New York's 2.7 million students and 207,000 teachers go back to work this week. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will greet students at William Hackett Middle School in Albany Tuesday. Most students in Buffalo also return to class Tuesday, while students in the Syracuse and Rochester districts go back Wednesday. New York City students have until Thursday to enjoy summer vacation. Students can still expect a dozen emergency drills during the school year, but now four of them have to be lockdown drills. Also new is a requirement for periodic lead testing of drinking water in schools. The state will pick up part of the cost.
The new school year begins in earnest for most all school districts in New York state... including the Jamestown Public Schools... which will have a half-day today. That from School Superintendent Tim Mains... who says the only level not having classes today is Universal Pre-K. That begins tomorrow. Mains says there are some new faces... and, new school leaders. Among them is new Jefferson Middle School Principal Chad Bongiovanni... who replaces Carm Proctor... who has retired. Bongiovanni also has a new assistant -- Carol Smith. There will also be a new Assistant Principal at Jamestown High School. That's current Varsity Football Coach, Tom Langworthy. As for the start of school... Mains says it'll again be 8:20 AM at the elementary schools... 8:05 for the middle schools... and, 8 AM at the high school. However... today will again be a half-day in Jamestown... with just breakfast being served. School will be dismissed today at 11:30... and, the first full-day is tomorrow.
In addition... the Southwestern Central Schools begin classes today. The Falconer School District began last Thursday, and resume today.
New York state is looking to put locally grown foods on the menu in school cafeterias. Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration has announced that the state plans to award 500-thousand dollars in grants to help schools increase the amount and variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other items served to students. Cuomo calls the idea a ``win-win'' that provides healthy meals to students while helping the state's agricultural industry. A similar round of grants last year helped 45 districts throughout the state increase their use of local products.
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly stabbing another person during an argument at a bar in downtown Jamestown. City Police were called to the scene at the Crescent Inn at 141 Harrison Street about 11:40 PM Saturday... and, found the victim had been stabbed once in the chest. Officers say they arrested 36 year-old Jared Leroy for Felony second-degree assault. Leroy was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up pending further court action.
The "Kolors for Kallie" 5-K Run/Walk was another high-light of the fourth-annual "Kallie's Krusade Fundraiser" at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club Monday. The 5-K Run/Walk... which featured "colored" powder being blown onto participants... was one of the big high-lights to the annual event -- now held on Labor Day Monday. Kallie Swan's mother, Tara, was pleased with the way the weather turned-out... and, the turn-out for the event... which help's families devastated by Childhood Cancer. She says putting on these events is "theraputic..." In fact... Swan says they believe there are more families than even they realize who are going through such difficulties... so the funds raised are needed. Earlier... she gave the count-down to start the annual Motorcycle Dice Run. There was also "Kallie's Carnival..." which was also held the first year. She adds "why mess with what works...." Tara Swan says they raised about 15-thousand dollars for the effort last year... and, hoped to come close to that again this year. Her husband, Shane, says it's the second year in a row the event has been held at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club. Kallie Swan died at the age of 3 from a form of childhood Leukemia in May of 2015.
New York has 31 new Environmental Conservation Officers and 17 new Forest Rangers. The 48 recruits graduated recently from the Department of Environmental Conservation's 20th Basic School for Uniformed Officers. They'll join the ranks of 268 conservation officers and 119 rangers across the state. The 27-week program covered conservation law, criminal procedure, vehicle and traffic laws, physical conditioning, wildfire suppression and search and rescue, among other topics. Environmental Conservation Officers issued more than 22-thousand tickets in 2015. Their duties range from ticketing unlicensed anglers to conducting surveillance on corporate chemical dumping. Forest Rangers in 2015 conducted 341 search and rescue missions, extinguished 175 wildfires and issued nearly 3-thousand tickets, many of them for illegal ATV and snowmobile use on state lands.
The efforts of organized labor -- past and present -- were celebrated and recognized during Jamestown's 37th annual Labor Day Festival last Sunday. The annual George Ritzer Labor Award is given out annually to a member of local labor who helped the movement... and, their community. This year... it was given posthumously to Dunkirk's Joe Sweeny... who was president of the Dunkirk Teacher's Association for 28 years. State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says Sweeny helped him move important legislation forward. State Senator Cathy Young says she knew Sweeny for 18 years... and, said his passing last May was a "big loss" because he was such a strong voice for teachers. But... most of all... she says he was a strong advocate for children and their education. The Jamestown-Area Central Labor Council presents the Ritzer Award each year... and, President David Wilkinson also recalled Sweeny... who he says always had the right historical perspective for that they were doing.
Reknowned competitive food-eating champion Joey Chestnut successfully defended his title Sunday at the Chicken Wing eating contest in Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports the 32 year-old Chestnut successfully downed 188 wings in 12-minutes to edge out Gideon Oji (Oh-Jee) by 11 wings. It's the third straight year Chestnut has won the competition held during Buffalo's annual National Chicken Wing Festival at Coca-Cola Field.
A Viking ship is heading down the Erie Canal. The 114-foot-long Draken sailed from Norway to North America this summer. The hand-built wooden ship has a stunning red sail and a carved dragon figurehead, but they had to be taken down so the craft could pass under bridges over the canal. The ship is having deck tours at several stops along the canal. It's scheduled to spend this weekend at Little Falls, New York... and, will arrive at the Hudson Maritime Center in Kingston, New York, this Friday.