WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown School Board received details of how the proposed, 79.1-million dollar budget for next year addresses the four main areas of the district's Strategic Plan.  The overview was presented by School Superintendent Tim Mains, and Business Manager Vern Connors at last night's board meeting at the High School. While there are "gaps" in the spending plan as far as funding goes... Mains says it's important to see where the district wants to go... and, what's needed to get them there in five-years. As expected... Mains says the biggest chunk -- 48.4-million dollars of the budget -- goes for Academic Excellence.  He says that's their "core business."  However... he says once place where they're lacking is Whole Child Development.  For example... he says a student may want to take up the clairinet in band... but, doesn't have the money to get an instrument.  Mains says the answer may be the district owning the instruments used.  Right now, though, he says Whole Child Development is the third biggest item in the budget at just over 7-million dollars.  The school board will begin it's work on the spending plan... which includes no tax increase... at  next Tuesday night's meeting.


Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and legislative leaders have reached a general agreement to include a minimum wage increase and a provision for paid family leave in the budget now under negotiation.  On his proposal to gradually increase the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour... Cuomo says today the talks are now focused on ``how much, when, and where.''  He had proposed phasing the increase in on different schedules in New York City and upstate, but compromises have been on the table because of concerns in the Republican-controlled Senate.  The increase has had strong backing from organized labor and opposition from business, including farmers and small business.  He says details of paid family leave are also still being worked out.  The new state fiscal year begins Friday.


Lawmakers in the village of Lakewood will soon be considering a 3.4-million dollar, 2016-17 budget that only increases spending by about 59-hundred dollars.  Mayor Cara Birritieri released the spending plan late Monday... noting that the village is dealing with the "most challenging" state tax cap yet.  Birritieri says a supermajority vote will be needed because there is "virtually" no increase allowed under this year's cap.  She says -- "cuts have been made to non-essential line items, and those areas where service costs exceed benefit."  Birritierri says there is only one new capital expenditure in the budget.  That's a new pumper/rescue truck for the fire department at a cost of 67-thousand-533 dollars.  Birritieri says the fact the most recent village assessments are up by 3.1-million dollars eases the situation... leaving a 2-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase.  The village board will now begin working on the spending plan... which is due by May 1st.  A public hearing is set for April 11th.


The city of Jamestown's first Parking Ticket Amnesty program in about seven-years will begin this coming Friday, April 1st.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi after City Council last (Monday) night approved the program for the entire month of April.  Teresi says... during that 30-day period... scafflaws will be able to pay up the "face value" of their tickets -- without penalty.  When the city last did such a program... it received about 116-thousand dollars.  He doesn't expect quite those numbers this time around. For people with accumulated parking tickets can also pay on-line.  Teresi says you just need to go to the city's website at Jamestownny-dot-NET.  You can also pay at the city Treasurer's Office at city hall.  Teresi adds this amnesty program is for ALL parking violations... including time zone, and alternate parking violations.  He says their contract company... ComPlus... will be conducting the Parking Ticket Amnesty Program.  He says most of the accumulated obligations are just over 100-dollars.  However... one scafflaw has rung up one-thousand-20 dollars in fines and fees.


More than 200 police agencies around the state are getting money for new radar units to catch speeders.  The Cuomo administration on Monday said the state will provide $343,000 for 235 police departments and sheriff's offices to replace old radar units.  State criminal justice officials said many older units were too costly to repair or were too big for new police cruisers.  Some of the devices being replaced are 20 years old.  The state helps maintain and repair units for local police agencies.


A Dunkirk man will spend time in a state prison after being convicted on two separate charges after admitting to operating a Methamphetime Lab in the north county.  Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that 47 year-old Angelo Bomasuto was sentenced in County Court Monday on a Felony charge. Bomasuto also received a determinate sentence of two and half years in state prison for third-degree unlawful Manufacture of methamphetamine.  Swanson says he wants to send a message to those who want to manufacture Meth... and, that is that they're getting "multiple-year in prison" for people convicted over the past three months.  He says it's "one of the worst drugs out there."  Swanson says the sentence comes on the heels of three separate drug raids over the past week from the north county area.  All three of the raids involved the manufacture and possession of Methamphetamine.