Last night's Jamestown School Board meeting turned into a big retirement -- and birthday party for outgoing school Superintendent Deke Kathman. School Board President Joe DiMaio read a resolution renaming the Central Adminstrative Offices at Jefferson Middle School after Kathman. The birthday 'present' was an outdoor artist rendering of the offices -- by local architect Paul Hedin -- with Kathman's name on it. DiMaio says the idea came out of a discussion he had with Board Vice-President Laurel Lucas. DiMaio says the board wanted to honor Kathman's 26 years of service to the district in a "significant way." Kathman said he completely taken by surprise... adding that he was "honored, humbled, and embarrassed" by the honor. A portrait of Kathman will also be put up on the wall of the board room. He will retire on July 31st. Tim Mains' will become the new Jamestown School Superintendent on August 1st.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving ahead with a just over 900-thousand dollar project to build a new, Electric Division storage building on it's Steele Street campus. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board approved hiring E.E. Austin of Falconer yesterday afternoon to purchase and install the structure on the eastside of the board's Operation Center. Leathers says the area is currently fenced in... and, includes several pieces of equipment -- including transformers. Leathers says E.E. Austin's bid of 903-thousand dollars was the lowest of three bids that met the project's specifications. He says there will be some internal work the BPU will have to do to shore up the bank for the foundation before the building is put up. Leathers says the biggest benefit to having the building is the BPU's equipment will be protected... and, easy to get to when a power outage occurs.
A Randolph man who was convicted of shooting a rifle round that struck a Randolph school bus full of children in November of 2011 has been granted a new trial. The Buffalo News reports that Cattaraugus County Court Judge Ronald Ploetz ruled that the prosecutor in the case of 59 year-old Robert Squire acted inappropriately during closing arguments in the case. Ploetz wrote that -- quote -- "nobody's going to jail because of this" -- when Squire actually wound up being sentenced to a year behind bars. Ploetz says not only was the comment "inappropriate... it was incorrect." The News says Squire's attorney, Barry Covert, says "they've very happy" with the results of their appeal. Squire was convicted in July of 2012 of firing the shot that struck the school bus... carrying 35 children... on Route 241in the town of Randolph. He was out hunting at the time... and, contends it was not his shot that struck the bus.
Chautauqua County lawmakers will vote tonight on a measure expanding smoking restrictions on county property to ALL county property. County Executive Greg Edwards says a management team... led by Budget Director Kitty Crow... reviewed current policy... and, looked at expanding the prohibitation like 200 other government and not-for-profit agencies have already done in New York state. Edwards says the expansion is being driven by one thing. With that last fact... Edwards says they have "all the incentive to do the right thing." Edwards says the current restriction is limited to all county buildings... and, the area within 15 feet of a building entrance. He says this will expand it to all property -- owned or leased -- including parking lots... and, parks. Edwards says that exposes more young people to second-hand smoke. The local law was reviewed by the legislature's Human Services Committee... and, passed onto the full legislature. It not only prohibits tobacco products... but, electronic and herbal cigarettes. Tonight's legislature meeting begins at 6:30 in Mayville.
Two Dunkirk men are jailed without bail for their alleged roles in a residential burglary in June. An investigation by Dunkirk Police, which began on June 30th, led to the recovery of a large amount of stolen property, including cash and jewelry. Officers also seized an illegal 9 mm handgun which had been defaced to prevent identification. Police arrested 25-year-old Fred Santiago on July 2nd on a warrant from a related incident, and during a search of his residence, they found the cash, jewelry, and handgun. The second suspect, Cristian Maestre, was arrested Monday for allegedly participating in the June burglary. Both have been charged with 2nd-degree burglary, 3rd-degree grand larceny... and, conspiracy, and criminal mischief. Santiago also faces counts of 2nd-degree menacing, criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a weapon. Maestre is also charged with resisting arrest. More charges... and, arrests... are expected.
Every year hundreds of Chautauqua County Four-H'ers create over a thousand projects to be judged at the county fair. But, the stakes are a little higher this year for a few of the Four-H Teen Ambassadors because they are now raising funds for an endowment... and, they want to let people know what they do for kids -- and the community. Bemus Point's Kendra Hockran's voice is on the 3-and-a-half minute video... which is designed to persuade groups and individuals to donate to the Four-H endowment at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Kendra says the group that put the video together touched on the history of Four-H as well as its future. The goal for the endowment is 2 million dollars... to help sustain the regular Four-H program into the future. The video should be up for viewing in the Four-H building at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk later this week.