Local News Headlines
Residents of the Panama Central School district said "yes" but, in the Clymer district they said a resounding "no" to the merger process between the two districts. 
That means any merger of the Panama and Clymer schools is done for now. 
That from Bert Lictus, superintendent for both districts in the wake of yesterday's non-binding vote on moving ahead with the merger process.  LIctus was obviously disappointed but, also saw in the Clymer vote a sense that residents want to stay with the current sharing of services.
Lictus says he believes there were two key factors that led to the defeat in Clymer.  One was a consideration of "losing their identity" and, "finances with the state."   The vote in Clymer was 654-to-186 while the straw vote in Panama was 192 "yes" and 168 "no." 
In spite of the defeat, Lictus says the continued sharing of several personnel and services will continue.
Officials with the Prendergast Library and city of Jamestown last night discussed ways to help the library stay solvent in light of another, major cut in city funding to the library. 
Library Director Tina Scott went before the City Council to review their allocaton from the city, which is being cut in half by Mayor Sam Teresi for 2018 to $50,000. 
Scott says that's another huge blow to their bottom line and, adds they are also seeing stagnant or declining revenue.  She adds that they are also running out of investment income.
The idea of leasing out space in the Prendergast was broached by Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce.  Scott says they current have one major tenant in the building, which is the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, which oversees all local libraries. 
However, she says they have a 60-year lease on the addition that was added for the system's main offices.  Scott says that if they didn't have the library offices there, they wouldn't have that entity helping to pay expenses.  She says losing that tenant would increase their costs by $40,000 a year.
A man from Corry, Pennsylvania man is in the Chautauqua County Jail after allegedly leading State Police on a chase and, damaging several vehicles while under the influence of drugs in the town of Ripley last Sunday night. 
Troopers responded to a report of a property damage accident at the Ripley Toll Barrier just before 8:30 PM.  Prior to arrival, the suspect's vehicle left the scene in an attempt to flee. 
While responding to the area, Troopers located and attempted to stop the vehicle.  A pursuit was initiated after the driver refused to comply. 
The driver, later identified as 32 year-old Kevin Birchard, is accused of intentionally hitting five vehicles during the pursuit.  After Birchard's vehicle finally was stopped, he was taken into custody without further incident.
A teenager faces charges for an alleged burglary, using a baseball bat on Jamestown's southside yesterday afternoon. 
Jamestown Police say they responded to 224 Forest Avenue for a subject with a weapon.  Officers spoke with the residents and were told that a unnamed, 17 year-old male, kicked in the apartment door  and, made entry while in possession of a baseball bat.
While inside, the male allegedly threatened occupants of the residence and swung the bat at them.  The teen was located a short distance away and was taken to city jail pending arraignment.  No injuries were reported. 
County Executive Vince Horrigan went to Albany late Monday, where Chautauqua County will be recognized once again for its commitment to shared services. 
Prior to leaving, Horrigan said he and others involved in local consolidation efforts have been invited to take part in the program.
Meanwhile, elected officials at both the county and local level are still waiting to hear about the results of the $20-million dollar Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition.  Horrigan says he doesn't know when an announcement is expected, adding that an announcement of the winner should have already been made. 
However, he says it may be when other state funding is typically announced in early December.  Horrigan says a number of projects from Chautauqua County have been submitted for state Consolidated Funding Application grant monies.
The city of Jamestown's annual Christmas Tree is up on Tracy Plaza after being harvested from the playground area of Bergman Park on the city's westside. 
The 60-foot tall White Spruce Tree was cut down by a Parks and Recreation Crew Monday morning.
The Board of Public Utilities, and a crew with a flatbed truck from Lakeshore Paving also assisted the Parks crew at the park.  City Arborist Dan Stone says they appreciate the help because the park grounds were wet and muddy.
Stone says the tree is about 60 to 80 years-old and, is in good shape.  However, he also says the tree and it's roots were starting to encroach on the play-ground equipment and, it was going to be harvested anyway. 
The tree will now be decorated with some 3,000 LED lights.  The tree will be lit on Friday, December 1st to begin the annual downtown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held late Monday morning for a half million dollar project to upgrade facilities at Point Gratiot in Dunkirk. 
City Mayor Willie Rosas, along with other elected officials were on hand for the event.  State Senator Cathy Young couldn't attend the event but, Rosas says she played an important role in landing the funding for the project, which should update and upgrade the park for the 21st century.
Ed Schober of Labella Associates says the roof of every building at the park will receive some attention, including the main pavilion and the restrooms. 
Crews were expected to begin work right after the ground-breaking with the project expected to be completed in time for Memorial Day.


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