The Jamestown School District and the Jamestown Teachers Association are jointly announcing that they have reached agreement on a new, four-year contract. School Superintendent Tim Mains, and JTA President Chris Reilly say the contract runs retroactive to June of 2014... and, expires in June of 2018. The Jamestown School Board adopted the new contract at last night's Special Meeting... while the JTA ratified the agreement on Wednesday. Reilly says "we find the settlement to be a fair one and are pleased with it. I’d like to thank all the teachers who during the two-year negotiation process did not waver in their commitment to students." Mains thanked the teachers "for their dedication and continued efforts in the classroom everyday, even without a new contract in place. Throughout this process, the District has consistently looked for an agreement that honors, respects and values our teaching staff and all they do for the children in our district."
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is "honored and excited" to be one of seven Vice-Chairmen for President-elect Donald Trump's transition team. During a special conference call with western New York media Thursday morning... Reed says he was called by Vice-President-elect Mike Pence about helping to lead the transition effort. The Corning Republican says he's looking forward to the opportunities to be part of the effort to shape policy in three areas mainly. Reed says a lot of what led to the appointment was his endorsement of Trump... who painted himself during the campaign as the "outsider" who will bring real change to Washington, D-C. He says he did not speak directly with Trump about the appointment... but, he understands there's a lot of work going on... and, yet to come. Reed says another factor is his ties with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence... who was a former collegue in the House of Representatives. The vice-chairs named... along with Reed... include Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee... and, Trump's new Deputy National Security Advisor... K-T MacFarland.
Financial cheaters and corrupt politicians beware: One of America's hardest-charging prosecutors isn't going anywhere. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says he will stay on in the Donald Trump administration, signaling in at least one way that the president-elect may be serious about keeping his campaign promise to crack down on corruption. Trump invited Bharara to keep his high-profile post and he didn't hesitate. Bharara emerged from a midday meeting at Trump Tower on Wednesday to say he would be continuing a job he's held for seven years. Bharara initially became known as a Wall Street enforcer for winning convictions against dozens of defendants in insider-trading cases. More recently... he's built his reputation on fighting public corruption, which included the convictions of two of New York's most powerful politicians.
New York lawmakers could be returning to Albany for a special session focused on a legislative pay hike. A spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Democratic governor and top lawmakers are discussing convening a session before year's end. Cuomo's spokesman said that while lawmakers want a raise, Cuomo wants them to consider government ethics reforms and funding for a new hate crimes task force. Lawmakers now make $79,500 and haven't had a raise in nearly two decades. A state commission recently balked at authorizing an increase. Lawmakers have until the end of the year to vote to give the commission more time to reconsider. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie confirmed the discussions Wednesday but said the Assembly won't pass Cuomo's proposals just to secure a raise.
An area state lawmaker is encouraging area residents to attend a public information meeting next week on plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Route 20 and 60 in the town of Pomfret. The state Department of Transporation announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a meeting at Fredonia Village Hall next Wednesday. Assemblyman Andy Goodell says more details about the project will be announced at the meeting. One of his concerns is how the roundabout would affect nearby businesses. Goodell is encouraging any residents of the area who drive through, and use that intersection to be on hand for the meeting. The public information session by the DOT will run from 4 until 7 PM pn December 7th with a formal presentation at 6 pm.
A special "Giving Tuesday" program at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation "far, far exceeded" the expections of foundation officials. That from Executive Director Randy Sweeney... who says the eight-and-a-half-hour program to match contributions to local non-profit agencies, and charities was a huge success. Sweeney says they took in 38-thousand-848 dollars in contributions that day. Sweeney says they were hoping to reach the initial goal of 5-thousand dollars set by the foundation... but, he joked he should have "known better" during an interview with our Dennis Webster Thursday morning. Sweeney says every organization involved will benefit from "Big Match" Tuesday... among the biggest was Community Helping Hands. He says the Infinity program, Audubon... and, Prendergast Library all received some good donations. Community Helping Hands helps provide the less fortunate with items like clothes, furniture and appliances. For more information about the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... call 661-3390.
State officials are discussing hunting safety issues after a spate of accidents that killed four New York hunters and left an enforcement officer wounded. One of those was in the Jamestown-area this past Monday. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and other DEC officials held a news conference Thursday at the agency's Albany headquarters to remind hunters how to avoid accidents when hunting deer. 50 year-old Thomas Carlson of Jamestown died on Orr Street Extension this past Monday when his gun accidentally discharged while he was hunting. Carlson was overdue, and family members found him in a wooded area with difficult terrain.
The largest-ever class of inductees will be put into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame next Feburary 20th in Lakewood. That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson... who tells us there are 11 inductees this year... including some well-known in the Jamestown area. They include long-time Gerry resident... and, retired athletic coach Paul Cooley from Cassadaga Valley Central School. However... Anderson says Cooley has also made his mark in two other areas. There is one new sport being recognized by the Hall of Fame this year. That's bowhunting. Anderson says Jake Ensign is a graduate of Westfield Academy and High School... and, was an internationally acclaimed competitor... who has taken all 29 North American "big game animals" with a bow and arrow... a very rare feat. Anderson says the inductees also include Fredonia baseball player and coach, Charlie LaDuca... and, retired stock car racer Sammy LaMancuso of Jamestown. The Hall of Fame dinner will be held at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club beginning at 5 PM. For more information... call induction Dinner Chairman Chip Johnson at 485-6991.