Two Jamestown men are under arrest... and, one home has been condemned... following raids on two allegedly Meth Houses in the city last night. City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... along with the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team... entered the home at 607 Lafayette Street just before 6 PM... and, found four ounces of Methamphetime. Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they also found several items used to make Meth... and, arrested 30 year-old Beau Jones. Just after 6 PM... Samuelson says they raided the home at 238 Forest Avenue... and found a quantity of Meth... and, materials used to manufacture the drug. Police arrested a second suspect... 38 year-old Richard Dean... at that residence. Jones faces two Felony charges... while Dean has been charged with two misdemeanor counts. Police say the home at 238 Forest Avenue has been condemned... and, more charges are pending in connection with that case. Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of drugs in the city is asked to call 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
City fire crews remain on the scene of an overnight fire on Jamestown's southside. City fire crews were called to the scene at 206 McKinley Street just before 3 AM. Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says fire was showing from the basement to the 2nd floor on arrival... and, spread to the attic as they were battling the blaze. Russo says the home... which housed three-apartments... appears to have been vacant. Fire investigators are on the scene to determine whether an emergency demotion is needed. The cause is under investigation.
In what may be a record time... Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, amended budget with little discussion. The legislature last night approved a 228-and-a-half million dollar spending plan unanimously... within about 10 minutes. Lawmakers approved 10 amendments that had earlier sailed through the Audit and Control Committee... then unanimously approved the budget... which includes a 2-cent per thousand full value tax rate reduction. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to have the spending plan in place.
The amendments reduced spending by about 771-thousand dollars from Horrigan's proposal... leaving a tax levy increase of about a quarter-of-a-million dollars. While he's "excited" to have the new spending plan in place... Horrigan admits there are a couple of concerns. One is the more-aggressive revenues and reimbursements the spending plan calls for. Horrigan says the second is keeping in mind there's still a 6-million dollar "structural deficit" that has to be closed. He says his next step will be to name a "Deficit Reduction Team" in the near future. Once his budget teams looks over the final budget... Horrigan expects to sign the spending plan.
County lawmakers hope to again bring back jobs to a soon-to-be vacant industrial building... this time in the north county. During it's regular, monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon... the legislature unanimously approved loaning 2-million dollars to the Industrial Development Agency to buy ConAgra's Carriage House facility in Dunkirk. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very optimistic" that they'll have someone inside the 26 Talcott Street facility by the middle of next year. Some have said the building isn't worth 2-million dollars... but, Horrigan says county officials are aware of what businesses feels such a facility is worth. He says -- with incentives from the state -- they believe they can get someone in the building in about six-months. Horrigan says "several businesses" are interested in the facility because it has a lot of storage area... including frozen storage space. He adds that IDA Director Kevin Sanvidge has been working hard on the project... and, is experienced in "this kind of business." Also last night... Jamestown Democrat Paula DeJoy announced the budget meeting was her last legislature meeting. DeJoy says she's resigning because she has moved out of her legislative district.
A state Trooper from Elmira concluded testimony yesterday in the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court. District Attorney David Foley confirms that a second member of the group of four Elmira-area men accused in the torture-deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner finished his testimony earlier in the day. The Buffalo News reports that 19 year-old Ricky Knickerbocher testified that Coggins initially had plans to rob a drug dealer in Buffalo... but, they were unable to find his house. With that... Knickerbocher said Coggins knew of a relative's home in the town of Carroll that they could rob easily. He says that was because the Skinner's kept money and jewelry there. Knickerbocher testified that he did not kill the couple... who were found stabbed several times... and, Gordon Skinner had been set on fire. The trial resumes at 9 this morning.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he's "very sorry" to see Third-Ward City Councilwoman Tamara Dickey resign her position... and, says he hopes to fill her seat as soon as possible. Teresi is reacting to Dickey's e-mail to city lawmakers, and Clerk Jim Olson announcing her intentions after receiving a career promotion. Under the City Charter... Teresi says he must pick a replacement from the Third-Ward who is member of the same political party. He says he's already spoken with a couple of Republicans... but, adds he's still looking for input on the process.
Teresi... who is a Democrat... says he feels it's important to fill Dickey's seat as soon as possible for two reasons. One is the fact City Council members have just begun their review of his 2015 budget proposal... and, he'd like to have another 'set of eyes' looking at the 34.7-million dollar spending plan. Teresi says he believes councilmembers feel the same way. Once Teresi makes a choice... the city council would have to then approve the appointment.
The federal prosecutor who took over the files of New York's Moreland anti-corruption commission says investigations into Albany's pay-to-play politics are continuing and declines to say when they'll be finished. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says New York government has become ``a little bit of a corruption disaster.''
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down less than a penny this week to just over 3-dollars-51 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded. That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price is down about half-a-penny from last week. Gasoline was just over 3-dollars-69 cents a gallon at this time last year. The state-wide average price for regular, unleaded is now about 3-45 a gallon. Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports that the average price is down about 10-cents a gallon to 3-dollars-9 cents per gallon.
A Jamestown woman who has been a very active member of the Zonta Club of Jamestown has been named as the women's organization's Zontian of the Year. Rosanna Papalia is currently the Public Relations Chairwoman for the local club. Zonta International's mission is to advance the status of women locally, and worldwide. Rosie recently told us that a small committee of the Zonta Club decided on the recipient. The seven-year member says she was both "humbled" and "honored" to learn she was getting the award. The award was recently presented at the Marvin House during a special dinner held for the occasion. Rosie Papalia says she first became involved with the Zonta Club because it supports efforts to end domestic violence... and, help victims through the ANEW Center. She says her family has seen the effects of domestic violence. Rosie is a producer for Kernel... which is a Time-Warner Media Company... here in Jamestown. Rosie is the wife of Media One Group employee, Brian Papalia.
Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Pittsburgh to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. The Wolf campaign said Clinton will lead a mid-day rally next Monday at an electrical workers' union hall on Pittsburgh's South Side. Wolf is challenging Republican Governor Tom Corbett's re-election bid. Clinton is the third political celebrity to campaign for Wolf in as many weeks, following separate appearances in Philadelphia by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and first lady Michelle Obama. Like them, Clinton is beating a path around the country campaigning for Democrats who are running for governor or U.S. Senate. Corbett is Pennsylvania's former two-term attorney general from suburban Pittsburgh. Wolf is a first-time candidate from York County who ran his family's furniture and cabinet-distribution business for almost three decades.