The Jamestown City Council has tentative found one-million dollars in revenues to offset the lost of just over that amount because they are no longer considering a new health insurance option for city retirees over age 65 next year. Lawmakers made it clear early on during last night's Special Zoom Budget session. The main proposal is to use at least $500,000 in the undesignated fund balance -- or rainy day fund -- to offset increases. The other big change was reducing the contingency account by $200,000.
That's Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund. In recent years... former Mayor Sam Teresi and councilmembers were hesitant to touch the city's fund balance -- or rainy day fund. However... Council President Tony Dolce supported getting at least half-a-million dollars out of it. City Comptroller Ryan Thompson noted that all fund balance accounts total $3.9-million. Councilwoman Marie Carrubba echoed Ecklund's "grave" concerns over the 2021 outlook. There would a "zero tax increase" in the budget... which would also save just over $115,000 next year. Council is to vote on the nearly $35-million budget next Monday night.
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has started up a new, on-line platform to promote shopping locally... and, helping connect shoppers and stores. Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says they officially began the website late Monday morning during an on-line presentation. Tranum says -- especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic -- it was important to get this program up and running.
At the same time... Tranum says this is where retail shopping has been going in recent years... long before the pandemic began. He says they want to "empower" local, small businesses by giving them an on-line boost. Tranum says the County Chamber just added some additional businesses to the website, and will be doing so as the holiday shopping season gets underway on "Black Friday" -- this Friday, November 27th. The website is located at ShopLocalCHQ.com
A long-time Jamestown area ski and bike store will close for the 'forseeable future' on Christmas Eve. Les Johnson, owner of the Hollyloft on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott, has announced his retirement. Johnson says pandemic-related issues also played into his decison. He opened the Hollyloft 43 years ago... and hopes the Christmas closing will not be permanent. The store's been known for more than just high quality gear. The Hollyloft has donated thousands of dollars to local animal rescue organizations... and has maintained a large bike team for many years.
The investigation into a fatal all-terrain vehicle crash is underway in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ischua. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say a 63 year-old man, and his 43 year-old son were operating the ATV on their property at 53-01 Miller Hill Road last Saturday morning when the accident occurred. Police say it appears the driver was unable to negotiate a hill in the woods on a steep trail, and the four-wheeler flipped backwards. The son was airlifted to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment. However... deputies say the father was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been filed at this time.
A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly making child pornography about one year ago. U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced Monday that 19 year-old Dyllan Barber of Little Valley was arrested and charged with production of child pornography and cyberstalking. Prosecutors say Barber began chatting with a minor female victim on Snapchat... and, used his own Snapchat account during this conversation. But... they say he posed as a hacker who had gained control over the account. Barber than threatened the minor victim to produce and send to him sexually explicit images of herself, or else he would publicly release information about her. The victim then produced and sent the images to Barber.
In conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials following World War Two, the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown has released a new reading of the opening statement written and delivered by Jackson... the Jamestown area native who was the Chief American Prosecutor. John Q. Barrett, an authority on Jackson's life and work, says the three hour recording is worth listening to. The new reading... and the original from 75 years ago... are available on the Jackson Center's 'You Tube' channel. The first trials lasted well into 1946, and led to 19 convictions of Nazi war criminals. Barrett adds, the Jackson Center will continue to mark important moments in the trials through next summer, and he encourages people to check it out.