Local News Headlines

The Jamestown City Council has approved a new tax exemption program for people who purchase land where the home had to be torn-down, or the home needs to be rehabilitated. 


Lawmakers this week unanimously approved a local law establishing the program which Council President Greg Rabb says is for "owner-occupied" properties.


The program could also be used for property owners looking to fix up a condemned structure; though Rabb says that may not be the best way to go because if the home needs a lot of work, the abatement may not help much. 


City Clerk Todd Thomas says a pubic hearing on the property tax exemption will be held by Mayor Sam Teresi at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10th.

A Cattaraugus County man is facing charges after driving while under the influence of drugs when his car crashed during a vehicle pursuit in the town of Ellery last Saturday night. 


Sheriff's officers say they received several complaints about a person driving erratically on Dutch Hollow Road about 9:30 p.m. 


Deputies say they attempted to stop the vehicle but, the driver failed to comply.  Later identified as 30 year-old Heath Zawatski of Randolph, drove off and later crashed his car into a ditch and the vehicle rolled over. 


Zawatski was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is pleased with the response from the community in helping with hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. 


Earlier last weekend, Rosas who's family is from Puerto Rico, said they are working closely with groups in Jamestown and Olean.

Rosas says collections continue from 3 until 7 p.m. daily at Lake Shore Drive and Washington Avenue.  The items will be trucked to Buffalo as part of a statewide collection effort spearheaded by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 


On another topic, Rosas says he and his brothers were finally able to speak to his mother, via telephone, from Puerto Rico, and says she is okay.

Authorities say the driver of a pickup truck is in custody after crashing into two homes in a Buffalo suburb while trying to elude police. 


Officers in the town of Amherst say they tried to stop the driver for speeding early last Friday morning but the motorist sped away. 


The truck traveled into the town of Kenmore, where the driver lost control and hit a one-story house, then struck a two-story home next door before coming to a stop in front of a third home.

Two people were hurt but, not seriously in a two car crash early last weekend in the town of Hanover. 


Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at the corner of Bennett State Road, and Stebbins Road about 8 AM Saturday.  Officers say their investigation showed that 40 year-old Margarita Sanchez of Dunkirk did not stop at a stop sign and her vehicle was struck by the second vehicle operated by 46 year-old Jennifer Hilliker of Forestville. 


Deputies say Hilliker was taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, while Sanchez was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of non-life-theatening injuries. 


Sanchez was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.

The state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. 


Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports. 


53 state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.

Daily Alternate parking rules are now in effect in the city of Jamestown. 


Alternate Parking began yesterday, October 1st.  City police say vehicles should be parked only on the 'odd-numbered' side of the street on odd-numbered days. 


They should also be parked on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days only.  Police say the parking alternates at 10 a.m. each day and there is no grace period.

Today marks the beginning of the transition to a new Director of Emergency Services in Chautauqua County. 


That from the current director, Julius Leone, who is set to retire at the end of October.  Leone says he is pleased with the selection of John Griffith because of his experience and abilities with the local fire services. The appointment of Griffith was announced by County Executive Vince Horrigan in mid-September. 


Leone says he will stay on during the month of October to help make the transition a smooth one.  He says he'll be spending the next 30-days introducing Griffith to as many people on the state and federal level he can that they work with. 


Leone adds that he'll also have the new director on hand for this week's budget hearings in Mayville.  He has held the job for 16-years and has served under three Chautauqua County Executives Mark Thomas, Greg Edwards, and Vince Horrigan.

With most of the island territory destroyed, expect another influx of people from Puerto Rico coming into Jamestown. 


That from two leaders of the local Hispanic community who says some will likely be here temporarily while life on the island returns to normal. 


Pastor Alfonso Pagan with the Hispanic affiliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown, is a native of Puerto Rico.  Pagan says part of the problem right now is while you can get an airline flight to the island, it's hard to get one back to the mainland.

In addition, Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County says families with younger children will likely come to the mainland because it may be at least six-months before schools are back up and running.  Martin's organization, and Pagan's church have been involved in the local relief efforts to get supplies and money to the people of Puerto Rico. 


Martin says he's heartend by the way the "non-Hispanic" community has rallied to help the relief effort.  Donations can be made to Pagan's church, and the Hispanic Community Council through October.