Local News Headlines

The city of Jamestown has already undertaken 76 small to mid-sized initiatives to cut spending by about 5-million dollars.  They'll need more of the same in 2016 and beyond... but, this time they have to be "big and bold" initiatives to cut into a major tax increase.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi as City Council began the budget process last night.  Teresi says city officials have been looking at five or six initiatives that could not only lower the tax burden in 2016... but, for years to come as well. Teresi says due the fact most have legal and contractual implications... he can't say any more about them at this time.  However... he says they are "real..." and, would have a major impact.  At the same time... he says they'll need state and county help to make them happen.  He says they're "not ready to begin discussing these in public..." but, adds his administration is working to get all the information lawmakers need to make an informed decision.  He admits the road won't be easy... and, adds there will likely be a lot of "push-back" on most of the proposals. 

 

The city council went through three department budgets during last night's work session on the mayor's 35.1-million dollar, 2016 spending plan.  Council President Greg Rabb says the biggest budget they looked at was the Department of Public Works... where Director Jeff Lehman says a lot had already been "slashed" in the mayor's proposal.  Lehman and Parks Manager John Williams... who presented that budget... both said they've had a lot of equipment costs cut at a time where costs have "soared."  Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley presented the Youth Services Department budget.  No cuts were made.  Council will look at the Finance, Comptroller, and Corporation Counsel budgets next week.  They have to approve a plan by December 1st.

 

A long-time, local maker of ready-to-assembly furniture has been officially approved for a 900-thousand dollar grant from the state to help keep the company... and, it's jobs in Chautauqua County.  State Senator Cathy Young has announced that the Empire State Development Corporation board has approved the four-year grant to Bush Industries... assuring that the company will remain in the Jamestown-area through January of 2022. Young says Bush is a major, local manufacturer with "deep roots" in the county... and, the potential loss of those jobs would have been "devastating to Chautauqua County."  Bush Industries went back under local control with a group of managers purchasing the company in November of 2014... and, Young says the grant will help them secure local ownership.

 

WCA Hospital was on lock-down for about two-hours Sunday night after an alleged shooting victim came to the hospital for treatment.  City police say the man did not suffer any life-theatening injury... but, was uncooperative... and, would not say who shot him, or where the incident occured.  In a printed statement yesterday morning... a WCA Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Manager said the lock-down began at 8:20 PM because they were treating a gun-shot victim... and, the lock-down was a "precautionary step."  It was lifted at 10:15 PM.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they are asking anyone with information on the incident to call them at 483-7537... of the confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

A Rochester man who is accused of robbing a person at gun point and later became involved in a police standoff in Dunkirk is now facing several charges.  Leonard Aguayo allegedly held up the victim in the area of 109 South Gazelle Street around 3:50 PM Sunday.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says police later located Aguayo... but, he tried to evade them and that led to a standoff at 91 East Second Street. After 25 minutes of negotiating... Ortolano says police were able to get Aguayo to surrender... and he faces charges... including second-degree robbery and assault.  He commended officers for helping to end the stand-off peacefully.  Aguayo was held being held in the city lock up awaiting arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman is proposing a budget reform bill that would require the president to deliver a "tangible" spending plan to Congress that would rein in the federal deficit first.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says the federal debt is nearing now about 18.5-Trillion dollars... and, rising daily.  Reed says Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress that the U-S will again hit it's debt limit on November 3rd... and, this proposal would require a formal budget plan from the president within 60 days of Congressional passage of such an increase.
Reed says the debt reduction would have to take place without raising taxes.  In exchange... Congress would then vote to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling through December of 2016.  Reed says simple majorities would only be needed under the proposal... not the current 60 vote threshold in the U-S Senate.  He says the measure would change the "tax and spend mentality" of Washington.  Reed made his comments for his weekly Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.

 

New York's Department of Motor Vehicles says drivers are allowed again to install snow tires with metal studs for the winter.  The department says by law the studded tires can be used from October 16th through April 30th.  The tires are intended to provide better traction on ice and snow.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is separately advising drivers keep winter gear in their cars including an ice scraper and snow shovel, cell phone and charger, blankets, jumper cables and flashlight.  The agency also suggests ensuring car batteries and well charged and windshield wiper fluid containers are filled.

 

A Rochester man who is accused of robbing a person at gun point and later became involved in a police standoff in Dunkirk is now facing several charges.  Leonard Aguayo allegedly held up the victim in the area of 109 South Gazelle Street around 3:50 PM Sunday.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says police later located Aguayo... but, he tried to evade them and that led to a standoff at 91 East Second Street. After 25 minutes of negotiating... Ortolano says police were able to get Aguayo to surrender... and he faces charges... including second-degree robbery and assault.  He commended officers for helping to end the stand-off peacefully.  Aguayo was held being held in the city lock up awaiting arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.