Local Headlines 5:24am 3/20/13
A Jamestown Teen is in the city jail after attacking his teacher Tuesday Afternoon. Jamestown Police were called to the Gustavus Adolphus School just before 2pm after the teen allegedy assaulted his teacher in a classroom. The teacher's hand and back were injured. The unidentified seventeen year old is charged with second degree assault and was taken to the city jail and is being held pending arraignment at 9:30 this morning.
The calendar may say Spring... but, it's been more like mid-Winter since late yesterday afternoon as Lake Effect Snow has returned to the county. The National Weather Service has now posted a Lake Effect Snow Warning for the Jamestown area through 6 AM Thursday. Forecaster Kirk Apfell in Buffalo says... though... unlike most Lake Effect systems that pass quickly through the region... this will be a "prolonged event." Apfell says we'll get some wrap-around winds off Lake Erie from the storm going through the northeast. He says lack of ice on the lake is helping to prolong this event. With 3 to 5 inches having fallen already in the more persistant lake snows... Apfell says some areas will see between 6 to 12 inches of new snow by early Thursday morning. Apfell says the forecast today is calling for another 2 to 4 inches of snow... along with another 2-to-4 tonight into early Thursday. However... he says the snow should begin winding down overnight into Thursday. While we won't see the strong, gusty winds usually associated with such storms... but, Apfell says the snow will make driving difficult in some areas.
There were some surprises in yesterday's village elections in Chautauqua County. In Westfield... incumbant Republican Mayor David Carr was handily defeated by Democrat Mike Vandevelde. Vandevelde... a former trustee... received 519 votes. Carr... who was seeking a fourth-term... got 227 tallies. Trustee seats go to Robert Cochran... who received 547 votes... and, Debra Puckhaber... who got 349. Chris Jaymes was a close third with 337 votes.
In Forestville... two women faced off to fill the vacant mayor's position... and, Democrat Linda Aures defeated Republican Katherine Bowker, 121-to-94. Four people faced off for two village board seats. They were won by Kevin Johnson... who received 142 votes... and, Margaret Borrello... who got 102. Gloria Yeager was third... and, Kimberly Scott fourth.
In Lakewood... there was no mayor's race... but, an interesting finish in a three-way trustees race for two seats. The top vote-getter was Sue Drago. The Republican received 262 votes. Democratic newcomer David DiSalvo was second with 255 votes. Incumbant Republican Joe Troche (Tro-shay) got 198 votes.
And... Bethany Gross-Smock won one of the two seats up for a vote in Cherry Creek. She received 45 votes... while Bruce Henricks was second with 43 tallies. John Lukaszewski (Luke-ah-Shevski) was third with 22 votes.
There will be a bus proposition on the ballot for Jamestown school district voters this May... along with the 2013-2014 budget. The school board last night approved the measure... which calls for spending 795-thousand dollars on six new, full-sized buses... and, two transport vans. The vote came after nearly half-an-hour of discussion over possible options... including putting some new vehicles in the actual budget. That was done last year. There's also the possibility of borrowing the money... but, school board President Joe DiMaio says they decided this was the best way to do it. DiMaio says it was determined that some vehicles won't pass inspection anymore... and, must be replaced. Ideally... DiMaio says the best way to do it would be replacing two or three vehicles a year in the budget. But... he says the district will get state aid to help with the final purchase. School Superintendent Deke Kathman says while the vehicles don't end up with the number of miles those in a central district do... the chassis on these vehicles get punished by the salt on the road... and, other ways.
Legislators are starting to sign off on some aspects of the state budget as a final agreement draws near that will increase the minimum wage and provide some tax breaks, most of them effective a year from now. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says most of the 700-million dollars in business and middle class tax cuts announced this week by Senate Republicans won't be effective until 2014 -- an election year. The minimum wage proposal which legislators say appears final would also be phased-in. State officials say the budget talks include a minimum wage increase to 8-dollars an hour in January... 8--75 a year later... and, 9-dollars a year after that. The minimum wage is now 7-dollars-25 cents. Silver is still trying to restore $250 million to New York City schools.
The group representing New York state's mayors is voicing it's displeasure with state legislative leaders -- who appear unwilling to include any meaningful mandate relief in the 2013-2014 budget. The state Conference of Mayor's issued a statement Tuesday critical of state lawmakers who campaigned on the issue of mandate relief for local governments... but, aren't doing anything about it. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is a past president of NYCOM... and, says he's "stunned" by the fact neither the Assembly or Senate have included any mandate relief in their budget plans. Teresi says binding arbitration is only available to professional police and fire unions to settle contract disputes with local cities, towns and villages. A three-person panels hears out both sides... and, makes a decision that either favors the union or the municipality. Cuomo included the cap on union awards in his budget proposal. Teresi says NYCOM would like to see binding arbitration end when it sunsets this coming June 30th. However... both the Senate and Assembly plans call for extending it another four-years.