Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 18, 2019

A Jamestown couple has now been arrested for allegedly trafficking drugs, and being in possession of firearms during a trafficking crime...  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 33 year-old Douglas Beardsley, and 18 year-old Camille Lopez were taken into custody on charges including possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and possession of stolen firearms.  He says Beardsley was also charged with being a Felon in possession of a firearm.  Prosecutors say both were arrested during a raid on the couple's 70 Forest Avenue home, where authorities seized a quantity of crystal Meth, and a cutting agent, along with cash, and credit cards.  They also found two firearms reported stolen from a home in the town of Ellicott last January.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine.

The Zonta Club of Jamestown presented its annual 'Women in Leadership' awards last night (Wednesday).

 The honors went to longtime nurse and health educator Peg Cornell, Tara Eastman, the Pastor of the Tree of Life Lutheran Community in Jamestown, and Sheila Webster, the Director of Marketing, Communications and Governmental Relations at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  The Zonta Club also presented three $1,000 scholarships at the event at the Marvin House.  They went to Chautauqua Lake senior Hannah Roush, Jill Swanson, a graduate of Maple Grove High School, who is about to begin dental school, and Stacey Chase, a secretary in the Pine Valley guidance office, who is studying to be a counselor.  

All but one of the 16 local governments and groups around Chautauqua Lake has signed onto the Lake Management Consensus Strategy "Memorandum of Agreement."  

That's the word from County Executive George Borrello, who announced the agreement in late March.  While the town of Ellery has decided not to sign it, Borrello says he's pleased that the rest of the groups are on board to deal with weed, algal bloom and, other lake issues.

Borrello says he was encouraged to have both the Chautauqua Lake Association and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership among the groups.  He says it's important for the group's to speak with "one voice."  The consensus strategy was developed through the involvement of the county, the State Department of Environmental Conservation and, a consulting firm.

The Jamestown School Board adopted a more than $90-million budget during what School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe called "their busiest board meeting yet" Tuesday night....  

The panel unanimously approved the $90.7-million spending plan.  The 2019-2020 budget includes $50.8-million in Foundation -- or base -- aid.  But, Apthorpe says that's grossly under-funding Jamestown students.

Apthorpe credits the school board's hard work on putting together a special kind of plan which he calls a "community budget..." because it will allow them to put on a literacy program for about 600 kids with the help of local organizations and foundations.  He says they'll also be starting up the district's new "Success Academy" at the former Rogers Elementary School.  The 2019-2020 budget also includes a $100,000 captial outlay project, which is proposed to "harden" the entrance of Fletcher Elementary School.  A public hearing on the budget will take place May 7th at Persell Middle School, prior to the May 21st vote.

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has scheduled it's annual Spring Water Main Flushing for May 3rd through May 15th this year and it will again be done during the daytime....  

That from BPU officials at this week's City Council Work Session.  Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says they'll again begin -- weather permitting -- in Falconer on May 3rd with pre-flushing.  The head of the Water and Wastewater Divisions, Mike Saar, says actual flushing begins the following day.

Flushing in Falconer remains a mainly night-time operation but, Jamestown will still be done during the day-time.  Robbins says information on water main flushing can be found from a number of sources, including radio spots.  She adds that all the information will be on the BPU's website, the Jamestown Post-Journal and, social media.  Robbins says the lone exception in Jamestown is on Wednesday, May 8th, when flushing will take place from 5:30 AM to 5 PM to accommodate downtown Jamestown restaurants and businesses.  She says flushing that day could affect streets directly off Fairmount Avenue, even though those particular streets are not flushed that day.

New York state will grant free state tuition and room and board to the families of New York military members who are killed or disabled while on duty....  

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move Wednesday, days after Republican lawmakers accused the Democrat-led state Assembly of blocking legislation to expand scholarships for Gold Star families.  Cuomo said there's no need to wait for lawmakers to act, so he has directed education officials to begin covering tuition costs for dependents of fallen or permanently disabled service members.  The state already covered tuition for dependents of service members killed or disabled in combat or in training - but that didn't cover all military deaths or injuries.  Cuomo says the expansion will cost "several million dollars" but that it's a small price to honor Gold Star families.