The Jamestown airport has a new airline... with a different plane... and high hopes for more successful passenger service. Stan Little, Chairman and CEO of Southern Airways... which bought out the old 'Sun Air' in March of this year says "We're going to build this airport back to what it was a decade ago". Little says his airline offers frequency and reliability, at a good price. Diane Bradley of Greenhurst is already impressed saying that it is so much nicer than our prior airline. She was impressed with the quality of the staff, and the receiving center in Pittsburgh. Southern will offer four flights a day to Pittsburgh, starting at $29 one-way, using the Cessna Caravan. Bruce Jacobs is a pilot, and part of the new airline's management team. He says the Caravan is a better ride. Several hundred people attended the 'rebranding ceremony' on the tarmac at Jackson Field in Jamestown Tuesday evening.
Spirits were high for Tuesday's ceremony welcoming Southern Airways to the Jamestown Airport, but the challenges are real. Bill Tucker is the Manager of Airports and Parks for Chautauqua County says this is a very encouraging situation in a very challenging environment. Tucker says the sluggish economy, and changes in the airline industry have made it tough for small airports. But, he is hopeful the new airline will double the number of departures from Jamestown. Stan Little, the CEO of Southern Airways, says the arrival of his airline in Jamestown means the end of 'spotty service' and he wants the public to respond by not driving and using the airlines instead to get to Pittsburgh. Jamestown is Southern Airways first location in New York state. Little would like to add a daily flight to Albany at some point in the future.
A Jamestown man has been arrested in connection with the discovery of a significant marijuana growing operation in the villlage of Celoron. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they were joined by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, the State Police C-NET Team in a raid at 9 East Duquesne Street last June 9th. Task Force members say they located... and, seized a sophisticated growing operation... and, 104 mature marijuana plants. Police say they also seized several thousands of dollars worth of equipment used of the production of the pot. As the result of an investigation into the ownership of the home, and the processing of the seized marijuana plants, the Southern Tier Task Force arrested 31 year-old Joshua Aman on one count each of second-degree unlawfully growing Marijuana and Criminal Possession of Marijuana. Police say four pounds of pot was seized. They say Aman was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court to answer the charges listed. Task Force members say if you have any information on illegal drug activity... call them at 1-800-344-8702.
A Falconer man has been arrested for allegedly being found with over 5-grams of marijuana in his possession during a traffic stop in Jamestown. City Police say the pulled over 30 year-old Omar Marrero about 8:45 AM Tuesday in the Broadhead Avenue area. Officers say they knew that a valid City Court arrest warrant had been issued for Marrero's arrest for second-degree criminal contempt. He was taken into custody without incident... and, was allegedly found with 5.4-grams of pot in his posession. Marrero was additionally charged with unlawful possession of marijuana... and, is being held pending arraignment.
Jamestown city lawmakers will vote next week on supporting a 500-thousand dollar state grant application for a preservation project to update the five buildings in the Reg Lenna Center for Arts complex. The project is being headed up by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, Executive Director Greg Lindquist says they are seeking a Main Street "Anchor Grant" for the 4-million dollar effort. Lindquist says there'll be some facade... fire sprinkler... and, other improvements made. Lindquist says most of the funding for the project is already in place... and, adds another 800-thousand dollar grant is also being sought -- though the state's Consolidated Funding Application progam -- for other upgrades. Reg Lenna Board President... and, Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley... says improvements will also include an entrance vestibule for the Reg Lenna theater entrance. Lindquist calls it a "huge project..." which is very important to making the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts an anchor of the city's eastside... similar to what the new National Comedy Center will have on Jamestown's westside.
New York will require professional boxers and mixed martial artists to get one-million dollars of insurance to cover life-threatening brain injuries under regulations slated to take effect in September. The State Athletic Commission is carrying out the decision by lawmakers... and, the governor to legalize professional mixed martial arts and overhaul regulation of combat sports generally. It's detailed plan, still subject to public comments, will make New York the final state to end opposition to the combination of wrestling, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu inside a cage or other enclosure. Higher insurance is one concession to critics of the violence. Supporters say mixed martial arts has evolved from early unregulated days. Prohibited acts include strikes to the spine, back of the head or throat; head butts; and stomping a grounded opponent.
A first-grade teacher at Jamestown's Ring Elementary School has received one of the very first "New York State Excellence in Teaching" Awards from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Eighth-year Ring Teacher Brandi Meacham recently received the award during a ceremony at the school. Coincidently... Meacham was honored following her first year of teaching first-graders after teaching Kindergarten the previous seven years. Meacham says it was "definately awesome" to be one of 10 teachers in the state to be recognized. Meachem was nominated for the award by fellow Ring teacher, Carrie Davenport, who says she nominated her because of her "hard work and dedication to not only her students, our school, and our community, but also to each of her colleagues." Meacham was the only award recipient in southwestern New York... and, she received a 5-thousand dollar stipend to help her grow professional development interests. Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the district is "very proud that one of our excellent teachers, Brandi Meacham, received this prestigious award from Governor Cuomo."
Work is continuing on future plans for Brooks Memorial and Lake Shore Hospital... and, community leaders got a progress report yesterday during a series of meetings held in Dunkirk. Those plans include a new facility for Brook's and capital improvements for the TLC campus. During a presentation for local media Tuesday... Don Boyd of Kaleida Health indicated a 2018 time-frame for the changes. Officials from both hospitals also discussed programming and services. While both facilities would continue to have emergency rooms, the plans call for Brooks to continue as an inpatient acute care hospital... while TLC would transition to an ambulatory center with specialty services. TLC would also continue behavioral health and chemical dependency services under the latest plans. The hospital's expect to have an outside architectural expert on board by the end of the month... so that expert can begin to work with both hospital's leadership teams. Officials from Brooks... TLC... and, Kaleida Health met with a number of local leaders including Mayor Willie Rosas, County Executive Vince Horrigan, Assemblyman Andy Goodell and representatives of State Senator Cathy Young and Congressman Tom Reed.
Well-know political satirist and comedian Mark Russell will be attending both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions... then bringing his new material to the Jamestown-area next month. The Robert H. Jackson Center will be hosting Russell's appearance at Chautauqua Suites on Sunday, August 21st, beginning at 6 PM. The appearance will be a fund-raiser for the Jackson Center. A Western New York native, Russell is best known for his satire on current political headlines. His comedy specials, which aired live between 1975 and 2004, mixed political stand-up comedy covering current events with musical parodies that set new humorous lyrics to familiar melodies. The evening will include a cocktail hour with cash bar, dinner, and a performance by Mark Russell. Ticket proceeds benefit the Jackson Center. Seating is limited, so order your tickets by calling the center at 483-6646... or go on-line to Roberthjackson-dot-ORG.