A Jamestown police officer came across both a shocking and troubling situation in a downtown parking lot Wednesday afternoon. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the officer spotted a Falconer man sitting in a parked car in the Big Lots Parking Lot -- shortly before 5 PM -- who was in the process of preparing and shooting up heroin. In addition... there was a small child inside the car when the officer went to investigate the matter. In addition to seeing 27 year-old Samuel Critzer preparing to inject the suspected heroin... the officer also found a Falconer woman in the car -- identified as 34 year-old Christina Weed. She was allegedly in possession of a pain killer she didn't have a prescription for. Samuelson says Critzer faces three charges. Samuelson adds Weed is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police Chief Harry Snellings called it a "frightening" situation.... not just because of the situation in the car... but, for motorists in that part of the city because Critzer was going to drive off after shooting up. Both he and Weed were arraigned... and, released pending further court action.
City police officials are warning residents about an alleged telephone scam in which the caller says he's an IRS Agent... and, the resident either owes back taxes... or, has a refund coming. However... Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the caller then asks for the person's Social Security number. Samuelson says they've been contacted by a handful of potential victims. However... he says they did NOT give out their personal information. Samuelson says that's what they're now advising residents to do if they receive such a call. He says this is the first time someone has tried to use a scam involving the IRS name... which has been used elsewhere -- but, not here -- until now. He says city police have mainly seen lottery... or real estate scams in the past. In this case... the caller is a male posing as an IRS agent. Samuelson says the people being targeted are mainly middle aged... working people. However... they also want to alert Senior Citizens to the situation. If you receive such a call... Samuelson says hang-up and call local police.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer says federal authorities are releasing 50.6-million dollars more to provide home heating aid to New Yorkers. Families whose incomes are 150 percent of the federal poverty level or lower are eligible for heating aid. Schumer says the release for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which he requested in January, should provide critical relief to needy residents and senior citizens during a stretch of especially cold weather. The Department of Health and Human Services is releasing $454 million nationwide.
Minority Republicans in the state Assembly are calling for changes to the state's pension system that more closely resemble "Defined Benefit" plans in the private sector. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell was part of this week's announcement in Albany about their proposal... which will save state taxpayers money... and, give employees more control over how they invest their pension plans. While New York state has some of the highest taxes in the state... Goodell says the bigger problem is spending. When he was County Executive... Goodell says the state pension contribution was 3-percent. He says it's now about 18-percent. Goodell says those lay-offs are a "disservice" to students. He says the GOP proposal is not about finding "scapegoats" for increased costs. Goodell says public employees should be paid a "fair and reasonable" salary... and, have the same for a pension plan. Goodell says the "yardstick they should use is what's happening in the private sector.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he 'feels good' about the latest proposal from VestraCare to buy the County Home in Dunkirk. Horrigan has signed an asset purchase agreement to sell the Temple Road facility to two corporations formed last year by the Long Island-based company for 16-million. Horrigan tells us he realizes the proposal is less than the one they had initially offered last September. Horrigan says the agreement also calls for the accounts receivable to go over to the purchaser, so the county won't be dealing with that debt. Overall, Horrigan feels it's a good deal. The Legislature rejected the first proposed offer last October by one vote. VestraCare will make a presentation... and, be questioned by the County Legislature during a special meeting next Wednesday, February 5th. A vote is expected to be held during the Legislature's regular monthly meeting in late February.