Local News Headlines 4:44am 4/10/13
Fire has moderated damaged a two-family home on Jamestown's northside that's declared uninhabitable by the city due to the conditions inside. That from Fire Battlion Chief Sam Salemme... who says firefighters were called to the scene at 14 Bishop Street just after 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Salemme says crews found heavy smoke coming from both floors on arrival. He says it took about half-an-hour to bring the blaze under control.
Salemme did not elaborate on those reasons... but, does say firefighters had some problems getting occupants to stay out of the home because they had a number of pets they were trying to rescue. He says none of the 12 tenants... nor firefighters... were hurt. An off-duty shift was called in to assist. Combustables too close to a hot water heater in the basement is the apparent cause of the blaze. Firefighters were at the scene nearly two-hours.
A one-time offer by the state to hold down pension costs will help the Jamestown school district avoid any lay-offs in the 2013-2014 budget... but, avoid a tax increase. The school board last night agreed to use New York's proposed "Pension Smoothing" program to cut the amount the district will have to pay next year by 656-thousand dollars. They also agreed to use more money from the district's "rainy day" fund. School Superintendent Deke Kathman says the move will prevent at least half of a projected 12 lay-offs in the spending plan. Kathman laid out "7 or 8 options" to deal with a 1.57-million dollar shortfall. Under "Pension Smoothing..." the district will see a 2.2-percent reduction in the amount of money it has to pay to the state's pension fund. Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow says the district can take advantage of the lower costs for five years... but, then will have to "play catch-up" over the next five. District officials hope their state aid situation will stablize before that. In the final state aid runs... Jamestown only received another 132-thousand dollars. The school board also agreed to use another 145-thousand dollars from the unappropriated fund balance to avoid ANY personnel cuts. The board will act on a final budget plan April 23rd.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation to give state prosecutors more power to combat public corruption. The ``Public Trust Act'' he wants to see enacted this year would create new crimes and increase penalties for violating existing anti-corruption laws. The package of measures announced Tuesday would establish the new crimes bribing a public official, scheming to corrupt the government, and failing to report incidents of public corruption. Politicians could face a misdemeanor charge for failing to report corruption by a colleague, a new and novel approach to combatting decades of corruption in New York politics. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said last week that government corruption is rampant in Albany. State politicians were arrested last week in two bribery cases brought by Bharara.
A Findley Lake man was killed when his car crashed after he was chased from a Wal-Mart near Erie, Pennsylvania... where state police say he was stealing DVDs. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook says 31 year-old Jeremy Guzowski died when he was thrown from his vehicle which crashed about 2:30 PM Monday in Harborcreek Township. Sergeant Mark Zaleski says an off-duty trooper spotted the man leaving the store after loss-prevention workers confronted him. When Guzowski fled, on-duty troopers gave chase but eventually backed off because the suspect was driving so fast. Zaleski says Guzowski's car hit a tree, ejecting him from the vehicle.
It was an historic night in Lakewood Monday at the village board's annual re-organizational meeting. Trustee Sue Drago was sworn-in for her first, full-term on the panel... and, she was also named by Mayor David Wordelmann to be the village's first woman deputy mayor. It's the first time a female has held one of the top two political posts in Lakewood. Wordleman it was a "great honor" to name her... and, adds she is "well deserving" of the post.
Wordelmann says Drago does a lot of work "behind the scenes..." reading up on issues before the village board... and, working on policy. He adds that she takes the position seriously... and, makes an appearance at most every event held in the village. Wordelmann says she's a "very good trustee... and, we need people like that." She was appointed to fill Wordelmann's spot on the board nearly two years ago after he was elected Mayor following the death of late, long-time mayor, Tony Caprino. New Democratic lawmaker David DiSalvo... who won the other trustee's seat last March... was unable to attend last night's board meeting. However... he had taken the written oath of office. He will go through the "ceremonial" swearing in at the board's next meeting.
The village of Celoron has a new mayor. The village board Monday night nominated... and, appointed Scot Schreckengost to replace the late Jack Keeney. Keeney passed away last month after battling Cancer. Schrecengost had been interim mayor until Monday night by virture of being Deputy Mayor. Village Clerk Shirley Sanfilippo says he was sworn-in after being approved as new Mayor. In addition... resident Steve Grundstrom was appointed by Schrecengost to replace him on the village board. Grundstrom has been a member of the village Planning Board.
A Gerry man faces a drunk driving charge after his car went off a road in the town of Cherry Creek Monday night... and, crashed into a ditch. Sheriff's Deputies say 27 year-old Charles Houser-the-second was northbound on Route 83 when his vehicle went off the eastside of the roadway. Officers say Houser's car struck a fence... and, came to rest in a ditch. He was not hurt... but, deputies say further investigation found Houser was drunk. He's been charged with DWI... Aggravated DWI... Failure to Stay in Lane... and, other traffic violations. Houser was issued appearance tickets for Cherry Creek Town Court.