The city of Jamestown is one of the 10 winners of $10-million in state money to help it revitalize its downtown. Empire State Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky made the announcement last night at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. Zemsky was filling in for Governor Cuomo... who has made most of the Downtown Revitalization Award announcements so far. Jamestown had to compete with other communities across Western New York to receive the money. Mayor Sam Teresi says he was both "humbled" and "overwhelmed" by the announcement... adding it says a lot for Jamestown, and what they're trying to do. State Senator Cathy Young says the money is part of an overall 100-million dollar contest intended to help communities around the state make their urban cores more attractive to residents and businesses. Teresi praised his Department of Development... the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and foundations -- including the Gebbie... for the public/private effort to submit a winning proposal.
The Dunkirk man facing a felony kidnapping charge stemming from an incident at a Fredonia-area store is now being held in the Chautauqua County Jail without bail. Acting County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that 38-year-old Samuel Saeli was picked up for violating probation for a forgery offense out of Erie County, New York. Swanson says Saeli, who had posted bail on the kidnapping charge, was arrested Wednesday night.
Saeli was arraigned on the charge late yesterday morning in Chautauqua County Court and sent to the County Jail without bail. The 13 year-old autistic boy who was taken for a short time by Saeli... and, later found on Cushing Street in Fredonia... was not harmed.
State Police divers have now recovered the body of a South Dayton man who went missing and was presumed drowned after his kayak was knocked over in rough water on Lake Erie last Tuesday night. Sheriff Joe Gerace says 20 year-old Dylan Lathrop was kayaking with three other friends in Sunset Bay in the town of Hanover. Gerace says it was near the entrance to Cattaraugus Creek... and, the Sheriff's Office reports Lathrop was found in that area about 10 AM Thursday. The recovery efforts on Wednesday were hampered by extremely poor visibility. The recovery was made in approximately 16 feet of water. The other three kayakers were able to make it to shore okay.
Despite some heavy rain from slow moving showers and thunderstorms in parts of Chautauqua County Thursday morning... forecasters say it didn't make much of a difference with the drought that continues grip the northern half of Chautauqua County. Forecaster Judy Levan with the National Weather Service says the storms that hit the county's mid-section during the early morning hours brought a lot of rainfall to some places... but, not everywhere. The National Weather Service had issued a Flash Flood Warning for central Chautauqua County, but the warning has since expired and there were no reports of any major flooding. The new Drought Monitor Report today shows the lake shore area remains under a severe drought while the mid-section of the county is still under a moderate drought. Conditions have improved from the Jamestown-area southward, where the map indicates there is no longer a rainfall deficit.
The group "Be Part of the Solution" will be hosting a first-ever Drug Addiction Recovery and Awareness Walk this Saturday morning in Jamestown. That from Kim Carlson, who began the group in the wake of her son, Alex Foulk's overdose death, this past February 26th. Carlson says she had no idea what the "solution" might be... but, she says 150 people showed up for their first meeting... and, the momentum has continued. She says the walk... which begins at 8 AM at Shawbucks... will be dedicated to a friend's daughter. Carlson says organizers will be at Shawbucks at 7 AM... and, registration begins at 8. She says they'll walk past the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... where Alex played youth and adult hockey... and, other places. Carlson says they'll go past his childhood home on Summit Avenue... then move to the southside... and other places Alex loved to be at. Carlson says there will also be a benefit held for McKenzie Paulson's young children at the Hartfield Fire Hall near Mayville beginning following the walk. For more information... call 499-5070.
The long-term vision for "Be Part of the Solution" is to find a location for transitional housing to help recovering addicts stay clean... and, provide a place for families to remain together. That from Kim Carlson... who says such housing is available elsewhere... but, is not available in the Jamestown-area. Carlson says that's part of what the Alex Foulk Memorial Fund with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. She says they may begin by just helping to provide clean bedding, and other necessities. Carlson says the Community Foundation fund will be used for the longer term goal of helping support transitional housing for recovering addicts. She also has started a second fund with a local bank that is used for more immediate issues... such as someone needing a place to spend the night... or help in getting to an appointment regarding their recovery. Carlson says that also goes by the name the "Alex Foulk Memorial Fund."
New York is lowering the age at which drivers can register to become organ donors from 18 to 16. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the law Thursday, saying thousands of New Yorkers are waiting for organs and this will help to grow the registry of potential donors. The law includes a provision for parents to rescind that consent if their child dies before turning 18. The law takes effect in six months. After that... New Yorkers who apply for a learner's permit to drive at age 16 or 17 will be able to register for the New York State Donate Life Registry. Legislative sponsors say 47 other states have either no restriction on the minimum age for donor registration or allow enrollment younger than age 18.