Local News Headlines

There have been opportunities for the city of Jamestown to take advantage of it's "neighborly" relationship with the village of Falconer to save money and, not have to go through the annexation of land. 


Those were the feelings of one of several residents on hand during last night's City Council voting session about a plan to take the land used for the Board of Public Utilities's Dow Street Substation.  Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve VanStrom told lawmakers that when the city was looking at closing fire stations there was an offer to use Falconer and Celoron facilities.


However VanStrom says the plan never moved forward to a vote.  City resident Doug Champ feels city lawmakers have already made up their minds because Jamestown is desperate for revenue. 


Champ argued that council has already made up it's minds, and last night was "nothing more than a rant session."  Ellicott town resident Tom Koss told lawmakers that the annexation process was simply a "money-grab."

There were some inaccuracies and misconceptions voiced during last night's meeting but, it's understood that emotions would run high on the annexation issue. 


That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce who has been chosen by city, town and village officials to chair a public hearing on the matter on June 12th.  Dolce says the three boards would later vote individually on the proposal.  He says one inaccuracy was over the fire station matter which occured in 2004.


Both Dolce and Mayor Sam Teresi say they certainly want to maintain "good neighbors" to the town of Ellicott, and village of Falconer.  Teresi says "no final decision" has been made on the annexation plan. 


Teresi also says there has been inaccuracies about what is to be annexed.  He says people have told him they understand it is residential property or, industrial property or the business district.  He says no it's property the BPU owns on the Falconer-Jamestown City Line.  More later today.

There were no injuries but, traffic on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott was down to one-lane for nearly two-hours Monday morning on Airport Hill when fire broke out in a tractor-trailer rig. 


Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Gerry and Fluvanna fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 7:30 AM.  Fire crews reportedly had the blaze in the empty trailer out fairly quickly. 


A tow vehicle was called in and, the scene was cleared just after 9:30 Monday morning.

State Police will be teaming up with local law enforcement to carry out the annual "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket" campaign that is now underway in Chautauqua County. 


Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office will be part of the enforcement campaign that strongly encourages the use of seat belt and child safety seats.  While it's a small percentage, Gerace says there is still a group of motorists who refuse to buckle up.


New York was also among 24 states participating in a Border to Border enforcement campaign, during which law enforcement will set up safety belt checkpoints along highways connecting neighboring states. 


That enforcement detail ran Mondayafternoon and evening.  Buckle Up New York continues until June 4th.

A Brocton man is facing weapons-related charges following a large fight at a Dunkirk bar last weekend. 


Dunkirk Police, with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, broke up the large brawl outside the Halas Hotel Bar on East Second Street early last Sunday morning.  Police Chief David Ortolano says an investigation led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man.


Ortolano says Camacho is charged with second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon and, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third-degree.  He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail. 


Ortolano says the investigation is continuing and there's the possibility that further arrests will be made.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was to be in Jamestown yesterday morning for an announcement regarding the projects to be funded in the city's portion of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 


However Governor Cuomo's office says she's been called to the southern shore area of Lake Ontario due to the state of Emergency that's been declared due to the flooding in that region.  The governor Monday announced 10-million dollars in state funding is available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding along the Lake Ontario coastline. 


The new investment program will support flood recovery efforts, including repairs to flood walls, roads, sidewalks, and culverts.

Ellicott Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says the problem with drug trafficking is now bigger than the town itself can handle and that's why they need to get an officer back on the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 


Ohnmeiss made his comments during a recent press conference about a recent, major drug bust in the village of Falconer.  Ohnmeiss said they were seeing a "definate" increase in drug trafficking, and use, in the village and surrounding town.


Ohnmeiss says they started assigning an officer to the task force two days a week until they realized that person needed to be full-time.  Even then, he says that officer said the situation was getting "too big" to handle. 


Ohnmeiss says it would cost another $40,000 to bring on a full-time, probationary officer so one could be dedicated to the task force.  He urged residents to speak up if they're going to get town officials to fund the position. 


Ohnmeiss and, Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings both agreed that you can "manage" the drug trafficking problem but, you'll never eliminate it.

Ellicott town lawmakers did not make the final decision to pull an officer off the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 


Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says it was a couple of situations stemming from a decision in June of last year when the town board moved to keep their new budget under the state's property tax cap.  McLaughin says an officer with the police department retired and, the decision was made to not fill that position.


McLaughlin says a recent news story said the town had "taken away funding" for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  However he says they never "funded" the task force.  They provided an officer to assist the task force especially with the fact some drug traffickers were moving out of Jamestown, and into the nearby town, and it's villages. 


He says the police force makes up 66.3% of the town budget and, adds that grant funding for such staffing is minmal.

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