An abandoned house in the woods behind Jamestown Community College was destroyed in a spectacular fire last night. Neighbors reported the blaze on the 'old Lawson property' around 8:15 PM. After working the fire for just over an hour... Fluvanna Fire Chief Dave Bartkowiak said the fire had been knocked down, and the building collapsed on its own accord. The house was located at the end of a narrow lane known as Woodlawn Avenue Extension, making it hard for firefighters to get water to the fire due to the distance they had to bring the water. Equipment and manpower from six departments and emergency services were at the scene. There were no known injuries. Bartkowiak said they'd been called to a fire at that same house in the middle of the winter a couple of years ago.
Fire crews are fighting a fire in the Dunkirk area this morning. Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that firefighters were called to a structure fire at 867 Harmon Hill road around 3 o'clock this morning. Fredonia, Brocton, Stockton, and East Dunkirk were called to the scene. No word of any injuries. We will have more information when it becomes available.
A third suspect has been arrested in connection with last Monday morning's robbery at the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union in downtown Falconer. Ellicott Town Police say they arrested 20 year-old Patricia Harley of Jamestown yesterday morning... and, she was charged with second-degree robbery. She was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail. Police say another alleged accomplice, 61-year-old Thomas Bartlett, Senior of Jamestown, was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery on March 2nd. Ellicott Police accuse Harley of helping the primary suspect... 22 year-old Kyle Senear of Jamestown... with the planning of the February 27th robbery. Senear allegedly got a small amount of cash before fleeing the scene... but, was caught later that day. The investigation is continuing... and, anyone with information is asked to call Ellicott Police at 665-7083... or the Jamestown Police Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or the JPD TIPS 411 app. Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
Efforts to recruit new doctors to the Jamestown-area will be getting a 35-thousand dollar boost from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The city council will vote later this month on accepting the funding from the foundation to support the Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission's Physician Recruitment Project. The project was created by the Commission's Health Care Action Team... led by former City Councilwoman Dr. Lillian Ney. Current Councilwoman Marie Carruba is on the action team... and, says they've been working get local students who become doctors to return to the area. The Health Care Action Team has been working on the effort for a few years to build the number of... not just primary care physicians... but, certain specialists in the area as well. Carruba says there are a couple of Jamestown High School students graduating this year that plan to go to medical school... and, members are already talking with them.
A new report finds a growing number of health care jobs in New York state. The report released by the University at Albany says health care employment in New York increased by 24 percent between 2000 and 2014. The school's Center for Health Workforce Studies says employment in home health care more than doubled during that time, while jobs in ambulatory care grew by 30 percent. The center says health care accounts for about 12 percent of total employment in the state and continues to grow faster than all other sectors. Despite the job growth... the center reports that worker retention can be a problem and that patients in some parts of the state still lack access to health care services.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says -- yes -- the timing was important in his announcement that he won't be seeking another term because he want's fellow Republicans to have time to make a decision on running. Horrigan further explained his decision to not run for re-election on this past weekend's Community Spotlight program. He says he was in the position of having to make an "on-the-spot" decision less than four-years ago to run when former executive Greg Edwards decided not to run again. Horrigan again emphasized that it's time for him to step aside... and, devote more time to his wife, and their family. He says the decision to run for the county's top-elected post is an important one that should not be rushed into. Horrigan says he looks forward to the campaign... and, hearing the candidates ideas and positions on the issues. He adds that the position requires a "significant amount of time, energy, and you need to be 'all in.'" The Bemus Point Republican made his announcement at the end of last month's State of the County Address.
Local organizers of protests that have greeted Congressman Tom Reed at recent appearances in Chautauqua County say they are all local people... who are well-organized. Fredonia's Marcia Johnson led organization of last week's demonstration for Reed's appearance at the county's Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in Mayville. Johnson pointed out that many of the protesters included their zip code on their sign they were carrying to dispell the notion that they are paid protesters brought in from outside the area. Johnson says they are "organizing as citizens..." and, even poked little fun at themselves... saying "no one's going to drive from some other area to stand in this freezing weather with the snow." She says -- given the weather conditions -- and time of day -- they were very happy with the turn-out for the protests. Some Republicans have denounced the nation-wide protests -- mostly at Congressional Republican town hall meetings -- as being nothing more than paid protesters being bused into each location.
The village of Fredonia's top elected official says she has learned that some changes have been made to plans for a roundabout at the corner of Routes 20 and 60. Mayor Athanasia Landis says the State Department of Transporation recently met with state, county and local officials to discuss the revised design of the project and some of the raised medians have been shortened to improve access to some of the businesses near the intersection. However... Dr. Landis says the plans still call for a roundabout at the intersection and that work is now scheduled to take place during the 2018 construction season... and, completed by the end of that Summer. While she understands the concerns local residents and businesses have about the use of a roundabout at the busy intersection... Mayor Landis says State DOT officials believe it will reduce accidents and improve traffic flow once drivers make the adjustment.
U-S Senator Chuck Schumer wants the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct an in-depth investigation of small plane crashes, following two incidents last month and at least 18 crashes in New York last year. Schumer late last weekend released a letter he wrote to the NTSB. He cited a February 19th crash of a single-engine plane that took off from Long Island and crashed into a neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as a February 26th crash of a plane being used for practice at another Long Island airport. Two people were killed in that crash. The New York Democrat wants the agency to look into why the small plane crashes are happening and possible additional safety measures. The NTSB said it would review the letter once it's been received.
Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says dealing with the Medicaid expansion in a repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law must be a "negotiated agreement." Toomey also said Monday that the sickest people should be covered through a high-risk pool that is subsidized by the government to make it affordable. His comments came during a stop at the studio of Philadelphia's KYW-TV, where he answered several questions submitted online. Toomey is heavily critical of Obama's health care law, and says a transition to a new health insurance system could take a couple years. He gave no details about what he thinks should replace the Medicaid expansion. or whether he supports ending the extra federal subsidy under the Medicaid expansion for millions covered in Pennsylvania and other states.