Local News Headlines

Calling it an historic day for the region... Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that hundreds of new jobs will be coming to the north county.  During a formal event at Dunkirk Hig School... Cuomo says a cancer-treating drug manufacturing center will be built.  He made the trip to Dunkirk despite sub-zero wind chills and the threat of lake effect snow, to announce the new company... Athenex. Cuomo says it will be a "game-changer" for the area... because of the spin-off effects on the economy with new homes purchased, along with vehicles, meals, and so on.  State Senator Cathy Young... Assemblyman Andrew Goodell... and, local Congressman Tom Reed were also among the area officials who spoke at the event.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for an investigation of NRG Energy's handling of it's Dunkirk power plant.  In a letter to the state Public Service Commission Wednesday... Cuomo describes what he calls grave concerns about the New Jersey company's behavior in the wholesale market and impact on the state.  NRG announced plans to mothball the coal-fired plant in 2012... but, kept it operating through 2015 after receiving more than 110-million dollars from National Grid ratepayers.  Cuomo says NRG was supposed to convert the plant to natural gas... and, he wants to know why that didn't happen and how that's affected consumers.  NRG spokesman David Gaier says NRG stands by everything it's done and is surprised by the letter.


A lawsuit to stop the tearing down of the current Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater... and, replacing it with a new replica structure... has been dismissed.  State Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita-the-third issued his verbal decision this afternoon in Mayville.  After expert testimony was given in court earlier this week... Sedita says he determined that the 41.5-million dollar project was a "minor action..." that did not fall under a local waterfront development law... and, complied with the state's Environmental Quality Review Act.  He also emphasized that he was not making his ruling based on "whether or not the project should go forward."  The lawsuit was brought by the preservation group "Save the Amp," and five institution residents.


The co-founder of the preservation group... "Save the Amp" is calling the court's decision to allow Chautauqua to go ahead with it's "renewal" project a "travesty."  However... in a statement issued a short time after the decision by Judge Sedita was announced... Brian Berg did not announce whether the group would pursue further legal action in the matter.  Berg was also critical of Chautauqua's leadership on the Amphitheater project.  He says they believe that -- quote -- "history will judge President Tom Becker, the Board of Trustees and the Amp's donors not as they believe-- by the structure they are building---- but by the one they are destroying."  He adds the board misled and ignored the community in moving ahead, and "destroying Chautauqua’s most valuable asset."


Two men are jailed in Warren County, Pennsylvania for their alleged involvement in the murder of a Russell, Pennsylvania teenager.  State Police in Warren say they found the body of 18 year-old Marcus Mattson inside a residence in rural Brokenstraw Township -- near Youngsville -- early Thursday.  The Warren Times-Observer reports that the main suspect... 25 year-old James McDaniel -- also of Russell... has confessed to killing Mattson.  Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene tells the paper that the confession -- quote -- "gave us the location of the body and the condition of the body."  McDaniel, and his alleged accomplice, Gary Williams of Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania... were both arraigned and jailed: McDaniel without bail... Williams on 200-thousand dollars bail.  The body was found in an area not far from where Mattson's burned out car was found late last Sunday night.  The case is believed to be drug-related.


The branch manager of the Eastside YMCA in Jamestown has been fired... and, the head of the Jamestown Y says they are moving in another direction to serve the diverse population in that part of the city.  Jamestown "Y" Executive Director Mark Eckendorf Thursday confirmed that Max Martin... who has headed up the Eastside Y since 2011... was let go yesterday.  However... Eckendorf says everyone there still thinks highly of Martin.
Eckendorf says there is concern about the "sustainability" of the Eastside Y... which is located on East Second Street... given the fact it's facing a "significant" funding cut in the coming year.  Eckendorf says they are looking at eliminating the branch manager's position... and, hiring a youth specialist or program director.  That person would be bi-lingual to help that area of the city's Hispanic Population.  A public meeting on the future of the facility was held last night at the Eastside Y.


A strong fourth-quarter last has put the city of Jamestown "over the top" in getting enough sales tax to cover the city's projected budget for that revenue source.  Comptroller Joe Bellitto told city lawmakers at this week's work session that they received just over 1.49-million dollars for the final three months of 2015... which was a nearly a 2-percent increase over 2014. Overall... Bellitto says the city received nearly 5.96-million dollars.  He says the city had budgeted 5.87-million for 2015... so they got nearly 101.5-percent of their projected budget.  While the figures were good news... Bellitto did caution the city may have trouble meeting the 2016 budget... mainly because of lower gasoline prices.  He says the city has already noticed an impact on their sales tax proceeds.  Bellitto says lower gas prices are certainly good news for local residents.  However... he says the state, county and local governments get less in sales tax money from that.  Local gas prices are now between 2-dollars-4 cents and 2-05 a gallon.