Crews were kept busy fighting a house fire in the Town of Caroll overnight. Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that the call came in at 3:15 this morning for the house fire at 321 Bragg Road. No injuries were reported and the extent of the damage is not known. Frewsburg and Kiantone fire crews were at the scene with mutual aid provided by Kennedy, Gerry and Busti.
A young child is being treated for a serious gun-shot wound at a Buffalo hospital after apparently being shot during appears to be a drive-by shooting. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson say officers were called to the scene at 9:20 PM Monday for a child with a gun-shot wound. On arrival... officers say they learned that multiple gun shots were fired into the house. Samuelson says they especially want to hear from anyone who may have seen a vehicle drive up to the home... or if someone walked up to the dwelling. He says the unidentified child did not suffer a "life-threatening" wound. Samuelson says the child is now in stable condition at Women and Children's Hospital. JPD investigators are asking anyone who may have information on the incident to call them at 483-7537... or the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.
There were some tense moments about mid-morning Tuesday when the Jamestown Public Schools became aware of a social media posting an alleged threat to Lincoln Elementary School. However... it was found to be a Lincoln School in another state. That from School Superintendent Tim Mains... who says in a printed statement that city police were notified. Mains says police investigated the threat, and "concluded that it was directed to another Lincoln School elsewhere in the country." He adds the out-of-state jurisdictions are actively investigating. Mains also says school officials "want to ensure parents, families and the community that there has not been a threat made to Lincoln Elementary School or any Jamestown Public School." He says both the Jamestown Public Schools and the city Police Department "continue to maintain the safety of all our students."
The city of Jamestown is looking to save as much money as it can in areas that have been costing the city a lot of money over the past few years. That from Mayor Sam Teresi in his 2016 State of the City Message... which was delivered to lawmakers Monday night. However... Teresi put a slight twist into this year's message by not making a formal address to City Council. However... his written report outlined some 21 goals and objectives. One was to provide retired city workers the option of a "Self-Insurance Opt-Out." Teresi adds this is something they can't do with current city workers. Teresi says this would be primarily for former city employees who are 65 or older. He emphasizes this is "voluntary..." and, would use a pool of resources as an incentive for those retirees to get out of the plan. Another item in the Mayor's state of the city called for moving ahead with a vote on a plan to consolidate the Jamestown Police Department with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department.
State health officials are reporting progress curbing Medicaid costs for 6.3-million New Yorkers, telling lawmakers annual spending growth has dropped to 1.4 percent. Testifying at a budget hearing late Monday... Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says overall quality of care has improved along with growing enrollment. The Cuomo Administration proposes spending 63.3-billion dollars for that medical care of low-income residents in the coming fiscal year, the largest single component of its proposed $145.3 billion budget. Half is federally funded. Several New York City legislators faulted Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to make the city pay for its own growing Medicaid costs. Other lawmakers questioned the lack of budget specifics about paying health care aides more under Cuomo's proposed $15 minimum wage. Zucker notes the proposed wage increases would be phased in.
New York state lawmakers are pressuring New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to accept the same property tax cap that now applies to every other local government in the state. Appearing at a budget hearing Tuesday in Albany... de Blasio argued against the tax cap, saying his administration has found billions of dollars in savings and is committed to building financial reserves to prepare for the next economic downturn. He says the state should not impose new restrictions on its largest city and greatest economic engine. The state Senate voted Tuesday to impose the 2-percent cap on New York City. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says the cap has been a ``tremendous success'' in giving relief to taxpayers throughout the state.
Thanks to a surge in the final two weeks... the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's general campaign met... and, exceeded it's 2015 goal. Campaign Chairman Hans Auer announced during late night's Campaign Celebration at Jamestown Community College that the effort had raised just over the 1.3-million dollar goal. Auer recalled meeting with United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang just before the campaign began... and, says reaching the goal was "really rewarding...." However... Auer adds that there are still a few final pledges expected to come in yet. Auer thanked several people... including the dozens of volunteers to help get pledges for the effort. He says this year... they saw more contributions from small businesses in the campaign. In fact... Irgang says she and her staff made 35 workplace presentations this year... and, believes those had an impact. Auer says 100-percent of the money raised in the 2015 campaign stays here to help between 35 and 40 human service agencies in southern Chautauqua County.
Ex-New York state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son are seeking a new trial six weeks after they were convicted of federal corruption charges. They were convicted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges on December 11th. Prosecutors said the Long Island Republican used his influence to arrange payments and jobs for his son, Adam. Their lawyers filed a motion Monday in Manhattan federal court seeking acquittal on all the counts and a new trial, arguing the trial evidence failed to prove the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. The presiding trial judge denied the lawyers' motion for acquittal after the trial ended but before the verdict was announced. The Skeloses' sentencing is set for March 3rd. Their lawyers and the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office declined comment on the motion.
The New York state Senate has passed legislation intending to define and prohibit the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. Also called synthetic marijuana, bill sponsors say the synthetics, which attach to the same brain receptors as actual marijuana, can be dangerous. Senator Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, says currently packets of synthetic cannabinoids and other synthetic drugs are sold at bodegas or other stores for around $4 each. He says that under current law, stores only face a possible $250 fine. Deirdre Canaday, an advocate for the legislation, says her 26-year-old son died in 2011 after smoking synthetic marijuana. She says it suppressed his central nervous system, he fell asleep and never woke up.