Local News Headlines

The top-elected official in Chautauqua County says he's ready to work closely with two citizen groups as he begins his second year in office....  

County Executive George Borrello has announced that he has established a Citizens Advisory Commission that will include active residents of the county who are not affiliated directly with county government.  Borrello adds that Fredonia's Mike Ferguson, who ran against him in 2017, will chair the group.  Borrello adds that the county... and, it's Industrial Development Agency, are working to develop a Countywide Economic Development Strategy that will include formation of an Economic Development Alliance.

Back to the Citizen's Advisory group, Borrello says it will serve as focus group to give him feedback on ideas, new initiatives and county policies.  He hopes to have the Economic Development Alliance up and running by sometime later in 2019.

Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe will be spending another five years as the head of the district.... 

During Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, the panel unanimously approved authorizing Board President Paul Abbott to enter into a contract amendment with the Superintendent -- reportedly for a two-year extention.  In a printed release, Abbott -- who signed the contract -- says it's "an acknowledgement of the positive things Dr. Apthorpe has done.... and, an endorsement of the plans he has in place for the future of our district."  Under the new agreement, Dr. Apthorpe's contract will now run through June 30th, 2023. 

A recommendation by a county commission to work to combine the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force is something city officials will consider....  

But, Mayor Sam Teresi says they won't do it at the expense of the "highly-concentrated" effort city police have been able to take with the unit in the immediate Jamestown-area.  Teresi is responding to a recommendation by County Executive George Borrello's new Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation.

Teresi says the big advantage of having the local task force is it's not spread out over the larger county area.  The Metro Drug Task Force has shown tremendous results, with several significant busts, and arrests made during vehicle stops.  Teresi says the aggressive yet "balanced" approach has helped reduce overall crime.  During the height of the local Opioid Drug Crisis, city police estimated that 90-percent of the local crimes were drug-related.  With that, the city decided to set up it's own task force several years ago.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will deliver his state of the state address and unveil his budget proposal next Tuesday in Albany....  

The Democrat is expected to detail proposals to legalize marijuana, codify abortion rights and impose congestion tolls on Manhattan as a way to raise money for aging subways.  Cuomo also says he'll suggest new ethics rules to crack down on corruption.  As part of the state of the state, he'll unveil his proposed state budget for the next fiscal year.  Lawmakers hope to pass a new budget by April 1st. The 61-year-old began his third term this month.  Members of the Legislature began the 2019 session on Wednesday.   Democrats now control both the Senate and Assembly, raising the prospects for several long-blocked liberal priorities.

Two Jamestown residents were arrested during a traffic stop on the highway last Sunday.... 

State Police say they pulled over 19 year-old Lastar Farmer on Interstate-86 in Jamestown for a traffic violation and, allegedly smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search revealed his passenger -- 25 year-old Sierra Swanson -- was in possession of a bag containing pot. Troopers say a check of Farmer's driving record revealed two  active suspensions. Both are scheduled to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

A Forestville man faces DWI charges after state police allegedly found him unconscious behind the wheel early Thursday.....  

Troopers out of Fredonia say they responded to a call of a running, illegally parked vehicle on Bard Road, where they located 22 year-old Jesse Borrello.  Borrello reportedly regained consciousness with the Troopers’ assistance, and was placed under arrest after failing several sobriety tests. While in custody, he provided a breath sample of 0.17. Borrello was released with an appearance ticket for Pomfret Town Court later in the month. 

Legislation aimed at prohibiting convicted elected officials from continuing to use their campaign funds from prison is being introduced in Albany....  

State Senator Todd Kaminsky says his measure being introduced this week would target "zombie accounts" used by convicted officials to support other political campaigns and pay lawyers' bills.  Kaminsky's legislation also would require convicted elected officials to close their campaign funds within two years.  The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by fellow Long Island Democrat Judy Griffin.  Their measure would require elected officials convicted of felonies to return contributions or donate them to charity, the New York state or city university system, or the state's general fund.  Current state law requires that the campaign accounts of deceased elected officials be closed within two years of their death.

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly bilking Chautauqua County's public assistance program out of $1,500 worth of benefits....  

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 25 year-old Marvin Colon-Dones Thursday morning for allegedly being employed while receiving the benefits between January 1st of 2017 and August 31st of 2017.  Colon-Dones is charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud, misuse of Food Stamps and, fourth-degree Grand Larceny.  He's to appear in Jamestow City Court at a later date.  To report suspected welfare fraud, call the county's Welfare Fraud Hotline at 1-800-388-5365.

The new Democratic leader of the New York state Senate says she wants to make a cap on local property tax increases permanent..... 

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers announced her support Wednesday, the first day of the 2019 session and Stewart-Cousins' first day as the Senate's top lawmaker. Republicans and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo already support legislation that would eliminate the need to periodically extend the cap, which is set at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.  First imposed in 2012, the cap restricts how much local governments can increase property taxes without a special vote by local officials, or, in the case of schools, a vote by local residents. It was created as a way to encourage local governments to become more efficient.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 22, 2019

Despite a $6.1-billion budget shortfall, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is not proposing any cuts in his 2020-21 budget plan.   In fact... Cuomo says every part of his 178-billion dollar spend...

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