WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Oct. 18th 2017

While the Senate has now announced a plan aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets, local Congressman Tom Reed says a bi-partisan caucus he is part of already has a plan in place. 
 
Reed said Monday in Lakewood that the effort by the Problem Solver's Caucus would help continue subsidies to help low-income Americans afford their health insurance premiums for the short-term.  Reed has touted his group's plan which he says would at least "stabilize" the current exchanges until a new plan is in place.
 
The Trump Administration says the subsidies that were a hall-mark of the Affordable Care Plan under President Obama, are illegal because Congress never approved them. 
 
However, he said Tuesday that he would be willing to look at such a short-term plan.  Reed was in the area Monday touting two pieces of legislation Monday that he's introduced that will boost local hospice and palliative care programs, which he says should be part of any health care legislation.  
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is "continuing" his record-breaking fund-raising having brought in more than $1.4-million so far for the 2017-18 election cycle. 
 
The Corning Republican's campaign reports that they are also continuing to add new volunteers to their "grassroots" organization.  In a printed release, Reed says he's "thankful to have the support of the hundreds of people who have given to our campaign this year."  He says the donations "represent real people who are responding to our bipartisan, practical approach to government." 
 
Campaign Manager Nicholas Weinstein says "the campaign is growing every day and is in its strongest position ever at this point in the election cycle."  Weinstein adds they are "building momentum" for 2018. 
 
Meantime, Reed's potential Democratic opponents are way behind in fund-raising.  Among those who have filed, the Reed Campaign says Rick Gallant has raised about $4800 and, currently has just over $17,000 in the bank.  Jamestown Attorney Eddie Sundquist has raised $26,000 and, has just over $15,000 in the bank.
 
 
Southern Tier Environments for Living has received two awards from New York State that would aid in developing 35 new housing units in Chautauqua County though its Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program and, proposed Gateway Lofts Program in Jamestown. 
 
The $790,000 award is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.6-billion Empire State Supportive Housing Iniative, a plan to create 6,000 supportive housing units across the state.  STEL's Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program is a affordable housing project to create rental housing for low income individuals and families. 
 
Officials say the award provides $165,000 for 10 units for individuals that are homeless with serious mental illness.  The Gateway Lofts Project is still in the planning phase but, the housing project would be located in Jamestown and include 74 housing units, 25 of which homeless individuals with serious mental illness or a substance abuse issues.
 
 
We had a very frosty start to the day Tuesday but, it'll be warming up now through the end of the week. 
 
National Weather Service Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says it reached 34 degrees at the Dunkirk Airport... but, it was even colder away from Lake Erie. 
 
Temperatures rebounded to near 60 Tuesday afternoon and, Reynolds expects the warm up to continue.  By the end of the week he says we'll see 70 to 71-degrees.  The meteorologist doesn't expect the next cool down to occur until early next week.   
 
City lawmakers will vote later this month on hiring two health insurance companies with local ties to provide Jamestown's new voluntary, Medicare-eligible health insurance plan for retired city employees. 
 
City Comptroller Joe Bellitto and Mayor Sam Teresi rolled out the $1.5-million program Monday night, which the state is helping to fund to lower the health cost burden on the city.  Bellitto told the City Council during it's work session that those choosing to go into one of the plans will have an incentive grant set aside for them to use to pay premiums only.
 
Bellitto says... depending on the union they were represented by the premiums for the new plan will cost the retiree between $108-$128 a month.  He says the top pay-outs will go to the younger retirees who are 65 to 69 and will receive a one-time grant of $17,000. 
 
The grants fall to $3,000 for retirees ages 80 and up.  Bellitto says four companies offered proposals and, he says they selected Northwest Financial, and Arcade Financial Services. 
 
 
New York is poised to adopt new standards for the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement in local jails. 
 
The state's Commission on Corrections approved the new rules Tuesday.  The changes come at the urging of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The new regulations will mandate that all prisoners held in solitary at local jails get at least four hours of time outside their cell each day. 
 
The rules also require local authorities to tell the state whenever a prisoner under 18 is placed in solitary or when an inmate is held in solitary for more than a month. 
 
Cuomo says the standards will create consistent rules and prevent prisoner mistreatment.  The state has already implemented changes to reduce the use of solitary confinement in state facilities.
 
 
Buffalo police yesterday afternoon found the officer who went missing during a training dive last week in the Niagara River. 
 
The Buffalo Police Department said Tuesday afternoon that the body of 34-year-old Officer Craig Lehner was recovered in the area where a search had been going on since Friday afternoon.  Authorities say Lehner was participating in a routine training exercise on the river at Buffalo near Unity Island when he failed to resurface. 
 
Police, emergency crews and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the search.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace earlier said one of his units assisted Tuesday.
 
The A-P reports that a procession brought Lehner's body to Erie County Medical Center as police and firefighters lined the route.  Lehner, a nine-year veteran of the force, was a member of Buffalo's K-9 unit and underwater recovery team.
 
 
State police in Warren are investingating a hit and run accident that occurred between Farmington and Sugar Grove Townships early yesterday morning.
 
Troopers say the incident occurred as an unknown vehicle was traveling west on State Route 957 near Lanning Hill Road between midnight and 1 a.m. 
 
The vehicle struck a horse in the roadway and continued traveling in an unknown direction. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police. 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday, 10/17/2017

It wasn't on the schedule of entities to be reviewed last night for the 2018 budget proposal but, supporters of the Prendergast Library in Jamestown urged City Council members to restore funding to the outside agency. 
 
Several people spoke at the council's regular work session about the 50-percent cut to the library in Mayor Sam Teresi's $35.7-million budget.  Lucille Wilson worked there part-time several years ago, and heard compliments about how great a resource it is. Wilson adds that, even in the age of the Internet, it gets a lot of use.
 
One person said that the library was his source for on-line resources, and the Internet, when he was young.  Michael Smoker says the library was a "great place" to go to as a kid. 
 
However, he says while the library can get grants for fixed costs and repairs, it doen't help with day-to-day costs.  At the same time, they have do deal with several state mandates to operate.  The library was cut by 70% in this year's budget, to $100,000.  If approved as is in the mayor's budget, it will receive $50,000 in 2018.
 
 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is urging city lawmakers to say "no!" to any new spending in the 2018 budget proposal until they deal with it's $947,000 deficit. 
 
Teresi made his comments during his report at the end of last night's open session.  He says providing more funding for the library or to help buy badly needed equipment for the Department of Public Work may be a great idea. 
 
However, Teresi says there are other areas that have to be addressed first, including paying the city's bond holders on time to get the city's debt is paid off.  He adds they also have to make a full payment to the state's retirement system for it's police and fire department, as well as general employees.
 
 
A Jamestown teenager was arrested after taking his roommate's car early last Saturday morning.
 
Officers responded to a Lakeview Avenue residence for a report of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. It was found that the victim's roommate, 19-year old Nicholas McChesney had taken the vehicle without permission. Officers were able to locate McChesney and he was taken to city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
We'll see cooler temperatures for another day or so after a strong cold front passed through the area late Sunday and, triggered some severe weather as it crossed the western New York area Sunday afternoon. 
 
Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the front brought gusty winds that caused a lot of damage in the region.
 
There was a report of a 56 MPH gust near Dunkirk.  Hamilton says there were nearly 100 reports of downed trees and power lines, with some of the downed trees falling on homes in the region. 
 
Many of those reports were from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  There is a Frost Advisory locally until 8 this Tuesday morning.
 
 
There is strong support across the 23rd Congressional District for two measures introduced by the county's member of Congress to would improve access and financial support for hospice and palliative services. 
 
Local Representative Tom Reed was on hand at Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care in Lakewood Mondaymorning to get the local backing for The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act and, the Rural Access to Hospice Act. 
 
Chautauqua Hospice Director Shawna Anderson says the Patient Choice Act will support three areas:  Workforce training, education and awareness, and enhance research.
 
Anderson adds that the Rural Access measure will help assure a person in their care can keep their primary care doctor.  Unless your primary care doctor has the proper approvals, she says they can't be reimbursed for their services.  In addition, the Corning Republican says both pieces of legislation will help doctors, and hospice organizations get the federal reimbursements they should be. 
 
Right now, Anderson says they have to go after grants, and use fund-raisers to support their "end of life" hospice and palliative services for people with longer-term, terminal illnesses. 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he has a plan to keep the Dunkirk Airport operating until a new Fixed Based Operator can be found. 
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan says the current operator, Lou Nalbone, gave the County 60-days notice in September that he would not continue operations at the airport on Middle Road in the town of Sheridan at the end of October. 
 
Horrigan was slated to make his full presentation at the County Legislature's Public Facilities Committee meeting last night.
 
Nalbone will continue to provide services at the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown.  Horrigan says it's important to keep the Dunkirk Airport open, especially for corporate aviation.  He says that will include hangering services, and re-fueling of planes. 
 
Nalbone has given notice that he will end services as the FBO on October 31.  He will continue to provide services at the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown.  
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan will be traveling to Albany today to take part in a panel discussion on Shared Services. 
 
Horrigan made his comments yesterday morning, adding that it will allow him to share what's being done locally to share services.
 
Besides filing a Shared Services Plan that's required by the State, Horrigan is awaiting word on the winner of a $20-million Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition. 
 
Chautauqua County is one of six local governments competing for the major funding.  Horrigan expects an announcement in early November.

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News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Sharp Cold Front brings short-lived storms, knocks down trees and power lines...
There were some downed trees and power lines... but, no serious issues were reported when a sharp cold front came through the Jamestown-area late yesterday afternoon.  There were some rain showers associated with the front... which passed through within about half-an-hour after the rain started about 4:30 p.m.... the system then moved to the east.  After a high of 77 degrees... temperatures dropped about 10-degrees within that time period.
 
 
City man arrested and jailed without bail on drug, weapons charges...
An accused drug dealer is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of more than 15 pounds of marihuaua late last week on Jamestown's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, state Police C-NET Team, and U-S Postal Service obtained a search warrant for the 35 Lakeview Ave. apartment of 23 year-old Bryan Torres.  Samuelson says, inside, they found the drugs, along with a loaded shotgun, a bullet-proof vest, and, more than $47,000 in cash.  He says the apartment appeared to be a "hub" of drug trafficking for pot to be dealt in the Jamestown-area.  Samuelson says they're pleased to have the drugs, and weapon off the street.  He says police spotted Torres leaving the scene when they arrived about 4:40 p.m. last Friday... and, he was arrested when his vehicle was stopped a short time later.  He says Torres faces one count of first-degree criminal possession of marihuana... and, disorderly conduct during the traffic stop.  Torres was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... you're asked to call the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also leave an anonymous message on their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
Man arrested in Sherman for possessing meth...
A Sherman man is accused of being in possession of drugs during a traffic stop in the village of Sherman late last month.  Sheriff's deputies say 41 year-old James Linger has now been formally charged with one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after deputies checked on his car last Sept. 29 on East Street.  Officers say Linger's vehicle was parked in a traveling lane when they checked on him.  He was found with a quantity of Methamphetime, and drug paraphernalia.  In addition to the drug charges... Linger was ticketed for parking on pavement.  He was issued appearance tickets for Sherman Town Court.
 
 
DiNapoli visits with Mayor Teresi during visit to city last Friday afternoon...   
The state's fiscal watchdog reassured Jamestown city officials late last week that New York stands behind their efforts to restructure city government, and dig out from their deficit problems.  That from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli... who met with Mayor Sam Teresi last Friday afternoon to discuss the city's financial situation... and, economic development initiatives.  DiNapoli says the city has "done well" in leveraging state dollars... and, working with the state's Restructuring Board.  He says there have been indications of "on-going support" to help with the city's short term budget issues.  The state provided Jamestown with some short-term help this past year in plugging an $825,000 shortfall.  New York also provided $1.5-million to get a new health insurance program in place for the city's Medicare-eligible retirees.  Teresi says he appreciated the Comptroller's reassurance... after speaking with him about the situation.  Teresi presented his 2018 budget proposal this past Tuesday.  It totals $35.7-million... and, includes a 21-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate increase. 
 
 
Cuomo hails decision to grant in-state tuition for displaced students...
In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is hailing the state's decision to grant in-state tuition to displaced students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The Democratic governor had encouraged state higher education officials to make the change, which he says will help students whose education has been disrupted by recent hurricanes.  Meanwhile, mental health advocates are urging the state to increase funding for housing, arguing that community-based housing for the mentally ill provides better services for less money compared to institutions or prisons.  And state labor officials are taking a look at on-call scheduling, a practice in which retail and other workers have to call before a scheduled shift to learn whether they're needed.  Officials may propose new scheduling rules to reduce disruption on workers' lives.
 
 
Rosas proposes 2018 Dunkirk Budget...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has released his proposed 2018 city budget... and, he says it will not include a tax rate increase.  Rosas made the announcement during his annual budget presentation at City Hall late last week.  He says the budget totals $22.2-million dollars... and, is balanced, and there is no increase in the tax levy.  Rosas says through the assistance of Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Senator Cathy Young, the city will not see a reduction in transitional aid for 2018, funding the city is receiving because of the moth-balling of the NRG Power Plant.  He says the budget will also not change sewer and water rates.  The Common Council will have until Nov. 15 to make any changes to the budget.  
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 14, 2017

City man arrested in major, Marihuana Bust...
Jamestown police say they have taken a major drug trafficker off the street with the arrest of a city man late yesterday... and, seizing several pounds of marihuana... and, a loaded shotgun.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the arrest of 23 year-old Bryan Torres... who was trying to leave the scene at 35 Lakeview Ave., was a significant one.  Samuelson says the ongoing investigation involved the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, State Police C-NET Team, and the U-S Postal Service... who got a search warrant... and, found about 15-pounds, and 13 ounces of pot inside the apartment.  He says they also found a loaded shot-gun, a bullet proof vest, and more than $47,000 in cash.  Samuelson says they saw Torres leaving the scene when they arrived about 4:40 p.m., and, he was arrested when his vehicle was stopped a short time later.  Samuelson says Torres faces one count of first-degree criminal possession of marihuana, and one of disorderly conduct.  He adds that others are pending.  Samuelson says the items were seized... and, Torres is being held pending arraignment.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... you're asked to call the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also leave an anonymous message on their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
Major drug bust in Dunkirk leads to one arrest...
Police in the north county say an investigation of suspicious activity involving a vehicle early Thursday morning on Maple Avenue in Dunkirk has led to the arrest of a Fredonia man on a series of charges.  Dunkirk Police say an officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation after observing suspicious activity in a known drug area.  Further investigation lead to the discovery of more than an eighth of an ounce of "high purity" cocaine powder, several rocks of crack cocaine, a digital scale and assorted packaging materials as well as several hundred dollars in cash.  The driver, 21-year-old John Dewey, is facing several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
 
 
DiNapoli in Jamestown to see local projects, and endorse two Democratic candidates...
The two Democrats running for county-wide office in Chautauqua County got a major boost to their campaign's Friday afternoon.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli... who was also a local, elected official some years ago... stopped in Jamestown to give his endorsement to County Executive Candidate Mike Ferguson and County Clerk Candidate LeeAnn Lazarony.  While these are local races... DiNapoli says they're very important because they are the "closest to the people."  He says it "sets the tone" for an entire region, and leverage support for state and federal candidates.  DiNapoli touted Ferguson's broad background in business and marketing... adding that -- with an open seat this year -- there's a lot of opportunity for a "fresh start."  DiNapoli says it's also great to have a candidate who is a seasoned veteran... and, he says the voters have a choice with Lazarony.  The Cassdaga Democrat has been a mayor, and village board member.  DiNapoli says that give's Lazarony a lot of experience in "customer service," which is a major part of the job.  DiNapoli was in Jamestown earlier, meeting with Mayor Sam Teresi about the city's budget situation, and touring some local economic development projects that are being backed by the state.
 
 
Local League of Women voters providing information on state-wide Constitutional Convention propostion...
There are a lot of lawn signs... and, bumper stickers appearing in the area regarding a key state-wide proposition on the Nov. 7 election ballot.  Voters will have the chance to decide whether or not told hold a Constitutional Convention.  A number of groups oppose having a convention, including the State AFL-CIO, the State Conservative Party and the State Rifle and Pistol Association. The League of Women Voters of New York State is among the groups supporting the convention.  Minda Rae Amiran of the Chautauqua County League says the state League is supporting the need for a convention to make the state's budget process more democratic.  Amiran says the local League of Women Voters has also decided to educate voters about the pros and cons of having a constitutional convention.  She says they see their role as educating the public on the proposition.
 
 
BPU General Manager pleased to have state grant to help rehab 6-miles of wastewater pipes in the city...
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will use it's $375,000 state grant to cover it's local share of $1.5-milion in wastewater upgrades.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says they appreciate the grant... which was announced Thursday by Governor Cuomo.  Leathers say it will allow them to hire a contractor to use a special process called "slip-lining" to protect their wastewater lines in the city.  He says they coat the pipes in a process to protect them, as opposed to costly replacement.  Leathers says they submitted the grant to do about 6-miles of pipe rehabilitation within the city limits.  He says, though, this project probably won't start in earnest until the weather breaks next year.  Leathers says the rest of this year will be used for final planning... with the project starting next year -- but, he adds it may continue into 2019. 
 
 
Anti-Bullying Law now in place in North Tonawanda...
A city in Western New York has a new law that lets authorities send parents of bullies to jail for up to 15 days and fine them up to $250.  The North Tonawanda City Council voted unanimously Oct. 3 to amend an existing law to add bullying, harassment and underage drinking to existing curfew violations parents already could be held accountable for.  Lawmakers also removed a provision that prevented anything more than a warning for a first offense, meaning parents can face a fine or jail right away.  A community coalition pushed for the change after being told there was little police could do to stop the bad behavior of a dozen or so teenagers.  
 

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WJTN Headlines

Jamestown police continue to investigate a a shooting in which one person was wounded, and two others remain at large. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the unidentified man who was shot is being treated for a non-life threatening wound at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 95 Liberty Street about 3 p.m., and, found the victim with a gun-shot wound to the left forearm. 

 

Samuelson says the unidentified suspect then fled the scene with another man.  He says both are black males and, were wearing dark colored clothes and hats.  One reportedly was wearing red or purple colored jeans.  Samuelson says they apparently targeted the victim. 

 

Anyone with information on the incident and suspects is asked to call JPD at 483-7536 or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

 

A city man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a business on Jamestown's eastide last weekend. 

 

Officers responded to Jamestown Bronze Works on Hopkins Avenue for a larceny complaint that occurred during the overnight last Saturday.  With help from surveillance photographs, officers say they were able to identify the suspect as 45 year-old Michael Anderson. 

 

Shortly after, officers located Anderson near his home, and he was arrested.  Once in custody, he was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and taken to the county jail on $1,500 cash bail.

 

 

A total of seven municipalities in Chautauqua County will receive state grants for vital water infrastructure improvements. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the allocation of over $6.5-million for the county to upgrade either water or sewer systems. 

 

Horrigan says the funding is part of $20-million dollars in grants awarded by Cuomo to support 17 essential drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects in Western New York.  Horrigan says the grants are great news for the county and, another example of how the Governor is continuing to support projects in western New York and Chautauqua County. 

 

The grants include $975,000 for the county for the creation of the North Chautauqua Lake sewer district and $375,000 for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  The BPU's project totals $1.5-million.

 

 

The Chief Operating Officer of the Girls Scouts of Western New York says decision of the Boy Scouts of America expanding to include girls came as a surprise to the Girl Scouts. 

 

Alison Wilcox says the Girl Scouts had heard mainly through word-of-mouth that the Boy Scouts were considering the move before Wednesday's official announcement. 

 

Wilcox says the Girl Scouts are better positioned to serve girls after having been in existance for more than 100 years.  She says that the Girl Scouts are not concerned about a decline in numbers due to the Boy Scouts' decision to include girls.  She adds the Girl Scouts are still doing well in the entire western New York region. 

 

There are approximately 15,000 Girl Scout members in Western New York, including about 1,200 in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  The local Allegany Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts declined comment on the matter.

 

 

An important deadline is coming up today as Election Day draws closer. 

 

Chautauqua County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Friday, is the deadline to register to vote in this year's general election.  He says if you need to check on your status, go on-line to votechautauqua.com.  He says you can register by mail, or in person. 

 

Green says Friday is also the deadline to change political party enrollment for those seeking to vote in a specific primary next year.

 

 

The two new pedestrian bridges that will be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk have now both been installed and, are expected to open once the weather breaks next Spring or Summer. 

 

That from Mayor Sam Teresi who says the two-million dollar project culminated earlier this week.  Teresi says two cranes were brought in to install the spans.  He says New York state is providing most of the funding for the projects totaling $1.6-million in grant funding. 

 

The city also has recaptured federal funds that will cover the rest.  Teresi says the two bridges will connect the north and south sides of the Chadakoin River to give people a chance to enjoy the entire Riverwalk area.  He says one goes from the northshore behind the new,National Comedy Center to Panzarella Park near the BPU Campus. 

 

The second will be closer to the Washington Street Bridge and, also connect the north and south shores.

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 13, 2017

**City police investigate Eastside shooting incident, targeted man suffers non-life-threatening wound...                     
Jamestown police say one man was shot... and, two others are being sought... in connection with a shooting incident on the city's eastside yesterday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 95 Liberty St. about 3 p.m., and, found the victim with a gun-shot wound to the left forearm.  Samuelson says the unidentified suspect then fled the scene with another man.  He says both are black males... and, were wearing dark colored clothes and hats.  One reportedly was wearing red to purple colored jeans.  Samuelson says they apparently targeted the victim.  Anyone with information on the incident and suspects is asked to call JPD at 483-7536... or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.  The victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital... where he's being treated for teh non-life threatening wound.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for theft and drug possession...
A city man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a business on Jamestown's eastide last weekend.  Officers responded to Jamestown Bronze Works on Hopkins Avenue for a larceny complaint that occurred during the overnight last Saturday.  With help from surveillance photographs... officers say they were able to identify the suspect as 45 year-old Michael Anderson.  Shortly after, officers located Anderson near his home, and he was arrested.  Once in custody, he was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and taken to the county jail on $1,500 cash bail. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he remains comfortable with President Donald Trump's leadership despite last weekend's Twitter barbs traded with U-S Senator Bob Corker. 
 
The pair had an unusually harsh exchange between a president and a senator from his own party.  Trump says the Tennessee Republican had "begged" him for an endorsement for his re-election campaign and that he "didn't have the guts" to run again.  Corker shot back that he felt Trump could lead the U.S. into World War-Three.
 
Reed does agree, though, that a continued focus on the fight could make it harder to pass the president and Republican Majority in Congress's agenda.  After Trump said Corker didn't "have the guts" to run again Corker called the White House "an adult day care center" and that "someone obviously missed their shift this morning."
 
 
Some students gave first-hand accounts of the bullying problem in the Jamestown public schools Tuesday night and talked about the need to take steps to better protect students. 
 
The students joined the relatives of a handful of current and past students who recently committed suicide who spoke during last night's board meeting at the high school. 
 
One was 2015 graduate Natalie Schaefer who says it got so bad she tried to harm herself.  She says students never had a real way to anonymously tells school officials what was going on.
 
Another girl who just graduated from high school in Oregon says she was bullied in Jamestown but, has had no such problem at her school in Oregon. 
 
Sativa Allen says she has a younger brother still here who says he's being bullied by some students, along with a teacher.  She says that also happened to her in third-grade.  Allen says the teacher said she would never graduate but, says she did and with honors.
 
 
The Jamestown School District has begun taking "baby steps" in an effort to curb the bullying problem in the district mainly at the high school. 
 
School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe said Tuesday night that the effort began before the recent handful of suicides that occured. 
 
Apthorpe says he and School Board president Paul Abbott talked to parents and others during a break in Tuesday night's meeting.  Apthorpe later previewed a new anonyomous report form they'll be using in cases of bullying, and to ensure proper follow-up.
 
During the break following the public session, Apthorpe says he spoke with one of the adults, who suggested creating an on-line app that would allow a complaint to be filed.  He says a kid could simply send a text to a certain code on their phone. 
 
Apthorpe adds the district is starting to provide more "Charactor Education" at all grade levels that teach personal accountability.  He says a video is now being shown to students to encourage students to not be bystanders if they see bullying.
 
 
A new scam that's a take-off on one seen in the past is targeting Jamestown Board of Public Utilities customers. 
 
BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says, at least one business received a call today from someone pretending to be from the BPU, saying their bill is past due and that their utilities will be shut off unless they call an 800 number. 
 
When the number is dialed, the scammer answers as the Board of Public Utilities and transfers the customer to a separate extension for payment.  Robbins says the "BPU does not call customers and ask them to call an 800 number for payment.  Should you get such a call, hang up".
 
 
A Dunkirk man is being held on several charges following a traffic stop on Lake Shore Drive East near Armadillo Street late Tuesday night. 
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the incident occured about 11:30 p.m., and escalated after the officer discovered a passenger who was trying to hide under a blanket in the back seat who was wanted on several outstanding warrants for felony robbery charges. 
 
The 33 year-old Duprey was located on Pangolin Street near Pine after trying to take off from officers.  Ortolano says he is facing several charges, including first and third-degree robbery, along with those from last night.  He says the drug related charge resulted from Duprey allegedly dropping a small bag of cocaine on the floor of the vehicle during the traffic stop. 
 
Duprey is expected to be arraigned on the charges in Dunkirk City Court this afternoon.
 
 

Gas prices nationally have dropped by about $.06 a gallon over the past week but, they remain the same in Chautauqua County this week. 

 

That from the AAA's Gas Price Report, which says the price this week locally remains about $2.69 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says that's about the same as last week. 

 

Nationally, AAA says the price has fallen to $2.49 a gallon which is $.18 cheaper than a month ago.

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WJTN Headlines

A handful of recent suicides by students who were relentlessly-bullied by other students has led family members to call on Jamestown school officials to take action on a problem they say is out of hand. 
 
Several people addressed the school board during last night's meeting at the high school.  One Barbara Solis, just recently had to bury her 14 year-old niece.  She called for students found to have bullied get more than a suspension.
 
Solis also urged the board to look at a law similar to one just instituted in Tonawanda, just north of Buffalo where parents could be held liable in cases involving bullying.  Marsha Hamilton also feels more needs to be done.  She recently lost her 14 year-old granddaughter, Mariah Schroeder and, says she knew of a 17 year-old girl who also committed suicide on the same day. 
 
A couple of former students who have dealt with being bullied also spoke about how relentless the bullying was and, the fact that social media amplified the problem especially on some special, on-line apps that kids were able to use.
 
 
Jamestown school board members were visibly moved by the stories by family members and, former students about the bullying situation. 
 
Board President Paul Abbott spoke following the public comment session which lasted more than half-an-hour.  Abbott says the board's number-one priority is student safety and, says officials have already been discussing ways to address the problem.  He says he and new District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe have been discussing the situation and looked at ways to deal with the matter. 
 
Apthorpe says one is better ways for students to anonymously notify school officials about being bullied.  More on that later today.
 
 
A Forestville man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being in possession of child pornography earlier this year. 
 
State Police in Fredonia say their Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 62 year-old Robert Howard of Forestville earlier this month on 10 Felony counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, as well as two counts of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child. 
 
State Police say their initial investigation began following a complaint that was filed last July 20th.  Howard was arrested and, arraigned in Hanover Town Court.  He was sent to the County lock-up.
 
 
For the second year in a row, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has presented a new budget proposal that includes a sizeable,  projected deficit. 
 
Teresi announced his $35.7-million spending plan yesterday afternoon and the need to work with the city council to reduce the nearly $947,000 shortfall.  In addition, he says the city remains at it's constitutional taxing limit, which this year allows for about a "slight" tax levy increase.
 
Teresi says the budget includes a $.21 per thousand full-value tax rate increase, which would bring the rate to $23.98 for next year.  He says the increase is largely being driven by increases in personnel costs as well as increases in the city's own health insurance program for retirees. 
 
However Teresi says they are still working with New York state to fully-impliment an incentive program to get Medicare-eligible retirees.  He says "bottom-line, the state of New York doesn't want the city of Jamestown to fail."  City Council budget hearings begin next Monday night.
 
  
A woman who has been involved in the church and, community outreach work has been named as the new director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. 
 
The United Way, late this morning, announced that the Reverend Amy Rohler will replace Tory Irgang on January 1st.  Irgang was recently named as the new Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. 
 
In a printed release, United Way Board President Christopher Colburn says Rohler became director of Community Helping Hands in 2009.  Since then, the organization has grown from a simple thrift store... into a relationship-based workforce development resource.
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's not surprised that New York state isn't getting it's fair share of tax dollars returned by the federal government. 
 
However, Corning Republican Tom Reed says, at least part of the reason is the state's own tax policies that have driven people and businesses from the state.  Commenting on a state report that New York gets back 84-cents for each federal dollar sent to Washington Reed added that that's why tax reform is so necessary.
 
The House recently approved a budget blueprint that includes some tax reform.  Reed says it's his goal to make the tax code more fair for all Americans.  He says much of the reason why New York gets short-shrifted on federal money is the New York City-Metro area is part of the state and there is a "lot of wealth" there. 
 
In a recent report by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, he noted that New York state got back 84-cents on each federal dollar returned to individual states.  DiNapoli says only three states New Jersey, North Dakota and Connecticut get back less.

 

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News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 10, 2017

County Dept. of Health and Human Services announces Rabid Cat attack...
The first rabid animal attack of 2017 has occured in Chautauqua County after a stray-feral cat attacked two people in the town of Stockton late last week.  Department of Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says the residents were attacked by the cat last Thursday, Oct. 5.  Schuyler says the incident should "serve as a warning to Chautauqua County residents that animal rabies is a serious public health concern that we must not get complacent about."  She adds that pets "face a very real risk of exposure which can then translate to human exposure."  Schuyler adds that children are often at greatest risk from rabies because they are more likely to be bitten.  Schuyler says prevention is the best way to go and says pet owners need to be aware that the state requires all dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets be vaccinated against rabies at 4 months of age.  The next free rabies vaccination clinic will be held this Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Gerry Town Highway Garage on Route 60 from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.
 
 
Remnants of Hurricane Nate leave up to 2-inches of rain on WNY...
The soaking rain associated with former Hurricane Nate have moved off to the east after past of Western New York received upwards of two-inches of rain from the system.  The remnents of the storm that battered the Gulf coast on Saturday moved though the region quickly.  Forecaster Shawn Smith from the National Weather Service in Buffalo says conditions began to improve about mid-afternoon yesterday.  While the rain is ending, Smith says the mild weather will not be ending anytime soon.  In fact, he says we'll see highs in the 70s.  Areas further north saw the highest rainfall totals, with some areas north of Buffalo getting close to 2.4-inches of rain.  In Chautauqua County, the Dunkirk area received .96 inches, while the County Airport near Jamestown received .36 inches of rain. 
 
 
Jamestown Young Professionals to talk economy during panel discussion at Jackson Center...
The 'Jamestown Young Professionals' will present a panel discussion on the Chautauqua County Economy this evening at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  The event will be moderated by Matthew Mazgai, a member of the Young Professionals board, and an attorney at Phillips-Lytle.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, Chamber of Commerce President Todd Tranum, and Dunkirk Development Director Rebecca Yanus are among those on the panel.  They'll be joined by Chase Churchill from Jamestown Electroplating and Jonathan Weston from Panama Rocks.  Matt Mazgai says there are good things happening in the local economy. The panel discussion will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at the Jackson Center and is free and open to the public.  The Phillips Lytle law firm is sponsoring the program.
 
 
Teresi to present 2018 budget today...
The city of Jamestown's proposed 2018 budget will be presented this afternoon by Mayor Sam Teresi, who says it'll be a "realistic and tight" spending plan.  Teresi is required, by city charter, to present the spending plan to council members and the public in early October.  Teresi says he's been working hard on the new spending plan with City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new director of Administrative Services, Todd Thomas.  He says their challenges are many, including likely increases in employee costs.  Teresi says they don't have agreement with three of their bargaining units.  Once the budget is presented, Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says he'll be working with Thomas to develop a schedule of hearings with department heads.  The city's current budget is just over $35-million and the city is currently at it's constitutional taxing limit.  Today's budget presentation is at 4 p.m. in the Mayor's Conference Room at City Hall.  
 
 
Marijuana found in Dunkirk Vehicle Stop...
A Dunkirk man was arrested on various charges including unlawfully dealing with a child, following a vehicle stop last weekend. Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday, deputies stopped a vehicle on Central Avenue in the village of Silver Creek and found the driver, 20 year-old Rodregus Tripp and a 16 year-old passenger to be in possession of over 25 grams of cannabis. Tripp and the teen were charged with 5th-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Both individuals will answer their charges in Silver Creek Village Court on a later date.
 
 
Man arrested in North Harmony for assault...
An Ashville man was sent to county jail following an assault in the town of North Harmony last weekend.  Deputies were called to a residence on Route 394 shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, where the female victim accused 26 year-old Cory Raynor of striking her in the head and face multiple times, causing physical injury.  Raynor was taken into custody and later arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on $2,500 cash bail -- $5,000 dollar property bond. 
 
 
Randolph teen arrested for allegedly threatening others with a Pellet Gun...
A Randolph teenager is facing menancing charges after allegedly pointing a gun at a passing motorist in the town of Ellicott last weekend.  Shortly after 7 p.m. last Friday... town police responded to a report that a gun was pointed at a female victim from a suspect in a passing vehicle.  Soon after, Ellicott officers with assistance from Jamestown police, Sheriff's Officers, and New York State Police did locate the vehicle in a parking lot in Jamestown along with the suspect, 18 year-old Nicholas Becker.  Following investigation, they found a pellet gun in the vehicle that resembled a 44-Magnum revolver.  Becker was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date to answer the charge. 
 
 
Horrigan proposed Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency...
The top-elected official in Chautauqua County expects to propose legislation late this year to create a  new agency that would oversee management of Chautauqua Lake.  During his State of the County Address, Executive Vince Horrigan proposed the Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency, which he says would be able to set aside funding and put other programs in place to more effectively deal with the invasive weed, and algal bloom issues on the lake.  He says the agency would then create a "lake district".  The Chautauqua Lake Alliance was formed a couple of years ago to serve as an "umbrella" organization to oversee what the lake's several groups want to have done.  However, Horrigan says the group does not have the authority to direct funding to what needs to be done.  He says an agency would be able to respond in a "more definative way" and allocate resources or make decisions that are directive in nature.  Horrigan made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 

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The western New York community of Batavia and Cortland in Central New York are the final two winners of Governor Andrew Cuomo's downtown redevelopment prize. 
 
The Democratic governor announced late last week that the two cities will each receive $10-million to further efforts to make their downtowns more attractive to residents, business owners and visitors.  Now in its second year, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest awards $10- million each to the 10 regional communities that submitted the best revitalization plans. 
 
More than 100 communities around the state entered the contest.  The winners already announced this year included Olean in Cattaraugus County.  Jamestown won one of last year's awards.

 
Police in Eastern New York say a car going 166 miles per hour slammed into the back of another vehicle moments later, though both drivers escaped injury. 
 
Police in the Dutchess County town of Red Hook tell the Kingston Daily Freeman that an officer was driving on Route 9G last Wednesday night when he was passed by a 2004 Audi traveling at 140 mph.  Police say the Audi driver then accelerated to 166 mph. 
 
Authorities say a short time later the car rear-ended a Jeep.  Police say they don't know how fast the Audi was going when it crashed.  Police say the 27-year-old man from nearby Staatsburg who was driving the Audi was ticketed for reckless driving, unlawfully fleeing a police officer and several traffic infractions.

 
Legislation geared towards making human service agencies that help with early childhood development in lower-income families more efficient, and cuts red tape, has been approved in Congress. 
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the House of Representatives approved his proposed "Standard Data Act" last week.  Reed says the Act requires consistant data requirements being used across key human service programs. 
 
The Corning Republican says it should knock down some of those bureaucratic "silos". Reed says, with the approval the Standard Data Act will be part of the federal "Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program."  He says similar measures have helping improve efficiency in other programs, such as the nation's Welfare Program. 
 
Reed says the idea is to improve services and service delivery.  He says this will hopefully end the need to re-enter data when other agency services are used.  Reed says the Senate version of the Standard Data Act is similar so not much work would have to be done to reconcile the measure, so it can be approved and signed by the President.

 
Two people from Dunkirk are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine, and being found with a stolen gun, during a raid in the city late last week. 
 
Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force agents and Dunkirk Police Department, executed a search warrant on the upstairs apartment at 632 Deer Street about 6:40 AM Friday.  Task force members say they found and arrested 31 year-old Ontario Eldridge and 27 year-old Katelyn Smith inside. 
 
They had a warrant for Eldridge on one count each of third-degree Criminal Possession and Sale of a Controlled Substance.  The warrant stemmed from a months long investigation by the Task Force and alleges the sale of crack cocaine.  Task Force agents also say they found a marijuana grow operation, packaging materials and a stolen handgun.  With that, Eldridge was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 
 
Smith also faces several charges, including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and unlawfully growing marijuana.  If you see or know about illegal drug activity in your area contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.  

 
A former county Democratic Party chairman from Buffalo has been charged again with bribing a judge. 
 
An eight-count federal indictment unsealed Friday includes charges similar to those brought against Steven Pigeon in state court last year. 
 
Prosecutors say the former Erie County Democratic Party chairman got former state Supreme Court Judge John Michalek's relatives political jobs in 2012 and 2013 in exchange for favorable decisions and to control who Michalek would appoint to a paid court receivership.  Michalek pleaded guilty last year.  Pigeon pleaded not guilty in federal court last Friday.

 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official believes he and the legislature will be able to deliver at least a "break-even" budget for 2018 once it's in place. 
 
That from Executive Vince Horrigan after the Audit and Control Committee last week drew up recommendations that would cut the tax rate from his proposal by 13-cents per thousand full-value.  Horrigan says he is "optimistic at least that they can whip-out that 10-cent per thousand tax increase.
 
Horrigan adds that he thought they were going to have a "flat" tax in the 2018 Budget.  However he says the county was then hit by the $715,000 bill from the state Office of Children and Family Services for Juvenile Detention Services.  They had expected a $340,000 bill.  He says another concern going forward is getting the NRG Plant in Dunkirk repowered, and fully back on the tax roles. 
 
The Audit and Control Committee will meet again on October 19th to finalize their proposed changes to the budget.  Horrigan made his coments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
 
 
A Canadian startup company whose invention lets dairy farmers check the quality of milk from individual cows is getting $1 million to set up shop in Buffalo. 
 
SomaDetect is the grand prize winner of the fourth annual 43North competition.  The New York state-sponsored contest is meant to bring economic development to western New York by awarding cash and incubator space to winners who pitch ideas from all over the world.  SomaDetect's sensor technology allows farmers to detect illness in cows or impurities in milk. 
 
The company was established in Fredericton, New Brunswick, but must operate in Buffalo for at least a year.  The runner-up company, Squire, received $650,000 during Thursday night's awards. 
 
The New York City company's app allows users to book and pay for haircuts at participating barbershops.

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 7, 2017

Victims of Pittsfield, PA Double-Fatal accident identified...
Two Warren, Pennsylvania women have now been identified as the people killed when their sports utility vehicle was struck by a Mack truck at an intersection in Warren County's Pittsfield Township late this week.  State Police in Warren say the car was operated by 71 year-old Vercil Pierce... and, the other fatality was her front seat passenger, 80 year-old Louise Williams.  Troopers were called to the scene on Route 6 shortly after 10 a.m., and, found that Pierce was westbound, and had stopped at the intersection with Route 27.  However... Troopers say she failed to yield to the oncoming truck and the truck, operated by 61 year-old Gerald Silvis of Franklin, crashed into the car.  Both Pierce and Williams were pronounced dead at the scene.  A third passenger, 52 year-old Susan Conquer of Warren, is in critical condition at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Silvis was not hurt.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for alleged drug trafficking Friday...
A city man is jailed on multiple drug-related charges following a late morning raid on Jamestown's eastside Friday.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, State Police C-NET Team, and JPD SWAT Team... executed a search warrant at 10 Peterson Street about 11:30 a.m.  Once inside... police say they found the suspect, 30 year-old Shanis Garcia, and a young child... and, a loaded 40-calibur hand-gun.  Police add they also found quantities of heroin... hydrocodone pills... suboxone... and Clonazepam in Garcia's possession.   Garcia faces charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... third and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly Cocaine possession...
A city man is jailed on drug-possession charges following a call for a domestic incident yesterday morning on Jamestown's northside.  City police were called to the scene at 16 Blanchard Street about 10:30 a.m., and found that 22 year-old Tyler Rizzo had broken a window at the house.  When taking Rizzo into custody... police say they found 28-bages of powder cocaine in his possesion.  He was jailed on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.
 
 
Drug Task Force members arrest two in Dunkirk raid...
Two north county residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine, and being found with a stolen gun, at a home in the city of Dunkirk.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and Dunkirk Police Department... conducted a raid in the upstairs apartment at 632 Deer Street about 6:40 a.m. Friday.  Once inside... task force members found and arrested 31 year-old Ontario Eldridge... and, 27 year-old Katelyn Smith.  The task force had an arrest warrant for Eldridge on one count each of third-degree Criminal Possession and Sale of a Controlled Substance.  The arrest warrant for Eldridge stems from a months long investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and alleges the sale of crack cocaine.  Task Force agents also say they found a marijuana grow operation... packaging materials... and a stolen handgun.  With that... Eldridge was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Smith also faces several charges... including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.. and, unlawfully growing marijuana.  If you see or know about illegal drug activity in your area... contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.   
 
 
Chagnon relieved that committees work done on proposed 2018 County Budget...
It's a relief to have concluded budget delibrations... but, even better to have concluded discussions by cutting projected taxes in Chautauqua County for 2018 by about 13-cents per $1,00 full-value.  That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon... who says lawmakers had an exhaustive week of hearings... but, says it was worth.  Chagnon says everyone worked together to produce a 3-cent per $1,000 tax rate cut in County Executive Vince Horrigan's $236.4-million spending plan... and adds that he's "very pleased and very relieved by what we were able to accomplish."  Horrigan's budget proposal... which was presented at the legislature's Sept. 27 meeting... included a 10-cent per $1,000 increase to $8.58.  While there were "across the board" cuts in the budget... Chagnon says lawmakers did increase one line... and that was for Cornell Cooperative Extension.  He says the 4-H Program will receive another $50,000.  However... no decision has been made yet on the county's Coroners request for a pay increase in 2018.  As for revenues... Chagnon says sales taxes have been trending upwards the past couple of years... and, lawmakers decided to bump that number up for 2018.  
 
 
About 50 take part in Domestic Violence Awareness Walk in Jamestown...
Domestic Violence Awareness Month began Friday afternoon during the 20th annnual Walk Against Domestic Violence and 15th annual Unity Day Celebration in downtown Jamestown.  Roughly 50 people joined the walk down 3rd Street starting from the Northwest Ice Arena and ending at Tracy Plaza.  Project Crossroads Program Manager Elizabeth Bracey, who says the intial Unity Day was recognized in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Violence and... over time... has evolved into commemorating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  She began the event with a moment of silence.  Keynote speaker for the Unity Day celebration this year was the director of the county's Department of Health and Human Services, Christine Schuyler, says education is power and necessary to success... and, calls attention to what we can do to prevent future cases.  Schuyler says they need to "ensure support and resources" to those people traumatized" in abuse cases.  A victim of domestic violence herself, Schuyler shared her story with those in attendance today for the first time.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Two women were killed when their sports utility vehicle was struck by a Mack truck at an intersection in Warren County's Pittsfield Township late yesterday morning. 

 

State Police in Warren were called to the scene on Route 6 shortly after 10 a.m. and found that the driver of the westbound car, a 71 year-old woman, had stopped at the intersection with Route 27. 

 

However, Troopers say the woman didn't yield to an oncoming truck and the driver of the car, and his 80 year-old female passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

A third passenger, a 52 year-old woman, was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania where she's in critical condition. 

 

The driver of the truck was not hurt.The intersection was closed for about 3 hours.

 



Expect to see an increase in your winter gas bills, a nearly 27% increase. 

 

That's the word from National Fuel gas, which issued its forecast for 2017-18 winter heating season bills. 

 

NFG Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says the typical residential customer should expect to pay about $588-dollars for the five-month heating season, up from $464 last Winter.

 

Merkel says the utility used an average Winter weather model in making the forecast.  She says the other factor the utility used in making the forecast was natural gas commodity costs, which have been on the rise.


The President and General Manager of Monofrax in Falconer was named 'Person of the Year' Thursday night at the annual Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. 

 

William Andrews joined the company in June of 2016 and has changed the direction of the business. The 'Economic Development Award' was given to Fieldbrook Foods, a major ice cream maker in Dunkirk.  President Bob Charleston says they've added three new production lines just within the last year.

The local Chambers of Commerce also presented their service awards at the event.  The Jamestown Community Chamber recognized John Willilams, long time Parks Manager for the City of Jamestown.  Williams was unable to attend the ceremony at Suny Fredonia, and will receive his award at a later date.


A Falconer mother faces charges after her child was found outside without supervision last Saturday. 

 

Back on September 30th, Ellicott police observed a small child on the sidewalk on East Main Street in the village without an adult present. During investigation, it was found that the child's mother was 28 year-old Crystal Laroy.  She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and is to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date.


A "consolidated effort" on the part of Chautauqua County Legislators and department heads, has turned a 10-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase in the 2018 budget proposal into a 3-cent per thousand decrease. 

 

That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon who says the panel finished up it's four-days of work Thursday on County Executive Vince Horrigan's $236.4-million spending plan.  Chagnon especially praised the work of the "home" committees.

Chagnon says lawmakers "cast a wide net" in looking for cost savings and additional revenues.  He says one of the areas they found some additional savings was in the Department of Health and Human Services and the cost for "safety net" services for the poor.
Chagnon adds that sales taxes have been trending up for 2017 and lawmakers decided to bump that number up as well.  He says it's a great relief to eliminate a proposed $700,00 increase in the local budget share.  Chagnon says the committee will finalize it's work in two-weeks so the legislature can vote on the budget at the end of the month.


The City of Dunkirk is one of four communities that will be receiving $2.5-million in Smart Growth funding as part of the next phase of the "Buffalo Billion Two." 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to North Tonawanda to make the announcement Wednesday afternoon.  Cuomo says Smart Growth focuses more on smaller communities.

The village of Gowanda in Cattaraugus County will also receive a $2.5 million grant.  The two other communities included North Tonawanda and Lackawanna.  All four communities filed applications for the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that went to the city of Olean. 

 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is "very, very excited" about the announcement.  He calls it "great news" for the city, which plans on using the grant money towards revitalizing the city's downtown and waterfront areas.  The funding may include improvements to the city pier and reconfiguration of the harbor plaza.


The State Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Environmental Conservation urged motorist to take caution this morning as deer will become more active and are more likely to enter public roadways in the fall months.

 

They say two-thirds of all collisions between deer and vehicles occur during the months of October, November, and December because this is the time when deer breed and travel the most. Deer are especially active during dawn and dusk, making them less visible to traffic.

 

To reduce the chances of encountering a deer while driving, the DEC recommends to decrease speed when you see deer near roadsides; they tend to travel in groups so expect other deer to follow. 

 

If you do strike a deer, the DEC says to stay away from the animal, pull off to the side of the road in a safe place, and alert authorities if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers.


Warren County's top prosecutor says last August's police-involved shooting of a Clarendon, Pennsylvania man who looked like he was going to open fire with a loaded AK-47 at an ice cream stand was justified. 

 

In fact District Attorney Rob Greene says Warren City Policeman Matt Mumford not only acted in "defense of himself, but others" when he shot and killed 54 year-old Joseph Miller in the Dairy Delite parking lot in Mead Township. 

 

The Warren Times-Observer reports that Greene released a report late Wednesday on the August 4thincident after reviewing materials, including a video of the incident,trooper's reports, witness statements and interviews. 

 

Police say Miller had been pulled over for various traffic violations when Mumford noticed he was acting strangely and he reported seeing Miller loading the AK-47.  He says he ordered Miller to stop but, Miller failed to comply and got out of the vehicle with the loaded rifle, at which point Mumford fired his gun.  Greene says the case is now closed.

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WJTN News Headlines

A former Clymer Central School District teacher has been formally charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year-old male student from May of last year through early this year. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they have charged 31 year-old Samantha Dascomb of the Mina-French Creek Road with endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

A complaint was filed this past March in the case, after which she resigned.  The 16 year-old boy was not identified.  Dascomb was issued an appearance ticket for Clymer Town Court.


A Dunkirk woman was injured when she was hit by a vehicle while walking in the north county TOPs Market late yesterday morning. 

 

Just before 10:15 a.m., Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Vineyard Drive for a car-pedestrian accident.  Further investigation revealed that 68 year-old Margaret Steffan was crossing the pedestrian crosswalk as she was leaving the store. 

 

At the same time, 84 year-old Corrine Crino was driving a vehicle and struck Steffan.  She was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Crino was charged with failure to yield right of way to pedestrian and will appear in court at a later date and time.


The United States is standing with the people of Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and is also ready to help those coming to New York's Southern Tier to live -- or stay temporarily. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says he's already working on aid for those communities that are expecting an influx of people fleeing the island. 

 

The Corning Republican says it's been a logistical "nightmare" trying to deal with everything there, but adds that they are ready to help those coming to places like Dunkirk, which has a significant Puerto Rican community.

Jamestown is another community that may see an influx of people from Puerto Rico coming to stay with family or friends until things are back to normal on the island. 

 

Reed also praised the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A report from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that the state received 84 cents for every dollar it sent in taxes to the federal government in 2016. 

 

DiNapoli says New York receives significantly less per tax dollar than the vast majority of states.  The report estimates that New York sent an estimated $40.9-billion dollars more in tax payments to Washington last year than it received back in federal spending. 

 

The report shows most states received more than they paid.  The average return for all states was $1.18 per tax dollar sent to Washington. 

 

According to DiNapoli's 2015 analysis, New York generated $19.9 billion more in federal taxes than it received in federal spending in federal fiscal year 2013.


Jamestown police were called to scene of an unsual domestic incident late last night on the city's east side.

 

Just before 11:30 p.m., officers arrived to a Shaw Avenue residence and heard a female screaming. After making contact, officers determined that 29 year-old Jessica Solinger threw a ceramic goose at the male victim in the back of the head, causing minor injury. She was charged with third-degree assault and transported to city jail pending arraignment.


With what proved to be a ground-breaking event for Jamestown business last year, the 2nd annual Jamestown Business Expo presented by the Lynn Development group, will take place today at the Lynn Building on East 2nd Street.

 

The expo runs from noon to 6 p.m. and will feature booths with samples and demonstrations from local businesses including service providers, banks, construction, and bakeries.

 

Director of Marketing at Lynn Development, Heather Lynn, says the first annual expo helped launch a new platform called " Jamestown Business First", which hopes to keep services within the local market for the Jamestown community.

New to the expo this year is a symposium will also take place 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Willow Bay Theater on East 3rd Street on the 4th floor. Lynn says guests speakers are set to take the stage and include Simone Sellstrom talking about social media marketing, Todd Tranum with the Chautauqau County Chamber of Commerce, and the new Executive Director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, Lisa Hatch.

 

The sessions are an hour long, but Lynn encourages attendees to sign up for all If they can.  To register for the symposium or the expo, go online to JamestownBusinessFirst.com.  The event is free to vendors and the public.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state's first-in-the-nation tuition-free college program will pay the bill for about 22,000 students this year. 

 

The governor's office says an additional 23,000 students who applied also qualified to have their tuition covered, but by existing state and federal financial aid. 

 

About 75,000 people applied for the new Excelsior Scholarship, which pays the balance of tuition for New York residents from families earning $100,000 or less who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school full-time.  Cuomo says thanks to the new program 53% of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students now go to school tuition-free. 

 

Excelsior Scholarship recipients must live and work in New York for as many years as they receive the benefit.


An outage of unknown origin left nearly 900 National Grid customers in the Lakewood area to lose power yesterday morning. 

 

National Grid Company reports the outage occured about 11:40 a.m. and restoration time was expected to take about two-hours total.  More when it becomes available.

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WJTN Headlines

Construction is on target for a new hotel located in downtown Jamestown.

 

The Hamister Group will be opening the DoubleTree by Hilton on West Fourth Street, with a date currently project by late summer of 2018.  General Manager Brandon Wade says that the full-service hotel will include ammenties not just for business travelers, but families as well.

Wade also says he hopes to bring an open environment where people can relax and unwind in downtown Jamestown.  The plan for the location includes a gastropub with craft brews on tap and entrees and appetizers to match as well as a 4,100 square foot ballroom to cater to large events. 

 

The Double Tree will have 147 rooms, seven of which will be suite-style and 132 are double-queen bedrooms.  For a look at a single king room concept, you can visit their Facebook page at "Double Tree by Hilton Jamestown".


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are up slightly this week but, remain under $2.70 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The American Automobile Association's Gas Price Report this week says the price is up six-tenths of a penny this week after dropping to $2.69 even last week.  The price at this time last year was $2.29 per gallon.  

 

AAA says the U-S Energy Information Administration reports a 2.4-million barrel build in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.  The national average this week is down two-cents a gallon to $2.55.  However, the Gas Price Report says that's still the highest price to start October since 2015.


With another tragedy in last Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, there is word of new, malicious cyber activity that's targeting both victims and people looking to help victims. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace Tuesday afternoon is warning of potential scams where callers, or people online try to get sensitive information from you. 

 

Gerace says there are several ways you can donate to legitimate charities and, avoid getting scammed.  He says always be skeptical of e-mails or social media posts asking for donations.


Gerace says don't respond to an unsolicited e-mail.  He adds you should also not allow anyone to pressure you into donating.  He says credible organizations won't try to guilt you. 

 

Gerace adds to find out if an organization is reputable log onto the Federal Trade Commission's website, which is Consumer.FTC.GOV.  You should then go to "0074-giving-charity." 

 

Gerace adds that you can also check to make sure the charity is registered in your own state.  He says, often, the state will list this information on its official website.


A Jamestown man was arrested following a domestice incident Monday evening.

 

City officers say they responded to a Forest Avenue residence just after 9:30 p.m.. Upon arrival and further investigation, it was found that 42 year-old Charles Karr, junior punched a female victim in the face causing the victim to be injured. Karr was taken to city jail pending arraignment.


The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has received a $2,500 gift from a local bank to help it's mission of downtown and neighborhood revitalization in the city. 

 

JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch says the donation continues Northwest's commitment to the city and it's growth.  Hatch says they are "happy to partner and collaborate with them on our many upcoming projects." 

 

For more information on the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and it's mission go-online to JamestownRenaissance.org.  You can also call them at 489-3496.


Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he plans to deliver a 2018 budget proposal nextg week that will be both a "realistic and tight" spending plan to the city council. 

 

Teresi spoke briefly at Monday night's work session about some of the challenges facing he, City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new director of Administrative Services, Todd Thomas have faced in recent weeks. 

 

Teresi says their challenges include the "usual culprits" including rising pension costs.  He says that's despite a lowering of rates by the state, and the fact they have three unions that don't have contracts.

Additionally, Teresi says three of their biggest unions don't have new contracts in place at least for now, heading into 2018.  City Council Finance committee Chairman Tony Dolce says, once the budget has been presented, he'll be working with Thomas to develop a schedule of hearings with department heads in the coming weeks. 

 

Teresi will present his 2018 spending proposal next Tuesday, October 10th, at 4 p.m.in the mayor's conference room at city hall.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be lowered to half-staff to honor victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

 

The Democrat says the directive is in effect from Tuesday through sunset Friday in conjunction with a federal proclamation.  Cuomo called the Nevada killings "yet another senseless and horrific mass shooting" and a "heinous and vile act of gun violence." 

 

The governor said he has directed additional security measures around New York state as a precaution, but didn't release details.  Police in Las Vegas say 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire Sunday night on the crowd at a country music concert from a hotel room, killing 58 and wounding more than 500.


A man from northwest Pennsylvania suffered serious injuries when his car crashed in the Warren County borough of Tidioute Mondayafternoon. 

 

State Police in Warren say 29 year-old Derek Neddo of Mount Jewett was southbound on Tidioute Creek Road about 2:45 p.m.when he began honking his horn and yelling out the window for an unknown reason. 

 

Troopers say the vehicle traveled through the intersection on Main Street, then entered the parking lot of Tidioute Fire Department before crashing head-on into a pine tree.  Upon impact, the top of the tree snapped off and landed in the bed of Neddo's pick-up truck.  He was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  The accident remains under investigation.

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WJTN Headlines

New York state will soon be releasing the $2.5-million in funding to help the city of Jamestown balance it's current budget, and create a new health insurance program for it's Medicare-eligible retirees. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi reported to lawmakers at last night's work session that the city has heard back from the state Department of State, which is ready to allow them to formally offer the new insurance program.  Teresi says the city still has to provide some additional information, but they should have a resolution ready to discuss in two weeks.

 

Earlier this year, the state announced the city would get 1.5-million dollars to provide an "incentive package" to get retirees to move into the private sector insurance program.  Teresi reiterated that it would be a voluntary program. 

 

In addition, the mayor says the Empire State Development Corporation will be the entity providing the city the one-million dollars in state funding to help plug an $835,000 hole in this year's budget.  He says the ESD Board is expected to act on the measure at it's October meeting.

 



Local law enforcement is reacting to the late Sunday night mass shooting in Las Vegas that's left 59 people dead.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace Monday called it a horrific event that is "everyone's worst nightmare." 

 

Gerace says this was obviously a "planned" attack and, while it's an on-going investigation he urges peole to report any unusual activity to local authorities, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

 

Gerace says says the event is shocking and hard to rationalize.  He says it's hard to "wrap your head" around something where someone would take dozens of lives like this.


Chautauqua County has sold the Bratt Agriculture Center, near the Jamestown Airport, to a private developer. 

 

But, Cornell Cooperative Extension will still be located there, at least for awhile.  Emily Reynolds, the Executive Director of the county extension service, says the sale needs to go through the Federal Aviation Administration first.

Reynolds says her agency could be there even longer, if the rent under the new owner, Jamestown Rental Properties fits their budget.  The Bratt Agriculture Center opened nearly 40 years ago as a place where all agriculture related agencies could be under one roof. 

 

Reynolds says the sale of the building is 'another blow' to that idea.  She says the concept is something that's need now more than ever.  The U-S Department of Agriculture determined the building no longer met their specifications, and left the Ag Center in December 2013.   

 

The Soil and Water Conservation District moved with them to a leased office on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown.


Budget deliberations head into a second day in Chautauqua County today as the legislature's Audit and Control Committee began reviewing County Executive Vince Horrigan's proposed 2018 spending plan Monday

 

Department heads are meeting with committee members the next four days to see where some savings might be found in the $236.4-million budget.  Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says lawmakers have been able to cut taxes the past three years but, this year will be a challenge.  Chagnon says another tax cut remains their goal. 

 

Horrigan's 2018 budget proposal, which will be his last, increases the tax levy by about 2%.  However he says it's about 1.2-million dollars under the state's 2% property tax cap.  It's increases the tax rate by about 10-cents per thousand full value. 

 

If adopted as is, Horrigan says the rate would increase to $8.58 per thousand.  He says that's still about the average tax rate for western New York counties.  Lawmakers looked over the Department of Public Facilities and adminstrative budgets Monday.


It was a tearful day of joy for a local State Farm agent who opened her own branch in Jamestown in September.

 

With her employees and family by her side, Paige Foriska cut the silk ribbon in front of the 2000 Washington Street State Farm branch Monday morning. A Pittsburgh native, Foriska says they opened September 1st, but used the month to train fellow employees and put final touches on the recently remodeled location.

 

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Foriska shared a few heartfelt words. She  has been working for State Farm, a company that prides itself on being a "good neighbor" for 5 years and is proud to continue extending that vision in the Jamestown area with offers such as auto, health, and life insurance as well as banking options.

 

Those looking for insurance or financial services through State Farm can call the Washington Street branch at 716-483-2762.


A Jamestown man was arrested in late last month on charges related to an alleged sexual offense that took place in Bemus Point in late August of 2016. 

 

That after a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers eceived a complaint of a sex offense on a minor.  An investigation was conducted and led to the arrest of 28 year-old Timothy Perrin. 

 

Perrin taken into custody by deputies and was arraigned Monday morning in county court.  He was remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of 25-thousand dollar cash bail or 50-thousand property bond.


In New York state government news, lines are being drawn over whether to hold a state constitutional convention as supporters and opponents line up on either side of the issue. 

 

The state Bar Association announced its support this month, joining the government watchdog group Citizens Union. Opponents include organized labor and top lawmakers.  Voters will decide November 7th whether to hold a convention, where delegates would propose changes to the constitution.  Voters would then decide whether to approve or reject the changes. 

 

Supporters say a convention is an opportunity to address political corruption and campaign finance.  Opponents worry about special interests hijacking the process.  Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to add synthetic fentanyl to the controlled substances list to crack down on dealers who manufacture the powerful drug.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown City Council has approved a new tax exemption program for people who purchase land where the home had to be torn-down, or the home needs to be rehabilitated. 

 

Lawmakers this week unanimously approved a local law establishing the program which Council President Greg Rabb says is for "owner-occupied" properties.

 

The program could also be used for property owners looking to fix up a condemned structure; though Rabb says that may not be the best way to go because if the home needs a lot of work, the abatement may not help much. 

 

City Clerk Todd Thomas says a pubic hearing on the property tax exemption will be held by Mayor Sam Teresi at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10th.


A Cattaraugus County man is facing charges after driving while under the influence of drugs when his car crashed during a vehicle pursuit in the town of Ellery last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they received several complaints about a person driving erratically on Dutch Hollow Road about 9:30 p.m. 

 

Deputies say they attempted to stop the vehicle but, the driver failed to comply.  Later identified as 30 year-old Heath Zawatski of Randolph, drove off and later crashed his car into a ditch and the vehicle rolled over. 

 

Zawatski was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.


Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is pleased with the response from the community in helping with hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. 

 

Earlier last weekend, Rosas who's family is from Puerto Rico, said they are working closely with groups in Jamestown and Olean.

Rosas says collections continue from 3 until 7 p.m. daily at Lake Shore Drive and Washington Avenue.  The items will be trucked to Buffalo as part of a statewide collection effort spearheaded by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

On another topic, Rosas says he and his brothers were finally able to speak to his mother, via telephone, from Puerto Rico, and says she is okay.


Authorities say the driver of a pickup truck is in custody after crashing into two homes in a Buffalo suburb while trying to elude police. 

 

Officers in the town of Amherst say they tried to stop the driver for speeding early last Friday morning but the motorist sped away. 

 

The truck traveled into the town of Kenmore, where the driver lost control and hit a one-story house, then struck a two-story home next door before coming to a stop in front of a third home.


Two people were hurt but, not seriously in a two car crash early last weekend in the town of Hanover. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at the corner of Bennett State Road, and Stebbins Road about 8 AM Saturday.  Officers say their investigation showed that 40 year-old Margarita Sanchez of Dunkirk did not stop at a stop sign and her vehicle was struck by the second vehicle operated by 46 year-old Jennifer Hilliker of Forestville. 

 

Deputies say Hilliker was taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, while Sanchez was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of non-life-theatening injuries. 

 

Sanchez was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.


The state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports. 

 

53 state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.


Daily Alternate parking rules are now in effect in the city of Jamestown. 

 

Alternate Parking began yesterday, October 1st.  City police say vehicles should be parked only on the 'odd-numbered' side of the street on odd-numbered days. 

 

They should also be parked on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days only.  Police say the parking alternates at 10 a.m. each day and there is no grace period.


Today marks the beginning of the transition to a new Director of Emergency Services in Chautauqua County. 

 

That from the current director, Julius Leone, who is set to retire at the end of October.  Leone says he is pleased with the selection of John Griffith because of his experience and abilities with the local fire services. The appointment of Griffith was announced by County Executive Vince Horrigan in mid-September. 

 

Leone says he will stay on during the month of October to help make the transition a smooth one.  He says he'll be spending the next 30-days introducing Griffith to as many people on the state and federal level he can that they work with. 

 

Leone adds that he'll also have the new director on hand for this week's budget hearings in Mayville.  He has held the job for 16-years and has served under three Chautauqua County Executives Mark Thomas, Greg Edwards, and Vince Horrigan.


With most of the island territory destroyed, expect another influx of people from Puerto Rico coming into Jamestown. 

 

That from two leaders of the local Hispanic community who says some will likely be here temporarily while life on the island returns to normal. 

 

Pastor Alfonso Pagan with the Hispanic affiliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown, is a native of Puerto Rico.  Pagan says part of the problem right now is while you can get an airline flight to the island, it's hard to get one back to the mainland.

In addition, Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County says families with younger children will likely come to the mainland because it may be at least six-months before schools are back up and running.  Martin's organization, and Pagan's church have been involved in the local relief efforts to get supplies and money to the people of Puerto Rico. 

 

Martin says he's heartend by the way the "non-Hispanic" community has rallied to help the relief effort.  Donations can be made to Pagan's church, and the Hispanic Community Council through October.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 30, 2017

JHS JV Player takes a knee during anthem in Thursday night game, Superintendent responds...
The issue of football players kneeling during the National Anthem has reached Chautauqua County... as a Jamestown High School Freshman reportedly took a knee during the anthem at Thursday night's Junior Varsity Game at Dunkirk.  School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe Friday confirmed multiple media reports that Lebron Fisher quietly knelt down during the national anthem with his teammates around him.  Apthorpe says teachers and students had already been talking about taking stands against racial injustice in school.  He says -- historically -- civil disobediance can be dry stuff for kids, but, he says the issue has their attention right now.  Apthorpe says there are no rules in New York state, Section 6, nor in the Jamestown District that order students to stand for the anthem.  He equates it with the situation surrounding the Pledge of Alligiance the kids... Kindergarten through 12th grade... recite in the morning before school.  Apthorpe says nearly every student recites the pledge, though they are not required to.  He adds that there will be no disciplinary action taken... and, there has been no call to institute such a rule in the district.
 
 
Borrello pledges to have more IDA meetings on "the road" if elected Executive...
The Republican candidate for Chautauqua County Executive this November says he would like to see the county's Industrial Development Agency hold it's monthly meetings on the road.  Irving's George Borrello says -- if elected -- he plans to hold the meetings in various venues throughout the county.  Typically... Borrello -- who is a member of the IDA Board -- they meet at the agency's south county headquarters.  Once is a while... they meet at the Dunkirk Incubator facility.  Borrello says taking the meetings "on the road" will help get more people engaged with the IDA... and, economic development around the county.  He says he's also proposing other reforms in the way the IDA conducts business, such as revisions in the methods for seeking public input, and in the process leading up to board meetings themselves.  Borrello and Democrat Michael Ferguson are vying for the office now held by Vince Horrigan.
 
 
Brooks Hospital files "certificate of need" for new hospital site in town of Pomfret...
The Brooks Memorial Hospital board of directors has announced that they have filed a "certificate of need" with the New York State Department of Health for its new hospital project. The new, 29-bed hospital, will be located just east of the Routes 20 and 60 intersection in the town of Pomfret.  Hospital President Mary LaRowe and Board Chair Chris Lanski held a conference call yesterday afternoon on the announcement.  Lanski says the board, working with hospital relocation specialists... and, Turner Brokers in Lakewood... reviewed over dozen potential sites.  He says they looked at convenience to businesses, and where people live.  The 25-acre site is currently owned by Countryside Sand and Gravel.  LaRowe says they hope to have a ground-breaking next spring for the 100,000 square foot project.  She says they've been working closely with the state Department of Health, which has said they speed along the process.  Hopefully... LaRowe says they hope to have it done in 30 to 60 days.  They hope for a Spring 2018 ground-breaking... and, completion of a new hospital is slated for 2019.  Meanwhile, a Hospital Reuse Project Advisory Committee is being formed.
 
 
Local relief efforts for Puerto Rico well underway...              
Local relief efforts to get water and money to the people of Puerto Rico are well-underway in both the Jamestown and Dunkirk-areas of Chautauqua County... and, will continue through the month of October.  That from Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County after Hurricane Maria ravaged the U-S Island territory last week.  Martin says after the hurricane hit... he was approached by about 15 people... most of them natives of Puerto Rico... and, they mobilized a drive in the city of Dunkirk through the Salvation Army.  There is also a drive taking place through the Hispanic Church affliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown.  Pastor Alfonso Pagan is a native of Puerto Rico... and, says -- with most communications down on the island -- it's been tough on people who have relatives there.  He says most of his family is here... but, his father is still there.  If you would like to contribute to the effort... contact The Salvation Army in Dunkirk at 499-5622... or the Hispanic church at First Covenant Church in Jamestown at 708-8184. 
 
 
More state help being sent to Puerto Rico...
New York state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports.  Fifty-three state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.  Cuomo said a shipment of medication and supplies left Long Island's Republic Airport Friday morning.  
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

A spokeswoman for Equifax says her company is "actively engaging" with state and federal officials following a data breach that exposed personal information for 143 million Americans. 

 

The company decided not to attend a legislative hearing on identity theft and data breaches Thursday in New York, however.  One lawmaker called that a "slap in the face" to New Yorkers. 

 

New York legislators are considering proposals to impose greater regulations on credit monitoring companies like Equifax, TransUnion or Experian following the cyberattack on Equifax. 

 

Representatives from TransUnion and Experian were also invited to Thursday's hearing but did not attend.  Eight million New Yorkers were among those whose sensitive information was exposed in the Equifax breach.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has agreed to a three-year extension of the board's contract with it's full-time employees in the solid waste division. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board this week approved the extension, which takes effect October 1st with Teamsters Local-264.  Leathers says there are 11 full-time employees covered by the contract, which includes a 2.36% wage increase for Tier-One employees and  consolidation of the bottom two tiers to bring stability.

 

The previous contract ended in 2018.  Leathers says Tier-One workers wil receive $20.40 an hour while the second-tier will receive $16.40 an hour.  He says they also agreed to stay with the Teamsters Health Insurance coverage, which will be frozen through 2021. 

 

Leathers say they have two years to go on it's contract with their biggest union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 459 and adds their wastewater treatment employees are under contract through the end of 2020.  Leathers says he believes it's a good agreement for both sides.


After some debate county lawmakers Wednesday night approved selling the South County Office Building, and two others, to a Jamestown-area developer. 

 

In fact, a couple of legislators wanted to table the measure until the proposal was looked at more closely.  However, a significant majority felt the sale had already been through enough scrutiny and, wanted to move foward on the sale.  Legislator Chuck Nazzaro says he wanted more review but, added that he was also concerned about losing "control" of the building.

 

The county legislature approved sale of the South County Office Building and two others to Jody Peterson, doing business as Jamestown Rental Properties, LLC.  The sale of the South County building was approved, 15-4. 

 

The other sales of the Bratt Agricultural building in the town of Ellicott, and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility to Jamestown Rental properties were approved unanimously.


The Chautauqua County Humane Society has again opened their arms and hearts to furry friends this time three dogs from South Florida that were displaced by Hurricane Irma. 

 

The dogs started out as part of a group of 25 from the Brevard County Animal Care Center in Florida, but, were removed from the center after issues with flooding and power following the storm.  CCHS was chosen to house the three dogs because of previous cooperative efforts with the Ten Lives Club in Buffalo. 

 

Sue Bobek, Director of Animal Services at the Humane Society says "we have had a partnership with Ten Lives Club for many years.  After the dogs arrived to them, circumstances had changed for a few of their fosters and they had three dogs without a place to go.  When approached about taking them, we said we could help just as they have helped us in the past." 

 

The three dogs are healthy and available for adoption.  If you are interested in adopting one of them, call 665-2209; visit SPCAPETS.COM or message CCHS through Facebook at Chautauqua County Humane Society.


New York state is home to more than one-million people of Puerto Rican background and, is sending a lot more than thoughts and prayers to the hurricane-ravaged island. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has organized an aid package including 34,000 bottles of water, more than 10,000 meals ready to eat, 1,400 cots, and four Black Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. 

 

The Democratic Governor says more than 100 New York City firefighters, police officers and other workers are in Puerto Rico to help, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expecting an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the storm's damage.  Most of the immediate Jamestown-area's 4,000-5,000 Latinos are from Puerto Rico.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget plan will be a "challenging" one for county legislators. 

 

Those are the feelings of the chairman of the legislature's main financial committee.  Audit and Control Chairman Pierre Chagnon says, on first blush, a lot of the spending increase in the 2018 budget proposal is in response to the ongoing Heroin and Opioid Abuse epidemic. He says they were able to reduce taxes during the first three years of Horrigan's administration.  However he says it'll be more difficult this year with a 10-cent per thousand full-value tax rate increase. 

 

Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown says he's concerned about seeing a $7.6-million, 3.3-percent spending increase in the $236-million plus budget and will dig into the details with the panel next week.

 

Nazzaro is the ranking minority member of the Audit and Control Committee says they're ready for four full-days of budget deliberations with department heads, and home committees.  Lawmakers hope to act on the budget by the end of October.


A Falconer man faces several charges, including criminally possessing a hypodermic intstrument after trying to flee on his bicycle from Jamestwn Police early Wednesday morning. 

 

City police say the spotted 30 year-old Sam Critzer riding a bicycle with no lights or horn on the 40 block of Eagle Street about 12:30 a.m..  Officers pulled up to the suspect, got out of the vehicle and told him to stop. 

 

However, Critzer refused and got back on his bike and tried to get away in the opposite direction.  Officers say they were able to stop him a few houses down the street. 

 

After a search, Critzer was also found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, marijuana, several hypodermic needles, and several prescription drugs outside their original container.   Critzer was arraigned, and sent to the county jail on $3500 bail.

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WJTN Headlines

A former employee of a housing agency in the city of Jamestown has lost his job and arrested for misconduct after allegedly running up a more than $500 bill on a company credit card. 

 

City police say they investigated the matter and took 37 year-old Joey Weise into custody on one count of official misconduct.  Weise was a maintenance worker for Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality, Incorporated (CODE), when he allegedly rang up the unauthorized charges on the credit card last May.  He was also allegedly found in possession of a small amount of Crystal Methamphetime and was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Weise arraigned, and released on bail.


The legislature last night approved resolutions to sell three county buildings to private owners, but one stirred some controversy. 

 

Lawmaker eventually approved selling the South County Office Building in Jamestown, 15-4.  That came after an effort was made to table the measure for further study. 

 

The legislature also agreed to sell the Bratt Agricultural Building on Airport Hill and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility in the town of Sherman.


Local bakeries are getting a holiday dedicated to them, their service, and their delectable treats. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi proclaimed Wednesday, the first-ever National Local Bakery Day at Ecklof as today September 28th.

 

In his proclamation, Teresi highlights the significance local bakeries provide. He also encouraged all residences of the greater Jamestown area to come out and celebrate not only on National Local Bakery Day, but throughout the year. 

 

All day today, Jamestown bakeries will be celebrating in one-of-a-kind ways with promotional activites including a spinning prize wheel at Ecklof's Bakery on Foote Avenue.  National Local Bakery Day is expected to become an annual event.


In the Dunkirk area statewide collection is continuing to help with the hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. 

 

Mayor Wilfred Rosas says the city is working with the city of Buffalo as part of the statewide effort that's being coordinated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He says the local collection will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. 

 

Non-perishable items are being accepted.  Rosas says funds may be dropped off at Dunkirk City Hall.  By the way, the Mayor has yet to make contact with his mother, who lives on the Island.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion dollar Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  It's aimed at helping large livestock farmers make sure there's proper management and storage of nutrients, such as manure.  New York State has over 500 farms with more than 200 livestock, and most are dairy farms with 300 or more cows. 

 

Projects that get funded will help farmers meet new environmental requirements first announced in January.  The first of three application periods is currently open and closes Nov. 20. Grant awards will be made by mid-December. 

 

An additional $15 million will be available in both 2018 and 2019.


The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania says he's skipping the Pittsburgh Penguins' October 10th White House visit because of recent tweets by President Donald Trump. 

 

Democrat Bill Peduto accompanied the NHL team when they met with President Barack Obama following last year's Stanley Cup championship.  But, Peduto says he's not going this year because of Trump's tweets criticizing NFL players for kneeling or otherwise protesting during the national anthem. 

 

Peduto says the visit could bring negative attention to the city so he'll "take a knee on this one and stay home."  Peduto previously criticized Trump for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord and saying it was because he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."


A German-based company with a manufacturing facility just outside of Jamestown is confirming that it will end operations in the town of Ellicott by the end of the year. 

 

MD Electronics President Bruce Dudgeon says, in a printed statement, that increasing global competition and the need for shorter supply lines were "primary drivers" for the decision. 

 

Dudgeon says MD Electronics began manufacturing operations on Precision Drive in 2009 and employs 90 full-time workers.  He says MD makes communication cables for the automotive industry. 

 

Late Tuesday, local Congressman Tom Reed said in a printed release that "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State."


The still-growing Latino community in the Greater Jamestown-area is rallying around the devastated island of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 

 

Relief efforts across the United States are well-underway and locally, a handful of people are collecting bottled water and non-perishable goods for the people of Puerto Rico. 

 

One of them, Miguel Correa, says they have three places locally that are taking donations. Correa says there a several, basic items needed on the tiny U-S Territory, including bottled water, and baby food.  He says communications are improving on the island, though it's still hard to send or receive calls from the United States mainland.  He says communications on the island itself have improved. 

 

The A-P reports today that conditions have improved in San Juan, but more rural areas are still struggling.
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Reviews of the U-S response to the disaster in Puerto Rico have been mixed.  However, Miguel Correa says the Federal Emergency Management Administration has been a big help. 

 

Correa says FEMA has especially helped provide gas generators for hospitals and other critical needs.  He's lived in Jamestown for the past 17 years after moving here from New York City and, his family is from Puerto Rico.

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WJTN Headlines

A electronics company is reportedly planning to move 87 jobs out of it's Jamestown-area plant and take them out of the country. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the "trend of moving good paying jobs out of the country has to end".  Reed overnight commented on the potential loss of 87 "hardworking employees" at MD Electronics on Precision Drive in the town of Ellicott. 

 

A company spokesperson recently told the Post-Journal that work on the company's third-shift had ended.  In a printed release late yesterday, Reed said "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State. 

 

Having seen firsthand the work ethic of these employees, I will make sure MD Electronics does not leave their workers in a lurch and that the company upholds their prior commitments to each and every employee."


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's very pleased with how yesterday's bi-partisan meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House went regarding tax reform. 

 

Reed was one of several members of the House Ways and Means Committee that met with Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence on the matter, which the Corning Republican adds may be fully introduced by President Trump later today in Indiana.  Reed has pushed hard for tax reform in the past few years and he's happy to see the general frame-work come together.

 

However, local lawmakers say they're concerned about the possible loss of the "State And Local Tax" or SALT Deduction.  Reed says he's sensative to that, but adds that may be replaced by an expansion of the Standard Deduction.  He says lawmakers are looking at doubling that. 

 

The Jamestown City Council went on record Monday night supporting retention of the SALT Deduction which allows state and local taxes to be written off.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A Buffalo mother was arrested for several charges including a violation of Leandra's Law, after rolling-over a stolen vehicle with four unrestrained children aboard late last week in Cattaraugus County. 

 

State police tried to make a traffic stop for a speeding SUV on East River Road in the Town of Olean last Friday night.  Troopers say  the driver, 24 year-old Alesaundra Allen, failed to comply to troopers emergency lights and turned onto Steam Valley Road. 

 

After a short distance, Allen lost control of the SUV and entered a culvert causing the vehicle to roll once and land upright.  Further investigation revealed that the SUV was reported stolen out of Buffalo on September 19th. 

 

The suspect failed a sobritey test and the 26 year-old passenger and four children were not injured in the crash.  Child Protective Services responded for the children involved.


It was another record day of warmth for western New York yesterday as Buffalo nearly reached 90-degrees. 

 

However, Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it did reach 88-degrees at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport yesterday.  Wood says it's not quite as warm as the past two days when the mercury reached at least 90.

 

The three-consecutive days of record setting warmth was only exceeded by six-straight days in March of 2012.  However, Wood says having a stretch like this in late September is "highly-unusual".  Wood adds our string of much warmer than usual temperatures comes to an end later today, but says it will still reach into the lower eighties today in front of a cold front that moves in later in the day. 

 

The record high temperatures started over the weekend when it reached 90 at the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Airport on Sunday; it then reached 91-degrees on Monday

 

While temperatures get into the sixties and even upper fifties over the weekend, temperatures are expected to rebound into the seventies again early next week.


A few Jamestown residents were critical Monday night about what they called the lack of openness on the part of city lawmakers leading up to August's final vote on annexing four-acres of land from the village of Falconer. 

 

One took the added one more step by criticizing lawmakers for lack of transparency and the media for being complicit.  Lovell Avenue resident Raven Mason said she didn't mean to be critical, but questioned how much discussion is taking place before important measures are voted on.

 

Mason also said that she was concerned that the City Council never addressed any of a series of questions she had about the proposal to take the land used by the Board of Public Utilities for the Dow Street Substation.  However, Rabb says residents who only come to the monthly voting sessions aren't seeing the start of the process, just the end of it. 

 

Mason also took exception with the wording of a letter she received from Rabb following the August meeting.  He says he simply stated that if she had a question about an issue that comes up to call his cell number.


Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son have been granted new trials in their corruption case. 

 

A federal appeals court said Tuesday the jury was wrongly instructed.  That's in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of what it takes to convict a public official.  Prosecutors say they'll retry the case. 

 

Dean Skelos' lawyer, Alexandra Shapiro, says he "looks forward to the next steps."  Prosecutors said the Republican politician strong-armed three companies into giving his son, Adam Skelos, $300,000.  Father and son were convicted in 2015 of extortion, conspiracy and bribery in one of a series of corruption cases that roiled the state. 

 

Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison. His son got six and a half years.  Both remain free on appeal.


A Jamestown man was arrested after he was discovered with a signifcant amount of marijuana, paraphernalia, and plants in the Town of Ellery last week. 

 

While state troopers were investigating an unrelated complaint, they were approached by an individual who told them that 55 year-old Stephen Watson was growing marijuana plants. 

 

Investigation affirmed that Watson was in possession of 145 grams of marijuana, two marijuana smoking devices and three marijuana plants.  He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth-degree and unlawful growing of cannabis. 

 

Watson was issued appearance tickets for the Town of Ellery Court.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  The first $20-million will be disbursed in mid-December after an application process.

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WJTN Headlines

For the second-day in a row Monday, our Summer like hot weather was a record setter. 

 

Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it got into the low 90s by mid-afternoon.  This comes a day after the Weather Service reported that the mercury hit 90 degrees on Sunday breaking the old record set in 1970. 

 

Yesterday Thomas says Buffalo reached 91-degrees at 3 p.m which beat the old record of 87.  He adds that most areas at least hit 90. 

 

Earlier fellow Forecaster Kirk Apfell said temperatures will drop to more seasonal levels on later on Wednesday.  Apfell says a cold front will move through the area but, the cooler air will still be about seasonal. 

 

Forecasters say high temperatures by Thursday and Friday will be in the 60s.  Night-time lows will be in the 40s away from Lake Erie.


It was a rare night of back-and-forth public discussion during last night's Jamestown City Council voting session with the main focus on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land in the village of Falconer. 

 

It began with questions about the transparency surrounding the decision to try and make the property the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on part of the city.  Raven Mason of Lovall Avenue voiced that concern, given the fact there was no discussion about the resolution the night of the vote. 

 

However, Council President Greg Rabb says it was discussed though briefly due to legal concerns, during work sessions.  Resident Chris Gardner again asked who sponsored the resolution by the BPU.  Mayor Sam Teresi interrupted, and, told Gardner it's a matter of public record, and there were two ways to get it. 

 

One was through the city clerk's office while the other was through the BPU Secretary.  Teresi later noted that the BPU is made up of nine members most of them citizen panelists   He noted that both he and Council President Greg Rabb were members of the board, Teresi because he is mayor. 

 

The mayor also said that neither he, nor Rabb brought forth the BPU resolution to the board for a vote.


A city man is jailed following a suspicious situation last Sunday night in the 300 block of Palmer Street. 

 

Jamestown Police say, just after 8 p.m., they responded and found that James Spitale had stabbed a car with a knife belonging to another person.  Officers say Spitale also allegedly threatened that person with the knife.  He was arrested, and charged with second-degree menacing third-degree criminal mischief and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Spitale was jailed pending arraignment.


A Cattaraugus County man is now jailed for an alleged incident involving a gun late last week in the town of Randolph. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 37 year-old Joshua Dash last Friday morning and, he was later charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of a firearm. 

 

Deputies say additional charges are pending.  Dash was arraigned and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $300,000 cash bail.


Two parents face child endangerment charges following a domestic disturbance at their home in the Cattaraugus County Community of Limestone early last Sunday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to 501 Parkside Drive for multiple people fighting.  On arrival there was a report of a missing child and all parties involved in the altercation were separated. 

 

The child was later found safe with his grandmother in Bradford, Pennsylvania after a sober party had driven the child there.  The child's parents 23 year-old Tyler Carlson and 25 year-old Samantha Simonds were charged with one-count each of endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

They were issued appearance tickets for Carrolton Town Court.  Child Protective Services was also notfied of the incident.


A pair of western New York members of the House of Representatives will be part of a bi-partisan meeting on tax reform with President Donald Trump today at the White House. 

 

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that local Congressman Tom Reed and Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins have been invited to be part of the meeting because both are members of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that writes the tax code. 

 

During a recent town hall meeting in Kiantone that real progress was being made in reforming the nation's tax code.  He says this would be the first time since 1986 that "substantive" policy reform is being looked at. 

 

Higgins who represented Chautauqua County several years ago after the county was put into a district with Southern Erie County is back on the House Ways and Means Committee through Seniority.
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During today's meeting, Higgins is expected to voice his support for keeping the State and Local Tax deduction otherwise known as SALT. 

 

In a tweet on Friday Higgins indicated that eliminating SALT "takes money from hardworking Americans and gives it to people who don't need it and won't spend it to benefit the economy."

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WJTN News Headlines

A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly selling and, being in possession of a significant amount of Crystal Methamphetime inside his car in the town of Sheridan. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they, along with members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Fredonia Police, pulled over 26 year-old Benjamin Gray on Route 20 late last week on an arrest warrant for allegedly selling Meth to undercover drug agents. 

 

Deputies say the warrant was issued out of Fredonia Village Court and, charged Gray with third-degree criminal possession and, third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He's also wanted for burglary in the Allegany County town of Belmont. 

 

Following arraignment officers say Gray was sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say they later seized more than 20 grams of Meth as well as scales and packaging material inside the cause. 

 

Additional Felony charges are pending.  Task Force members urge residento to call when they see suspicious or narcotics related activity at 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

In response to the addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County, community members held the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" this past Saturday

 

The event, put on by grandmother-granddaughter duo Adrian Smith-Madden and Chanda Lynn Germain was open to all with free resources for those looking for recovery options and even those looking to get involved with stopping the epidemic in our community. 

 

The founder of the national "Fight For Recovery" program, Richie Webber, says they had two moms reach out to help get their children into treatment.  He says his goal for each event is to at least help one person, and helping two is great. 

 

The Rally began at 1 p.m. in the former Dahlstrom Manufacturing plant on East 2nd Street and involved live music and guest speakers.

 

Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also on hand and, addressed the spectrum of drug addiction and drug related deaths.

 

 

A Lakewood woman escaped serious injury early last weekend when she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and, it crashed in the town of Ripley. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 35 year-old Tiffany Green was traveling on Route 76 about 6:30 a.m. Saturday when she fell asleep, and the car left the road and rolled-over, coming to rest on it's roof. Deputies say Green suffered minor injuries and was treated at Westfield Memorial Hospital. 

 

Further investigation showed that Green's vehicle registration was suspended and, she was issued a traffic ticket for Ripley Town Court at a later date.

 

 

A city man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and, 10 years supervised release for his conviction for distribution of Child Pornography. 

 

Acting U.S. James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that U-S District Court Judge, Elizabeth Wolford, hand down the sentenced on Friday to 46 year-old Christopher Whitford. 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Baumgarten, who handled the case, says that in May of last year Whitford shared files using a 'peer-to-peer' file sharing program with an undercover police officer. 

 

In June of 2016 she says a federal search warrant was executed at the defendant's residence and, investigators found several electronic media items that were seized.

 

 

People were trying to keep cooler on a very hot, Fall Day at the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival some were under a tree listening to a string quintet. 

 

Another place people were staying cool was inside the Miller House across from the Busti Grist Mill.  Some members of the Busti Historical Society, who put on the event were inside. 

 

Among them member Judy Schultz said, while many people left by late afternoon it was a "great day."  Schultz says the demonstation building was full "constantly.." and, adds there were new demonstrators this year. 

 

Judy Schultz says their new demonstrations this year included a glass-blower and, horseshoer.  Her husband, Bob, was talking to people about the Miller House which the historical society acquired about 10 years ago.  He says it was originally built in 1846 for the person running the gristmill. 

 

Both Bob and Judy Schultz were among several historical society members dressed in 1840s-to-1850s clothing for the event.

 

 

In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is once again slamming a proposal from Washington Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The Democratic governor says the latest idea, from Republican U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would cut billions in critical funding for the state's health care system.  Cuomo says that while the measure would give states greater flexibility in how they design their own health care system, the cuts would devastate hospitals and jeopardize coverage for as many as 2.7 million New Yorkers. 

 

Meanwhile, Democratic Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein of Brooklyn has been tapped to lead the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee.  It's the first time a woman will chair the powerful committee, which oversees the Assembly's work on the state budget.

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News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Hung Jury declared in Saeli trial...
A "hung jury" has been confirmed in the trial of a north county man accused of kidnapping a 13 year-old autisic boy in Fredonia last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says a mistrial was declared this afternoon in the case of 38 year-old Samuel Saeli because the 12-member jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.  The jury spent Thursday... and, today deliberating for several hours.  Swanson says the jury continued deliberations today... but, following an eighth note from jury in which the foreman said they remained deadlocked... Acting County Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek declared a hung jury.  Swanson says the case will be re-tried... but, did not yet have a date for a pre-trial conference yet.
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly assaulting woman on westside...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman... and, taking her credit card during a domestic incident early this morning.  City police say they were called to the scene in the 300-block of Jefferson Street about 12:30 a.m., and, on arrival, they found that 56 year-old David Payne, Junior had allegedly taken the victim's credit card.  After returning to the home... Payne allegedly struck the victim in the face several times, injuring her eye.  He was arrested on charges of fourth-degree assault... and, Grand Larceny.  Payne is being held pending arraignment.
 
 
NWS Forecaster says unseasonably warm weather to remain until early next week...
Fall is getting off to a start that feels more like summer than fall!  The Autumnal Equinox began at 4 this afternoon... but, the unseasonably mild weather will continue for several more days.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Reynolds explains no major pattern changes in the works, at least in the short-term.  Reynolds says a "real strong ridge of high pressure" has allowed a lot of warm air to move into the region.  He says we may see some upper 80s in some places over the weekend and into early next week.  Temperatures are expected to hit the 80s over the next several days... away from Lake Erie.  The National Weather Service is out with the latest three-month outlook and it appears the same weather pattern will continue with above normal temperatures for Western New York.  He says there will be some colder days in there, but, not as many as usual.  There are also equal chances for above and below normal precipitation levels.  The record high in Buffalo for this Saturday is 86 degrees.  Forecasters say that's one record that could be broken.
 
 
Disagreement comes over use of bed tax dollars in County Executive's debate in Jamestown...
The "balanced" approach that Chautauqua County has taken regarding the use of it's occupancy tax revenues... and, other assets... have helped boost local tourism and the economy.  Those are the feelings of Republican County Executive Candidate George Borrello during a candidates debate in Jamestown last night in response to a point by Democrat Mike Ferguson.  Ferguson noted that the county should have provided the money needed for shoreline clean-up for Chautauqua Lake sooner -- not in late August.  Borrello defended the way the county uses it's bed tax monies... saying it's the only one in New York state that goes to where it should -- tourism and the county's lakes.  Ferguson also said the county should not be using the bed tax to support events like the PGA 's Web.com Tour event at Peek 'n Peak in Findley Lake.  The county approved $75,000 for the event this year... and, provided $150,000 last year.  Ferguson says he supports the golf tournament... but, believes that money could have been better spent taking care of the lake's issues.  However... Ferguson says that's what sponsorship and other funding mechanisms are used for in supporting such events.  He says he did that sort of work with the Jamestown Jammers, and at the Northwest Arena several years ago.  Borrello says the county's investment in the tournament helped draw thousands of people and millions of dollars in tourism to the county.
 
 
Annual Busti Apple Festival ready to go Saturday...
Final preparations are taking place for the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival... which is set to go this Sunday on the Busti Historial Society grounds... near the five-corners in the hamlet.  Historical Society members are urging people to come early this year because it's expected to be unseasonably warm... and, there's usually a crowd to buy all the apple and other items being sold.  One of the organizers... Judy Schultz... says they'll have 85 vendors this year -- and they all have one distinction -- they have to be hand-crafted.  Schultz says they'll have a glass-blowing vendor this year... who will also do some demonstrations.  She says this man makes several unique kinds of glass-ware.  Of course... she adds they'll have all kinds of Apple items... and, others... including pulled pork and flour.  The Busti Apple Harvest Festival runs Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $5 each.  Proceeds are split between the Historical Society and Busti Fire Department.  Schultz says parking is free... but, no pets please.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Two Jamestown residents have been arreste for allegedly being found in possession of of a loaded assault rifle in their southside home. 

 

City police say during an investigation of 40 year-old Gabriel Harrison and 37 year-old Stacy Thayer

 

they determined both had the gun in their possession.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and State Police C-NET Team raided the home at 103 McKinley Avenue late Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Police say they found the loaded, SKS 7.62 rifle, with ammunition inside the residence.  Both Harrison and Thayer were arraigned on one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Representative Tom Reed met with local farmers Wednesday afternoon to update them on three issues yet to get through Congress: immigration, trade and tax reform. 

 

He believes all three will eventually get attention but, he says tax reform will get immediate attention.  The Corning Republican says the next item will be immigration and DACA because of the president's six-month deadline for legislation. 

 

Reed says recent bi-partisan efforts in Washington leave him 'more optimistic' that all three issues will be successfully dealt with.  Much of the hour long discussion at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield focused on some of the technical issues in tax reform and immigration currently under debate. 

 

Chautauqua County Farm Bureau President Dick Kimball says action is needed but hard to come by for all the issues Reed discussed.  Kimball says it's "simple" when you just look at "your side" of the issue. 

 

Around 30 farmers and ag leaders attended the event along with Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan.

 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has finalized his proposed 2018 county budget but, we'll have to wait another week before we can find out the details. 

 

Horrigan will be unveiling his final budget as County Executive during the next County Legislature meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27

 

Horrigan spoke yesterday about what he intends to include in the budget presentation to county lawmakers.  He says the budget will highlight investments, challenges they face, and revenues and taxes. 

 

We asked Horrigan whether the approval of an extension of the 8 percent sales has been helpful in putting together the budget plan.  He says it's "an important aspect" of the budget in being able to hold down property taxes. 

 

Horrigan, who is leaving public office at the end of the year, says he will also address issues such as infrastructure and the environment of the county's lakes. 

 

The Legislature has until December 1st to pass a 2018 budget.  County residents are invited to attend the presentation at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.

 

 

The Jamestown Policeman's union has announced it's backing Republican candidate George Borrello for Chautauqua County Executive. 

 

The Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association announced the endorsement this week for the town of Hanover legislator.  Borrello is finishing up his fourth-term on the panel. 

 

Kendall Club-PBA President Jason Donato says members "overwhelmingly passed" the endorsement at their Sept. 13 meeting.

 

 

After announcing a new venue for an event to raise money and awareness to aspects of the drug addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County the first-ever "Rally to Recover Jamestown" will be held this Saturday at the Sherwood Arts Complex. 

 

Co-organizer Chanda Lynn Germain says that not only local, but national support centers will be available for those struggling with addiction through scholarships to help them get into treatment. 

 

Centers on the roster for Rally to Recover Jamestown include "No More Heroin" from Flordia, "Hope" from Ohio, and the Addiction Response Ministry of Chautauqua; as well as several other non-profit organizations. 

 

Germain and her grandmother Adrian Smith-Madden add they are also trying "to bring hope" to those suffering because of addiction and knowledge to those who may unaware of the epidemic in the community. 

 

National speakers and musical artists are also scheduled to take the stage for the event which runs from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.  For more information, please visit the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" Facebook page.  The event is free and open to everyone.

 

 

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Neighborhood Block Challenge program has been successful in improving several smaller neighborhood areas across the city. 

 

With that the JRC is looking to expand the program into four target areas starting in 2019.  Corporation leaders presented the findings of a study done by czb Consultants at Monday night's City Council meeting. 

 

Neighborhood Project Manager Mary Maxwell says these projects will be longer term taking up to five-years to complete. 

 

JRC Board Co-Chairman Len Faulk says that when they helped fix homes in specific areas of the city the effect spread to other homes in that area.  He adds that when they helped fix up properties that also had a positive impact on home values. 

 

Faulk says those properties have seen a 5-percent increase in what they sell for.  He says that's a "great trend." 

 

The four target areas are the northside along Lakeview Avenue the westside along Fairmount Avenue Hazeltine and Forest Avenues and, the area of Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Applications will be available next year.  For more information go to the JRC website.

 

 

There is no change in prices at the gas pump this week for Chautauqua County motorists. 

 

That from the AAA's Gas Price report.  Gas prices in the Jamestown-area held steady at $2.69-cents per gallon.  As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation's gasoline inventory, which can mostly be attributed to motorist filling their tanks by the droves in preparation for Hurricane Irma. 

 

Today's national gas price average is $2.60.  Motorists can find current gas prices along their route at Gasprices.aaa.com.

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WJTN News Headlines

Forecasters are keeping an eye on two major storms in the Atlantic Ocean but, the storms are not expected to have impact on Western New York's weather. 

 

That from Meteorologist Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says Tropical Storm Jose has 65 MPH winds and may bring heavy rain and strong winds to Long Island and lower New England as it moves northward. 

 

Mitchell says there'll be high waves and a lot of surf.  We may only see some high clouds from Jose.  Meanwhile, there's a lot of concern in Puerto Rico about Hurricane Maria, which has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm.  Mitchell says San Juan has been getting hit hard by the hurricane. 

 

Here in Western New York, expect mid-summer conditions to continue over the next several days with highs close to 80 away from Lake Erie.  He says high pressure has built into the region and with overnight lows in the 60s the A/C is coming on in a lot of homes.

 

 

The cause of a fire at a vacant home on Jamestown's westside early yesterday morning remains under investigation. 

 

City Fire Battlion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Avenue shortly before 3:30 a.m. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire coming from the front portion of the house coming initially from the basement area.  He says firefighters saw an open side door but, a quick search found no one inside.  Finson says they got the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.

 

 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pressing TransUnion and Experian to explain what cybersecurity they have in place to protect sensitive consumer information following a recent breach at Equifax that exposed the data of 143 million Americans. 

 

In letters to executives at the two credit monitoring companies the Democratic attorney general asked them to describe their existing security systems as well as what changes they've made since the Equifax cyberattack. 

 

Schneiderman also wants to know whether the companies will consider waiving the fees for consumer credit freezes in light of the breach.

 

 

The city of Jamestown has been given a "clean-bill" of financial health for it's 2016 budget. 

 

That from local accountant John Trussalo who did the city's independent, third-party audit for the past year and, presented his 66-page report to the City Council Monday night. 

 

Trussalo says the best news was in the beginning summary of the audit report on the approximately $35-million spending plan.  He says the first-page includes the summary that their opinion is "unmodified" which is the "cleanest" opinion the city could get. 

 

Trussalo says there were no significant weaknesses or problems found with the city's finances.  Trussalo noted that the city failed to meet it's revenue projections in the 2016 spending plan.  However they were able to keep spending well under what was budgeted. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says that helped the city only wind up being $20,000 in the red.  Trussalo says the city started the year by using $409,000 from it's 2015 fund-balance to help balance out the 2016 spending plan.

 

 

The Cummins Engine Company Tuesday took the wraps off it's new, $47-million X-12 Engine line at the Jamestown Engine Plan that is both state-of-the art, and energy efficient. 

 

Plant managers were joined by officials with National Grid Company which assisted in putting in new LED lights, and other improvements. 

 

Cummins Plant Manager Mike Abbate says with the fact they have a one-million square foot facility near Ashville they need to think in terms of being environmentally-friendly, and more efficent. 

 

Abbate says they're trying to position the plant so that they can be their customers "first choice" for the best engines and drive-trains.  Plant Director of Machining, Faclities and Central Services, Randy Myers, outlined many of the projects they undertook noting that they have taken on a total of 12 energy efficiency and environmental projects in the past five years. 

 

Myers says that includes 3,000 LED lights alone.  With the X-12 line Cummins now has five engines they manufacture at the Jamestown Engine Plant.  Four of them run on diesel fuel while one runs on natural gas. 

 

Abbate says Cummins plans to introduce another heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.  However, no details are being released at this time.

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WJTN Headlines

An overnight fire has extensively damaged part of a vacant, two-story home on Jamestown's westside. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Ave. shortly before 3:30 this morning. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire on the front corner of the house extending from the basement area to the roof.  He adds that firefighters found a side door open, and did a quick search, but found no one inside.  He says it took about 10-mintues to bring the blaze under control and, they spent about 45 minutes overhauling the scene. 

 

Finson says an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters was called in.  He adds that two of them suffered minor injuries, but, were able to stay at the scene. 

 

Finson says crews were at the scene for nearly two-hours.  He says all services were shut-off to the house.  The cause remains under investigation.

 

 

The first "Rally to Recover Jamestown" event to raise money and awareness in the fight against drug addiction is a go at a new location on the city's eastside this Saturday

 

The city has been working closely with organizers to have the event staged at the Sherwood Arts Complex in the former Dahlstrom's building on East Second Street. 

 

City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Maria Jones says since organizers Chanda Lynn Germain and her grandmother, Adrian Smith-Madden, moved the event to a private location they didn't need to go through council. 

 

Jones says they had been working with the fire chief and building inspector to address safety matters.  She says they still have to comply with building and fire codes to hold the event. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi was asked to speak at the event but, will be at a family function out of town.  He says he's asked Council President Greg Rabb to represent him there. 

 

"Rally to Recover Jamestown" will feature a number of local and national speakers on the Heroin and Opioid Crisis and, several regional bands will also take part.  It will run at the Sherwood Arts Complex from 1 to 11 p.m. this Saturday, September 23rd.

 

 

The deployment of more than 100 members of the New York Army National Guard and state police to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with hurricane recovery efforts is on hold because of another storm approaching the region. 

 

National Guard officials said Monday that the departure of 100 soldiers in a Buffalo-based military police unit and 30 troopers has been delayed because of Hurricane Maria, which has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it pushes toward the eastern Caribbean. 

 

The New York contingent was set to depart from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station aboard a military aircraft for St. Thomas, one of several Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was sending aid to the U.S. Virgin Islands during a one-day visit to the U.S. territory last Friday.

 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's finance team will have a couple of extra days to work out a new budget plan for next year and, they'll need that time to get a spending plan ready. 

 

Teresi says due to the actual deadline day being on a Sunday, and the following Monday being a holiday, the budget will be due on Tuesday, October 10

 

Teresi says he, City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new Administrative Services Director Todd Thomas, have been meeting often lately on the proposal.  He says they'll be meeting almost daily from here on. 

 

Teresi says the challenges include exceeding budgeted overtime costs this year in the police and fire departments and, the department of Public Works.  He says due to budget constraints in recent years they start every year in a "deficit" situation. 

 

The state had agreed to give the city a one-time, $1-million infusion of cash for 2017 but, Teresi says they haven't received that money yet.  Teresi says another strain on the budget has been providing the money to support the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force to deal with the city's on-going Heroin and Opioid Abuse crisis. 

 

The date the budget presentation will be made was incorrection on a couple of our stations this morning.  However, it will be on Tuesday, Oct. 10th.  Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

 

The problem of overcrowding is once again a concern at the Chautauqua County Jail. 

 

That from Sheriff Joe Gerace who says they have had to board out 22 inmates to other county jails in Western New York.  Gerace says one of the factors has to do with parole violators which currently number 22.  He called it very frustrating. 

 

The Sheriff says the county has to pay $85 per inmate per day, and does not receive any reinbursement from the state.  Gerace says he is working with area State Senator Cathy Young on possible legislation to get those people back to state prison. 

 

The cost of boarding out inmates comes at the same time as County Executive Vince Horrigan is finalizing his proposed 2018 budget.

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WJTN Headlines

A Dayton woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in a drunk-driving crash in the town of Villanova early yesterday morning. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene on Flucker Hill Road shortly after Midnight Sunday and, found that 30 year-old Ashley Knopf was driving at a high rate of speed when her vehicle left the road and became airborne and struck a tree and utility pole.  She was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Further investigation determined that Knopf was drunk and, she was charged with speeding and DWI.  She was issued appearance tickets for Villenova Town Court.

 

 

A Frewsburg woman suffered minor injuries early this morning when her car reportedly ran a stop sign at a town of Stockton intersection and crashed into a ditch. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Bobbie Jo Ostrom was traveling on Munger Road shortly before 4 a.m. when she failed to stop for the sign at the intersection with Route 380. 

 

Deputies say that Ostrom's car then went into the ditch.  She was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries but, a male passenger was not hurt. 

 

Ostrom was ticketed for failure to stop, and being an unlicensed operator.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed spent much of last Saturday's town hall meeting in Kiantone addressing the issue of health care and, what's happening right now. 

 

Several residents asked the Corning Republican about proposed legislation in the U-S Senate that would "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. 

 

However, Reed says he doesn't agree with the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says they are to first stablize the current ACA exchanges, provide options where they aren't available and stop the 30 and 40% premium exchanges.  He adds the GOP wanted to have a "small business" in the law defined as 500 workers as opposed to 50. 

 

However, one woman expressed worries about losing provisions for pre-existing conditions and re-instatement of "high-risk" pools.  She called those "death panels." 

 

There was also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls were also held last Saturday in Fredonia and, Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County.

 

 

The president genially calls them "Chuck and Nancy." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, have used two White House meetings to become Trump's dealmaking partners on the budget and immigration. 

 

They have a combined 67-year record of being willing negotiators in Congress.  But they're also partisan Democrats who are perfectly happy to rumble.  Each has clashed often with Republicans. 

 

The GOP even uses Pelosi's image in campaign commercials to vilify Democrats, while President Trump has derided the New York Democrat as "Cryin' Chuck."

 

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies or state officers from inquiring about or sharing a person's immigration status.  The new rule bars state police and other state law enforcement agencies from asking about a person's right to be in the country when they're the victim of a crime or a witness. 

 

It also means state agencies won't be able to share a person's immigration status with federal authorities, except in certain situations, such as a law enforcement investigation.  The Democratic governor issued the executive order late last Friday.

 

 

Chautauqua County's new director of Emergency Services says he's excited to get started and, working to provide better services to county residents. 

 

John Griffith comes to the position with about 35 years of experience in fire and emergency services, as a businessman, and former town supervisor. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan announced late last week that Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd.  He replaces Julius Leone who will be retiring at the end of October. 

 

In addition to supporting the county's 42 fire departments, Horrigan says Griffith will head-up two ongoing programs, one is the county's new Fly-Car program.  He says the other will be helping local departments with recruitment efforts. 

 

In addition to being Fire Chief in Ellington Griffith was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  He has also been co-owner of Zahm and Matson, based in Falconer.

 

 

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2017 General Campaign is off to a "strong start." 

 

Even before last Friday night's official kick-off at the Southwestern Varsity Football game the effort had already gotten a major "kick-start." 

 

Executive Director Tory Irgang says the annual Pacesetter's Campaign brought in 11-percent of the $1,325,000 goal.  Irgang says they a few new activities planned and, workplace campaign's will begin within the next month or so. 

 

Irgang says she's excited by this year's Campaign Chairwoman.  Jane Cleaver-Becker who is chairing her first campaign and, has some new ideas for this year's effort. 

 

A new video presentation helped the effort last year and, Irgang says there's a new one for this year.  She says a group of employees who contribute get to take an "impact tour" of local agencies to see how their dollars are used. 

 

Irgang says this year's goal is a slight increase over the past couple of years.  For more information on the 2017 General Campaign she says go on-line to uwayscc.org or call 483-1561.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 16, 2017

Reed hosts first of three town hall meetings in Kiantone this morning...
There were smaller numbers... but, the passions were just as high for a couple of federal issues during a town hall meeting hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed in Kiantone this morning.  There were about 50 people on hand at the Kiantone Fire Hall... and, many expressed concerns over two proposals now being considered by the U-S Senate.  Reed says he opposes the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says one was to stablize the current Affordable Care Act exchanges... and, guarantee payments to insurance companies, a stability fund that states would have access to exchange funding, and that would also help states that have only one, or no exchanges left.  On the Republican side... Reed says they were able to get Democrats to agree to increasing the number of employees to be considered for a small business from 50 to 500 workers... and, set the "work week" provision at 40 hours instead of the current 30.  There were also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls are also being held today in Fredonia and Ellicottville.  The 50 people on hand this morning was about a quarter of the number at two previous town halls this year in the immediate Jamestown-area.
 
 
Former Ellington Supervisor John Griffith named as new county Emergency Services Director...
An Ellington man with more than 35 years experience in the fire and emergency services, and many years as a businessman, has been named Chautauqua County's new Emergency Services Director.  County Executive Vince Horrigan Friday afternoon announced that John Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd... replacing Julius Leone... who will be retiring after 15 years as director at the end of October.  Horrigan says Griffith has a wide variety of experience in the fire service... including Battalion Coodinator, Hazmat crew member, and fire chief.  He adds that Griffith has also been a successful businessman in the Jamestown-area.  Griffith has been Fourth Battalion Coordinator since 2012.  He was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  For nearly 20 years... Griffith was also co-owner of the Zahm and Matson John Deere dealership in Falconer.  He thanked Horrigan for the appointment... saying it's an honor to be chosen.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly robbery late this week...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly robbing a woman of $300 in cash at knife-point early Thursday afternoon on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say officers were called to the scene at 124 Barrows Street just after 1 p.m., and, found the female victim visabily upset and crying.  Police say she told them that 26 year-old Terin Butler took the money and fled the scene on foot.  They later found Butler at a location on Pine Street... and, he was detained there until the victim could arrive and identify him.  She positively identified the man... and, he was arrested for first-degree robbery and, first-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, second-degree menacing.  Butler was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
United Way of So. Chautauqua County kicks-off -- literally -- it's 2017 Campaign...
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County kicked-off it's 2017 General Campaign last night -- literally -- at a local high school football game.  Leaders with this year's campaign held a "Live United" banner that players from the Southwestern Trojans ran through before last night's home opener against Allegheny-Limestone.  United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang says School Superintendent Maureen Donahue is a member of the Campaign Committee, and said Southwestern would like to host the unique kick-off.  Last night's kick-off event that was the first public event to begin the annual fund-raiser for the local human service agency.  Irgang says they're pleased to have Jane Cleaver-Becker as this year's chairperson. She adds that this year's goal is higher than in the past couple of years -- $1,325,000 -- which she calls "very achievable."  The United Way recently finished up it's Pacesetters Campaign... which has brought in 11-percent of their goal for this year.  For more information on the campaign... go on-line to www.uwayscc.org... or call 483-1561.
 
 

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News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 14, 2017

Remnants of Hurricane Irma brings about 2-inches of rain to Jamestown area...
The remnants of Hurricane Irma moved out of Western New York late yesterday morning... but portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties got some heavy rainfall during the early morning hours.  Enough in fact to cause some localized flooding.  In some locations, Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service says rainfall amounts reached over 2 inches in some places.  Reynolds says most places received at least an inch of rain.  There were reports of over 2 inches in the Jamestown area.  Kennedy received 2.3 inches, the greatest amount of rainfall in Chautauqua County.  Conditions slowly improved during the afternoon Thursday... with some sun breaking out later in the day.  Meanwhile, the Dunkirk-Fredonia area received only about a tenth of an inch of rain. 
 
 
Irma's rains cause High Water issues at JPD...
There were a few flooding problems in the immediate Jamestown-area Thursday due to the remnants of Irma.  Jamestown police have had flooding issues at headquarters in the basement of City Hall since early yesterday morning.  Officials say they had high water at the front entrance... as well as the command desk and entryway to the headquarters on the Second Street level of the building.  That are is closed until further notice.  Anyone needing to make a non-emergency call to JPD call the Mayville 9-1-1 center at 661-7232.
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The other issue was high-water on Route 394 in the area of Route 62 area near Kennedy.
 
 
Cuomo sends Air National Guard to southern states to help with relief efforts...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has sent units of the New York Army and Air National Guard to two southern states to assist in the response to Hurricane Irma.  The Democrat says 10 Blackhawk helicopters and 55 soldiers from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade deployed Monday to Florida. The unit operates out of airports in Rochester, Albany and Ronkonkoma on Long Island.  The crews are flying to Richmond, Virginia, and are scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville on Tuesday.  Cuomo also has dispatched to Mississippi a C-17 cargo plane from the 105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.  The seven-member crew is handling satellite communications in support of the Florida National Guard.  A plane from the 106th Rescue Wing based on Long Island also deployed Monday to Kentucky to transport military personnel to Florida.
 
 
City man arrested for trespassing...
A Jamestown man faces several charges for allegedly breaking into an apartment house on the city's southside, and then resisting police when he was being arrested.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 45 Baker Street late this past Tuesday night on a noise complaint.  On arrival... officers say they heard the sound of breaking glass... and, spotted a man climbing into a second-story window.  They later found 27 year-old Israel Aponte Camacho... and, tried to arrest him.  However... Camacho actively resisted verbal commands... but, he was taken into custody for second-degree criminal trespass... criminal mischief.. and obstruction.  He was jaile dpending arraignment.
 
 
Olean Man faces federal Bank Fraud charges for stealing nearly $500,000...
An Olean man has been arrested for alleged bank fraud following an investigation into his alleged withdrawl of nearly half-a-million dollars from a local business owner's account.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 53 year-old Joseph Stevens was recently arrested after he was found to have taken the money out over a three-and-a-half year period.  Kennedy says they found that Stevens had been hired by the unidentified business owner as a bookkeeper... and, was given responsibilities, including paying vendors, employee payroll, and personal and business tax return preparation.  The owner began learning about the problems in the Fall of last year... and, that Stevens had received a couple of checks -- not authorized -- that were made out to him.  Stevens was later arrested.  He faces up to 30 years in prison... and, a one-million dollar fine.
 
 
Horrigan to announce new Director of Emergency Services Friday...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has made a decision on who will be his new director of Emergency Services... and, will be announcing that choice this afternoon.  Horrigan says he'll be making the announcement outside the Office of Emergency Services on Academy Street at 3:30 PM.  Horrigan says he'll be joined by current director Julius Leone, Junior... and, members of the bi-partisan Emergency Services Director Search Committee.
 
 
State Budget borrowing in PA debated...
Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives is sending the Senate a no-new-taxes borrowing package to help plug state government's $2.2-billion dollar budget gap.  The GOP-penned measure passed, 103-91, late Wednesday night, with heavy opposition by Democrats.  Pennsylvania's budget stalemate is in its third month and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says the House GOP's plan doesn't solve the state's underlying financial problems.  The plan follows the collapse of earlier House GOP proposals. Republican Representative Paul Schemel of Franklin County, says it uses money the state already has.  But critics say it "robs Peter to pay Paul."
 
 
PA Uninsured Rate drops again in 2016...
The number of people without health insurance in Pennsylvania continues to decline, reaching what Democratic Governor Tom Wolf's office says is the lowest uninsured rate on record.  U.S. Census Bureau data released this week shows Pennsylvania's 2016 uninsured rate at 5.6 percent, tied for the 12th lowest rate in the nation.  That's down from 9.7 percent in 2013 and 6.4 percent in 2015.  The national uninsured rate was 8.6 percent last year.  The Census Bureau estimates 700,000 Pennsylvanians lacked health insurance last year, about 500,000 fewer than in 2013.  Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid in 2015 under the Obama administration's signature health care law, and Wolf's administration says more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians are covered through the law's Medicaid expansion or individual policies sold through the Healthcare.gov exchange.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have destroyed a two-story home along Chautauqua Lake in the Vukote area of the town of Busti, just west of the village of Lakewood. 

 

Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene at 2398 Lakeside Drive shortly after 7 o'clock last night.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says firefighters found heavy fire coming from "all four sides" of the home on arrival. 

 

Hallberg says they also had to dodge a "live wire" that was down in the driveway.  He says they began pouring water on the home and, the exposure side of the home next door on the west side of the house.  Hallberg says the family inside the home escaped safely. 

 

Hallberg says it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says the cause is under investigation but, says the residents heard a "popping noise" and then the fire started. 

 

Hallberg says they were joined at the scene by Ashville fire crews and Celoron was on stand-by.  No firefighters were injured.  However two pets perished in the blaze.

 

 

Due to last night's fire in the Lakewood-area Board of Public Utilities water customers on Fairmount Avenue and west toward the Ashville BOCES may see discolored water. 

 

A hydrant was used in fighting the blaze on Lakeside Drive.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says when hydrants open, the water stirs up any sediment that may be in the water lines.  Don't do laundry unless your water is clear.

 

 

There's been an unexpected turn in the attempted murder trial of a Buffalo-area man accused of attacking a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy last September. 

 

We learned late this afternoon that Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley declared mistrial in the case.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the decision was made after Public Defender Ned Barone said a DNA report was never provided to his office.  It's a report he'd had since Spring and, adds he had fully-intended to get the report to Barone.  However it was not provided until the prosecution had begun presenting it's case.  It was then that Barone began asking for a mistrial. 

 

Barone says it's disheartening because he was feeling good about how the case was going from the defense's perspective.  However he adds he needs to have the evidence he's requested before trial.  Barone says not having that evidence made it harder for him to prepare his defense. 

 

Swanson says he takes responsibility for what happened and says they need to make upgrades and improvements to their procedures because technology and information gathering has changed a lot in the past 20 years. 

 

Judge Foley did deny Barone's initial request to dismiss the charges against Haffa including first-degree attempted murder.  A pre-trial conference has now been scheduled for Sept. 22.

 

 

A city man is jailed on a number of charges, including drug possession counts after allegedly leading police from several local agencies on a high-speed vehicle pursuit Monday night that started and, ended in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say officers spotted a pick-up truck, operated by 47 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Senior, run a stop sign at the corner of Prather and Barrett Avenues shortly after 9 p.m. 

 

Police say they tried to stop the vehicle but Kimbrough allegedly sped off and police pursued him onto Baker Street Extension and into the town of Ellicott.  The chase then went into Lakewood, and West Ellicott before Kimbrough stopped on West 15th Street, and he fled on foot. 

 

Police say he was caught after a short foot chase, and found with 6.8-grams of cocaine packaged for sale.  He was also accused of driving while impaired. 

 

Kimbrough faces several charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown area jumped 10-cents this week to $2.69 per gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

That from the AAA East Central's Gas Price Report.  The price for regular, unleaded at the pump continues to reflect the offline refineries in the south due to Hurricane Harvey, while simutaneously shortening the supply available. 

 

The current Energy Information Administration report says that regional gasoline supplies dropped to 60.5 million barrels last week.  At this time last year local gas prices sat at $2.39 per gallon a 30-cent difference.  Nationally the price is holding steady at $2.67 this week.

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WJTN Headlines

A medical emergency reportedly led to a motor vehicle accident in the town of Hanover that sent a north county woman to a Buffalo-area hospital early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the car, operated by 60 year-old Linda Dolce of Irving went off Routes 5 and 20 last Friday afternoon, and struck a utility pole.  Deputies say Dolce was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  No charges have been filed. 

 

 

A Lakewood man accused of striking and killing another man in Ellery last year has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Chautauqua County Court. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that 29 year-old Jude Gagliano entered the plea late last week before County Court Judge David Foley in Mayville. 

 

Gagliano is scheduled to be sentenced next Nov. 6 for the September 2016 accident.  The newspaper says the guilty plea stems from an incident in which Gagliano's truck struck a car driven by 22-year-old Charles Clutter at the intersection of Sinclair Drive and Route 380 in the town of Ellery. 

 

Clutter, who was from Stockton, died in the crash.  Gaglino was allegedly driving drunk when the accident occured and, failed to stop at a stop sign.

 

 

The harmful Blue-Green Algal Blooms that have been widespread in the south basin of Chautauqua Lake are now showing up in the north basin, as well. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan who says he's not surprised by the development.  In recent weeks there had been wide-spread blooms in the shallower south basin with some around Bemus Bay in the area north of the lake bridge.  He says the county, and lake groups have been working on a number of fronts to fight the blooms and, the ongoing weed issues. 

 

Horrigan says lower lake levels and, warmer temperatures late this Summer have contributed to the problem, along with phospherous and other nutrients getting into the lake.  He says the phosphorous levels will be cut as a new, closed sewer system is installed around the lake.  He says another group the Chautauqua Lake Partnership just recently held it's wrap-up meeting in Bemus Point, and discussed the Bemus Bay situation. 

 

Horrigan adds that there are also widespread Algal Blooms in Findley Lake.

 

 

President Donald Trump has commemorated his first commemoration of the "9/11" attacks as commander-in-chief. 

 

Both Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump observed a moment of silence this morning in Washington in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people killed 16 years ago when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

 

There will be a ceremony in front of the Chautauqua County Courthouse at Noon today.  A Jamestown-area native was killed in the attacks in New York City. 

 

Amy King of Celoron was a flight attendant on the second-plane that hit the World Trade Center towers.

 

 

The city of Jamestown's effort to annex four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities in Falconer will be heading to court after the Falconer Village and Ellicott Town Boards rejected the proposal last week. 

 

The City Council approved the annexation of the Dow Street Substation property at it's late August voting session.  That left the matter to be voted on in Falconer and Ellicott before Sept. 12

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the BPU recently prepared for the likelyhood of more legal action by approving up to another $60,000 to pay future legal fees. 

 

Teresi says that'll bring the total available to pay legal costs will be $105,000.  He says the BPU first approved a change-order on the original contract with their legal counsel to pay an additional $5,000 in fees.  He says they then voted on the additional legal fees for both the board, and the city. 

 

The town and village are fighting the move, saying it would cost them as well as the county and the Falconer School District, about $320,000 in tax revenues they take in. 

 

However, the BPU would save that money and, the school district and city would split about $160,000 in payments in-lieu of taxes.

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says her visit to Westfield last Friday is an example of how the state is transitioning to a new economy. 

 

Hochul was on hand to help announce the opening of a high-tech fish production facility. 

 

TimberFish Technologies is putting into operation a treatment production system at the Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing facility on Route 20 in Westfield.

 

This will grow fish by reusing all by-product nutrients from the distillery and brewery production at the site combined with locally produced wood chips which she calls a "fascinating" way to take us to "a new economy." 

 

TimberFish is investing $555,000, and utilizing a Empire State Development's grant of $100,000 for the system.  The company intends to create 200 to 200 future jobs.

 

 

Some 8 million New Yorkers were affected by the massive cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company Equifax. 

 

The figure comes from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has launched an investigation into the massive breach.  In total, the cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company exposed data belonging to 143 million Americans including Social Security numbers, birthdates and driver's license numbers. 

 

Schneiderman says his office aims to "get to the bottom" of how the breach occurred.  He says anyone worried about their own information should call the Equifax response line at 866-447-7559.  He also encouraged consumers to monitor their credit and their accounts to check for unfamiliar charges or activity.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 9, 2017

Randolph man arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin in the Catt. County town...
A Cattaraugus County man accused of selling Heroin to another person late last Spring in the town of Randolph has now been arrested.  Sheriff's deputies in LIttle Valley say they and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 32 year-old Brandon Reynolds Thursday at this home at 28 Sheldon Street.  Officers accuse Reynolds of selling the illegal narcotic to another person back on May 25.  He was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance and was taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.
 
 
Hochul in Westfield Friday to cut ribbon on new eco-tech business...
New York's second-in-command visited a new business in the town of Westfield that is using eco-technology to raise fish to benefit the local economy and the environment.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at yesterday's grand opening of TimberFish Technologies High-Tech Fishery located on the grounds of Five&20 Spirits & Brewing.  Hochul spoke about the state's investment of over $100,000 into the new tech approach to raising fish using wood chips and the by-products of local wineries and breweries... saying that it's needed because old technologies aren't working anymore.  State Senator Cathy Young first heard about TimberFish in 2008.  She feels it's a great way of reinventing what we are doing in agribusiness using waste products from businesses in the area.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also among the elected officials taking part in Friday's event.  
 
 
Horrigan says budget team is wrapping up work on 2018 spending plan...
The finishing touches are being put on Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget so it can be presented to county lawmakers by late this month.  Horrigan says much of the 2018 spending plan is coming together... but, the majority of it is mandated by the state.  He says there are a couple of state costs his budget team is still working to get a handle on with local state legislative representatives.  As for his budget team... Horrigan says both are very seasoned.  Horrigan says his former Budget Director, Kitty Crow, is now the Finance Director and is working with new Budget Director, Kathleen Dennison on the approximately $270-million spending plan.  Dennison was budget director for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office before moving to overall budget director.  At this point... Horrigan still can't say whether there will be a tax increase or decrease next year.  However... he says he's confident that they will be under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  Horrigan says he will formally present the 2018 executive budget at the county legislature's September 27th meeting.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Penhollow says Falconer Schools off to "smooth" start...
They've had a "very smooth start" to the new school year in the Falconer Central School District.  That from School Superindent Steve Penhollow... who says they got in four full-days of school this week... and he says a big help was something they normally did at the beginning of the year... but, this year did it before the start of classes.  For the second year in a row... they have held all of their orientations and open houses prior to the start of the school year on Sept. 5.  Penhollow says enrollment in the Falconer School District is right around 1,200 -- right about where it has been in recent years.  He says they're currently down about 25 students total... mainly in the high school.  He says Fenner Elementary School is up about 15 this year.
 
 
The 30th anniversary "Battle of Businesses" underway...
It's the 30th anniversary of the YMCA's "Battle of the Businesses..." and competition gets underway in several sports and other contests today.  It's again being sponsored by the Lakewood Family "Y..." and, begins with it's most popular event -- pitch softball.  Lakewood Branch Manager Tom Anderson says several other events take place later for companies across the Jamestown area.  He says golf, bowling and pickle-ball begin Sunday.  Anderson believes the "Battle" brings companies-- and the community closer together.  He says it's "neat" to see top management people working together on a team with people who do maintenance work at a local company.  Anderson says it also allows businesses to become more familiar with others in the area.  This year's battle will take place September 9 -- 16.
 
 
Lakewood to pick up storm debris on Monday...
Storm debris from last Monday night's storm in Lakewood will begin next Monday morning...Sept. 11.  Mayor Cara Birritierri says this is a "one time" pickup.  She says if anyone has branches, or brush that came down in their yards due to the heavy winds that were part of that storm... you are asked to pile up the "Storm" debris only in the right-of-ways by Sunday night. 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Due to today's rainy weather Stateline Speedway has postponed opening night of it's Fall Classic racing weekend tonight

 

Track officials say they will run the two-day show now on Saturday and Sunday nights. 

 

Again tonight's opening night for Stateline's fall weekend show has been called off until tomorrow night.  Saturday's program will now take place Sunday night.

 

 

A Bemus Point man, already wanted by police, has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of one-and-a-half pounds of Methamphetamine during a raid in the town of Ellery. 

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 41 year-old Gary Hannold of the Ellery-Centralia Road shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday on an indictment warrant. 

 

During the investigation Hannold was earlier stopped by a Sheriff's Department Patrol which allegedly found a quantity of Meth in the car.  Hannold was later indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, and charged with Unlawfully Possessing with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine. 

 

The total found in the house was 680 grams.  Hannold was arrested and taken to the county jail without bail.  He will be arraigned in U-S District Court at a later date. 

 

Authorities continue to ask residents to contact them if they see suspicious or narcotics related activity 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and marijuana during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside. 

 

City police say they and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force pulled over the car for an alleged traffic infraction and, arrested 55 year-old William Dale, Senior of Russell. 

 

Officers say they found that Dale's driving privledges were suspended in New York and, they also found 11.5-grams of Meth and, 2.6-grams of pot.  Police add their investigation also led to a location where they also found another 6-ounces of Meth. 

 

Dale was charged with second and third-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 

 

Anyone with information on any illegal drug activity is asked to call their anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a message to their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

 

Weather forecasters in western New York are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma, as residents of Florida either evacutate or brace for the deadly hurricane which could be record-breaking storm. 

 

The hurricane has devastated parts of the Carribean already with winds up to 185 MPH.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there are long range forecasts showing the remnants of the storm bringing rainfall here by the middle of next week. 

 

Chautauqua County Emergency Services Coordinator Julius Leone says they're working with state and federal officials that includes the New York State Emergency Management Office, and NOAA. 

 

At this point Jim Mitchell says it's still too early to tell how much rainfall we could get out of storm system because the storm will have lost a lot of it's punch once it gets here.  Leone says the area has been impacted by floods caused by previous storms where we've had tremendous amounts of rain from them. 

 

The remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 brought record rainfall amounts to parts of the region.  In fact Wellsville received a record 13.9-inches from Agnes.

 

 

The Ellicott Town Board has followed it's colleagues in Falconer in voting unanimously against two resolutions rejecting the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says the panel yesterday afternoon voted against a "negative declaration" on the city's Environmental Assessment Form for the effort. 

 

McLaughlin says they also rejected the actual annexation measure, 5-0.  McLaughlin declined to go on tape but, did say this is, quoted - "the saddest day I've had here since I became town supervisor."

_____

 

Wednesday night the Falconer Village Board voted 5-0 on the same two measures.  That means that, outside of the city council the two other boards directly involved have rejected the resolutions. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel says both items were voted down unanimously, 5-0.  Rensel declined comment Thursday morning. 

 

The proposed annexation would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott, about $320,000 total in tax dollars that the four entities would lose if the annexation goes through.

 

 

The retiring director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has received the organization's highest award in his final year of service. 

 

Randy Sweeney became the 25th recipient of the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award last night during a dinner presentation at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. 

 

Selection Committee Chairwoman Bridget Johnson said Sweeney is not only director of the foundation but, gives his time to help several local organizations carry out their missions. 

 

Those organizations include the Robert H. Jackson Center, and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Sweeney's son Adam, and wife, Peggy also spoke.  Peggy Sweeney presented a tongue-in-cheek slide show about the Randy Sweeney those attending didn't know. 

 

In accepting the Hamilton Award, Sweeney recalled moving up to be a Vice-President at the former Quality Markets.  He says the owners wanted to do more with the community and, that's when he realized "how important that service is to the communities and the individuals involved."  He is celebrating his 20th year as director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation during his final year with the foundation which has seen continued growth during his tenure.

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WJTN Headlines

Falconer village lawmakers have voted unanimously against the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel confirms the 5-0 vote took place at Wednesday night's meeting at village hall. Rensel says there were two votes taken, the first was to reject the city council's "negative declaration" that the annexation would have no environmental impacts and, the other regarded the annexation itself. 

 

Rensel declined further comment Thursday morning.  Village officials have rejected the proposed annexation which would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott about $320,000 total in tax revenues all four entities would lose if the annexation goes through. 

 

The Ellicott Town Board is voting this afternoon on the annexation which has been approved by the Jamestown City Council.

 

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman believes it was a wise move by President Trump to phase-out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA Program. 

 

The Corning Republican says he agrees with the president in not just cutting off DACA but for providing a six month window of opportunity for Congress to finally act on the issue. 

 

Reed says he would like the 800-thousand people, who were brought here as children, be allowed to stay.  However he says legislative action is needed to deal with the matter not just executive orders, because "what can be done by executive orders can be undone by executive orders." 

 

Reed says he is hopeful that some kind of legislation can be enacted by the Senate and House and, that it may ultimately lead to comprehensive Immigration Reform.  He says it could also be part of a border security measure.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

Hurricane Harvey is having a significant impact on the prices of gasoline across the nation and, Chautauqua County. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded, is up 15-cents a gallon from last week.  AAA says the local price which was $2.44 a gallon last week is now nearly $2.59 a gallon. 

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that prices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region continue to follow the trend of having some of the most expensive states in the country.  Nationally AAA says the average price is now $2.65 a gallon.  Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to seven days ago.

 

 

The new head of the Jamestown Public Schools says they had a good and "uneventul" start to the new school year Wednesday. 

 

Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says there were no significant problems reported to him yesterday during the opener which was a half-day of school. 

 

Apthorpe had been working with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root late this Summer to get ready to hit the ground-running on September 1st after coming from the Frontier District.  He says he's excited to be back in Chautauqua County where he grew up in Mayville. 

 

Apthorpe says there's something special about the area and, it's really "the jewel of New York State."  He says there have been some capital projects taking place at Bush Elementary and Jefferson Middle Schools but, adds both schools were "buttoned up" about two-weeks before classes started.  He comes to Jamestown after serving a few years as superintendent at Frontier.  He says he was impressed with the Jamestown district from the moment he got to meet members of the school board. 

 

Apthorpe is a 1983 graduate of the former Mayville Central School District.

 

 

A coalition of more than 100 nonprofit community service organizations is urging New York's congressional delegation to reject proposed budget cuts to food stamps, Medicaid and other social programs. 

 

The group wrote to the state's federal lawmakers Thursday asking them to fight the cuts, which they said would devastate services for the most vulnerable residents.  Groups that signed on to the letter include child advocacy organizations, food banks, community service groups and religious organizations like Catholic Charities and the state's Council of Churches. 

 

In the letter, the groups say that proposals to cut billions of dollars from family assistance programs, the Child Tax Credit and Medicaid are "deeply disturbing."  They say Congress should find a bipartisan solution that protects services and avoids big problems at the state and national level.

 

 

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency has been named a fellow at the Fordham University School of Law's Center on National Security. 

 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency from 2013 until January of this year, took the new position Tuesday.  The New York Times reports he has been named a distinguished fellow for global security and will participate in the Center on National Security's programs. 

 

Brennan says he also will mentor students at Fordham University who are interested in government service and national security. He graduated from the school in 1977, earning a degree in political science. 

 

Karen Greenberg, the founding director of the center, says Brennan will be the first fellow with the title of distinguished fellow.

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WJTN Headlines

The search is continuing for two men who allegedly held up the 575 Convenience Mart on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott early Tuesday morning. 

 

Ellicott Town Police say the two male suspects entered the store about 5:30 a.m., armed with knives.  They then assaulted the store clerk.  Police say a quantity of cash was taken from the cash register. 

 

At this time, Ellicott Police are asking for the public's help in finding the robbers.  If you have any information call Ellicott Police at 665-7083.

 

 

A sharp cold front moving through western New York late Monday into early Tuesday triggered a wave of severe thunderstorms that caused damage across portions of both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

That from Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Wood says there was a "clashing" of air masses involved one was very warm, while a sharp cold front pushed through it with strong winds aloft.  Wood says there were many reports of trees and power lines down across the region and, adds that top winds were in the north county, where there was a 60-mph an hour wind gust in Fredonia and a 59 mph gust at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

Thousands of students across Chautauqua County began school Tuesday while some others start today. 

 

Among those starting classes today is the Jamestown Public Schools which will have a half-day of school for all grade levels. 

 

That from new School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who began his tenure last Friday, Sept. 1.  However, Apthorpe has been working closely with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root on the transition.  He says he's been catching up and, is enjoying his work especially seeing the excitement in the kids. 

 

Apthorpe says the main word for opening day is "safety" because so many students walk to school in Jamestown.  He says that number totals more than 4,000 students will be attending this year.  He says most of the kids are just learning their routes to school so motorists need to exercise care.

 

 

Four teenagers had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after their car was involved in a rollover crash in the town of Mina.

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Sulpher Springs Road about 8 p.m. Sunday night on a report of an accident.  Deputies say the teens were in a westbound car at an apparent high rate of speed, when the car left the road and overturned several times before hitting a utility pole, shearing it in half. 

 

All four juveniles were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

 

It appeared by late yesterday that everyone who lost power in the Jamestown Board of Public Utliities' service area had power back after dozens of customers in the city and surrounding area lost elecricity during powerful overnight storms. 

 

That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins, who says the outages began shortly after 11 p.m. Monday when a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says they had Electric Division crews out quickly and, they had portions of Jamestown and Celoron restored by late Tuesday morning.  She says they had a long-list of places that had lost power including the area of King, English, and Tower Streets which also includes the English Hill Substation as well as a Water Division pump station. 

 

In addition Robbins says that several customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood Avenue in Falconer lost power during the overnight hours.  She says in West Ellicott Howard, Warwick and Elmwood Avenues also lost power for some time. 

 

Robbins says there may still be an outage here or there.  If you have not had power restored call the BPU at 661-1660 and dial Extension 3.

 

 

There's a major vote being taken by Teamster's Union members across New York state today that would reduce their pension benefits significantly. 

 

That from Local Congressman Tom Reed who is urging retired members of the Teamsters union to make sure to vote by today's deadline and, to vote "no" on the proposal. 

 

Reed says he has been working with some of the local retirees who are among the 35,000 who would be impacted by the final vote.  Reed says they're facing a 29% reduction in their pensions.  He says he doesn't know how many of them are going to survive with such a cut in their pension. 

 

Reed says retirees can vote over the phone or on-line.  Reed says under the plan, present workers are also looking at an 18-percent reduction due to problems in the pension fund.   Teamsters leaders say they need the concession because they don't have the money to fully fund the pension plan. 

 

However, Reed says retirees need to have their voices heard especially regarding the need for an alternative that doesn't cut funding like the union is calling for. 

 

Reed adds that if a retired member doesn't vote directly he will be counted as a "yes" vote.

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WJTN Headlines

Electric crews with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are continuing to work on several scattered outages in the area that occured during the overnight storms that hit the region. 

 

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outages occured shortly after 11 p.m. Mondaywhen a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says the gusty winds were especially a problem with many tree and limbs falling onto power lines across the area.  She says one trouble area on the city's westside, King, English and Tower Streets had power restored by late morning. 

 

The English Hill pump station also lost power for a while.  Robbins said late this morning that there were still some outages in the village of Celoron due to a downed tree on Duquesne Avenue. 

 

Power remains out on parts of Jackson Avenue, and, Livingston Avenue.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power. 

 

West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  She says crews will be into your area soon if not already but, if your power has not come on by early afternoon call the BPU at 661-1660 and customer service is at Ext. 3. 

 

 

Several waves of severe thunderstorms moved across Western New York overnight, causing damage across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

The storms were ahead of a strong cold front that crossed the area according to Meteorologist Jeff Wood of the National Weather Service.  He says the storms left behind toppled trees and downed power lines with the strongest gust reported in Fredonia at 60 mph. 

 

A 59 mile an hour wind gust was also reported at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

There were a couple of scary moments during last night's abbreviated fireworks show at the Labor Day Festival. 

 

Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says, preliminarily, a couple of people suffered what appeared to be very minor burns when hot embers from the fireworks went into the crowd shortly after the show began. 

 

Hanley says the winds really picked up shortly into the 12-minute program but, once they were alerted about the embers blowing into the crowd the fireworks were immediately stopped. 

 

An announcement was made saying there was a safety concern, and the fireworks show was concluded. 

 

 

For the third-time Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival was held at Bergman Park on Monday due to the storm system that passed through the area Sunday morning and early afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says it was the "right call" to make given the forecast for not only rain but, cooler than normal temperatures in the area.  He thanked the large number of people who turned out for the event on a sunny and warmer, but, breezy afternoon Sunday

 

Teresi also recalled what happened with David Willkinson was given the Ritzer award in 2013 and, just as they were wrapping up a storm system with 50 mph winds roared through and they had to evacuate people from the park. 

 

Teresi says the safety of their workers, volunteers and residents was their first consideration in deciding to move the festival to Monday

 

The storm included the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.  Teresi also recognized the city's 450 employees for the work they do every day for the residents of Jamestown.

 

 

For only the third time in the past 34 years a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award." 

 

Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during yesterday afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival. 

 

Peters who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored.  She also used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had. 

 

Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, adding women are needed in the labor movement.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolades including a citation from the New York State Assembly.  Local Representative Andy Goodell presented it acknowledging that he and Peters don't always agree on labor matters. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her and, also declared this week as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown. 

 

The Ritzer Award not only recognizes union leadership but, community involvement.

 

 

New York state had more jobs last year than at any time since the Great Recession, though upstate regions continue to struggle with job losses. 

 

The figures were published Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and first reported by The Associated Press. 

 

According to DiNapoli's statistics more than 9.1 million New Yorkers were working last year. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in 2016, its lowest point in nine years.

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News Alert for Tues., Sept 5, 2017

BPU Power Outage update!!...
 
Crews with the Electric Division of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is working to repair several outages that began occurring around Midnight this morning... due to storms and high winds.  Power has been out in the Village of Celoron in the vicinity of Jackson Avenue, Livingston Avenue, 5th and 7th Streets.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna... and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power.  West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  
 
Jamestown electric outages are reported in the Palmer, Norton and Pershing areas.  Electricity is off in the areas of King,  English and Tower Streets. The BPU's English Hill water pump station has been off due to the outages... and, they've caused some low water pressure and discolored water in that area.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says damage to electric lines appears to be caused by high wind conditions bringing down trees and tree branches.
 
BPU crews are working to restore electricity... but no time estimate can be made at this time.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 4, 2017

Peters becomes third woman to receive Ritzer Labor Award...
For only the third time in the past 34 years... a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award."  Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during this afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival.  Peters... who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees... says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored... and, used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had.  Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolates... including a citation from State Assembly Andy Goodell.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her... and, also declared September 3rd through 9th as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown.
 
 
City couple arrested after 2-year-old child is found unattended to...
A Jamestown couple is under arrest after their 2-year-old child was left unattended for more than 30-minutes last Sunday night... and, was found walking around in the 700 block of East Second Street.  City police were called to the scene at East Second and Thayer Streets just before 6:30 p.m., and found the child wandering alone.  However... officers couldn't locate the parents.  Police say about 30-minutes later... the parents called police... saying they couldn't find their child.  Further investigation revealed that one parent had left the house, and the other was sleeping when the 2-year-old left the house unattended... and, walked nearly a block before being found okay.  Police say the child was turned over to a family friend... and, they arrested the parents, 29 year-old Christina Scivener and 25 year-old Andrew Morton for endangering the welfare of a child.  Child Protective Services was also called.
 
 
City man arrested for Cocaine possession during traffic stop...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine during a traffic stop on Allen Street early yesterday morning.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over 42 year-old Scott Moore's car shortly before 3 a.m. for failure to dim his high-beams.  Officers say they found Moore had a suspended non-driver ID only... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Police say they found the cocaine during a search prior to his being put in the city jail on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... unlicensed operation... and, on two bench warrants.
 
 
Reed believes there will be no government shut-down over Trump's proposed Border Wall...
Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he believes lawmakers can avoid a government shut-down... and, provide what's needed for border security.  That from Corning Republican Tom Reed in the wake of President Donald Trump's threat to shut the government down if there's no funding for a border wall in the final budget that Congress needs to pass before the end of September.  Reed says the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus has been working on House measures that have broad support among Republicans and Democrats.  As for a border wall... Reed believes there are other -- less expensive means -- to secure the southern border.  Increasing the debt ceiling is another matter that Congress needs to take-up once lawmakers return from their August recess.  However... officials on Sunday talk shows feel that should happen due to the need for federal Hurricane relief in southeastern Texas.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Capitol Watch on new SUNY Chancellor...
In New York state government news, the state's higher education system is getting a new leader and its Court of Appeals faces a busy week.  Kristina Johnson formally takes over as chancellor of the State University of New York on Tuesday.  The Stanford University-educated scientist and engineer holds 118 patents and has held top positions at Johns Hopkins and Duke University.  Meanwhile, the court will hear arguments in several cases, including one centering on DNA evidence lost to floods during Superstorm Sandy.
 
 
Jamestown man and woman arrested on drug and other charges following traffic stop...
Two city residents have been arrested on several traffic infractions... and, for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and drug paraphernalia.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over a Ford Brono on South Main Street about 4 a.m. Saturday for a loud muffler, and suspended registration.  Officers say they found the operator, 27 year-old Zachary Legere, was driving with a suspended license... without a registration... and, no insurance.  Police say his passenger, 29 year-old Maddie Seiler, was found in possession of a quantity of Meth, drug paraphernalia, and a hypodermic needle.  She's charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Seiler was being held pending arraignment... Legere was cited and released.
 
 

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News Alert for Sun., Sept. 3, 2017

(**Announcement!!!) The city of Jamestown's annual Labor Day Festival has been postponed to tomorrow due to the forecast Sunday of inclement weather from remnants of Hurricane Harvey passing through the region.  Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says the forecast tomorrow is much warmer, and it'll be sunny for ALL the activities -- including the Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk.  Again, all activities planned for Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival have been moved to tomorrow, Sept. 4.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 2, 2017

Remnants of Harvey claims one event today; Stateline is cancelled tonight...
We have learned that Stateline Speedway has cancelled tonight's racing program due to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey arriving in the area later today.  There has been no make-up date scheduled... because Stateline will have it's three-day racing festival next weekend.  Again... due to remnants of Harvey arriving later today... tonight's final night of the regular season has been cancelled.
 
 
Jamestown's Labor Day Festival still on for Sunday -- as of now -- here's a preview...
Remnants of Hurricane Harvey are expected to reach the Jamestown-area by late today... But, the forecast late this week improved late this week for Sunday's 38th annual Labor Day Festival.  The event remains on track to start at 9:30 a.m. at Bergman Park with the annual Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk... with other activities beginning at 11 a.m.  That from the festival's main organizer... Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says there'll be plenty for everyone of all ages.  There'll be free kids games, Pepsi Bingo, and several food booths put on by local non-profits, or for them by local businesses.  For the first time this year... those organizations will include the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village at the Ashville BOCES.  Another organizer is Mayor's Assistant Matt Hanley... who says the 24 arts and crafts booths will open at 11 a.m.  Music will begin on the "second-stage" on the festival grounds at 12 Noon... with the main stage starting at about 12:30 p.m.  There'll be fireworks just after 8:30 p.m., and, the annual George Ritzer Labor Award will be presented at 4 p.m. on the main stage.
 
 
Gerace says Sheriff's Office is part of latest Stop-DWI Crackdown...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department will be joining wit state Police and other agencies for this weekend's latest STOP DWI Crackdown over the Labor Day Holiday period.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says it's part of a national crackdown on impaired and distracted driving.  Gerace says this will be the last "high traffic" weekend of the Summer season... and, they'll be out looking for people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted driving.  He says drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints during the campaign... along with more troopers and other law enforcement on major highways.  With more people traveling on the highway... motorists need to think safety.  Gerace adds they'll be watching for people who are not properly buckled up... as well as drivers who are violating the Move Over Law.  The Sheriff's Department receives grant funding to help support the Stop DWI Crackdown efforts.
 
 
Kolb looking into run for Governor...
The top Republican in the New York state Assembly says he's considering running for governor next year.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told The Auburn Citizen that he's giving "serious thought" to a campaign after being approached by Republican leaders and business owners.  The Canandaigua lawmaker acknowledged the challenges of taking on Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has already raised more than $25 million for his bid for a third term.  Kolb has criticized Cuomo's handling of the economy and has pushed for tougher state ethics rules.
 
 
Ellicott Town Board sets meeting to vote on proposed Annexation of Dow St. Substation by Jamestown...
One of the other muncipal entities that has to vote on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land at the Jamestown City line with Falconer will vote on the measure next Thursday.  Ellicott Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says the town board will hold a special meeting next Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12 Noon.  The annexation would bring the property the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on into the city.  The property is assessed at between $7-million and $7.5-million.  The city council voted unanimously this past Monday to approve the annexation.  It must also be voted on by the Ellicott Town... and, Falconer Village Boards.  If either rejects the measure... it will go to state appellate court.
 

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WJTN Headlines

A truck hitting a utility pole anchor, breaking the pole and shorting out the electric lines triggered a major outage Wednesday morning affecting several industrial and commercial locations in Falconer. 

 

Spokeswoman Becky Robbins with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says the truck hit the anchor, and broke the pole about 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Dow and Allen Streets. 

 

Robbins says the power outage impacted SKF Aerospace, Truck-Lite, Schwann, Jones-Carroll, Kingsview Paving and others.  She says electricity to South Dow Street customers was restored in about an hour.  All remaining customers had power back by about 11:30 a.m.

 

 

The New York Air National Guard is deploying more resources to Texas to help out with the response to Harvey's record-breaking flooding. 

 

New York officials say a search and rescue aircraft carrying 15 airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing was headed to Fort Hood in Texas on Tuesday. A regional medical plans officer will head to Texas on Thursday to help with the evacuation and transportation of patients from local hospitals. This is in addition to the 104 Airmen already dispatched to the area along with rescue helicopters and watercraft.

 

 

 

The city of Houston has set a new single-storm rainfall record for the continental U-S with more than 50 inches of rain due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

That's a lot more than the heaviest rainfall amounts ever recorded in Western New York.  That from Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says the wettest 5-day period in Western New York resulted from the remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. 

 

Hitchcock says some locations including Olean and Wellsville had upwards of 13-inches of rain.  He says Wellsville had a record 13.9-inches from Agnes. 

 

Hitchcock says 50 inches of rainfall in such a short-time in Western New York is not likely because we are not in a tropical environment right off the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Still, the remnants of Agnes caused some of the worst flooding in recorded history across parts of the Southern Tier including Olean, Elmira and Corning. 

 

We are expected to get some rain from the remnants of Harvey by late next weekend.

 

 

The price of gasoline in the Jamestown-area has risen sharply late yesterday at some gasoline stations with a number of refineries in southeastern Texas shut-down due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

While the price had stayed steady the past few days it's gone up 9 to 10 cents a gallon since yesterday morning at some service stations. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report said the average price yesterday was still about $2.44 cents a gallon.  During the lunch hour we had a chance to check some prices in the area and, some had already gone up to $2.53 and $2.54 a gallon while a few others were still at $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded. 

 

Nationally the price was up four-cents to $2.37 a gallon as of late Monday.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed has signed-on as a co-sponsor of legislation proposed by another member of the House from western New Yorker he says would guarantee American's second-amendment rights. 

 

The Corning Republican adds that the Second Amendement Guarantee Act would also make New York's controverial SAFE Act null-and-void. 

 

The Corning Republican said Tuesday that he has signed onto the legislation authored by Clarence Republican Chris Collins. 

 

Reed says he believes the issue of gun violence can be addressed in other ways than restricting gun rights and, the focus needs to be on mental health and, violent criminal activity.  He has often discussed the need to deal with Mental Illness issues better as opposed to limiting access to guns.  He calls this a protective measure and feels that an attack against citizen's Second-Amendment is "not the right way" to go. 

 

The SAFE Act otherwise known as the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was proposed by Governor Cuomo in 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting deaths of more than two-dozen people, mostly young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  So far it has withstood court challenges.

 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has now held the first two of three public hearings on a county-wide shared services plan. 

 

Horrigan held the first hearing at the Fredonia Technology Incubator in Dunkirk and, the second was last night at the county's EMS Office in Mayville.  He says turnout was light for the first one but there was generally positive feedback about a proposal to look at the consolidation of the County's court system from those involved.  He says people want some more information though. 

 

Horrigan says he is outlining the current proposals they have and, the final hearing will be tonight in Jamestown at the BWB Building on West Third Street.  Horrigan says it'll begin in the second-floor conference room at 6:30 p.m.

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WJTN Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Trump's decision to go to Texas while rescue and relief efforts are still on-going. 

 

The president was in both Austin and the Corpus Christi area yesterday where he called Hurricane, now Tropical Storm Harvey a storm of "epic proportion." 

 

Congressman Reed earlier Tuesday said his "thoughts, prayers, and support" go to the people of Houston and, surrounding area. 

 

Reed says he doesn't believe it's "too early" for the president to be in Texas adding that knowing the president, "he wants to be hands-on and, on the ground."  Preliminarily the recovery effort was expected to cost at least $3-billion.  However, the Corning Republican says this has been an "unprecidented storm" and, he believes Congress will provide the needed emergency funding once members return from their August break. 

 

The president received an update from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and others Tuesday.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

While prices shot up across parts of the country in the wake of Hurricane Harvey blasting the southeast Texas coast the cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area is holding steady this week. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says today that the average, local price was down. slightly to $2.43.9 this week. 

 

AAA says it's the sixth-straight week that prices have held steady in the region.  The Fuel Gauge reports that prices are relatively stable throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. 

 

Nationally the price is up to $2.37 a gallon this week which is four-cents more than last week.

 

 

Sinclairville woman being treated for injuries following head-on accident in Kiantone.

 

A Sinclairville woman escaped serious injury yesterday morning when she swerved to avoid a deer in the town of Kiantone and, her car went off the road and struck a utility pole head-on. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 55 year-old Lori Swift was northbound on Peck-Settlement Road about 7:30 a.m. when her car went off the road, and hit the National Grid pole. 

 

Deputies say Swift was treated at the scene by an Allstar Ambulance crew and, was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

 

A 21.5% increase in student enrollment at the State University of New York College at Fredonia has left college officials pleased with the results of new recruitment efforts. 

 

College Council Chair Frank Pagano says he is thrilled with the efforts and says they are picking up more students from the downstate area. 

 

Pagano says they hired a recruiter to get more students from the New York Metro-area as well as Long Island.  He says SUNY at Fredonia is also responding more quickly to student applications. 

 

At one point he says it was nearly two-weeks before university got back to prospective students.  He says that's now been cut to five-days from the time the college receives the application to the student being notified of acceptance. 

 

A former mayor of Fredonia, Pagano says the increase in enrollment is bringing new excitement to the campus.  The university is the largest employer in the Dunkirk-Fredonia and remains a key player in the region's economy.

 

 

Criticism of the city of Jamestown's plan to annex the Dow Street Substation continued during Monday night's privledge of the floor at the city council's voting session. 

 

City resident Chris Gardner continued to ask who pushed for the annexation in the beginning and, who supported it. Gardner says the move will have a significant tax impact on the village of Falconer town of Ellicott and Falconer School District.  

 

While the BPU voted to petition city council for the annexation he insisted that BPU staff he's talked to said they didn't "push for it."  Gardner adds that he feels it's "politically motivated." 

 

Another resident Ravin Mason of Lovell Avenue had a dozen questions she felt city council should answer in their own minds before voting one was what kind of financial straits would the loss of $7.5-milion in assessment have on these smaller municipalities? 

 

She adds that this would add to the loss of taxable property due to the major apartment, commercial building fire in downtown Falconer late last Winter.

 

 

Members of the Jamestown City Council and Mayor Sam Teresi celebrated the more than 30-year career of retiring Director of Finance and City Clerk James Olson at the end of Monday night's Council meeting. 

 

Teresi was joined by lawmakers in presenting a special plaque to Olson.  Olson returned to city government after a short hiatus when Teresi began his tenure as Mayor in 2000. 

 

However Teresi says their friendship dates back to when Teresi interned at City Hall with former Mayor Steven Carlson and, Olson was Carlson's Executive Assistant at the time. 

 

The mayor says he understood that Olson had a hard decision to make in retiring because his head was telling him he needed to take his new opportunity, but, his heart wanted to be with city government. 

 

That opportunity is the chance to work full-time with a local accounting and tax preparation firm.  Olson's final day will be Thursday, Aug. 31.  He'll be replaced by Jamestown-area attorney Todd Thomas who will become the city's new Director of Administrative Services and City Clerk on Sept. 1.

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WJTN Headlines

City officials in Jamestown are pleased to see the state's Department of Environmental Conservation approve the city council as lead agency for the final process of annexing four-acres of land in the village of Falconer and, town of Ellicott. 

 

With that city council last night gave final approval to the annexation of land the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on.  The DEC issued it's ruling late last week and, notified the city late last Friday. 

 

With that, lawmakers approved three measures accepting the DEC's approval as well as the final two phases of an Environmental Assessment Form stating that the annexation would have no "negative impact" on the environment. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says the DEC ruling can't be challenged but, he says the city's environmental assessment could be in the state's Appellate Division.  Teresi says once they got e-mail confirmation of the approval by the DEC last Friday they began drafting resolutions for last night's meeting. 

 

The city had been waiting for the DEC Commissioner to sign-off on the measure so lawmakers could vote on approving the annexation of land.  The annexation must now must be voted on by the Falconer village and, Ellicott town boards. 

 

Teresi says if either one rejects the annexation the matter will go to court.

 

 

Jamestown city leaders last night celebrated a more than 30-year career in the city and, said a fond farewell to retiring Director of Finance and City Clerk James Olson. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi was joined by council members in presenting a special plaque to Olson at the end of last night's meeting. 

 

Olson returned to city government after a short hiatus when Teresi began his tenure as Mayor in 2000.  However Teresi says their friendship dates back to when Teresi interned at City Hall with former Mayor Steven Carlson and, Olson was Carlson's Executive Assistant at the time. 

 

Teresi adds that Olson will remain a member of two boards and commissions that he is a member of, as he becomes a full-time employee of a local accounting firm.  He also acknowledged that Olson was having a fight between his head and his heart over the decision to retire especially over the past month. 

 

Olson will be replaced by Jamestown-area attorney Todd Thomas who will become the city's new Director of Administrative Services and City Clerk on September 1st.

 

 

The New York State Department of Transportation has reportedly rescinded approvals for the massive roundabout project that's been planned for the Route 20 and Route 60 intersection in the town of Pomfret. 

 

That's the word from an area business that filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court. 

 

McDonald's restaurant Owner/Operator Enrico Francani challenged the DOT's determination that the roundabout project is not subject to an environmental impact review in state law.  As a result the State DOT has agreed to undertake the required environmental review. 

 

Attorney Adam Walters represents Francani and believed more review is needed and that the initial decision was "a mistake."  With that, they filed the lawsuit, and the DOT rescinded all the approvals. 

 

Walters says the lawsuit also highlighted changes that would adversely impact the franchise.  He says both of their entrances would be cut off by medians for the roundabout which he says will have a "significant impact on the business." 

 

We have also reached out to the State DOT's Regional Office in Buffalo for comment but, have not received a response at this time. 

 

 

The American Red Cross is again on the scene of a major, national disaster this time the Houston, Texas region that's been devastated by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

That from Western and Central New York Red Cross Disaster Officer Ken Turner who says their hearts go out to the millions of victims in the region. 

 

Turner says the western part of the region alone has sent 33 volunteers to help staff shelters, and assist people with emergency provisions.  He says five are from Western New York and, one is Silver Creek's Ron Chwojdak. 

 

Turner says the Red Cross effort is truly "Americans helping Americans."  He says the number of volunteers is by no means final because the Red Cross is likely to be in the Houston area for the next several weeks providing assistance. 

 

Turner says if people would like to help the effort you can mail a check to the American Red Cross.  You can also text to "Harvey at #90999".  You can also call the Red Cross at 1800-RED CROSS.

 

 

Investigators in the north county are continuing to look into why a Dunkirk man was sitting between the rails of the CSX Rail line last Friday when he was struck by an eastbound train. 

 

That from City Police Chief David Ortolano who released the name of the victim late yesterday morning.  Ortolano says 27 year-old John Sharp was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident which occured about 8:30 p.m. above the South Roberts Road overpass. 

 

Ortolano says they didn't release Sharp's name immediately because they had difficulty reaching relatives and, notifying them.  The Chautauqua County Coroner's Office has also been involved in the investigation.

 

 

New York has 31 new environmental conservation officers and nine new forest rangers. 

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation says they all graduated from the agency's 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers and received diplomas Friday in Pulaski. 

 

The academy ran for 28 weeks with training and coursework in environmental conservation law, physical conditioning, firearms, wildlife identification, search and rescue, wildfire suppression and other skills. 

 

Across the state in 2016, environmental conservation officers responded to over 26,000 calls and issued 22,000 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining.

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WJTN Headlines

The investigation is continuing into a train/pedestrian accident that claimed a life in the city of Dunkirk Friday night. 

 

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says a Dunkirk man lost is life after being hit by a CSX freight train above the South Roberts Road overpass shortly before 8:30 p.m.  Ortolano says they have notified next of kin and can released the name. 

 

The man is identified as 27 year-old John Sharp of Dunkirk.  He says they are still trying to find out why Sharp was on the tracks. 

 

Ortolano was sitting between the rails when he was struck by the eastbound train.  He says Dunkirk Police are continuing the investigation with the Chautauqua County Coroner's Office and CSX Police.

 

 

The American Red Cross is again on the scene of a major, national disaster this time the Houston, Texas region that's been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. 

 

That from Regional Red Cross Disaster Office Ken Turner who says their hearts go out to the millions of victims in the region. 

 

Turner says the western and central New York Region alone has sent 33 volunteers to help staff shelters, and assist people with emergency provisions.  He says five are from the western part of the region including Ron Chwojdak of Silver Creek. 

 

Turner says they are helping in "mass care" sheltering.  He says the number of volunteers is by no means final because the Red Cross is likely to be in the Houston area for the next several weeks providing assistance. 

 

Turner says if people would like to help the effort you can mail a check to the American Red Cross.  You can also text to "Harvey at #90999".  You can also call the Red Cross at 1800-RED CROSS.

 

 

The American Red Cross and officials from Chautauqua County are urging people to know and understand the need to have working smoke detectors in your home as well as a disaster escape plan. 

 

Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer Ken Turner was at the Jamestown Chapter House Monday morning to announce their "Sound the Alarm" campaign begins on Sept. 23 and runs through Oct. 15

 

Turner says there have been 35 such instances in Western New York this past year and, he says the Red Cross is ready to help residents put in working smoke detectors and develop and evacuation plan.  He says if the alarms are not operable they will replace them at no cost to the homeowner.  He says they will also have people to help with creating home evacuation plans. 

 

Turner pointed out that the local Red Cross prevention efforts since 2014 have saved, directly and indirectly some 270 lives in Western New York.  That's included 19 over the past year. 

 

One was where a woman living in an apartment house was awakened by a working smoke detector in her apartment and, she managed to wake up her fellow tenants so they could get out safely.  For more information call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to their website.

 

 

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly being a fugitive from justice and, for being in possession of illegal narcotics during a traffic stop early Sunday morning in Jamestown. 

 

City police say a patrol stopped the vehicle at the corner of North Main and First Streets about 1:30 a.m. for a violation.  However, officers say the front seat passenger, 29 year-old David Talyor, was found to be wanted on a warrant in Warren County, Pennsylvania. 

 

Police say they found a quantity of marijuana in Taylor's possession when he was taken into custody.  They say they also found some crushed prescription pills on the back seat and floor of the patrol car. 

 

Taylor faces charges including Felony fugitive from justice tampering with physical evidence and, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up pending extradiction.

 

 

Chautauqua Institution's new President, Michael Hill, brought his first season to a close Sunday night. 

 

Saying it was a 'remarkable' summer he charged Chautauquans to 'take it home.'  He says the power of Chautauqua is bringing all that's at Chautauqua "home with us." 

 

Hill also talked about his focus to make Chautauqua a more diverse place in the future including a new diversity program and officer... and, advisory council on diversity and inclusion.  He also promised more opportunity for local residents particularly young people in the off-season, and pledged to develop a 'business center' at Chautauqua by next summer. 

 

That center would assist people who need to bring their work with them when they come during Chautauqua's nine-week program. 

 

Hill made his 'three taps' closing address to around 700 people in attendance at the final Sacred Song Service of the summer Sunday night. 

 

 

A new study shows that the 25 million people who live among the Appalachian mountains have struggled to keep up with the health gains of the rest of the country, falling behind in nearly every major public health indicator. 

 

The report released late last week shows the 13-state region lags the rest of the country in 33 out of 41 public health indicators, including seven of the leading 10 causes of death in the United States. 

 

Deaths by poisoning, which include drug overdoses, were 37% higher than the rest of the country, a testament to the opioid addiction crisis.

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News Headlines for Sun., Aug 27, 2017

Ortolano says person hit by train dies on CSX tracks in Dunkirk Friday night...
There's been another fatal train accident in along the Lake Erie Shoreline in Chautauqua County.  One person was killed after getting struck by a train in the city of Dunkirk Friday night.  Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says Dunkirk Police and Fire responded to the CSX rail line above the South Roberts Road overpass a little before 8:30 p.m.  Ortolano says patrols and fire crews were called to the area above the CSX overpass.  He says the male victim was reportedly sitting between the rails and was struck by an eastbound CSX freight train... and, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police are withholding the name of the victim pending notification of family.  This is the second time in as many days that a person died in a train accident in Chautauqua County.  State Police say 58-year-old Marilyn Triana died after her Sports Utility Vehicle got hit by a train in Ripley on Thursday.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested in West Ellicott for allegedly trafficking narcotics...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of a significant amount of illegal drugs, and a loaded hand-gun that was reported stolen, during a traffic stop this past Thursday night.  Sheriff's deputies say they and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force located and arrested 29 year-old Allen Yarbrough while he was driving in a parking lot at 945 Fairmount Ave. in West Ellicott.  Officers say Yarbrough was sought on one count of Felony criminal contempt.  During the investigation... Task Force members got a search warrant... and, found him with about 12 grams of uncut heroin... a half-an ounce of Methamphetamine... 100 hydrocodone tablets... and, 21 dosage units of Suboxone.  They also found the stolen hand-gun... and, packaging materials and scales.  With that... Yarbrough will be arraigned at a later date on charges including five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... fourth-degree criminal possession... and, second-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon.  Yarbrough was sent to the county lock-up... and, deputies add additional charges are pending.
 
 
Reed announces reintroducting HELP Act to help prosecute those involved in dealing Heroin laced with other substances...
A law that would stiffen penalties for drug dealers who sell -- or cut Heroin and other drugs with other deadly substances -- has been re-introduced in Congress.  That from Local Representative Tom Reed... who has again filed the Help Ensure Lives are Protected -- or HELP -- Act in Washington, D-C.  The Corning Republican says the law would allow prosecutors to seek life in prison... or the death penalty... if someone knowingly sells Heroin laced with Fentanyl... and it results in an overdose death.  Reed has met the family of several people who died from overdose... including Kim Carlson of Jamestown, whose son, Alex Foulk, died of an overdose of Heroin laced with Fentanyl... nearly two years ago.   He says he wants to see the legislation taken up in September.  Reed says he is looking for someone to co-sponsor the Help Ensure Lives are Protected Act in the U-S Senate.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Teresi appoints Todd Thomas to replace Olson in new position...
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has named a practicing attorney from Chautauqua County as his new Director of Administrative Services -- and City Clerk -- beginning September 1st.  Teresi says his appointment of Todd Thomas to replace the retiring Jim Olson will take place at next Monday night's City Council voting session.  Olson will step down as the current Director of Financial Services/City Clerk next Thursday, Aug. 31.  Teresi says he's looking forward to having Thomas joined their administrative team.  He says Thomas has "very large foot prints" to fill... but, adds he's confident that "given his background, skill set and past experience, Todd will be up to the challenge."  Thomas and his wife, Lana, live in Jamestown.  Due to the change in title to reflect the new bredth and scope of the position... Teresi says there will also have to be a charter change voted on by the city council.
 
 
City woman arrested for allegedly leaving 1-year-old alone to wander outside...
A Jamestown woman is jailed after her one-year-old child was found -- alone -- chasing a small dog on the city's eastside Friday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene at 86 Falconer Street shortly before 3 p.m., where they found an uninvolved person holding the child.  The woman told police the child was alone... and, was running towards the street.  Police began talking with neighbors... and, located the child's mother -- 20 year-old Katlin DiDomenico -- inside her house.  Officers learned DiDomenico hadn't noticed that the toddler had wandered off for at least 5-minutes.  Police went to arrested her for endangering the welfare of a child.  However... once handcuffed... DiDomenico tried to pull away... and, was additionally charged with resisting arrest.  The one-year-old child was turned over to a family member.
 
 
Young announces $5-Million in funding for new passing landes on Route 60 between Cassadaga and Gerry...
There will be new passing lanes along a busy and dangerous stretch of Route 60 between Gerry and Cassadaga... thanks to the efforts of State Senator Cathy Young.  Young was at the Chautauqua County Public Facilties headquarters in Falconer yesterday to announce that she was able to obtain $5-million in capital funding for the effort.  The Olean Republican says she's "very, very pleased" that the Senate could negotiate the funding to improve that important 12-mile stretch of roadway.  Young adds that Route 60 is "very, very important" to the local economy as well.  Young adds that the state Department of Transporation will do a study to find where the best places are to put in passing lanes.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell the project will improve traffic flow. 
 

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WJTN Headlines

A Ripley woman was killed late yesterday afternoon when her Sports Utility Vehicle was struck by a CSX train at the Goodrich Street crossing in the town of Ripley. 

 

State Police in Fredonia say the accident occured around 4 p.m. when the southbound SUV driven by 58 year-old Marillyn Triana, drove into the path of the train and, was struck. 

 

Troopers say the train was westbound at the time of the crash.  State Police say Triana was prounnced dead at the scene.  The cause of the collision is still under investigation.


A Jamestown man will spend 10 years in federal prison for trying to traffic 500 grams or more of cocaine from his residence in Ashville and, two vehicles he owned. 

 

Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced Thursday afternoon that 32 year-old Taylor Larson received the sentence from U-S District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo. 

 

The Assisant U-S Attorney who prosecuted the case says Jamestown police and members of the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration raided Laron's residence on Keller Road in Ashville and, searched his 2015 Saab-sedan and Jeep Liberty.

 

During the search of the residence, officers found about 21 grams of cocaine in an upstairs bedroom, material to package the drug.  They say another 36 grams of cocaine was found inside the Saab, and approximately 286 grams of cocaine was found inside the Jeep.  They also found another 300 grams of cocaine inside and vacant apartment behind the home.


Two Jamestown-area high schools have merged programs to create a new and very unique marching band for the Fall Season.  Falconer and Frewsburg have combined to form the new F2CS the "Blue and Gold Vanguard" band. 

 

Former Frewsburg Band Director Alicia Laska says their band folded about 10 years ago due to lack of interest.  However, Laska says she was recently contacted by administrators about establishing a combined band.  She says it's been a lot of work and, the kids now seem to be forming bonds. 

 

Last week during band camp, one of the Frewsburg kids was doing "something dorky" and one of the student leaders from Falconer yelled at him.  With that she said to herself, "we're where we're supposed to be." 

 

It's not been unusual to see local high school football teams combine forces to put out a team.  However it may take some time for a cohesive team to form. 

 

Laska says their program this year is called "Time and Space"  and, includes music from the original "Star Trek" series and, the follow-up Star Trek: Next Generation."


Three public hearings will be held next week around Chautauqua County on a proposed shared services plan that was outlined by County Executive Vince Horrigan during Wednesday night's legislature meeting. 

 

Horrigan says the plan includes many of the projects included in the county's application for the 20-million dollar Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition. 

 

After the meeting Horrigan spoke about the plan that contained a new proposal a study on the county's court system, and whether that can be better consolidated. 

 

Horrigan also spoke about the competition for the $20 million dollars in state assistance.  He doesn't believe that one winner will take all and, adds that state officials made a recent visit. 

 

Horrigan says they wanted to know more about the projects and, what level of funding is available for them.  As for the Shared Services Plan Horrigan says the hearings will be held at the University Incubator in Dunkirk on Tuesday evening, August 29th the county's EMS Building in Mayville on Wednesday, August 30th and, at the BWB Building in Jamestown on Thursday, August 31st. All three hearings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

 



A Chautauqua County man is under arrest in Warren County, Pennsylvania for allegedly stealing several items including credit cards that he used at local stores from a pick-up truck in Sheffield Township. 

 

State Police in Warren say they wrapped up a lengthy investigation with the arrest of 34 year-old Jacob Keys of Mayville. 

 

Keys is accused of stealing the credit cards cash and, a 40-calibur hand-gun during the overnight hours of May 29 of this year. 

 

Troopers say Keys is also accused of using the stolen credit cards at two stores in Warren County.  He's being held on theft charges pending further court action.


Final preparations are being made for the 38th annual Labor Day Festival at Jamestown's Bergman Park. 

 

The festival committee met for the final time Thursday afternoon at the park to go over details and, finalize plans for the city's annual "End of Summer" Bash. 

 

City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says they're excited about the chance to provide a big celebration that starts shortly before Noon and, runs until 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3.  She says it's a day of food, fun, activities, and fireworks. 

 

Ciesla-Hanley says the day will actually start with the annual Dan Feather 5K Run/Walk at 9:30 a.m. on Baker Street with registration beginning at 8 a.m.  She adds that more than 20 craft's vendors from across the area will take part along with several food vendors. 

 

Ciesla-Hanley says there will again be two music stages for the Labor Day Festival with Two for Flinching again closing out the day on the Main Stage from 7 to 8:30 when the fireworks show begins.

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WJTN Headlines

Chautauqua County will be joining several others across New York state in a lawsuit against major drug manufacturers seeking the recovery of damages from the opioid epidemic.  

 

County legislators last night approved a resolution authorizing the litigation by a 19-nothing vote.  County Executive Vince Horrigan compares this legal action to the lawsuits that led to a settlement with tobacco companies in the 1990s especially when you look at the magnitude of the health issued caused and the number of people affected. 

 

Horrigan says that County Attorney Steve Abdella has selected a downstate law firm that is handling similar lawsuits with other counties.  He says they looked at three different law firms, and adds it won't cost anything for the county to join with 11 to 12 others who have filed suit. 

 

Information included in the resolution that cleared the County Legislature indicated that there were 21 confirmed overdose deaths in the county last year.


Five people are jailed for allegedly being in possession of small quantities of Crystal Methamphetime during a raid at an apartment on Jamestown's eastside Wednesday. 

 

JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant on the basement apartment at 20 Bush Street about 1:45 p.m. 

 

Samuelson says police suspected the residence was being used for drug trafficking.  He says task force members spotted one person, 50 year-old Delbert Clark flee the scene. 

 

Samuelson says Clark was caught following a several-block long foot chase and found him with a small amount of Meth and, a CO2 Pistol.  He says police arrested four others inside the apartment, including Heather Diaz and Jeffrey Rigerman both 33, 24 year-old Cassandra Cole, and an unidentified 18 year-old. 

 

Samuelson says all five face charges including aeventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child because two small children were found inside the apartment.  Rigerman is jailed on $12,000 cash bail, Cole on $6,000, and Diaz on $2,500 bail.


About 60 people turned out for a community forum on poverty that was held in Dunkirk Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the panelists who took part during the forum held by Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated.  The Corning Republican believes there is a need to change the way the nation is fighting poverty, giving local organizations such as COI more flexibility. 

 

Reed says the U.S. has a history of spending trillions of dollars on the "War on Poverty" but, haven't gotten the results they should.  He says the added flexibility will help organizations, like COI, put resources towards what works. 

 

Reed spoke about legislation he reintroduced earlier this year, the Help Americans in Need Develop their Ultimate Potential or HAND-Up Act.  The proposal would give states the flexibility to change how agencies administer social welfare programs.  He also spoke about tax reform and the work of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which he co-chairs. 

 

COI Executive Roberta Keller believes the forum has an important purpose because "so many things are changing" and most have a big impact on people living in poverty.


A North East, Pennsylvania area man who allegedly broke into a Ripley home last weekend has been arrested in Franklin, Pennsylvania after police there found his abandoned vehicle nearby. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say a "Be on the Look-Out" alert was put out to all area agencies regarding the arrest warrant issued for 59 year-old Joseph Leone. 

 

Officers say Leone allegedly burglarized the localtion at 10-550 Route 20 last Saturday.  His vehicle was found along a road in Sugar Creek, Pennsylvania late Tuesday and, a short time later he was found in Franklin, and, arrested. 

 

Leone is currently awaiting extradition back to Chautauqua County on charges of third-degree grand larceny and, criminal mischief.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady again for the fifth-consecutive week dropping 3/10ths a cent this week over last. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is still $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  Gas prices are cheaper in all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on the week with the exception of New York, where gas prices remained stable. 

 

The price drop goes hand-in-hand with the region's latest gasoline inventory trend where there's been a 'sizeable' build.  Nationally AAA says the average price is down two cents to $2.33 a gallon.


There are several coffee shops across the Greater Jamestown-area but, one in the downtown area not only serves different kinds but, also roasts the bean right there on the premesis. 

 

City officials and leaders with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation joined with owners Michael and Sarah Bigney to cut the ribbon Wednesday on the Crown Street Roasting Company at 16 West Third Street. 

 

New JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch said she was "excited" about the official opening because coffee houses are usually good economic indicators. 

 

Sarah Bigney says Michael has roasted his own coffee for several years and, that led to opening the new business.  She says they've been open since August 1st and, adds they've been well-received by the community. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says having Crown Street open helps make downtown a "really, really cool place" to be with so many young, entrepreneurs coming into the downtown area.  The Bigney's say they are open Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and, Saturday's 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  They can be found on-line and, on Facebook and Instagram.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown man who admitted to killing his wife and step-son in early December of 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison on two counts of first-degree manslaughter. 

 

That from Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson who says 53 year-old Allen Witruke received the concurrent sentences from Acting County Court Judge James Bargnesi Tuesday morning. 

 

Swanson says Witruke pled guilty to both counts back on May 4th.  Swanson says "today, with the family of Eric Washburn and Catherine Witruke present, closure in the matter came in the form of concurrent 20 year sentences." 

 

In addition Swanson says the judge also sentenced Witruke to five-years of supervised released.  He also praised the police and investigators involved in the case. 

 

Swanson says Sheriff's Department deputies went to 235 Barrows St. in Jamestown the morning of Dec. 8, 2015 to perform an eviction and discovered the bodies of Catherine Witruke and her son. 

 

Allen Witruke had beaten and stabbed Eric Washburn to death and stabbed Catherine to death.  He then fled to Olean where other family members lived before being located by Olean Police.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is among those applauding President Donald Trump's speech Monday night focusing on needs and conditions instead of an arbitrary timeline in Afghanistan. 

 

Reed is reacting to the president's address in which he reassured the government in Afghanistan of U-S support in dealing with terrorism and the Taliban. 

 

The war and conflict in the Middle Eastern nation has been going on for 16 years now and, Reed says it's refreshing to see the president listening to his military advisors.  He says "we need to respect the advice of our generals and advisors" and, it's important to get us out of the "quagmire of the last 16 years." 

 

Reed says he knew what the president was going to say before Monday night's prime-time speech because the Corning Republican received a call from the White House telling him what the president was doing to address.  He believes that's important to keeping lawmakers unified on this policy.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

Prosecutors in western New York say they're investigating allegations that representatives of the Indian tribe that runs three casinos in the region eavesdropped on employees of the state Gaming Commission. 

 

The Erie County District Attorney's Office in Buffalo confirms Tuesday that it's investigating allegations by commission workers who say they were eavesdropped by the Seneca Gaming Authority. 

 

The Senecas operate casinos in downtown Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. 

 

Spectrum News in Buffalo first reported Monday that a listening device was found last year by commission officials in an office the agency leases from the Senecas at the tribe's Buffalo casino. 

 

Seneca officials say the investigation involves a Seneca employee but provided no details. 

 

The allegations come amid testy relations between the Cuomo administration and the Senecas over the tribe's halting of payments of millions of dollars in casino revenue to the state.

 

 

City officials in Jamestown are still awaiting word from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on whether it will name the city as lead agency for the process of annexing about four-acres of land in the village of Falconer. 

 

The City Council was updated on the process of trying to obtain the property the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on by Mayor Sam Teresi during Monday night's work session. 

 

Teresi says the Falconer Village and, Ellicott Town Boards have objected to the city being lead agency but, adds all three parties could hear back from the DEC "any day now."  He says the DEC's decision needs to be rendered shortly because all three boards have to vote on the proposed annexation within 90-days of the June 12 public hearing held at Falconer Middle-High School.  He says the city is already preparing for the second phase of an environmental assessment which he says should be fairly "straight-forward." 

 

The city began looking into the annexation after the BPU requested it back in January.  City officials say the move would save about $325,000 in taxes paid out. But the village, town and Falconer School District will lose significant tax payments.

 

 

Interim Jamestown School Superintendent Sylvia Root says she's enjoyed her work and, the people in the district but, it's time to turn the reigns over to the new, permanent superintendent. 

 

Root attended her final school board meeting last night at Washington Middle School and is wraping up a six-month stay in the district. 

 

New superintendent Bret Apthorpe begins work in the district a week from Friday, Sept. 1.  Root expressed her appreciation to the board and administrators for their help in doing what she needed to during her short tenure.  She did admit to one surprise during her time as interim superintendent that being the incredible support the district gets from the community at-large and, various organizations such as the Chautauqua Striders.  She says there are also individuals that provide a lot of help and support. 

 

Root says she has been working closely with Apthorpe to make sure he's up to date on what's happening in the district.  She says classes start in the Jamestown district on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

 

 

Authorities say a 4-year-old boy who plunged off a cliff into a western New York gorge with his parents has internal injuries, multiple fractures and a head injury. 

 

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard said Monday that Alexander Green is listed in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. 

 

That's an improvement from the day before, when he was listed in critical condition.  His parents, William and Amanda Green, of Buffalo, were found dead Sunday in the Zoar Valley Gorge.

 

Alexander was found with them.  Rescuers discovered a discarded sneaker that was too big for the 4-year-old. 

 

A couple of hours later, they found the couple's 7-year-old Jacob wandering around.  The sheriff says Jacob has a broken right arm and ankle and is in good condition.

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WJTN Headlines

Western New York was not in the direct path of yesterday's total solar eclipse that was viewed by millions of people from the west to the east coast yesterday. 

 

However, that didn't bother nearly 2,000 people who attended a viewing party held at the SUNY College at Fredonia Monday afternoon.  Those turning out saw about 73% of the sun covered. 

 

College Council Chairman Frank Pagano, a former mayor of Fredonia, was among those taking in the view and was pleased with the turnout.  SUNY at Fredonia President Virginia Horvath also attended the event and, called it "historic" for the college and the community. 

 

Dr. Michael Dunham, Assistant Professor with the University's Physics Department, says you don't see a partial solar eclipse every day.  He also had some good news about another viewing opportunity coming up in a few years. 

 

A total eclipse is expected in early April of 2024 that will pass over Western New York. 

 

The viewing party was held in the field behind the Science Center.  Mostly clear skies allowed attendees to get a good view of the eclipse.  

 

 

State leaders have now signed off on a local law that would allow the city of Jamestown to provide an 11-year property tax exemption on owner-occupied homes that have been rehabilitated or newly-built in the city. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi announced the approval during last night's city council work session adding that the measure was originally developed by City Councilwoman Marie Carubba. 

 

Teresi says Carubba patterned the program after one in her hometown of Batavia and, would exempt rehabilitated one or two-family homes or new ones on existing building lots.  He emphasized this only applied to city taxes, not county nor school taxes. 

 

Teresi says that was done for those taxes several years ago for new owner-occupied properties.  He says the measure has been approved by both the state Senate and Assembly and, was recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

Teresi says the local law would only be for small cities in New York state that have a population of 31,000 to 32,000 residents.  He says the program would exempt 100-percent of the taxes in each of the first three years... then 80-percent for the next two years.  Teresi says it would drop to 20-percent in years 10 and 11... and, the exemption would be gone by the 12th-year.

 

 

A preliminary hearing is set for this Friday morning for a Jamestown man accused of murdering a neighbor in their eastside apartment house early last Saturday morning. 

 

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says he was called to the scene at 508-to-512 East Sixth Street shortly before 5 AM Saturday in connection with the incident.  However while they were neighbors Swanson says the relationship between 51 year-old Michael Korzeniewski and victim Michael Bull is not yet fully known.  He also says Bull died at the scene from blunt-force trauma to the head. 

 

Otherwise Swanson declined to discuss many specifics about the murder case.  He did praise the work of city police for their quick arrest in the case.  Police say Bull was found laying face down in a driveway between two cars when they arrived.

 

 

A Brocton man is jailed on $2,000 cash bail for allegedly manufacturing Methamphetamine at a location where he was found on two active police warrants. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they were looking for 26 year-old Steven Seavy when they found him at a home on East Main Street last weekend. 

 

Officers say during the course of Seavy's arrest they found precursors for making Methamphetamine as well as various drug paraphernalia. 

 

Seavy was detained on a new arrest warrant issued in Brocton Village Court.  He's been arraigned on charges of third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetamine criminally using drug parapherenalia resisting arrest, and others.  He was sent to the county lock-up.

 

 

The first year president at Chautauqua Institution says his first Summer Season in the top post has been a "whirlwind" experience. 

 

Those are the feelings of Michael Hill who was installed as the institution's 18th President at the beginning of the year.  During our Chautauqua Now broadcast yesterday, Hill told our Dennis Webster it's "one of the most unique jobs in the world."  He talked about the high-lights to the season noting the institution had it's third-largest number of visitors on record during the week-six theme on "Comedy and the Human Condition" where they partnered with the National Comedy Center during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. 

 

Hill spoke as Week-Nine on "our changing relationship with Food" began.  He says it's a job that is part-time small town mayor, part-time university president, preacher, and teacher.  Hill says it's great to have such a strong team in place at Chautauqua which helps the nine-week season go as smoothly as possible.

 

 

Chautauqua President Michael Hill's first season coincides with the first-season for the new Chautauqua Amphitheater and, so far there have been few if an problems with the new, larger facility. 

 

That from Hill Monday morning during our Chautauqua Now broadcast.  He says it's been an incredible transformation for the amp which was nothing more than a "dirt pit and organ chamber" when he first arrived last Fall. 

 

Hill praised the institution staff and, project manager Ciminelli Construction for all the work they did to get the project completed.  He adds they're still on site to conclude finishing work.

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WJTN Headlines

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly killing another man who was found laying face down in a driveway on Jamestown's eastside early last Saturday morning. 

 

City Police Lieutenant Fred DeGolier says officers were called to the area of 508 to 512 East Sixth Street about 4:45 a.m., and, found the victim, Michael Bull laying between two cars. 

 

DeGolier says their investigation found that Bull had died from blunt force trauma.  He says officers arrested 51 year-old Micheal Korzeniewski for second-degree murder. 

 

Korzeniewski was arraigned and, sent to the county jail without bail.  The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office and the county's Forensic Investigation Team are also involved in the investigation.

 

 

One person has died, while two others were hurt in a one-car rollover crash on Route 242 in the Cattaraugus County Town of Little Valley early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they were called to the scene shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday and, found one person, who was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

Officers say the county coroner was called to the scene and, the other two victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment.  No names are being released pending notification of relatives.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

 

Expect to see stepped up enforcement of the use of crosswalks in downtown Fredonia once the state Department of Transporation finishes work on the "Complete Streets" program in the village. 

 

Police Chief Brad Meyers says more cross-walks have been added after repaving Route 20 through the village and, he says the department will be stepping up enforcement. 

 

Meyers say bike lanes and the crosswalks have been added, and with that they will also be enforcing people crossing in the cross-walks as well.  He says that signs will be added to crosswalks that are not located at intersections where traffic lights are in operation, although drivers will have to keep an eye out for the signs once they are installed.  He says those without traffic lights will have signage leading up to them, then right at the crosswalk itself. 

 

Meyers expects the State DOT to complete the work within the next one to two weeks.  New York State law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians using crosswalks.

 

 

Police in western New York say two adult hikers from Buffalo died and one of their children was hurt after falling from a cliff. 

 

Authorities say the bodies of 35-year-old Amanda Green and 33-year-old William Green were discovered along with their injured 4-year-old son in Zoar Valley shortly before 1 PM Sunday

 

Rescuers found the couple's 7-year-old son unharmed. 

 

Erie County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Scott Zylka, the 4-year-old boy was airlifted to Women and Children's Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.  The 7-year-old boy is being evaluated.

 

 

There have been a few national media entities that have drawn the direct ire of President Donald Trump and his administration and, they include the Washington Post.  But covering the president of the United State is always challenging. 

 

At the same, the lead editor at the Post says Donald Trump has been especially challenging. 

 

Executive Editor Marty Baron of the Washington Post was featured lecturer at Chautauqua Insitution last Friday and, says they're part of what Trump calls "fake news." 

 

Baron admits it's a "little hard not to be upset about those kinds of comments" but, he adds they keep coming into do their work, the best they can.  He was interviewed on the Chautauqua Stage by University of Arizona Journalism and Mass Communication Department chief Eric Newton.  He spoke earlier with our Dennis Webster and Matt Warren on our "Chautauqua Now" program. 

 

Baron adds their editing work is always rigorous especally on their most "sensative stories."  Baron appeared to wrap up "Media and the News: Ethics in the Digital Age" week at Chautauqua.

 

 

In New York state government news, lawmakers are using the summer to connect with constituents back home, and a Senate task force takes aim at tick-borne illness in the face of what experts say is an especially bad year for the blood-sucking creatures. 

 

A Senate task force plans to meet Aug. 29 in Albany to hear from medical authorities, tick experts and others involved in trying to prevent infections and fight the illnesses. 

 

Republican Senator Sue Serino chairs the task force. The Hudson Valley lawmaker noted that while tick-borne illness is nothing new downstate, it's now clear illnesses like Lyme disease is a statewide concern. 

 

A 74-year-old man died this summer in Saratoga County after contracting Powassan virus.

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WJTN News Headlines

A Cattaraugus County woman is being treated for serious injuries after the Sports Utility vehicle she was riding in crashed after the driver fell asleep on Route 219 in the town of Ashford Tuesday night. 

 

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 29 year-old Rochelle Dunkleman of Little Valley was northbound shortly after 7 p.m. when she apparently fell asleep and, the SUV slammed into a culvert. 

 

Dunkleman was treated at the scene for abrasions and released.  However her passenger, 31 year-old Dana Lichy of Salamanca, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of internal injuries.  Her condition was not released.  No charges have been filed.


One child leaving a door unsecured allowed a 4-year-old girl to get out of her house on Jamestown's eastside and, wander alone in in the street until police were called. 

 

City police say they responded to the 800-block of East Second Street about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.  On arrival officers found the child but, she was unable to say her name, or give any other information to them. 

 

Police say she was taken to JPD Headquarters for safety reasons and, a Reverse 9-1-1 call was put out and police conducted a neighborhood canvas in an attempt to find her parents. 

 

About Noon time police say the child's mother came to the police department.  Officers say an investigation revealed that there was miscommunication between the parents before the child ran off that resulted in both believing the child was with the other parent. 

 

With that no criminal charges are being filed.


Authorities say an 8-month-old girl who survived being abandoned in a plastic bag left in an upstate New York yard has been released from a hospital. 

 

Police in Elmira say Wednesday that the baby recently was released from Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.  Sergeant  William Solt says the infant has been placed in foster care. 

 

Official say the child's 17-year-old mother placed the girl in a white garbage bag and left her in bushes in the backyard of a home in Elmira on August 5th. 

 

The baby wasn't discovered until three days later when neighbors checking out animal-like sounds found her.  Authorities have charged the mother, Harriette Hoyt, of Sayre, Pennsylvania, with attempted murder.

 

She remains in the Chemung County Jail.  Her attorney, John Brennan, says he's not commenting.


Jamestown police arrested seven people on a number of charges including drug possesion following a raid early Tuesday night on the city's southside. 

 

Jamestown police say they responded to numerous neighbor complaints regarding 248 Forest Avenue and, executed a search warrant just before 6:30 p.m. 

 

Officers say they arrested 55 year-old Edgar Gregory for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, on a warrant for criminal possession of a weapon. 

 

Police say they also arrested 36 year-old Matthew Haskins of Kennedy for fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police also arrested 32 year-old Jacqueline Delo and 24 year-old Shawn Beardsley both of Jamestown, 37 year-old Brian Haskins of Kennedy and, 47 year-old Alisha Scinta of Fredonia.  All three were taken to the city jail pending arraignment. 

 

Police again urge residents who see any suspicous activity to call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also contact the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is working on a bi-partisan measure that would make a provision of the U-S Tax Code added in 1996 permanent. 

 

Reed has announced that he and New York Democrat Joe Crowley are co-sponsoring the "Work Opportunity Tax Credit" act which would make the provision permanent after 2019. 

 

The Corning Republican says the measure would allow employers to hire people that otherwise would not be "employable."  They are lower-income people who are dealing with issues such as being a convicted Felon. 

 

Reed says it allows the private sector the change to partner with the federal government to get more people into the workforce. 

 

In addition to Felons he says the measure also helps unemployed veterans and "cash welfare" and food stamp recipients.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

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JPD Alert for Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

From Jamestown Police...

 

...This is an ACTUAL REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE ALERT... Issued By: Chautauqua County Emergency Management
Jurisdictions: New York
Headline: JPD FOUND APPROX 2 YR OLD HISPANIC FEMALE CHILD WALKING IN THE 800 BLOCK OF E 2ND ST. CHILD IS CURRENTLY AT THE JPD


Description: 
JPD FOUND APPROX 2 YR OLD HISPANIC FEMALE CHILD WALKING IN THE 800 BLOCK OF E 2ND ST. CHILD IS NON VERBAL, WEARING A BLUE MINECRAFT TSHIRT, BLUE JEANS AND PINK CROCKS. CHILD IS CURRENTLY AT THE JAMESTOWN POLICE STATION. 
Instructions:  Contact Jamestown Police at 716-483-7522 if you have any information.

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WJTN Headlines

The former New York State Police superintendent who headed up the agency during the massive manhunt for an escaped inmate who killed a trooper and wounded two others has died. 

 

Wayne Bennett was 71.  City officials in Schenectady, where Bennett was public safety commissioner, say he died Tuesday.  Local media report he had been undergoing cancer treatments. 

 

Bennett led the state police when career criminal Ralph "Bucky" Phillips escaped from a county jail just outside of Buffalo in 2006.  While on the loose Phillips shot and wounded two troopers and fatally shot a third.  He was captured in a field across the border in Warren County, Pennsylvania, ending what was up to then the largest manhunt in state history. 

 

Bennett retired in 2007 after 38 years with the state police and became Schenectady's fire and police commissioner.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing changes to the state's hate crimes law following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

 

The Democratic Governor announced Tuesday that he'll introduce legislation making it a hate crime to riot or incite a riot that targets a specific class of people protected by anti-discrimination laws. 

 

If approved by state lawmakers, Cuomo's proposal would enhance criminal penalties for rioting that targets people because of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. 

 

Cuomo says that while peaceful protests must be allowed, New York will not tolerate violence and discrimination.


Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he believes current laws would cover any incident should they arise in New York State. 

 

That's the Ellery Republican's reaction to the proposed legislation who says there is a tradition in state government dating back to the beginning where First Amendment rights are recognized but, there is no tolerance for inciting violence, or engaging in violence against anyone else. 

 

Goodell says he doesn't think violence against one group should result in a higher penalty than another group.  He believes that all groups are entitled to protection under the same laws. 

 

There's no indication whether Cuomo will seek a special legislative session to take action on the proposed legislation.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he believes it's "appropriate" to take a look at current Hate Crimes statutes to see if there needs to be more teeth when it comes to dealing with rioting and violence. 

 

The Corning Republican made his comments after Governor Cuomo released his proposal for the legislature to consider.  Reed says it's important to look at what's happened historically and, he says violence is "never the answer."  He says there needs to be "dialogue" and "tolerance." 

 

Reed says there are other examples of where rioting and violence took place during President Obama's presidency namely Ferguson, Missouri.  He feels that a meaningful dialogue is the best way to put away racial and other violence.  He says that could make racism and hate become more of a "footnote" in our history. 

 

Reed says he's always concerned about political grandstanding and, proposing legislation that's already on the books.  He says it the legislation will "substantively advance the ball to bring peace," he's all for it. 

 

Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Many rural parts of New York state don't have the manpower or ability to seek grant funding for worthwhile projects that don't otherwise get done. 

 

However the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is trying to remedy that through it's "Technical Assistance" program for an underdeveloped beach along Lake Erie.  Ripley Beach is one of the most scenic locations on the lake. 

 

However Council Co-Chairman Jeff Belt says what infrastructure is there is in disrepair it's hard to get to and, there are safety issues. 

 

Belt says the need for a project to upgrade the park has been there for a while it's just now getting the attention is needs to move it forward.  He says Empire State Development the state's economic development arm first brought these issues forward and, proposed the assistance program.  He says a plan is in the works to provide two new access points to the beach along with parking for cars, motorcycles and bicycles.  He says motorcycle and biking is popular in that area because it's part of the St. Lawrence Seaway Trail. 

 

In addition to Ripley Beach the Council is also looking at a program to help the village of Wellsville in Allegheny County.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are again steady and basically unchanged from last week. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is just over $2.44 a gallon.  At the same time AAA says regional inventories are building at this point as the Summer driving season winds down. 

 

However AAA says the price is still about 15-cents a gallon more than the same time period last year.  The Fuel Gauge reports that, on average consumers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying $2.36 a gallon which is flat compared to last week.  Nationally the average price is now gasoline is $2.35 cents per gallon.

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WJTN Headlines

A town of Chautauqua man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking cocaine and other narcotic drugs following a raid at his home on Nettle Hill Road. 

 

Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they executed a search warrant about 11:30 Mondaymorning and, found cocaine, opioids, a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun and paraphernalia used to weigh and process controlled substances. 

 

They also arrested 60 year-old Dana Erhard on the warrant which charged him with several counts including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

The FBI was also involved in the investigation.  Erhard was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail pending further court action.


Two Dunkirk residents were sent to the Chautauqua County Jail after being arraigned on drug charges after city police responded to a vehicle lockout that was anything but routine. 

 

Dunkirk Police were called to the area of the car wash behind the Crosby Mart on Central Avenue.  After opening the vehicle's door, Police Chief David Ortolano says the officers detected a strong odor of marijuana, and they called in their K-9 officer, and new K-9 "gunny to search the vehicle... and, they found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs. 

 

Ortolano says 29-year-old Rafael Gonzalez-Rivera was allegedly in possession of a quantity of heroin and cocaine while 37-year-old Onix Lopez-Ortiz was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana, as well as prescription medication which was not properly packaged.


A regional panel met in Jamestown Monday for the first time and was updated on a number of projects they have funded and learned more about new projects proposed for the next round of state funding. 

 

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council met at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts Monday afternoon and, Co-Chairman Jeff Belt from West Valley says the panel is very interested in Jamestown and several projects here led the by National Comedy Center. 

 

Belt says they believe that Jamestown can be a role model for turning around a small, upstate community and, they're very excited about further possibilities through the $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award the city has received.  Belt says they also began looking at the many projects several western New York communities have submitted for funding in Round-Seven of the Consolidated Funding Application process. 

 

In their six-years of existance the Belt, who is Chief Executive Officer at SolEpoxy in Cattaraugus County says the Regional Councils have helped keep "consistancy" in the funding process.  Belt says their final ranking of projects will take place next month and, then the results will go to the state Oct. 2.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is honorary chair of the 10 regional councils, spoke to open the meeting. 

 

Co-Council Chairwoman, SUNY College at Fredonia President, Virginia Horvath was also on hand as were Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, and County Executive Vince Horrigan.


The erosion of trust in the Mainstream Media has been developing for the past 48 years but, has become an even bigger issue with the advent of the digital age. 

 

That from Monday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution.  New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen addressed the amphitheater audience to begin "Media and the News: Ethics in the Digital Age." 

 

On our "Chautauqua Now" program Rosen said that the media is in the "worst shape it's ever been" due mainly to what's called the "echo chamber" effect where people view or listen to news and opinion that "confirms" their beliefs. 

 

Rosen equated the problem with what's been happening in the medical profession, and the availability of "on-line" resources.  He says with all the sources of information now doctors have to adjust to that. 

 

Rosen says people have more information with which to question their doctors than ever before.  At the same time he says there is still very much a need for a free and independent press.


A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general has unleashed a torrent of litigation they argue is necessary to protect their citizens from a Trump administration that too often ignores the law. 

 

State attorneys from Massachusetts to California have brought more than 40 legal actions against the administration so far.  The pace, which both parties describe as unprecedented, has produced an average of one lawsuit or legal motion every five days since Trump's inauguration, not including many more letters, legal threats and formal comments to federal agencies. 

 

But the frequency and variety of the legal challenges from cases involving immigration and health care to gender reassignment surgeries at the Veteran's Administration have sparked criticism that Democrats may be playing politics with their states' legal resources.

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WJTN Headlines

A leader with a local conservative organization that supported Donald Trump in his presidential campaign is "catagorically condemning" this past weekend's racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

 

Frewsburg's Mel McGinness has been a long-time leader and spokesman for the Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots, which meets monthly in Lakewood.  McGinness this morning specifically called out several "alt-right" and white supremicists who are condoning their actions.  He says they are "totally opposed" to any form of demonstrations like that. 

 

McGinness also rejected and renounced the KKK, neo-Nazi and White Supremicist groups.  McGinness who is also the pastor at the Kiantone Congregational Church, says the images of last Friday night's rally and, Saturday's violent confrontations were "horrifying."  He was especially troubled by the "torch-light" march the White Nationalists and Supremicists used in a march last Friday night. 

 

McGinness says he strongly supports the White House's most recent statement condemining the groups involved in last weekend's protests and violence.


Before specifically announcing that the FBI and other federal agencies would investigating federal crimes in the weekend incidents in Virginia, Governor Andrew Cuomo called on President Trump to denounce the white supremacist rally that spiraled into a deadly day of violence. 

 

The Democratic governor of Trump's home state launched the on-line petition Sunday, a day after a woman was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting the racist rally.  Cuomo is calling it "a terror attack by white supremacists." 

 

This afternoon Mr. Trump said that "racism is evil" as he condemed the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs."  He is speaking at the White House after meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI director Christopher Wray about the race-fueled violence Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

 

Trump has come under fire for his comments Saturday that "many sides" are to blame for the violence and did not single out white supremacist groups.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is condemning last week's violence in Charlottesville, Virgina. 

 

The Corning Republican issued a statement last weekend, saying that he's "outraged by the violence and senseless deaths that occurred in Charlottesville and condemn those who would abuse our freedoms and divide us with bigotry." 

 

Reed also said that "hatred will never have a place in the true American spirit."  He expressed his condolences to the families of the three victims in Saturday's violence.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law new penalties for those who make bomb threats. 

 

The Democratic governor approved the legislation on Monday.  It was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year in response to a string of bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers in New York and elsewhere in the country. 

 

Citing those bomb threats and recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Cuomo says that "now, more than ever" it's vital for New Yorkers to stand united against "bias and hate."  Specifically, the new law changes criminal statute to ensure that suspects accused of making bomb threats against a community center can, at minimum, face a sentence of up to a year in jail. 

 

Cuomo says the new law will help authorities prosecute those who seek to "spread fear and terror."


In New York state government news this week the first official candidate for a vacant Senate seat is promising to work to clean up Albany, and there's a renewed push to provide free feminine hygiene products in schools and emergency shelters. 

 

Democrat Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh announced his candidacy for the seat representing portions of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan shortly after Democrat Daniel Squadron announced his plans to resign to take a job working on national political reform.  Kavanagh pledged to work to support ethics and campaign finance reforms, one of Squadron's own long-time goals. 

 

Meanwhile, the state now requires local police detention facilities to provide free tampons to female prisoners.  Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal says the state should go further by requiring free tampons at schools and emergency shelters statewide.

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News Headlines for Sun., Aug. 13, 2017

Schumer and Gillibrand announce $4.1-million dollars in Head Start funding in Chautauqua County...
Early childhood programs in Chautauqua County are getting a $4.1-million boost from the federal government to support child care services for low-income families in the area.  U-S Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand jointly announced Friday that Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated.. is getting $2.8-million for it's Head Start and Early Head Start programs... while it's Early Head Start Expansion-Child Care partrnership program is receiving $1.3-million.  Schumer says study after study shows that "the better we prepare our young children through programs like Head Start and Head Start the better they perform in school later in life."  Gillibrand says Head Start programs "help our children start out strong at critical early learning stages."  Schumer says he believes the funding will bring "real results" to the region.  
 
 
Man from Bemus Point arrested on Felony drug charges following traffic stop in Sherman...
A Bemus Point man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of a large amount of two illegal drugs after his motorcycle was stopped early early last Friday morning on Park Street in Sherman.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says one of his deputies spotted the motorcycle... operated by 41 year-old Gary Hannold II... about 1:30 a.m.  Gerace says the officer saw Hannold riding without a helmet and a loud exhaust... and, pulled him over.  At that point.. he says the suspect tossed a backpack into some weeds.  It was later found with a large amount of methamphetime and marijuana inside... and, he's been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... a Class-A-2 Felony.  Gerace commended the officer for making "good observations..." and adds that it's no longer a surprise to pulled over someone, and find drugs these days.  He says they're pleased with being able to get that amount of Meth off the street.  Gerace says the amounts being found everywhere these days is "troubling."  Gerace says Hannold was arrested on several other charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was arraigned In Sherman Town Court and sent to the county jail.
 
 
Congressman Reed condemns violence, deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia...
Chautauqua County's Congressman today issued a statement condemning the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he is "outraged by the violence and senseless deaths that occurred in Charlottesville and condemn those who would abuse our freedoms and divide us with bigotry.  Reed adds that "hatred will never have a place in the true American spirit.  Our condolences are with the families of all three of today's victims."
 
 
Horrigan pleased with first-half Sales Tax revenues...
County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is pleased that Chautauqua County's sales tax revenues are doing better than a lot of counties across New York State.  A new report from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli shows that the county's sales tax revenues for the first half of 2017 are up by 5.1-percent compared to last year.  Horrigan says that's a result of work in economic development paying off... and, he adds the county is slightly ahead of the state's overall average.  Horrigan says the increase in the county sales tax rate from 7.5 to 8-percent is part of the strategy for local economic growth.  He says he's tried to work to take pressure off the property tax payers... and, grow the tax base and economy at the same time.  Horrigan... a Bemus Point Republican... adds that he's optimistic about seeing continued growth with a "strong summer" season.
 
 
Mayville man faces charges following high-speed pursuit...
A Mayville man is jailed without bail for allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase on Beajean Road in the town of Chautauqua Friday morning.  Sheriff's officers say a patrol spotted 41 year-old Michael Hannold operating the vehicle about 9:30 a.m., and, knew that he was wanted for parole violation and on a misdemeanor warrant from State Police.  Deputies say they tried to stop Hannold... but, he fled the scene and a pursuit ensued... with speeds reaching nearly 100 miles an hour.  Officers say he pulled the vehicle into a driveway... and, fled on foot.  However... deputies later found and arrested him.  Hannold was charged with third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle... reckless driving... second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.. and, speed over 55 mph.  Hannold was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on the new charges... and, sent to the County Jail on the parole violation.
 
 
Jammer's Manager Anthony Barone named PGCBL Coach of Year...
Post-season honors are starting to roll in for the Jamestown Jammers... who just this past week were edged out in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League champioship series by Mohawk Valley.  Jamestown Manager and Coach Anthony Barone was named Friday afternoon as 2017 Perfect Game League Coach of the Year.  The Jammers announced the news on their Facebook Page. 

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WJTN Headlines

A Bemus Point man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a large amount of methamphetime and marijuana after his motorcycle was stopped for a traffic infraction in the town of Sherman. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they spotted the westbound motorcycle, operated by 41 year-old Gary Hannold of 4933 Ellery-Centralia Road, about 1:30 a.m. Friday commit the infraction.  Deputies say Hannold got off the motorcycle and, allegedly threw a backpack into the weeds.   

 

Officers say they recovered the bag and found that Hannold had been in possession of the meth and marijuana and, they also allegedly found Hannold in possession of drug paraphernalia. 

 

Hannold was arrested on several charges including second-degree criminal possession of controlled substance third-degree criminal possession and, two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was arraigned In Sherman Town Court and was remanded to the county jail without bail.


Several hundred police officers from many area agencies were in Dunkirk yesterday for the funeral of a police officer who died last Sunday following a lengthy illness. 

 

A Police procession went through the north county city for Dunkirk Police K-9 Officer Matthew Hazelton.  Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says "it was an amazing sight" to see the "sea" of officers in blue come out in support of Hazelton, and his surviving family. 

 

Ortolano says Hazelton's wife is an "amazing young lady" and, they've been doing all they can to support her and their daughter during this difficult time.  Ortolano says police agencies involved in the procession included Dunkirk, Fredonia, Jamestown, New York State Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and others from Cattaraugus and Erie counties. 

 

The Jamestown Police Department provided the color guard for yesterday's service for Matt Hazelton.  The 39 year-old officer was with the Dunkirk Police Department for 14 years.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is again warning of a scam involving someone calling a BPU customer and telling them they had to immediately pay a bill or have their service shut-off. 

 

BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says a customer contacted them Thursday and, told them they had received such a call and, that the caller told him that if he did not pay his bill by a certain time yesterday his service would be turned off. 

 

Robbins says the customer was given an 800 number to call for payment.  However she says such calls do NOT come from the Board of Public Utilities.  Robbins says anyone in danger of utility service shut-off receives notice from the BPU by mail and, well in advance of such an action. 

 

In addition she says BPU payments are accepted in their Customer Service Office, online and on our own phone payment system which requires customers to call the board's own number not an 800 number.


A Clymer man is being treated for serious injuries following an all-terrain vehicle accident on Potter Road in Mayville earlier this week. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 23 year-old Kyle Hannold was riding the ATV shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday when the vehicle struck a tree.  Deputies say Hannold was taken by Starflght Helicopter to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment. 

 

The investigation is continuing.


President Donald Trump yesterday clarified his stand on the need to deal with the national Heroin and Opioid Addiction Crisis in America two days after offering a simplistic view of the matter. 

 

Those are the feelings of Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.  Huber has been on the front-lines of the local fight against addition.  He says it's great to make a push to prevent young people from getting hooked on drugs to begin with.  He says we're losing hundreds of people a week nationally but, adds there are other issues related to drug addiction including jobs. 

 

Huber says he was taking to a businessman who says he's having trouble filling positions because many looking can't pass a drug test.  Earlier in the week the president basically said that you need to tell youth not to start taking drugs and, beef up law enforcement and penalties for drug offenders. 

 

New York state has taken steps to limit the amount of Opioid medication that a person can receive and, there is federal legislation pending.  In many cases Huber adds that there are underlying Mental Health issues there as well as the overprescribing of pain killers.


The Jamestown Public Works Department has closed North Main Street between Second and Third Streets to begin a cold milling and repaving project today through next Wednesday

 

That from Public Works Director Jeff Lehman who says the project will involve reconstruction of the northbound lane which had been damaged from the nearly two-year-old water main leak in that area of the highway. 

 

The southbound lanes were closed for work last year.

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WJTN Headlines

The former head of England's intelligence service says she has never see a more "difficult, dangerous and disturbing time" as there is now in the world. 

 

That from former Director General of MI-5, Stella Rimington, on the war of words between the United States and North Korea.  Rimington was Wednesday morning's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution and, makes her comments one day after the president warned North Korea it could face "fire and fury" if it theatens the United States or it's allies.  She says it was already disconcerting to learn that North Korea is now able to fix a small nuclear device to the end of one of it's ballistic missiles and, you have the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. effectively "threatening each other." 

 

Rimington says there is no "sure" way to deal with the possiblity of a Nuclear North Korea.  However she believed that the nation's top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had previously done a good job of trying to ease some of that tension by saying the US was not trying for a "regime change."


A lack of trust will eventually erode the ability of intelligence services in the federal government no matter what country you're talking about.  

 

Wednesday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Insitution warned of that danger as part of the week-seven theme of "The Nature of Fear."  Former MI-5 Director General Stella Rimington who says the intelligence business is already complicated by the new "digital age" where various forms of communication are used. 

 

At the beginning of the year President Trump got off to a rocky start with his intelligence agencies on the issue of possible Russian meddling in last November's US Presidential Election.  It has led to some distrust between those agencies, such as the FBI and CIA and the administration. 

 

On our "Chautauqua Now" program Rimington said that erodes the morale of those serving and, consequently lessens the ability to do their job.


A Jamestown woman faces a child endangerment charge after allegedly leaving her infant child inside her car unattended, on the city's eastside. 

 

Officers were called to the scene in front of the Taco Hut restaurant on East Third Street about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a child locked inside a vehicle.  Police say witnesses allegedly saw 20 year-old Alexia Taylor placing a car seat with the child in it inside the vehicle locking it, and walking away. 

 

A Jamestown Parking Enforcement Officer the notified JPD who then found Taylor.  She unlocked the car so police could check on the child's well-being. 

 

The child was plased in protective custody, and Taylor was arrested and taken to the city lock-up pending arraignment.


Authorities say a 17-year-old Pennsylvania girl has been charged with attempted murder after a baby was found alive in a plastic bag outside an upstate New York home. 

 

Police in the city of Elmira say neighbors checking out a noise Tuesday found a 12- to 16-month-old girl whose feet were sticking out of the bag. They called 911 and tended to the child until police and emergency crews arrived. 

 

Officials tell WENY-TV  the baby was taken to a hospital, where she's in stable condition.  Later Tuesday, police charged Harriette Hoyt with attempted murder. 

 

Officials say she's from Sayre, Pennsylvania, on the New York border about 20 miles southeast of Elmira.  She's being held in the Chemung County Jail.


City officials say they hope to find other ways to fund the purchase of a new paving machine for Jamestown. 

 

Still, the City Council will vote later this month on issuing bonds to pay the $420,000 cost.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi while council members discussed the matter earlier this week. 

 

The Finance Committee agreed to issue a Bond Anticipation Note for the purchase from a Batavia firm on state contract.  City Comptroller Joe Bellitto explained the procedure saying they'll be issuing the bonds once the county approves the move, and, pay it back over a 5-year period. 

 

Bellitto says he expects no problems with moving ahead on the borrowing adding it's a relatively small amount of funding. 

 

Teresi says the new Paver has already been used for a number of jobs several to get downtown streets ready for last weekend's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  He says there is still another round of milling off old, crumbling pavement in spots and, repaving those streets before Winter weather sets in.


Thousands of migrants are fleeing the United States for Canada via a remote back road in upstate New York. 

 

The Canadians arrest the migrants as soon as they step across the border.  But the migrants prefer to take a chance by seeking asylum in Canada rather than risk being deported from the United States. 

 

Canadian police have set up a reception center on their side of the border.  It includes tents where migrants are processed before they are turned over to the government agency that handles their applications for refuge. 

 

Officials estimate that 400 people crossed the border at the site on Sunday alone.  Canada said last week it planned to house some migrants in Montreal's Olympic Stadium.  It could hold thousands, but current plans only call for only 450.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown Jammers lost the championship in the Perfect Game League Tuesday night, 8 to 4 to Mohawk Valley at Russell E. Diethrick Park. 

 

Mohawk Valley wins the series 2-games to 1.  You can hear the disappointment in Jammers Coach and Manager Anthony Barone's voice who says Mohawk Valley "played better than us, and a couple of things didn't go our way." 

 

Jamestown trailed Mohawk Valley by one run most of the game.  The Jammers got two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth, but a failed bunt and double play ended the chance for a rally.  As he walked off the field, Barone was disconsolate left to hope for next year. 

 

Barone says he'll start work shortly to replace the core of players he's had the past couple of years that produced this year's championship run.  The coach was grateful to the community for its broad support for the Jammers this year and to the fans for attending the games. 

 

Over 1,100 people watched last night's game at the stadium.  Mohawk Valley was presented the trophy at the conclusion of the game.


A Jamestown woman faces a child endangerment charge after allegedly leaving her infant child inside her car, unattended on the city's eastside. 

 

Officers were called to the scene in front of the Taco Hut restaurant on East Third Street about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a child locked inside a vehicle.  Police say witnesses allegedly saw 20 year-old Alexia Taylor placing a car seat with the child in it inside the vehicle, locking it and walking away. 

 

A Jamestown Parking Enforcement Officer the notified JPD who then found Taylor.  She unlocked the car so police could check on the child's well-being. 

 

The child was plased in protective custody, and Taylor was arrested and taken to the city lock-up pending arraignment.


A regional panel that has made decisions that have helped drive several economic development projects in the Greater Jamestown Area will meet in Jamestown for the first time next Monday

 

Mayor Sam Teresi has announced that the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council will be here for a 1 PM meeting at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts but, will also be on hand to tour some of the projects they have supported at 11 a.m. 

 

Teresi says that'll take place weather permitting.  He says they want to see some of the projects that are being planned, as well as the projects receiving Downtown Revitalization Initiative or DRI funding. 

 

The city got word late last year that it was one of the 10 winners of $10-million in DRI funding to back about a dozen public-private projects to help revitalize the downtown area. 

 

Teresi says a luncheon will be provided through the county's Industrial Development Agency followed by the meeting on the Reg stage.  He says Council members are interested in seeing what's taking place in Jamestown and southern Chautauqua County.


A long-time Jamestown city official will be retiring at the end of August after about 30 years of service in the city in several capacities. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says his long-time Director of Financial Services, James Olson, will conclude his career on Thursday, Aug. 31.  Teresi says Olson, "has been and continues to be a close, trusted advisor and valued friend, "family member."  The Mayor adds that Olson "is the quintessential example of what public service can be and should be all about."  He wished Olson the best in his retirement.  

 

 

Olson began his career as Executive Assistant to former Mayor Steven Carlson in 1981 and, left city government in January of 1994 and, returned in 2000 to be Teresi's Director of Financial Services.


Chautauqua County officials are moving ahead with developing a county-wide plan for sharing services with local municipalties even as the county awaits word on its application for the $20-million Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition grant. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to have counties work with local governments to develop plans for shared services and, consolidation became part of the state budget in April. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says they are making progress in developing a final plan and, adds that they have several elements of the application that are in the county-wide plan. 

 

Horrigan says more and more local governments are becoming involved in the process, especially with the momentum being made after successful dissolution votes in the villages of Forestville and Cherry Creek.  He says there needs to be more of a "regional focus" that allows services to continue. 

 

Horrigan says he expects to present an update on the plan during the next County Legislature meeting later this month with a vote on a final plan expected at the September meeting. 

 

As for the county's application for the $20 million competition, Horrigan expects to hear something in September.


Gas prices in the Jamestown area are holding steady while the price across the United States is continuing to rise. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says locally the price is just over $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA also says pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions moved higher on the week, with New York state now at $2.45 a gallon putting it in the top 15 of most expensive markets.  That price is about 10 cents more than a year ago. 

 

Nationally the average price is up 3-cents a gallon this week to $2.35 a gallon.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestownn woman is jailed without bail for alleedly trafficking methamphetamine and suboxone on the city's southside. 

 

Jamestown police say members of the Metro Drug Task Force, and JPD SWAT Team raided an apartment at 248 Broadhead Avenue shortly after NoonMonday after receiving several neighborhood complaints. 

 

Officers say they found the suspect identified as 35 year-old Tracey Wynn inside and searched the apartment.  Police say they found just over 43-grams of Meth and, several doses of suboxone.  They add they also found several items of drug paraphernalia and, a quantity of cash. 

 

Task Force members say Wynn was arrested on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  She was arraigned and sent to the county jail. 

 

Anyone with information on illegal drug-activity in Jamestown is asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  You can also contact the department's Tips 4-1-1 app.


The city of Jamestown did well in one of it's key revenue lines during the second-quarter of the year and, is lending optimism to making budget for 2017. 

 

City Council members last night received sales tax figures for April through June of this year and, learned there was a more than 7-percent increase over the second-quarter of last year. 

 

City Comptroller Joe Bellitto reviewed the numbers with Finance Committee members first and, Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the city received $1.54-million-dollars for the quarter. 

 

Dolce says that's about $111,000 more than was budgeted adding the city is now "in relatively good shape."  Bellitto says, for the first two quarters of the year the city has received just over 2.9-million dollars which is about 48.5% of budget.  He says the city needs to receive about 99.5% of what they budgeted in the third and fourth-quarters to make budget for the year. 

 

That total is $6-million dollars which is $10,000 more than last year.  Last year Bellitto says the city had received just over 5% LESS than the 2017 figure for the first two quarters.  He says the city budgeted conservatively in 2017 because they fell 1.38% under budget last year.


Ex-New York Senate leader Dean Skelos is asking an appeals court for a new trial, citing the precedent set when former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was granted a new trial. 

 

Attorney Alexandra Shapiro wrote in papers filed Monday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the Republican Skelos, like the Democrat Silver, is entitled to a new trial because public corruption laws were recently freshly defined by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

 

Skelos was convicted in 2015 on extortion, bribery and conspiracy charges.  He was sentenced last year to five years in prison.  He has remained free on appeal. That's in part because it was unclear what effect, if any, a Supreme Court ruling reversing the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell would have on the Skelos case.


Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to set a spring retrial date for ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 

 

The government asked the judge in Manhattan to schedule a trial for March, April or May.  The request comes a day after an appeals court agreed to let Silver's lawyers ask the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the case.  The Supreme Court turns down most requests. 

 

Prosecutors have said a defense request of the Supreme Court should not delay any retrial, especially since a key witness is over age 80.  Silver, who's 73, was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of public corruption charges.  The conviction was overturned last month by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Chautauqua County's top elected official was in Dunkirk early Monday afternoon for his latest announcement regarding his "100 Days of Summer Safety" Campaign. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan yesterday focused on sun safety at Wright Park Beach.  Horrigan says times have changed when it comes to sun safety and, Shelly Wells of the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services indicated that you have to think about it all year long. 

 

Well says the U-V rays are still getting to the ground, even with cloud cover, so you should apply sunscreen whenever you go outside for any length of time. 

 

Mike Porpiglia of the American Cancer Society says you can sum up the sun safety rules with four words: slip  slop slap and wrap.  He says slip on a shirt, Slop on the sunscreen, wrap on sunglasses and, slap on your "wide-brimed" hat. 

 

Horrigan was also joined by Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas who supports the message to practice sun safety tips.

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WJTN Headlines

Quick work by Jamestown firefighters prevented serious fire damage to a two story apartment house on the city's southside late yesterday afternoon. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 191 Barrett Avenue about 4:45 p.m., and, he says there was lots of fire on one side of the structure where downstairs and upstairs porches were located.  Salemme says it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says the owner smelled the smoke, and was able to get out of the downstairs apartment quickly. 

 

Salemme says no one else was inside.  He says several windows were knocked out of the second-floor because of the heavy amout of smoke inside.  Fire crews were at the scene until about 6:30 p.m. 

 

Salemme says an off-duty shift of nine firefighters and a shift commander were called in.  No firefighters were hurt.  The cause has now been released as accidental with hot coals too close to combustables.


A Jamestown woman accused of pulling a knife on two people early last Friday morning and, robbing both is jailed on $100,000 bail on first and second-degree robbery charges. 

 

City police say they were flagged down by one of the victim's about 3 a.m., and, told that 21 year-old Jillian Matthews had put a knife to her throat, and robbed her.  Officers say they previously had talked to another victim who said they were robbed by Matthews inside a home on Clinton Street. 

 

Police say their investigation led them to 10 West Sixth Street where they found Matthews on the back stairwell.  She was arrested on the two robbery counts and, several others including second-degree robbery and, burglary.


A prosecutor says a shooting by a police officer near Warren, Pennsylvania in the parking lot of an ice cream stand that killed an armed driver following a traffic stop appears to have been justified. 

 

State police in Erie say 54-year-old Joseph Miller of Clarendon was killed in the confrontation at 7:15 p.m. last Friday in the Dairy Delite parking lot in Mead Township.  District Attorney Rob Greene said the shooting is under investigation but, adds it appears to have been justified.


A new, county-supported "Fly-Car" emergency medical services program begins operations today in Chautauqua County. 

 

The new service which will operate out of Ashville, Gerry, Arkwright and Mayville will be available to cover the gaps in local EMS fire service. 

 

County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone announced the start of the Medical Services Team made up of 11 people last Friday afternoon.  He says their hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays were determined through a study done a few years ago of where they had the least amount of manpower. 

 

Medical Services Team Project Coodinator Kevin Peebles and Senior Paramedic Mike Volpe will staff the car at the Emergency Services Office in Mayville. 

 

Volpe says they'll have the latest equipment and medications needed for any emergency including cardiac monitoring, air-way management equipment and, pharmacutials such as pain medications.  Medical Service Team members will also have Narcan available for opioid overdose victims. 

 

County officials say they are providing the program to suppliment what the fire services are able to perform along with professional services.  A state Department of Health officials says state officials will be watching what happens due to a lack of volunteers in the fire services.



Long-time Dunkirk City Judge Walter Drag has announced that he will be laying aside his gavel and hanging up his robe for the last time on December 31st. 

 

Judge Drag is retiring after nearly 32 years on the bench in the north city's courtroom.  He is also wrapping up a 40-year career as an attorney. 

 

In a statement released late last week Judge Drag said, "I have been very fortunate to have the trust and confidence of the people of Dunkirk who have elected me four times to be their judge and to preside over cases that personally touch them, their families and neighbors and this community."  He also commented that, "As judge, you also try to set a tone of dedication and concern for the community and reach out to try to help our neighbors as much as possible."


The Chautauqua County Board of Elections says many Dunkirk city voters will have the opportunity to participate in next month's primary. 

 

Five candidates will be in the running for City Court Judge according to County Elections Commissioner Norm Green... who says there's been "a lot of interest" by most people who have a legal background. 

 

Those in the running include James Scott Dimmer, John Kuzdale, Joseph Price, Rachel Roberts and former County Legislator Ronald Szot.  Voting during the Sept. 12 primary will run from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Nationally known comedians performed before sell-out crowds this past weekend at the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown where the late comedy legend was born. 

 

Among this year's highlights were a celebration of what would have been her husband Desi Arnaz's 100th birthday, and performances by Jim Gaffigan, Kevin James, Robert Klein and Lisa Lampanelli. 

 

Visitors were also able to see late comedian George Carlin's handwritten notes and jokes.  They're showcased at the site of the future National Comedy Center, where they will have a permanent home when the museum opens next year.

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News Update for Sat., Aug. 5, 2017

(**Update)State Police identify man killed in officer-involved shooting in Warren Co., PA...
 
A prosecutor says a shooting by a police officer just south of Warren, Pennsylvania in the parking lot of an ice cream stand that killed an armed driver following a traffic stop appears to have been justified.  State police in Erie say 54-year-old Joseph Miller of Clarendon was killed in the 7:15 p.m. Friday confrontation in Mead Township.  Officials said a Warren City officer pulled Miller over for erratic driving in the area of the Dairy Delite at the junction of Routes 6 and 59.  However... while he was talking to the officer in the parking lot... Miller became agitated and began loading an AK-47 rifle.  Authorities said the officer backed away and ordered him to stop, but Miller continued to load the weapon and was shot and killed as he exited the vehicle.  Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene said the shooting is under investigation... but, appears to have been justified.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Aug. 5, 2017

Man shot and killed during officer-involved shooting at drive-in ice cream shop near Warren, Pa...
A 54 year-old man was shot and killed early last evening during an officer-involved shooting that occured during a traffic stop just south of Warren, Pennsylania.  State Police in Erie say a Warren City Police Patrol pulled over a car in the parking lot of the Dairy Delight store at the intersection of Routes 6 and 59 in Mead Township about 7:15 p.m.  Officials say the unidentified man got out of his car with a firearm in his hand... and, that led to shots being fired.  State Police say there were several patrons at the drive-in ice cream shop at the time of the incident... but, none of them were hurt.  The man died from his wounds at the scene.  The Warren City officer was not hurt.  State Police are investigating the incident... along with Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene... Warren City Police and the Warren County Sheriff's office.
 
 
Cooler, breezy conditions in Jamestown-area today...
Much cooler... but, calmer weather is expected today after two waves of severe thunderstorms caused some scattered damage across Chautauqua County yesterday afternoon.  The Sheriff's office and Jamestown Police report some downed trees and some high water in spots... but, no major problems.  One of the downed trees in the immediate Jamestown-area was here on the driveway to our Media One Group stations.  Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there were two waves of storms... the first one came with a cold front... and dropped the temperature by 15-degrees.  He says it'll remain cool today... with highs of only 65 to 68 degrees.  Kelly says we'll rebound into the 70s by Sunday afternoon.  
 
 
Chautauqua County rolls out new "Fly-Car" EMS Service to begin Monday...
A much-studied and heralded "Fly-Car" ambulance service will begin operating in Chautauqua County during the day-time hours starting next Monday morning.  That from county Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who announced the new, Emergency Medical Services Team during a press conference this (Friday) afternoon.  Project Coodinator Kevin Peebles says there has been a decline in the number of firefighters, and EMTs across the county... and, he thanked county lawmakers for their support of the program because they had to develop their plans and budget fairly quickly.  Leone emphasized that program is not intended to replace EMT service provided by the county's fire departments... but, to augment them.  He says there will be three levels of service.  One will be provided by the fire services... the next will be their paramedic service.. and, then there'll be the professional service that will provide care on "a timely basis."  Peebles says there will be four stations for each of their fly-cars during the week.  One will be there in Mayville... while the others will be in Ashville... Gerry... and, Arkwright.  Again... the office will officially begin the new, Fly-car service in Chautauqua County at 6 a.m. Monday.
 
 
City man and woman face trespass and drug possession charges...
An alleged trespassing at an apartment house on Jamestown's eastside early last Thursday night has led to the arrest of two people -- one for alleged drug possession.  City police were called to the scene at 207 Spring Street shortly before 6 p.m., and, found the suspects... identified as 40 year-old Wilfredo Castrillo and 38 year-old Jennifer Aldrich.  Officers say the pair did not have permission to be inside the apartment.  In the course of identifying both... Aldrich allegedly gave a false name.  She was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime, cocaine and marijuana.  Police say both were charged with second-degree criminal trespassing... while Aldrich was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possesion of marijuana.
 
 
City man arrested for alleged possession of unregistered gun...
A Jamestown man has been jailed for allegedly being found in possession of an unregistered revolver.  City police say they pulled over a car operated by 26 year-old Andrew McFalls in the area of Chandler and Winsor Streets about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for numerous alleged traffic violations.  During the investigation... officers say they found the gun.  Police say they arrested McFalls for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, traffic violations including failure to signal a turn.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Two men involved in "History of Comedy" Series on CNN speak at Chautauqua Amphitheater....
Two men involved in producing the CNN T-V Series "The History of Comedy" are also heavily-involved in the creation of the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Executive Producer Steven Morrison, and Kliph Nesteroff were yesterday's featured lecturer's at Chautauqua Institution as part of the week on "Comedy and the Human Condition."  On our "Chautauqua Now" show... Morrison... who is now producing media for the center... says they first came to Jamestown last year for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival because there were so many comedians here... including Lewis Black, Mark Russell, and Rain Pryor... daughter of the late Richard Pryor.  He says they were also introduced to Comedy Center Executive Director, Journey Gunderson.  Both men agree that the new Comedy Center has great potential.  Nesteroff... who will be curator for the National Comedy Center... says needs to be the most "unique" attraction possible -- one that people are willing to travel to.  He says the Comedy Center is starting to fullfil a lot of that with Kelly Carlin turning over her late father, George's, artifacts to the center for exhibits.  Kelly Carlin interviewed both Morrison and Nesteroff as the final 10:45 a.m. lecture of the week Friday at Chautauqua.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

You'll want to keep an eye on the sky today.  
 
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has all of Western New York including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties under a slight risk for severe weather.  Forecaster Dan Kelly with the weather service's Buffalo office says there are two rounds of storms on the way one is moving through during this time period, and the other will bring a cold front through the area around mid-afternoon.  
 
Thunderstorms late this afternoon and evening may become severe, with damaging winds and possible some hail being the primary severe weather threat.
 
 
An alleged trespassing at an apartment house on Jamestown's eastside early last evening has led to the arrest of two people one for alleged drug possession.  
 
City police were called to the scene at 207 Spring Street shortly before 6 p.m., and, found the suspects identified as 40 year-old Wilfredo Castrillo and 38 year-old Jennifer Aldrich.  Officers say the pair did not have permission to be inside the apartment.  
 
In the course of identifying both Aldrich allegedly gave a false name.  She was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime, cocaine and marijuana.  
 
Police say both were charged with second-degree criminal trespassing while Aldrich was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possesion of marijuana.
 
 
New York state has committed about $14-million towards building the new National Comedy Center in downtown Jamestown and, it will now also help spread the word about the new attraction through the state's tourism promotion arm.  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke before a standing-room only crowd early Thursday afternoon at the center to announce the $500,000 program which will be run through the "I Love NY" program.  
 
Cuomo says backing the National Comedy Center's construction has been part of his three-part strategy to get the entire state's economy going.  He says it's part of their program to create and boost "national attractions" in the upstate region that have been devastated by the loss of people and manufacturing jobs.  
 
Cuomo was introduced by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi who praised the governor for making the upstate economy a priority of his administration.  Teresi says he's worked with five governors during his time in public service, and says none of them was more "zeroed in" on boosting the upstate economy than Andrew Cuomo.  
 
Cuomo was joined by the head of his economic development office Empire State Development Executive Director Howard Zemsky.  Zemsky says Cuomo turned economic development "180-degrees" a few years ago by having the state's 10 regions compete for funding for projects they develop.  
 
They were also joined by State Senator Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andy Goodell and, County Executive Vince Horrigan and, several dignitaries from the north county.  The comedy center is to open in the late Spring or Summer of 2018.
 
 
A nearly three-year old conservative business organization is blasting Governor Cuomo's pledge of half-a-million dollars more for the National Comedy Center.  
 
In a statement released late Thursday Reclaim New York's Doug Kellogg said the center would be "a better fit at the State Capitol, it’s the perfect punchline to Albany’s complete joke of an economic strategy."  
 
The group which claims to be non-partisan says Cuomo can't claim with a straight face this is "a good use of tax dollars" and a model for repairing the region's economy. 
 
 
The New York state Board of Elections says it will hand over some voter information to President Donald Trump's commission investigating voter fraud, becoming the first state to largely comply with the request after initially balking.  
 
The Board voted late Wednesday to provide data like voter names, birthdates, addresses and voting history after determining it had no lawful reason to deny the request.  
 
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said in June the state would not comply.  The commission then filed an open records request for voter data already available to members of the public who file such requests.  
 
The state will not provide voters' Social Security numbers because of state voter privacy laws.  Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., still say they won't comply with the information request. Three others are reconsidering their denials.
 
 
Ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case rather than go straight to a retrial.  
 
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that the Democrat can ask the high court to review his case.  The Second-Circuit tossed out his public corruption conviction in July, citing a recent Supreme Court decision. But it also said there is sufficient evidence to conduct a retrial.  A government spokesman says prosecutors still plan to retry the case as soon as possible.  
 
Prosecutors had opposed Silver's request for the Second-Circuit to suspend the effect of its decision long enough for a Supreme Court review.  The 73 year-old Silver originally was convicted in a $5 million scheme and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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WJTN Headlines

Two days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joked that millions in additional funding would be available for struggling cities, the Democrat is set to appear at the future home of the National Comedy Center. 

 

The governor's office says he'll make an announcement Thursday afternoon at the National Comedy Center construction site in Jamestown.  Cuomo's appearance comes during the start of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, where the late television and film actress was born in 1911. 

 

The governor's visit also comes two days after he said there would be second-, third- and fourth-place winners in a state program funneling millions of dollars to communities seeking to revitalize their downtowns.  Cuomo's office afterward said he was joking about rewarding the also-rans.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he understands the point President Donald Trump was trying to make last week when Trump said in an interview that people living in upstate New York should move elsewhere to find jobs. 

 

Trump made the controversial statements in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that appeared on July 26th.  He said that people in New York and some other states are going to have to move to Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado where many new manufacturing jobs are going. 

 

Reed, a Republican from Corning, says he loves the region and isn't going anywhere.  He says he's going to continue to fight for the region, and says it's recognition that the "rust belt" has had it's struggles.  Reed agrees that the upstate region needs a significant economic boost and, the loss of jobs and people can clearly be seen by the loss of 4 to 5 members of Congress over the past few decades. 

 

Trump said new plants in some parts of the country are going to need people to work and, places like "upper New York" are getting "very badly hurt."  An official with the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership told The Buffalo News that Trump's asserstion is wrong adding that Buffalo is "doing better than we've done in decades."


A Dunkirk woman accused of shooting and killing her boyfriend last month has been indicted by a Chautauqua County grand jury. 

 

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 28-year-old Rebecca Ruiz was indicted Wednesday in county court on one count of second-degree murder as well as two other charges, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and tampering with evidence. 

 

Swanson says Ruiz was returned to the county jail in Mayville on $1-million cash bail, and $2-million property bond.  Ruiz is accused of shooting and killing 21-year-old Julian Duman at her home at 141 Lake Shore Drive East back on July 6th. 

 

Swanson says additional evidence was developed that allowed the grand jury to indict Ruiz on the two additional charges.  He says the case will continue in October for motions in front of Judge David Foley.  A trial date will then be set.


No one was hurt but, an apartment building in Dunkirk sustained extensive damage during a late morning fire Wednesday in the area of Maple Avenue, Route 60 and King Street. 

 

That from Dunkirk Fire Captain Gary Latta who says they were called to the scene of the large structure that housed several apartments about 10:30 a.m.  Latta says they checked twice to make sure that everyone was out of the burning structure and, then moved to knock down the fire and bring it under control before checking inside again. 

 

Katta says crews hussled to the scene after receiving reports of smoke in the area.  He says three of the apartments were occupied and, they checked those when they first arrived.  He says they received mutual aid from nearby Fredonia and an engine from East Dunkirk. 

 

The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene.  A portion of Route 60 was closed late Wednesday morning through early afternoon due to the fire, and subsequent clean-up.


Two witnesses report seeing shots fired yesterday morning on Jamestown's northside but, no one was hurt. 

 

City Police Chief Harry Snellings confirms that officers were called to the scene at Prendergast Avenue and Regent Street about 7:15 a.m.  Snellings says two people were allegedly involved in a disagreement and, wound up apparently firing shots at each other. 

 

However both ran off before police arrived.  He says police interviewed the two witnesses there.  Snellings says no shell casings have been found yet and, no buildings were hit.  The investigation is continuing.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week while on the national scene they have increased over the past week. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the price locally is just over $2.44 a gallon this week.  It's actually about about 2-10ths of a penny higher than it was last week. 

 

AAA adds that the price across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions continue to join the pack of most expensive states in the country.  Nationally, the price is up to $2.32 a gallon this week and, is at its highest price since June 15th.

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WJTN Headlines

Three people from Jamestown escaped serious injury after the driver of the car they were traveling in fell asleep at the wheel and crashed on Foote Avenue Extension in the town of Kiantone. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday, and found that the northbound vehicle, driven by 42 year-old David Philbrick, left the roadway and struck a large billboard.  Deputies say Philbrick's car then overturned some 4 to 6 times before traveling about 150-yards through several fields before striking some trees and shrubs and, then hitting a play set in a business lot. 

 

Officers say Philbrick and his two passengers were sent to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  He was charged with failure to keep right.


Jamestown police say they seized a quantity of marijuana from a woman who was stopped fo several traffic and vehicle violations on the city's southside Monday night. 

 

City police say officers spotted a vehicle in the area of McKinley Avenue and Park Street about 9:20 p.m., and, stopped 31 year-old Peggysue Reese Goldsmith in the mid-block of Linden Avenue. 

 

Following a short investigation officers found the marijuana in Goldsmith's possession.  She was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possesion of marijuana unnecessary noice failure to signal a turn and, having the driver's view obstructed.


There were more questions posed to Jamestown city lawmakers Monday night about the possible benefits of the proposed annexation by the city of property in Falconer owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

However this time it was two city women asking about how the move would impact both the city and, the village.  If approved the four-acres of land where the Dow Street Substation sits in Falconer would become part of the city. 

 

Council President Greg Rabb says he was happy to have residents come and ask questions and make comments.  He says a vote by council should be taken in about a month once the state Department of Environmental Conservation makes a final determination of lead agency status. 

 

One of the women, Melinda Stoller asked if the annexation would provide any benefit to Falconer.  Rabb declined to comment on the impact on the village saying that Falconer officials are best able to speak to that and he should not speak for them. 

 

Lovell Avenue resident, Ravin Mason, also owns property in Falconer.  She asked how annexing the property will benefit the city.  Councilman Tony Dolce says the move would save the BPU thousands of dollars a year in taxes and provide payments in lieu of tax payments to the city and Jamestown School District.


New York state has announced a new round of funding for a program aimed at keeping students from dropping out of school. 

 

The state Education Department on Monday said 44 colleges and universities will receive a total of $17 million as part of the Liberty Partnerships Program. 

 

Under the program, colleges partner with struggling schools and community-based organizations to help middle and high school students who are at risk of dropping out complete school and go on to college. 

 

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the program gives students access to skills assessment, tutoring, counseling and mentoring.  The program was started in 1988.


The week of Comedy at Chautauqua Institutiion is well-underway and, yesterday featured a comedic legend, and the daughter of a legend. 

 

Long-time comedian and T-V Director David Steinberg was on the amphitheater stage with Kelly Carlin daughter of George Carlin to discuss political satire and other comedy. 

 

Kelly Carlin spoke on our "Chautauqua Now" show with Dennis Webster prior to the appearance and, discussed her father's career.  She says her father's comedy actually came in three stages the first being individual relationships, then the langauge, and the final 25-years dealing with the culture in America. 

 

Carlin wrote a book about her father's career called, "A Carlin Home Companion" a take-off on the name of Garrison Keillor's radio program.  She says it's been part of the process of going through his artifacts including scrapbooks since Carlin passed away nine years ago. 

 

Kelly Carlin will also be on stage at the Amphitheater this Thursday morning with W. Kamau Bell host of CNN's "United Shades of America" at 10:45 a.m.


While the daughter of George Carlin says she enjoyed being able to have a relationship with her father's comedic artifacts... her father's "stuff" also belongs to his fans and, future generations. 

 

That's why Kelly Carlin has turned-over her father's materials to the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Carlin says she's already talked with Director Journey Gunderson about the exhibit of her dad's artifacts including a lot of hand-written notes where patrons can "walk into my father's brain." 

 

She adds that scholars and students will also have a chance to study his work for years and decades to come.  Kelly Carlin says work on the exhibit is already underway at the Gateway Train Station which will be part of the new National Comedy Center on Jamestown's westside. 

 

Funding for the final parts of the comedy center is now in place and, a Spring or Summer 2018 opening is expected.

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WJTN Headlines

A bi-partisan group of Congress members in Washington, DC including Chautauqua County's representative have reached consensus agreement on a proposal to stabilize the Affordable Care Act markets. 

 

That from Congressman Tom Reed who co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus that reached the agreement over the past weekend and, in the wake of the Health Care defeat in the U-S Senate. 

 

Reed says the move would take effect for heatlh insurance plans offered in 2018 and, would include three basic reforms:  Eliminating the employer mandate up to 500 employees, recognize a 40-hour work week for health insurance being provided versus a 30-hour week originally in the ACA, and eliminating the medical device tax. 

 

Reed says a stablization fund would be set up to help stabilize the markets in those areas of the county where the ACA also known as ObamaCare are collapsing.  The Corning Republican says they're also working on cost-sharing reductions. 

 

He says he's already been attacked by "the right" on the proposal and, adds that his co-chair New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer has also been attacked for the proposal.  Reed adds that he has not "abandoned his position" on Repeal and Replacing the ACA.  However he say this is a step in the right direction for the people.


A major bio-pharmacutical company planning to put a new anti-cancer drug production facility in the Dunkirk-area is now a publically-traded entity. 

 

With that, excitement is continuing to grow towards Athenex which celebrated it's Initial Public Offering or IPO Sunday during a dinner event in Buffalo. 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan was among the local officials involved and, he says company officials from Taiwan, Chicago and Buffalo all took part in the dinner and teleconference there.  He says they're now looking at a 2 to 3-week period to a ground-breaking. 

 

Horrigan says all the financing is in place for the project on Route 5 near the Dunkirk City line.  He says the final piece was a 20 year Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement with the county's Industrial Development Agency that was approved last week. 

 

In addition to the more than $1-billion investment Horrigan says they'll have an estimated payroll of $50-million.  He says Athenex's President and Chief Executive Officer is also talking about other opportunities once their western New York facilities are on-line.  Officials say they are hoping the intial offering of stock in the company will raise about $100-million at $11 a share.


The Jamestown City Council has tabled action on a proposal to abandon a portion of Osborne Street on the city's southside to look into drainage and tree issues. 

 

The decison was made during last night's Council voting session, following a public hearing in which several neighbors spoke.  One Steve Muscarella of Sampson Street, said he believed the neighbor's would like a letter from the city to clarify what they would be responsible for if the abandonment took place. 

 

Muscarella says they would hope the city would improve drainage there, as well as get rid of old and dying trees.  One of those people who didn't want to deal with the tree issue was Jim Fusco of Colfax Street.  He says he took down some pine trees that he thought he owned but, later learned they were on city property.  He says he gets high water in that part of the property now. 

 

Steve Atwater of Colfax Street says he's not opposed to the abandonment but, says he'd also like to have more clarity on drainage and, property tax issues. 

 

Public Works Committee Chairman George Spitale urged lawmakers to table the matter until his committee could look further into the matter.


New York state now considers an inmate's age at the time of the crime to ensure that offenders receiving long sentences as juveniles have a legitimate chance at release. 

 

Corrections officials say the Board of Parole made the change immediately after a 2016 ruling that juveniles must be granted a meaningful chance at release during parole proceedings. 

 

Though New York has never sentenced juveniles to life without parole, groups including the New York Civil Liberties Union had criticized officials for looking only at crimes, and not youth, in parole determinations.


The town of Gerry becomes "Rodeo City" later this week as the 73rd annual Gerry Fire Department's PRCA Rodeo gets underway Wednesday evening. 

 

Spokesman Paul Cooley with the rodeo says this year's event will have a record number of competitors for all four nights 256 cowboys and cowgirls from 34 states.  Cooley says they'll be vying for about $45,000 in prize money each night, Wednesdaythrough Saturday

 

He adds that word getting around about the success of the rodeo and the fact is drawing some top names in the sport.  He says one of the top saddle-bronc riders, Cody DiMass, who has won over $2-million in the professional ranks will be here again this year. 

 

Among the fan favorites at the rodeo is the delicious beef barbecue dinners which are served from 5 to 8 p.m. each day during the rodeo.  Cooley says you can get more information about this year's rodeo on-line at www.gerryrodeo.org.


The Trump administration says a Pennsylvania-based coal company has won a contract to supply coal used for heating to Ukraine's state-owned power company. 

 

The deal announced Monday calls for X-coal Energy and Resources to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal to the Ukraine to heat homes and businesses.  The first shipment is expected to leave the Port of Baltimore next month at a cost of $113 per metric ton. 

 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry hailed the deal with state-owned Centrenergo, saying such partnerships "are crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance" for the U.S.  President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the struggling coal industry.

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WJTN Headlines

The investigation into last Saturday morning's fatal fire in the town of Ellicott in which a man in his 40s died is continuing. 

 

Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says crews were called to the scene at 37-30 Wilson Hollow Road shortly after 7 a.m.  At the scene Piazza told us that he and initial crews found heavy fire in half of the house.  He adds neighors told them that someone was trapped inside and, they called in a second alarm. 

 

He says they found the fire load was too much to get firefighters inside, and there was also a lot of debris inside the home.  Piazza says would not say where the unidentified man was found inside the home.  He says the man's name is being withheld pending notification of relatives and, an autopsy at the Erie County Medical Center. 

 

Piazza says the resident apparently was a hoarder and, that made fighting the blaze difficult.  He says county Fire Service officials are debriefing firefighters who were there and touched by the tragedy.  Piazza says it took about an hour to bring the fire under control. 

 

Falconer firefighters were joined at the scene by crews from Gerry, Kennedy, Fluvanna, Sinclairville, Ellington, Cassadaga, and Kiantone.


Two people have been arrested for allegedly trafficing cocaine, pills and marijuana and, being in possession of a weapon during a Target Enforcement Patrol on Jamestown's southside. 

 

City police say they were joined by State Police in conducting the vehicle stop on Foote Avenue, near Barker Street, shortly before 10 p.m. last Friday.  Officers say they saw the car, operated by 55 year-old Randy Nicoloff, commit a traffic infraction and, he was stopped. 

 

During the stop police confiscated the drugs, along with a switchblade knife.  Police arrested Nicoloff on several charges including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, unlawful possession of marijuana. 

 

His passenger, 38 year-old Douglas Fain, was charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of drugs and, criminally using drug paraphernlia.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


The state's fiscal watchdog is sounding a "cautionary" alarm, saying that New York could be headed toward increased financial challenges later this year and further in the future. 

 

Late last week DiNapoli issued a report in which he cited uncertainty in Washington about proposals to cut funding for health care and other programs that boost the state's bottom line. 

 

During a stop at Southern Tier Brewing in the town of Busti he said potential changes to the U-S Tax Code are also a concern with potential tax reform on the horizon.  He says changes to the Affordable Care Act could also be an issue.  DiNapli also pointed to lower-than-expected tax revenue as a concern. 

 

He says year-to-year those collections are down just over $1-billion and collections versus projections for the year are also down about $315-million. 

 

DiNapoli says personal income tax receipts in the first quarter of this fiscal year were down by about $1.7 billion dollars from estimates made back in February.


One of the six men convicted of running a drug trafficking ring in the Dunkirk-area has been sentenced to time served in connection with the two-year case. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that 32 year-old Javier Pagan, Junior... who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine received the sentence from U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford. 

 

Prosecutors say that Pagan was one of the key people who ran the organization between 2013 and, June of 2015.  Pagan was arrested at that time, along with David Jesus Pagan and Rafael Burgos. 

 

Three others were later arrested for allegeldy distributing a large amount of cocaine being in possession of about $175,000 in drug proceeds and, an assault rifle.


A big week of Comedy at Chautauqua Institution and in Jamestown gets underway today with political comedian Lewis Black being the featured lecture at Chautauqua. 

 

Black kicks off the week-six theme of "Comedy and the Human Condition" in the Amphitheater while the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival begins with a show by another well-known Comedian Jim Gaffigan in Jamestown Thursday

 

National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says that show is a sell-out but, adds the Friday night show featuring Kevin James still has tickets remaining for his show at the Northwest Arena in downtown Jamestown.  James has been in movies, and stars in the CBS Sitcom, "Kevin can Wait." 

 

Gunderson adds that James started in stand-up comedy and, his show is very good.  One of the most popular programs during the festival, though, will be next Friday with the Stand-up Comedy Showcase at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts which is free to military veterans and, will feature five comedians including Tammy Pescatelli. 

 

For more information on all events at Chautauqua and in Jamestown call 484-0800 or go on-line to www.lucycomedyfest.com.


Organizers are very pleased with the first-ever Wild America Nature Festival at Panama Rocks. 

 

Chairman Bill Hackney with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute Board of Directors says it was an "overwhelming success."  The institute partnered with Panama Rocks to put on the weekend event. 

 

A crowd estimated in the thousands went to the lectures, watched the birds of prey demonstrations, listened to the music, and sampled the food.  Jonathan Weston, General Manager of Panama Rocks, was the principal organizer of the festival. 

 

Weston says they're received great feedback on the event, and people seemed very happy with it.  Around 40 artists were placed in the wooded area adjacent to the rocks.  One of them assessed the scene and the fair weather and called it 'dreamy'.

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News Headlines for Sat., July 29, 2017

One person dies in Saturday morning fire north of Falconer...
One person has died in a serious fire that destroyed a home early this morning in the town of Ellicott. -- just north of Falconer.  Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says a passer-by called in the alarm at 3730 Wilson Hollow Road shortly after 7 a.m.  Piazza told us... at the scene... that he and initial crews found heavy fire in half of the house.  He adds they also learned someone may be trapped inside... and they called in a second-alarm for manpower.  Piazza adds they weren't able to make an interior attack because of the heavy fire conditions, and the fact there was a lot of "rubble inside" the structure.  He says the unidentified victim was a "40 to 50 year-old" male.  He says the man's name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.  Piazza says the resident apparently was a hoarder... and, that made fighting the blaze difficult.  He says it took about an hour to bring the fire under control.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say Falconer firefighters were joined at the scene by crews from Gerry... Kennedy... Fluvanna... Sinclairville... Ellington... Cassadaga... and, Kiantone.  Piazza and county fire investigators were still at the scene late this morning.  The cause remains under investigation.
 
 
City man arrested for possessing a "large amount" of Methamphetime during traffic stop...
A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of a large amount of Methamphetime after being pulled over early Friday morning for driving erratically on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say officers pulled over 35 year-old Maurice Hough just before 6:30 a.m., and, checked on his well-being because he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Police say Hough admitted to recently smoking Meth, and added there were also warrants out for his arrest.  But... when officers tried to arrest him, he resisted before being taken into custody.  Police say they found Hough with the Meth, and two hypodermic needles in his possession.  He faces charges including fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  Hough was arraigned and sent to the county jail.
 
 
Jamestown woman arrested during mid-week drug bust...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly making and trafficking Methamphetime following a traffic stop and investigatiion early this past Wednesday morning.  City police were called to the Charlestown Apartments at 30 Charles Street shortly after 3 a.m. on a report of a dark-colored Sports Utility Vehicle driving in and out of the property... possibly involved in narcotics sales.  Officers say they found a dark-colored Jeep in the area... and, pulled over 35 year-old Cassie Nichols on McKinley Avenue.  Officers say they saw Nichols commit several traffic infractions.  She was allegedly found with a quantity of Methamphetime... several glass pipes... scales... precusors... solvents... re-agents... and other items.  Nichols was arraigned on charges including third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetime... and, sent to the county jail on $25,500 cash bail.
 
 
DiNapoli tours So. Tier Brewing in Busti, touts investment by state's Pension Fund used to help craft brewer grow...
It's an investment program that has helped to build New York state's Common Retirement Fund... and, helped several businesses across the state expand and grow.  Those are the feelings of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli... who visited Southern Tier Brewery in the town of Busti yesterday to tour the facility... and, discuss the pension fund's 'In-State Private Equity Program."  The program invests about $1.6-billion in businesses -- like Southern Tier.  All told... DiNapoli says they've invested $7.6-million in the local, craft brewery... since it opened in 2003.  He says the program provides a good return for the pension fund, about 11.5-percent, and helps the businesses involved in the program.  DiNapoli says Southern Tier... which recently bought out Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania for an expansion... has done "very, very well."  Southern Tier Owner and Operator Phin DiMink... who started Southern Tier Brewery with three employees in 2003.. says the investment by the Comptroller's office has helped grow to be 13th biggest craft brewery in the northeast.  DiNapoli was joined for the event by State Senator Cathy Young.
 
 
County Legislature resolves tax issue Busti properties...
Four properties that have belonged to a town of Busti man for many years... and, that town was trying to take for back-taxes... has been returned to the man.  The County Legislature this week agreed to return the Fairmount Avenue properties --- between First Avenue and Big Tree Road -- to Lee Fischer after some discussion and a closed-door session.  Fischer spoke earlier in the meeting... and, laid out his on-going dispute with the town over how the property is maintained.  He says one nearby business also complained of vermin... but, he says he knows that's not the case because as a pest control business operator... he's strived to do that.  Fisher... who lives on Fourth Avenue... owns the 40-by-70 foot property that fronts on Fairmount Avenue... and, three lots behind it.  He says the properties were being wrongly put up for tax auction because he had paid the taxes when they were due.  Fisher also says he has invested about $100,000 into the Fairmount Avenue property.
 
 
Tarbrake likely to step down after August Legislature meeting due to moving out of the district...
A veteran member of the Chautauqua County Legislature from the Jamestown-area will be likely be stepping down after next month's meeting because he's moving out of his district.  Republican Mark Tarbrake has represented District 14 for the past nearly eight-years... but, he and his family will be moving to the Bemus Point area soon... and, he'll have to step down.  Tarbrake says he'll miss working with his fellow lawmakers, county staff, and his constituents.  He also did not rule out the idea of running for office again sometime in the future.  Before being voted onto the legislature... Tarbrake served in local government... including several years on the Busti Town Board. 
 

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WJTN Headlines

The accident involving a ride at the Ohio State Fair that killed one person has raised concerns about ride-safety at fairs across the nation. 

 

Chautauqua County Fair officials say they too are concerned about safety, but indicate that a rigorous inspection of the rides was conducted before the mid-way opened this part Monday.  The Fair Board's Dave Wilson says they "feel" for the people in Ohio who are involved with the fair and, says the people in Dunkirk look over everything very carefully.   

 

Wilson says New York state inspectors check everything and know "all the wear points" on rides.  Wilson says they also like the safety record that the midway rides vendor, Bates Brothers, has.  He says they are "at the mercy of the inspectors," and everyone does the best job they can." 

 

Meanwhile Wilson says he's pleased with the way the 2017 edition of Chautauqua County Fair has been going.  This year's fair continues through Sunday in Dunkirk.


A convicted Felon from Ohio is accused of being in possession of a firearm after Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers pulled him over for driving erratically on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony this past Friday night. 

 

Deputies say they pulled over 32 year-old James Schmidt of Orrville, Ohio after receiving information that he was driving erratically.  Upon being pulled over Schmidt fled the scene on foot, but was apprehended a short distance away from his vehicle.  Schmidt was in possession of a 45-caliber pistol despite having prior felony convictions in the state of Ohio. 

 

He was arraigned in North Harmony Town Court on charges of criminal possession of a Firearm third-degree criminal possession of a Weapon, and having an illegal windshield.  Schmidt was sent to the county jail on $10,000 cash bail.


More care should have been taken to protect fish and other habitats when two herbicides were sprayed weeds on a limited area of Bemus Bay on Chautauqua Lake last month. 

 

Those are the feelings of a few people who spoke prior to Wednesday night's vote by the County Legislature on allocating $100,000 to the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance for weed management, and maintenance. 

 

A member of the Alliance's Scientific and Advisory Committee, Becky Nystrom, says spraying guidelines say one of those herbicides 2-4-D should not be used in those fish habitats. 

 

Current Jamestown Community College Biology Professor Janice Bowman says she believes that last month's limited weed spraying in Chautauqua Lake's Bemus Bay was not needed to get rid of the Curly Pond Leaf and, Eurasian Milfoil that's been a problem in different parts of the lake for the past few decades. 

 

Bowman says she and some of her students were on the lake the day before spraying began and found the Milfoil had already been "dying back" and the pond leaf was in decline.


A problem with drinking water in a small part of the village of Celoron will be addressed in part with a $75,000 state grant obtained through the efforts of State Senator Cathy Young. 

 

The grant will be used to help install a new water main in a portion of the village where 10 families have well-water that they are no longer able to use for drinking, cooking or bathing any more. 

 

Young says "this grant will resolve a fundamental human need and quality of life issue, while taking pressure off the rest of village water users so they don’t have to shoulder a heavy financial burden."  Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost thanked Young for obtaining the grant so residents can be hooked up to a public water system.


A local woman has been announced as the new exexutive director for the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in Jamestown. 

 

The Board of Directors says current United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Director Tory Irgang will succeed Randy Sweeney, who is set to retire from the foundation December 31st after 20 years as director. 

 

Community Foundation Board President Don Butler says they are "thrilled" to welcome Irgang and Sweeney says she's been "actively involved" in the local community meaning the transitition for her should be relatively easy and seemless. 

 

Irgang has served as executive director for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County since February of 2011 and prior to that spent seven years in the government and not-for-profit sectors.  She held positions with the Chautauqua County Department of Health and the Chautauqua County Health Network.


Four men who have devoted most of their lives to be part of the Sherman Fire Department and other organizations have been honored with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's annual Axel W. Carlson Award. 

 

Foundation Executive Director Randy Sweeney says they present the 32nd annual award honoring the area's "unsung heroes" during a program last night at the Stanley Hose Company.  Sweeney says the four include Bob Crane, Joel Fischer, Douglas Neal, and, Matt Oehlbeck who have been actively involved with the Sherman Fire Department. 

 

He tells our Dennis Webster that the foundation has been recognizing more and more people across the region as opposed to just in the immediate Jamestown-area... and, they selected the Sherman-area this year.  He says while all four have served for many years with the Stanley Hose Company in Sherman they've also been involved in other community activities from coaching to helping at the Yorker Museum. 

 

The award is named after Axel Carlson, a Swedish immigrant to Jamestown who volunteered in a number of capacities.

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WJTN Headlines

The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance will be receiving $100,000 to help cover expenses for weed management and shoreline maintenance this year. 

 

However, the County Legislature last night unanimously agreed that no county funds be used to pay for a recent, limited amount of herbicide use in Bemus Bay.  The legislature agreed to the allocation of 2% bed tax funding by a 13-to-4 vote. 

 

Hanover Republican George Borrello supported an amendment requiring the alliance provide the necessary documentation to be reimbursed.  Borrello says that's because, last year, the alliance needed more money for shoreline clean-up than was allocated, and they couldn't clean-up the shortline. 

 

Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro urged lawmakers to keep in mind that the alliance, and the other lake entities seeking the funding stated these were "anticipated" costs.  He wanted to reduce the allocation to $50,000 now and, then see if they needed the additional $50,000.   Nazzaro says that could be approved in August. 

 

An handful of other lawmakers agreed with Nazzaro's concerns but, ultimately the majority said they were comfortable with the language in the resolution ensuring that receipts would have to be shown for money to be doled out.


State parks and New York Sea Grant are getting the word out about algae that can make dogs sick. 

 

The problem is harmful algal blooms, which poison water with toxins from blue-green algae.  The toxins can disrupt liver and nervous system function and cause skin irritation in people, pets and wildlife. 

 

Dogs are especially susceptible because they often drink from ponds and lakes and eat scummy algal mats with attractive odors.  Fact sheets and brochures are being provided at numerous state parks where harmful algal blooms occur.  New York Sea Grant has also posted information on its website.


Chautauqua County lawmakers took the final step to extend the county's 8% sales tax at last night's meeting in Mayville. 

 

Lawmakers said, prior to the meeting that the proposed extension of the tax is for a longer period of time this time around.  It is a three-year extension versus a two-year one. 

 

The measure was approved unanimously at last night's monthly meeting.  The State Legislature approved the extender allowing the county to impose the additional one-percent tax last month.  County lawmakers initially approved the legislation earlier this year.


The idea of using "textalyzer technology" to help law enforcement agencies when it comes to dealing with accidents caused by texting while driving will be investigated. 

 

That after Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Wednesday to study the new technology.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he will be following the results very closely because it currently would be a "post-crash" type of application. 

 

Gerace says privacy issues will also have to be addressed at some point.  Gerace says the problem of drivers texting behind the wheel continues to grow according to Gerace.  He says it can still be a problem to prove if a driver is using a cellphone but, he says in many cases, they can't validate those with current technology. 

 

The committee will work with member agencies, advocates, legal experts and other stakeholders to gather information about the technology and its impact.  But, Gerace says the best advice is to wait before texting.


A member of the County Legislature says he believes Cott Corporation's decision to sell Cott Beverages to Refresco could be a good thing for the local area. 

 

That from Silver Creek area Republican, George Borrello, who is also a member of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency's Board of Directors.  He has done some research into sale that was announced on Tuesday and, found that Refresco want's to expand it's North American operations. 

 

Cott Beverages operates a plant in the city of Dunkirk and Borrello feels that the move should help the local facility which Cott acquired from the former Cliffstar and, he said there is every indiction that this is a "positive move" for the county.  Cott and Refresco announced the sale for $1.25-billion. 

 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas indicated that the city will be reaching out to Refresco to see how they can work together.


The annual Chautauqua County Fair in Dunkirk has moved into it's second half and, those attending this year's fair will see a strong presence by the County's 4-Hers on the fairgrounds off Central Avenue. 

 

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County's Emily Reynolds says it’s a great opportunity to learn more about 4-H and see all of the animal exhibits and, take part in the annual Meat Animal Sale tomorrow afternoon beginning at 12 p.m. 

 

Reynolds says 4-Hers are eager to show off their animals and to share their knowledge with fairgoers about many of the approxiamtely 600 animals they bring to the fairgrounds during the week.  All the animals with the exception of the Market Chickens will be there. 

 

Again the annual 4-H market sale that will be held tomorrow starting at Noon.  Our Dennis Webster will preview the sale tomorrow morning.

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WJTN Headlines

A man was reportedly flown to a regional hospital after being struck by a car on Route 394 just west of the Lakewood village line. 

 

Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say the accident was called in about 9:15 Tuesday night.  Fire rescue units responded, and Starflight was called in to transport the victim.  Dispatchers say Route 394 from Route 474 to Fardink Road was closed for some time to get the victim transported, and the scene cleared. 

 

Efforts to reach Lakewood-Busti Police for comment so far have been unsuccessful.


Combustables too close to a light bulb is the apparent cause of a fire that heavily-damaged an upstairs apartment on Jamestown's eastside late Monday night. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 262 Falconer Street shortly before Midnight and, found fire on the second floor.  That from Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular who says they also had to assist the family living in that apartment out of the building after an occupant called in the alarm for a fire that started in a room in that apartment. 

 

He adds that it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control and, there was extensive fire damage to a room on the second-floor.  He says an off-duty shift of nine firefighters was called in.  A pet perished in the blaze.  Sigular says fire crews and investigators were at the scene until about 3:30 Tuesday morning.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utiliities has agreed to a two-year extension of a contract with a local manufacturer to provide them with lower cost electric so long as they keep up their job numbers and invest in their facility. 

 

BPU and city officials signed the deal with Monofrax through October of 2019.  Monofrax was an original partner with the BPU once it was able to offer "Flex Rate" programs to local industry.  President and General Manager William Andrews says with the help of their parent company Callesta, they've been able to again grow the company which now has 217 employees.   

 

Andrews says they've been able to expand markets for their ceramic glass refactories and will soon need a second furnace to make their ceramic linings for furnaces and glass products.  He adds their acquisition by Callesta last year has also made a difference in working with the community. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says Monofrax is one of seven companies that are part of the Flex Plan program.


The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency's Board of Directors has approved incentives including a 20 year PILOT agreement with Athenex as the company prepares to break ground for a new plant in the town of Dunkirk. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan who attended a meeting held at the IDA Office in Jamestown Tuesday morning.  Horrigan says the incentives were part of the plan to land the project in Chautauqua County and, without those incentives he believes the project would not be moving forward. 

 

Horrigan says Teresa Bair, Athenex's Vice President of Corporate Development and Legal Affairs, was among those attending the meeting.  He says ground-breaking will be sometime during the third quarter.


Cott Corporation in the north county announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its traditional beverage manufacturing business, Cott Beverages to Refresco for $1.25-billion dollars. 

 

The transaction includes Cott's North America, U.K., and Mexico businesses.  The move, according to Refresco's website, would create the world's largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America.


Several Boy Scouts from Chautauqua County and the surrounding area, were on hand to hear President Donald Trump's 40-minute address to them at their National Jamboree in West Virginia. 

 

The scouts from the Allegheny Highlands Council arrived there in Glen Jean last week and, will be there through Friday.  One of them is Eagle Scout Joe Pillitieri-the-third who says it was a "once in a lifetime experience" to see the president.  Pillitierri says the President gave "a good speech" and, tried to encourage the scouts to work towards what they want to achieve. 

 

Pillitierri says the message from the president resonates because he's been a successful businessmen in the world.  He says Mr. Trump emphasized that if it worked for him, it could work for them also.  Pillitierri says there's still plenty to do at the Jamboree which is being attended by some 30,000 Boy Scouts from across the country. 

 

Pillitierri's father, Joe, Junior, heads up the Allegheny Highlands Council which has brought 36 youth to the Jamboree along with one youth adult and three adult leaders.  Mr. Trump's address makes him the eighth president to attend the National Scout Jamboree.


For the fourth-straight year the annual Cents for St. Susan's campaign to raise money for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen has wound up with more than $17,000. 

 

Officials with St. Susan's and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities announced yesterday that the 18th annual drive raised $17,346.  St. Susan's Executive Director Jeff Smith says he's "thrilled" with the final amount... making it the fourth-straight year the Cents for St. Susan's effort raised more than $17,000. 

 

Smith again thanked the community and event sponsors for their great support during the campaign including their hot dog and bake sales.  Smith says KeyBank pledged $2,000, while 15 others contributed at least $500. 

 

During it's 18 years of existance the fund-raiser has brought just over $195,000 to the soup kitchen to support it's on-going efforts to feed the city's hungry residents.  For more information on St. Susan's Center call 664-2253.

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WJTN Headlines

An early morning fire Monday in Jamestown that destroyed a vacant home at the corner of Lincoln and 5th Streets has now been ruled arson. 

 

That from city fire officials who say the investigation is on-going into the blaze at 426 East Fifth.  City Fire Lieutenant Don Mowery says crews were called to the scene shortly before 5 a.m., and, found heavy fire through-out much of the structure. 

 

Mowery says they were unable to make an interior attack due to the intensity of the blaze and, it took about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control using master stream lines to put out the fire, and a handline to protect an exposure at 7 Lincoln St. 

 

Mowery says no one was inside the building, and the alarm was called in by a passer-by.  He says most crews were at the scene about 3-hours.  Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  He says two firefighters suffered minor injuries. 

 

Mowery says no utilities were hooked up to the building.  The city's Department of Development tore down the house yesterday afternoon.


A former Jamestown police officer who is now the Police Chief in the town of Carroll has been awarded more than $170,000 in damages regarding time he served with the military overseas. 

 

Attorney Michael Macomber of Albany who represented Timothy Wright has announced that Wright received the award last week in State Supreme Court.  Macomber says the court ordered the police department and city pay Wright just over $44,000 plus an additional $44,000 as liquidated damages, and further ordered the city to pay him just over $83,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.  The case resulted from what Macomber says was JPD denying vacation time and a promotion within the department.


U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Jamestown yesterday morning to officially roll-out new legislation designed to get to what she calls one of the "root causes" of the nation's Heroin and opioid addiction crisis. 

 

The New York Democrat was at the Mental Health Association in Jamestown to announce the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act... which addresses the need to curb the amount of opioid pain killers that a doctor can prescribe to someone with "acute short term pain." 

 

In 2015 Gillibrand says the Centers for Disease Control reported the amount of opioids prescribed was enough for "every American to be medicated around the clock for three full weeks."  Gillibrand says the legislation has come out of meetings she's had with several families who have been impacted by the crisis like Jamestown's Kim Carlson whose son, Alex Foulk, died of a Heroin overdose in February of 2016. 

 

She says his problems started when he was prescribed a pain killer for a hockey injury in January of 2015.  Carlson says he died from a drug overdose on February 26th of last year.  She says it was a combination of Heroin and, a large amount of Fentanyl.  She says in "her grief" she decided to do what she can to help others overcome the horrors of addiction.  Local leaders urged support of the bill.


The 135th annual Chautauqua County Fair is officially underway. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's local representative Lori Cornell read a special proclamation from the top state leader during today's opening ceremonies held at the fairgrounds in the city of Dunkirk who wished the fair a "wonderful week."  Cornell also assisted in firing the Civil War-era cannon during the ceremonies. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan was among those present.  Horrigan says the fair is a great way to enjoy the summer in Chautauqua County and, expressed his appreciation to the Fair Board for it's hard work.  He predicted the weather this week will "be "fair!." 

 

Others turning out included Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and several county legislators.  After the ceremonies concluded, the elected officials had the opportunity to tour the fairgrounds with 4-H members.  This year's Chautauqua County Fair continues through Sunday, July 30th.


A Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly backing his boat into another vessel that was moored off Loomis Bay Road in the town of Busti seveal days ago. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Raymond Yoder of Mayport, PA allegedly backed his rented boat into the other boat during the late night hours of July 15th and, left the scene. 

 

Deputies say they investigated and that led to Yoder being identified as the operator of the rental boat.  He was arrested for a violation of the state's Navigation Law and, issued an appearance ticker for Busti Town Court.

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have destroyed a vacant home at the corner of Lincoln and 5th Streets in Jamestown. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 426 East Fifth Street shortly before 5 AM.  Lieutenant Don Mowery says they found heavy fire in much of the building when initial crews arrived.  Mowery says there was heavy fire coming from at least half-the-building on both floors, and one exposure nearby was being theatened.  He says it took about 45-minutes to bring the flames under control.  He says no one was inside the building, and the alarm was called in by a passer-by. 

 

Mowery says they pulled hand-lines to put the fire out at 426 East 5th and protect a nearby exposure at 7 Lincoln Street.  He says most crews were at the scene about three hours.  One crew still there. 

 

Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  He says two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  Mowery says no utilities were hooked up to the building.  The cause is under investigation.


Three people were found dead after a reported shooting late Sunday morning in a home near North East Pennsylvania. 

 

State police at the scene in North East Township confirmed that three people were deceased in an area containing some mobile homes and houses behind a machine shop.  Police said Sunday it appeared to be a murder-suicide.

 

The Erie Times-News reports 53-year-old Jack Hemmis apparently shot a man and woman, both in their 50's, several times and then turned the gun on himself.


The 16th annual Scandinavian Festival wrapped up Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds. 

 

Festival organizer, Don Sandy speaking Saturday was pleased with how the event went.  He says there was a nice crowd on hand -- especially for the Mid-Summer event late in the morning. 

 

One of the special moments at this year's festival was a tribute to the late Norm Owen.  Known as the inventor of the 'korv burger', Owen was a committed leader of the America Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, and worked hard for the festival each year.  Sandy said during the planning this year people often said, "well, Norm would have done it this way." 

 

The 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums made a special appearance, and played Amazing Grace in Owen's honor.


A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly stabbing a woman during a "violent domestic incident" on Jamestown's westside. 

 

City police say they were called to the scene at 401 West Seventh Street just after Midnight Saturday and, on arrival found the female victim with a stab wound to the arm.  Officers say they learned that 48 year-old Carlos Castellano had stabbed the woman during a brief argument. 

 

Police say the victim was treated for a non-life threatening wound at the scene.  Castellano was arraigned on one count each of second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county lock-up.


A city man has been arrested for allegedly shooting off three compressed air guns within the Jamestown City limits. 

 

City police were called to the scene in the area of Barrows and Willard Streets late last Thursday night on a report of a man shooting off a B-B gun.  Officers say they found 36 year-old James Chapman trying to leave the area in a car but, he was stopped on Forest Avenue. 

 

Police found the air guns that Chapman had just purchased and, was reportedly shooting off to check to see if they worked properly.  He was charged with unlawful discharge of firearms within the city limits, and issued an appearance ticket for City Court.


Threatening skys and some rain in the immediate Jamestown-area Sunday morning may have kept some people away but, those who were on hand for the annual World Series of Cars at Bergman Park were treated to another good show. 

 

That from local Babe Ruth President Russ Diethrick who says the skys were kind of ominous about mid-morning and, that kept some participants at home.  But he says once there was a break in the clouds people and cars really began arriving.  In fact, he says the cars were backed up onto Baker Street once the sun came out. 

 

For the first time this year Russ Diethrick says the World Series of Cars was not a "judged" show with prizes.  He says that may have played a role also because a number of people with classic and vintage cars look for judged shows. 

 

Diethrick expressed his appreciation to the Dave Warren Dealerships, which brought several trucks to the event as well.  Officials say preliminary counts show they had more than 100 cars and other vehicles on hand for this year's World Series of Cars.


The annual Chautauqua County Fair gets underway this morning at the fairgrounds off Central Avenue. 

 

That from Fair Board member Dave Wilson who says everything has come together well.  Wilson says the rainy weather hasn't set them back, and hasn't created any real issues there.  He says they'll begin the 135th fair with the traditional cannon shot at 10 a.m. following remarks from several local officials and dignitaries at the Main Gate. 

 

Wilson says they've really been working to get the fairgrounds and events ready the past several months but, adds they begin work on the next year's fair once the current one ends.

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News Headlines for Sat., July 22, 2017

Clean-up continuing in southern Erie County after twin tornados strike Hamburg and Holland...
The clean-up is now underway in Erie County -- south of Buffalo -- after two tornadoes caused significant damage Thursday afternoon.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo says the first tornado touched down at about 12:30 p.m. in Hamburg, while the second touched down 20 minutes later in the Town of Holland.  Governor Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Hamburg after the tornadoes hit... and, called it another "test" for New York's response.  Cuomo says the tornados are a "high-level" test.  He says western New Yorkers are ready and "can handle it."  He says 100 National Guardsmen were deployed, and are now on hand to help with cleanup efforts.  He says they'll be helping to remove debris from roadways, yards, and other places.  A state of emergency was declared in Hamburg and Orchard Park... and, no unnecessary travel is advised.  As many as 23,000 residents in Erie County had lost power.
 
 
CLA Harvester swamped by rough waters, sinks in Chautauqua Lake near Lakewood...
Officials with the Chautauqua Lake Association will try again this week to salvage a weed harvester that took on water earlier this week... and, capsized on the lake.  A source tells us the operator began encountering rough water near the Bemus Point area... and, tried to return to the CLA headquarters in Lakewood before having to abandon the 35 year-old vessel.  CLA Executive Director Doug Conroe tells The Post-Journal that they met with the county's Water Emergency Team to try and lift the harvester, but, that didn't work.  The rough water incident was reported by the operator... who was the only person on board the vessel.  He was able to get off the sinking vessel and was retrieved by another lake harvester near Lakewood. 
 
 
Horrigan, Sheriff, tout Motorcycle safety in latest "100 Days of Summer Safety" event in Falconer...
Summer-time means more motorcycles on the road... and, that means make sure to share the road an be safe.  In fact... Chautauqua County's top cop says operate your motorcycle as if you're "invisable."  Sheriff Joe Gerace was one of the officials on hand for County Executive Vince Horrigan's latest "100 Days of Summer Safety" event.  Gerace emphasized the importance of making sure you wear your helmet... leathers and other safety equipment in the wake of two recent fatal accidents in the north county.  He also reminds motorists that motorcycles are unique because they can accelerate and, brake quicker.  He adds that judging their speed can be more difficult.  Horrigan's latest program was held at Harley-Davidson of Jamestown located in Falconer.  Helmets are legally required for riding in New York state... but, Gerace says he's happy to report that compliance is "very good" in Chautauqua County.  County Senior Paramedic Mike Volpe adds that you should always dress for safety when riding... including helmets, leather jackets and other safety equipment. 
 
 
New Exec. Director, and Marketing and Events Mgr. named for JRC...
There are two new leaders at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... which also has a new location on the city's eastside.  That from the JRC's new Marketing and Events Manager, Zach Agett, who says Lisa Hatch has been on the job now for about two weeks... and, is pleased to be back in Chautauqua County.  Agett says Hatch is a Buffalo native... but, adds she came to love Chautauqua County while attending the SUNY College at Fredonia.  He says -- after graduation -- she worked in health care for 25 years in the Buffalo-area.  Hatch is a 1994 graduate of SUNY at Fredonia.  Agatt adds that Hatch was most recently the Administrative Director at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  Agatt has also been with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation a short time.   He replaces Edwin Rodriguez... who is now work at Lutheran.  Agatt is from West Ellicott, and, has a Masters in Business Administration from Capella University.  He saw several positives happening in Jamestown during that time that had the JRC's name on them... and, he wanted to be part of it.  Kristy Kathmann served as Interim Director during the time prior to Hatch's arrival.
 
 
Scandinavian Folk Festival underway in Gerry...
An annual event high-lighting the Jamestown-area's rich, Scandinavian heritage continues today on the Gerry Rodeo grounds on Route 60 -- just south of the four-corners.  The Scandinavian Folk Festival continues today until 9:30 p.m.  Organizer Don Sandy adds the hours for Sunday will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It began Friday afternoon.  Sandy says Jamestown was known from 1870 to about 1930 as a place where Scandinavians -- especially those from Sweden -- settled.  He says they'll have all the Swedish foods, too, including Korv, and Swedish Meatballs.  Sandy says they'll have plenty of education and music to convey the culture of Scandinavia.  The second of two musical performances will be tonight at 7.  There will also be several vendors on hand... selling their wares this weekend at the festival.   A number of lectures on Scandinavian history... and, language will also be presented.
 
 
World Series of Cars set for Sunday at Bergman Park -- rain or shine...
The Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee will hold it's major, yearly fund-raiser again this weekend... as the World Series of Cars will be held Sunday at Bergman Park.  Local Babe Ruth President Russ Diethrick says they'll again have upwards of 400 cars on the ballfields at Bergman Park Sunday... but, adds this year will be different.  He says it will no longer be a "judged" show... but, adds there will be "People's Choice" awards this year.  Diethrick says the World Series was created by the Chautauqua County Antique Automobile Association.  He says the event... as usual... will begin with their annual Breakfast in the morning... and, it runs until 5 p.m.  The event will be held rain or shine.  The car event has raised just over $250,000 for the World Series tournaments.
 

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LOCAL NEWS

WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Oct. 18th 2017

While the Senate has now announced a plan aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets, local Congressman Tom Reed says a bi-partisan caucus he is part of already has a plan in p...

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