Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved two tentative labor contracts during their final meeting of 2016 in Mayville last night. Legislators gave their backing to proposed agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association by 12-7 votes. They also approved proposals providing a 20-year retirement plan for both unions, also by 12-7 votes. County Executive Vince Horrigan was pleased with the outcome and says it should provide savings to county taxpayers. While a number of legislators spoke in favor of the new contracts and the 20-year retirement plans for the two bargaining units, Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzarro has concerns. In other action, legislators approved the appointment of Kitty Crow as the county's new Finance Director 19-0. Wednesday night's meeting marked the final meeting for Jay Gould as Legislature Chairman. Gould, who will remain in the legislature, received a special commendation from lawmakers for his years of service as chairman.
A Gowanda Man is dead following an early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda. The Gowanda Police report that an unidentified 56 year old man suffered second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body. Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM. The 56 year-old man, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started. Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor. He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center. The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke. Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments. The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause.
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation. The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century." He says it was later transformed into an elegant residential street. The effort is being undertaken by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. We have a call into JRC Executive Director Greg Lindquist... but, have not heard back from him. City Development Director Vince DeJoy tells us the designation would be another "very good tool for rehabilitation and restoration" in that part of the city. Getting on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
A need for nice, clean and affordable housing is the reason a local not-for-profit organization is proposing a new development on Jamestown's northside. That from Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality Executive Director Pat Morris to City Council this week during public comment on the 12-million dollar Jackson Spring Housing project. Morris was asked to speak when several questions and issues were raised about the proposal. He says the housing would be modeled after CODE's successful Euclid Gardens -- also on the northside. Morris says Jackson Spring would be located just south of Euclid Gardens... and, between North Main and Spring Streets. He says CODE conducted it's search in line with what city officials had laid out in the new Neigborhood Revitalization Plan. He says they hope to serve two purposes. One is to provide housing for the people in the city that need it, and he says many are living without full complete plumbing and kitchens. The other is they are tearing down eight dilapitated homes in that part of town. Morris says roughly half of the city's residents would be eligible to rent at Jackson Spring. Several people spoke at Monday's night's council voting session in favor of the Jackson-Spring proposal... while a few others spoke against it. Some of the concern was voiced for the people who would rent housing there because they could be vulnerable to crime issues seen in that part of the city.
Authorities say a teenage boy being arraigned on a trespassing charge in a Cattaraugus County town courtroom managed to break free from a state trooper while handcuffed, get ahold of the trooper's handgun and fire off a shot. State police say no one was injured during the incident Tuesday afternoon in the town of Machias. Police say 17-year-old Gavin Haynes of Machias was cuffed behind his back when he broke free from the trooper's grip and ran. The trooper tackled him to the ground, but officials say the trooper's sidearm was dislodged from its holster. Troopers say Haynes grabbed it and fired once into a snowbank. He's now facing other charges. Haynes is being held in jail without bail. His public defender wasn't available for comment.
An early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda has left a man with second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body. Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM. The 56 year-old man, whose name has not been released, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started. Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor. He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center. The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke. Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments. The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause.
Landing big named comedian Jim Gaffigan is another feather in the hat of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, one official's worked at for some time. That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says Gaffigan is one of her favorites... and, a name they had been trying to get for a Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for several years now. Gunderson says they expect to add more comedic stars to the August Weekend as we enter the new year. Gaffigan will appear at the Northwest Arena on August 3rd. In addition... she says the Comedy Center is teaming up with Chauauqua Institution to put on a special week during the 2017 season. Gunderson says Week-Six on "Comedy and the Human Condition" will be featured from July 29th through August 5th. She says Lewis Black... who was in Jamestown for last year's festival... will be the featured speaker on that Monday, July 29th.
Federal authorities allege that a former official at the pension fund for New York state public employees took bribes that included prostitutes, strippers, cocaine and a 17-thousand dollar wristwatch. An indictment issued Wednesday accuses Navnoor Kang of accepting bribes totaling about 100-thousand dollars in exchange for steering millions of dollars in business to two brokerage firms. It says other bribes included travel; a ski trip; and tickets to Broadway shows, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and a Paul McCartney concert. Kang's attorney declined to comment. The state comptroller's office, which administers the fund, had no immediate comment. The pension fund serves more than one-million retirees and other beneficiaries.