The Mayville Village Board has approved a new, four-year agreement with the operators of the Chautauqua Belle to allow the steamship to be anchored at the village's Lakeside Park. Mayor Marty Bova (Boh-Vuh) says the unanimous vote came after several people in an overflow crowd of about 90 people spoke -- primarily on wanting to keep the Belle headquartered in Mayville. Bova called the meeting "very productive..." and, one where people spoke passionately... but, civily.. about the issue. He adds the board also gave him some latitiude in nailing down final details on the contract. Bova says the board voted 4-to-0 in favor of the four-year agreement... which was the same agreement the panel discussed one week ago with U-S Steam Lines... which owns the Belle. He expected attorneys for both sides to begin hammering out final details today. Bova says he feels "wonderful" to have an agreement approved... adding that village officials want to keep the Belle in Mayville. He adds it was a matter of coming up with a new contract that everyone could "live with." The contract has new language to deal with payment of the 4-thousand dollar a year lease... and, penalties.
A meeting of pastors from four churches on Jamestown's northside with the owner of a local car dealership is the first step in letting residents know what they're proposing for a one-block section of Lafayette Street. Last night's meeting was put together by another Pastor -- City Councilman Alfonso Pagan -- to allow the ministers the chance to hear the proposal by the Dave Warren Autogroup... and, ask questions about it. Pagan says these men are leaders in the community... and, giving them the information will help their congregations understand what's going on. The Dave Warren Autogroup is requesting the city de-dedicate the block of Lafayette Street between 10th and 11th Streets to allow the Washington Street dealership to expand it's lot. However... several residents of the area spoke out against the proposal during last month's Council voting session. They were upset that they hadn't been told about the proposal... and, that it would affect access to Chadakoin Park. The proposal to de-dedicate Lafayette between 10th and 11th Streets has been approved by the city Planning Commission... but, is not yet before lawmakers for formal action.
A Dunkirk man is jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking Heroin following a raid in the north county city yesterday afternoon. Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say they took 52 year-old Robert Gee of 25 Benton Street into custody after executing a search warrant his home just after 1 PM. Task Force agents say the arrest culminates a two-month long investigation with Dunkirk Police that involved multiple undercover drug buys. Gee was arrested without incident... and, agents says they seized a stun gun, chukka sticks and high-capacity magazines for high-powered rifles during the raid. Gee was initially arraigned on one count each of third-degree criminal possession, and sale of a controlled substance... and, more charges are pending. Police say tips from the public were "extremely helpful" during the investigation. Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is asked to call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have gone up a fraction of a penny.... but, remain relatively stable this week. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded, is now 2-dollars-49.6-cents. Triple-A says that's up 4-tenths of a cent from last week. The price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area. Nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded has increased every day for two weeks for a total of 14 cents per gallon. The Fuel Gauge says prices had previously dropped for a record 123 consecutive days before beginning to rise again on January 27th. While prices have moved higher recently... the national average is still one-dollar-11 cents less than the same time last year.
Majority Republicans in the state Senate say a top priority this year is eliminating annual cuts in state aid to public schools under the so-called gap elimination adjustment. Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan... joined by 20 colleagues Tuesday... said they have worked the past few years to reduce the impact of the adjustment enacted in 2010 to help close state budget deficits... negotiating an additional 602-million dollars in state aid last year. The Cuomo administration has proposed raising education funding in the coming year by 1.1-billion dollars... but, have tied it to several reforms.
Officials at the State University college at Fredonia has pulled the plug on FRED Fest weekend... and, is looking at alternative programs to replace the popular event. That after students... and, mainly non-students have caused trouble on campus and in the village during the annual festival the past few years. Vice President for Student Affairs David Herman notified students about the decision through a e-mail and letter. Herman says they plan to offer other events during the months of April and May. Herman says... mainly due to social media... large number of non-students have come to Fredonia during the weekend... which would have been held this coming May 1st through 3rd. He says -- in recent years -- FRED Fest has resulted in serious safety issues... and, led to a number of non-students making it a "destination weekend."
An amendment to a proposed federal law would ensure that government has to identify the impact an action it takes will have on private property. The "Private Property Impact Test..." offered by local Congressman Tom Reed... is another major step to protecting private landowners rights. Those are the feelings of Reed... who explaned the amendment to the Unfunded Mandates Information and Tranparency Act... during Tuesday's telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media. The Corning Republican says he proposed the amendment on the House floor... and, it was approved unanimously. Reed says the proposal has "broad" bi-partisan support. He says it will work "hand-in hand" with his overall bill, the "Defense of Property Rights Act." Reed adds it will make government entities not only look at the impact an action will have on the community at-large... but, property as well. He says the Defense of Property Rights Act is currently awaiting approval by the House Judiciary Committee. He says that provides two avenues of defense for land owners. One is compensation... the other is court of jurisdiction.
Governor Cuomo says he can't be blamed for the charges that prompted state Sheldon Silver to resign as state Assembly speaker any more than President Barack Obama can be blamed for former Congressman Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal. In a on-line profile in The New Yorker... the governor says the corruption charges against Silver relate to the acts of an individual legislator. He defends his decision to disband a commission investigating government corruption, saying that in exchange, lawmakers passed modest ethics reforms and prosecutors obtained the commission's files anyway.