howie is charged with third-degree criminal tampering for spitting continuously all over the booking room. Both are also charged with unnecessary noise, and jailed pending arraignment. The fire only caused minimal damage.
Federal disaster aid is coming to 18 upstate New York counties -- including Chautauqua -- that endured severe thunderstorms and flooding on Halloween.
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with local Congressman Tom Reed, announced approval of the state's aid request late last Friday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide public assistance funding to the western, central and northern New York counties affected by the major disaster declaration. Damage in Chautauqua County was mainly along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the break-wall in Dunkirk. The October 31st storms brought at least three inches of rain and winds up to 70 mph. A Catholic priest died after being swept away in floodwaters in Herkimer County after his car got stuck.
A Portland man has been arrested by members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force following a several month long investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking.
Task Force agents say the arrest of 34 year-old Michael Borst came during a raid at Borst's home at 6374 Route 5 in Portland. The Task Force and Sheriff's officers conducted the raid at 9 AM last Friday and, took Borst into custody without incident. He was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and sent to the county jail pending arraignment.
The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign in Jamestown begins it's last two days facing a major challenge.
The campaign -- at last word -- was $50,000 behind last year's effort. That from Major Kim Merchant of the local Salvation Army in Brooklyn Square. A combination of the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year... and the loss of K-Mart and Sam's Club over the last two years have made it harder to get contributions. The Major says they don't like the idea, but if they don't make the goal, programs will be dropped.
The kettles will be out only through Christmas Eve. Checks made out to the Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, will be accepted for a few days after the holiday. Major Merchant reminds potential donors the funds do not leave town and, they go towards their low income assistance, and other social service programs. There are still some open hours for bell ringers to sign up. Call the Salvation Army of Jamestown for more information at 664-4108.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2019 General Campaign in nearing 75-percent of their goal but, they are slightly behind where they should be.
That from United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler, who says staff and volunteers are continuing to put on presentations at local work places. They have now reached 73.7-percent of their $1.33-million goal.
The campaign will continue through the holidays, and will end in late January when they have their campaign celebration. Rohler says they aren't the only human service agency experiencing stuggles this year. The Salvation Army, which is one of their partner agencies, it way behind in it's annual Red Kettle Campaign. Rohler says they've been able to do presentations at a couple of new workplaces this year and, that broadening the number of people they are reaching with their message. The campaign not only funds several partner agencies but, the United Way's own programs.
Apthorpe says Bradley will finish out her time in district working in administration...
The outgoing principal at Jamestown High School will finish out her time in the district working with the superintendent and chief economic officer through Jan. 31. That from Superintendent Bret Apthorpe... who says the decision was made as High School Principal Rosemary Bradley offically handed in her resignation this past Thursday. In the interim... Assistant JHS Principal Dana Williams will direct operations at the high school. Williams was appointed interim principal through June 30th of next year. Apthorpe says being a high school principal is a 'tough job' and works like a marriage. He says a "lot of energy and passion" is needed to run JHS, and he gave Bradley credit for committing to the job, and area, and appreciated her "forward thinking" ideas. Dr. Apthorpe thanked Bradley for her service and wished her well in the future. Former JHS intern and Persell Middle School Special Education teacher, Allyson Smith, was also appointed as JHS Dean of Students. The Board of Education says it will announce plans for a new principal search in the very near future.
Borrello says state officials listening to his concerns about closing of TLC/Lakeshore in Irving...
Local State Senator George Borrello is returning from a meeting he had with some of the governor's staff in New York City on Thursday about the January 1st closing of TLC/Lakeshore in Irving. About 160 workers will be left without jobs along with a number of health services. Borrello says he gave the staff present at the meeting several talking points on his concerns about the closing. He's hoping there will be a bi-partisan effort to at least delay the closing. Borrello participated in a rally held out the hospital on Tuesday that featured elected officials and union employees. Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced the closing on December 3rd.
Woman from Bemus Point charged with resisting arrest after accident in Jamestown...
A Bemus Point woman was arrested for allegedly resisting arrest following a car crash last Thursday afternoon. City Police responded to the area of Fairmount and Lovall Avenues for a two-car property accident shortly after 4 p.m., and, determined 62 year-old Sally Lawson was allegedly in violation of an order of protection prior to the accident, by being inside the car with a protected party. Officers say Lawson refused to leave the vehicle on her own and had to be physically removed. Following a brief struggle, she was taken into custody and charged with obstruction... resisting arrest... and, second-degree criminal contempt.
Salvation Army of Jamestown far behind in Red Kettle Campaign...
The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign in Jamestown is facing a major challenge... just a few days before Christmas... because they're effort is $50,000 behind. That from Major Kim Merchant of the local Salvation Army in Brooklyn Square. The short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year... and the loss of K-Mart and Sam's Club over the last two years have made it harder to get contributions. The Major says they don't like the idea, but if they don't make the goal, programs will be dropped. The kettles will be out only through Christmas Eve. Checks made out to the Salvation Army, 83 South Main St., will be accepted for a few days after the holiday. Major Merchant reminds potential donors the funds do not leave town -- they stay here to support their pantry, domestic violence, and other social service programs. There are still some open hours for bell ringers to sign up. For more information... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.
Suit filed to block pay increases for NY Gov., and Lt. Gov...
A conservative good government group is suing to block a pay hike that would place Governor Andrew Cuomo among the nation's highest paid governors. Cuomo's salary is set to jump from $200,000 this year to $225,000 in January... and, $250,000 in 2021. That's compared to the $179,000 salary the Democratic governor had when he took office in January following his 2018 re-election. The Government Justice Center is seeking a court order to prevent the pay hike in a lawsuit filed in state court this month against Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The nonprofit claims the state's constitution prohibits changing a governor or lieutenant governor's compensation during their term.
First three grants presented from Rosie Billquist Memorial Fund...
A memorial fund set up in the name of a woman from Sherman who was accidently killed in a hunting accident two years ago has awarded it's first-ever grants. The Rosie Billquist Memorial fund was established at the Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation by her husband, Jamie, through various fund-raising efforts. Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang says Jamie selected three organizations that Rosie was especially fond of... Chautauqua County Hospice and Palliative Care, the Chautauqua County Humane Society, and, the Southern Tier Kidney Association. Irgang says all three organizations will receive funding each year -- into perpetuity. One of the fund-raisers used by Jamie Billquist to raise money for the fund is "Rosie's Run..." which is put on by him and his friends in Sherman. He says "this will be a way to remember her... it's a good way to give to others like she would have wanted." For more information on the Rosie Billquist... or other funds at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... call 661-3390.
Two men were arrested on Jamestown's northside late Wednesday night after they were found with drugs... and, one with nearly $18,000 cash in his possession... during a traffic stop.
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol officer pulled over a car, driven by 25 year-old Eddie Ortiz, just after 10 PM for failure to keep right on North Main Street at Fluvanna Avenue. Police then found marijuana, 7.7-grams of cocaine... and, the large amount of money.
Samuelson says officers allegedly found the cocaine and cash in the possession of the passenger... 33 year-old Hector Montanez... who was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Samuelson says Ortiz was issued appearance tickets, and released... while Montanez was arraigned, and released by the court. However... Samuelson says other charges are pending... and, the investigation is continuing.
Two former Starflight pilots have been officially discharged now after admitting to stealing items from the helicopter's hangar in the city of Jamestown.
Sheriff's officers say they began their investigation into the alleged thefts by 60 year-old Mark Chamberlain of Hamburg... and, 34 year-old Jacob Ventura of Chaffee... last May. Deputies say they were assisted by Jamestown police in the investigation... and, both men have now pleaded guilty to petty larceny charges. They say Ventura’s conditional discharge will last 12-months... while Chamberlainss will last six-months.
Chautauqua County has again done very well in getting projects funded during the latest round of awards from the state's Regional Economic Development Council.
Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise says they received word Thursday that 16 projects are receiving a total of just over $6-million. Geise says the Empire State Development corporation is very familiar with what the county is trying to do... and, that helps.
Geise says the nearly half of the funding awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application process will go to Chris Lacarata... who is working to re-purpose a building in Dunkirk to process hops and barley. He says Lacarata will receive $2.94-million for the project. Geise says the second major award is going to the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown to support it's multi-million dollar redevelopment project for the Furniture Mart building on the city's westside. He says that effort is receiving $1.34-million. The third largest award is $748,000 for the Main Street Sewer Replacement project in the town of Ripley.
A Silver Creek man was arrested for allegedly getting into a delivery truck with another person... and, eating the snack food items inside.
Sheriff's Officers say a worker at the Frito-Lay property on Route 60 in Dunkirk... came in to get the truck shortly after 3 AM last Saturday... and, found two men sitting in the cab eating Frito-Lay product they allegedly stole out of the back. Deputies say 23 year-old Benjamin Catalino and the other suspect ran off when the worker said he was calling 9-1-1. A Sheriff's patrol found the pair walking down the road... and, they were released pending investigation. Deputies say arrest warrants were issued for both men, and, Catalino was picked up by State Police for a separate incident. He was turned over to the Sheriff's Office and arraigned on charges of petty larcency and trespassing.
The Jamestown school board accepted the resignation of High School Principal Rosemary Bradley at a special meeting this morning.
Bradley was appointed at the beginning of the school year to replace Mike McElrath, who became principal of the new Success Academy at the former Rogers School. However, her short tenure was considered controversial and, a pair of fights at the school recently led to a "no confidence" vote by 86-percent of the teachers and staff at the high school. The resignation is effective January 31st of next year. School Superindent Bret Apthorpe says current JHS Assistant Principal, Dana Williams, was appointed interim principal through June 30th of next year. Former JHS intern and Persell Middle School Special Education teacher, Allyson Smith, was also appointed as JHS Dean of Students.
In a printed release, The Board of Education says it will announce plans for a new principal search in the very near future. Apthrope says, "We thank Dr. Bradley for her service at Jamestown High School and wish her well in her professional journey..... Mr. Williams’ leadership experience in our district and at JHS will help guide the school forward during this transition time until a new principal can be appointed."
Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman P.J. Wendel says he will be ready to take over the duties of county executive during the Legislature’s re-organizational meeting on January 2nd.
Wendel says lawmakers could not vote on his appointment during Wednesday night’s meeting because of obligations to his current employer, Falconer Central School.
The Chautauqua County GOP recommended Wendel’s appointment as county executive earlier this month. County Attorney Stephen Abdella will continue as Acting County Executive until Wendel’s appointment becomes final. During their final meeting of 2019, county lawmakers presented commendations for outgoing Legislators Kevin O’Connell of District 6, David Wilfong of District 11 and Martin Proctor of District 18.
The House of Representatives concluded a day-long session yesterday -- including hours of passionate debate -- by approving two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump.
With the approvals -- mostly along party lines -- Mr. Trump becomes the third president to be impeached by Congress. Local Congressman Tom Reed remained with the GOP Minority in voting against the measure... and, again questioned whether anything the president did was impeachable.
President Trump was charged with abusing his power and Obstruction of Congress. As soon as the Impeachment proceedings opened Wednesday morning, Republicans tried to halt the proceedings with a procedural vote. It was defeated on a party-line vote. The Articles are expected to be delivered to the Senate soon and, a formal trial is likely there early next year.
The public hearing called by the city of Jamestown and Board of Public Utilities on the proposed annexation of the BPU's Dow Street Substation in Falconer last night was cancelled due to the weather.
The hearing was one of the three items recently approved by the city council to take place after agreeing to restart the process. The action has been opposed by the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott and the Falconer School District. BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, December 30th. But, the time and location have yet to be determined.
More than 30 people from local agencies, foundations and government met yesterday to begin the "complete count" effort in the city of Jamestown for the 2020 Census.
Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley is the city's Complete Count Census Liason... and, says the group's objective is -- as the name suggests -- getting a complete count of everyone living in the city. Hanley says Wednesday's session was more of a workshop.
Hanley says they want everyone involved to brainstorm, and come up with ideas to make sure that everyone -- including those in underreported populations -- are counted. He says the committee's work after the 2010 federal Census was critical because the initial numbers weren't looking good. Predictions at that time was just over 28,000, which was about a 16-percent drop. However, the final numbers ended up just over 31,000. That was about a 1.3 percent undercount. Hanley says more meetings will be held for the group in 2020. He says if you would like more information... call the Mayor's Office at 483-7600, or go to the city's website at Jamestownny.net.
An Erie County man faces a charge of Failure to register as required as a Sex Offender in Chautauqua County earlier this year.
Sheriff's officers in Mayville say 33 year-old William Bergeron was taken into custody in Erie County for failure to provide his new home address within 10 days. Deputies say the Office of Criminal Investigations received a tip last Thursday that Bergeron was no longer living at his last reported address and did not report the move. Officers say the investigation also shows he was convicted of failing to register earlier this year, making this charge a Felony. He was taken into custody Monday... and turned over to Chautuqua County for centralized arraignment.