The first project for the Chautauqua County Landbank program in Jamestown is nearly completed on the city's northside. The process was high-lighted during a press conference Thursday morning in front of the single-family home at 11-15 Prendergast Avenue. County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county took the vacant property through the tax foreclosure process... and, it was sold to the Chautauqua Home Rehablitation and Improvement Corporation to be renovated for a new owner. Horrigan says CHRIC committed to making some basic improvements... and, the new owner then has to agree to specific upgrades, and to living in the structure. It was announced that the new owner has been approved as of this morning. However... Landbank Director Mark Geise says they don't have the person's identity yet. Geise.. who is deputy director of the county's Planning and Economic Development Department... and Horrigan call the Landbank an "exciting" development because it's been a "team effort" involving both the city and county. The County Landback Corporation was one of about 20 initially approved not long ago by the state.
An education watchdog group says New York state is billions of dollars behind in funding its schools and that it's unfairly hurting students in poorer districts. A report Thursday by the Alliance for Quality Education says the state owes districts 4.9-billion dollar in aid that it promised by 2011 to comply with an earlier court ruling. State education officials aren't commenting on the report.
Jamestown school officials are working on a first-ever... 5-year Strategic Plan to improve student performance... and, sustain the district for the long-term. Superintendent Tim Mains presented a draft of the plan at this week's meeting. Mains says it was developed by eight committees made up of several members of the community... and, school staff members. He says developing such a 5-year plan was part of his Entry Plan into the district one year ago. Mains says the proposed Strategic Plan "embodies" the district's vision of "every child learning every day." He says the eight teams each presented reports... which he boiled down to four "goal areas." Mains says the first goal area -- and main focus is -- ensuring that each student is getting the best education they can get so they can "survive in a very contemporary world." The other goal areas include creating a safe, and nurturing school environment... improving communications and engagement with families and the broader community... and, putting practices and standards in place that support student success.
New York education officials have released half of the state's 2014 standardized math and English test questions. The material released late Wednesday includes questions from tests that students in grades 3 through 8 took last spring. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch says releasing the test questions will help teachers assess whether their students are learning. But... critics say the test questions are flawed. Special education teacher Bianca Tanis says some questions are not ``developmentally appropriate.'' This year was the second year that New York's tests were designed to incorporate the Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by most states in an effort to boost academic rigor. Scores plunged in 2013... the first year of Common Core-aligned tests. The 2014 test scores will be released later this month.
A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man faces charges after leading police on a high speed chase from the area of State Route 6 to a back yard on Depot Street in Irvine. Police clocked 20 year old Jared Camp going 109 miles per hour in a 55 zone just after 8:30 Wednesday evening. Police tried to pull Camp over before he sped off. Shortly after police terminated the pursuit due to public risk they received a call from a woman in the area of Depot Street saying a dark colored Mustang was stuck in her yard. Police identified the Mustang and detained Camp and his passenger who had not been identified. A search of the car led police to find several loaded firearms Camp was not licensed to have. Camp was arraigned Thursday on charges including Weapons not to be carried without a license, endagering the life of another person and a number of traffic violations. Camp was released on 50 thousand dollars unsecure bail.
A city man faces a criminal mischief charge after allegedly vandalizing a car on Jamestown's southside early Thursday morning. City Police were called to 262 Broadhead Avenue about 12:40 AM... and, found a window of a vehicle had been smashed out. Officers says an eyewitness told them a white male... who wasn't wearing a shirt... had walked away from the scene on Barker Street. Police later stopped a man who fit the description... identified as 25 year-old Christopher Delahoy... who was found walking on South Main Street. He was charged... and, jailed pending arraignment.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan can't give any specifics... but, says Wednesday's meeting of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council went well. The council met in Buffalo to review and finalize priority projects for consideration of Empire State Development grant funding. Horrigan says that he was pleased with the process... and, says they hope to know something more concrete by later this year. Horrigan says he expects a formal announcement from Governor Cuomo's office in October. The Economic Development Council reviewed nearly 20-million dollars in proposals from Chautauqua County that are up for consideration. Among those items was a one-million dollar request to include the Village of Fredonia as part of a North County Water District.
A law professor challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo in next month's Democratic primary is defending her campaign against claims that she hasn't lived in the state long enough to run. The challenge to Zephyr Teachout's campaign went before a Brooklyn judge on Thursday. A decision is expected next week. The effort to strike Teachout's name from the ballot was filed by two men who claim Teachout spent significant time in Vermont in recent years. Their attorney noted Thursday that Teachout only obtained a New York driver's license this year... and, listed a Vermont address on a 2012 document. The Fordham University law professor says she moved to New York in 2009 and meets the five-year residency requirement. Teachout says she spends time in Vermont because her family lives there.