A child was reported to have been shot in Jamestown last night. Jamestown Police did not give any details, but the Jamestown Post Journal reports this morning that authorities were called to 411 East Second Street right across from Jamestown High School for a reported gunshot victim. According to scanner reports the small child was reportedly taken to the heli-pad for transportation to an undisclosed hospital. We will have more details when they become available.
Several northside residents are expressing frustration over an apparent lack of communication regarding a new housing development being eyed for the area of North Main and Spring Streets. Two of them spoke at last night's City Council voting session. One, Spring Street resident Donald Tane, said the only information they have about the proposal has come from the local developer involved... Citizens Opportunity for Development and Equality -- or CODE, Incorporated. Tane opposed the proposal if another Appleyard Terrace was involved. However... City Council member Vickeye James noted there was a meeting last week called by the developer, NRP of Cleveland, Ohio. City officials say NRP has joined with CODE to find a location where they can put up some "middle-income housing units in the city that would NOT be Section-8 Housing -- like the Appleyard Terrace units on East Second Street. Tane and another resident said the city had not responded to their inquiries.
Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy and other city officials stayed after the meeting to talk with residents. He says the preliminary proposal by NRP would be a big improvement to that northside neighborhood. DeJoy says NRP is the main driver of the project... which would involve eight properties... and, tear-down five condemned homes still up on Eighth and Spring Streets. DeJoy says that area has a lot of issues, and this would be a boost to that area. He adds no zoning changes would have to be made. That was the other point city officials made. The proposal by NRP is very preliminary... and the developer is currently putting a finance package together to make the project go. DeJoy says NRP is looking at building about 40 total units that would have one and two-bedrooms. DeJoy says there would not be the 3 to 4-bedrooms the Appleyard developments have... for mainly "working people." He adds that CODE is mainly helping NRP get it's proposal, and financing together in this market.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi again broke with tradition Monday in "delivering" his 17th State of the City message to the city council. Teresi started 2016 by being sworn-in during a private, versus public forum. However... last night, the State of the City was only presented in written form. The City Charter only requires the mayor deliver the message at the first voting session of the year. It has to be written... but, can also be given verbally. However... Teresi elected not to do that this year... emphasizing the need for get to work. In his written address... Teresi noted 21 items that he would like to see accomplished this year... or at least see good progress made on them. One was providing a "Self-Insurance Opt Out" for retired city workers. Teresi says there would be NO change to current workers health insurance program... but, such a program would provide needed relief to what's been an overburdened system the past few years. He also expected a proposal to consolidate the County Sheriff's Department, and Jamestown Police Department, to be acted on later this year. More on the Mayor's State of the City at Noon.
A preservation group and some residents of Chautauqua Institution have won a temporary halt to demolition and construction of a new Amphitheater. Attorney's for the group "Save the Amp" and the institution went before State Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita-the-Third yesterday afternoon... and, argued their points. In the end, Sedita sided with the "Save the Amp" group. However... "Save the Amp" attorney Arthur Giacalone says Sedita also ordered both sides back to court a week from yesterday to formally argue their cases. The group and residents filed suit late last Friday to stop the 41.5-million effort to build a new Amp. Giacalone (Jack-uh-Lony), noted that the legal action was started once the town of Chautauqua issued demolition and building permits for the project... which the institution has called a "renewal" of the amphitheater. He adds that Sedita had a list of questions he wanted the institution to respond to by this Thursday... and those responses will be provided to Giacalone prior to next Monday.
Chautauqua County's top police official says he favors a decrease in the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers and feels a recent recommendation made by a federal agency should be discussed. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends a lowering of the BAC from .08 to .05... saying it would make our roads safer. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he would support lowering it... but, says there needs to be some dialogue. Gerace says there's been an increase in deadly alcohol related crashes... and, believes it would help make a difference. He emphasizes that "driving and alcohol don't mix." This is not the first the N-T-S-B has made a recommendation lowering the BAC to .05. It made the same recommendation in 2013.
Legislation that changes the outcomes of the federal government's welfare programs to help people to get out of poverty, and work again, has been proposed by Chautauqua County's Congressman. Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has introduced the Help Americans in Need Develop their Ultimate Potential -- or HAND-UP Act -- to help families that are "mired" in poverty. Reed says the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- or TANF Program -- is up for re-authorization next September... and, he hopes this will be part of Welfare Reform.
Reed says his proposal... would give state's the flexibility to change how they administer TANF.. and, the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program... known as SNAP... to help make sure money gets to those who need it... but, also cuts costs. Reed says the idea is to get families with children working... but, not losing benefits until they can make it on their own. He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media. Reed's office also released statistics for state and local poverty rates. Those figures show the state's poverty rate at 15.9-percent... with 22.6-percent of children -- nearly 937-thousand -- living in poverty. In Chautauqua County... that figure is 19.8-percent... with 31.7-percent of children -- just over 87-hundred -- living in poverty.
The homeless issue may not often grab headlines here in the Jamestown-area... but, overall... it is a problem in Chautauqua County. There's also the matter of where people go if they find themselves without a place to stay. During his State of the State Address... Governor Cuomo called for the homeless to be sheltered when the temperature falls to 32-degrees or colder. Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated Director Roberta Keller is pleased the governor specifically talked about poverty, and the homeless issue. Currently... Keller says there is no shelter in the county. Currently... the homeless who go to agencies... such as COI... get a voucher that allows them to stay at a participating hotel. They are also helped by a group called the United Christian Advocacy Network, and the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County. The last shelter -- primarily for men, at the Union Gospel Mission -- closed with the retirement of the Reverend John Steinhauser.
Nearly 140 water boards, community development agencies and other types of state and local authorities in New York have failed to file financial reports with the state as required by law. The state's Authorities Budget Office released the list of 139 non-compliant authorities on Thursday as a warning to their leaders to pay closer attention to state laws intended to promote government accountability and transparency. The authorities are all required to file various financial documents with the state, including audits and annual reports. They include the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency... the Jamestown Local Development Corporation... the Dunkirk Industrial Development Agency... and, the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation. However... City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the city was late due to upgrades being made to it's website, where the reports are listed. They are there now. However... if an authority continues to violate the rules the office can recommend the dismissal of authority board members.