Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state of New York is strong... and, poised to build for the future. For the first time yesterday... Cuomo combined his State of the State and Budget messages. This year's budget is up by 1.7-billion dollar to 145.3-billion dollars. It includes spending the state's 2.3-billion windfall from court settlements with financial institutions mainly for public infrastructure and housing for the poor and homeless. The spending plan includes a 20-billion dollar boost for Upstate New York. Cuomo adds that his budget proposal also includes a one-billion dollar increase in state school aid... and, will end the controversial "Gap Elimination Adjustment." It also would cut Medicaid by 350-million dollars to 63.6-billion dollars.
Several upstate New York Mayors were on hand for Governor Cuomo's State of the State message... including Jamestown's Sam Teresi. Teresi says he was impressed... and, adds Cuomo always gives a "great speech." However... he adds there was also a lot in the speech he was happy to hear about. Teresi says he was most encouraged by the governor's latest proposal... which he says will help local businesses. In addition... Teresi says he was also pleased by the governor's emphasis on "leading by building..." and, the need to upgrade the entire state's infrastructure. He also liked Cuomo tying in his family, with the need for Family Leave... and, funding for Cancer research and, treatment.
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas was in Albany Wednesday to hear Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message. Rosas will also be taking part in meeting that Cuomo will have after the speech with several mayors. Earlier today... Rosas said he had been invited to be part of that gathering. Rosas was also going to meet with other elected officials including area state legislators... including Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and State Senator Cathy Young. As for the Governor... Rosas said he was hoping that Cuomo would address some of the issues facing small cities like Dunkirk during his State of the State message.
A Frewsburg man has been sentenced to nearly 5-years in federal prison following his conviction for possession of Child Pornography. U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior has annouced that 47 year-old Jeffrey Paden was given 57-months behind bars by U-S District Judge Elizabeth Wolford. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Mango and Scott Allen, Junior... who handed the case... say Paden was found with more than 600 images of child porn back on September 20th of 2007. They were stored on a personal computer after Paden obtained them over the Internet. Prosecutors say some of the images depicted pre-pubescent minors -- or minors less than 12 years of age. The investigation was handled by special agents with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force.
Only one minor injury was reported following Tuesday's major crash on the State Thruway in the town of Portland. Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says it could have been much worse... since the multi-vehicle crash involved several tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. The victim had to be extricated from the wreckage before being transported to a local hospital. Leone commended the work of all responders... which included Portland, Ripley, Westfield, and the Emergency Services Office... along with the county's HazMat Team. He says weather conditions were "very cold and very windy." Leone also credited the Thruway Authority for its quick response in closing the westbound lanes between Exits 59 and 60 for about four hours. No word on what caused the crash, although there were frequent white outs reported before the accident.
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are down by about 4-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now 2-dollars-21.5 cents a gallon. The Fuel Gauge reports the price was based on reports from 19 local service stations. Triple-A says the price was 2--79 a gallon this time last year. The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now one-dollar-96.5 cents. Nationally... Triple-A says prices are continuing to drop with the current average being the cheapest average price since March 23rd of 2009. Gas prices have fallen for 55 of the past 66 days for a total savings of 26-cents per gallon and should remain relatively low because there is more than enough oil and gasoline around the world to meet demand.
Staff, friends, and supporters of the Robert H. Jackson Center gathered for a 15th anniversary luncheon, Wednesday at the center. Co-founder Greg Peterson says a small idea has become something quite big.
In January 2001, the Scotish Rite Temple at 4th and Prendergast became available, and significant community support from individuals and foundations got the project started. The Jackson Center's new Executive Director, Susan Murphy, was impressed with the history. Robert H. Jackson was born in nearby Pennsylvania, and spent his formative years in Jamestown... eventually ascending to the US Supreme Court and the Chief Prosecutor's role at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Local lottery outlets are busy as ever... as the largest lottery jackpot in the world was is up for grabs tonight in the latest Powerball drawing. Officials say the prize has now climbed to an estimated 1.5-billion dollars. Like most places... the Jamestown-area has caught "Powerball Fever..." with people playing their favorite numbers or taking quick picks. Robo Enterprises Owner Kim Carlson says it's been "crazy" and exciting at the same time. She says people were talking about what they'd do if they won. Carlson says Robo's Marion Street location has been a lucky location for lottery players... and, reminded us of a one-million dollar winner they had a couple of years ago. She says the boyfriend of one of her employee's won the million dollars on a scratch-off game on Thanksgiving. Carlson also agrees that all the excitement generated by the huge jackpot has given businesses -- like her's -- a big boost. She says people have also been spending money on other lottery tickets... drinks, gas and sandwiches.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "disappointed" overall with President Obama's State of the Union Address because it "doesn't connect with the American people. Corning Republican Tom Reed says it's always good to hear from the president... but, adds he outlined "the same themes for the last eight years." Reed says there a two issues that need leadership right now... the economy, and national security. He says you need to look no further than his 23rd Congressional District to find problems with a "fragile" economy. Reed says "rather than talk, we must come together and find the solutions and the way toward a more secure future of opportunity for all Americans."