City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 34.7-million dollar budget for next year. Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night. DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about 2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment. However... that's not in the budget proposal. Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds. Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding. Dolce says money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county. He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase. However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap. If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes. City lawmakers will review the two biggest parts of the budget... police and fire... next week.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend. City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 AM Saturday at 417 James Avenue. On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.' Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp. The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location. After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested. During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms. Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded. Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.
Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- when they were hit by a car on Jamestown's Washington Street on the city's westside. Jamestown Police say officers were called to the scene -- at the intersection with West Eighth Street -- shortly before 1 PM Sunday. Police say the vehicle was southbound on Washington when it struck the girls... ages 13 and 16... as they tried to cross the street away from the crosswalk. Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both. The 13 year-old, from Jamestown, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old, whose from Lakewood, was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released. City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.
The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding Meet the Candidates events in both the north and county county this week. The first will be tonight in Jamestown... while the second will be in Fredonia Thursday. The League's Minda Rae Amiran says the candidates running for Family Court Judge... and, the State Assembly will be on hand. However... only one of the candidates running for Sheriff will be there. Amiran says they had invited both incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace, and Republican challenger Russ Payne to the forums. Amiran says Payne initially turned down their invitation... then said he would debate... then again declined.
Amiran says their rules allow for one of the two candidates to appear in a "local race." The League will hold forums in Jamestown tonight at 7 PM at the Robert H. Jackson Center... and, Thursday night at Fredonia Village Hall. Both events are open to the public.
The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman. Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well. Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress. However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values. Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act. While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- and those are hunters. He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day. Moss says New York already had the most stringent gun regulations in the country in place prior to the SAFE Act's enactment... and, he feels it does nothing more than penalize law-abiding gun owners.
The Republican candidate for governor says entire planeloads of passengers should be turned away in New York if anyone aboard is traveling from the West African nations plagued with Ebola. Rob Astorino said on a telephone news conference Monday that even American citizens -- for example, a tourist returning from Paris -- should not be allowed to disembark. Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo should order the state health commissioner to ``close those gates at the airport.'' Cuomo said earlier Monday that the federal government should consider a ban on flights to New York from the three West African nations.
A new political commercial is critical of the two Republican's at the top of the state-wide ticket for not releasing five-year financial statements. The Democrat-backed ad says Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has released one year... but, Chris Moss has released no financial information. Moss says the commercial is making financial disclosure an issue because his Democratic counterpart... Kathy Hochul... has turned down doing any debates.
Moss says he has nothing to hide... adding his financial information is out there... and, was obtained by Hochul's campaign team. He says he's made about 90-thousand dollars a year for each of the past five years... and, he has received no outside income. Moss says his campaign asked Hochul's campaign for three debates... but, was turned down on each request. The only debate among candidates at the top of the Republican and Democrat tickets will be between Governor Cuomo and Astorino later this month in Buffalo.
New York students will have more ways to earn a high school diploma under a change approved by state education leaders. Right now... students must pass five Regents exams to graduate -- one each in English, science and math and two in history. The plan approved by the Board of Regents yesterday would let students replace one of the history exams with a comparable exam in their chosen career field.