Local News Headlines

A second member of the Jamestown City Council has confirmed that he is not running for re-election.  First-Ward lawmaker Steve Szwejbka says he's enjoyed working with his fellow council members... but, feels the time is right to step aside... and, let someone else fill the seat.  Szwejbka... who switched party affiliations from Democrat to Independence a few years ago... also feels that four-terms is enough. Szwejbka says what he's liked best about being on the council is that they've worked as a team... with the Teresi administration.  He says they all have different approaches... but, most often with the same goal in mind.  In addition to being on council... Szwejbka is a retired member of the Jamestown Police officer.  He most enjoyed helping people solve problems while he was in public service.  Szwejbka says he fully intends to work hard for his constituents in his final four months in office.  The first council member to announce they weren't seeking re-election was Michael Taylor earlier this Summer.
We have learned that an interesting match-up is taking shape in the Ward-One race.  Sources have told us that former Councilman... and, city GOP Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon is going to run on the Republican line.  They also say former County Legislator Tara Hall... who has moved into the First-Ward... will be the Democrat candidate.  Efforts to reach both yesterday afternoon were unsuccessful.


Heavy traffic is expected on the local highways this afternoon through the Labor Day holiday weekend.  With that... area police agencies are urging drivers to drive safely and defensively.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says there are ways motorists can help keep the streets and highways safe. Gerace says patrols will not only be keeping an eye out for intoxicated drivers... but, also for distracted drivers.  He says it's becoming a growing problem both nationally... and, here locally.  He believes educating motorists better about the dangers is the key.  Nationally, the Triple-A projects over 34-million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday travel period... which begins today and goes through Monday, September 2nd.


A north county man is accused of riding his motorcycle over 100 miles an hour on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's officers say a patrolman spotted the bike... operated by 24 year-old Nicholas Puffer of Nevins Street, Dunkirk... going 101 miles per hour in a 55-mile zone.  Deputies say Puffer was stopped without incident just before 12:30 Thursday afternoon... and, he was also found to not have a motorcycle license.  He was ticketed for reckless operation... speed in excess of 55 MPH... and, operating out of class.  Puffer is to appear in Charlotte Town Court at a later date.


New York's highest court has agreed to hear appeals from a drilling company and a farmer challenging municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  The Court of Appeals Thursday -- without comment -- has accepted two cases where lower courts upheld bans in the upstate towns of Middlefield in Otsego County and Dryden, near Ithaca.  A midlevel court unanimously concluded that state mining and drilling law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.


It's a "non-issue."  That's what Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards is saying about a controversial change he's made to the county's administrative code regarding the potential sale of the county home.  A resolution to reject the amendment was defeated by the legislature last night after some -- at times -- heated debate.  The measure... proposed by Minority Leader Robert Whitney... got 14 of the 24 votes... but, needed 17 yes votes to be approved.  Whitney... a Jamestown Democrat... says he's troubled by one part of that change would elminate the need for a County Home Administrator if the facility is defunded.  However... Edwards says he will be funding the home in the 2014 budget.  He also says the added language is need to avoid frivolous lawsuits IF a sale goes through.


There has already been some positive reaction to the new, potential buyer of the County Home in Dunkirk.  That from County Executive Greg Edwards following Wednesday night's presentation by VestraCare to the county legislature.  Edwards says three principle's with the company were on hand... and, earlier toured... and, spoke with staff and residents at the home.  The executive says one County Home manager was very impressed with what they had to say. Edwards says the people from VestraCare also met with the president of the County Home's Residents Council... and, told him that in Ulster County... the head of the resident's group was completely against the sale in the beginning.  But... now -- even just nine-weeks into their ownership -- they've become the new owner's "best cheerleader."  Edwards adds that he feels there are many more positives with this offer than any of the previous ones... namely that VestraCare already operates in New York State... and, they appear to have the funding and resources to make the changes needed to again make the home viable.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities offices will be closed on next Monday, September 2nd, in observance of Labor Day.  The Customer Service Office will reopen at 7 AM Tuesday, September 3rd.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says solid waste normally collected on Mondays will be picked up on Tuesday, September 3rd.  Monday and Tuesday's refuse should be left at the curb after 6 PM on Monday.  The recyclables for the week of September 3rd will be paper, box board and corrugated cardboard.  Robbins says all utility trouble reports, all hours, may be reported to 661-1640.