LOCAL NEWS 3/15/13 4:40AM ((update at 10 a.m)
The head of the Catholic church in Jamestown says he was a bit surprised by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope. However... Father Dennis Mende with Holy Apostles Parish says he and local Catholics are "excited and hopefilled" about Pope Francis. Mende adds he is pleased with the chose of the Argentinian because he is humble... and, very much a "man of the people." He says Francis showed that immediately after speaking for the first time as Pope to the thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome. Mende presided over the 9 a.m. Mass Thursday at St. John Catholic Church... and, says parishioners have been abuzz about the naming of the new pontiff. Francis has already displayed a style that shows he may reject some of the trappings that come with the new position. He rode the bus with the other Cardinals back to their hotel instead of taking the special sedan that was set aside for him after his election as Pope.
The state legislature is in the final stages of agreeing to specific funding for all areas of the government as it tries to finalize a budget extraordinarily early. Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have met for weeks behind closed doors and reached some agreements on spending $143-billion. The deals haven't been disclosed. But... there is enough agreement to start joint Senate-Assembly conference meetings to decide on spending based on the target amounts agreed to by Cuomo and the leaders. The overall deal, which may include an increase in the minimum wage, could be announced as early as late Thursday night, but more likely on Friday. That would set up passage of the budget on March 21. The budget is due by April 1.
Two Pennsylvania men listed on the Jamestown Police Department's Top-10 Most Wanted List have been arrested on Felony warrants... and, are on their way to Chautauqua County -- if they aren't already here. City Police say 39 year-old Anthony Ford was wanted for criminal sale of a controlled substance. Officers say Ford was found in Pittsburgh... and, taken into custody. He was returned to Jamestown Wednesday... and, was arraigned and sent to the county jail. Police add that 34 year-old John Griffin of Warren was sought for Grand Larceny. Officers say he was found late Wednesday by Sheriff's officers in Warren... and, is currently being held pending an extradiction hearing.
A man who worked for 20 years with the shooter who killed four people in upstate New York says he was a good worker but was ``spooky'' in a recent encounter. Steve Copperwheat says he hadn't seen Myers in about 10 years when he saw him at a Wal-Mart three months ago. He says Myers was very nervous and anxious to get away.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is praising the law enforcement officers who ended an armed standoff with the suspect in the Mohawk Valley shooting rampage by killing the man after he opened fire on them. Cuomo praises the efforts of police in ending what he calls Wednesday's ``horrific spree of violence and bloodshed'' in the neighboring villages of Mohawk and Herkimer. The governor says officers entered a building in Herkimer Thursday morning and killed 64-year-old Kurt Myers after he shot and killed an FBI dog. Authorities say the shoot-out occurred in the basement where Myers had been holding out since soon after police say he killed four men and wounded two others in separate shootings at two businesses.
The Cassadaga Valley School District is expected to form a committee next month that will look into possible uses of the Cassadaga Elementary School after it closes in June. That from School Superintendent Scott Smith after the board voted this week to close the school at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Smith says the board has indicated a strong desire to have the district maintain the building. The Board voted to close the building by a 4-0 vote last Monday night. Smith says there has been a lot of interest in the building. Smith says the board will likely establish the committee that will look at viable uses for the facility when it holds its next regular meeting in April.
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week at about $3.94 a gallon. That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is now $3.70. The price is down five cents from one week ago... but, it's 12-cents more than one month ago. The Fuel Gauge reports that it's "too soon" to say whether retail prices have peaked for the spring, because there is still refinery maintenance to be completed... and, much of the country must still transition to summer-blend gasoline. The spike in pump prices earlier this year was a product of refinery maintenance and concerns, rather than more expensive crude oil.