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WJTN Headlines

Jamestown's mayor says the nine arson fires over the past week amount to "terrorism." 

 

Sam Teresi conveyed his thoughts following last night's City Council voting session where a few people expressed their concerns over the fires, and about vacant homes in their neighborhoods. 

 

Teresi says some may joke about fire's in vacant homes being called "urban renewal" but, he says it's not a joking matter. 

 

Teresi says fire damaged homes are costly to tear down at the city's expense.
 

Teresi says part of arsonists try to do is strike "terror" into the hearts of local residents. 

 

He also spoke to the media gathered about the need for the state to impose stronger, manditory penalties on people who commit and are found guilty of arson. City police and fire investigators are still looking to talk to people who may have seen something, or heard something last Friday night when five fires, four in vacant homes were set. 

 

Teresi echoed At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund's comments during last night's meeting where she emplored residents that if they "see something, say something" to authorities.


Jamestown police investigators are pouring over information, and video surveillance in an effort to find the person or persons responsible for nine arson fires in the city over a four-day period last week. 

 

Five of those occured within a three hour period late last Friday night, and Saturday morning. That from City Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings who says police and fire officials met yesterday morning to update the investigation. 

 

Snellings says they've received a number of tips so far. The first call last Friday night came in for a vacant, two-story house at 654 East Sixth Street just after 11 PM.  The other calls came in quick succession through just after 2 AMSaturday.  However it was quiet the rest of the weekend. 

 

Snellings says, though, there is still a lot of concern that the suspect may strike again. Senllings says he's never seen anything like this and says it's kept both firefighters and police very busy. 

 

He says anyone with information on any of last week's arson fires is asked to call JPD at 483-7537 their Tips-line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477. You can also go to JPD's Tips 4-1-1 app or their Facebook page.


Discussions continued Monday between Falconer village officials, building owners and contractors on beginning demolition work on the half-a-block area on Main Street in the village ravaged by last week's massive fire. 

 

Mayor Jim Rensel was back at the scene yesterday morning discussing the best course of action to take at 29 to 39 West Main Street. Rensel expressed some frustration because no equipment is in place yet to start the work.

 

That's because the threat of a partial building collapse remains in place.  Rensel says a piece of the wall did fall off last Saturday night.  However the 6-foot tall "collapse zone" fence did it's job, and there was little damage and no one was hurt. 

 

Rensel adds that the Falconer business community has also done a great job helping the seven businesses inside the building that lost storefronts.  He says they're all "working well together" and, the ones burned out of their previous locations now have  at least temporary quarters. 

 

Rensel adds the local Red Cross is helping the approximately 19 people who lived in apartments above the commercial businesses on the first floor find temporary shelter following the blaze.


Local Congressman Tom Reed believes the House of Representatives will be back dealing with health care before the end of the year due to problems Republicans believe will come forward with the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The Corning Republican says he was "re-committing" to be part of a governing block of House members going forward. Reed says the ACA also known as "ObamaCare" is looking at 40 to 50-percent premium increases this year and, fewer insurance choices. 

 

If that does happen he expects lawmakers will HAVE to act. Reed says it may require the unraveling of the ACA for some lawmakers who were hesitant about backing the House GOP bill to finally get on board.  He himself just got to the point of supporting the new, American Health Care Act, just a week ago.

 

As for what could have been done to garner support for the AHCA Reed says the GOP leadership should have probably brought more of the policy to light before a vote including proposed tax credits. 

 

He says it's time for lawmakers to work together to find bi-partisan solutions and pointed to the "Problem Solver's Caucus" and "No Label's" groups he works with.


A coalition of anti-hunger advocates, agricultural groups and environmental organizations are urging New York leaders to create a tax credit for farmers who donate fruits, vegetables and other products to foodbanks. 

 

The measure has broad support in the state Legislature. But it has been vetoed before by Governor Andrew Cuomo because it wasn't a part of the state budget. Supporters are gathering today in Albany to ask that the tax credit be included in the budget this year. 

 

Farmers already donate millions of pounds of food annually, but say tax credits would reduce the costs of harvesting and transporting surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste. Environmentalists and anti-hunger advocates say more donations would reduce food waste and give poor New Yorkers access to healthy fruits and vegetables.


The power was back on about mid-morning Monday for about 350 National Grid customers in the city of Dunkirk. 

 

National Grid Spokesman Steve Brady says the outage was first reported around 6 AM. Brady says the customers were in an area served by a tap-line off their "Main line" failed. 

 

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the outage affected several traffic lights on Central Avenue and the Police Department was operating with an emergency generator until the power was restored around 9 AM.


Jamestown's Interclub Council named the 2016 Woman of the Year, Monday night at the Marvin House  and the winnner is Carol Drake.

 

Carol and her husband Rod, moved to Jamestown 40 years ago. Over that time Carol's volunteered for a dozen or more organizations. Carol is a volunteeer at the Robert H. Jackson Center, a place she worked for 10 years as Office Manager. Carol Drake, Jamestown's Interclub council's 2016 Woman of the Year.


A professional wrestling show is coming to the Northwest Arena this Saturday that will benefit a local wrestling team. 

 

Southern Tier Wrestling Spokesman Randy Grey says there will be plenty of entertainment for wrestling fans at this show and, there is a lot of effort being made to make it successful.

 

Grey says this event is designed to be a fundraiser for the Jamestown Community College Wrestling Team and it will help fund their operations. Grey says bell-time at Northwest Arena is 6 PM and, pre-sale tickets are $10 each and it is $20 for front row seats.

 

For more information call the Northwest Arena Box office or go on to the Gold Rush Wrestling Tournament Facebook Page.


The Maid of the Mist tour boats at Niagara Falls are being readied for their earliest launch ever. 

 

The famed boats that bring passengers from the New York shore to the base of the falls in the lower Niagara River will open the 2017 season this coming Saturday

 

A similar attraction, operated by Hornblower, launches from the Canadian shore the same day.  Last year 1.6 million people rode the Maid of the Mist boats during the tourist attraction's 131st year.  The season runs through early November.

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WJTN Headlines

It was an exhausting early weekend for Jamestown and several nearby fire departments who responded to five arson fires in the span of three hours last Friday night and early Saturday. 

 

That from Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson who says four others at vacant homes and one garage occured last Wednesday morning through Friday. Finson says the first call last Friday night was to a vacant houe at 654 East Sixth Street just after 11 PM

 

The other calls came in quick succession through just after 2 AM Saturday and most all off-duty firefighters were called in. Those mutual aid companies that assisted overnight Friday into Saturday included Falconer, Lakewood, Celoron, Kiantone and Fluvanna. 

 

One firefighter suffered a minor injury. The Jamestown Fire and Police Departments are investigating three of the fires while county investigators are looking into the other two. 

 

Anyone with information on ANY of the overnight fires is asked to call the Jamestown Police Tips-line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.


Demolition work on the burned-out structure left by this past Wednesday morning's devastating fire in downtown Falconer is expected to begin later today. 

 

That from Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel who says the property owners for 29 to 35 West Main Street got tentative agreements in place contractors to do the work.  Rensel says a 6-foot-tall fence was put up late Friday around the destroyed structure to keep people away from portions where the threat of collapse is a major concern. 

 

Rensel says West Main in that area which is also State Route 394, remains closed.  He says they'll confer with the state about re-opening the road.

 

At this point Rensel says the building will be demolished in stages and the debris will be taken away. 

 

Rensel says the fence accouts for the threat of the entire, remaining brick wall coming down on Main Street. While most of the businesses in the area where the fire took place have reopened he says officials are starting to work with the business owners in that half-a-block area find new, or temporary quarters in the village.


A federal jury has convicted a Bemus Point attorney of mail fraud in connection with a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. 

 

Prosecutors said that between January 2008 and December 2010, 46-year-old James MacCallum encouraged victims to liquidate their investments to take advantage of higher rates of return with his investments. MacCallum claimed his investments were secured by real estate and life insurance policies. 

 

Government evidence showed that MacCallum was using the investments of his victims to pay back earlier investors, and also to pay personal, travel, and office expenses. 

 

The scheme defrauded investors out of approximately $3.4-million. The verdict was announced Friday. Sentencing is set for July. MacCallum faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


The population of New York state is shrinking. 

 

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the state had a net migration loss of nearly 73,000 New Yorkers between July 2015 and July 2016. 

 

Some of the largest percentage population declines were here in Chautauqua County Jefferson County in the north country and Broome County on the Southern Tier. 

 

Long Island's Suffolk County also saw a decline of more than 5,000 people. Overall, downstate New York continued to see modest population growth, centered on New York City. But that growth is being overshadowed by declines upstate. 

 

Overall, New York's population decreased by about 1,900 during the 12 months included in the new numbers. The state's overall population is 19.75-million.


A proposal for a new craft brewery and restaurant on West Third Street in Jamestown is moving ahead and a big step could be taken for Jamestown Brewing Company at tonight's city council meeting. 

 

Lawmakers will vote on a $180,000 Local Development Corporation Loan at tonight's meeting. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says another loan is in the works to help finance the venture in the Lillian Ney Renaissance Center.

 

The Jamestown Brewing proposal is one of 12 that were included with the Local Planning Committee's list of projects they want the state to look at funding with Jamestown's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. 

 

DeJoy says city council has to vote on the loan because it exceeds the $100,000 limit on JLDC loans. The loan will be paid back over seven-years at 4% interest. Tonight's council voting session begins at 7:30 PM.


Will it be a happy fiscal new year for New York state's college students? New York lawmakers will soon decide. 

 

In state government news a key budget deadline approaches and lawmakers close in on a deal that could see an increase in tuition assistance at state  universities. 

 

Lawmakers are also poised to make key decisions on whether to allow Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and whether to heed a call by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise taxes on the wealthy. 

 

Ethics and election reforms may not make it in the final budget, which top lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo are now negotiating. Lawmakers hope to approve the spending plan by April 1, the start of the new budget year.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo isn't mincing words when describing how Congressional Republicans have handled the health care overhaul. 

 

The Democratic governor said Friday that Republicans in Washington have shown a ``disgusting display of government at its worst.'' Cuomo had warned of dire consequences for New York if the bill passed, saying it would cut nearly billions in Medicaid spending in the state and jeopardize health care for seniors, women and the poor. 

 

One provision of the bill would stop counties from outside New York City from having to pay more than $2 billion of the state's Medicaid charges, likely shifting those costs to the state. 

 

Following the decision by Republicans to pull the bill from the House floor Cuomo said the legislation should be ``killed once and for all.''


Pennsylvania's environmental agency is taking too long to process drilling permit applications. 

 

That's the complaint of industry officials who analyzed public data to show that approval times for a key permit are going up.  David Spigelmyer is president of the Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Shale Coalition.

 

He says the regulatory logjam is hurting Pennsylvania's competitiveness with other shale states like West Virginia, Ohio and Louisiana. 

 

The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that applications are lagging and pledged to do better. The gas industry's complaints about permitting come as Democratic Governor Tom Wolf makes a push to attract plastics and petrochemical manufacturers that use natural gas as a feedstock.

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 25, 2017

Jamestown and county fire investigators investigating five suspicious, overnight fires;  three already ruled arson...
Jamestown and Chautauqua County fire investigators are investigating five overnight fires in the city... three of which have already been ruled as arson.  That from Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson... who says the first call was to a vacant houe at 654 East Sixth Street.  Finson says the call came in shortly after 11 p.m. Friday.  Finson says the two-story, vacant house was fully-ingulfed in flames when crews arrived... and, an off-duty shift was called in.  While crews were at the scene on East Sixth... Finson says the second call came in -- shortly after Midnight -- to 220 Crossman St.  He says that house was fully-engulfed on arrival.  He says the third call, for an "outdoor" fire in a large pile of construction debris, was called in from 30 West 11th Street... just after 1 a.m.  Finson says they spotted the vacant house at 22 West 11th St., was also on fire.  He says more off-duty firefighters were called in at that point... and the final call was to another vacant house at 33 West 10th just after 2 a.m.  He says fighting five fires within three hours took it's toll. Finson says some firefighters wound up at three fires during the three hour time frame.  He says they called in mutual aid from Falconer, Lakewood, Celoron, Kiantone and Fluvanna Fire Companies.  But... he says just one firefighter suffered a minor injury.  Finson says city fire investigators have already determined the blazes on East Sixth, Crossman, and, West 10th Streets were intentionally set.  Anyone with information on any of the overnight fires is asked to call the Jamestown Police Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 
 
Jamestown Fires causing discolored water through-out BPU service areas...
With five fires during the overnight hours... there is wide-spread discolored water in the Jamestown Board of Public Utilites water system.  That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says all customers should be on alert for possible discolored water in the next 12-to-24 hours.  The five fires required the opening of many fire hydrants which stirs and discolors our water.  The water is safe but displeasing to view.  Do not do laundry until your water appears clear.
 
 
City fire crews also looking into two other fires since Wednesday morning...
Jamestown fire investigators are looking into the cause of a small fire that broke out in the second-story of a two-story garage on Jamestown's eastside Friday afternoon.  City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 529 East Fifth Street just after 12 Noon... and, found the fire quickly.  Finson says they pulled a hand-line and had the blaze out in about 5-minutes.  No one was hurt... firefighters were at the scene about 50-minutes.
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City fire investigators have also ruled a small fire in a vacant house on Winsor Street was inetntionally set.  Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to 441 Winsor Street about 9 a.m. this past Wednesday.  Finson says damp and humid conditions inside may have prevented the blaze from growing bigger.  No one was hurt in that arson fire.
 
 
Falconer mayor says fence has been put up around downtown fire scene, demolition to begin Monday...
Demolition work on what's left of a huge commercial and apartment building destroyed in last Wednesday's fire in downtown Falconer is now expected to begin during the day Monday.  That from Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel... who says the property owners for 29 to 35 West Main Street have now signed agreements to do the work.  However... Rensel says, first, a 6-foot-tall fence has been put up around the scene to keep people away from portions of the structure where the threat of collapse is still a major concern.  He says they next need to get the plan for tearing down the remains underway, and get the debris hauled away.  Rensel says the fencing process will include a "collapse zone" on the Main Street side... which would account for the possibility that they three-story brick wall were to come down all at once.  At this point... Rensel says West Main Street from Davis Street to the area of the four-corners with South Work Street will remain closed through the weekend.  He says it will stay closed until the demolition work is done.  
 
 
Falconer community continues to rally in support of fire victims...
Members of the Falconer community are coming together to help the people displaced by Wednesday's devasting fire that left 19 people without a place to live.  Falconer School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says they are working with Mayor Rensel to get donations of clothes, laundry detergent and monetary donations.  Checks can be made out to the "Cheer Fund."  Both Rensel and  Penhollow say donations can be dropped off at the Hogg Shop on East Main Street.  Rensel says he's also working to keep as many of the displaced businesses in the village.  A Community Prayer service last night at First Baptist Church in Falconer drew about 30 people.  The organization "Brothers by Choice" tells us today that they don't need anymore donations of clothes... but they still need towels, blankets, bedding, toiletries... and pots and pans.  Rensel says a former Falconer resident has also started a GoFundMe page to support the people displaced by the fire.  You can go on-line to www.gofundme/downtown-falconer-fire-victims.com.
 
 
Jamestown drug traffickers indicted by federal Grand Jury...
Two Jamestown men -- one arrested last year for being found in possession of about 17-pounds of drugs -- face an 11-count federal indictment for trafficking large amounts of cocaine... methamphetime... and, marijuana.  Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says a federal grand jury returned the indictment Friday against 34 year-old Juan Pacheco, Jr, and, 36 year-old Andrew Garner -- also known as "Bam."  Kennedy says both are charged with conspiracy to distribute over five kilograms or more of cocaine, more than 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and marijuana, and maintaining a drug involved premises.  Pacheco was also charged with possession with intent to distribute those drugs.  Garner was additionally charged with distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.  Kennedy says Pacheco faces at least 20 years in prison... while Garner faces 10.  Both also face a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10-million dollar fine.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have extensively damaged a vacant, two-and-a-half story, two-family home on Jamestown's eastside. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 621 East Sixth Street at the corner with Grant Street about 6:15 PM yesterday. 

 

Coon says there was a lot of fire shooting from the roof-area. Coon says it took about 30-minutes of pouring water from an aerial truck and other hand-lines to bring the blaze under control. 

 

He says part of the roof collapsed while they were battling the blaze. He says fire damage was confined to the upper floors of the structure while there was extensive fire damage to the first-floor of the house. 

 

Coon says they called in an off-shift of 12 firefighters to assist at the scene along with Jamestown Police who helped with traffic control. 

 

He says crews were still at the scene after 10 last night.  No one was hurt.  The cause remains under investigation.


The on-site investigation into Wednesday morning's fire that destroyed about half-a-block of businesses and residential apartments in the village of Falconer has concluded. 

 

However no findings have been released. Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel adds that the fire department has also snuffed out all the hot spots at the scene at 29 to 35 West Main Street. 

 

Rensel told us late yesterday that the owners of the four buildings involved will meet with contractors tomorrow about safety issues at the scene. Rensel says that "collapse-zone" remains in place on Main Street and he says they need to deal with that before they can look to open West Main between Davis Street and the four-corners where Main Street intersects with South Work Street. 

 

He says the unsupported walls on the Main Street side are the biggest concern right now. Power has been restored to the areas that lost it Wednesday and Wednesday night.  Rensel adds that power has been restored to the village hall and that reopened today. 

 

No one was hurt in the fire, but the cause remains under investigation.

The Falconer Community is coming together to help the people displaced by Wednesday's devasting fire that left 19 people without a place to live. 

 

Steve Penhollow, Superintendent of the Falconer Central School District says they are working with Mayor Jim Rensel to get donations of clothes, laundry detergent and monetary donations. Checks can be made out to the "Cheer Fund".   

 

Penhollow says that donations can be dropped off at the Hogg Shop on East Main Street in the village.  According to their Facebook page the Hogg Shop is open from 10am to 4pm today. 

 

The Lynn Group is also joining in on the effort offering a special deal on rent for those people displaced by the fire.

There will be a Community Prayer Service at 7pm this evening at the Falconer First Baptist Church. The church is located on the corner of Homestead and Falconer Streets. The whole community is invited to come show support.  The church is handicapped accessible.


As the cleanup continues from Wednesday's fire in Falconer, village officials say businesses unaffected by the fire are reopening. 

 

They include: CVS, Phil's Auto Plaza, Blue Fin Pet Shop, M & T Bank, the Falconer Vac Shop, and the Bellview East Restaurant.The Falconer Library will also re-open today. 

 

While West Main Street in the area of the fire is still shut down, the main intersection in the village is otherwise open to traffic and parking is available at CVS, Phil's Auto Plaza, and village parking lots.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan spent time Wednesday at the scene of the Falconer fire talking with Mayor Jim Rensel and others on what's being done for the people who owned businesses and lived in the upper floors of the West Main Street structure. 

 

Horrigan says the county's Department of Emergency Services has been assisting Falconer and other local leaders. Members of the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team are also at the scene searching though the rubble and remains for the cause of the fire which has been under investigation since crew arrived at the scene. 

 

Horrigan says it's great to see the "incredible partnership" between local and county agencies to help those impacted by the blaze. He especially praised the fire departments and fire coordinators for their tireless efforts.


A Bemus Point man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of two stun guns and a large amount of Methamphetime and other drugs during an investigation early yesterday morning in Mayville. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they spotted two vehicles parked on vacant property near the intersection of Sea Lion Drive and Mill Street about 3:45 AM.  Deputies say they stopped one of the vehicles as it tried to leave and found the driver 41 year-old Gary Hannold, Junior in possession of a stun gun. 

 

Further investigation led to disovery of a second stun gun along with 37 grams of Meth, about 4 grams of crack cocaine, and more than 2-ounces of marihuana. 

 

Officers say they also found digital scales, packaging materials, and a quantity of cash.  Hannold was arrested and arraigned on several charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of weapon.  He was sent to the county jail without bail.


Chautauqua County's Congressman is echoing the concerns of local leaders over the proposed elimination of the federal Community Development Block Grant program. 

 

Corning Republican Tom Reed says he was the mayor of Corning several years ago and he knows the program is critically important to the many communities that receive those funds. 

 

While he supports many of President Trump's proposals Reed says they disagree on this one and he stands with local mayors who say there is "great value" in the program.  He believes he can keep the program in place.

 

Reed says he has already spoken with city leaders from Jamestown, Binghampton, and Ithaca who say they have benefitted from the CDBG Program. 

 

Earlier this week Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi blasted the President's proposal as being a "travesty" and one that would have a devastaing impact on Jamestown and several other upstate cities.


A proposal to eliminate a federal program that helps low-income families and seniors pay their Winter heating bills is on the choping block in President Trump's 2018 budget "blueprint." 

 

The proposal to scrap the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program is already drawing sharp criticism from Congressional members in the northeast. 

 

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York calls the move "cold-hearted" and adds it would force more than one-million residents to have to make some very difficult decisions.

 

Gillibrand says more than 48,000 households in the Southern Tier and another 126,000 in Western New York take advantage of the LIHEAP Program. 

 

She says she'll do her best to keep the program in place because it's "irresponsible to cut these funds."  Benefits-dot-GOV says New York's grant is allocated among the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for a heating benefit program, the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal for weatherization activities, and the state Office for the Aging for outreach and referral activities.

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WJTN Headlines

A devastating fire has destroyed much of a block of businesses and residential apartments in the village of Falconer.

 

Crews from upwards of 15 fire departments remain at the scene of the blaze at a three-story structure from 29 to 35 West Main Street.  

 

Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel says Falconer firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 7.30 AM when someone living in an upstairs apartment called in the blaze to Streets Superintendent Pete Fuller who then called in the alarm. He says they appreciate all the help at the scene.  

 

Crews found fire coming through the roof of the building and immediately closed off West Main Street from Phetteplace to South Work Street. Fire police have been keeping people away from the building because of further threat of collapse.  

 

Shortly before 9 AM Rensel says the center part of the structure collapsed. He adds fire crews have also been battling unseasonably cold temperatures and water freezing up,however no one has been hurt.

 

Wednesday morning's huge fire in downtown Falconer is likely the worst the village has seen in more than 50 years.  

 

That from Mayor Jim Rensel who is a lifelong resident. Rensel says he's been the mayor for four years now and in talking with people yesterday he's learned about a major fire the village dealt with just over 55 years ago in 1960 or 1961.  He says it'll be difficult but he believes they "will recover from this."  

 

Owners involved with the structure at 29 to 35 West Main Street were being contacted yesterday morning about the blaze.  At least one confirmed full insurance coverage. With the fact officials were working on demolition of the remaining structure because of safety issues there has been no talk yet about re-building.



 

A Sinclairville woman has been charged in connection with the escape of her husband earlier this month.  

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says 30-year-old Kelsey Raynor was arrested on a warrant when she appeared in Charlotte Town Court on an unrelated matter Tuesday. Gerace says she allegedly assisted her husband, 34 year-old Jacob, who had escaped during arraignment on charges of third-degree unlawful manufacturing methamphetamine back on March 7th.

 

Jacob Raynor was captured on March 14th. Gerace says Kelsey Raynor is also facing drug related charges after an investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  She was arraigned and sent to the county jail on $15,000 bail.

 

A Dunkirk man who was considered the "co-leader" of a drug trafficking ring in the north county city has been sentenced to eight years and a month in federal prison.  

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 40 year-old David Jesus Pagan who was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm received 97 month from U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  

 

Prosecutor Michael Adler says that Pagan and co-defendant Rafael Burgos were the leaders of a drug trafficking organization that distributed illegal narcotics in the Dunkirk area between 2013 and June 10th of 2015. 

 

During that time they allegedly distributed multiple kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dunkirk area. Four others were also arrested at that time and an AR-15 assault rifle, a 30-round magazine, and about $175,000 in cash was also seized.


 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady this week with a very slight increase of just under a penny a gallon.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is $2.47 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. AAA says that's about 2-tenths of a cent more than last week. Nationally the Fuel Gauge says pump prices also remain relatively stable with today’s national average price for regular, unleaded holding at about $2.29 per gallon.  

 

The average price is down by a fraction of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved one cent higher compared to last month.  Drivers are paying 31 cents more per gallon at the pump compared to this same date last year. The East Coast saw a decline in gasoline supplies last week as refiners prepare to switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline.



New York state is launching a program to provide electric cars buyers with rebates of up to $2,000.  

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the $55-million rebate program is designed to spur more electric car use in New York and help reduce carbon emissions.  

 

The rebates are available to New York residents who buy eligible cars through participating new car dealers. The rebates of up to $2,000 will go toward purchases of new plug-in hybrid electric cars, all-electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars.  

 

An additional $15 million will be spent on consumer education, charging station installation and other efforts to increase electric car usage.

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News Update on Falconer building fire

Blaze diestroys Falconer commercial building...
 
A devastating fire has destroyed much of a block of businesses and residental apartments in the village of Falconer.  Crews from upwards of 15 fire departments remaine at the scene early this afternoon of the blaze at a three-story structure from 29 to 35 W. Main St.  Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel says firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 7:30 a.m. when someone living in an upstairs apartment called in the blaze to Streets Superintendent Pete Fuller... who then called in the alarm.  He says they appreciate all the help at the scene.  Crews found fire coming through the roof of the building... and, immediately closed off West Main Street from Phetteplace to South Work Street.  Fire police have been keeping people away from the building because of further threat of collapse.  Shortly before 9 a.m., Rensel says the center part of the structure collapsed.  He adds fire crews have also been battling unseasonably cold temperatures... and, water freezing up.  This afternoon... Rensel says the fire is still smoldering, but, there have been no further building collapes.  No one has been hurt, and the cause is under investigation.
 

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Falconer Fire Update

A commercial building that also reportedly housed some apartments has been extenstively damaged in a mid-morning fire in the village of Falconer. Falconer Fire crews were called to the scene at 27 West Main Street between 7:30 and 7:45 this morning and found heavy flames coming from the upper floors of the three story structure. Our Brian Papalia reported a short time ago that part of the building had collapsed. Brian says there were several fire companies on hand assisting Falconer in battling the blaze. Brian says Jamestown also brought in it's aerial ladder truck to attack the flames from above the roof. The owner of the building next door Brian Nelson, tells us he was there about that time the blaze broke out In addition to Falconer and Jamestown we understand that Kiantone and Celoron are also at the scene. There is no report of any injuries. The Village Salon and Better Life Nutrition are in the building. West Main Street between Phetteplace and South Work Street is closed.

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WJTN Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a series of amendments to the proposed American Health Care Act has put him solidly in support of the replacement measure for "Obamacare."  However, Reed admitted yesterday that he was "leaning no" on the initial proposal offered by President Donald Trump, and the Congressional leadership.

 

The Corning Republican says the biggest change that was added during a Monday night session was an amendment that would relieve New York's upstate counties from having to pay 25% of local Medicaid costs. Reed says the measure to give relief to 50 to 64 year-olds, who were reportedly going to get hit with much higher premiums was also important to him because they make up a large part of the 23rd Congressional District's population.

 

He says the Congressional Budget Office found they would be disproportionately burdened by the new law.  Reed says he believes the House will now have enough votes to pass the measure on Thursday.

 

Jamestown's mayor is blasting a Trump Administration budget proposal to cut $6-billion  from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development that would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program.  

 

Sam Teresi Monday night called the proposal a "travesty" that would have "devastating" impacts on the city and many others across the country.  

 

Jamestown has been a "Small City Entitlement" Community since 1990 meaning it receives a certain amount each year to boost low and middle income, and other projects during the coming year.  

 

Teresi who was city Development Director in 1990 says Jamestown has been a good steward of it's money. Teresi says because of the CDBG and HOME Programs they have been able to undertake a number of projects that otherwise would not get done.  He says one area in particular that's been helped is the city's Infrastructure Improvement Program which he says involves "major street reconstruction work."  

 

Teresi says those efforts alone have garnered nearly $7.2-million  for such projects since 1990.  He urged the city council to approve a measure next week calling for reinstatement of the CDBG Program.

 

U-S Senator Chuck Schumer is also weighing-in on the proposed cut to the Community Development Block Grant program saying the move would be "incredibly damaging" to upstate New York.  

 

The Senate's Minority Leader also calls it a "non-replaceable stream of investment in essential services" for area residents and economic development projects." Schumer says he will "fight these drastic cuts tooth and nail to make sure the CDBG program remains fully funded and that Upstate New York gets the money it deserves." The Democrat says  more than ever  they need to ensure that local communities "have the resources they need to modernize their infrastructure, deliver vital services to working families and seniors and continue the neighborhood revitalization efforts critical to local economic development."

 

There is a new mayor in the Chautauqua County village of Cassadaga.

 

Mary Joanne Bauer was the winner in a run-off to replace Leann Lazarony who decided not to run for another term.  Bauer received 31 votes in the contest while Mike Lehnen was second with 22 tallies.  That was the only contested race in Cassadaga.

 

In Westfield there were three people running for two village trustee seats.  They were won by Alan Holbrook with 162 votes... and, Robert Cochrane with 126.  Dennis Lutes was third with 115 tallies.  In the village of Sinclairville James Kianos, Junior was elected mayor.  He ran unopposed.  There were only three villages that held elections Tuesday.

 

U-S Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch spent a full-day on Capitol Hill yesterday being grilled by members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee on everything from abortion to President Trumps criticism of federal judges.

 

However when he addressed the panel Monday, Gorsuch talked about role models he's had in the judiciary and one of them is the late Justice Robert H. Jackson of Frewsburg.  St. John's law professor John Q. Barrett is the Lenna Fellow at the Jackson Center in Jamestown and says Gorsuch is connected to Jackson in two ways.


 

One is that Gorsuch cited Jackson's writings as something he admired. In addition  if Gorsuch is confirmed  he would replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia who held the seat Jackson had held several decades earlier.


 

Jackson left the high court a few weeks before his untimely passing in 1954.  But Barrett says many of his written opinions are still part of the basis for decisions being rendered today.  

 

He  made his comments during yesterday's Dennis Webster Show on WJTN.

 

Some of the wealthiest New Yorkers are asking the state to raise their taxes. Eighty people including George Soros, Steven Rockefeller and Abigail Disney wrote to lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo saying they and other top earners can afford to pay more to support schools, roads, bridges and programs to help poor and homeless New Yorkers.

 

Many of those signing the letter are millionaires and all make more than $650,000 making them members of the state's top 1 percent when it comes to income.  A similar letter last year was largely ignored by lawmakers.  Democrats in the state Assembly have called for higher taxes on millionaires and multimillionaires. Senate Republicans oppose the idea.

 

New York officials are warning about a tax-season scam in which email fraudsters pose as company executives to get employees' Social Security numbers.  

 

State tax officials say at least 65 companies with New York employees have been victimized by the identity thieves, compromising 7,100 Social Security numbers.  

 

Scammers posing as company executives send emails to payroll and human resource departments requesting lists of employees and personal information.  


Officials urge people not to respond to emails demanding payroll data and Social Security numbers.

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown city lawmakers got some good fiscal news during last night's work session.  The city ended up 2016 with it's first budget surplus since 2010.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who gave his unaudited, year-end report... which showed that Jamestown wound up in the black by just under 97-thousand dollars.  Bellitto attributed the surplus to two things... the first being taking in about 181-thousand dollars more than expected in miscellaneous revenues.  That included getting nearly 300-thousand dollars more in state aid than expected. Bellitto says... the city was also able to bring the 2016 budget in about 325-thousand dollars under anticipated expenses.  He says the biggest area of savings was in benefits... where the city saved just over 548-thousand dollars.  With that... Bellitto says revenues exceeded spending by 506-thousand dollars.  He adds that Jamestown also used 409-thousand dollars in fund balance to help balance last year's budget.  With that... they found up with a 96-thousand-637 dollar surplus.  In addition... Bellitto says the city also wound up with 65-thousand dollars that was unused in the contingency account.  The city's final audit will be completed later this Spring.
 
 
A proposed cut of 175-million dollars in President Donald Trump's budget "blue-print" for 2018 would threaten the Essential Air Service program... which supports the county airport near Jamestown.  That from U-S Senator Chuck Schumer of New York... who says Jamestown is one of several upstate communities facing huge funding reductions under the proposal.  Schumer... who is Senate Minority Leader... is vowing to fight the cuts.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county's 2-million dollar allocation supports local air carrier Southern Air Express... which has been working to boost it's passenger numbers. Horrigan says he's aware that there are two sides to the argument about the need for... and, against the Essential Air program.  The Bemus Point Republican says he's also aware of the fact there have been cuts threatened to the EAS before... and, it has survived.  He says haveing air service in Jamestown is important to supporting the county's "economic development initiatives."  Some in the area have said they can reach their destinations easier, and cheaper, by flying out of Buffalo or Erie, Pennsylvania.  Others, though, say it's especially needed for local corporations to do business.
 
 
Six area departments along with Chautauqua County Emergency Services responded to an early morning house fire Monday in town of Stockton.  Stockton fire crews responded to the scene at 64-85 South Stockton-Cassadaga Road about 3:30 AM.  Officials says they received mutual aid from Cassadaga, Brocton, Dewittville, Sinclairville and East Dunkirk.  No injuries were reported... and, all of the residents were able to make it out of the house safely.  Crews were able to get water from a nearby creek to help snuff out the flames, but, there was extensive damage to parts of the house.  There are reports the blaze may have started as a dryer fire.
 
 
The local Red Cross is assisting five people left homeless by the fire in the town of Stockton.  It's one of three fires the Red Cross responded to Monday morning in Western New York... including two in the Buffalo area.  Chief Red Cross Communications Officer Jay Bonafede says the Red Cross usually gets a call from first responders. Bonafede says specially trained volunteers are sent to the scene and talk with and assist the victims.  He says that help includes food, clothing and shelter... as well emotional support.  Bonafede says fires are the number one disaster in Western New York and the Red Cross is asking every household to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
 
 
New York officials are warning about a tax-season scam in which email fraudsters pose as company executives to get employees' Social Security numbers.  State tax officials say at least 65 companies with New York employees have been victimized by the identity thieves, compromising 71-hundred Social Security numbers.  Scammers posing as company executives send emails to payroll and human resource departments requesting lists of employees and personal information.  Officials urge people not to respond to emails demanding payroll data and Social Security numbers.
 
 
The need remains high... and, that's why Jamestown's largest soup kitchen had record numbers of local residents come by for a hot meal during the first month of 2017.  St. Susan's Center Executive Director Jeff Smith says they served some 11,247 meals in January... which exceeded the previous record of 98-hundred meals set in January of 2016... by 15-percent.  He says that followed an 18-percent drop-off from last December. Smith says the St. Susan's Center was on pace to serve 125-thousand meals in 2016... but, they ended up with 122-thousand-406.  That was still a more than 25-hundred increase in meals served.  He says their largest demographic of people coming to St. Susan's is between the ages of 18-to-64.  However... he says the number of children are growing the fastest of any age group.  Smith says that's why they continue to fund-raise over the Winter months, with their 'Soup and a Song' Series.  The latest one will be this coming Saturday night.  So far this year... Smith says St. Susan's has served 24-thousand-614 meals -- an 8.55 percent increase over last year at this time.  For more information on St. Susan's... call 664-2253.
 
 
 
Advocates for the disabled, elderly and chronically ill in New York are concerned the state's move to a $15-dollar an hour minimum wage could deepen a shortage of home health aides.  More than 180-thousand Medicaid patients in New York are authorized to receive long-term, in-home care, the most in the state's history.  But... there are increasingly too few aides to go around, especially in the state's remote, rural areas.  It's a national problem that advocates say could get worse when the state's $15 minimum goes statewide by 2021.  It could potentially push low-paid health aides into other jobs, in retail or fast-food, that don't require hours of training or the pressure of keeping another person alive.  New York state employs about 326-thousand home health workers, but is projected to need another 125,000 by 2024.
 
 
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 18, 2017

Latest STOP-DWI Enforcment Crack-down underway...
Another law enforcement campaign to crack down on impaired driving is underway for the St. Patrick's Day weekend.  The campaign will include a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols along with a statewide underage drinking detail.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace, who heads up the STOP DWI campaign in the county, says the problem of impaired driving seems to spike during celebrations such as St. Patrick's Day.  Gerace says they look at the number of accidents, fatal accidents, and the number that are caused by drunk or "drugged" driving.  He says while alcohol remains a concern, they have seen an increase in the number of cases involving "drugged" driving.  As part of the crackdown... investigators from the state Department of Motor Vehicles will also be conducting underage drinking and fake I-D prevention operations in cooperation with the state Liquor Authority. 
 
 
Three city men jailed for allegedly running "one-pot" Meth Lab in the city...
Three Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly operating a "one-pot" Meth Lab in an upstairs apartment at a home on the city's westside.  City Police Chief Harry Snellings says the arrests came following a report of smoke, and strong odor coming from the building at 212 West Sixth Street.  Snellings, and city fire officials, say they were called to the scene about 4:25 p.m. Thursday.  He says investigation of the situation led to discovery of the lab... and, was the second time in a week they had been called to that apartment.  Snellings says they found precursors for Meth at that time.  Snellings says, though, that the number of Meth labs being seen in the city had fallen tremendously in recent months.  He says that's due to a lot of the Meth in the city now being brought here from out-of-town.  Snellings says the three men arrested are Jacob Tunison... Cody Richenbach and David Soderberg.  He says all three face three charges... including Felony unlawful manufacture of methamphetime... and, criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He says they also found a number of syringes inside the apartment.
 
 
City woman arrested in domestic incident...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for her alleged part in a domestic incident reported Thursday afternoon.  City police say they were called to 815 Newland Avenue shortly before 3 p.m. for an apparent verbal domestic dispute.  Officers say the victim came home to find 25 year-old Toni Schnars in his apartment... and, he had an order of protection against her.  She was later found on Crown Street... and, charged with first degree Criminal Contempt and aggravated family offense.  She was jailed without incident.
 
 
Cattaraugus woman charged with DWI following crash...
A Cattaraugus County woman faces a drunk driving charge after her car crashed into a telephone pole on Route 438 in the village of Cattaraugus.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 25 year old Cylee Twoguns was northbound about 8 AM last Sunday when her car went off the right side of the roadway and struck the pole.  She was taken to Lake Shore Hospital for treatment... and, later was ticketed for DWI in New Albion Town Court.
 
 
Goodell says now that Senate and Assembly have "one-house" budget's approved, negotiations will now begin...
Now that all sides have their own budget proposals in place... the negotiating begins on New York state's 2017-18 budget plan.  That from local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell...who says there is "broad consensus" already on a number of major items in the budget proposed last January by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  However... Goodell says each plan also has it's particular items" that the majorities favor.  Goodell says both houses of the state legislature approved their "one-house budgets" this past Wednesday.  He says Assembly Democrats will "throw everything they can into their resolution, then use them as a bargaining chip in talks with the Senate."  He says they then - essentially -- begin "horse-trading."  Each plan totals about $152-billion.  One of the main areas of consensus is on increasing public school aid... with the governor only calling for a $450-million increase.  However... both the Senate and Assembly would add more than $1-billion to that total.  Goodell made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group statiions.
 
 
Young says Senate budget provides Tax Relief...
Several billion dollars worth of water infrastructure improvements and upgrades are included in the State Senate's proposed "one-house" budget resolution approved this past week.  That from Senator Cathy Young... who chairs the panel's Finance Committee that works on the budget.  Young says there will be money in the $152-billion dollar spending plan to help local water contamination issues... including those at schools.  He says a lot of local communities can't afford to make major upgrades to their older water systems... and, she says lead has shown up in several school districts in her 57th Senate District.  Meantime... while the budget includes a tuition free college program like Governor Cuomo's proposal, the Senate plan would also include private schools.  Young says New York is not a "one size fits all state..." and, needs to take much into account.  She says it gives major tax relief to middle class families. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three arrests have been made and Jamestown police are investigating the discovery of a "one-pot" Meth Lab at a westside residents.

 

City fire officials say a crew was initially called to the scene at 212 West Sixth Street about 4:45 yesterday afternoon for a strong odor in the area, and chemical fumes inside the building. Firefighters found the Methamphetamine Lab, and made sure the residents got out of the building.

 

Police were called to the scene just prior to that and are continuing to investigate.

 

There will be no tax increase and no staff reductions in the Jamestown School District's 2017-18 budget proposal.

 

School Business Manager Vern Connors laid out the big items in the more than 80-million dollar spending plan at Wednesday night's school board meeting. Connors tells us there is a spending increase of 4.7-million dollars or about 6%. However he says part of the increase is being offset by an increase in state school aid.

 

Connors says just over half of the spending increase is in the form of three capital projects the district will be undertaking. He says one of those is going to be an attempt to sell the district's former Crescent Street warehouse. Connors says they do have to plan, though, in case they can't sell it.

 

Another project they would have to help fund is not even one of it's own. That would be for the local BOCES, which is undertaking a three-year project.  ALL local districts will participate in that.

 

Otherwise Connors says they're looking at some other cost increases including a 14% increase in health insurance costs.  The budget will be further reviewed at the board's March 28th meeting.

 

A city woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to get rid of a loaded hand-gun during a domestic call on Jamestown's northside. City police say officers were called to the downstairs apartment at 246 Fulton Street on a report of a possible domestic incident.

 

While officers were trying to make contact they saw 26 year-old Jennifer Dellahoy throw a loaded, .22-caliber silver handgun out of a window.

 

Following an investigation  Dellahoy was arrested, and taken to the city jail without incident on a charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and was jailed without bail.

 

Authorities in western New York say a 10-year-old boy has died after being trapped under a pile of snow from this week's storm. Police responded to a call about a child trapped in snow in Pendleton in Niagara County around 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

 

The boy was taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police say they believe the boy was digging a tunnel when it collapsed on him.  

 

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office hasn't released the name of the child. Police believe the death was accidental. An investigation is ongoing.

 

Parts of the county received more than 2 feet of snow from the storm that started Tuesday and lasted into Wednesday.

 

Despite some extremes in weather, the maple syrup season is underway. Producers are now getting ready for the annual Maple Weekends the first of which is this Saturday and Sunday.  

 

Syrup makers gathered at Big Tree Maple off Hunt Road in Lakewood for the annual kickoff yesterday morning.

 

Lloyd Munsee of Big Tree says they are doing something special this year in conjunction with the Ashville General Store.

 

John Gerber of Clear Creek Farms in Mayville says they've added a new store at their location on Morris Road in Mayville.

 

Linda Fairbanks of Fairbanks Maple on Shaw Road in Forestville says they'll have a pancake breakfast and much more.

 

Maple Weekends are March 18th and 19th and 25th and 26th, from 10 AM to 4 PM each day.

 

The Johnson Estate Winery in Westfield will also be participating in Maple Weekend, with a special maple liqueur. Full information on Maple Weekend is available at http://www.nysmaple.com/nys-maple-weekend/

 

Police around New York state will be cracking down on drunken driving and underage drinking this St. Patrick's Day weekend. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the law enforcement campaign ahead of Friday's holiday. 

 

The effort includes sobriety checkpoints, stepped up vehicle patrols and ID inspections at bars.

 

Police will be looking for drivers who have had too much to drink or who are using their cellphones while driving. They'll also be looking for minors in possession of alcohol, or bars, restaurants and retail shops selling alcohol to those under 21.

 

A similar campaign last year by state police resulted in 257 DWI arrests and more than 17,000 tickets.

 

 

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Media One News Headlines

Snow returned to the Jamestown-area this morning with light to moderate snowfall coming down. Forecaster Dave Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo told us we are getting a little bit of Lake Effect that's actually being produced by Lake Huron.It's then getting enhanced by going over Lake Erie.

 

Thomas says we should only get up to an inch by this afternoon.

 

Yesterday the snow finally stopped here in the Greater Jamestown-area about mid-day from what we received from the east coast storm over the past two days. We received another 4 to 5 inches or so of the white stuff between early morning and Noon yesterday bringing the two-day totals to 10 to 12 inches.  

 

The National Weather Service did continue a Winter Storm Warning until 8 last night  but, conditions improved dramatically by afternoon.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is sending more assets to New York's central Southern Tier region. The governor notes the Binghamton area was among the hardest hit by Tuesday's snowstorm.

 

The National Weather Service says just over 31-inches blanketed the region.

 

Cuomo is sending 100 large plows and 100 members of the National Guard to assist in snow removal. In other parts of the state, another round of snow in the Rochester area has shut down schools, many businesses and most government offices.

 

The Republican health care plan would mean less money for states and gives them a tough choice on how to use fewer Medicaid dollars. Lawmakers say they can either find cash to make up the difference or let coverage lapse for millions of lower-income Americans.

 

Most states though, have not released estimates of the consequences for them based on the plan proposed by Republicans in the U.S. House and supported by President Donald Trump.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't expect anyone in his 23rd District will lose coverage but, says it would be up to the state to redesign the program.

 

Reed says it puts the pressure on the state to be more "responsible" with that money. He says an amendment by Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins would eliminate the ability of New York state to charge back 25-percent of the cost of Medicaid to upstate counties.

 

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce honored six local business and Jamestown Community College Wednesday at the 2016 'Salute to the Finest' awards. JCC was given the 'Pride of Jamestown' award.  JCC President Cory Duckworth accepted saying its "amazing" the number of people and families who say the college has had a "major impact in their lives."

 

The Jamestown Economic Development Award went to Borsari Food Company, which recently moved downtown...to Institute Street.

 

Jamestown Awning and Party Tents was named Business of the Year.

 

Enchanted Mountain Spirits on Water Street was given the New Business of the Year Award. Retailer of the Year went to Farm Fresh Foods.  The Landmark was named Restaurant of the Year.

 

The Young Business Leaders award went to Jeff and Alexandria James, and Frank Besse. They operate the Labyrinth and Brazil on Fourth Street, downtown.

 

The 'Salute to the Finest' was held at Moonbrook Country Club.

 

Gas prices in Chautauqua County  have dropped half-a-penny a gallon this week to just under $2.47  for regular, unleaded fuel.

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says the price this week is down from $2.473 last week.

 

Nationally AAA says prices have now fallen after a period of being "relatively flat." The Fuel Gauge reports that the average U-S price is now $2.30 per gallon.

 

Today’s national average is one cent less than one week ago and two cents more than one month ago.

 

Compared to this same date last year AAA says consumers are paying 37 cents more per gallon at the pump. Gas prices may continue to drop in the near future due to declining crude oil prices and a well-supplied market, but will begin to creep up again over the next month due to seasonal refinery maintenance and the May 1st required switchover for producing summer-blend gasoline.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Sinclairville man who escaped from police custody last week as he was making a court appearance on drug and other charges has been caught hiding in his home.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies and State Parole officers found 34 year-old Jacob Raynor hiding in an area under the floor of the house at 9 Reed Street.  Gerace says his department used suveillance and intelligence gathering to finally nab Raynor just after 3 PM yesterday. Gerace says Raynor was otherwise taken into custody without incident.  He escaped police custody while being arraigned a week ago Tuesday.  Gerace says they are now investigating the likelyhood that Raynor was helped by one or two people in the escape, and eluding police for a week.  Raynor was arraigned yesterday on the original charges of unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime... and, a parole violation.  He is now also facing a Felony second-degree escape charge.  Raynor is being jailed without bail, pending further court action.
 
 
It will be a cold and blustery end to the March Nor-easter today across Chautauqua County.  That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for all of Western New York through 8 this evening.  Hibbert told us late last night that winds were becoming favorable for more our most significant shot of snow during this two-day event. Hibbert says the Nor-easter in western New York has taken place as they expected it would.  The immediate Jamestown-area had received about 5 inches of snow by last night.  Hibbert says the wind will be a secondary issue today... with sustained winds about 15 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 45.  He says that'll drop wind chills into negative numbers.  However... conditions will lighten up some by later tonight.  Generally... Hibbert says we're still looking at 10 to 18 inches of snow through to night.  However... the weather service is now looking at less than a foot along the Lake Erie Shoreline.
 
 
A powerful nor'easter began lashing the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast Tuesday, prompting flight cancellations, school closures and warnings from officials to stay off the roads.  The National Weather Service had issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and other parts of New England.  The storm is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on the New York City metro area with wind gusts of up to 55 mph.  Coastal flood warnings are in effect from Massachusetts to Delaware.  According to the airline-tracking website FlightAware, more than 5,000 Tuesday flights have been canceled.
 
 
Governor Cuomo late Tuesday morning also announced a tractor-trailer ban on the state Thruway... along with other major highways... across New York state.  Cuomo says -- in addition to the Thruway -- the big rig ban is also in effect for Interstate 86-and Route 17 across the Southern Tier.  There is also a full travel ban in effect for Broome County.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's supporting changes at the federal level that would lessen the property tax burden across upstate New York by eliminating the county share of Medicaid costs.  Corning Repubican Tom Reed says that he is backing an amendment by Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins to eliminate that 25-percent share that's picked up by the local governments.  If approved in Congress... he says the state would pick-up the entire 50-percent cost going forward. Reed says "for too long... Albany has pushed its responsibility to fund Medicaid onto local county governments."  In some cases... he says counties are dedicating nearly 70-percent of their local tax dollars to the portion of Medicaid they are mandated to pay.  Here in Chautauqua County... Reed's office says the local share of Medicaid is almost 50 percent of the county's tax levy.  He adds that the annual local share across the U-S is 10-billion dollars... 7-billion of which is paid by for by New York's counties.  Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
An annual event in Jamestown that challenges the skill of local middle and high school students from across the region in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math has been postponed a week.  The annual STEM Wars at Jamestown Community College's Physical Education Complex was to be held this morning.  However... due to yesterday's closing of JCC due to the Nor-easter... there wasn't time to prepare the facility.  It will now be held next Wednesday, March 22nd at 9 AM.  Some 900 students are expected to compete in the program.
 
 
Female lawmakers in New York say early voting would make it easier for all New Yorkers - and particularly women - to cast a ballot.  Several legislators on Monday urged Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to include early voting and automatic voter registration in the state budget expected to be approved by April 1.  Cuomo supports the proposals, which he says would allow more New Yorkers to participate in their democracy.  Compared to other states New York has low voter turnout rates and is one of a minority of states that still doesn't allow early voting.  The women lawmakers say that while the goal is increasing turnout rates for all voters, early voting would be particularly helpful for many women who must juggle work and family obligations.

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News Headlines for Tues., Mar. 14, 2017

Raynor found hiding in his Sinclairville home, arrested on drug, escape charges...
The Sinclairville man who escaped from police custody last week as he was making a court appearance in Charlotte Town Court has been captured.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies and State Parole officers found 34 year-old Jacob Raynor hiding in an area under the floor of his house at 9 Reed Street.  Gerace says his department used suveillance and intelligence gathering to finally nab Raynor.  He says they found Raynor in a crawl space under the floor.  He says Raynor was otherwise taken into custody without incident.  He escaped police custody while being arraigned a week ago today.
 
 
Nor'easter starts out light to moderate in Chautauqua County, expected to pick-up overnight...
Light snow has resumed late this afternoon here in the Jamestown-area after we received nearly 5 inches of snow from a Nor-easter that's hitting the east coast since late last night.  However... we'll be seeing the major part of the snow from this storm later this afternoon and into the overnight.  That from Forecaster Dave Thomas with the National Weather Service... who says a Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday.  Thomas says with winds expected to shift out of the Northwest, we'll get some "lake enhancement," and more snow tonight.  He says we're still on target for 10 to 18 inches of snow through Wednesday night.  Thomas now says there will be lesser amounts near Lake Erie... with about 8 to 10 inches of the white stuff may fall.  But... across the Chautauqua Ridge... there could be 14 to 18 inches.  Thomas says snowfall will be light to moderate most of the time... but, adds there will be periods over the next day and a half where it will be heavy at times.  
 
 
BOCES Super discusses school closings with "State of Emergency..."
The 'State of Emergency' that was declared for all of New York State by Governor Cuomo Monday night did not automatically mean all the schools would close.  The Superintendent of Erie 2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus Boces, David O'Rourke, says school superintendents are a part of the process, along with the state Education Department.  O'Rouke says it is still a local decision, but adds the SOE "was a factor."  O'Rourke says all 27 districts that are part the Erie 2 system did close... many making the decision Monday night.  However... he called it a "unique" situation with the Governor's declaration, and the forecast.  The BOCES Superintendent emphasized that superintendents weight such decisions with care... because it's "never an easy decision."  Superintendents for each district will go through the same decision making process for Wednesday.
 
 
Cuomo orders tractor-trailer ban on many major highways -- including Thruway...
Governor Cuomo late this morning also announced a tractor-trailer ban on the state Thruway... along with other major highways... across New York state.  Cuomo says -- in addition to the Thruway... the big rig ban is also in effect for Interstate 86-and Route 17 across the Southern Tier.  There is also a full travel ban in effect for Broome County, as that part of the state has been hit hard by the storm.
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 13, 2017

Nor'easter to begin taking shape late tonight into Tuesday, Jamestown area to get 9 to 17 inches of snow...
A major winter storm is taking aim on the Northeast and Western New York will be feeling the effects of the Nor'easter.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire region including both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  Meteorologist Shawn Smith of the Buffalo office tells us that... while this will be a general snowfall.... amounts will vary greatly -- from 9 to 17 inches.  The warning takes effect at 8 p.m. tonight and continues through 8 p.m. Wednesday.  Smith says the storm will produce moderate to at times heavy snow and blowing snow.  The heaviest amounts of snow are expected along the lake shore area.  Everyone can expect very difficult driving conditions at times with very poor visibility and deep snow cover on roads.
 
 
Cuomo says NYS Emergency Operations Center to be activated tonight for NYC area Blizzard...
Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting New York ready for the snow blizzard expected to sweep the region starting late today.  Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.  The National Weather Service announced a blizzard watch for coastal regions including New York City and upstate New York. 
 
 
JHS Band returns from successful St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago; will be in Jamestown between 7 and 7:30...
It was a cold day in Chicago last Saturday... but, the Jamestown High School Band was warmly welcomed in Chicago as the students marched in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Band Director Meghan Murray says they had a great time marching in the parade... calling it a "once in a lifetime opportunity."  She says the weather was frigid... but, the students did a "great job"  The St. Patrick's Day Parade is the biggest Holiday celebration in the Windy City... and, is high-lighted by the turning of the Chicago River green.  Meghan Murray says they were able to do a lot during their relatively short stay... including a trip to the Science and Industry Museum.  The band is now returning to Jamestown from Chicago -- and should return here between 7 and 7:30 p.m. 
 
 
Randolph man arrested for alleged Child Assault...
A Cattaraugus County man is accused of kicking a youth in the head during an altercation early last weekend in the town of Randolph.  State Police in Jamestown say they were called to the scene late last Friday... and investigated the alleged incident involving 39 year-old David Chapman.  Troopers say the unidentified child was injured.  Chapman is charged with third-degree assault... and, Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was issued appearance tickets for Randolph Town Court.
 
 
Route 60 traffic stop leads to drug arrest...
A Buffalo man is accused of driving under the influence of drugs following a traffic stop last Saturday on North Main Street in the city of Jamestown.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 34 year-old Justin Blankenship for a traffic violation... and, he failed multiple sobriety checks.  Troopers say they found a bag inside the vehicle containing Vicodin and Xanax pills... and, he was arrested on two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, possessing a Controlled Substance in a non-original container.  They also found that Blankenship’s Non-Driver I-D was suspended six times... and, he was additionally charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  Blankenship was evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert... and, issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.
 
 
County Chamber hires Sixbey as new Health Insurance Manager...
A Jamestown man has been hired by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier to manage their insurance benefits program.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says they're pleased to announce that Kevin Sixbey will be their director of Insurance Services.  Tranum says they're "thrilled" to have Sixbey as part of their team because of his extensive insurance experience and strong connections to the community.... adding that the insurance program is a big part of what they offer their membership.  Sixbey says the Chamber and Manufacturers Association have both grown extensivley in their insurance offerings over the past few years... and, in doing so is "well-positioned" to meet the diverse needs of their members.  Tranum says about half of their Chamber and MAST membership are in one of their plans.  Tranum says Sixbey... who attended Baldwin Wallace College... and, Syracuse University... has worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years.  For more information about the Chamber and MAST's insurance programs... call 484-1101... or 366-6200 in Dunkirk.
 
 
Tranum says CCCC and MAST anticipating little if no change in New York state -- even if ACA is replaced...
With debate over the proposal national health care law proposed by Congressional Republicans... the organizations that represent local small business and industries don't expect many changes in New York state.  That from county Chamber and MAST Eexcutive Director Todd Tranum... who says New York state's had one of the stronger health exchange programs... and, they aren't anticipating a lot of movement away from that.  Tranum says the provide health insurance for about half of their combined 900 members.  He says the biggest concern right now is the state losing $3.5-billion dollars in Medicaid funding.  Tranum says the move could cause some disruption in health insurance for the needy, and elderly.  One positive in some of the GOP plans -- says Tranum -- are the possible return of "association plans" which were big in the 1980s.  He says such a return would allow the chamber and MAST to better negotiate more favorable rates for their members. 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 11, 2017

City woman acquitted in second-degree murder trial...
A Jamestown woman accused of stabbing and killing her half-brother last August has been acquitted in her Chautauqua County Court jury trial.  The Post-Journal reports that 24 year-old Barbara Redeye was found not guilty after the 12 jurors deliberated for just over three-hours Friday in the case.  The newspaper reports that Redeye was visably elated by the outcome.  She claimed when she was arrested and during the trial that she had been physically and psychologically abused by 36 year-old Dale Redeye leading up to the August 14, 2016 stabbing.  Both shared an apartment at 501 Lakeview Avenue.  Redeye was looking at a possible maximum sentence of 25-years to life in state prison if she had been convicted.
 
 
Cuomo says restoring power to WNY and CNY customers still without power is top priority...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says restoring power is the first priority in the response to violent weather that knocked out power to more than 200,000 utility customers in western New York.  The Democrat traveled to Rochester Friday afternoon to assess the damage and recovery.  Wednesday's windstorm brought gusts of 70 mph to 80 that mph knocked down trees and utility poles across a 10-county area from the state's southwest corner to the Lake Erie shoreline.  As of Noon Friday... outages had been reduced to around 122,000 by local crews alongside utility workers from other states and Canada.  Meanwhile, a storm hitting southern New York has dumped 4 to 7 inches of snow in the Hudson Valley and several inches around the New York City area.  Cuomo urged residents to check on neighbors and said the state will do everything possible to assist crews working to restore power.
 
 
All but a few Chautauqua Co. outages restored as of Saturday morning...
There are still a few, individual power outages across Chautauqua County after Wednesday's wind event that left more than 7,000 National Grid customers without power.  That from National Grid Spokesman Steve Brady... who says there were still 27 outages scattered across the county... and, another 240 in Cattaraugus County late Friday morning.  Brady says -- overall -- National Grid restored power to more than 100,000 customers across western New York Thursday.  He says says more of the problems were along Lake Erie... and, south of Chautauqua Lake in the Stow-area.  Brady says they"re wrapping up a lot of their work here.  However... he urges anyone still without power to call them to ensure they weren't missed.  Brady says... don't assume that National Grid knows your power is out.  He says once crews are done here... they'll be moving to trouble spots to the north and east.  Brady says... if you are still without power at your home or business... call their Outage Reporting number at 1-800-867-5222.
 
 
Dunkirk school officials get latest budget update...
Dunkirk school district officials continue to wrestle with the budget that will go up for a public vote in May.  Business Manager William Thiel gave an update at last night's board meeting.  With the district facing a possible 4.3 percent increase in the tax levy... school officials hope the final state budget contains more state aid than what Governor's budget included.  Thiel says this will be key in determining the outcome of the final tax levy figure.  The District is also taking hit with its revenue side with the loss in funding as a result of the NRG re-adjustment... and, will be receiving about $200,000.
 
 
Turn Clocks ahead before retiring tonight...
Daylight Savings Time begins early Sunday morning... and, that means turn you clocks ahead before to go to bed tonight.  As residents prepare to "Spring Ahead" tonight... the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York urges all New Yorkers to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure their homes are properly protected.  If alarms have removeable batteries, those batteries should be replaced.  Officials says alarms equipped with sealed-in batteries should be tested to ensure they are in proper working condition.  The National Fire Protection Association says three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, and the vast majority of smoke alarm failures are due to dead or missing batteries.
 
 
WJTN-SE-93 Home and Rec Show continues Saturday...
Dozens of vendors are on hand... and, you'll have a chance to win $10,000 at this year's annual WJTN, SE-93 Home and Recreation Show at the Northwest Arena in downtown Jamestown.  The show got underway yesterday afternoon... and, continues today through 5 p.m.  You'll see the latest in Spring home and garden opportunities in the Jamestown-area. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

The one school district that closed due to Wednesday's wind storm in Chautauqua County will be re-opening today.  Superintendent Chuck Leighner (Like-ner) says Cassadaga Valley Central Schools will open today after emergency repairs were made Thursday to a large part of the Junior-Senior High School roof, which was torn off by gusty winds early Wednesday night.  Leighner says about 12-thousand to 15-thousand square feet of the rubber roof over the Central Office Wing was affected.
Leighner says the school was closed Thursday because the damage was significant... and, repairs will ultimately be extensive.  He says the wind also took vents, drains and insulation off... so what was left on the ground was heavy.  Leighner says they called in their roofing contractor -- Farrell Roofing -- to get the work done.  He says -- if the weather stayed dry -- they would have enough temporary repairs made to resume classes Friday.  He adds that the schedule for all other activities... including the high school musical -- "The Sound of Music" -- will go on as scheduled.  Performances of the musical begin tonight.
 
 
 
The clean-up continued yesterday afternoon across Western New York following Wednesday's major wind event that hit the regioni.  Wind gusts of nearly 70 miles an hour toppled trees and power lines across Chautauqua County.  Utility crews are busy restoring power... but, Spokesman Steve Brady with National Grid says they still have a-ways to go in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... where there will still about 25-hundred customers without power by late morning. Brady says they hope to have over 11-hundred field workers involved in restoring power, but he says it will likely take more than a day.  He says they weren't able to do a full damage assessment last night... which means they don't have an exact time-line.  However... he says it'll be "a multi-day event for us."  There were still traffic light outages along Fairmount Avenue in the Lakewood commercial corridor Thursday morning after power was lost to the Chautauqua Mall and Wal-Mart last night.  There was also an isolated outage along the north side of Main Street in Sherman.  Brady says the utility is asking customers to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees and limbs.  You can report outages to ther outge reporting number...1-800-867-5222.
 
 
Utility officials say power outages in some areas of western New York hit by hurricane-force winds could last for several days as subfreezing weather approaches the region.  Three utilities report a total of about 207-thousand homes and businesses without power Thursday as a result of the windstorm that tore across upstate New York, knocking down trees and utility lines.  Most of the outages, more than 100,000, are in the Rochester area.  Officials at all three utilities say it will be "multiple" days before customers in some stricken areas get their power restored.  High winds began hitting western New York on Wednesday afternoon, knocking out power across a region stretching from the state's southwestern corner through the Buffalo area to Lake Ontario's southern shoreline. 
 
 
There were no records set by the wind gusts record during Wednesday's wind event.  However... some could be just as destructive.  Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the highest winds were found between Buffalo and Rochester... with an 81-mile an hour gust at the Rochester Airport.  Wood says the Thruway corridor was also hit hard by the sharp winds... and that led to a brief ban on empty tractor-trailers for a few hours from Rochester to Ripley. In fact... Wood says the highest wind gust in Chautauqua County reached 69 miles an hour at a weather station near Fredonia.  Also in the north county... he says the Dunkirk Lighthouse reported a 63 mph gust.  Wood says cold weather is on the way for the next couple of days... as Artic air brings chilly temperatures by the weekend.  Temperatures will only reach the 20s for the early part of next week.
 
 
The strong, gusty winds were seen and felt in the immediate Jamestown-area... but, few major problems were reported in the Board of Public Utilities service area.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says there was a fairly significant amount of tree damage.  However... Teresi says there was just one outage of note that occured Wednesday afternoon. That one outage lasted about 15 minutes in the Falconer area... and Jamestown's north and east sides.  The BPU says a piece of equipment got blown open by a wind gust around 3 PM.  Teresi attributed the lack of outages to two things... one a well-run system that emphasizes a tree-trimming program to keep limbs away from power lines... and, he says the other factor is luck.  The fastest wind gust in the immediate Jamestown-area yesterday was a 56 mile an hour gust at the County Airport in the town of Ellicott.
 
 
 
Authorities say con artists are exploiting immigrants' fears of deportation by posing as federal agents and demanding they pay up or else.  An immigrant in New York City, for example, got a call from someone who told him he was in the U.S. illegally and would have to hand over one-thousand-550 dollars to stay.  People in the U.S. without permission are seen as easy targets for such scams because they are reluctant to go to the police.  As a result, authorities have found it difficult to investigate such schemes or determine how common they are.  The New York attorney general's office says immigrants should know this: A real agent from ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, will never ask for money.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local police agencies are looking for a Sinclairville area man who escaped from custody during a court appearance yesterday morning in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's officers say 34 year-old Jacob Raynor was being arraigned on a Felony charge about 11:30 AM when he got away from deputies.  Raynor is a white male, 6-foot tall, and weighing 170 pounds.  He was reportedly handcuffed and wearing a black shirt and black hat.  Officers say Raynor is not armed and is not considered dangerous.  Further updates will follow as more information becomes available.  The public is asked to call 9-1-1 with any information including his whereabouts.
 
 
Another round of potentially damaging winds will be hitting the area later today... and the National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for Chautauqua and Erie counties.  The warning will run from 9 AM to 10 PM today.  Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the Weather Service's Buffalo Office says to expect wind gusts of up to 60 MPH. Hitchcock says this wind event will be very similar to one that hit the area last week causing downed trees and power lines, triggering scattered power outages.  Cattaraugus County is under a Wind Advisory from Noon today until 1 AM Thursday.
 
 
With our High Wind Warning today... the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services and County Executive Vince Horrigan are reminding residents to use caution and be prepared.  Horrigan says... with wind gusts expected to be up to 60 miles an hour... those winds could result in downed trees and powerlines, scattered power outages, and property damage.  He says residents are encouraged to secure or bring in any loose items outdoors that could be blown away by the wind.  If an outage occurs... residents can reduce the risk of fire by using flashlights in the dark and not candles.  They should also eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car, as traffic lights will be out and roads may be congested.  Appliances, equipment or electronics that were in use when the power goes out should be turned off and disconnected.  This will prevent damage to the equipment, which could occur if there is a surge or spike when the power comes back on.  National Grid customers can report power outages by calling 1-800-NIAGARA. They can also view the Outage Map online at www.nationalgridus.com/Upstate-NY-Business/Storms-Outages/Outage-Map.  
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's fully-on board with the new American Health Care Act... which President Trump and most Republican lawmakers have now introduced.  Reed says he believes the new House GOP plan -- in the final analysis -- will cover more residents in his Southern Tier District than the Affordable Care Act.  The Corning Republican reiterated that there will be a three-step process in putting the new plan in place.  He says the first took place with introduction of the bill to repeal and replace what had become known as "ObamaCare...." The proposal to include affordable tax credits for those who are insured has raised concern among lower-income Americans... who say they don't make enough money for those to help.  However... he says the tax credit will be based on age... not income.  Reed adds that Medicaid will be the "back-stop" through 2020.  White House spokesman Sean Spicer says the president is ``absolutely committed'' to the new health care legislation.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
 
 
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have fallen for the first time in the past few weeks.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the cost for regular, unleaded fuel has dropped by 3-cents a gallon to just over 2-dollars-47 cents.  The Fuel Gauge says last week's price was an even 2--50 a gallon.  Nationally... Triple-A says oil prices slipped fractions of a penny over the weekend, reaching today’s national average price of 2-dollars-31 cents per gallon.  The Fuel Gauge reports that today’s price is still two cents more than one week ago, four cents more compared to one month ago and 50 cents more per gallon year-over-year.  Retail prices continue to fluctuate but have remained between 2-dollars-28 to 2--32 a gallon for more than a month as reports of increased U.S. production continues to counter OPEC rebalancing efforts.  Triple-A says the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are some of the only regions to see moderate declines on the week.  Both New York and Pennsylvania saw pump prices move down by a penny or less.
 
 
New York state last increased the amount of money it paid to local governments to maintain it's streets and highways in those communities 40 years ago.  An increase is long overdue... and, the state Conference of Mayors is now pushing to at least double the amount they are receiving under New York's' Arterial Maintenance Agreements with 38 cities -- including Jamestown.  Mayor Sam Teresi outlined the program for city council Monday night... saying the state contracts with the city for several miles of state roadways.
Teresi says the agreement... which provides the city 203-thousand dollars a year at 85-cents per square foot of pavement... is generally a "win-win" for both the city and state.  He says that's because the state saves money in personnel and equipment, while the municipality gets some money to help defray it's expenses.  However... Teresi says those expenses have gone up about 55-percent since 1987.
 
 
The Martz-Kohl Observatory is offering Jamestown area residents a close up look at NASA's plans to send people to Mars.  Gary Nelson, the observatory's president, says local native Laurie Abadie will present a program at their Frewsburg location tonight at 8 PM. Nelson adds the program won't be overly technical. Extensive planning for the 2030 trip is going on now.  The Martz-Kohl Observatory is located at the top of Robbin Hill Road.  There are signs in Frewsburg that point the way. Again, that program is Wednesday at 8 PM. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

An abandoned house in the woods behind Jamestown Community College was destroyed in a spectacular fire last night.  Neighbors reported the blaze on the 'old Lawson property' around 8:15 PM.  After working the fire for just over an hour... Fluvanna Fire Chief Dave Bartkowiak said the fire had been knocked down, and the building collapsed on its own accord. The house was located at the end of a narrow lane known as Woodlawn Avenue Extension, making it hard for firefighters to get water to the fire due to the distance they had to bring the water. Equipment and manpower from six departments and emergency services were at the scene.  There were no known injuries.  Bartkowiak said they'd been called to a fire at that same house in the middle of the winter a couple of years ago.   
 
Fire crews are fighting a fire in the Dunkirk area this morning.  Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that firefighters were called to a structure fire at 867 Harmon Hill road around 3 o'clock this morning.  Fredonia, Brocton, Stockton, and East Dunkirk were called to the scene.   No word of any injuries.  We will have more information when it becomes available. 
 
 
A third suspect has been arrested in connection with last Monday morning's robbery at the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union in downtown Falconer.  Ellicott Town Police say they arrested 20 year-old Patricia Harley of Jamestown yesterday morning... and, she was charged with second-degree robbery.  She was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.  Police say another alleged accomplice, 61-year-old Thomas Bartlett, Senior of Jamestown, was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery on March 2nd.  Ellicott Police accuse Harley of helping the primary suspect... 22 year-old Kyle Senear of Jamestown... with the planning of the February 27th robbery.  Senear allegedly got a small amount of cash before fleeing the scene... but, was caught later that day.  The investigation is continuing... and, anyone with information is asked to call Ellicott Police at 665-7083... or the Jamestown Police Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or the JPD TIPS 411 app.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
 
 
Efforts to recruit new doctors to the Jamestown-area will be getting a 35-thousand dollar boost from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  The city council will vote later this month on accepting the funding from the foundation to support the Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission's Physician Recruitment Project.  The project was created by the Commission's Health Care Action Team... led by former City Councilwoman Dr. Lillian Ney.  Current Councilwoman Marie Carruba is on the action team... and, says they've been working get local students who become doctors to return to the area. The Health Care Action Team has been working on the effort for a few years to build the number of... not just primary care physicians... but, certain specialists in the area as well.  Carruba says there are a couple of Jamestown High School students graduating this year that plan to go to medical school... and, members are already talking with them.
 
 
A new report finds a growing number of health care jobs in New York state.  The report released by the University at Albany says health care employment in New York increased by 24 percent between 2000 and 2014.  The school's Center for Health Workforce Studies says employment in home health care more than doubled during that time, while jobs in ambulatory care grew by 30 percent.  The center says health care accounts for about 12 percent of total employment in the state and continues to grow faster than all other sectors.  Despite the job growth... the center reports that worker retention can be a problem and that patients in some parts of the state still lack access to health care services.
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says -- yes -- the timing was important in his announcement that he won't be seeking another term because he want's fellow Republicans to have time to make a decision on running.  Horrigan further explained his decision to not run for re-election on this past weekend's Community Spotlight program.  He says he was in the position of having to make an "on-the-spot" decision less than four-years ago to run when former executive Greg Edwards decided not to run again. Horrigan again emphasized that it's time for him to step aside... and, devote more time to his wife, and their family.  He says the decision to run for the county's top-elected post is an important one that should not be rushed into.  Horrigan says he looks forward to the campaign... and, hearing the candidates ideas and positions on the issues.  He adds that the position requires a "significant amount of time, energy, and you need to be 'all in.'"  The Bemus Point Republican made his announcement at the end of last month's State of the County Address. 
 
 
Local organizers of protests that have greeted Congressman Tom Reed at recent appearances in Chautauqua County say they are all local people... who are well-organized.  Fredonia's Marcia Johnson led organization of last week's demonstration for Reed's appearance at the county's Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in Mayville.  Johnson pointed out that many of the protesters included their zip code on their sign they were carrying to dispell the notion that they are paid protesters brought in from outside the area. Johnson says they are "organizing as citizens..." and, even poked little fun at themselves... saying "no one's going to drive from some other area to stand in this freezing weather with the snow."  She says -- given the weather conditions -- and time of day -- they were very happy with the turn-out for the protests.  Some Republicans have denounced the nation-wide protests -- mostly at Congressional Republican town hall meetings -- as being nothing more than paid protesters being bused into each location.
 
 
The village of Fredonia's top elected official says she has learned that some changes have been made to plans for a roundabout at the corner of Routes 20 and 60.  Mayor Athanasia Landis says the State Department of Transporation recently met with state, county and local officials to discuss the revised design of the project and some of the raised medians have been shortened to improve access to some of the businesses near the intersection. However... Dr. Landis says the plans still call for a roundabout at the intersection and that work is now scheduled to take place during the 2018 construction season... and, completed by the end of that Summer.  While she understands the concerns local residents and businesses have about the use of a roundabout at the busy intersection... Mayor Landis says State DOT officials believe it will reduce accidents and improve traffic flow once drivers make the adjustment.
 
 
U-S Senator Chuck Schumer wants the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct an in-depth investigation of small plane crashes, following two incidents last month and at least 18 crashes in New York last year.  Schumer late last weekend released a letter he wrote to the NTSB.  He cited a February 19th crash of a single-engine plane that took off from Long Island and crashed into a neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as a February 26th crash of a plane being used for practice at another Long Island airport.  Two people were killed in that crash.  The New York Democrat wants the agency to look into why the small plane crashes are happening and possible additional safety measures.  The NTSB said it would review the letter once it's been received.
 
 
Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says dealing with the Medicaid expansion in a repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law must be a "negotiated agreement."  Toomey also said Monday that the sickest people should be covered through a high-risk pool that is subsidized by the government to make it affordable.  His comments came during a stop at the studio of Philadelphia's KYW-TV, where he answered several questions submitted online.  Toomey is heavily critical of Obama's health care law, and says a transition to a new health insurance system could take a couple years.  He gave no details about what he thinks should replace the Medicaid expansion. or whether he supports ending the extra federal subsidy under the Medicaid expansion for millions covered in Pennsylvania and other states.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 6, 2017

Accused drug trafficker found passed-out behind wheel of car in Jamestown...
Jamestown police arrested an alleged drug trafficker last weekend after finding the driver passed out in a "suspicious vehicle" in the city's downtown area.  City police were checking on the vehicle on Forest Park about 10:30 a.m. Saturday... and, found 20 year-old Austin Thayer passed out behind the wheel while the car was still running.  Officers say they found Thayer in possession of a "large quantity" of cocaine and cash... and, that he had no license.  He was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, the cocaine and cash was seized.  Thayer was arraigned... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.
 
 
Mayville traffic stop leads to discovery of drugs in vehicle...
A Westfield man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of two narcotic drugs illegally after his car was stopped in Mayville early last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 26 year-old Theodore Francisco on Valley Street shortly before 3 a.m. on active warrants out of Jamestown -- including for having his driver's license suspended.  Deputies say they took Francisco into custody and searched him.  At that time... they found a quantity of Suboxone and methamphetamine in his possession.  Officers say Francisco was charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance... and, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator.  He was issued citations and turned over to Jamestown Police on the outstanding warrants.
 
 
Chautauqua Co. Sheriff's Office preparing for next STOP-DWI Crackdown...
The next STOP-DWI Enforcement Crackdown is coming to Chautauqua County during the upcoming St. Patrick's Day weekend.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says this latest crackdown against impaired -- and drunk driving will run from March 17--19.  Gerace tells those celebrating to not drink and drive that Saturday.  Gerace urges people who celebrate and drink to call a cab... or get a ride home.  He says the Sheriff's Department will be teaming up with other local law enforcement agencies... and, the State Police... as part of a state-wide effort to crackdown on impaired driving.  He says the crackdowns are funded through a grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
 
 
Reed confirms House resolution to eliminate the EPA, but, says he wants to keep it with fewer burdensome regulations...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he does not support a House resolution that would disband the Environmental Protection Agency.  However... the Corning Republican does support revamping the department to eliminate onerous and burdensome regulations.  Reed made his comments in response to a number of questions regarding the environment during last Friday's Congressionial Luncheon with the county's Chamber of Commerce.  He says even those who support eliminating the EPA have no desire to ruin the environment.  Reed gave some background to the story of an 11 year-old girl who was brought up to him to ask a question at his recent town hall meeting in Ashville.  He says he was offended by the fact the girl's mother put her up to asking why he wanted to eliminate the EPA.  However... Reed says he looked the girl in they eye and told her that he did not want to see the agency eliminated... but, he also wanted to "hold them accountable..." and, prevent them from overregulating the environment.
 
 
County officials involved with new "Fly-Car" program prepping for May roll-out...
Chautauqua County's new "Fly Car" program designed to enhance local emergency medical services is looking to get off the ground in May.  That from officials guiding
the program.  Project Coordinator Kevin Peebles and Senior Paramedic Mike Volpe recently updated residents on plans for the program, announced last year by County Executive Vince Horrigan.  Peebles says three fly cars will be utilized and are currently on order... and, he says they should be at the dealer by sometime in April.  He says they hope to have the vehicles and people in place by the first week of May.  Peebles says Mike Volpe was brought on board in January as the program supervisor.   Volpe says the new service is designed to assist local fire departments when it comes to daytime response to EMS calls.  He says it was one of the recommendations that came out of a study by MMA Consulting Group of the county's delivery of Emergency Medical Services.  Once the program is up and running... the Fly Cars will be available on Monday thru Saturday basis between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
 
 
State Senate approved Cyber-Terrorism measures...
The state Senate has passed dual bills aimed at preventing cyberattacks and terrorism at international business and commerce centers like New York City.  The Senate on Thursday approved legislation to create new crimes for cyberterrorism and to strengthen the laws against soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism.  One proposal would prohibit using computer technology to commit financial harm against more than 10 people.  Another would increase criminal penalties for using money laundering or credit card fraud to fund terrorist organizations.  Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee Senator Tom Croci say the measures will protect infrastructure systems from cybercrime.  The bills now require approval by the Assembly.
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 4, 2017

Reed met by protesters at Chamber Luncheon, addresses wide range of concerns by members, and public...
Local Congressman Tom Reed was greeted by some 30 protesters when he arrived for this afternoon's annual Congressional Luncheon with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce at Webb's Captains Table in Mayville.  In fact... Reed said he held "a mini-Town Hall" meeting with a handful of the people who were there.  While several GOP members of Congress have avoided constituent Town Hall meetings... Reed has embraced them as "part of our democracy."  He admits there is "a lot of fear, and anxiety" out there.  Reed told members of the chamber that he understands that... and, that's why he's continuing to hold town hall meetings in the district this weekend.  The main organizer of the Mayville protest... Marcia Johnson of Fredonia... says they wanted to convey a number of concerns to Reed that they wants what's "best for the entire country, not just the top one-percent.  Reed says these town halls have featured huge numbers... and, a "little more passion and engagement" than most.  In the end... he says it helps him work with the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus" he co-chairs in Washington with New Jersey Democrat, Josh Gottenheimer.  Reed says he has held more than 200 town hall meetings across his expansive, 23rd Congressional District.
 
 
Reed says any meaningful change to the Affordable Care Act will have to be "bi-partisan" if it's going to be "meaningful..."
President Trump and many majority Republicans in Congress continue the push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  However... to get an truly lasting and meaningful legislation... it's going to have to be 'bi-partisan' in nature.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed... who addressed the ACA and several other issues... during the Chautauqua County chamber of Commerce's annual Congressional Luncheon in Mayville.  The Corning Republican responded to several chamber questions about the ACA... but, says -- to him -- the key numbers are "218 and 60."  He says you need 218 yes votes in the House... and, 60 in the Senate to make "transformational form."  He says former President Barack Obama learned in his final days in office that what is "that whicn can be done by the pen can be undone by the pen."  Reed says he is working with first-term New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottenheimer on the "No Label's" Caucus on the health care matter.  That's an evenliy split group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers trying to create bi-partisan legislation.  Otherwise... Reed says still believes in a more "market-based" approach to health care as opposed to a "big government" one like the Affordable Care Act.
 
 
Suspicious package seen outside school in Hindsale found to be school project...
There were some tense moments... and, a Cattaraugus County school was put into lock-down Friday morning... after a suspicious package was found outside the building in the town of Hinsdale.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley says they were called to the Hinsdale School just after 8 a.m. Friday on a report of the package -- spotted by a parent -- lying on Main Street.  Deputies say their Explosive Detection K-9 team was called to the scene... along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Bomb Technician.  After finding no other packages near the school... deputies say the package was collected.  They say it was not explosive in nature... and, was apparently a school project that had been dropped by a student on the way into the building Friday morning.  The all clear was given, and classes resumed by late morning.
 
 
Jamestown firefighters respond to second blaze in a day at East Sixth St. location...
Jamestown firefighters were called back to the scene of an early morning fire Thursday at an apartment house on the city's eastside late Thursday night.  City fire officials say Thursday night's call came in just before 11:30 for an attic fire at 621 East Sixth St.  Officials say they found the smokey blaze fairly quickly... and, had it out shortly after arrival.  Crews were there until shortly after 1 this morning.  The night before... City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to the scene about 12:45 a.m.  Sigular says firefighters found heavy flames coming from the kitchen area... but, they had the blaze knocked down fairly quickly.  He says the occupants were all safely out of the building when they arrived.  Crewes were there untiil about 4 a.m. Thursday.  The cause of both blazes is under investigation.
 
 
Trump-Schumer spar over Russian allegations...
President Donald Trump, his administration under siege for contacts with Russian officials, is calling for "an immediate investigation" into Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer's own ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Trump tweeted a photo Friday of Schumer meeting with Putin in New York in 2003.  Schumer responded on Twitter a short time later writing that he would "happily talk" under oath about his meeting with Putin, which took place "in full view of press and public." 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown firefighters were called back to the scene of an early morning fire Thursday at an apartment house on the city's eastside late last night.

City fire officials say last night's call came in just before 11:30 PM for an attic fire at 621 East Sixth Street. Officials say they found the smokey blaze fairly quickly  and had it out shortly after arrival.


Crews were there until shortly after 1 this morning. The night before City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to the scene about 12:45 AM.


Sigular says firefighters found heavy flames coming from the kitchen area but they had the blaze knocked down fairly quickly. He says the occupants were all safely out of the building when they arrived.


Crews were there until about 4 AM Thursday.  No injuries were reported in either fire.  The cause of both blazes is under investigation.

 

Flames have heavily-damaged a garage being used as a workshop on the Peck-Settlement Road in Falconer. Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says crews were called to the scene at 1911 Peck-Settlement just after 5AM this morning.


Piazza says the blaze had a big head-start on them.

Piazza tells our Terry Frank that fortunately the former garage was a safe distance from the nearest occupied structure.


Piazza says crews were back in service in about 2 hours. He says Falconer received mutual aid from Kiantone, Kennedy and Frewsburg fire crews.


One firefighter is being treated for a minor injury from a fall on the ice.  No one was inside the structure when the blaze was called in.  The cause is under investigation.

 

A problem with a conveyor belt at the Keywell Metals company in Falconer led to a smokey blaze that led to the building's evacuation late Thursday morning. Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says crews were called to the scene on Lyndon Boulevard about 10 AM.


Piazza says most of the employees were out of the building when they arrived.

Piazza also said that they got plenty of mutual aid to assist at the scene.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities was also called to the scene. Piazza says there were no injuries and crews were at the scene for about two-hours.

 

The Senate's top Democrat is calling on U-S Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. In the hours before doing so several Republicans and Democrats called for Sessions to recuse himself from an investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election.


He later said that he would do that. But he said he had no intention of resigning. This after the revelation he talked twice with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign.


Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York say he should step down and Schumer also said a special prosecutor is needed to investigate the allegations of Russian interference, and also look into whether the investigation has already been compromised by Sessions.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is traveling to Israel in a gesture of solidarity as acts of anti-Semitism spread across the nation. Cuomo announced the trip late Wednesday during a speech to Orthodox Jewish students, parents and teachers advocating at the state Capitol for increased funding for religious schools.


Cuomo says the visit this weekend will send a message of support to the Jewish community.


It will focus on technology and security collaboration with Israeli leaders.  Cuomo denounced local and national incidents of vandalism and threats in Jewish cemeteries, college campuses and community centers as "repugnant," and said a special task force is working to hunt down those responsible. Cuomo shared a similar message earlier in the morning at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center.

 

 

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A second person has been arrested in connection with Monday morning's robbery at the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union in the village of Falconer. Ellicott Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says town officers and Jamestown police found 61 year-old Thomas Bartlett Senior hold up in a home on 15th Street in the city early Tuesday night.  
 
Ohnmeiss says Bartlett was allegedly driving the car used to help primary suspect 22 year-old Kyle Senear of Jamestown flee the scene.  He says Senear entered the 51 East Main Street location about 9:30 AM Monday... and, he demanded cash.  
 
Senear was able to flee on foot but was found in Jamestown later in the day.
Both Bartlett and Senear are charged with second-degree robbery and are jailed pending further court action.
 
Anyone with information on the hold-up is still asked to call City Police at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or Ellicott Police at 665-7083. The FBI is now assisting in the investigation.
 
 
A Frewsburg man convicted of committing health care fraud using a "side business" he operated while he was teaching in the Salamanca School District has been sentenced to three-years supervised release and six months home confinement in federal court. In addition Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy Jr. says 66 year-old Leo Kronert was ordered to pay just over $59,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service by U-S District Judge Lawrence Vilardo.  
 
Assistant U-S Attorney Maura O’Donnell, who handled the case, says Kronert was a part-time chiropractor in Salamanca and submitted false claims for payment to Medicare and private insurance companies seeking reimbursement for his alleged services.
 
She says the fraudulent claims totaled about $92,000 and included bills for patient visits on dates during which Kronert was travelling out of the area as well as bills for an individual who did not reside in Western New York.
 
 
Strong winds hit the Jamestown-area by early last night anD some gusts apparently led to some downed power lines in the immediate Jamestown-area.
 
The Board of Public Utilities Electric Division reported an outage that began just after 8 PM Wednesday night.
 
BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the streets affected were in the area of Ellicott, English, Allen, Lexington, Tower and King Streets. Robbins said line crews were called in deal with the outages. Power was back on by 9:45 last evening.
 
Early Wednesday more than 1,100 National Grid electric customers in the Falconer-area were without power for about two-hours after a large tree came down on some lines near a substation.
 
National Grid spokesman Steve Brady says the tree came down in the Falconer-area about 5:30 AM.  Brady says the outage affected 1,153 customers in the Falconer and Kennedy areas.  Brady says power was restored to everyone just after 7:30 AM Wednesday. 
 
 
 
More Wintry weather returned to the Jamestown-area late last night ushered in by strong winds as a cold front passed through the Jamestown-area.
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Advisory for all of Western New York that runs through early this morning.
 
Forecaster Jon Hitchcock in Buffalo said late yesterday that the winds would pick up for everyone once the front crosses the area. Hitchcock added that temperature's would begin to nose-dive.
 
Hitchcock says March is continuing a weather pattern that produced the warmest February since weather records were first kept in Buffalo in 1871. He adds it comes just two years after we had our coldest February ever.  Hitchcock says the new February record high average is 34.8-degrees eclipsing the old record of 34.1-degrees set in 1998.
 
Hitchcock says temperatures will drop to more seasonal levels tonight through the early part of the weekend.
 
 
With the transition to an interim Superintendent complete the Jamestown school board will begin work later this month on a 2017-18 budget proposal for voters to decide on in May
 
That from Interim Silvia Root following her first school board meeting Tuesday night. Root says with former Superintendent Tim Mains leaving for his new job in the Mid-Hudson Valley and her coming into the district they're getting a later start than last year.
 
However... she says she's already been discussing the situation with School Business Manager Vern Connors. Root says the school board has also been busy with other business prior to dealing with the budget.
 
The Jamestown District and all others have also been waiting for a final state budget.  That spending plan is due by April 1st.  Last year Jamestown took advantage of additional aid to keep current staffing levels, and begin to rebuild the district's undesignated fund balance.
 
The preliminary, 2017-18 budget will be presented to the school board at it's March 15th meeting.  A final plan needs to be approved by April 21st for the public vote on May 16th.
 
 
Dunkirk's top elected official says he backs NRG's renegotiated payment in lieu of tax agreement for the Dunkirk power plant.  Mayor Willie Rosas discussed the PILOT Agreement that was approved on Tuesday by the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Board earlier Wednesday.
 
Rosas says as mayor he has to look at the big picture. Under the new agreement the city, the Dunkirk City School District, and Chautauqua County will split an annual payment of $420,000. The payments will begin during the school district's 2017-18 fiscal year and the city and county's 2018 fiscal year and continue until the conversion project's completion or the school district's 2022-23 fiscal year and the city and county's 2023 fiscal year.
 
Payments will then increase as power generation units are returned to service.  Rosas says that without the revised agreement it's possible the repowering would not go through.
 
 
There is no change in gasoline prices in Chautauqua County this week with prices remaining "relatively stable" across the region. That from the AAA Fuel Gauge Report which says the price for regular, unleaded remains a "flat" $2.50 a gallon. AAA adds that national prices have only fluctuated a couple of cents over the past 27 days.
 
The Fuel Gauge says today's average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon, which is the same price as one week ago, same price as compared to one month ago and 55 cents more than the same date last year.  
 
In mid-March, prices will likely rise as more refiners begin to switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline and driver demand increases. AAA says prices in both the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions remain relatively stable with New York at $2.46 a gallon overall.
 
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly walking into... and, robbing the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union on East Main Street in Falconer Monday morning.  Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohmneiss says this afternoon that they have arrested 22 year-old Kyle Senear following an investigation into the hold-up... which occured around 9:30 AM.  Ohmneiss says Senear allegedly walked in to the credit union... and, demanded money.  He adds the suspect had one distinguishing feature. Ohmneiss says Senear did get a "small amount" of money before fleeing the credit union on foot.  He says they got a lot fo help with the investigation.. and Senear was found in Jamestown with the help of city Police... State Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.  Senear was arraigned on one count of second-degree robbery... and,sent to the county jail without bail.  Ohnmeiss adds that... as a pre-caution... the Falconer Central Schools were locked down during the hold-up period.  If you have any information on the robbery... you are still asked to contact Ellicott Police at 665-7083.
 
 
New York state is advising school employees to call the superintendent and school attorney if faced with an immigration agent's request for access to students or their records.  State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued guidance Monday to the state's 700 school districts after getting questions about schools' obligation to federal immigration officers.  Other states and cities have issued similar guidance in the wake of stricter immigration enforcement policies outlined by President Donald Trump's administration last week.  The New York officials reminded districts that state law entitles students ages 5 to 21 to a free public education, regardless of immigration status.  They said state and federal laws protect the privacy of student records.  They advise employees to check with district officials before honoring any immigration requests.
 
 
President Donald Trump is expected to talk about health care tonight during a joint address to Congress.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says it’s the number-one issue facing Congress right... and, adds it came up during a meeting that Reed attended at the White House nearly two weeks ago. Public safety and national security are other areas that President Trump is expected to focus on during his address.  White House officials say the President's first budget blueprint includes an increase in defense spending, something that Reed says he's in favor of.  Reed says defense spending has been cut drastically in recent years... and, some money needs to be allocated back for that.  He made his remarks during a conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday afternoon.
 
 
Ground has been broken on the new, Celoron Harborfront Hotel project along Chautauqua Lake... just north of the Celoron Moose Club.  Officials with the Krog Corporation... which is the project developer, along with the hotel operator... joined county and Celoron Village officials for the Noon-time event.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's exciting to see the approximately 30-million dollar project getting underway. Krog Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Krog, says they're looking to have the project completed by mid-2018... with 136 "upsale" rooms, a full banquet facility... and, other amenities.  Horrigan says the county's Industrial Development Agency... and, Empire State Development Corporation are helping to support the project... which will provide more than 100 construction jobs... about about 75 at the hotel once it's up and running.
 
 
For the second-time... Jamestown city lawmakers have tabled a resolution to abandon a 100-foot long stretch of an unnamed alley on the city's eastside, and allowing two adjacent property owners to have the land.  The City Council tabled the measure after receiving a preliminary offer from a resident for the property prior to last night's voting session.  That from Council President Greg Rabb... who says they are giving the person making the offer until the end of the week to make a written offer.
Rabb says the property is zoned residential... and is located between Woodlawn and Lindsey Avenues -- next to 598 Falconer Street.  He says if an offer is made... the city will have to decide whether to make a direct sale... or put the land up for big.  Rabb says there was no way that lawmakers could make a decision on the matter last night.
 
 
J-C Penny has announced it will be closing between 130-and 140 stores nationwide.  However... it's not yet known which stores will be shuttered.  There are six stores in Western New York... including local stores in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... and, D-and-F Plaza in Dunkirk.  The other four are in the Boulevard Mall... Walden Galleria... and, McKinley Mall in the Buffalo arera... and, in the Batavia City Center.  It's unclear which, if any, of these stores will close.  In a press release... a spokesperson says "the company plans to release a full list of planned closures in mid-March pending notification of all affected personnel."
 
 
A boost is in store for the New York economy.  Empire State Development says 43 businesses are expanding or coming to New York state to partner with colleges and universities.  The businesses have committed to creating more than 640 new jobs and investing more than 15-million dollars statewide.  The higher education institutions involved include: New York University; Mount Saint Mary College; state universities at Albany, Cobleskill, and Plattsburgh; SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn; the University at Buffalo; the University of Rochester; and six community colleges in the upstate area.  New jobs will be created in such fields as: biotechnology; computer and information technology; data processing; industrial electronic engineering; manufacturing; research and development; agribusiness; and food processing.  The University at Buffalo tops the list with 238 new positions.
 
 
 
 
 

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News Bulletin for Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

**(Update)Ellicott police arrest suspect in hold-up at Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly holding up the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union on East Main Street in Falconer this morning.  Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says police arrested 22 year-old Kyle Senear at his home this (Monday) afternoon after an intensive police search of the area.  Ohnmeiss says the initial call came in sometime before 10 a.m. that a man had entered the credit union... and, demanded money from one of the employees.  At this point... Ohnmeiss says the suspect did not brandish a weapon.  He says the suspect had apparently used a marker -- or eye liner -- to draw a fake beard and mustache on his face.  He says the suspect did get a "small amount" of money before fleeing the credit union on foot.  Ohnmeiss says they're getting a lot of help with the investigation by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, State Police and Jamestown Police.  As a pre-caution... the Falconer Central Schools were locked-down because of the hold-up.  If you have any information on the robbery... contact Ellicott Police at 665-7083.
 
 
 

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News Alert for Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

**(Alert) Ellicott police and other agencies investigating hold-up at Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union...
Several local police agencies are investigating a reported hold-up at the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union on East Main Street in Falconer this morning.  Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohmneiss says the call came in sometime before 10 AM that a man had entered the credit union... and, demanded money from one of the employees.  At this point... Ohnmeiss says the suspect did not brandish a weapon.  He says the man is described as being a white male, about 5'10" tall, and wearing a blue hat with a Carhart jacket, and blue jeans.  Ohmneiss adds the suspect had apparently used a marker to draw a fake beard and mustache on his face.  He says the suspect did get a "small amount" of money before fleeing the credit union on foot.  He says the male was last seen heading east along East Main Street.  Ohmneiss says they're getting a lot of help with the investigation by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, State Police and Jamestown Police.  Ohmneiss adds that... as a pre-caution... the Falconer Central Schools have been locked-down because of the hold-up.  If you have any information on the robbery... contact Ellicott Police at 665-7083.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man faces assault, and, other charges after allegedly pulling his girlfriend into a home on the city's eastside last weekend... and, not letting her leave.  City police were called to the scene at 232 Buffalo Street for a domestic incident just after 12:30 PM Saturday.  On arrival... officers say the woman told them that 27 year-old Tanner Jones would not let her leave the house.  She accuses Jones of hurting her, and stopping her from leaving the home several times.  Police say the suspect also allegedly caused more than 200-dollars in property damage.  The woman was treated at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Jones was arraigned on charges including second-degree assault... and unlawful imprisonment... and, Grand Larceny... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
Following it's unannounced closing... the Jamestown office of the Internal Revenue Service will be reopening three days a week... starting this week.  That after local Congressman Tom Reed intervened when it had been reported that it would be closing permanently.  However... Reed Spokeswoman Samantha Cotten last weekend said "as a direct result of Reed's efforts, they will remain open and available to help the local community."  The Corning Republican says his office had been in contact with the IRS to find "a solution" to the matter.  He says "being in the midst of tax season, it is necessary to have an office that will be responsive to the needs of those in the Jamestown area."  The Jamestown IRS Center will now be open Tuesday's from Noon to 4:30 PM... Wednesday's from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM... but, close from 1 to 2 PM for lunch.  They will also be open Thursday's from 8:30 AM to 12 Noon.
 
 
Seniors across Chautauqua County have been voicing their opposition to a nearly 13-million dollar cut to Offices for the Aging in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2017-18 budget proposal.  That from county OFA Director Mary Ann Spanos... who helped organize several rallies this past week at local Senior Centers... including the Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers.  Spanos says the cuts basically come from moving certain services to areas where a local match is required.  She says it means more local money is needed at a time where local residents are already footing much of the bill. Spanos says local Senior advocates recently rallied with lawmakers in Albany to restore the funding.  However... she says they've held "mock rallies" locally to allow local residents to voice their feelings.  Chautauqua Day Care Executive Director Frank Bercik says they serve 170-plus people at their four locations... but, says a number have to pay some of the cost.  However... he says very few could pay the full amount needed.  For more information on Office for the Aging programs... call their NY Connects numbers at 753-4582... or 661-7582.
 
 
State lawmakers in Albany are brainstorming ways to prevent and address elder abuse.  Members of the Senate and Assembly are scheduled to discuss the extent and nature of the problem at a legislative hearing Tuesday in Albany.  State estimates indicate that for every case of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation referred to authorities there are five that are never reported.  Financial abuse is a particularly devastating problem, costing the state's senior citizens as much as $1.5 billion a year.  Lawmakers say they hope to use the hearing to come up with better ways the state can combat elder abuse, which is only to expected to increase as baby boomers age.
 
 
In New York state government news this week... lawmakers are headed back to Albany as they get to work on the state budget.  Following a weeklong break, the Senate and Assembly will reconvene Tuesday to start the busiest month of their annual session.  They hope to pass a state budget by April 1st... but, first they'll have to debate compromises on a long list of proposals including free state college tuition for middle-class students, Uber's upstate expansion and juvenile justice reform.  Meanwhile... lawmakers will hold a hearing on a deal to close Indian Point nuclear plant in suburban New York City by 2021.  Critics have long argued the plant is too hazardous, but others are worried about how the state will make up for the lost power and jobs.
 
 
Opponents to wind projects in Chautauqua County are again speaking out against projects in the north county to members of the County Legislature.  Several people spoke out against proposed projects during a public comment period this past week.  County Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek, who voted against two resolutions for wind projects as a member of the county's Industrial Development Agency, says he opposes the projects primarily because they lose money.
Borrello also says in the town of Hanover, where six turbines are proposed, residents are split.  Following last Wednesday night's legislature meeting... County Executive Vince Horrigan indicated there wasn't much the county could do since it was a local issue.  Horrigan says these "are town decisions... local decisions.  We can't get into it."  However... he says he understands the concerns.  Borrello also says the decision should be made by the local towns.  Nearly 100 wind turbines are being proposed if all three wind projects materialize.
 
 
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly being in possesion of drugs and hypodermic needles following a traffic stop late last week on the city's southside.  City police say they pulled over a vehicle that had a broken windshield on Forest Avenue -- at the Arterial -- just after 12:30 PM Friday.  Officers say they found the driver, 40 year-old Joseph Thayer, had a quantity of Suboxone in his possession.  Police say his passenger, 29 year-old Heather Keith, was allegedly in possession of three hypodermic needles.  Thayer was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated unlicensed operation... while Keith is charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
An investigation into a "suspicious situation" early last Saturday morning in the north county village of Silver Creek led to the arrest of four juveniles for allegedly being in possession of marijuana.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Bennett State Road about 1 AM... and saw the three male youths, and one female, acting suspiciously.  Deputies say they found all four in possession of a quantity of pot... and, they were were arrrested for unlawful possession of marijuana.  All four were issued appearance tickets for Silver Creek Village Court.
 
 
A New York congresswoman is voicing outrage over the White House decision to block The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Politico and others from a press briefing.  Representative Carolyn Maloney said Saturday outside The New York Times offices in Manhattan that she wants the Trump administration to commit to a policy of press access for all.  The Democrat says standards should apply evenly to all news organizations.  The decision Friday by White House press secretary Sean Spicer to limit access has sparked an outcry among journalists and others.  The Associated Press chose not to participate in the briefing after Spicer's decision. The White House said it felt "everyone was represented" by those that participated.  Maloney plans to attend a rally Sunday outside The Times' offices.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County fire investigators believe that arson is the cause of multiple fires at a location on Engdahl Road -- near Edson Road -- in the town of Charlotte Wednesay night.  That's the word from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace.  He says three departments battled the fires that damaged two campers and an ATV.  Fire crews from Sinclairville, Gerry and Ellington responded to the call just before 9 PM Wednesday.  The fires were located several hundred feet off the roadway.  Gerace says if anyone has information about the blazes... they should contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.... or the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.  If your tip leads to an arrest and conviction... you may be eligible for a reward of up to one-thousand dollars.
 
 
He has made the decision not seek a second term... but, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says there's still a lot to do in the remaining 10 months in office.  Horrigan made the announcement at the end of his fourth, and as it turns out, final State of the County message Wednesday night.  After the address, Horrigan indicated that he had been thinking about ending his career in county government for about a year.  He wants to spend more time with his wife Barbara and their family in Florida. Horrigan feels his administration has accomplished a lot in the last three years... and the time is right.  He says there's always going to work to get done... but, he believes there are plenty of talented people to carry on that work here.  Horrigan says there is still a lot to do in his remaining time in office.  Among his top goals, taking home a 20-million dollar grant award in the final round of the State Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.
 
 
The major political parties in Chautauqua County are now looking for candidates interested in running for the County's top-elected office.  County Legislator David Wilfong of Jamestown... who is also the chairman of the Chautauqua County Republican Committee... says that Vince Horrigan has accomplished a lot in the past three-plus years. Wilfong says one of the qualities the party will be looking for in a candidate is the willingness to work with others.  County Democratic Chairman Norm Green, who attended Wednesday night's meeting, indicated that they have some people interested in running, although he would not give out any specifics.
 
 
New York state plans to dedicate 32-million dollars in federal funding to improve public transportation in the state's rural areas.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the grants on Wednesday.  They'll go to counties, cities and tribal governments who agree to use the money for intercity bus lines, regional transportation authorities and other public transportation programs.  The Democratic governor says reliable transportation systems are critical to the accessibility and economics of rural New York.  He says the money will help connect rural areas around the state to smaller cities.  Specifically... the funds could pay for new buses, vehicle maintenance facilities or features such as bus shelters, communication systems or security.
 
 
Governor Cuomo is proposing a $25 million cut to programs that fight cancer, diabetes and other health threats.  The Democratic governor's administration says specific reductions, to be made by state health officials, would make health programs more efficient.  Lawmakers are skeptical about the proposal in Cuomo's budget. Democratic Sen. Liz Krueger says Cuomo should say which programs will be cut before the budget is approved.  The American Cancer Society opposes reductions, noting one program facing cuts funded 25,000 breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings for poor New Yorkers last year.  The administration says the cuts wouldn't affect a separate $16 million program dedicated to breast cancer screenings.  Last year... Cuomo proposed big investments in cancer screening after his girlfriend, celebrity chef Sandra Lee, successfully battled breast cancer.
 
 
Invasive species will be the focus of a special series of programs next week at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown.  Conservation technologist, Elyce Henshaw says they want people to know about the problems non-native species can cause. RTPI will present programs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 PM.  Monday's program will be about 'birds and invasives'.  The Friday session will talk about White Nose Syndrome in bats.  On Wednesday, Elyce Henshaw will describe the problems caused by earthworms consuming leaves on the forest floor. The series wraps up Saturday, March 4th from 10 to 3, with a day of education, training and fun activities.  All events are free at RTPI on Curtis Street in Jamestown.  They are being presented in conjunction with National Invasive Species Awareness Week.  More information at rtpi.
 
 
The current tenant of the former Quality Markets Warehouse in West Ellicott has now purchased the entire facility from the previous owners.  Hackman Capital Partners and Calare Properties have jointly announced that the Jackson Avenue Warehouse at 133 Jackson Avenue has been purchased by Regal Service... a 100-percent employee-owned transportation company.  Officials with Hackman say Regal will continue to occupy all of it's nearly 288-thousand square-foot distribution facility.  Regal is a 51 year-old company that serves several multinational manufacturing companies, as well as the food industry.  The company has occupied space in The Jackson Avenue Warehouse since 2011 and, after several expansions, took over the entire facility in early 2014.  Regal has additional facilities in New York, western Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Hackman Capital founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Hackman says the "Jackson Industrial Building's location, high bays and abundant loading capacity made it a great fit for Regal when they first leased space in it six years ago.  We're thrilled it has continued to meet their needs and very pleased with the sale."
 
 
Jamestown police have responded to a number of domestic violence, and disturbance calls in recent days... including one where a child was being held while two people were having an altercation.  That call came from 101 Lakeview Avenue shortly after 8 AM Tuesday... where a physical altercation took place between 27 year old Antonio Sanders and a female.  During the fight... police say Sanders choked the victim while holding a one year old child.  Sanders was later found at a different address... and, arrested for criminal obstruction of Breathing, Aggravated Family Offense, and second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was then sent to the City Jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Jimmy Fallon has donated 100-thousand dollars to help fund the art program at the high school he attended, with some of the money going toward the school's TV studio.  The host of NBC's "Tonight Show" is a 1992 graduate of Saugerties High School in upstate New York.  Fallon tells The Associated Press in a statement that he's glad to be able to give something back.  He adds: "And if anyone there wants to return the favor with a statue of me or something, I'm totally cool with that, too."  While there's no word on a statue, district Superintendent Seth Turner thanked Fallon for the gift and joked that he's willing to completely eliminate Fallon's disciplinary record in return.
 
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 23, 2017

Gerace says fires in Sinclairville area were set intentionally...
Chautauqua County fire investigators believe that arson is the cause of multiple fires at a location on Edson Road in the town of Charlotte last night.  That's the word from Sheriff Joe Gerace.  Three departments battled the fires that damaged two campers and an all-terrain vehicle... and, says they're only releasing the fact the blazes were intentionallyl set.  Fire crews from Sinclairville, Gerry and Ellington responded to the call around 9 p.m. last night.  The fires were located several hundred feet off the roadway.  Gerace says if anyone has information about the fire, they should contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office or the We Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME and become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
 
 
Horrigan concludes State of County message with announcement he's not running for re-election...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan delivered what will be his final State of the County Address last night.  The reason was revealed at the end of his message... when he announced that after "careful consideration," and talking it over with his wife... he was not going to seek re-election.  In his announcement... Horrigan says he has a "firm believe that new ideas and new energy comes from new leaders."  The Bemus Point Republican says he wants to spend more time with his kids and grandkids who live in Florida.  Before serving as County Executive for the past three years... Horrigan completed a two-year term on the County Legislature.  Besides his 27-years in U.S. Air Force, Horrigan also served several years as Executive Director of the county-wide Red Cross chapter. 
 
 
Horrigan says County has made a lot of progress over past year...
In his fourth State County address, County Executive Vince Horrigan gave a progress report on Chautauqua County's Comprehensive Plan, Chautauqua 20/20, which was passed by the County Legislature in 2011.  Horrigan examined each of the 15 focus areas contained in the report including Business/Economic Development... including expansions in strengthened management at TitanX, and Castelli Cheese... and, new plants such as New Flyer and Athenex have and will become part of the industrial landscape of the county.  In the area of Infrastructure/Public Investment... Horrigan reported on what he considers a true regional solution, the creation of the North County Water District.  He also pointed out that the goal of completing the sewer system around Chautauqua Lake is now in sight.
 
 
Huber says numbers of drug addicts, those with drug-mental issues, came to MHA in record numbers in 2016...
There are no signs of any let-up in the Heroin and Opioid Drug crisis in the Jamestown-area... and, the numbers bear that out.  That from the new director of New Program Development at the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County.  Rick Huber has a new position this year with a restructuring of the MHA in light of skyrocketing visits to the MHA's Water Street headquarters.  Huber says they had just over 7,700 "visits" for their help in 2015... but, that number doubled last year to more than 15,000... and, there's been no let-up.  He says the January numbers are also up over last year.  Huber says some of those people who visited did so more than once.  However... with the big increase... Huber says the Mental Health Association has had to re-organize... with him taking on the new post of director of New program Development.  He thanked the local foundations that have strongly supported their mission in recent years... but, says they need to find more support.
 
 
Maple Season starting early due to unseasonably warm temperatures...
The maple syrup season has had one of its earliest starts ever.  Lloyd Munsee has been been making syrup at Big Tree Maple in Lakewood for more than 20 years now... and, says this is the first time they've actually tapped trees in January.  Munsee adds they've also made some syrup already.  With the most recent warmup, Munsee says one of the woods they tap has already produced 60 percent of a normal crop.  This year's Maple Weekends are set for March 18-19, and 25-26.  He hopes they'll still be making syrup at that time.  Munsee says one or two days of 60-degree temperatures won't cause the sap to stop flowing... and, we should see some freezing temperatures by late this weekend.  He says many of area's producers have had a similar early start.  More information on Maple Weekend is available at www.nysmaple.com.  
 
 
Gas prices in Chautauqua Co. up slightly this week...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have held steady for a fourth-week in a row.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says local motorists saw a "fraction of a penny" increase over the past week.  The Fuel Gauge reports the price for regular, unleaded is now an even $2.50 per gallon.  Last weeks' price was about $2.49.6.  Nationally... AAA says prices have increased fractions of a penny to reach today's average price of $2.28 per gallon. 
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Investigators are looking into the cause of a house fire in Jamestown Tuesday evening.  The Jamestown Post Journal reports that the Fire Department was called to 37 Chestnut Street just before 9pm after a neighbor spotted the fire and called 911.  It took crews about 45 minutes to knock down the blaze.  Crews had to cut vents into the roof with chainsaws to help fight the fire.  Officials say the residents of the home were not inside when the fire started.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 
 
Pennsylvania State Police are looking for a missing 17 year old. Allison Nicole Pavlock of West Street in Glade Township left home approximately 9am Tuesday and is believed to be headed to Arkansas.    Police believe she may be with Mary Delp and Bridget Powers.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Allison Nicole Pavlock is asked to call State Police at 814-728-3600.
 
 
This is a vacation week for many school students in Chautauqua County.  But... some Jamestown High School musicians may be anxious to get back because they have a major trip planned.  Meghan Murray, JHS band director, says the Red Raider Marching Band has been invited to march in Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The parade will be televised on Channel 7 in Chicago and will available through live streaming beginning at 1 PM Eastern Time on March 11th.  Murray says they'll be playing the "Goll Way Piper..." and, see the Chicago River turned green.  Murray says the itinerary is packed with events including museum tours, dinner theater, a visit to the aquarium, and a cruise.  A total of 130 students will take the trip, along with 30 adults to fully chaperone the adventure.  All of the funds were raised by students and their families.  No taxpayer dollars are involved.  
 
 
An early morning domestic violence incident yesterday has landed one Jamestown man in jail.  City Police say... just before 3 AM... they responded to a domestic incident at a West Seventh Street address where they met a pregnant woman who said that 18 year old Michael Brown pushed her down and head butted her while she was holding her small child.  Brown is also accused of breaking a phone in an attempt to prevent her from calling for help.  The woman was taken to WCA Hospital as a precaution and shortly before 4 AM... police returned to the address after getting reports that Brown was in the area.  He was later found on East 5th street and arrested for criminal mischief in the 4th degree and endangering the welfare of a child and taken to city jail without further incident.
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed's four town hall meetings in this part of his huge 23rd Congressional District drew a lot of attention last weekend... but, not just from interested constituents.  There were a number of local, regional and national media on hand... including NBC TV, and the New York Times.  Times Congressional Correspondent Thomas Kaplan has covered a number of the town hall sessions that Congressional Republicans -- like Reed -- have been holding.  Kaplan says there's a lot of interest nationally in the large turn-outs, and protests. Kaplan says he has never covered a phenomenon like this... but, is quick to add that he did not cover the TEA Party attended Congressional town halls during the Obama Administration when that movement began.  The TEA Party... short for "Taxed Enough Already..." was highly critical of a number of policies enacted by the former President... and, began following Obama's Obama's first presidential inauguration in 2009 when his administration announced plans to give financial aid to bankrupt homeowners.   Fifty conservative activists in February of 2009 agreed to join against Obama's agenda and scheduled series of protests.
 
 
The sixth-annual SOUPer Bowl Sunday to raise money for UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital was a "great success."  That from UPMC Chautauqua WCA Development Director Megan Barone... who says this year's event drew record-setting attendance... and, sponsors.  The program raised 8-thousand dollars to support the hospital's Robotic Surgery program... as well as the Rapaport Fund at the WCA Foundation.  The event was held at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club and was organized by the WCA Foundation, Media One Group, Maplevale Farms, and the Rod and Gun.  It featured 15 homemade soups that were served by fourteen local restaurants and caterers.  The Game Time Sports Bar and Grill came out victorious... and, so far the event has raised 34-thousand dollars over six year.
 
 
The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame has become known for not just inducting members who played the traditional "stick and ball" sports... and, that was again evident this year.  In addition to football, basketball and other traditional sports... hunting and auto racing were among the sports celebrated at this year's induction Dinner in Lakewood Monday night.  Jamestown's Sammy LaMancuso was a long-time racer... who never ran much outside of the area... but, made a name for himself at Stateline and Eriez Speedways.  He appreciates what the Hall has done. While Schnars, Squirt Johns and Emory Mahan were among the big names at Stateline through the first 20 years... LaMancuso also did well.  One of his personal high-lights was in 1956... the year Stateline opened.  He won what was then the infamous "Team Race" with Joe Sauer.  Other sports recognized Monday included national championship hunting... with Jake Ensign... who has won every major title.
 
 
Fredonia village lawmakers talked more about North County water and whether or not the village of Fredonia should become part of the regional water district last night in the north county.  Two weeks ago... the board heard a presentation from Mayor Athanasia Landis of an engineering study that examined the costs involved in joining the district.  Based on the cost figures outlined in the study, it appeared joining the district would be more expensive than having the village continue to produce its own water.  Mayor Landis says County Executive Vince Horrigan attended the workshop meeting. Horrigan said last week that he felt it’s important for the village to still consider a project involving an interconnect with the city of Dunkirk, even if the village decides not to join the water district.  No decision was expected at last night's meeting... but, Dr. Landis wants to hear from trustees on where they stand on the issue.  More on that session later this morning.
 
 
Fire has damaged a home in the Cattaraugus County town of Ellicottville.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers in Little Valley say the call on Maple Road came in about 4:30 this morning... and no injuries were reported.  However... crews were there several hours.  Ellicottville volunteers were joined at the scene by Mansfield... and, Great Valley fire crews.  No cause has been listed.
 

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News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 21, 2017

Warren County teen killed in ATV accident in Sheffield...
The Werren County, Pennylvania teenager killed in last weekend's all-terrain vehicle accident in Sheffield Township has now been identifed.  State Police in Warren say the 17 year-old boy ws riding the ATV on a railroad bed just west of Dickey Lane sometime after 7 p.m. Sunday.  The Warren Times-Observer has now identified the boy as Dylan Fehlman of Tiona.  Troopers say they responded shortly after Midnight Sunday... and, found the operator of the three-wheeled ATV had lost control... and, the vehicle rolled over.  The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.  The investigation is continuing.
 
 
JHS Marching Band to take part in Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade...
This is a vacation week for many school students in Chautauqua County.  But... some Jamestown High School musicians may be anxious to get back because they have a major trip planned.  Meghan Murray, JHS band director, says the Red Raider Marching Band has been invited to march in Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Murray says it's always held on the Saturday before St. Patricks Day... which is Saturday, March 11th this year.  The parade will be televised on Channel 7 in Chicago and will available through live streaming beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on March 11.  Murray says they'll be playing the "Goley Piper..." and, see the Chicago River turned green.
 
 
Times reporter among national media on hand to cover Reed Town Halls...
Local Congressman Tom Reed's four town hall meetings in this part of his huge 23rd Congressional District drew a lot of attention last weekend... but, not just from interested constituents.  There were a number of local, regional and national media on hand... including NBC TV, and the New York Times.  Times Congressional Correspondent Thomas Kaplan has covered a number of the town hall sessions that Congressional Republicans -- like Reed -- have been holding.  Kaplan says there's a lot of interest nationally in the large turn-outs, and protests... but, adds there aren't too many hosting them because of the "hostile receptions" they've received.  He says he has never covered a phenomenon like this.
 
 
Schneiderman pushing to be major player in left's resistance to President Trump...
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is fighting to emerge as a major player in the liberal resistance to President Donald Trump.  The 62-year-old Democrat may be positioned to challenge Trump's agenda in ways his Democratic allies in Washington cannot.  As the state's attorney general, he is backed by one of the nation's largest public law firms.  Schneiderman already has a yearslong clash with the new Republican president under his belt.  He previously sued Trump over the defunct Trump University.  That case was settled.  More than most, Schneiderman understands the risks of taking on Trump.  He was a target of Trump's Twitter feed long before the president's campaign-trail assaults on Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz.
 
 
Eleven new members of CSHOF inducted Monday night...
There are 11 more members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, who excelled in several areas from football to basketball, and track and field.  The new inductees were honored during last night's annual Dinner at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  Retired Jamestown High School Football Coach Wally Huckno -- and inductee himself -- calls Sam Restivo the best football player ever at JHS.  Restivo... who excelled in the late 1970s... says it was nice to have a chance to thank those who helped him through-out his career... and, life.  Restivo went on to have a very good collegiate career at Florida State University... where he was all All-Conference Center.  Paul Cooley was a coach at Cassadaga Valley Central Schools... and, a long-time basketball official.  He's also been a long-time official with the Gerry Rodeo.  He also thanked family -- and, says he couldn't believe he was being inducted.  Others inducted last night include former JHS Basketball great Maceo Wofford... Master's track and field star Mike Sayers... Championship hunter Jake Ensign... north county coach Charlie DeLuca... and, long-time Panama Central School coach Deb Palmer.  
 
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

Reed town halls draw huge crowds, confrontation with protestors...
Upwards of 200 people were on hand for what's best described asan unprecidented... and, at times raucous... town hall meeting last Saturday morning with local Congressman Tom Reed in Ashville.  The event drew so many people it had to be held outdoors, because the fire code only allowed 120 people inside the North Harmony Senior Center.  Health care... and, the future of the Affordable Care Act... was on the minds of many people on hand.  Reed was booed -- loudly -- after reiterating his stand of repealing and replacing the ACA.  However... he did reach some common ground with the locals on hand.  One woman voiced the need for grants to help small businesses afford health insurance for their employees.  Reed thanked them for their input.  At times, though, it was the crowd that dictated where the Corning Republican went on certain issues.  Abortion rights... President Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, and, the future of the EPA were other issues that come up during the town hall.
 
 
Confrontation also seen at other Reed  town halls...
The Ashville Town Hall was one of four that Reed hosted on Saturday... and, each was heavily attended.  Attendees at his second town hall in Cherry Creek grilled Reed on Trump's relationship with Russia.  WKBW-TV in Buffalo reported that Reed told them, "It's something that we are keeping a close eye on."  Perhaps the most contentious exchanges came at the first afternoon town hall in the Cattaraugus County town of Humphrey.  The Buffalo News reports Reed had to defuse a near-scuffle when an older man called abortion "murder..." and got in the face of a young woman who saw abortion as her constitutional right.  Reed told both "Let's respect each other."  He finished up the day in the Allegany Town of Fillmore... where about 500 people attended.  Many there called for Trump's taxes, and his possible ties to Russia, investigated.
 
 
Jamestown woman -- a Trump Supporter -- disappointed by town hall protest...
While the majority of people on hand for Congressman Reed's town hall forums confronted him on most every issue... there were a small number there who support Reed's positions.  However... one says she felt "very disappointed" by the fact the Ashville forum became so confrontational at times.  Jamestown's Marilyn Kelly is a member of the local TEA Party Patriots, and says the protestors "didn't want to listen" because they would cut him off in mid-sentence at times.  Kelly says the local people who protested should have shown "a little more respect for each other's views."    She says she's a Democrat who voted for Donald Trump... and, went back to something said by another Corning Republican -- Congressman Amo Houghton -- many years ago that more business leaders should run for elected office.
 
 
City man arrested on warrent, and Heroin and hypodermic needle possession...
A Jamestown man has been arrested during a warrant check in the city after fleeing police before being caught with Heroin in his possession.  Jamestown Police say they were doing the check on 24 year-old Andrew Butts at 100 Hedges Street about 10:30 last Saturday night when Butts tried to run off.  Officers caught him in the stairwell of the apartment building... and, he tried to throw-away what was later found to be Heroin... and, a hypodermic instrument.  Butts was arrested on several charges... including criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.  He's being held pending arraignment.
 
 
Large crowd on hand for annual President's Day Winter Festival in Mayville, despite early Spring-like conditions...
It was 60 degrees Saturday afternoon at the height of the 'Winter Festival' in Mayville.  Debby Marsala, Coordinator of the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce, says people came... and had fun... because they treated it like a "Winter Carnival."  The mother of a family with young children was heard to say, "It's just not the same without an ice castle."  Debby Marsala would disagree, adding the castle is just one part of the festival, which still had numerous events and vendors on hand.  One was the Saturday Noon 'polar plunge,' which Marsala says was very successful.  The plunge is organized by Family Medical Health Services and benefits the Food Bank of Western New York.  The Winter Festival had its final events for the year on Sunday.     
 

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News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 17, 2016

Reed expects big crowds, and protestors, during Town Hall meetings Saturday in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he anticipates large crowds -- including protestors -- at his first Chautauqua County Town Hall meetings since the Trump Administration took office.  Reed supported Trump's campaign... and, was part of his transition team after the election.  Other Congressional town halls have drawn overflow crowds... and, brought heated debate.  Trump says he's not anticipating changing the format for the Town Hall's... and, how those attending Saturday's forums are allowed to speak.  Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says he hopes that's the case because the people need to be allowed to have their views heard.  Reed, a Republican for Corning, will be hosting two sessions in Chautauqua County... one will be in Ashville the other in Cherry Creek.  Green says he's also heared that there may be big crowds at both.  Reed says he has no problem with "robust debate" on some items... but, he also urges people to be respectful.  He says he wants to hear from the people -- regardless of where they're from.  The one in Ashville will be held at the North Harmony Senior Center... and, begins at 9:15 a.m.  The Cherry Creek town hall begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Pine Valley VFW Post.
 
 
Final joint budget hearing for state legislature underway in Albany...
Lawmakers have convened the last of 13 hearings on Governor Andrew Cuomo's $152-billion dollar state budget proposal.  Members of the Senate and Assembly have gathered this morning for a joint hearing on housing proposals that was postponed due to weather earlier this month.  Lawmakers are likely to recommend significant changes to Cuomo's suggested spending plan.  The final product will be hammered out in negotiations between the Democratic governor and top lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly.  Assemblyman Goodell says... once today's hearing is concluded... the Assembly and Senate will begin work on what are called "one-house" budget's over the next two weeks.  He says they'll then begin the reconsiliation process with the Governor.
 
 
City DRI Planning Committee selects projects to recommend to the state...
The committee tasked with making final recommendations on funding economic development and infrastructure projects in Jamestown through a $10-million state grant has completed it's task.  The Local Planning Committee for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative has pared an initialy list of 87 projects down to the final dozen.  A public session was held last night to release the final list... which totals just over $13.8-million dollars.  Committee Co-Chairman Mike Metzger with Blackstone Advanced Technolgies says they're "extremely pleased" with the final list they came up with.  Metzger says they all fit the three catagories the state stipulated... including providing an economic boost, infrastructure, and making the city more "walkable."  The panel's other Co-Chair... Mayor Sam Teresi... says the Empire State Development Corporation will decide on the final list... and, how much money will be laid out for each.  Metzger says their list is topped by the downtown Hilton Double-Tree Hotel project... which was selected for $3.4-million, and, also includes $1-million for the former Key Bank and Furniture Mart buildings.  He says the list will be packaged up by their state consultant... HR-and-A Associates of New York City for ESD.  He says a final determination should be made by the state within the next few months.
 
 
City 14 year-old steals mom's car, has accident and flees scene...
A 14 year-old city girl will be in family court after allegedly stealing her mother's car yesterday morning... and, crashing it into another car the Brooklyn Square area of Jamestown.  City police say they received a report that the unidentified teen was missing shortly before 10 a.m., and, then received a report of the mother's missing vehicle possibly being involved in a two-car accident.  Police went to the scene at the corner of Foote Avenue and Harrison Street... where they helped treat the 65 year-old woman driver of the other vehicle for minor injuries.  Police say the car driven illegally by the girl allegedly ran a red light... and, crashed into the other vehicle.  The 14 year-old drove off... but, was later found and arrested at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and East Third Street.  The girl and the mother's car were turned back over to the mother. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Lake Effect Snow began picking up about mid-evening last night... slicking up local roadways... and, dropping a few inches of snow on the hilltops.  Those areas -- including the Chautauqua Ridge... could end up seeing up-to a foot of snow by late this afternoon.  Forecaster Dave Thomas with the National Weather Service says they are continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties now through 4 PM today. Thomas-greater amounts over Chautauqua  "to 6 inch range...." Thomas says storm totals of 6 to 11 inches will be seen in the most persistent lake snows.  He adds that winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour at times will produce poor visibility at times.
 
 
Three people were seriously hurt in a two-vehicle accident in the Cattaraugus County town of Ashford late Wednesday morning.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on Route 219 just after 11:30 AM in snowy conditiions.  Deputies say a car, driven by 60 year-old Brian Grzybowski of Forestville, spun out of control and, was struck by a mini-van, operated by 46 year-old Luay alani of Amherst.  Officers say both operators were taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of trauma to the extremities.  In addition... Grzybowski's wife, 60 year-old Carolyn, was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC for treatment of head trauma.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicottville Police... and local fire and ambulance crews.  The accident is under investigation, and charges are pending.
 
 
The main financial committee in Congress has decided not to invoke a seldom-used law that would allow lawmakers to obtain... and, review President Donald Trump's tax returns.  Twenty-three of the 24 Republicans on the panel... including Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed... decided against using the 1924 law, which could be used to order the president to provide his tax returns.  Reed says he agrees with Chairman Kevin Brady that a review is not necessary... and, he says Trump has been "very clear" on the fact he wants to make them public. Brady says he felt that invoking the law would open the door for the committee to check anyone's tax returns.  Reed adds that he feels they have the ability with the House Oversight Committee to provide the necessary checks and balances on the executive branch.  USA Today reported this week that the law gives congressional committees that set tax policy the power to examine tax returns.  Trump says he can't provide his taxes yet because they are under audit.
 
 
Manufacturing in New York state expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years as factories received more new orders and stepped up hiring.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that its Empire State manufacturing index in February rose to 18.7 from 6.5, reaching the highest level since 2014.  Any reading above zero indicates expansion.  The survey adds to recent evidence that the U.S. manufacturing sector is recovering after nearly two years of mostly flat output.  Businesses are spending more on machinery and other big-ticket factory goods, and overseas economies have stabilized.  A measure of new orders jumped to 13.5 from 3.1 and a measure of unfilled orders rose for the first time since 2011.  Both gauges point to much stronger demand for factory goods.
 
 
Outgoing Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains was honored during his last public appearance during Tuesday night's school board meeting at Lincoln Elementary School.  Board President Paul Abbott unveiled a portrait of Mains at the end of the meeting... which will be placed on the wall  of the board room with other past Jamestown superintendents.  Mains is leaving to head up the Pine Bush School District in the Mid-Hudson Valley says he was touched by the gesture... and, adds that he feels the district is contiuing to progress as he leaves at the end of the month. Abbott commended Mains for having the "kid's best interests at heart" in everything he did.  Mains says his biggest takeaway came when he was asked to list the accomplishments during his 3-and-a-half years in Jamestown.  He says they filled about nine-pages of paper... but, adds that was much more about the students, and the school community, than himself.  He adds he's also confident the district will be in good hands with Interim Superintendent Silvia Root of Springville already in place while the district looks for a new superintendent.
 
 
There's good news for motorists in the Jamestown-area this week... as gasoline prices have fallen another penny a gallon this week.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... which says the price has fallen from 2-dollars-50 to just over 2--49 for regular, unleaded.  Triple A says nationally... the price edged up higher fractions of a penny over the weekend to reach today's average price of 2-dollars-28 cents a gallon.  This is seven cents less per gallon on the month and an increase of 58 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.  Gasoline prices have remained relatively steady the past month due to a well-supplied crude oil market. 
 
 
A Fredonia man is facing several charges after he allegedly threatened the residents of a housing complex on West Main Street around noon on Tuesday.  Fredonia Village Police say that officers responded to the incident at 379 West Main and located the two victims involved.  An investigation resulted in the arrest of 19 year-old Christopher Miller, a resident of the complex.  Police obtained a search warrant and located a loaded hand gun, two shot guns, a large quantity of powder cocaine and marijuana, and a large quantity of money from Miller's apartment.  Christopher Miller was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, second-degree menacing... third-degree criminal mischief... and, harassment.  Miller was arraigned in Fredonia Village Court... and sent to the County Jail on 20-thousnad dollars cash bail.  A Fredonia Police officer was treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital for injuries suffered while apprehending Miller. 
 
 
Mayville village officials are warning residents about a three phone scam calls regarding electric bills that are allegedly past due... and, the caller is demanding payment over the phone.  Village Clerk John Crandall says this is a scam... and, is not associated with the Village of Mayville Electric Department.  Crandall says the village does not accept any payments over the phone.  If any village Electric Department user receives a call regarding such a payment over the phone... he says you are asked to contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office... and, feel free to call the Village Clerk’s Office at 753-212
 
 
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a loaded pistol during a traffic stop on the city's eastside this (Monday) afternoon.  Jamestown police say officers pulled over a vehicle on Allen Street -- near Buffalo Street -- about 1:30 PM for a traffic infraction.  However... officers say they found the .25-calibur pistol in the possession of 25 year-old Randy Haskins... who was an occupant of the car.  They say he was arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Anyone who may have information on any crime can contact Jamestown police anonymously via the Tips 411 App or they can leave an anonymous tip at 483-Tips.  That's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
 
 
Several projects are under consideration for being in the final plan for using nearly 10-million dollars in state funding to boost downtown Jamestown.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the final, official meeting of the Local Planning Committee will be held this Thursday to list it's recommendations for the city's share from the Downtown Revitaliation Initiative.  Teresi says the process began shortly after the city was named as one of 10 DRI Communities by Governor Andrew Cuomo... and, he says three in particular come to mind.  One is the former Key Bank building... the Hilton-Double-Tree project... redevelopment of the former Furniture Mart Building... and, a potential restaruant micro-brewery in the former Grant's Department Store buidling. Teresi says the 9.7-million dollars is what's left after paying the special consultant for the project... AR-and-A Associates of New York City.  He says the committee will look at between 9 and 13-million dollars worth of projects to recommend to Empire State Development Corporation.  Thursday's meeting begins at 1 PM at the Wright Conference Room of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.
 
 
The Jamestown City Council will vote in two weeks on proposed increases in fees for city sports and recreation fields... and, some new ones.  That after the Finance Committee reviewed the proposed fee schedule at last night's meeting.  However... Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they will not be voting -- at this point -- on new fees for the Babe Ruth League... and, the Babe Ruth World Series.  Finance Committee member Kim Ecklund... who is also the president of the Babe Ruth Committee... says the issue is due to those organization's rules. And... Ecklund says that would be a substantial amount of money that the local committee would have to raise to be able to host the event locally.  Dolce says... otherwise... the new fee schedule is ready to go.  He adds those fees are exactly what Mayor Sam Teresi proposed in his 2017 budget.  City lawmakers voted on a handful of new fees earlier in the year... while the Finance Committee discussed the fees for sports fields and parks.  The measure will be voted on a council's February 27th meeting.
 
 
 
The biggest economic development story in Chautauqua County last year remains one of the top ones as 2017 begins... and, there is some news regarding the Athenex project in the Dunkirk area.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says there is some very good progress to report on the pharmacutical companies more into the north county.  Horrigan says the company is now seeking proposals for architectural and engineering work on the project.  He says he remains in constant touch with Athenex officials. In the meantime... Horrigan is preparing for his fourth State of the County address to the County Legislature at the panel's February 22nd meeting.  He says the message will focus on the goals set forth in the County's Comprehensive Plan-Chautauqua 20/20 issued six years ago about where they want the county to be by the year 2020.  In addition... Horrigan says he is pleased that President Virginia Horvath of the SUNY College at Fredonia has been named co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of an illegal drug... and, for choking a family member during a domestic incident Sunday afternoon on the city's southside.  City police were called to the scene shortly after 3PM... and, officers found 37 year-old Arthur Wright on the home's porch.  Police say Wright allegedly threw down an item on the floor to try and hide it.  Officers found it contained a small amount of Methamphetime.  Police recovered the container... and, found Wright had been involved in the domestic incident.  He was arraigned on charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degee harassment and strangulation... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
The Jackson Center in Jamestown celebrated Robert H. Jackson's 125th birthday Monday with the release of a revised history of his work while living here.  'Off the Pedestal: Jackson in Jamestown 1909 to 1934' was written by Helen Ebersole. The author was honored with a reception and a 'Greg Peterson interview' Monday night.  Helen Ebersole says studying the Jackson's life in Jamestown provides fresh perspective on the man who became a Supreme Court Justice, and Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Copies of 'Off the Pedestal' are available at the Jackson Center in downtown Jamestown.  
 
 
The local John Deere dealer in the Jamestown-area has merged with another in Central New York to form the largest John Deere turf and agricultural equipment dealer in the northeastern U-S.  Z-and-M Ag and Turf President and Chief Executive Officer Tracy Buck says they consumated the deal with Lakeland Equipment of Wayne County, New York at the beginning of the month.  Buck says they joined with Argonne Capital in a new partnership to create LandPro Equipment... which will be headquartered in Falconer. Buck and John Griffith bought Z-and-M back in 1994... and, expanded to six locations in the region.  He says Lakeland also has six locations... giving the new company an even dozen locations from Edinboro, Pennsylvania to Savannah, New York.  Buck says the merger allows them to better service and parts to the customers of both former companies.  Buck says Argonne Capital is an Atlanta-based private investment firm that often partners with, and helps grow "closely-held" family businesses.  He says Landpro also has an updated website now at Landpro-dot-COM.
 
 
Seidu Mohammed's lost all his fingers to frostbite when he made a perilous trek in sub-zero temperatures to cross the border illegally into Canada.  He is one of a small but growing number of immigrants risking the northern border crossing out of fear of being deported from the U.S.  America's neighbor to the north is increasingly being seen as a haven for asylum seekers turned away by the U.S.  And some are willing to risk a walk across the border in dangerous cold and snow to get there.  In Manitoba, on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota, authorities say the pace has quickened since Donald Trump became U.S. president and banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.
 
 
One of Jerry Sandusky's sons faces multiple charges of sexual offenses involving children, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested.  Court records filed Monday say 41-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky was charged with 14 counts, including criminal solicitation and corruption of minors.  The online court docket says Jeffrey Sandusky was arraigned Monday and bail was set at $200,000. He's currently in the Centre County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania.  Jeffrey Sandusky's lawyer declined to comment on the allegations.  The district attorney's office says it will release a statement Monday.  WTAJ-TV says state police accuse him of sending inappropriate texts to a victim and asking for naked photos.  Jerry Sandusky is serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

We're expecting a "very slick" morning commute today in the Jamestown-area... as Winter has returned following a brief warm-up last Saturday.  The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warming through 1 PM today for about 6 to 11 inches total for the most persistant lake snow areas of Chautauqua County.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the Weather Service's Buffalo office... who says the heaviest of the snow fell during a drop in temperatures late last night. Apfell says there are two concerns with this storm... the first being the snowfall totals... which will be the highest in the higher terrain and persistant lake snow areas.  He says the other concern is with the strong winds... which will cause blowing and drifting snow.  Sustained winds are predicted to be about 25 to 35 miles per hour.  With that... Apfell says visability will be cut to about a quarter-of-a-mile or less.  The complete forecast is coming up.
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection during a Gun-Involved Violence Eliminiation -- or GIVE Detail in the city late last week.  Jamestown Police assisted State Parole with the detail in conducting home visits of paroles to ensure they are complying with their programs.  Officers saw they checked on 43 year-old Anthony Ford at his home at 207 Spring Street... and, found him with a woman that he was mandated to stay away from.  City Police say they arrested Ford for Felony Aggravated Family Offense... and, second-degree criminal contempt.  He was also charged with a parole violation... and, arraigned in city court.  He was sent to the County Jail without bail.
 
 
It looks like the Dunkirk City School District may be looking at it's first proposed tax rate increase in several years... due mainly to two major hits to it's revenues.  That from Superintendent James Tracy... who says he was "disappointed" by the amount of state aid the district is projected to get from the intial school aid runs for Dunkirk's 42.4-million dollar spending plan. Dunkirk School Business Manager William Thiel presented a preliminary draft of the budget during the school board's meeting late last week.  He says he's concerned about the loss of funding under the NRG Payment-in-lieu of tax agreement... and, says a tax rate increase may be needed.  Thiel says that gap is about 1.3-million dollars.  The proposed budget has a tax levy increase of 4.33 percent.
 
 
State and federal inspectors found four critical defects and 42 non-critical ones in the latest round of oil train and track inspections across New York state.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says the targeted inspections of tank cars and tracks are critical to maintaining public safety.  Inspection teams examined 104 crude oil tank cars, 184 miles of track and 89 switches.  The inspections focused on track, track hardware and tank car mechanical safety equipment.  Critical defects involve important maintenance issues that must be addressed immediately, but do not necessarily indicate safety lapses.  Non-critical rail defects must be repaired within 30 days.  Since the Democratic governor initiated the inspection campaign in February 2014, the Department of Transportation and federal partners have inspected 11,231 crude oil tank cars and 5,508 miles of track.
 
 
There's a new place to get into shape in the Jamestown-area... and, it's in downtown Lakewood.  The Fitness Bunker held it's grand opening last Saturday at the former Lakewood-Busti Recreation Center on West Summit Avenue.  The operation is run by Laurie Shults and "Tori" Rachuna... and, is another place where people can go "24/7" during the week.  Shults says they had already been up and running for two-weeks... and, adds they've been well-received. Rachuna says he and Shults initially looked at starting up a place in Raleigh, North Carolina where her mother now lives.  However... he says he got involved with a fitness place in Erie, Pennsylvania before he and Shults decided to open The Fitness Bunker here.  Rachuna says they are signing people up for one-year commitments... for basically two reasons.  One is they want the person to be committed to coming to the gym, but, adds they in turn are committed to you the member.  The Fitness Bunker is staffed from 9 AM to 7 PM Mondays through Thursdays... and, 9 to 6 on Fridays.  For more information... go to their Facebook page.
 
 
Lawmakers in the village of Fredonia are looking at possible increases in water rates... whether they decide to join the North County Water District, or go it alone.  Thathat from an engineering study outlined by Mayor Athanasia Landis during a special meeting of the Village Board late last week.  The report cites a huge increase in the water rates should the Village join the district.  It says rates would jump by nearly 8-dollars per thousand gallons of water.  If the village continues to provide water service, the study indicates an increase of nearly one-dollar per thousand.  A decision from the village board could be coming soon.  Dr. Landis says the study gives trustees some numbers to work with. Kathy Tampio of the North County Water District attended the meeting.  She said the district's board was getting a chance to see the report late last week.  Dr. Landis says trustees could take up the matter as early as tonight.
 
 
State conservation officials say bear hunters in New York state killed one-thousand-539 black bears during the 2016 hunting seasons.  The Department of Environmental Conservation reports that hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone.  That's about 10 percent less than in 2015, but slightly more than the five-year average.  In the Northern Zone... 514 bears were killed, approximately 12 percent fewer than in 2015 but on par with the historical average.  The heaviest dressed-weight bear reported to DEC in 2016 was 555 pounds, taken in the Franklin County town of Brandon.
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week is expected to decide whether the state should block New York City's impending fee on non-reusable shopping bags.  The Democrat has until February 18th to act on legislation that would postpone the fee until at least next year. But he's likely to act sooner, because the fee is scheduled to go into effect Wednesday.  City leaders approved the fee, of a nickel or more, on plastic and paper shopping bags as a way to reduce litter.  But state lawmakers voted to overrule the city, saying the fee would be a burden on the poor and middle class.  Meanwhile... the Legislature will take its deepest dive yet into Cuomo's $152-billion dollar state budget proposal, holding a series of hearings on education spending, transportation and environmental protection.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sun., Feb. 12, 2017

JPD Captain talks about jump in Counterfeit $20 and $100 bills in the city...
Jamestown police are warning local residents of possible $20 and $100 counterfeit bills.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they have received several reports of both in recent days.  Samuelson says counterfeits are often an issue... but, adds these have been more prevailant.  He says one issue is with $100 bills that have "motion picture use" only... which have been around for a while... but, have cropped up a few times locally.  Sameulson says the other problem started with a $100 bill taken by a restaraunt that had chinese markings on it.  He says the concern is when people use them to defraud people intentionally... and, adds they want to get them "out of circulation as much as we can."  Media One News is aware of at least one case of several phony 20s showing up at a south side business within the past couple of weeks.  Samuelson says police are asking local business to look closely at the $20 and $100 bills you take in... and, to use a dri-mark pen to verify that it's a real $20 or $100.  He says if you find you have one... turn it into a local law enforcement agency.... or call the JPD anonymous Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also contact the JPD on their 4-1-1 app.  
 
 
Two Jamestown men, repeat offenders, sentenced on drug and other charges...
A Jamestown man convicted on drug and domestic violence-related charges could spend as much as six-years in state prision after being sentenced on three different charges.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 39 year-old Cesar Soto received the sentences in County Court this week.  Swanson says Soto received 6 years determinate for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He says Soto also received 2 to 4 years indeterminiate each for first-degree reckless endangerment... and, second-degree attempted strangulation.  Swanson says all sentences run concurrently.  He adds that another Jamestown man... 31 year-old Rocco Beardsley... was also sentenced.  Swanson says Beardsley received 4-years determinate... plus 2 years post-release supervision after being convicted of second-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He also received two-years determinate and, two-years of post-release supervision for third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.  He also received 5 years and two-years post-release supervision for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Again... Swanson says all sentences run concurrently.
 
 
City man pleds guilty in federal court to Child Porn charges...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing child pornography in U-S District Court in Buffalo.  Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late Thursday that 45 year-old Christopher Whitford entered the plea before Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  Kennedy says the charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Baumgarten, who is prosecuting the case... says Whitford shared the content with an undercover law enforcement officer last May 1 through a file sharing program.  Baumgartern adds that federal agents then raided Whitford's home on West 13th Street... and, they seized several pieces of electronic media... and, forensic analysis revealed images and videos constituting child pornography were stored on those items.  Baumgarten says the images and videos that the defendant previously shared with the undercover officer were among those images.  She says Whitford had about 2-thousand-400 images... and, one-thousand-188 videos constituting child pornography.  He's to be sentenced June 13.
 
 
State Graduation Rate up to just over 79...
New York state's high school graduation rate continued its slow climb in 2016... when 79.4 percent of students earned a diploma after four years.  The graduation rate released Friday by the state Department of Education is 1.3 percent higher than the 78.1 percent for the class of 2015.  State officials say black and Hispanic students and students in the bigger cities were among those making gains.  New York City's rate was just under 70 percent, up 2.4 percent from the previous year.  Syracuse posted a 6.4-percent increase, to 61 percent, while the other so-called Big Five school districts of Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers had graduation rates of 61.7 percent, 47.5 percent and 77.5 percent, respectively.  New York state has 2.6 million students in public schools.  State data shows that more than half are considered economically disadvantaged.
 
 
Jamestown's sales tax revenue falls short of projections...
A slight drop in sales tax revenue for the fourth-quarter of 2016 has led Jamestown city leaders to closely watch 2017 revenues as they plug a gap in spending.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says they had a decent quarter... but, it was not as good as in 2015, when the city exceeded sale tax revenues.  For the year, he says they wound up 1.5-percent short of projections.  Teresi says the problem is volatility in those projections.  He says he and his finance team are very careful when they forecast sales tax revenues because of that volatility.  He says they aren't changing projected figures of just under $6-million for 2017... but, will keep a close eye on the situation.  Teresi says they've been fairly successful in recent years in finishing within an "acceptable" variance of where they projected they would be.  He made his comments for this weekend's Community Spotlight program on the five Media One Group stations.  City Comptroller Joe Bellitto reported on the final sales tax figures at this past week's City Council work session.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Much of the northeastern U.S. is preparing for a winter storm that could bring a foot of snow or more to some areas.  The storm is expected to hit eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey with rain early THIS morning, before changing over to snow in time for the morning commute.  The National Weather Service predicted Boston and New York City would get 8 to 12 inches of snow and Philadelphia 6 to 8 inches.  Near whiteout conditions are possible, with snow expected to fall at a clip of 2 to 4 inches per hour at the height of the storm.  High winds, coastal flooding and power outages are also possible.  Many communities across the region announced winter parking restrictions and school closures in advance of the storm.
 
 
Western New York and Chautauqua County will escape the wrath of this Nor-easter that's moving in from the south and west to the east coast.  However... we may see some "wrap-around" lake effect snow once it starts moving out of the New York City Metro-area.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we first saw some light snow last night... and, snow showers picking up during the overnight hours. However... Reynolds says we may see some of that wrap-around lake effect once the storm system begins moving away from the coast... later today and tonight.  He says, away from Lake Erie, we'll see some accumulation.  Reynolds says here are no watches or warnings at this time.  There will also be snow during the day today... with much colder temperatures than we saw Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Here in the immediate Jamstown area.... we'll reach about 20 for a high today.  The strongest lake effect is expected later this afternoon and tonight with 2 to 3 inches in the persistant Lake Snow areas.
 
 
New York state lawmakers took a hard look yesterday at spending on human services in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 152-billion dollar budget plan.  That was the major topic of the latest budget hearing... held at the state Capitol in Albany.  It's all part of the Legislature's ongoing review of Cuomo's 2017-18 spending proposal.  Lawmakers say they are likely to recommend significant changes to the governor's suggested spending plan.  The final product will be hammered out in negotiations between the governor and top lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly.  The Legislature hopes to approve a spending plan before April 1st... the start of the next fiscal year.
 
 
The state legislature is looking at a "very significant" increase as the starting point for public school aid in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2017-18 budget proposal.  That from Executive Director Tim Kreamer of the New York State School Boards Association on the one-billion dollar increase lawmakers are now considering during deliberations on the 152-billion dollar spending plan.  Kreamer says the 25.6-billion dollar aid request is "step one" in the budget process. There has been some concern voiced over the policy that's been written into parts of the governor's proposal.  However... Kreamer says the school board's association is pleased with what's in the school aid part of the spending plan... especially with how it deals with measuring poverty, and deals with funding Pre-K.  However... he says there are a couple of concerns... namely over the fact that basic "foundation" aid disappears in 2018-19.  Kreamer says the school board's association will continue to voice it's position during the budget process... which is now underway in Albany. 
 
Organizers of New York's first-ever Hepatitis C summit are calling on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to wipe out Hepatitis C in the state.  Public health officials, elected leaders, medical experts and patient advocates released a statement at the Tuesday summit in Albany calling for an official task force to fight the chronic disease that afflicts more than 200,000 people in the state.  The statement says New York's medical and research resources provide a solid foundation to enhance prevention, expand screening and provide access to affordable treatment.
 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested for allegedly selling quantities of cocaine to undercover drug agents in the north county city.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 30 year-old Jeremy Echevarria of Washington Street late yesterday (Tuesday) on an arrest warrant for one count each of third-degree criminal possession... and, sale of a controlled substance.   Task Force agents say they took Echevarria into custody at the intersection of Fourth and Swan Streets in Dunkirk without incident.  He was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further court action.  Task Force members continue to ask members of the community to call when they observe suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhood.
 
 
As one fund-raiser ends... another begins for the Chautauqua County Humane Society near Jamestown.  The local organization has just wrapped-up it's "Hot Dog - Cool Cat's" Pet Photo Contest... and, this week kicks-off it's biggest fund-raiser... "Pennies 4 Paws."  Humane Society Spokeswoman Hannah (Hahn-uh) Braun says they're excited about this year's "Pennies" program because of last year's success.Braun says she and others at the pet shelter will be distributing canisters across the Jamestown-area for "Pennies 4 Paws..." which begins February 12th... and, runs until the end of April.  As for the "Hot Dog - Cool Cat's" photo contest... she says they recently named Deanna Cordosi's pet "Joella" this year's winner.  Braun says this year... they expanded the number of places they awarded -- from 12 to 23.  She says they also have the playing cards for sale... plus additional sets.  However... she says you need to contact her at the Humane Society at 664-2209... extension 213. 
 

WJTN News Headlines

An Amish teenager from Cattaraugus County was killed early last weekend when he was trampled to death by a horse-drawn cart he was using to haul a wood log in Conewango.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley have now identified the boy as 14 year-old Neil Raber of Northeast Road.  Deputies say Raber was using the cart to pull the log down a hill in a wooded area just before 9 AM last Friday when the cart hit something... and, he was thrown to the ground.  Officers were called to the scene... along with Conewango and Ellington Fire crews... State Forest Rangers... and, Randolph EMS.  Police say they were unable to revive the boy... who was pronounced dead at the scene by Cattaraugus County Coroner Howie Van Rensselaer.
 
 
A Salamanca man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine in the area of the Cattaraugus County city.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 22 year-old Randy Redeye of Washington Street early last weekend on one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and, one count of third-degree criminal sale.  Task Force members say the arrest came following a lengthy investigation by the task force... along with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office... State Police and Salamanca City Police.  Redeye was arraigned... and, sent to the Little Valley jail on 25-hundred dollars cash bail.
 
 
A few hundred county leaders from across New York state talked about a wide-range of issues... including ways to better consolidate and merge services... during the state Association of Counties recent legislative conference in Albany.  That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who was joined for the NYSAC Conference by Public Facilities Director George Spanos... county Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... and, new Finance Director Kitty Crow.  Horrigan feels it was a very successful trip. That's the New York state budget... which Governor Andrew Cuomo presented in late January.  The state legislature is now reviewing the package in committee.  Horrigan says the governor himself also addressed NYSAC during a reception... where Cuomo led an open and candid discussion on what's going on with all counties.  He adds that he got a chance to speak with Cuomo for a few minutes afterwards.  Horrigan says there was some dissent over Cuomo's proposal to have counties put up propositions this Fall on sharing, and consolidating services.  He says people aren't going to buy into plans that are rushed... and, haven't had a full, public vetting.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
 
 
This week in New York state government news, Democrats will unveil plans to modernize the state's voting system and lawmakers turn their attention to state income taxes.  Poll problems prompted an unprecedented number of complaints during last year's presidential primary.  Lawmakers, as well as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Governor Andrew Cuomo have all proposed ways to fix antiquated voting rules, including early voting and automatic voter registration.  Lawmakers will also take a close look at taxes during a hearing on the state budget.  Democrats, led by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, are calling for higher taxes on the state's richest people, a move opposed by Republicans.  Meanwhile, Rivers Casino & Resort opens Tuesday in Schenectady, the third of four casinos approved for upstate.
 
 
Jamestown Schools Superintendent Tim Mains says he's "very, very pleased" to see the district removed from the state Comptroller's list of district's under Fiscal Stress.  The city district was notififed recently by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that it was off the list for the past year after being on it for calendar years 2014 and 2015.  Mains says the district's stress rate was around 55-percent at one point... but, was down to 10 for 2016.  Once the district appeared on the list... he says two things took place to improve their fiscal condition -- one being a boost in state aid. Mains adds there was a few more positions cut once he became superindent in the following year.  He says they also cut programs, closed Rogers Elementary School... and, drained their reserves.  However... he says recent boosts in state aid the past couple of years have also provided a major boost.  Mains adds that districts like Jamestown are most affected when state aid is decreased.  Seventy-eight percent of Jamestown revenues come from state aid.
 
 
An influx of thousands of refugees from around the world over the past few decades is credited with injecting new energy into one city in upstate New York.  But now... Utica is beset with new anxiety in the age of Trump.  The president's order restricting refugees and travel from Muslim countries has immigrants in Utica saying they feel uncertain about their place here.  Some also worry they will not be able to bring over family members fleeing war zones and refugee camps.  The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica settles about 400 refugees a year, including Somalis, Bosnians, Syrians and people from Myanmar.  Mayor Robert Palmieri calls the refugees the "next evolution" for a city built generations ago by immigrants from Italy, Germany and Poland.
 
 
New York state is setting aside nearly 20-million dollars to assist local health care providers looking to expand or upgrade their facilities.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move Thursday. The new Community Health Care Revolving Fund is intended to help community health organizations that might not be able to expand otherwise.  The money will be awarded in the form of low-cost loans.  It will pay to assist organizations like local mental health treatment centers or community clinics on projects to construct, expand or renovate facilities.  The Democratic governor says the funding will help ensure that every New Yorker has access to quality health care.
 
 
Vice President Mike Pence is pledging that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be seated on the high court "one way or the other."  Pence's comments came during a speech in Philadelphia to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.  They echoed President Donald Trump's comments from earlier in the week.  Trump urged the Senate's Republican leader to scrap longstanding rules and "go nuclear" if Democrats block Gorsuch.  Trump on Tuesday nominated the 49-year-old Gorsuch - a Denver-based U.S. appellate court judge - to a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court.  Pence says the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia's death belongs to the American people.
 
 
 

News Headlines for Sun., Feb. 5, 2017

Cattaraugus County Amish boy killed in logging accident...
A 14 year-old Amish boy from Cattaraugus County was killed early last weekend when he was trampled to death by a horse-drawn cart he was using to haul a wood log in Conewango.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley have now identified the boy as Neil Raber of Northeast Road.  Deputies say Raber was using the cart to pull the log down a hill in a wooded area just before 9 a.m. last Friday when the cart hit something... and, he was thrown to the ground.  Officers were called to the scene... along with Conewango and Ellington Fire crews... State Forest Rangers... and, Randolph EMS.  Police say they were unable to revive the boy... who was pronounced dead at the scene by Cattaraugus County Coroner Howie Van Rensselaer.
 
 
Two arrested in Jamestown drug bust...
Two people from Jamestown were arrested for allegedly trafficking cocaine and other drugs out of an apartment on the city's eastside... where police also found a small child.  Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force agents say they raided the lower apartment at 945 East Second St. about 8:45 a.m. Friday.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they were joined by the state Police C-NET, and K-9 Teams.  Samuelson says they found significant amounts of cash, and an illegal narcotic drug.  The cash totalled just over $9,000, and there was 28 grams of cocaine found... in addition to illegal fireworks.... and, two dogs -- one severely malnourished an chained to a pipe in the basement.  Samuelson says the task force arrested 30 year-old Eric Reese and 28 year-old Nichole Farrar inside the apartment.  He says the 3 year-old child was not the only one found inside the home.  Samuelson says Child Protective Services was contacted.  He says both Reese and Farrar are charged with third-degree criminial possession of a controlled substance.... cruelty to animals... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in city is asked to contact the JPD Tips 411 app... or call the anonymous Tips line at 483-TIPS...that's 483-8477.
 
 
Horrigan and Borrello pleased with Cherry Creek voters taking first step towards dissolution...
The results are still unofficial, but it appears voters in the village of Cherry Creek have approved a proposition to dissolve the village.  According to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections, a total of 102 voters took part... with 70 voting in favor of dissolution and 32 against.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's pleased with the result of the vote as the county looks for more opportunities to save money and be more efficient.  County Legislator George Borrello, who chairs the County's Regional Solutions Commission, participated in a public hearing on dissolving the village.  He believes voters made the right decision.  There are still a handful of absentee and affidavit ballots that must be counted.  The County Board of Elections expects to certify the results of the vote next Thursday.
 
 
Broome County officials announce new shared services, and consolidation panel...
One county in New York's Southern Tier isn't waiting on officials in Albany to act on Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to shrink the size of local governments.  Broome County Executive Jason Garnar today (on Friday) announced the creation of a new panel that will look for ways that local governments can share services or equipment to cut costs and ultimately property taxes.  Cuomo has proposed requiring each county in the state to do something similar.  He says voters should decide if county officials fail to act on their cost-cutting proposals.  Cuomo says he commends Garnar's decision to look for ways to find efficiencies and "restore confidence in government."  As mentioned before... Chautauqua County has had a Regional Solutions panel working the past year or so.
 
 
Pomfret fires heavily damage homes north of Lily Dale...
Several fire departments responded to a blaze that involved two houses at Glasgow-on-the-Lake off of Glasgow Road in the town of Pomfret.  Fredonia Firefighters were called out to the blaze around 5:30 a.m. last Friday... and, crews found two houses involved.  Heat damage was reported to two other buildings.  Fredonia fire crews got mutual aid for tankers and manpower from Cassadaga, Stockton, East Dunkirk, West Dunkirk, Sheridan and Sinclairville Fire Departments.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene and is trying to determine a cause.
 
 
Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner sold out...
The dinner to celebrate the newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame is now officially a sell-out.  That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson... who says all of their ticket outlets are out of tickets for the event... which begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  Leading up to the sell-out... Anderson says tickets were selling quite briskly at all of their locations.  Anderson says they'll be inducting 11 new members on February 20th.  He says the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame was recently part of the "Doors Open Jamestown" open house recently... and, adds they had their largest number of visitors during the event.  The inductees this year include long-time Gerry Rodeo Spokesman and sports official Paul Cooley... former High School and college football stand-out Sam Restivo... and, legendary stock car racer Sammy LaMancuso.  For more information on the Hall of Fame... go on-line to www.chautauquasportshalloffame.org.
 

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New York's Attorney General believes that millions of state residents have been getting cheated by Spectrum-Time Warner Cable for far too long and he is seeking legal action to bring internet subscribers relief.  A-G Eric Schneiderman today announced a lawsuit against Charter Communications... and, its subsidiary Spectrum Management Holdings for allegedly conducting a deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead New Yorkers by promising internet service that they knew they could not deliver. The suit alleges that subscribers’ wired internet speeds for the premium plan were up to 70 percent slower than promised; WiFi speeds were even slower, with some subscribers getting speeds that were more than 80 percent slower than what they had paid for.  Spectrum-Time Warner Cable currently has approximately 2.5 million subscribers across New York State. In a statement yesterday afternoon... Charter says it is "disappointed" that Schneiderman is suing the company over promises made by Time Warner before the acquisition. It says it's making "substantial" investments to upgrade the system.
 
 
A former mayor of the north county city of Dunkirk has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for pocketing over 54-thousand dollars in campaign contributions.  Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says that 85-year-old Richard Frey pleaded guilty today (Wednesday) in U-S District Court in Buffalo.  He was Dunkirk mayor from January 2002 to January 2012.  Authorities say he solicited large contributions from businesses and business people between January 2003 and June 2012, then used the money for himself.  The prosecutor says Frey had "substantial personal debt."  Kennedy says Frey could get up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced on May 11th.
 
 
Three people were hurt -- and two were hospitalized -- in a three-vehicle crash on Route 353 in the Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to the scene -- about a quarter of a mile south of New Albion Road -- just after 3 PM.  Deputies say a car driven by 36 year-old Ashley Mazurzyk of Little Valley... was southbound when the car crossed the center line and struck an oncoming pick-up truck -- driven by 59 year-old Robert Willett of Cattaraugus.  Officers say Mazurzyk's car continued on... and, struck another vehicle... driven by 61 year-old John Woodward, Senior of Franklinville.  Officers say Woodward and Mazurzyk were taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment... while Willett was treated at the scene.  Route 353 was closed for about 2-hours while the scene was cleared.  The accident remains under investigation.
 
 
A Chautauqua resident who has attended the past seven Presidential Inaugurations says this year's was "somewhat of a let-down."  Don Artico confirmed that the crowd size for President Donald Trump was "50 to 60 percent" of the people that were at the last one for Barack Obama.  Artico adds there was also a different kind of person there.  Most were respectful...but, he says others showed a general lack of respect for those who were there to watch.  Artico says some have noted that there were "paid" protesters there... but, he says most did not not appear to be. Artico says he and his wife will stay with friends or relatives when they go to the inauguration... and, they'll help get them where they need to be.  However... he says they've never had a problem getting tickets.  This year...he says you really didn't need one.  Artico says they tried to take a short-cut to get to their seats this year... but, could not because protesters blocked that gate.  He has given eyewitness accounts of previous inuaugurations for us... including the previous two with former President Obama.  His first inauguration was the first for two-term President Bill Clinton. 
 
 
Lawmakers from both parties are criticizing Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development efforts, pointing to lackluster results as evidence that New York isn't doing enough to spur job creation.  Members of the Assembly and Senate on Wednesday grilled Cuomo economic development chief Howard Zemsky during a state budget hearing.  Many questions focused on Start-Up NY, a high-profile program that waives taxes for participating businesses.  Cuomo touted Start-Up as a potential "game changer" but a report issued last year showed it has only generated 408 new jobs in two years.  Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin called Start-Up an "epic failure."  The Democratic governor is proposing a new name and new rules to improve the program.  Zemsky defended Start-Up and other economic initiatives, saying they've helped reduce unemployment and improve the state's business reputation.
 
 
The Jamestown-area's newest veterinary hospital and care facility has opened up on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.  The ribbon was cut this (Wednesday) morning on the new Lakeside Veterinary Medicine at 976 Fairmount Avenue.  It's co-owned by Dr. Patrick Farrell, and Brooke Harkness... who also operate Russell Veterinary Hospital in Russell, Pennsylvania.  Farrell says they saw the need for an expansion of their services into Chautauqua County... and, the former Yeti Vape location was ideal.  He says they provide services for both small and larger animals. Several local officials were on hand for the opening... including state Assemblyman Andy Goodell... and, a representative from State Senator Cathy Young... Lisa VanStrom - who is also an Ellicott resident.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin was also on hand.  For more information on Lakeside Veterinary Medicine... call 708-1010.  Their hours are 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays... they are 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM on Wednesdays... and, 7:30 to 11:30 AM on Thursdays.  For information on weekend hours... go to their website at lakesidevetmed-dot-COM.
 
 
Cornell University officials say the Ivy League school will use a household products company's 150-million dollar gift to bolster the college's business schools.  H. Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of Racine, Wisconsin-based S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., joined Cornell officials in Ithaca on Tuesday night to outline the plans for the donation, the largest made to the university's upstate campus.  Johnson announced on Saturday that he and his manufacturing company were making the gift to the newly named Cornell S.C. Johnson College of Business.  Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and holds three master's degrees from the university.  Cornell's Board of Trustees voted Saturday in Manhattan to rename the university's business college in honor of the Johnson family.  The 131-year-old, $10 billion company makes such brands as Pledge, Raid, and Windex.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Jamestown Community College is offering help and support to students who either plan travel soon... or are international students who were planning to travel in the coming weeks following President Trump's temporary ban on immigrants from seven Majority Muslim countries in the Middle East.  JCC's Executive Director of Academic Innovation, Nelson Garifi, also oversees the college's Global Learning program.  Garifi says they have 20 foreign students at the college... but, adds none of them are from the seven countries listed in the president's order. As a general statement... SUNY officials on Monday advised students and faculty to put off making trips to any of those seven Muslim-majority nations included in the president's travel ban.  Garifi says his office has already been talking with students who have general anxiety about the situation.  He says they are regularily getting information updates on what's happening.  He says they monitor updates from the U-S State Department at least three times a day... and, get a lot of guidance from SUNY.  Last Sunday... SUNY's top officials recommended the suspension of travel plans to the countries included in Trump's executive order blocking immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
 
 
There's a lot of talk about President Trump's executive order restricting immigration... and, officials at the State University of New York College at Fredonia say they have a "solid" international student population on campus.  Officials add they are offering support should they need it.  Jeff Woodard, Director of Marketing and Communications, says the Office of International Education offers support to international students. Woodard says the situation is "fluid" and it's not known how many students have been impacted by the presidential order.  He says the campus will working to develop opportunities for dialogue on the issue... everything from talking with their international students... to celebrating diversity on their campus.  SUNY officials say the university system currently has 320 enrolled students who come from the counties included in the executive order. 
 
 
Washington is the first state to sue the Trump administration, but it likely will not be standing alone for long.  Democratic state attorneys general have been forming a coordinated wall of legal resistance over immigration, environmental protections, health care and other major issues since Donald Trump was elected.  Washington state sued over the president's executive order restricting refugees and immigration.  By suing, they will be following the same path as Republican attorneys general, who repeatedly sued the administration of former President Barack Obama.  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his colleagues and other lawyers are being moved to action because they believe Trump "does not have respect for the rule of law."
 
 
 
City lawmakers have approved legislation asking the state to let Jamestown start-up an 11-year tax abatement program to redevelop vacant or condemned homes.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy earlier this month outlined the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive Redevelopment of Vacant and Condemned Properties program... which would be for single and two-family residential properties.  Acting City Council President Tony Dolce says the main goal of the program is to rehabilitate delapitated and vacant properties to eventually get them back on the tax roles. For the first three years... City Council members say the property owner would pay no city taxes.  It would then go to 20-percent the next two years before the property goes fully on the tax rolls in the 12th year.  Dolce says the measure would also allow homebuilders the chance to put up what are called Tiny homes..." which can be as small as 700 to 800 square feet.  He says they may be ideal for some of the lots that are too small for a full sized home.  Dolce says the legislation has been given to state lawmakers for approval.
 
 
It's been an eight to nine-year process that's brought three northern Chautauqua County towns to be involved in major wind turbine projects... two of which have now been approved.  That from Villenova Town Supervisor Rich Ardillo... who has only been on the town board a short time... but, says the project will greatly benefit the municipality.  Ardillo declined to speak on tape... but, says there were several public meetings... including two public hearings... on the multi-million dollar project.  He was responding to comments from two town residents... one town board member Angelo Graziano... who spoke against the project at a recent Chautauqua County Legislature meeting.  In his estimation... Ardillo says an "overwhelming majority" of the residents he spoke with -- at least two-thirds -- favored the project.  He says the board's final vote on the project was 3-to-1... with Graziano voting no... and, one other board member abstaining because they were to directly benefit financially from the project.  Ardillo says some 90 residents will be getting some kind of "direct payments" from the project.  He says that will be the equivalent of 15 new, full-time jobs in the town. 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal does not include any new taxes... and, only one new fee.  Howeever... it does include fee increases that New York motorists will pay.  That from Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore, who says the Governor's proposed budget boosts the fees for new vehicle titles... which will go from 50-dollars to 75-dollars.  Barmore says he's also proposing the fee for a duplicate title go from 20 to 40-dollars. Barmore says he has voiced his concerns over the proposals to State Senator Cathy Young... and, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell.  He also urges local residents to let their representatives know how they feel about the proposed fee increases.
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down nearly half-a-penny this week... remaining fairly stable over the past week.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says this week's average price is just under 2-dollars-56 cents a gallon.  Triple-A says the price is down from an even 2--56 last week to 2-dollars-55.7 cents this week.  Last year at this time... the price was about 2--10 a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports that continual growth in the number of U.S. oil rigs... and, the increased drilling it implies are raising expectations for a climb in domestic oil production.  Additionally, increased U.S. crude oil production coupled with lower driving demand has kept downward pressure on the national average price at the pump, which has fallen for 21 consecutive days.  Today's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is 2-dollars-27 cents per gallon.  That's down about 4-cents versus one week ago.
 
 
Three northwestern Pennsylvania residents have now been arrested on Felony charges for allegedly stealing several firearms from a home in Warren County's Brokenstraw Township.  State Police in Warren say troopers in Corry arrested a third person... 27 year-old James Livingston-the-Third... at a location in Corry late Monday.  Police say Livingston is charged with Felony theft,and conspiracy to commit theft.  Troopers say Dakota Weilacher and katrina Livingston... both 24... had already been arrested for the thefts... which allegedly took place between May of 2015 and October of last year.  Police say James Livingston was arraigned Tuesday, and released on 75-thousand dollars bail, pending a future court appearance.
 
 
 

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2016 was one of "the most significant years of accomplishment" Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has seen in his 17 years as the city's top-elected official.  That was Teresi's very brief address to the City Council last night as he delivered his State of the City Message to lawmakers.  Teresi again opted not to give a major speech to high-light the past year's accomplishments... and, look ahead to the new year.  However... the mayor later told members of the media that 2016 was a "tremendous year in many areas...." The Restore-New York grant will be used to help get the former Key Bank building at East Second and Main Streets back in use.  The buyer is looking at locating some commercial ventures, and residental units inside the three-story building.  Teresi says 2016 was also a year of "challenges..." especially in enlisting state help to plug a budget shortfall this year.  In addition to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative... Teresi says he's looking forward to moving ahead on the city's one-million dollar, Empire State Poverty Reduction program.  Teresi publicly thanked the city's 450 employees... and, namely his department heads... for their efforts over the past year.
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Donald Trump's executive order to halt the Syrian refugee program... and, temporarily suspend immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.  Over the past weekend... Trump said the order is to "protect U.S. citizens and the border" and insisted it's "not a Muslim ban.''  Congressman Reed says the order is necessary to make sure the safey of American citizens is "first and foremost...."  Reed says this threat is "real... and, we have to be correct 100-percent of the time."  However... the Corning Republican declined to get into reasons why some majority-Muslim nations... such as Saudi Arabia... were left off the list.  Most of the "9/11" attackers were from the Middle Eastern country.  Reed says the order will not restrict those with Green Cards from traveling to the United States.
 
 
Democrats in the New York state Senate say the state should prohibit officials at New York City airports from cooperating with federal authorities enforcing President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The legislative proposal announced Monday would bar the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from providing any support, office space or even air conditioning to federal officials enforcing the new rules at Kennedy Airport and other Port Authority facilities.  Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says the entry ban on refugees and residents of seven Muslim-majority nations is "an assault" on American values and that New York must stand up to fight it.  The bill faces challenges in the Republican-led state Senate.  Assembly Democrats say they are working on their own legislative proposals for pushing back on Trump's order.
 
 
President Trump is expected to announce his choice to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U-S Supreme Court tonight in a prime-time speech.  Chautauqua County's Congressman says he looks forward to seeing which person from Trump's list of about 15 candiates will be nominated.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he's hoping it will be a justice who will "uphold the Constitution..."and, not one who legislate's "from the bench...." Reed says he's looking forward to someone who will "interpret, and enforce" what's in the constitution.  He says the final decision is up to the U-S Senate... but, adds he's hopeful that lawmakers will consider and act on the nominee quickly.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with southern Tier Media.
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to amend the state constitution to codify abortion rights should Roe versus Wade be overturned.  Addressing hundreds of abortion-rights supporters rallying in Albany, the Democrat said the state must ensure that legal access to abortion services and birth control continues regardless of the policies of President Donald Trump and Washington Republicans.  Trump says he plans to announce his first nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court this week.  Abortion-rights supporters say they worry the new court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.  New York statute legalized abortion three years before Roe.  However... Cuomo says a constitutional amendment is needed to ensure current abortion rights aren't rolled back.  Constitutional amendments require two separate legislative votes before going to voters.
 
 
The ribbon has been cut on the expansion project at the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College.  It also includes new office space for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  The man who heads up both agencies says he's very pleased with the way the project has turned out.  On this past weekend's Community Spotlight program on the Media One Group of stations... Todd Tranum says it's allowed the chamber and MAST to "renew" it's relationship with JCC. Tranum says the new space has allowed for some new classrooms and class room space... and, it's also included some new equipment -- including welding equipment.  He says there's also something new called "Maker Space" for people with a small start up... or interest in launching a product... there is space available to hlep support that.  The Manufacturing Technology Institute at JCC includes programs like computer-aided Design & Computer Numerical Control... Engineering Science... and, Welding Technology.  For more information on the programs... call 338-1324.
 
 
A Bemus Point man is under arrest for allegedly driving drunk while his car was involved in a crash last weekend in the Sinclairville-area... and, he was in possession of a number of weapons and fireworks.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Route 380 in the Pickard Hill shortly before 2 AM Saturday.  Deputies say they found the unoccupied vehicle had struck a telephone pole, and, was in a ditch.  They say the windows were smashed out... and, they were able to see inside... and saw an assault rifle with numerous loaded magazines, a sawed off shotgun, commercial fireworks, home made fireworks, throwing stars, and numerous quantities of various ammunition. Following an investigation... officers found the driver... 29 year-old Michael Thompson, at a home near the accident scene.  He was arrested on several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a weapon for having an assault weapon with large-capacity ammuntion feeding devices... and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, unlawful possession of fireworks.  He was arraigned in Ellery Town Court and jailed on 75-thousand dollars cash bail.  The investigation is continuing.
 

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Two people were killed late last Friday in a two-car crash on Route 242 in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville.  Town Police say they were called to the scene about 3:30 PM... and, say the driver of one of the vehicles, 60 year-old Clinton Krivulka of Conewango... was eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle... and, it spun into the on-coming lane of traffic.  Krivulka's car struck the second auto, driven by 45 year-old Henry Williams of Chaffee.  Officers say Krivulka and an unidentified, 15 year-old passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say a 16 year-old front seat passenger in Williams' car was taken to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville... then transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  Officers say Williams was treated and released at the scene... while a passenger in his car was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of chest injuries.  No charges have been filed.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office and State Police were among the several agencies involved in the on-going investigation.   
 
 
Two people have been arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin and marijuana from a home on the city's southside.  Police report that the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a residence at 323 Newland Avenue late last Friday morning... and, arrested 25 year-old Devonte Chandler.  Task Force members say they found Chandler in possession of 58 bags of Heroin.  Officers say they also found a woman inside the apartment... Neishayhathu Soto... who was being disorderly during a search of the apartment.  They say Soto was allegedly found with 14.6-grams of pot in her possession.  Chandler was arraigned on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, jailed without bail.  Soto was charged with unlawful possession of marijauna.. and, disorderly conduct.  She is jailed on 500-dollars cash bail in Mayville.  Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in Jamestown is asked to contact the JPD Tips 4-1-1 App... or their confidential Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 
 
It's State of the City time for both city's in Chautauqua County.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas delivered his first State of the City address in the north county city late last Friday.  In the the nearly 50 minute address... Rosas gave a presentation -- complete with power-point presentation.  He included an overview of projects that were accomplished in 2016 and listed his priorities for the year ahead.  Among the accomplishments, progress on mandated improvements at the water treatment plant and the securing of zero percent financing and a state grant for the wastewater treatment plant.  Rosas says Phase-Three of the water treatment plant will be completed this year. Besides infrastructure improvements... Rosas also focused on economic development efforts including a new hotel on the city's waterfront.  He says the first round of negotiations with a development firm out of Erie were held on Monday.  Rosas says he believes negotiations went well on the first day... and, they're looking forward to it's opening. Here in Jamestown... Mayor Sam Teresi is slated to give his State of The City Address tonight during the City Council's January voting session.  The message is typically delivered during remarks at the beginning of the meeting.  Last year... the mayor gave lawmakers are written report... but, gave no verbal address.  He has not said whether he will do that again this year... or not.  Tonight's meeting begins at 7:30 PM.
 
 
One person suffered serious injuries after his snowmobile collided with a second machine on private property on Route 394 in Mayville last Saturday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say they responded to the crash near 60-46 Route 394 about 2:15 PM... and, found that 24 year-old Samuel Fabin of Pennington, New Jersey... and, 24 year-old Adam Martin of Salem, Virginia... were riding snowmobiles when both collided head-on at the crest of a hill where the visability of obstructed.  Deputies say Fabin was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment.  Martin was apparently not hurt.  Officers say no charges were filed.
 
 
Statewide testing for lead in drinking water at schools in New York has found 14 percent of outlets sampled in nearly 3,000 schools outside New York City had unsafe levels of the toxic metal.  Schools are required to turn off any outlet with lead levels above 15 parts per billion and implement plans to fix the problem.  More than 256--thousand taps were tested.  All schools that had those numbers have to test drinking water for lead under legislation signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in September.  The state Health Department said Friday that 96 percent of schools outside of New York City have done the testing and 88 percent have reported results.  New York City results are expected in mid-2017.  Lead exposure can cause significant neurological impairments in children.  The lead testing data is posted on Health Data New York online.
 
 
The sixth Annual Soup-er Bowl at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club put on Sunday by UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital was a major success.  A total of 14 competitors took part offering a variety of soups to a record number of people in attendance.  The winner of this year's event was the Gametime Sports Bar and Grill.  Jim Mee owner of the Gametime Sports Bar and Grill talked about his winning entry the Cheesy Chicken Fiesta. He said they wanted to try something new. Last year... the Souper-Bowl raised  over 7-thousand dollars for the Robotic Surgery Department at UPMC Chautauqua WCA... and, the Rappaport (Rap a pour) Family Fund.  With an estimated 600 people in attendance... the total amount raised this year is expected to surpass last year's total. Final totals from the Soup-er Bowl are expected to be announced later today. The Media One Group of Radio Stations, Shults Auto Group and Maplevale Farms were the major sponsors of the Sixth Annual Soup-er Bowl.
 
 
Affinity One Federal Credit Union in Lakewood is holding it's second-annual Joe DeAngelo Memorial Ice Fishing Tournment on Chautauqua Lake in February.  Affinity one Marketing and Sales Representative Tony Valvo... says the event begins on Feburary 1st.  Valvo says you don't have to be a member to take part... however, you do have to sign up. Valvo urges ice anglers to make sure the ice is safe where they go to fish... and, to obsere all New York State rules.  We asked him if the tournament would be held if the lake remains unfrozen.  He says they'll cancel the event.  However, they'll still have the event with door prizes if that occurs.  Valvo says you can enter at either Affinity One branch in Jamestown or Lakewood... or at "Chautauqua Reel Outdoors."
 
 
The Homeland Security Department says a New York court order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban will not affect the overall implementation of the White House executive action.  The agency said the court order affected a relatively small number of travelers who were inconvenienced by security procedures upon their return.  The department's statement said: "President Trump's Executive Orders remain in place- prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety," according to the DHS statement.  Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, said that nothing in the judge's order "in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president's executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect."
 
 
A Dunkirk woman is facing charges after a traffic stop in the north county city late Saturday afternoon.  Dunkirk Police pulled over a vehicle traveling south on Main Street at about 4:30 PM for a traffic violation.  Police say the driver, whose license was suspended, tried to deceive officers by giving the name and date of birth of a relative, whose license was also suspended.  After further investigation, the driver... 41-year-old Joielyn Burlingame... was charged with 3rd-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and 2nd-degree criminal impersonation.  Burlingame will appear in Dunkirk City Court at a later date.
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 28, 2017

Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect until early Sunday night...
There will be a break in the Lake effect snow that has been falling across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties during the day today... as the snow moves more into the Buffalo-area.  However... Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service says the wind will shift slightly... and, the snow will return by early this evening.  Ansuini says we'll see another 4 to 8 inches -- mainly in the traditional snow belt areas, and the Chautauqua Ridge area -- through early tomorrow.  We could see anotehr 3 to 5 inches Sunday.  Ansuini says the traditional lake snow areas will see about 2-feet of snow on the ground by early Sunday night. 
 
 
Duplex-type home extensively damaged from early Friday morning fire...
Fire has significantly damaged part of a 2-and-a-half story duplex on Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says firefighters were called to the scene at 944 East Second Street about 2:45 a.m. Friday... and, found smoke and fire coming from one side of the building.  Fortunately... Coon says no one was inside the structure.  He adds that they were able to  make an interior attack on the blaze... which they had under control in about 30 minutes.  Coon says damage was pretty much confined to the one-side of the structure in the second-floor and attic space of the structure at 944 East Second.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  The investigation into the cause is continuing.
 
 
New Shults Ford-Lincoln Mercury opens on Washington Street...
The ribbon has been cut on the newest facility for the Shults Auto Group in Jamestown... with the opening of the new Shults Ford Lincoln Mercury at 2257 Washington St.  Several local officials were on hand for the event... which culminated a lengthy project to completely upgrade the showroom and service facilities.  Shults Auto Group President Tim Shults says it's an exciting time for the dealership... and, praised General Contractor Kessel Construction for helping to create an "over the top" facility... which has state-of-the art drive-in service.  The operator of Shults Ford-Lincoln Mercury... Ed Shults-III... also praised Kessel... along with their employees for keeping the operation going during the construction project.  He says they developed the facility with a vision of it's being a place for "community-type" events.
 
 
East Otto woman killed in SUV--Tractor-Trailer crash...
A Cattaraugus County woman was killed... and, a man seriously hurt... when their sports utility vehicle crashed into the side of a tractor-trailer at an East Otto intersection Thursday afternoon.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 52 year-old Grace Armbruster of East Otto was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash... which occured at the intersection of East Otto-Springville and Bowen Roads about 1:45 p.m.  Deputies say Grace Armbruster was a passenger in the SUV... which was northbound on Bowen Road... and, driven by 30 year-old Andrew Armbuster.  Officers say he failed to stop at the intersection with East Otto-Springville Road.  The SUV then struck the tractor of the big rig... which was driven by Jeffrey Laydecker... and, was eastbound on East Otto-Springville Road.  Officers say both Armbrusters were ejected from the vehicle.  Grace was pronounced dead at the scene... while Andrew was taken to ECMC in Buffalo for treatment of serious injuries.  Laydecker was not hurt. 
 
 
Souper Bowl Sunday set for this Sunday in Lakewood...
A yearly sports-themed fund-raiser for UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital's robotic surgery program is set to go this Sunday afternoon in Lakewood.   The annual Souper Bowl Sunday will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  WCA's Director of Development, Megan Barone, says more than a dozen local restaurants will be offering specialty soups for people to try... and, there'll also be prize give-aways and raffles.  None of the businesses taking part have announced what soups they'll be serving Sunday... but, they are often a little different from the standard fare.  Barone says the money raised will help them continue the work of their DaVinci Robot used in Cancer surgeries.  Tickets will be sold at the door for $12 each... and, there may still be some pre-sale available at the hospital... or the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club for $10 each.  

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WJTN News Headlines

The worst parts of our "long-duration" Lake Effect Snow event will be today through tomorrow.  However... we won't see any of the 3-to-4 inch an hour snowfall that accompanies many of these events through Sunday night.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service... who says we remain under a Lake Effect Snow Warning now through 7 PM on Sunday.  MItchell says we're seeing colder air now, after receiving an initial 2 to 3 inches of snow in the Jamestown-area.  Once the colder air gets in... he says we'll see another 7 to 11 inches of snow in the snow belt areas by late this evening. While ski country and the Chautauqua Ridge areas will see upwards of 2-feet -- or more -- through Sunday night... Mitchell says there won't be any of the real "heavy snow" on Saturday.  He says the heaviest snow rate during the weekend will be about one to one-and-a-half inches an hour.  Mitchell says the worst of the wind and blowing snow conditions will be during the day today through tonight.  Wind gusts will be about 40-mile per hour.  Our complete forecast is coming up.
 
 
A Westfield woman has been arrested for allegedly setting two separate fires in her home in the town of Chautauqua last Fall.  Sheriff's officers say they took 41 year-old Lacie Mockus into custody late Wednesday for allegedly setting the fires... and, endangering first-responders and neighbors.  Deputies say the incident at 6375 Centralia-Hartfield Road occured last October 16th... and, add that Mockus was the only person home at the time.  Officers say she's been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment... and, was issued an appearance ticket for Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.
 
 
Firefighters made quick work of a blaze that broke out early yesterday morning at a 2-and-a-half story home in Dunkirk.  Dunkirk Fire crews responded to 133 Lake Shore Drive East at about 4:15 AM.  Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews found flames on the first floor and extending to the second floor.  The fire was contained to one room, and everyone in the building made it out safely.  Firefighters were at the scene for about one hour.  No one was hurt... and, the cause is under investigation.  The local Red Cross is assisting all eight residents who were displaced by the fire.
 
 
In Dunkirk, two people suffered burns in a kitchen fire Wednesday night.  Firefighters responded to an apartment at 47 West Courtney Street just before 9:30 PM, and on arrival, found that the victims suffered burns as a result of hot grease from a pan spilling on them while trying to remove the pan from the apartment.  Both victims were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  One suffered severe burns and was later flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center.
 
 
 
Plans to construct more than 100 wind turbines in three northern Chautauqua County towns are being rammed though without full consideration of residents feelings... and, no full evaluation of the impact on the local environment.  Those are the feelings of two town of Villanova residents... and, one from Arkwright... who addressed the county legislature Wednesday night.  Angelo Graziano has been a Villanova Town Board member since 2014, when the projects were first proposed.  Graziano says he asked the company involved with that project... "R-E-S America..." for more information... but, got none. Graziano says he believes the company has only done the minimum required to get the project through.  Another resident... Tina Graziano... says many in the town remain unaware of the project and it's potential implications.   She says only town government, and the actual property owners will get any benefit from the project.  She says residents will have to "suffer" with 123, 500-foot tall wind turbines.  Arkwright resident Fred Keller was also concerned about the project... and, it's impact in his town.  Keller contends that the U-S Army Corps of Engineers found no opposition there because only contiguous neighbors have been notified regarding the project, and public meetings about it.
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has been a proponent of the turbine projects... and, was somewhat stunned by the opposition voiced at Wednesday night's meeting.  However... Horrigan says he appreciates what the residents had to say.  He also says the three companies involved in the projects are going through the State Environmental Quality Review process, as required.  Horrigan says he was aware of some opposition early... mainly dealing with the flight paths for airport traffic. However... Horrigan says the projects also have to be reviewed by the Chautauqua County Planning Board.  He says he's not surprised that there is some friction between the people who own the property where the turbines will be... and, others in the towns.  The residents say.. while they've seen problems with the process... the one underway for the Cassadaga Wind Farm has been a "fair" one.
 
 
A state lawmaker wants to stop New York from doing business with companies working on President Donald Trump's promised border wall.  The proposal from Assemblywoman Nily Rozic would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the wall project.  The Queens Democrat says Thursdaythat she wants to send a signal to companies considering whether to work on the wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico, a proposal she calls wasteful and ineffective.  Existing rules prohibit state contracts with companies that do business in Iran or that boycott Israel.  Rozic says New York must honor its tradition of diversity and tolerance.  The legislation could do well in the overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly but may face challenges in the Republican-led Senate.
 
 
 
Residents of the town of Ellicott who live in the Celoron area have the chance to pay their town and county taxes directly this Saturday.  Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says he'll hold his annual tax collection at the Celoron Village Hall from 10 AM to 1 PM this Saturday, January 28th.  Again, those hours are 10 AM to 1 PM.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

We will see some significant changes in our weather during the day today in the Jamestown-area.  The change begins this afternoon... as the National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 1 PM until 7 PM Sunday for some significant snow in some parts of the regioin.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton says the cold air that's been bottled up in the Arctic the past couple of weeks has finally reached the Upper Midwest of the United States.  He says that's coming our way.
Hamilton says the lake effect snow won't be very well organized when it starts... but, he says it'll beginin the higher terrain of northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... and, southern Erie County.  He says we'll get a few inches initially in the Chautauqua Ridge, and ski country... and, it'll become more organized later on Friday.  Hamilton says the precipitation will start as rain tomorrow (this) morning... then turn into a rain-snow mix in the afternoon as temperatures begin to fall from the upper 30s to the upper 20s by evening.  By Sunday evening... he says some locations will have up to 2-feet of snow on the ground. 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a 15-year lease extension with Jamestown Aviation Company to remain the fixed-base operator at the County Airport near Jamestown.  Lawmakers approved the measure at last night's monthly meeting in a 15-to-1 vote... with Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro casting the lone "no" vote.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, who negotiated the new deal, says the agreement reduces the county's local share of costs... and, will bring in about 23-hundred dollars more a month in rent. The county will see a 2-percent annual increase in the rent from Jamestown Aviation.  However... the fixed-base operator will be able to terminate the contract without cause with two-years notice if the airport still has commercial passenger service... one year if it doesn't.  Legislator Nazzaro says he has problems with a 15 year agreement that gives Jamestown Aviation termination rights... but, none for the county.  The current rent for Jamestown Aviation to handle the fueling, hangar and parking work is 37-hundred-dollars a month... with 24-hundred of that subject to the 2-percent fee increase each year.
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't favor a proposal by the Trump Adminstration to dole out Medicaid funding to individual states in the form of strictly "block grants" only.  The Corning Republican also agrees that such an idea -- on it's own -- could lead to some contentious debate in the House and Senate.  Reed says there are about 180 members of Congress who come from state's where there had been an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act... including New York.  He says it's something that will be discussed as part of the repeal and replacement of the ACA. Reed adds that the issue becomes a sticky one for politicians in Washington because there are Democrat, and Republican-led state's that have taken part in the Medicaid expansion.  He says that's why the GOP may have to go in another direction.  Chautauqua County would face a significant cut in Medicaid if the just the block grant program were to be implemented.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Congressional Republicans are heading to Philadelphia where they will hear from President Donald Trump at their annual policy retreat.  The joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans comes as Trump's presidency gets off to a rocky start. Republicans hope to come together and chart a course forward on a range of policy issues, particularly repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law.  Lawmakers will also hear from British Prime Minister Theresa May, the first time a foreign head of state has addressed such a gathering.  And football star Peyton Manning will appear.  The two-day conclave of work sessions, speeches and schmoozing gets under way Wednesday, with the high point coming Thursday with Trump's lunchtime speech.  Lawmakers hope the gathering will help solidify their agenda for the year.
 
 
The Jamestown school district has received some good fiscal news from New York state.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the district is no longer among the school systems in New York facing any level of "fiscal stress."  DiNapoli released his office's listing of 59 school districts facing at least a "susceptibility" to fiscal stress.  Over the past couple of years... Jamestown was considered to be in "moderate stress..." but, no longer is.  District officials say that's great news... and, more information will be forthcoming.  DiNapoli says the only district facing any kind of fiscal stress in Chautauqua County now is the Ripley District... which is "susceptible" to fiscal stress.
 
 
The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you.  Dozens of restaurants are seeking "sanctuary" status, a designation owners hope will help protect employees in an immigrant-heavy industry and tone down fiery rhetoric sparked by the presidential campaign.  First inspired by churches... the label is something cities and other public entities have sought to offer local protections to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, whether it's barring police from asking citizens about immigration status or refusing to cooperate with federal agents.  Roughly 80 restaurants across the country have signed up, from down-home delis to upscale bistros.  The restaurants agree to anti-discrimination policies, display signs that pronounce their sanctuary status and receive know-your-rights training - what to do if there's a workplace raid by immigration agents.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

New York state lawmakers are questioning the price tag for Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give middle class students free tuition at state universities and colleges.  During a hearing on the proposal Tuesday... legislators from both parties asked state higher education officials whether Cuomo's $163-million dollar cost estimate is too low.  The Democratic governor's proposal would cover remaining tuition costs for students from families making $125,000 or less after other sources of federal and state aid are factored in.  Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York system, said officials are continuing to refine the cost estimate.  Skeptical lawmakers said they wanted to see details before voting on the state budget, which they hope to approve by April 1st.
 
 
City lawmakers will vote next week on a proposed change to the Jamestown city code that no longer requires JPD officers to supervise the towing of vehicles from private property.  Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings and Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman outlined the proposal for the city council's Public Safety Committee.  Snellings says... even with the change... officers would still supervise towing on public property.  Fiore-Lehman says... currently... the towing company would have to wait for JPD officers to arrive at the scene. Mayor Sam Teresi says the problem is, sometimes the tow operator would have to wait for half-an hour to an hour before city police can wrap up a call they're already on... and, then go to the scene.  Teresi and Snellings say the idea behind the change to the towing ordinance is to free up police officers to be on the streets... and, not unnecessarily tied up dealing with having to supervise a tow from a private residence... organization or business.  The measure will be acted on at next Monday night's meeting.
 
 
A staff recommendation has led the Jamestown Board of Public Utiliites to ask the city to begin the process of annexing property on the city line with the village of Falconer that's used for a major BPU substation.  The BPU voted Monday to request the city council begin proceedings to acquire the Dow Street Substation land from the town.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board owns the property where the facility is located between Dow Street and Tiffany Avenue.  Leathers says it will save more than 300-thousand tax dollars for the city and BPU. However... Leathers says -- if the annexation goes through -- the BPU would still make "tax equivalent payments" to the city and Jamestown school district.  He says those would total about 80-thousand dollars a year.  He says the amount is based on a percentage of the asset's valuation.  Leathers says the land is assessed at about 7.86-million dollars.  He says the resolution gets the process going... and, says the City Councill will now have to discuss the measure... and will likely hold some public meetings on the matter before a vote is taken. 
 
 
The head of New York state's Public Service Commission is stepping down to take a job in Australia.  PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman announced her departure Monday.  She intends to stay on until the end of March before going to work for the Australian Energy Market Operator, which oversees electricity and natural gas markets and networks.  Under Zibelman... the Public Service Commission worked to expand the state's use of renewable energy and approved ratepayer subsidies for nuclear plants.  She also oversaw votes on scores of decisions and regulations affecting utilities.  In a statement... Zibelman said it has been a "great honor" to serve in Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration and to assist in Democrat Cuomo's goal of increasing "affordable, clean and resilient" power for the state.
 
It was a total team effort that pushed the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County over it's 2016 Campaign goal of 1.3-million dollars. General Campaign Co-Chairman Anne Hedin at last night's celebration at Jamestown Community College and her husband -- and co-chair -- Paul... announced the final total raised was 1.338-million dollars.  He praised United Way staff members, and volunteers for their efforts to get them to the finish line.  Paul Hedin adds that they got more donations from several businesses... and, added a few others to the mix this year. United Way officials say they did a record number of workplace presentations to let workers know what the money they pledge goes towards.  There were 50 of those made during the just over three-month effort.  Several local workplaces were honored for increasing the number of donors they had in 2016... and, some others were thanked for taking part for the first-time ever.  More than 60 people were on hand for last night's annual celebration at JCC.  The money will benefit 42 programs at 25 partner agencies.
 
 
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have remained steady for the third-straight week.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the their local survey finds the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas to be 2-dollars-56 cents.  On the national front... the average price has now fallen to 2-dollars-31 cents a gallon.  Triple-A says an increase in oil production has led to the 3-cent decrease.  The price is now down 4-cents per gallon on the month... and, have now fallen for 14 of the past 15 days.  Triple-A now says prices in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have followed the national average down over the past week.  The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that total Northeast gasoline stocks increased to their highest level since August of last year. 
 
 
New York lawmakers will again consider legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician.  The bill introduced Monday in Albany would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal.  Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  The bill passed an Assembly committee last year but didn't get a full vote in the Legislature.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A horrific, nearly head-on crash involving a coach bus and a vehicle on Route 60 near Sinclairville has claimed the life of a Lakewood man... and, injured three others.  Crews from five area fire departments, Chautauqua County Emergency Services, the Sheriff's Office and State Police responded to the crash around 9 AM.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says it appears that the vehicle -- driven by 19 year-old Justin Romaniuk may have crossed into the opposite lane and into the path of the bus. The bus driver... identified as 61 year-old Debra Lee Grimes of Lakewood... suffered serious... but, non-life threatening injuries.  Both she and Romaniuk were pinned inside their vehicles.  Gerace says the Accident Reconstruction Team was also called to the scene of the crash to investigate.  Route 60 was closed in both directions between Sylvester Road and Jamestown Street for about 4-hours.  Sinclairville firefighters were assisted by Cassadaga, Ellery Center, Ellington and Gerry fire crews.
 
The storm that spurred tornadoes in the south will be moving up along the East Coast... and, will bring a wintry mix to much of the Northeast.  However... Chautauqua County may be one of the few counties in the state not under any kind of warning or advisory.  Cattaraugus County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 10 AM today.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says rain turned over to snow in most places mainly to the east last night. Hitchcock says the tricky part of the forecast involves Chautauqua County because the temperature will be around the freezing mark this evening.  He says we cold see more mixed presciptation here than anywhere else.
 
The city of Jamestown is looking to annex property on the city line -- used for a major substation for the Board of Public Utilities -- from the town of Ellicott.  The BPU Monday afternoon voted to initiate the proceedings to acquire the property from the town.  The resolution passed at the board's meeting states that the BPU owns the property where the Dow Street Substation is located between Dow Street and Tiffany Avenue.  It also says the city of Jamestown pays just over 322-thousand dollars on the land... which is assessed at 7.86-million dollars.
 
Two Republican members of the U-S Senate says they're putting the finishing touches on legislation that would let states keep President Obama's health care overhaul... or design their own programs.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says the plan is what's being called the "Patient Freedom Act..." and he calls it an appropriate step to take while the repeal and replacement process is underway.  The measure is being proposed by Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine.  Reed says House members met with Cassidy late last week on the proposal. Reed says several steps will be needed because some parts of the Affordable Care Act can be replaced in the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes.  However... others will require a 60-votes.  He says another aspect for implementation will be having new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, in place.  His confirmation is still pending, though.  Some say the Patient Freedom Act represents a retreat from years of Republican calls to repeal Obama's law and then replace it.  President Trump has said he wants to keep parts of Obama's health care law.
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Donald Trump's decision to follow through on a campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the much-debated, 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.  Mr. Trump says he prefers trade treaties with individual countries... also called "bi-lateral" agreements.  Reed says the move allows the U-S to us Trump's ability as a "deal-maker" to get a better agreement for America. Until recent months... a number of national manufacturer's support the TPP agreement... and, Reed agrees the president will have to work hard to bring about agreements that manufacturer's like and trust.  However... he says re-negotiating trade agreements will be in America''s "best interests."  Reed adds, though, that ther need to be stiffer penalties if the other trade partner renegs on the agreement.  Trump has also announced his intention to renegotate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.  However... no formal steps have been taken.
 
A Chautauqua County man has been arrested in Erie County, New York for allegedly selling Heroin and other illegal narcotic drugs in the town of Ellington.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they had an outstanding bench warrant for 29 year-old William Bogal of Old Chautauqua Road in Ellington... who was located yesterday afternoon in Erie County... but, the exact location was not released.  Task Force members say Bogal was accused of selling the drugs to undercover officers from his home.  He was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court on one count each of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.  Task Force members ask that if you observe suspicious or narcotics-related activity in your area... call them at 1-800-344-8702..
 
 
 
 
 

Bulletin: Update on fatal bus-car crash...

Route 60 accident involving bus and car now a fatal...
Authorities say a 20-year-old Lakewood man has died after his vehicle collided with a tour bus on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte this morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the crash occurred shortly after 9 a.m. near the village of Sinclairville.  Gerace says Justin Romaniuk had to be freed from the wreckage... but, died at the scene.  The driver of the bus... Debra Lee Grimes... suffered serious -- but, non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a Buffalo-area hospital.  She and two passengers were injured.  The other two were also sent to a neaby hospital.  Route 60 was closed for about 4-hours while the highway was cleared... and, the scene was investigated.
 

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Bulletin: Bus crash with another vehicle in Sinclairville area

**Bus crash on Route 60 forces road closing in that area....

 

At least one serious injury has been reported in a reported crash involving a Coach Bus, and another vehicle on Route 60 near Sinclairivlle.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say the accident occured about 9 this morning, and has forced the closing of the road between Silvester Road and Jamestown Street.  Both drivers were reportedly pinned inside their vehicles.  Several EMS and Fire units are at the scene.  More when it becomes available.

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News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 23, 2017

City man and woman arrested late last week on warrants, allegedly found with drugs...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested on drug-related charges after city police did a warrant check on both suspects at a southside home.  Jamestown Police say officers located 26 year-old Giselle Bennett at 943 Newland Ave. late Thursday night.  Officers say she was sought on a City Court warrant.  They add that they also found 27 year-old Brandon Hogg at the residence... who was wanted on a parole warrant.  Police say they found a quantity of Suboxone in Hogg's possession that he did not have a prescription for.  Bennett is also accused of being in possession of a stimulant.  Both were additionally charged.  Bennett was freed on bail... while Hogg is being held on $4,000 bail.
 
Pennsylvania man caught going 109 MPH on I-86 in Chautauqua County...
State Police have arrested a Pennsylvania man for allegedly fleeing them at nearly 110 miles an hour on Interstate-86 near Kennedy.  Troopers say they clocked 20 year-old Tristan Drake of Troy going 109 MPH in the eastbound lanes before he finally exited the super-highway at School House Road.  State Police say Drake was eventually stopped in the Village of Randolph and arrested.  He was arraigned in Poland Town Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County jail with bail to be set.
 
 
Fredonia man arrested for alleged sex abuse...
A north county man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a victim in the village of Fredonia.  Sheriff's officers say they took 49 year-old Duane Green of Park Avenue in Fredonia into custody shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday.  Deputies say Green was arrested on a warrant for first-degree sexual abuse... and, forceable touching.  Officers say he was taken into custody without incident at a location on East Main Street... and, sent to the county jail in Mayville with bail to be set.  He'll appear in court at a later date and time.
 
 
Almeter named as new Chautauqua Co. Airport and Parks Manager...
A career Naval officer who has a wide background in both the public and private sectors has been named as Chautauqua County's new Airports and Parks Manager.  County Executive Vince Horrigan and Public Facilities Director George Spanos Friday afternoon announced that Rochester-native Ron Almeter will head up both departments -- beginning next Tuesday.  Almeter says he's both excited and delighted to start work... now that he's retired from the Navy.  Almeter says he was also involved in managerial work for a large construction firm in Texas.  Almeter says he and his family had retired to the Westfield-area about a year ago... and, heard about the job while looking for some kind of work while in retirement.  Horrigan says he comes from a similar-type for background, and both he and Spanos and the Airport Commission, decided Almeter was their man.  At the same time... Spanos says he and other county officials were pleased with the number of applications they received from interested candidates.  Almeter says the airports can serve as a "storefront" for Chautauqua County to the rest of the world.  Horrigan says, with his hiring, all county leadership posts have now been filled.
 
 
Reed confirm's House Republican plan to cut $10.5-billion from federal budget over 10 years...
Majority Republicans in Congress are eyeing a proposal to cut about 10.5-billion dollars in spending from the federal budget over the next 10 years.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is aware of the proposal, which was reported on in thehill.com late last week.  Reed calls it "sizable..." and, he feels the time is right to have a conversation about non-manditory, and manditory spending... which he says show's "how ambitious and how aggressive this administration is going to be when it comes to the issues of spending and debt."  He feels that "every dollar" needs to be part of the discussion... and, it will likely be discussed and debated in the House Ways and Means Committee that he sits on.  The Corning Republican says he would first look at "waste, fraud, and abuse."  Reed says it's an opportunity to run the government in a "much more effective and efficient manner."  President Trump is expected to meet with bipartisan Congressional leaders at the White House tonight to discuss his Congressional agenda which includes repealing and replacing the nation's health care law and passing tax reform.  Reed made his comments during a Special Inauguration conference call with regional media.
 
 
Several hundred people attend Doors Open Jamestown program...
'Doors Open Jamestown' on Saturday had weather more like April than January... and a lot of people headed for the hills... to the Martz-Kohl Observatory on Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg.  President, Gary Nelson, said they had about 200 visitors, and even though it was sunny, they were looking at a star -- the Sun.  Nelson says they have a special telescope that reduces the ultra-violet rays that are harmful to human eyes.  Ordinarily, looking directly at the sun can be hazardous to the retina.  The Fenton History Center's Joni Blackman thinks the fair weather brought families to their front door.  Blackman says they had a lot of young families that brought their children through.  Blackman is one of the principal organizers of 'Doors Open'.  She estimates around 800 people visited the museum last Saturday.  A total of 17 locations were open and free for the public last Saturday.  
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown residents face several drug-related charges following a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon on the city's eastside.  City Police say a patrol spotted the car, driven by 32 year-old Charles Washington, fail to signal a turn in the area of 65 River Street about 2 PM.  Officers say they found Washington's passenger, 18 year-old Mariah Snyder, in possession of a small amount of marijuana.  However... further investigation found Snyder also allegedly had 9 grams of cocaine, and more than 6-grams of 'crack" cocaine, in her possession.  Police say they also found more than 11 ounces of marijuana inside the car... along with drug paraphernalia and packing materials.  Washington faces charges including Felony third-degree criminal possession of marijuana... while Snyder faces charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one count of third-degree criminal possession of marijuana.  Both are being held pending a preliminary hearing.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has found his new Budget Director in the Sheriff's Office.  Horrigan has announced the appointment of Kathleen Dennison to replace Kitty Crow on February 1st.  The Fredonia resident will replace current director Kitty Crow... who will become the county's new Finance Director on that same date.  Horrigan says Dennison has served as the Accounting Supervisor for the Sheriff's Office for the past five years.  He adds that she has over 30 yeaeers of experience in budgeting, payroll, and financial reporting.
Prior to her current position... Dennison served as Assistant General Manager at the Clarion Hotel from 2010-2011, General Manager a hotel in Mongolia from 2009-2010, Accountant at Lake Shore Savings and Loan in 2009, and Innkeeper and Owner of The White Inn from 1993 to 2009.  Horrigan adds that Dennison's "distinct background in financial management will be a great asset to the county and I look forward to working with her in her new role as Budget Director."  Dennison says she is "honored" to be selected.


Governor Andrew Cuomo released his proposed state budget last night that he says is aimed at strengthening the middle class.  It also addresses some vital infrastructure issues in the state... namely water utilities.  Cuomo says the 152-billion dollar spending plan includes 2-billion dollars in spending to help deal with water quality issues facing certain places in upstate New York... and, Long Island. Back to the Middle-Class... Cuomo is proposing a middle-class income tax cut... and, a "free-tuition" program for the State University of New York... and, City University of New York.  He says that program would cost 163-million additional dollars... and, would be for instate students only.  He says the budget also increases education aid by one-billion dollars to 25.6-billion... along with an expanded child care tax credit.  Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said the college tuition plan is just one of the budget proposals that will get close scrutiny from lawmakers.  The governor says the budget holds spending growth below two percent for the seventh consecutive year.

 

State Senator Cathy Young says the Governor's budget presentation was "very unusual..." and, lacked in transparency.  Young was among the Senate Majority members who attended a power-point presentation at the Governor's Mansion.  However... the Olean Republican says few details about the plan were offered.  Young says she would like to see the budget presentation return to being made to the entire legislature... with the media present... and, more disclosure. Young says she does have serious concerns about the governor's proposal of "free tuition" for in-state low and middle-income taxpaying families who have members attending either SUNY or CUNY.  However... she says it will all be sorted out by the Senate Finance Committee that she chairs.  Overall... Young says -- like always -- the budget has it's good and bad points.  She says her panel is already holding budget hearings on the spending plan.

 

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is saying he stressed to President-elect Donald Trump the impact of federal spending on state budgets.  Cuomo had a nearly hour-long meeting with the Republican president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday.  The governor said they discussed the impact of federal tax policy and the potential repeal of the federal health care law on New York.  Cuomo has placed major infrastructure projects at the center of his agenda and said he hopes Trump will authorize federal spending for some of the projects, including a rehabilitation of Kennedy Airport.  Cuomo said, "New York is ready to build."  Cuomo is a rumored 2020 presidential candidate.

 

The region's State Senator has introduced legislation that would make it a Felony to injure a police K-9 officer in the line of duty.  Olean Republican Cathy Young has proposed "Mitchell's Law..." named after Jamestown Police K-9 "Mitchell" who was seriously injured apprehending a murder suspect late last November.  Young says that Mitchell, a six-year-old German Shepherd who has been with JPD since 2011, was grievously injured during a confrontation with suspected murderer Keith Robbins following a six-hour standoff.  During the apprehension of Robbins, K-9 Officer Mitchell was stabbed in the throat and under his jaw, causing the knife to penetrate his tongue, resulting in emergency surgery.  During a visit to Senator Young’s office, "Mitchell" and his handler, Officer Eric Kraft, and Police Chief Harry Snellings asked Senator Young to sponsor legislation that would make it a felony to injure a K-9 officer in the line of duty.

 

A Jamestown man sought for an alleged break-in in the town of Harmony last month has been arrested on a warrant on the city's eastside.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers executed an arrest warrant at 144 Chandler Street about 12:45 AM Wednesday... and, took 48 year-old Luis Sanchez into custody.  Deputies say Sanchez was wanted for fourth-degree grand larceny... and, conspiracy.  They say the charges were the result of a December 2016 incident at 51-51 Fairbanks Road in Ashville.  Sanchez was arraigned... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

 


 
 
 

 


WJTN News Headlines

An Erie, Pennsylvania-area man has died after being struck by a vehicle in a utility work-zone on Kinzua Road in Warren County's Mead Township.  State Police in Warren say the driver of the vehicle, 78 year-old Eugene Schwanke of Warren, was westbound just before Noon Sunday when he approached the unmarked work area.  Troopers say Schwanke allegedly failed to see a flagger, who was standing on or near the west shoulder, and, the worker was struck.  Police say the flagger... identified as 46 year-old Michael Robertson of Waterford, Pennsylvania... was thrown into a nearby lawn.  Troopers say he ws flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie where he died several hours later.  The investigation into the accident is continuing.

 

 

Temperatures will rise to above normal levels again this week, but expect some icy weather before the warm up.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory now through 10 this morning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties.  Meteorologist Dave Thomas says up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible. The freezing rain will eventually transition to just plain rain by Tuesday afternoon.  Thomas says temperatures are expected to remain on the mild side for the next couple of weeks, but there are indications that arctic air will return later this month.  He says the cold, artic air, is currently bottled up around the Arctic, will begin to move further south.  Until the pattern change... temperatures are expected to remain generally above normal.

 

 

It's a "huge start."  Those are the feelings of one of the main people on the front-line of the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis in the Jamestown-area.  The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, says he was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the news about the new, 20-bed long-term treatment facility that will be opening soon at UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  Huber says he was in a meeting with County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman in Mayville when they got the word. O'Brien and UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright announced the 700-thousand dollar grant... and, the process they still have to go through to get the facility up and running at the Jones Memorial Health Center on Glasgow Avenue.  Huber says he's also pleased that the facility will deal with each case in a "highly-individualized" manner... which is one of the things that's "very nice" about the proposal.  He says having those local beds means local addicts aren't having to fight for beds in Erie, Pittsburgh or Buffalo.

 

 

There will be two parts to the 2.5-million dollar fiscal--economic funding from New York state... which is designed to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid financial footing.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi says city officials received word recently from state Division of Budget, breaking down the money... and, what it will be used for.  Teresi says the largest chunk, 1.5-million dollars, will go towards the effort to move retirees of the city's own health-insurance plan.  He says it will fund a formal study, and support that effort. Teresi says the state will incentivize the program by providing a payment to retirees to help them avoid payments for their health care under Medicare... or some other program.  He adds the other one-million dollars will be used to help plug the city's 825-thousand dollar funding gap... and, support consolidating services.  Teresi says all the moves are geared towards making city operations more efficent... and, less costly.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

 

As the nation celebrated the life of the late Martin Luther King, Junior yesterday... a large crowd turned out for a luncheon that was held at the Moose Lodge in Dunkirk to reflect on the slain civil rights leader's dream and how to restore it.  The luncheon's theme, "Rise Up-Restore the Dream," was the focus of guest speaker Dr. Cedric Howard.  The State University of New York at Fredonia's Vice President for Student Affairs says that Dr. King's dream is "not a one step process..." As the nation prepares for a new president to take office on Friday... Dr. Howard told us we can all make a difference -- locally -- when it comes to furthering Dr. King's dream.  He says first, we need to have "attentive ears..." and, realize we're all in this together.  The Luncheon Committee also presented the Janice Slaton Esq. scholarships.  Among the winners, Chad Butts who will be attending Jamestown Community College's Dunkirk Campus to pursue a career in criminal justice.

 

 

The state's official Martin Luther King Day observance was held yesterday at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center adjacent to the Capitol.  Emmy-winning violinist Damien Escobar joined the Syracuse Children's Chorus and others in performing at the annual event.  Escobar appeared on the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent" and has performed on numerous talk shows and at the White House.  Education advocate Geoffrey Canada delivered the keynote address.  He's an internationally recognized advocate for children and innovator in the field of education.  There was also a performance by actress and singer Tina Fabrique, best known for her award-winning portrayal of Ella Fitzgerald in "Ella" in regional theaters. 

 

 

Tax season is looming in New York.  The state Department of Taxation and Finance says the income tax filing season officially begins Monday, January 23rd.  The deadline to file 2016 tax returns will be a few days later this year - on April 18th.  That's because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington D.C. that Monday, which pushes the federal and state deadline to Tuesday, April 18th.  New York tax officials are reminding residents that electronic tax return filers typically receive refunds twice as fast as paper filers.

 

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News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 16, 2017

Chautauqua County to be under Freezing Rain Advisory through late Tuesday morning...
Temperatures will rise to above normal levels again this week, but expect some icy weather before the warm up.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory from 8 p.m. tonight to 10 a.m. Tuesday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties.  Meteorologist Dave Thomas says up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible, especially Tuesday morning on untreated roads and sidewalks.  The freezing rain will eventually transition to just plain rain by Tuesday afternoon.  Thomas says temperatures are expected to remain on the mild side for the next couple of weeks, but there are indications that arctic air will return later this month.  He says the cold, artic air, is currently bottled up around the Arctic, will begin to move further south.  Until the pattern change... temperatures are expected to remain generally above normal. 
 
Huber "very pleased" to get news about funding approved for Long-Term Drug Rehab Facility in Jamestown...
It's a "huge start."  Those are the feelings of one of the main people on the front-line of the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis in the Jamestown-area.  The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, says he was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the news about the new, 20-bed long-term treatment facility that will be opening soon at UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  Huber says he was in a meeting with County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman in Mayville when they got the word.  He says "we've needed that for a long-time, and it's going to save some lives."  Huber mainly credited Director Andy O'Brien with WCA's head of drug rehab and mental health programs.  O'Brien and UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright announced the $700,000 grant... and, the process they still have to go through to get the facility up and running at the Jones Memorial Health Center on Glasgow Avenue.  Huber says he's also pleased that the facility will deal with each case in a "highly-individualized" manner... which is one of the things that's "very nice" about the proposal. 
 
Ortolano says latest sentences from major cocaine ring bust sends strong message...
The sentencing of three more defendants to federal prison time in the city of Dunkirk's biggest-ever drug bust ever should send a strong message to the north county's residents -- and other potential drug dealers.  That from Police Chief David Ortolano... who says he's pleased to see last week's sentencings for three more people found guilty of being part in the cocaine traffickng operation.  Ortolano says Rafael Burgos, Alvin Torres Jr. and Angel Pierluissi, were arrested in June of 2015 after a lengthy investigation that involved several levels of law enforcement... including his own.  He says it was a "major undertaking" by them, the U-S Attorney's Office... and, the U-S Drug Enforcement Agency.  Burgos was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine... and, was sentenced to 75 months in prison.  Torres and Pierluissi, who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, were each sentenced to a year-and-a-half each.
 
JPS's new interim Superintendent Silvia Root looks forward to her latest role...
The new, Interim Superintendent for the Jamestown School District says she's very impressed with what she's seen of the local district as she get's acquainted with the district, and it's leaders.  Springville's Silvia Root will replace Superintendent Tim Mains after spent 20 years as a school administrator... and, doing six other stints as an "Interim" Superintendent.  Root reetired in 2005 from the Potsdam District in northern New York.  Root was formally introduced at last Thursday night's board meeting... and, says she knew a little about Jamestown prior to being asked to fill-in once Mains moves on Feb. 26.  She says she's been "very impressed" with the core values of the board... and, that "students come first."  Root was contacted by Erie-2 Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke about replacing Mains... who has accepted the Superintendent's position in the Pine Bush Central District in the mid-Hudson Valley.  She says her biggest task right now is learning the lay of the land... and, getting to know everyone she'll be working with.  
 
Dunkirk School Board learns more about where NRG Repowering Project is going...
The NRG repowering project was one of the issues that was discussed during the Dunkirk School Board meeting late last week.  State Senator Cathy Young hosted a conference call with school, city and county officials to confirm the go ahead with plans for the NRG repowering project.  School Superintendent James Tracy says they are encouraged about the project that had stalled in 2016... and, says it looks like all the roadblocks have been removed.  Tracy says that without the PILOT agreement, the District receives a reduced amount in transition aid with decreased amounts decrease each year...he adds that with the hopes of the repowering project, the funding will help keep class sizes reasonable and jobs intact. No set timeline on the repowering project has been determined.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 14, 2017

UPMC Chautauqua WCA receives funding for long-term drug rehabiliation facility at Jones Hill Memorial Center...
A long-term drug rehabilition facility is much closer to becoming reality in the Jamestown-area... thanks to a $700,000 state grant to get the facility up and running at UPMC Chautauqua-WCA.  Officials with the hospital held a news conference Friday afternoon to confirm the grant... one of eight announced late Thursday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says they're thrilled to be getting the funding after not getting funding in their first two tries.  Wright says the facility is "much-needed..." and was the payoff for persistance by the hospital and community.  The grants as approved by a number of agencies -- including the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services -- also known as OASAS.  Wright and WCA Board President Steve Kilburn say this is "an example" of the expansion of services at UPMC Chautauqua WCA that were promised when they merged with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  WCA's Director of Inpatient Chemical Dependency and Out-Patient Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Services, Andy O'Brien, says the 20-bed program will be "highly-individualized."  He says they want their patients to help set their own goals, and use whatever time they need -- 6 to 12-months -- to get better and get clean.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA officials say the beds will be located on the fourth-floor of their Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown.  The grant will help them make the renovations and buy needed equipment for the facility.  The other treatment facilites getting money are in six other counties in central and western New York and the Capital District. 
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs, and being in possession of more than 100 bags of Heroin...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs... and, being in possession of 113 bags of Heroin.  Jamestown police add that a 13 year-old child was in the car when officers pulled over 31 year-old Felix Rodriguez-Gomez about 5 p.m. Thursday.  Officers accuse Rodriguez-Gomez of driving recklessly when he was pulled over near North Main and West 11th Streets.  Police add that they found him under the influence of a narcotic drug and he was arrested for driving while ability impaired.  Officers say they also found a 13 year-old child in the car with Rodriguez-Gomez... and, he was also charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated -- a violation of Leandra's Law.  Police add they also found the packaged Heroin.  Rodriguez-Gomez is also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Ortolano pleased with sentencings of final three members of cocaine drug ring...
The city of Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased with the outcome of a major drug bust in the city of Dunkirk that is sending three more people to spend time in prison.  Rafael Burgos, Alvin Torres Jr. and Angel Pierluissi, were arrested in June of 2015 after a lengthy investigation that involved several levels of law enforcement.  That from Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano... whose department was involved in the investigation.  Burgos who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine was sentenced to 75 months in prison.  Torres and Pierluissi, who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, were each sentenced to 18 months in prison. Ortolano indicates he’s satisfied with the sentences and says its sends the message that they will do whatever it takes to get drug out of the community.
 
 
Reed voted with majority in Congress to repeal Affordable Care Act -- aka Obamacare...
Local Congressman Tom Reed was in the majority late Friday in voting for a budget bill that begins the effort in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act... also known as "Obamacare."  The Corning Republican supported the resolution... which would prevent Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a bill to annual and replace President Obama's signature health care law.  Reed says this starts the process of repealing and replacing the ACA by requiring each committee in Congress submit its policy ideas for the replacement efforts by January 27th.  Hes says -- "it's Important to recognize that this is the first step in the process.  The current provisions are still intact until we can get a replacement in place, but this allows Congress to start developing the replacement policies."
 
 
JCC receives $1.1-million grant from Sheldon Foundation for music program...
A local foundation is giving a $1.1-million grant to Jamestown Community College, and the JCC Foundation, to help renovate the music facilities on the Jamestown Campus.  JCC officials say the Sheldon Foundation's gift will be used to upgrade classrooms, equipment, and facilities for the music program in the Arts-and-Sciences Center.  JCC Vice-President of Enrollment Management and institutional advancement, Kirk Young, says the foundation has -- for many years and through several important initiatives -- provided financial support to JCC.  Young says "the foundation’s contributions have greatly enhanced the college’s ability to perform its critical mission.  He says -- overall -- the Sheldon Foundation has contributed nearly $5-million to the college

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WJTN News Headlines

 

Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains will be leaving at the end of February to become the head of the rural, Pine Bush Central School District in Orange County, New York.  The district last night sent out a printed press release... saying that Mains would leave the district on February 26th.  Members of the Jamestown School Board says they will address questions regarding Mains’ departure at the regular board meeting at 6 this evening in the Jefferson Middle School auditorium.  He became the city district's superintendent on August 1st of 2013.  During his tenure... board members say the district has made great strides and achieved a number of milestones.  Those include increasing graduation rates from 69-percent in 2012 to 77-percent this past year.  He also worked to increase the district's focus on curriculum and instruction in order to meet the new, more rigorous state standards.  School Board President Paul Abbott says "we have been very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Tim since 2013.  Tim is a tireless professional, and I appreciate everything he has put into our district and our community during his time here."  He says the board will now begin the process of seeking a new superintendent.

 

There is now a threat of widespread flooding in western New York... including Chautauqua County... with temperatures above freezing the next couple of days.  The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch from 7 this (Thursday) morning through Saturday morning for the region... and, forecasters are keeping an eye on local streams and creeks.  Meteorologist Bob Hamilton in Buffalo says abnormally high temperatures and a prolonged period of rain will melt much of the existing snowpack. Some areas may see over an inch.  Hamilton says Cattaraugus Creek near Sunset Bay will be one of the areas of concern.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county has a plan in case flooding should occur... and, he says County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone has his crews ready to go on a moment's notice.  Horrigan is encouraging people who live near creeks and streams to monitor the latest weather information and be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

 

Jamestown city lawmakers are looking at a new, local property tax abatement incentive for redevelopment of vacant and condemned homes.  That from City Development Director Vince DeJoy... who outlined the proposal for the City Council's Housing Committee... and, the entire council at Monday night's work session.  DeJoy says city officials have discussed such a program for just over a year now... and, he says the idea is to provide a 12-year tax incentive for new single and two-family homeowners. DeJoy says there are a number of criteria involved with the program... including the fact that the property must be residential, vacant or condemned... and, has outstanding code violations.  He says there can also be a plan to put up a new, single or two-family home on the site of a torn-down structure.  Mayor Sam Teresi says there are also stipulations for the tax abatement to take effect... including that all pertinent certificates and permits have been issued.  The abatement would include no taxes for the first through third years... an, 80-percent abatement for year's 4 and 5... all the way to no abatement by Year-12.

 

Chautauqua County's top-elected official says we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to efforts to reducing property taxes and the costs of local governments.  That's County Executive Vince Horrigan's reaction to a proposal outlined by Governor Cuomo during a State of the State message given Tuesday on Long Island.  Cuomo wants counties to prepare plans for local residents to vote on in November.  During an interview Wednesday morning... Horrigan says the county already formed a Regional Solutions Commission and is identified some projects. Horrigan says there have been some successes including the recent vote in Forestville that clears the way for dissolution.  He also noted the defeat of a plan to dissolve the village of Sherman by two votes.  Horrigan also praised the work the Regional Solutions panel in looking for better ways to carry out services.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a 750-mile paved biking and hiking Empire State Trail for completion by 2020.  The trail would actually be a network of trails running east-west between Albany and Buffalo and north-south from the Canadian border to Manhattan.  The Democratic governor outlined plans for the network in his state of the state address Tuesday.  Plans call for paving 350 miles to fill gaps in the state's existing trails: the Erie Canalway and the Hudson River Valley Greenway.  State Bike Route 9 that runs along Lake Champlain to Canada would complete the trail from Manhattan.  The Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete; the Greenway nearly 50 percent.  Cuomo says he'll propose $53 million for the first of three phases.

 

Someone in the Jamestown-area is more than 30-thousand dollars richer.  That after they picked the winning numbers for Thursday night's TAKE 5 drawing.  The New York State Lottery has announced that the top-prize ticket for the January 10th TAKE 5 drawing was sold at Tops Markets on Foote Avenue in Jamestown.  The winning ticket is worth 30-thousand-990 dollars.  The TAKE 5 winner gets the top prize by matching five out of five numbers.  In addition... 247 players each purchased winning tickets worth $376 by matching four out of five numbers for the drawing.  In total, there were 87-thousand-104 TAKE 5 winners for the January 10th drawing.  The winning numbers for the January 10 TAKE 5 drawing were 03-06-17-24-32.  The Lottery encourages everyone who bought a New York Lottery draw game ticket, to check their tickets again, as they could be holding a winner.  Tickets expire one year after the game’s drawing.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are up six-cents a gallon over the past week to nearly 2-dollars-56 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for last week was 2--49 a gallon... while it was 2-dollars-21 cents per gallon a year ago.  Nationally... the Triple-A says the price continues to increase... and, is now 2-dollars-37 cents a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge reports that price is the highest it's been since June 2016.  Triple-A says gas prices have moved higher by almost three cents per gallon on the week and 17 cents per gallon on the month.  Retail prices have increased for 40 of the past 42 days as a result of market reactions to the OPEC oil cut agreement.


 

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Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing another "Buffalo Billion" program... but, this one would be designed to help not just Buffalo -- but, the entire Western New York region.  Cuomo delivered his "Western New York" regional State of the State Message Monday afternoon at the University of Buffalo.  Mayor Sam Teresi was on hand as the governor spoke about the need to use another 500-million dollar boost the regional economy... and, Cuomo first proposed a major infusion of money for the new National Comedy Center. Cuomo says he decided to call this second-part of the "Buffalo Billion..." the Buffalo Billion-Squared.  He says another measure to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid, economic footing... would also be part of the proposal.  That would provide the city with 2.5-million dollars to help deal with a structural deficit.  Also in his proposal.... he's proposing a new Middle Class Recovery Act that focuses on three parts.  The first is jobs and infrastructure... improve education... and, lower taxes.  Cuomo's proposed free public college tuition for 2 and 4-year schools is part of that program.  He included proposals for the city of Niagara Falls in the plan as well.

 

Jamestown's top-elected official says he was very pleased to hear Governor Cuomo "call-out" Jamestown for two-areas of funding in the coming year.  Mayor Sam Teresi was among the local leaders on hand for the governor's State of the State Address in Buffalo Monday.  Teresi says the 5-million dollars in "gap funding" for the National Comedy Center means it should have all the funding in place to the project to go full-speed ahead.
Teresi adds that it's also important because there will be additional money freed up in other areas for economic development.  He says the Comedy Center was looking at receiving 2-million dollars in "gap funding" from the city's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant.  Teresi says the 2.5-million dollars to help get the city back on "solid" financial footing will help deal with it's structural budget issues.  He says it will likely be used to help implement the city's proposals to cuts costs, and make further consolidations of services.  While nothing is guaranteed once the governor's budget is proposed... and, then is adopted by the legislature... Teresi says it's "good that we are on the governor's radar screen."

 

Earlier... Governor Cuomo said New York state can be an alternative to Republican President-elect Donald Trump by showing how government can expand opportunities while respecting diversity.  In his State of the State Speech at the World Trade Center... Cuomo said investments in education, government support for high-tech industries and progressive policies like a higher minimum wage can create an economy that works for all.  The governor has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but he has said he's focused on running for re-election next year.  However, his speech appeared to be crafted for a national audience.  He spoke of the anger of a middle class that feels squeezed economically and forgotten by political elites.

 

The city of Jamestown is looking at another emergency demolition to bring down a vacant, dilapitated building in the downtown area... and, has already closed the sidewalk in front of the structure.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says a building inspector notices a "shift" in the facade at the Stearn's Building at 34 North Main Street.  That's just one building north of the former CONRAIL Viaduct, and railroad tracks.  DeJoy says the Stearns Building is basically wedged between two other structures. DeJoy says they have been monitoring the building's status for the past few years... and, says the inspector noticed the instability last week.  He says an emergency demolition has been ordered... but, adds it's not likely going to be a case of just "tearing it down."  DeJoy says it may require a lot of "manual deconstructing" to bring it down.  He says they are working with various contractors, and, the owner -- Prideful Properties -- on the best way to bring down the structure as soon as possible.  He says Prideful acquired the building through the county's Tax Foreclosure process last year.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to strengthen state laws against computer hacking, identity theft and other cybercrimes.  The Democratic governor also called for the creation of a new "cyber incident response team" to help state agencies prevent and respond to cyberattacks.  The recommendations would enhance the criminal penalties for tampering with a computer or using a computer to steal the identities of large groups of individuals.  The proposals are part of Cuomo's larger agenda for the year, which he plans to detail in a series of speeches around the state beginning Monday.  Cuomo says computer hacking and cybercriminals represent an "ever-increasing threat" to New York and to the privacy and financial health of citizens.

 

With only 10-days to go before the new Trump Administration takes office... the President-elect's transition team is hard at work... working to make recommendations on three-thousand plus appointments.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a member of the Trump Transition team.  Reed says they were given their directive by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence... who heads up the transition... to recommend the best people for those positions. Reed says some of those positions are in individual departments... and, others are in the judiciary.  However... he says once Attorney General-appointee Jeff Sessions is confirmed... Sessions will handle filling those positions.  Reed says the committee will mainly deal with under-secretaries... and, ambassadors.  Otherwise... Reed says -- from his perspective -- the transition process has been hectic... but, has gone well.  He says one of his biggest tasks will be helping to design and drive reform of the nation's tax code in the House Ways and Means Committee.  Reed made his comments during his weekly media conference call.


A portion of Falconer and the Levant-area were impacted for about an hour yesterday morning when a power outage affected about 230 customers.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokewoman Becky Robbins says the outage occured when part of a circuit opened in error about 9:35 AM.  Robbins says the area affected ran from Fancher Chair to the Gerry-Levant Road.  Power was restored about 10:45 Monday morning.

 

 

 


WJTN News Headlines

The U-S Senate has taken the first step towards repealing the Affordable Care Act.  However... Republicans will need Democratic support in order to approve a replacement measure.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed as the Senate voted 51-to-48 last week to repeal President Obama's signature health care law.  Reed says repealing and replacing "Obamacare" will take several steps... and, will have to go through the federal budget process.
Reed says there will also be a vote in the House of Representatives shortly to first repeal the law.  As for a replacement... that has already been a topic of discussion itself.  Some Democrats have contended there is no replacement legislation.  However... Reed says replacing the ACA will require Democratic help in the Senate... where 60-votes will be needed.  CNN reports that the Senate will next begin 50 hours of debate on the budget measure, which sets up repeal of much of Obamacare through a separate budget reconciliation bill.
 
In the weeks after November's election... President-elect Donald Trump and incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer sounded like potential allies.  Trump tweeted about their "good relationship" and about Schumer's "ability to get things done."  Schumer spoke of issues such as infrastructure and trade where Trump had embraced Democratic positions, and the New York Democrat pointed to common ground with the next president.  But just days into the new Congress, the Trump-Schumer courtship has turned cold, and the potential allies now sound more like antagonists.  Trump has taken to attacking Schumer as Democrats' "head clown" in their party's defense of President Barack Obama's health law.  Schumer goaded Trump by repurposing Trump's campaign slogan into Democrats' new rallying cry against GOP efforts to repeal the health law: "Make America Sick Again."
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo breaks with tradition and takes his state of the state address on the road in the coming week.  That includes an address at the University of Buffalo this afternoon.  Instead of a single address to lawmakers, Cuomo will deliver six speeches in different locations throughout the state.  He'll also be in New York City today for the first speeches.  Additional addressed are planned for Long Island, Westchester County, Albany and Syracuse.  The top Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the Assembly are skipping the event in another sign of the tension between the Legislature and the Democratic governor.  Instead... lawmakers will return to Albany today for the second week of the 2017 legislative session.
 
Tickets for Chautauqua Institution's 2017 season go on-sale this morning... and, officials say there will be more than four-thousand events coming up during the nine-week session.  That from Chautauqua's Marketing Manager, Vanessa Weinert, who says the season opens on June 24th with a first-ever Chautauqua visitor... who will perform in the new Amphitheater.  Weinert says the excitement is growing already. Weinert adds that they have "An Evening with Garrison Keillor" on July 21st... which will be another take-off on his famous PBS Series "A Prarie Home Companion."  There is also the weekly lecture series... which will feature a week-six program with the National Comedy Center on Comedy.  Weinert says many Chautauqua staff members lobbied for the week on comedy... which will conclude in time for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... which runs August 3rd through 6th.  Wienert adds the final concert of the season feature's The Beach Boys to conclude Week-Nine.  For ticket information... go on-line to chqtickets-dot-COM... or call 357-6250.  Weinert adds that you can also go on-line to ciweb-dot-ORG.
 
The National Comedy Center is partnering with CNN to help promote the network's upcoming docu-series on "The History of Comedy..." which starts February 9th.  That from Center Director Journey Gunderson... who says CNN approached them last August during last Summer's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  Gunderson says the promotion will involve a four-city "live tour..." which will feature some of the "freshest and funniest" stand-up comics. Gunderson says the CNN Producers interviewed several people while they were here last Summer... including one of the three headliners that were here... for the docu-series.  She says Lewis Black was interviewed, along with Mark Russell, and Richard Pryor's daughter, Rain Pryor.  CNN Originals is putting the series of eight programs together.  Gunderson says the promotion tour will include stops in New York City... Boston... Chicago... and, Los Angeles.  For more information... and, to purchase tickets... go to the Comedy Center's website at Comedycenter-dot-ORG.  "The History of Comedy" Series begins on Thursday, February 9th at 9 PM.
 
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has announced new, emergency measures for those who are homeless during inclement Winter weather.  Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says during those periods when temperatures fall to 32-degrees Fahrenheit... or lower... those who are homeless are encouraged to seek emergency shelter through her office.  She says anyone experiencing those conditions... may report to either the Jamestown or Dunkirk offices during normal business hours from 8:30 AM through 4:30 PM where assistance will be provided.  However... Schuyler says during those times, and after-business hours... all local law enforcement departments, along with the Department of Mental Hygiene, UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Brooks Hospital, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Mobile Crisis Team are available to assist with arrangements for emergency shelter for those experiencing homeless conditions.  For more information... call 661-8830.  After hours... call 753-4231.
 
A Jamestown man is accused of being in possession of "several types" of narcotic prescription pills during a traffic stop last weekend in the town of Ellicott.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped a vehicle operated by 33 year-old Sean Carlson for a traffic violation shortly after 2 AM Saturday on Route 60.  Deputies say they found Carlson in possession of the drugs... which he did not have a prescription for.  Officers add his license was also suspended.  Carlson was arrested on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance... aggravated unlicensed operation... and, failure to keep right.  He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.

News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 7, 2016

New Lake Effect Snow Warning now in effect for Chautauqua County...
More Wintry weather is on tap for this weekend in Chautauqua County and the western Southern Tier.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning now through 7 p.m. Sunday.  That from Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says the traditional snow belt areas -- including the Chautauqua Ridge -- will see up to a foot to 2-feet of snow now through Sunday evening.  Hamilton adds we'll continue to see frigid temperatures -- and wind chills through Sunday.  He says temperatures will be about 10-degrees below normal for the period.  Hamilton says there will be a bit of a break during the afternoon today.  However... the Lake Effect machine kicks in again tonight.
 
 
Chautauqua County provides help for the homeless during severe Winter outbreaks...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has announced new, emergency measures for those experiencing homeless conditions during inclement winter weather.  Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says during those periods when temperatures fall to 32-degrees Fahrenheit... or lower... those who are homeless are encouraged to seek emergency shelter assistance through her office.  She says anyone experiencing those conditions... may report to either the Jamestown or Dunkirk office locations during normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. where assistance will be provided.  However... Schuyler says during those times, and after-business hours, all law enforcement departments in the county... along with the Department of Mental Hygiene, UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Brooks Hospital, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Mobile Crisis Team are available to assist with arrangements for emergency shelter for those experiencing homeless conditions.  For more information... call 661-8830.  After hours... call 753-4231.
 
Goodell pleased with Assembly committee assignments...
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says making New York more "business-friendly" continues to be his goal as the 2017 session begins.  Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell will be assistant floor leader for the GOP in the coming session... and, says he's excited about that.  Goodell says he's also pleased to be back on the committees he served on in 2016... including Social Services... and, the Judiciary... which deals with judicial and government operations.  He'll also be on the Cities Committee... which deals with small cities such as Jamestown and Dunkirk.  He adds that another priority will be dealing with the ongoing Heroin and Opioid Drug crisis.  The state legislative session began this past Wednesday in the Assembly and Senate.
 
Jamestown BPU pushing new sanitation regulations for 2017 in interest of health and safety...
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities have made some changes to it's solid waste regulations to make the operation more efficient and safe.  That from BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins... who says the biggest change is enforcing a bag limit of eight per customer.  Robbins says officials decided on the move because... in some cases... crews are picking up 20 to 30 grocery-sized plastic bags.  She says the BPU wants customers to use 30-gallon trash bags to cut down on the number of bags that workers have to pick-up.  Robbins says -- starting now -- anyone leaving 15 or more bags a week will be charged a $3 fee for each of the extra bags.  If someone is still putting out 9 to 11 bags... they will get a letter in February.  In addition... Robbins says the requirement to put lids on garbage cans has already stirred some controversy.  However... she says they want to avoid problems with rats... and roaches during the Summer months.  If the trash is NOT in a can, though, there will be no penalty -- at this point.  The basic sanitation fee remains $10.50.  If you have any questions... you're asked to call the garbage hotline at 661-1651.
 
BPU warns about Customer Service Scam...
It appears a scam involving a person calling customers of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities... and, identifying themself as a BPU representative... and, threatening service shut-offs has resurfaced.  BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says three separate customers Friday reported receiving such calls... and, threatening to cut off service unless the customer went to a local pharmacy to pay the caller with a money card.  Robbins says the BPU receives payments only in its 92 Steele St. Customer Service Office, the City Clerk’s Office and the Town of Ellicott’s Clerk’s Office.  Customers may pay on-line or by phone... but, the customer must initiate such payments.
 
 
 

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Lake Effect Snow returned to Chautauqua County overnight after spending Thursday afternoon and evening in the South Buffalo and Orchard Park areas.  The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning though 5 PM today... and, parts of northern Chautauqua County could see another 12 to 18 inches of snow by tomorrow night.  That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo... who says most of the snow will fall from the Chautauqua Ridge north to the Lake Erie Shoreline area.The Jamestown area and north saw about 5 and 9 inches of snow during the night.  Hibbert says the lake effect bands will stay down here though the end of the lake effect system tonight.  He says the greatest amounts of snow will fall in the higher elevations this time... namely the Chautauqua Ridge.  Again... Hibbert says the band have moved back into the North County area late tonight.  The Weather Service is continuing our Lake Effect Snow Warning from now through 5 PM.

 

Parts of upstate New York near lakes Erie and Ontario had already received nearly 2 feet of snow yesterday morning... while forecasters say some areas could get up to 4 feet by the coming weekend.  The National Weather Service says areas south of Buffalo had gotten up to 22 inches by Thursday morning... and, parts of the Tug Hill region north of Syracuse have received nearly 20 inches.  Weather service meteorologists say lake-effect storms blowing off the eastern end of Lake Ontario could dump up to 48 inches of snow across the sparsely populated region by the time storms lessen later Friday.

 

Local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's "very pleased" to have been named Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore for this year's session.  Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua announced late Wednesday that Goodell will fill the position this year... and, will play a "vital role" in preparation of floor debates.  The Jamestown-area Republican says he'll be involved in determining what bills from Majority Democrats the GOP wants to question. Kolb says Goodell has "worked diligently over the years to fight for the issues that matter to his constituents in Chautauqua County."  In addition to being Ass't Pro Temp... Goodell says he'll again be the Ranking GOP member of the Assembly Social Services Committee... where he will work again on Welfare Reform to try and break the "cycle of poverty" for so many people.  He says he will also be on the Judiciary... Government Operations... and, Cities Committees.  Goodell has represented the 150th Assembly District since 2010.

 

State Senator Cathy Young will again serve as the chair of the Senate's powerful Finance Committee as she begins her sixth, full-term in officer.  Young was sworn in in Albany yesterday as the Senate began the 2017 legislative session.  She is also an active member of several other committees.  Young says serving has been "a tremendous honor..." and, adds that the 2017 session "will be a busy and important year, especially since there are so many significant issues that need to be addressed.  Our hardworking residents deserve significant tax relief, our business climate needs to be strengthened, and our communities need a strong voice against the tax-and-spend polices being pushed by downstate legislators."  The Olean Republican adds that she will "continue to sponsor legislation that improves people’s quality of life, protects public safety and nurtures economic development.  People need and deserve to have good paying jobs.  Our young people must have career opportunities locally, so they can stay after they graduate."

 

Governor Cuomo is taking some heat for his decision to deliver his "State of the State" message in six different regions of the state -- including Albany.  However... the one in Albany won't be given while the legislature is in session.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who is among those lawmakers who aren't happy about the governor's decision.  Goodell says he likes the idea of continuing the regional "State of the State" messages... but, adds. One of Cuomo's more regional stops will be in Buffalo next Monday... where he will give a Western New York "State of the State" at 3 PM.  However... Goodell says he's in session in Albany on Monday, and cannot be at the Buffalo presentation.  Cuomo's presentation will be delivered at the Center for the Arts at the University of Buffalo's North Campus.

 

New York state lawmakers have gathered in Albany to begin their work for 2017.  The Senate and Assembly both convened Wednesday for the first time since they adjourned last summer.  This year's six-month session is expected to feature big debates over the cost of higher education, government ethics and Uber's proposal to expand into upstate cities like Buffalo and Syracuse.  Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, says lawmakers will also work to stand up to President-elect Donald Trump if he and Congressional Republicans move to rein in abortion rights, immigration, health care benefits or efforts to fight climate change.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo skipped the Legislature's first day.  Cuomo has had frosty relations with lawmakers in recent months and chose to hold an event in New York City instead.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are on the rise again this week... with prices now at 2-dollars-55 cents in many places.  At the start of the New Year... the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price increased to 2-dollars-49-cents for regular, unleaded.  However... it's now jumped about six more cents, making the increase since last week about 10-cents a gallon.  Nationally... the average has increased for 35 of the past 36 days, largely due to market reactions to last fall’s OPEC deal.  Pump prices increased by six cents on the week to about 2-dollars-35 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  It's up by 18 cents per gallon on the month, and are up by 36 cents on the year.  Retail averages in the region continued to climb higher throughout the busy holiday travel weekend with drivers paying the highest New Year’s gas prices since 2014.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to increase a child care tax credit for middle-class parents.  The Democrat said Thursday that his plan would raise the average child care benefit from 169-million to 376-million dollars for households making between $60,000 and $150,000.  If approved by lawmakers... the change would cost the state $42 million and help an estimated 200,000 families.  Cuomo says too many parents choose not to work because they can't afford quality child care.  In tax year 2014... almost 520,000 New York families received child care tax credits totaling nearly $189 million.  Cuomo announced the plan ahead of a series of state-of-the-state addresses next week when he is expected to detail his proposals for the year.

 

A local school board in upstate New York has voted to hire a law firm in the board's efforts to remove a Donald Trump supporter over his insulting comments about President Barack Obama and his wife.  The Buffalo School Board voted during a special meeting Wednesday night to hire an attorney to petition the state Education Department to remove board member Carl Paladino.  Paladino, a wealthy developer who co-chaired Trump's presidential campaign in New York, has said he won't resign.  He wasn't at the meeting.  Last month... the 70-year-old former New York gubernatorial candidate told a Buffalo alternative newspaper that he wanted the president to die of mad cow disease and first lady Michelle Obama to "return to being a male."  Paladino said the comments weren't meant for publication.

 

 

 

 


News Headlines for Thurs., Jan. 5, 2016

Lake Effect Snow Warning in place until Friday afternoon; north county to get most of the snowfall...
The first major lake effect snow storm of 2017 really got going early last evening... and, dropped about 2 to 3 inches of snow by late evening in the Jamestown area.  A Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. Friday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties.  However... unlike the other recent lake effect events... Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the North County will see a good share of the snow this time... and, the snowfall won't be as elevation-driven.  Wood says some parts of northern Chautauqua County may see upwards of 1 to 2-feet of snow by the time the storm is over.  Besides the snow... Wood says colder temperatures and strong winds will bring some frigid wind chills in the single-digits.  He says we'll still see wind gusts up to 40 to 50 m.p.h. that will produce white-out conditions at times. 
 
 
Marketing Director Murphy leaving Chautauqua Institution...
The man who helped market Chautauqua Institution in new and different ways over the past six years has left the institution for a new venture.  Chautauqua's Director of Communcations... Jordan Steves... confirms that George Murphy has left to work full-time on the branding of a new product in the market-place.  Steves says the institution will definately miss Murphy... who was Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer.  He says Murphy allowed the institution to "really understand it's audience..." and, target the people who should be coming to Chautauqua, and who needs to come back.  Steves says Murphy was one of five Vice-Presidents at the institution... and, adds that replacing him will be one of new Chautauqua President Michael Hill's first priorities.  Murphy has been a major player in the marketing and "branding" industry... having worked at General Motors, Coca-Cola, and Chrysler before coming to Chautauqua Institution in 2011.
 
 
Chautauqua sends out new, four-year contractor proposal for Chautauqua Symphony  Orchestra...
Member of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra now have the institution's latest contract proposal in hand to replace the one that expired last Saturday night.  That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications, Jordan Steves, who says the newest offer is "new and better" than the last one.  Steves says the new offer is a four-year deal... which they hope is attractive to the membership.  He says they also want to build on the success of new Director Rossen Milanov the first two years.  Steves says the contract offer went out around New Years to the 74 members of the orchestra... who are now scattered all over the United States... and, two are working overseas.  With that... he says the institution will give the Orchestra's Negotiating Committee until later in the month to review the contract offer. 
 
 
Merchant says Red Kettle Campaign falls short of 2016 goal...
The Salvation Army of Jamestown's annual Red Kettle Campaign wound up about $13,000 short of the 2016 goal.  As of Tuesday... Salvation Army Captain John Merchant says they wound up with $103,000 for their numerous programs... in addition to their food pantry.  Merchant says they wound up with about another $8,000 during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.  He says they "struggled" to get enough bell-ringers this year... and, adds they will have to "tighten their belts" unless they get some additional donations in early 2017.  Merchant says you can still sent a contribution to their headquarters at 83 South Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701.  Merchant says you can also donate by going on line to the Salvation Army website, and going to the Jamestown chapter's page.  You can also get more information by calling them at 664-4108.
 
 
Himelein elected new County Legislature Chairman...
The new chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature received unanimous support from fellow lawmakers during Tuesday's organizational meeting.  Republican David Himelein of Findley Lake succeeds Frank "Jay" Gould... who held the position for the last five years.  Himelein served as majority leader before taking over his new duties.  He outlined his goals in his acceptance speech... including infrastruture growth... including completion of the Sherman Public Facilities' Garage.  He adds they he will also continue to "strive to keep property taxes as low as possible."  Also Tuesday... Republican members of the legislature chose Paul "P-J" Wendel of Lakewood as majority leader and Mark Tarbrake of Ellicott as the assistant leader.  Democrats selected Jamestown's Chuck Nazzaro as minority leader and Robert Bankoski of Dunkirk as assistant leader. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

 

It was an uneventful start to the New Year weather-wise... with slightly above normal temperatures.  However... our warm-up comes to an end by mid-week.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch... starting Wednesday afternoon... with up to 15 inches predicted in some areas through Friday.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we're currently under the influence of a weather system that's moved in from the south. Reynolds says the high temperatures by this Thursday and Friday will only be 15 to 20 degrees.  Reynolds says the Chautauqua Ridge -- and, traditional snow belt areas -- will probably see the most snow... between 8 and 15 inches.  He says we'll likely see those very cold temperatures for several days once they reach the area late Wednesday.  In fact... the projected high next Saturday and Sunday is only between 15 and 20-degrees.

 

A Jamstown man is accused of theatening a woman and her two small children with a knife during a domestic violence incident on the city's southside early yesterday morning.  City Police say they were called to the scene at 816 Newland Avenue around Midnight... and, found the three victims visibly upset and crying.  Officers say 39 year-old Nicholas Alianell also damaged a door during the incident.  He was arrested without further incident... and, he was found to have an active Order of Protection against him to stay away from the children.  Alianell was arraigned on two counts of aggravated family offense... and, second-degree criminal contempt... and, menacing.  He was then sent to the county jail without bail.

 

The Christmas and New Year's Holiday period is usually a big one for local ski resorts... and, this year has been a good one.  That from Holiday Valley Ski Resort Marketing Manager Jane Eshbaugh... who says the Ellicottville ski area has had a "wonderful" start to the 2016-17 season.  Eshbaugh says they had all but one slope open for Christmas... thanks to recent lake effect snow, and their ability to make snow. Eshbaugh adds that the only slope that hasn't opened yet is "The Wall..." which is their steepest slope at Holiday Valley... but, she says they hope to open that this weekend.  She says they've already received about 90 inches of snow in Ellicottville this Winter.  She says the skiing was terrific on New Year's... with a "great crowd" on hand.  Eshbaugh says they expect to keep the momentum going because it's "Canadian Friendship Week..." with all Canadian public schools closed this week.  Holiday Valley is open from 9 AM to 9 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays... 9 AM to 10 PM WednesdayS through Fridays... and, 8:30 AM to 10 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

In addition to it's skiing... Holiday Valley is also know for it's special events and promotions.  Marketing Manager Jane Eshbaugh says they have a reduced rate for "Learn to Ski" Week this week.  Eshbaugh says they're cutting the usual lift pass price in half to encourage people to come out and give the sport a try. Eshbaugh also says Holiday Valley will try to set a new Guiness World's Record this Friday afternoon for the largest number of people taking a ski lesson at once.  She says they'll start at 1 PM... and, the best part is the lesson will be free.  Eshbaugh says they hoped to try to beat the record last year... but, the weather didn't cooperate.  For more information on Holiday Valley... call 699-2345... or go on-line to Holidayvalley-dot-COM.

 

About 200 state investigators and staffers are being assigned to spread the word about New York's recent minimum wage increase - and to make sure businesses comply.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the task force Monday in New York City.  The minimum wage was previously 9-dollars  an hour statewide until Saturday.  Now, it varies by location and size of business, from $9.70 an hour in much of the state to $11 an hour in New York City businesses with 11 or more workers.  The Democratic governor and the state Legislature agreed in March to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour statewide by 2021.  Cuomo says the task force initially will mainly inform employers and workers about the increase, but over time, the group will focus more on complaints and enforcement.

 

A Sears department store in the Hudson Valley is closing in the new year, putting nearly 100 people out of work.  The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that 96 jobs in the department store and auto center located at Galleria at Crystal Run will be lost.  That's acording to a notice published on the state Department of Labor website... which says lay-offs will begin two weeks before the April 9th closing date.  The struggling retailer has continued to downsize in the face of declining revenue. Sears Holdings reported to the state labor department earlier in the week that four Sears department stores, three that have companion automotive centers, will close in New York.  Two are in Erie County.  None of the closings involve the West Ellicott K-Mart... or the Sears in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.

 

A new state law coming to New York aims to ensure that consumers know what they're buying when they purchase fish labeled "white tuna."  The regulation taking effect in January requires any fish sold in a restaurant or market as "white tuna" to come from actual tuna.  It's intended to prevent fish from other species from being passed off as tuna, which can sell at higher prices.  The law is also targeting a fish known as escolar, which officials say is commonly sold as white tuna. Escolar has been known to cause digestive problems.  Lawmakers passed the legislation in June.  It was signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo back in September.

 

As the nation fights a spiraling drug epidemic, a top federal prosecutor is speaking out about the death of his son from a heroin overdose.  Bruce Brandler is the new interim U.S. attorney for a region that covers the eastern half of Pennsylvania.  He has never before publicly discussed the 2007 overdose death of his 16-year-old son, Erik, but says he feels a responsibility that comes with his new, higher-profile job.  He tells The Associated Press he wants to "evaporate the myth that heroin addicts are just homeless derelicts," urging parents to "open their eyes" and talk to their kids.  Brandler's office has announced a strategy for combating overdose deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers, part of a directive from the Justice Department to the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys.

 


WJTN News Headlines

The Heroin and Opioid Addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County is still increasing... and, not showing many signs of letting up.  That's the assessment of the head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, who says his recovery coaches in Jamestown are busier now than they've ever been.  Huber says he recently read a story about the situation in Lima (Lee-muh), Ohio... where their coaches are dealing with their own crisis. Huber says the county needs to be more aggressive on getting people into short and longer-term rehabilitation.  He says it's going to get "interesting" if the county doesn't re-allocate funding to deal with the drug abuse crisis.  Huber says you just "need to get creative..." and expand treatment court to make sure people with addiction issues get the help they need.  If those steps were taken... he says it would reduce the population of the Chautauqua County Jail... which would allow the Sheriff to again make money by housing federal prisoners.

 

A city man is accused of holding a Jamestown woman against her will... and, choking her during a domestic incident on the southside on New Year's Eve.  City police were called to the scene at 114 Palmer Street about 1 PM Saturday... where the victim was visibly upset and crying.  Officers say she told them that 25 year-old Jayrd Clark had restrained and choked her during the incident.  They add that Clark is also accused of damaging several doors, walls, and a cooking stove.  He was later found by Ellicott Town Police in Falconer... where he was arrested for unlawful imprisonment, and obstruction of breathing or circulation.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

Another round of targeted crude oil rail inspections has been completed in upstate New York.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says federal and state inspection teams examined approximately 140 miles of track and 87 switches, and have corrected seven critical defects and 32 non-critical defects.  Critical defects are important maintenance issues that must be addressed immediately but they do not necessarily indicate safety lapses.  Non-critical rail defects must be repaired within 30 days.  Among tracks inspected were a CSX mainline route through Albany and Greene counties, a section between Rome and Canastota in central New York, and three other sections between Syracuse and Buffalo. Inspectors also examined Canadian Pacific-owned tracks in Essex and Clinton counties, and between the state capital of Albany and Clifton Park in Saratoga County.

 

Local and state elected officials are pleased to hear from Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (HOKE-ul) that the NRG repowering project is back on track.  Hochul told the media during a visit to Dunkirk late last week that Governor Andrew Cuomo remains committed to the project and that it was moving ahead.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell tells us that he has heard the same thing. In announcing the Governor's re-commitment to the project... Hochul indicated they don't have a timetable for the project to begin.  She says there is still some "background work" that has to be done, and then they'll have a firmer start date.  Goodell says that NRG is now working with NFG to upgrade the pipeline that will be required for the plant's conversion from coal to natural gas.  Hochul was in Dunkirk Thursday to announce an expansion at Fieldbrook Foods that will create 61 new jobs.

 

New York lawmakers will return to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017.  The six-month legislative session gets underway Wednesday.  This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize state voting rules, address government corruption and permit Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.  Democrats say they'll also look for ways to stand up to Republican President-elect Donald Trump if he moves to restrict abortion rights, deport immigrants or roll back efforts to address climate change.  Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.  Lawmakers expect to adjourn in June.

 


The man who has headed up the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation the past few years will be leaving at the end of January for a new position in Stamford, Connecticut.  JRC Executive Director Greg Lindquist tells the Jamestown Post-Journal that he's accepted a job with the city of Stamford to go to work with that city's Downtown Special Services District.  Lindquist says he'll be handling a lot of similar activities to those he's been doing in Jamestown.  His last day with the JRC will be January 20th.  He begins his new position on January 30th.  Lindquist's wife, Patty accepted a new position last year with Stamford Health as a chemistry supervisor.  Lindquist said he wanted to try commuting between Jamestown and Connecticut... but, found the distance was too much to manage.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has pardoned 101 New Yorkers who committed non-violent crimes as 16- and 17-year-olds.  The Democratic governor announced the pardons Friday. Those receiving pardons have had clean records for at least 10 years.  The pardons may be withdrawn if they reoffend.  Cuomo says those pardoned deserve a second chance to "live up to their full potential" and overcome the stigma of conviction.  Cuomo issued several other pardons and commutations Friday, including one for former radical Judith Clark.  The 67-year-old former member of the Weather Underground has served 35 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence for her role in a deadly 1981 armored car robbery.  Cuomo's office described Clark as a model inmate.  She won't be released under the commutation but will be eligible for parole next year.

 

It was a year that saw New York's leaders vote to raise the minimum wage, legalize mixed martial arts and once again struggle with Albany's history of political corruption.  The year also marked the end of a state sales tax on tampons and the opening of the first state-regulated casino.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through a paid family leave benefit and his plan to phase-in a $15 minimum wage.  But... his administration was rocked when a federal bribery and extortion case ensnared two senior advisers and several politically connected developers.  Meanwhile, lawmakers lifted the ban on professional mixed-martial arts and enacted regulations for daily fantasy sports.  They also authored a plan to address heroin addiction and expanded access to breast cancer screening.

 

At the top of Pennsylvania's campaign outlook for 2017 are two elections that won't even occur next year - Republican jockeying for position to become the party's nominees for governor and for U.S. senator.  The fact that the two Democratic incumbents, Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey, plan to run for re-election may not scare away ambitious Republicans.  They're eager to build on Donald Trump's win in Pennsylvania and a string of Republican electoral successes in the Legislature.  It'll be another year before the governor's re-election campaign gets underway in earnest.

 

 


 


New Headlines for Sat. Dec. 31, 2016 -- New Year's Eve!

Brocton woman jailed on $30,000 Bail for allegedly running a Meth Lab...
A Brocton woman has been arrested for allegedly making Methamphetime... and, being in possession of an electric stun gun during a traffic stop earlier this month.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 52 year-old Jodi Denmead of 5772 Ellicott Rd. on an arrest warrant at her home.  Task Force members say they Denmead was initially arrested on a prior arrest warrant on Dec. 15 on East Main Street.  A warrant was obtained to search the car... where authorities later found a "one pot" style Meth lab... along with the the material to make Meth.  Task Force agents add they also found a digital scale used for weighing drugs, and the stun gun.  Police say they arraigned Denmead on charges including third-degree Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetamine... and, Criminal Possession of a Weapon.  She was arraigned in Brocton Village Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $30,000 bail. 
 
City man arrested for allegedly being found in possession of stolen hand-gun...
A Buffalo man arrested earlier this month for allegedly trafficking cocaine in the Jamestown-area -- and free on bail -- has been arrested again for allegedly being found in possession of a stolen hand-gun.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol unit tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation on Crescent Street shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday.  Samuelson says the driver quickly stopped and fled on foot... but, adds that 19 year-old Kori Robinson was apprehended following a short foot chase.  He says Robinson allegedly discarded a gun during the chase... and, officers found the loaded, 9-mm. gun... which was reported stolen during a burglary in Jamestown last October.  Samuelson says Robinson was arrested on charged including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal possession of stolen property.  He's in the county jail without bail.  It's the third arrest in the past few weeks for alleged criminal possession of a weapon in the wake of a rash of recent shooting incidents in the city.
 
 
City man sentenced in connection with DWI fatal accident in Carroll last December...
A Jamestown man who was involved in a fatal crash last December has been sentenced in Chautauqua County Court to a year-and-a-half in jail.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson has announced that 37-year-old John Hillman was sentenced by Supreme Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek on two counts to a definite sentence of one year in the County Jail and to a definite sentence of six months in the County Jail.  They will be served consecutively for a total of 18 months he Hillman was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.  Swanson says he was satisfied with the sentence.  He says 39-year-old Chalise Hebner of Pittsfield, Pa. died in the crash on Ivory Road in the town of Carroll.  He says quite often, drivers involved in DWI related fatalities don't have a criminal history.  Swanson says, though, such actions can completely change the life of the driver... and, the family of the victim. 
 
 
Jamestown celebrates local Post Office's 200th Anniversary...
The first Jamestown post office opened on Dec. 30, 1816... and a special ceremony was held Friday at the Fenton History Center to commemorate the event.  Current Mayor Sam Teresi told the audience getting a post office 200 years ago put Jamestown on the map... led by the first postmaster, and founder of Jamestown, James Prendergast.  The 36th postmaster, Eugene Oyer, currently holds the position.  Oyer says the 200th Anniversary is an exciting time for the Jamestown office.  Norm Carlson, the Fenton's Collections Manager, noted that the post office much more primitive in 1816.  Carlson says there were no stamps... envelopes... nor home delivery.  A special 'hand cancellation' featuring Jamestown's 'old' post office on West Third Street was created for the celebration.  It'll be available, by request, for the next 90 days at the downtown post office on East Third Street.  In addition... Oyer told the audience at the Fenton the local post office handled 200-thousand parcels over the last four weeks, about five times the usual volume.  
 
 
New York City ready for New Year's Eve Ball Drop...
Maybe a million revelers are expected to navigate through high security in the blocks around New York City's Times Square to cheer on the new year with entertainers including Mariah Carey.  The annual minute-long midnight descent of the famed glittering crystal ball is the highlight of a celebration watched around the world.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch the ball with a press of a button.  Security has gradually been tightened for the event over the last two decades.  Recent deadly truck attacks in Germany and France brought about another security upgrade this year.  Dozens of 20-ton sanitation trucks weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand will block off streets leading to the celebration zone.  About 7,000 police officers will be there, too.
 
 

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News Headlines for Fri., Dec. 30, 2016

Three arrested for allegedly being found with nearly 25-pounds of pot, 1/2 pound of "Crystal Meth" in Jamestown...
Three men are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking large quantities of marijuana and Crystal Methamphetime in the city of Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the three suspects were arrested at different locations about 10 a.m. Wednesday.  Samuelson says raids by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force occured at 22 Spring Street Ext., 20 West Third St., and, 129 Fulton St.  Samuelson says they found nearly 25 pounts of pot... and, half a pound of Crystal Meth.  He says Meth is becoming more and more of a problem in the city, and they're trying to keep up the "the best we can."  At Spring Street... Samuelson says police found about a pound of pot, and half-a-pound of Meth.  Samuelson says, though, they seized about 23-and-a-half pounds of marijuana at 20 West Third... and, 129 Fulton.  The three men arrested... Jamell Trapp... Luis Antonio DeLeon-Lopez... and, Raymond Jiminez-Valentin -- all 25 years of age -- face Felony charges.  They were arraigned in city court, and sent to the county jail.  Anyone with information on alleged drug trafficking in the city is asked to call the JPD Tips 4-1-1 App anonymously... or you can call the department's Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 
 
Head of Mental Health Association applauds Cuomo's announcement of new health insurance rules to help people with Heroin or opioid addictions...
One of the key people on the "front-lines" of the battle against the Jamestown-area's Heroin and Opioid drug addiction crisis says he's pleased to see a new law taking effect on New Year's Day.  Director Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County says the new rules are intended to make it harder for health insurers to deny coverage for inpatient addiction treatment and medications used to fight addiction.  Governor Cuomo signed the measure into law earlier this year.  Huber is praising both Cuomo, and the state legislature... adding that Cuomo has been a "huge friend" in trying to get detox, and longer term rehabilitation in place.  Late Wednesday... Cuomo announced the changes were "landmark reforms" that would remove barriers to care.  Huber says the insurance issue has been a big one in getting people into short, and long-term rehabilitation.  Cuomo says the new rules are part of a broader effort by the state to address heroin and opioid addiction.  Other initiatives include expanded treatment services and tighter limits on first-time opioid prescriptions.
 
 
Huber again voices need for long-term drug rehab in Chautauqua County...
The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County is restating the need for a long-term treatment center locally to deal with the Heroin and Opioid Addiction issue.  Rick Huber says the numbers of people his treatment coaches are dealing with continue to climb.  Huber says that's why the state's move to supporting longer-term treatment is critical.  He says insurance companies are going to want addicts in long-term treatment because it's cost effective, because if they only support 28-day programs, it's going to become a "revolving door" of treatment.  Huber says... while the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is getting three more social workers to help with the county's case-load it's not enough.  He says -- in his opinion -- there needs to be a "re-allocation" of money to deal with the long-term consequences of addiction.  While the county is doing more to address the problem in the new year... Huber says it's like "taking an eye-dropper to a 40,000 acre forest fire."
 
 
Lt. Gov. in Dunkirk for major announcement at Fieldbrook Foods...
New York's number-two in command brought some very good economic development news to the area during a visit to Dunkirk yesterday afternoon.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by local, county and state elected officials to announce a $4-million expansion at Fieldbrook Foods Corporation.  Back in August... she says they announced that there would be another 50 jobs added.  However, there will be another 60 added to that.  She adds there is also anticipation of even more jobs being created.  The expansion will add two new production lines to manufacture specialty ice cream products.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is pleased with the announcement... saying that he was proud to be a part of helping the ice cream maker expand.  Rosas thanked all those involved with the effort.  Hochul says the project is being assisted by $400,000 in Excelsior tax credits from Empire State Development.  The company will add the 61 full-time jobs and retain 586 full-time jobs with the expansion.  Fieldbrook Foods Chief Executive Officer Bob Charleston hosted the event held at the plant at One Ice Cream Drive. 
 
 
Becker reflects on three decades at Chautauqua Institution...
After 32 years at Chautauqua... 13 as president... Tom Becker will leave the institution at the end of December.  Becker announced his departure almost a year ago, and says for him... and his wife... it's the right decision.  Bekcer says it's also good timing for Chautauqua.  One of the things the outgoing president says he will miss is the collaborative connections he's had with other members of Chautauqua's senior staff... whom he says are "like family" to him.  Much of Becker's tenure as president has been dedicated to the strengthening of Chautauqua's summer program... and its facilities, culminating in the building of the new Amphitheater.  The new president of Chautauqua, taking office Jan. 1 is Michael Hill.  Hill is in his early 40's, and most recently was president of Youth for Understanding USA, a student exchange program headquartered in Washington, DC.
 
 
Paladino called on to resign from Buffalo School Board, to face possible removal...
The co-chairman of Republican Donald Trump's New York presidential campaign who publicly insulted President Obama and his wife is being asked to resign from a local school board.  Millionaire developer Carl Paladino told a Buffalo alternative newspaper last week he wanted to see Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa.  He now says the comments weren't meant for publication but were nevertheless "inappropriate."  The board passed a resolution calling for Paladino to resign within 24 hours... or face the board's effort to have the state education commissioner remove him. 
 
 

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News Headlines for Thurs., Dec. 29, 2016

**(New)Three arrested for alleged marijuana and crystal meth possession....
Jamestown police have arrested three people for allegedly trafficking a large amount of marijuana and a small amount of crystal methamphetime.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the three were arrested at 22 Spring St. Extension, 20 West Third St., and 129 Fulton Street.  Samuelson says the three were allegedly found with about 25 pounds of pot, and half-a-pound of meth.  More on this story later.
 
 
Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect now for Chautauqua County...
The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning that's underway now, and continues until 10 p.m. Friday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties.  Meteorologist Jeff Wood in Buffalo says the lake effect snow will kick in later in the day and will target mainly the higher elevations.  Wood says the main event will be tonight after a cold front passes over Lake Erie, producing the necessary conditions for Lake Effect.  Wood says storm totals of 7 to 16 inches are possible in the most persistent lake effect snows, mainly over the Chautauqua Ridge.  He says there should only be about 3 to 6 inches along the Lake Erie shoreline.
 
 
One car, rollover crash send two to north county hospital...
A South Dayton woman and her young passenger were hurt when the car they were riding in yesterday morning went off a Chautauqua County road and overturned several times.  Sheriff's deputies say 39 year-old Patricia Shear of Bartlett Hill Road was eastbound on Prospect Road in the town of Hanover about 8 AM.  Officers say Shear's car slid on black ice, and went off the road before rolling over.  She and her passenger... an unidentified 14 year-old boy... were both taken to Brooks Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of their injuries.  No charges were filed.
 
 
Huber pleased to see NYS health insurer's have to pay for Heroin, Opioid Addiction services...
The head of a local agency that's been on the front-line of the battle against the area's Heroin and Opioid drug addiction crisis is pleased to see a new law taking effect on New Year's Day.  The rules are intended to make it harder for health insurers to deny coverage for inpatient addiction treatment and medications used to fight addiction.  Governor Cuomo signed the measure into law earlier this year.  The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, is praising the governor and legislature for their action because it's been "so need for so long."  Cuomo late yesterday... said the changes were "landmark reforms" that would remove barriers to care.  Huber says the insurance issue has been a big one in getting people into short, and long-term rehabilitation.  Cuomo says the new rules are part of a broader effort by the state to address heroin and opioid addiction.  Other initiatives include expanded treatment services and tighter limits on first-time opioid prescriptions.
 
 
Reed says he and Collins having some influence over Trump transition appointments...
The Western New York region will have unprecidented influence on determining who is, and will be part of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.  That's because local Congressman Tom Reed, and Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins, are involved as members of Trump's transition team... with Collins being on the executive committee.  Reed was also Trump's campaign co-chairman in New York state.  He says Collins' has been more "out-front" in what he's done... while Reed has been more behind the scenes....and, believes it bodes "very well" for the region.  Another area where Reed and Collins could wield some influence is over the appointment of U-S Attorneys... and, federal judges.  He says there will have to be a replacement for retired U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior here in western New York.  Typically... the state's U-S Senators have made recommendations to the president -- if they are from the same party.  But, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are Democrats. 
 
 
Paladino apologizes for inflamatory comments about the Obama's...
A businessman who co-chaired the Trump campaign New York state says his recent derogatory statements about President Barack Obama and his wife weren't meant for publication but were nevertheless "inappropriate" and a "mistake."  In a statement first reported on WBEN in Buffalo... Carl Paladino said he intended his email response to a weekly alternative publication's survey to only go to a couple friends, not the newspaper itself.  He says he mistakenly hit "reply" on his computer instead of "forward."  The millionaire developer told Artvoice last week that he hoped President Obama would die from mad cow disease... and, that Michelle Obama would "return to being a male."  Paladino is a member of the school board in Buffalo.
 
 
Gasoline prices up 2-cents a gallon this week...
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are up by about two-cents a gallon this week to just under $2.46.  That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge Report.... which says retail average prices have gone up for 28 of the past 30 days.  Last week's price was just under $2.44.  Nationally...  the average price for regular, unleaded is $2.29 a gallon, which is five cents more than one week ago.  That's also 16 cents more than one month ago and 29 cents more year-over-year.   Most U.S. drivers are expected to pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Some strong wind gusts overnight Tuesday caused some scattered power outages across portions of the Lake Erie shoreline area.  Meantime... there is now a Lake Effect Snow Watch for Chautauqua County beginning Thursday night through Friday night.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it got quite gusty along the lake. A 49 mile an hour wind gust was reported overnight at the Dunkirk Airport and a 45 MPH gust at the Dunkirk Lighthouse.  Hitchcock says more December-like weather is expected this week, with brief shot of arctic air later in the week.  He says we're "back to reality today" with temperatures back in the low to mid-30s.  We'll see colder air and some general and lake effect snow Thursday night and Friday.  Hitchcock says it's still too early to tell about snowfall amounts, although the snow is expected to be mainly across the Chautauqua Ridge this time around.

 

A Falconer man arrested in Jamestown recently in connection with an domestic incident has been arrested again for allegedly burglarizing a home on the southside.  City police were called to the scene at 38 Barrows Street shortly before 5 PM Monday... and were told that 41 year-old James Houser had entered the home -- violating an order of protection.  Officers say Houser was also supposed to stay away from the female victim.  He was arrested without incident a short distance away from the house.  Houser is charged with one count of second-degree burglary... and, two counts of second-degree criminal contempt.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested on a warrant for allegedly running a methamphetime lab in the city.  Sheriff's officers say they executed the arrest warrant for 22 year-old Alexander Jankowiak of Sampson Street at his home shortly before 4:30 PM Monday.  Deputies say they arrested Jankowiak without incident on one count of third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime.  He was arraigned, and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

 

Jamestown city lawmakers will further review proposed fees that have been increased -- or be new in 2017 -- for local sports teams using city parks.  That after the City Council tabled action on the changes before the panel's year-end meeting.  Acting Council President Tony Dolce says there is no great urgency to approving them in place right now. Councilwoman Kim Ecklund... who is an official with the local Babe Ruth World Series Committee... first expressed concern after seeing the fee for hosting a world series would be one-thousand dollars.   Dolce says they want to allow the leagues involved to have time to offer input on the proposals.  He says City Comptroller Joe Bellitto told them this would have little immediate impact on the 2017 budget.  Dolce adds that most of the leagues involved don't start until next Spring... so that will give them time to make whatever changes they feel need to be.  City officials say they're trying to cover their costs for getting the parks ready and maintained.

 

It's now official:  The village of Sherman will remain going forward after the Chautauqua County Board of Elections opened absentee ballots from the December 20th dissolution vote.  Election's Commissioner Norm Green says the final vote was 117 votes in favor of keeping the village... while 115 voted to dissolve the government.  Green says 232 of the 472 registered voters in Sherman voted.  He says the final certified result is also available for public viewing at Votechautauqua-dot-COM.

 

A change in the leadership of the County Legislature will be coming next month.  Ashville-area Republican Frank "Jay" Gould will not seek re-election as chairman, although he will remain in the legislature.  Gould received a commendation from the legislature at last week's meeting, the final session for the year.  He praised the work of the last two legislatures. County Executive Vince Horrigan thanked Gould for his work as chairman for the last five years... and, his efforts to "get things done."  Horrigan says he believes that's the key to good government.  County legislators will elect their next chair when they hold their reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd. 

 

The annual Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army of Jamestown will be 20-thousand to 25-thousand dollars short of it's goal.  However... the campaign will be left "open" through the end of the year to make up as much of that gap as possible.  That from Salvation Army Captain Kim Merchant... who says their final count as of Christmas Eve night was between 91-thousand and 96-thousand dollars.  Merchant tells our Dennis Webster that... while the Red Kettles aren't out... they are still accepting donations for the program. This year's goal for the Jamestown chapter is 116-thousand dollars.  Merchant says they're looking for 20 to 25-dollars donations... which she says add up quickly.  She adds someone writing a big check has happened in the past... but, that happens only rarely.  Merchant says you can make checks out to "The Salvation Army..." and put "Red Kettle Campaign" in the memo area.  Checks should be sent before the end of the week to The Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, Jamestown.  For more information... call 664-4108.

 

 


News Headlines for Mon., Dec. 26, 2016

Church on Jamestown's eastside destroyed by overnight fire...
An overnight fire has destroyed a church on Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says fire crews were called to the scene at the First Church of God at 291 Falconer St. about 2 this morning... and, found heavy fire at the back of the structure.  Salemme says there was heavy smoke and fire at the back of the building.  Salemme says firefighters were unable to get inside the structure due to the intense heat... and, the roof had collapsed.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to get the flames under control.  Crews were at the scene for several hours.  An off-duty shift was called in.  No one was inside when the blaze broke out... and, no firefighters were hurt.  The cause is under investigation.
 
 
City police chief discusses crime issues on northside with proposed development...
While it appears to be a good project... some Jamestown residents are concerned over whether a proposed housing development on the northside may end up attracting more crime to that area.  Some of the residents on had for the City Council's year-end voting session expressed such concerns for the people who would be living in the Jackson-Spring development.  City Police Chief Harry Snellings says the four most recent shooting incidents are related to the one in which a Buffalo man was killed on Thanksgiving morning.  Snellings called them a "very unique situation..." adding that all of those shootings were "targeted."  He adds they were completely unrelated to the Keith Robbins murder case in which Robbins was charged with murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife, Sheri, in early November.  Snellings says with one of the "targeted" shootings on Prendergast Avenue... it remains a "high-crime" corridor area that also includes Spring Street.   But... Snellings says Spring Street -- specifically -- is not a high-crime area.  City police are still looking for the suspect or suspects involved with the Thanksgiving morning incident at 129 South Main St.
 
 
Officials with UMPC-Hamot, and UPMC Chautauqua WCA discuss WCA-UPMC merger...
WCA Hospital's recent merger with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was a logical progression from the five-year strategic partnership the two has previously.  That from the president and Chief Executive Officer of the new, UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital, Betsy Wright.  Wright says their initial affiliation began nearly 5 years ago.. and, she says the partnership and merger has already provided a lot of help with recruiting new doctors.  She says that led to obtaining the services of ENT Doctor Mark Steele.  On this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program... we also spoke with UPMC Hamot President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Fiorenzo about what to expect with the new agreement.  Hamot went throught it's merger in 2011.  Fiorenzo says there have been many benefits... including expanded resources.  He says new programs and services -- such as new Cancer treatments -- are another plus they have seen at UPMC Hamot.  WCA Hospital first signed it's Strategic Affiliation Agreement with UPMC in August of 2012. 
 
 
It's looking less likely there will be a Special State Legislative session...
Talk of a special holiday session focused on a possible pay hike for state legislature members has sputtered in recent days.  State Senate Leader John Flanagan said late Friday night that talks between lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have not "borne fruit."  Many lawmakers had hoped to return this month to increase their $79,000 dollar salary.   They must do so by December 31st, for the raise to take effect in 2017.  Lawmakers were also expected to consider funding for hate crimes investigations, government ethics reforms and a proposal to allow Uber to expand upstate. 
 
 
Reed looks back on 2016, an health bill to help with Opioid Crisis...
The County's Congressman says he is proud of the work he and his staff were able to complete in 2016 and he's looking forward to 2017.  Tom Reed spent some time reflecting on the past year during a conference call with area media this past week.  Among the highlights... Reed says they were able to leverage a lot of money to deal with the opioid addiction problem in the latest "continuing resolution" to fund the government.  He says some $500-million dollars to help people in dealing with the opioid crisis.  Locally... Reed says he is pleased that the NRG repowering project is moving in the right direction.  He says there were a number of "ups and downs..." but, he says he will remain a "strong voice" in the new year to make sure the project stays on track now.  Entergy Corporation recently withdrew it's lawsuit against the state that put the project in limbo. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Most of the funding is coming together... but, the new National Comedy Center in downtown Jamestown will not be ready for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  After breaking ground on the project on West Second Street during the festival in August of 2015... officials said they hoped the project would be completed in time for the 2017 festival.  However... Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the date has been pushed back.  Gunderson spoke following this week's announcement that Jim Gaffigan will be headlining next year's festival.
Gunderson recently told us that she was "hopeful" about a Spring of 2018 opening.  Ideally... she says it would be best to open in the Spring once nice weather arrives in the area.  She says they are working right now to get a small amount of "gap funding" for the 50-million dollar endeavor.  Gunderson says they are seeking 2-million dollars of that from the city's 10-million dollar, Downtown Revitalization Initative grant from the state.  She says they have "the lion's share of funding" in place for the comedy center.  Work on the project is underway.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to flee from police who were trying to arrest him on a Felony warrant Wednesday morning.  Jamestown police say officers on patrol spotted 23 year-old Cody DiDomenico near 207 Foote Avenue... but, add he ran into UPMC Chautauqua-WCA when confronted.  Police say DiDomenico led officers on a brief foot chase inside the hospital before he was taken into custody.  Officers say that... in addition to the warrant... he is charged with resisting arrest.  DiDomenico was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of items from a store in the Warren Mall near Warren, Pennsylvania Wednesday.  Sheriff's officers say they were contacted by Warren County authorities about the shoplifting of more than 13-hundred dollars worth of merchandise from The Bon-Ton in the Mall.  Police say the vehicle was traveling north on Route 62 towards the Jamestown area.  Deputies say they located the car in the CVS parking lot in Brooklyn Square in the city... and, arrested 42 year-old Miguel Soto and 29 year-old Kelly Sherlock -- both of 601 Lafayette Street... about 12 Noon.  Officers say both were arraigned on one count each of Felony criminal possession of stolen property... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  More charges are pending.

 

The new labor agreements and 20-year retirement plans approved at the Chautauqua County Legislature meeting this past Wednesday night should benefit both taxpayers and the Sheriff's Office.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who is pleased that county lawmakers approved the agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association.  Gerace says it will not only benefit current deputies and supervisors, but it will also help with recruitment efforts. Gerace adds, though, that there is a downside... and, that's a "little bit of a brain-drain" as deputies and other department leaders retire... and, take that experience with them.  But, overall... Gerace says he's pleased with the outcome.  He says it’s rare to see the county benefit economically from such a labor agreement.  

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer has once again completed his tour of all of New York state's counties.  The Democrat visited the Columbia County city of Hudson on Wednesday, the final leg of this year's 62-county tour.  Schumer has visited each county in the state at least once for 18th straight years.  This year Schumer's travels took him to Long Island 47 times, Rochester and the Finger Lakes 26 times, the Hudson Valley 27 times and western New York 19 times.  He says he keeps the tradition going because the visits teach him so much about the state he serves - and because he enjoys it.  Schumer isn't giving up on the tour now that he is serving as Senate minority leader.  He plans to start his next 62-county tour in January.

 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is offering extended hours at its Customer Service Office during a previously scheduled closed holiday period.  According to BPU Spokesperson Christy Cuifilo (Shoe-fuh-low)... limited service at the Customer Service area at 92 Steele Street will be offered from 12-to-4 PM on Monday, January 2nd.  Payments and simple account assistance will be available.  Christy Cuifilo says -- as always -- in the case of any Jamestown BPU utility trouble outside regular business hours, customers may call the emergency number at 661-1640.  The BPU will also be closed for the holiday today... and, on Monday, December 26th for Christmas.  They will also be closed on Friday, December 30th, for New Year's.

 

A Pennsylvania man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old runaway and giving her drugs has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.  The Erie Times-News reports  Devonne Jordan was sentenced on Tuesday.  He must also register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.  The 32-year-old Corry man had pleaded guilty in October to statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors.  Police say Jordan picked the girl up after she ran away from home in May.  They say he took her to an Erie residence, sexually assaulted her and gave her alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.


 

 


WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved two tentative labor contracts during their final meeting of 2016 in Mayville last night.  Legislators gave their backing to proposed agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association by 12-7 votes.  They also approved proposals providing a 20-year retirement plan for both unions, also by 12-7 votes.  County Executive Vince Horrigan was pleased with the outcome and says it should provide savings to county taxpayers. While a number of legislators spoke in favor of the new contracts and the 20-year retirement plans for the two bargaining units, Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzarro has concerns. In other action, legislators approved the appointment of Kitty Crow as the county's new Finance Director 19-0.  Wednesday night's meeting marked the final meeting for Jay Gould as Legislature Chairman.  Gould, who will remain in the legislature, received a special commendation from lawmakers for his years of service as chairman.

 

A Gowanda Man is dead following an early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda.  The Gowanda Police report that an unidentified 56 year old man suffered second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body.  Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM.  The 56 year-old man, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started.  Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor.  He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center.  The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke.  Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments.  The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause. 

 

An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation.  The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century."  He says it was later transformed into an elegant residential street.  The effort is being undertaken by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  We have a call into JRC Executive Director Greg Lindquist... but, have not heard back from him.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy tells us the designation would be another "very good tool for rehabilitation and restoration" in that part of the city.  Getting on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.

 

A need for nice, clean and affordable housing is the reason a local not-for-profit organization is proposing a new development on Jamestown's northside.  That from Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality Executive Director Pat Morris to City Council this week during public comment on the 12-million dollar Jackson Spring Housing project.  Morris was asked to speak when several questions and issues were raised about the proposal.  He says the housing would be modeled after CODE's successful Euclid Gardens -- also on the northside. Morris says Jackson Spring would be located just south of Euclid Gardens... and, between North Main and Spring Streets.  He says CODE conducted it's search in line with what city officials had laid out in the new Neigborhood Revitalization Plan.  He says they hope to serve two purposes.  One is to provide housing for the people in the city that need it, and he says many are living without full complete plumbing and kitchens.  The other is they are tearing down eight dilapitated homes in that part of town.  Morris says roughly half of the city's residents would be eligible to rent at Jackson Spring. Several people spoke at Monday's night's council voting session in favor of the Jackson-Spring proposal... while a few others spoke against it.  Some of the concern was voiced for the people who would rent housing there because they could be vulnerable to crime issues seen in that part of the city.

 

Authorities say a teenage boy being arraigned on a trespassing charge in a Cattaraugus County town courtroom managed to break free from a state trooper while handcuffed, get ahold of the trooper's handgun and fire off a shot.  State police say no one was injured during the incident Tuesday afternoon in the town of Machias.  Police say 17-year-old Gavin Haynes of Machias was cuffed behind his back when he broke free from the trooper's grip and ran.  The trooper tackled him to the ground, but officials say the trooper's sidearm was dislodged from its holster. Troopers say Haynes grabbed it and fired once into a snowbank.  He's now facing other charges. Haynes is being held in jail without bail.  His public defender wasn't available for comment.

 

An early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda has left a  man with second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body.  Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM.  The 56 year-old man, whose name has not been released, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started.  Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor.  He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center.  The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke.  Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments.  The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause. 

 

Landing big named comedian Jim Gaffigan is another feather in the hat of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, one official's worked at for some time.  That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says Gaffigan is one of her favorites... and, a name they had been trying to get for a Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for several years now. Gunderson says they expect to add more comedic stars to the August Weekend as we enter the new year.  Gaffigan will appear at the Northwest Arena on August 3rd.  In addition... she says the Comedy Center is teaming up with Chauauqua Institution to put on a special week during the 2017 season.  Gunderson says Week-Six on "Comedy and the Human Condition" will be featured from July 29th through August 5th.  She says Lewis Black... who was in Jamestown for last year's festival... will be the featured speaker on that Monday, July 29th.

 

Federal authorities allege that a former official at the pension fund for New York state public employees took bribes that included prostitutes, strippers, cocaine and a 17-thousand dollar wristwatch.  An indictment issued Wednesday accuses Navnoor Kang of accepting bribes totaling about 100-thousand dollars in exchange for steering millions of dollars in business to two brokerage firms.  It says other bribes included travel; a ski trip; and tickets to Broadway shows, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and a Paul McCartney concert.  Kang's attorney declined to comment.  The state comptroller's office, which administers the fund, had no immediate comment.  The pension fund serves more than one-million retirees and other beneficiaries.


 


 


News Headlines for Thurs., Dec. 22, 2016

County lawmakers approve new labor contracts for Sheriff's deputies and supervisors....
The Chautauqua County Legislature approved two tentative labor contracts during it's final meeting of 2016 in Mayville last night.  Lawmakers gave their backing to proposed agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association by 12-to-7 votes.  They also approved proposals providing a 20-year retirement plan for both unions... also by 12-7 votes.  County Executive Vince Horrigan was pleased with the outcome and says it should provide savings to county taxpayers.  Horrigan says they looked at higher-deductable insurance, and lower wage increases.  He says they also found a 20-year retirement plan would "create additional savings."  While a number of legislators spoke in favor of the new contracts and the 20-year retirement plans for the two bargaining units, Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzarro has concerns over the length of the contracts.  Nazzaro adds that while there are savings with "high-deductable" health care plans... premiums still increase.  In other action, legislators approved the appointment of Kitty Crow as the county's new Finance Director 19-to-0.  Wednesday night's meeting marked the final meeting for Jay Gould as Legislature Chairman.  Gould... who still has a year on his term... received a special commendation from lawmakers for his years of service as chairman.
 
 
Man severely burned in Gowanda apartment fire dies...
A Gowanda man has died after being seriously burned early yesterday morning in an apartment house fire in the village of Gowanda.  Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the blaze at 23 West Main St. around 1 a.m. Wednesday.  Officials say the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started.  Police say he suffered second-degree burns over 80-percent of his body.  Officers and a Perrysburg firefighter found the victim laying face down on the floor.  He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment.  The apartment was extensively damaged.  Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by the Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments.  The cause is under investigation.
 
 
Morris further explains Jackson-Spring proposal, and reason behind decision on site...
An on-going need for clean, nice and affordable housing in the city of Jamestown is the reason a local not-for-profit organization is proposing a new development on the northside.  Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality Executive Director Pat Morris told that to city lawmakers at this week's council meeting during public comment on the $12-million Jackson Spring Housing project.  Morris was asked to speak when several questions and issues were raised about the proposal.  He says most Jamestown residents would be eligible to live there.  Morris says -- looking at the city's population -- more than 50-percent of the people living in Jamestown would be eligible to live in the apartments.  He says the housing would be modeled after CODE's successful Euclid Garden's -- also on the northside.  He says the apartments aren't necessarily for senior citizens, though they are welcome.  There would also be housing for people with disabilities.  The Jackson Spring development would be located just south of Euclid Gardens... and, between North Main and Spring Streets.  He says CODE conducted it's search in line with what city officials had laid out in the new Neigborhood Revitalization Plan.  He says they hope to house people who need it... and, adds they are tearing down eight dilapitated homes in that area. 
----
Several people spoke at this past Monday's night's council voting session in favor of the Jackson-Spring proposal.  However... a few others spoke against it citing concerns mainly regarding crimin in the area.
 
 
Jamestown street among nominees for state and national Historic Place designation...
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation.  The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century."  Landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
 
 
Outcome of Sherman Dissolution vote comes down to absentees...
We'll have to wait until the Tuesday after Christmas to find out the final results of the dissolution vote in the village of Sherman.  The Chautauqua County Board of Elections reports that a total of 226 votes were cast during Tuesday's vote... in which 112 voted yes... 114 no.  However... there are nine absentee ballots that were issued with six being returned as of Tuesday.  Two affidavit ballots were also issued.  The absentee and affidavit ballots will be counted next Tuesday, December 27th at 11 AM.  The board is expected to certify the election later the same day.  
 
 
 

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News Headlines for Wed., Dec. 21, 2016

Gaffigan will be headliner at Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...
Another well-known stand-up comedian will be headlining next Summer's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown.  National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson announced Tuesday afternoon that Jim Gaffigan will be delivering his "unique brand" of humor during the three-day festival on Aug. 3 at the Northwest Arena.  Gunderson says they are "thrilled" to have landed one of the "greatest comedic voices of all-time" to this year's line-up.  She says he's most well-known for his TV show, "The Jim Gaffigan Show," which features him raising his five children in New York City.  Gaffigan's performance will be among those starting the annual comedy festival... which will run Aug. 3-6.  Gunderson says he's a "multi-platinum selling artist..." and, he performed before one-million people prior to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia.  She adds he's also one of just 10 comedians who have sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.  Gunder says tickets go on sale to Comedy Center members and sponsor next Jan. 19... while tickets go on sales to the public on Jan. 26.  For more information... go on-line to LucyComedyFest.com... or call 484-0800.
 
 
Gunderson says NCC had been trying to land Gaffigan for many years...
Landing big named comedian Jim Gaffigan is another feather in the hat of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, one officials worked at for some time.  That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says Gaffigan is one of her favorites... and, a name they had been trying to get for a Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for several years now... but, says the "stars hadn't aligned until now."  Gunderson says he joins a list that includes Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Joan Rivers who have appeared in Jamestown for the festival... and, lended their support to the comedy center.  Gunderson says they expect to add more comedic stars to the August Weekend as we enter the new year.  In addition... she says the Comedy Center is teaming up with Chauauqua Institution to put on a special week during the 2017 season.  Gunderson says the Comedy Center will have more information soon on the Week Six topic "Comedy and the Human Condition."  She says comedian Lewis Black, who has appeared in Jamestown, as well, will kick off Week Six will take place at the Chautauqua Amphitheater July 29-Aug. 5.  
 
 
Jamestown BPU approves Electric and Water Division budgets -- Water to see 2.5-percent rate hike...
The two largest budgets for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are now in place... but, the head of the utility says they'll be staying on top of what happens in 2017.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the Electric and Water Division spending plans were adopted by the board Monday.  Leathers says the Electric budget was approved with no rate increase... and, says they had some challenges from 2016 to overcome to prevent a requested increase.  He says the warmer than normal temperatures cut into revenues because less electricity was used during those months.  Leathers says those lower revenues were due mainly to a warmer than normal Winter in 2015-16.  As for the Water budget... he says it includes a 2.5-percent rate increase.  Regarding the Water Division... he says the $5.5-million budget includes several cost increases... including administration and general expenses  Leathers says those increases are about $112,000.  Back to the Electric budget... it totals just over $40-million dollars... and, includes an increase of $960,000 in production expenses.
 
 
Dolce commends residents for asking "valid questions" about Jackson Spring project...
Jamestown residents and others are asking "valid questions" and have strong passions both ways regarding a proposed housing development on the city's northside.  That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce following Monday night's year-end voting session regarding the Jackson Spring Housing development.  Several members of the public spoke on the proposal.  Dolce says he understands the concerns voiced, given the recent rash of shootings that have occured.  He says those concerns are being made "justifiably so."  Some members of the public urged city lawmakers to wield whatever influence they may have over the nearly $12-million project.  However... Dolce says the project will not come before them.  He says the city's Planning Commission would have to approve a site plan... but, they don't vote over whether they "want it or not."  He says it has to be whether the project fits the zoning, and other requirements.  Dolce says residents who feel strongly one way or the other should probably contact the state Housing agency involved.  Initial plans were not approved for funding.  The project is being developed by NRP of Buffalo... and, locally by Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality.
 
 
Gas prices up this week to almost $2.44 a gallon...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have increased about  four-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now just under $2.44 per gallon.  Last week... the price was $2.39 a gallon.  Nationally... pump prices have risen for 20 of the past 21 days, rising a total of 11-cents during this span.  The national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline now sits at $2.24 a gallon, which is the highest mark since October.  Today’s average is three cents more than one week ago, nine cents more compared to one month ago and 24 cents more than the same date last year.
 
 
Cuomo announces 26 nominations for Historic Place designations, including Lakeview Ave. in Jamestown...
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation.  The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century."  He says it was later transformed into an elegant residential street.  Also nominated was the Woodstock Music Festival site in rural Sullivan County, where some 400,000 fans gathered on rolling farmland for three days of rock music in August of 1969.  Landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
 

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**News Alert**

The National Comedy Center has announced that stand-up comedian, Jim Gaffigan, will be delivering his unique brand of humor during the 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. His national tour will visit Jamestown, NY for a performance at the Northwest Arena on Thursday, August 3. Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Last year, Gaffigan became one of only ten comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden and few months prior, Gaffigan had the honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. Additionally, streaming site Pandora recently announced that Jim is the most popular comic among its users with over 647 million spins to date. Tickets for this show will go on-sale January 26. Members of the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum will be able to participate in an exclusive pre-sale period beginning January 19. Additional information, tickets, and membership options are available at LucyComedyFest.com & 716.484.0800. The 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place August 3-6, 2017.


WJTN News Headlines

A slight majority of the several people who spoke at last night's Jamestown City Council meeting support a new housing development proposed for the northside.  NRP of Buffalo, and Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality, have submitted revised plans to the state to approve the nearly 12-million dollar Jackson Spring Housing project between North Main and Spring Streets.  Spring Street resident Don Payne says he supports CODE, and the project. County Legislatore Dave Wilfong -- who lives in that area -- also supports the plan to construct a 36-unit building, and seven separate townhouses.  However... some residents... including Mike Loren... are concerned about safety -- especially with Love Elementary School being a block away.  Loren believes adding such housing will hurt an already low-cost, low-demand market is not the answer.  Wilfong also pointed out that eight dilapitated homes would be torn-down as part of the project.  He adds that two local agencies in the area... the Southwestern Independent Living Center... and, the Chautauqua County Blind Association... would locate their headquarters at Jackson Spring.

 

City lawmakers did approve a few new fee packages for Jamestown... but, held off on action regarding any increase various fees.  These would mainly be for local sports team organizations -- that use city parks and facilities.  Council members discussed the proposal for several minutes last week... and, raised concerns over whether instituting new fees for the local Babe Ruth Committee to host state and regional tournaments will diminish those efforts.  Acting Council President Tony Dolce says lawmakers will take up those proposals in the new year.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's already looking ahead to 2017.  The Corning Republican is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee... and, the 24 members met last week in Washington to discuss up-coming issues including tax reform and health care. Another key issue Reed says he'll be keeping close watch on will be the new administration's trade agenda.  He believes changes in trade policy could benefit area manufacturers... including Cummins Engine near Jamestown.  He says Cummins has been able to get into new markets... including South Korea.  Reed says we "want to build off those successes."  He spoke about some of his goals during a conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday afternoon. 

 

New York's 29 members of the Electoral College have cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton, who won the state despite losing the presidential race to Republican Donald Trump.  Among the electors gathered Monday in the state Capitol's Senate chambers was former President Bill Clinton... who says he's never been prouder of any vote.  Others in attendance included Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats.  In a rebuke to Trump... the electors agreed to donate their $15 compensation to the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group for immigrants and refugees.  Dozens of protesters gathered outside to oppose the president-elect and to urge electors in other states to vote for Clinton or another candidate, even if their states voted for Trump.

 

Quick response from firefighters in the Mayville-area yesterday morning prevented major damage to a medical office in the village.  Mayville and Chautauqua Fire Departments responded shortly after 8 AM to the blaze at Family Health Medical Services at 95 East Chautauqua Street.  Mayville Fire Chief Ron Trippy says his first assistant chief was among the first on the scene. Trippy says firefighters were able to douse the flames fairly quickly... and, confine the blaze to what was a "rest-room area" of the building.  He adds they looked for further extension, but, fortunately found none.  He says office staff was there... and, everyone got out safely.  Trippy says they used heavy duty fans to clear smoke from the building.  He says they were at the scene about two-hours.  No one was hurt.  Trippy says county fire investigators are looking for the cause... which appears to be accidental.  A portion of Route 430 was closed due to the blaze... but, it re-opened by late morning.

 

Firefighters from five departments battled a fully-involved house fire... which destroyed the structure... in the town of Stockton Sunday afternoon.  County Fire Dispatchers says crews from Stockton, Brocton, Cassadaga, Fredonia and Sinclairville responded to the blaze at 40-90 Bruyer (Brewer) Road around 3:30 PM.  Chautauqua County Emergency Services also assisted at the scene along with county Fire Police.  The flames caused heavy damage to the structure... and, it's been called a total loss.  The house belonged to the Degolier family, which was not home at the time of the blaze.  Some family pets perished in the fire.  No official cause has been determined.
Todd DeGolier and his 10-year-old daughter Morgan lost all of their belongings in the fire including their pets.  Morgan is a cancer survivor and the family's house was recently remodeled by Special Spaces. An account has been set up at Go Fund Me.  

 

The busiest day of the year for the U-S Post Office was yesterday.  Postal Service Spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz in Buffalo told us Monday that post offices across Western New York were very busy... and, she adds time is running out to get that package to a loved one. Mazurkiewicz says they still deliver a lot of letters, but there is a sizable increase in the number of packages being sent across the nation.  She says... normally...it would be the final two weeks before Christmas.  But, she says people shopping on-line early in the season has made this year "outrageous."  In addition... due to the return to Winter weather, Mazurkiewicz is reminding residents to keep paths to and from mail boxes clear of ice and snow.  The U-S Postal Service is anticipating to process about 611 million letters, cards and packages nationwide.

 

An Erie, Pennsylvania man faces a drunk driving charge after his car crashed and rolled over on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 4 PM... and, made contract with the driver, 52 year-old Wayne Sowers, who apparently had only minor injuries.  Sowers signed off with Emergency Medical Service crews.  He was allegedly found to be intoxicated while driving... and, was arrested for DWI, Failure to Keep Right... and, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle.  Sowers was arraigned in Ripley Town Court and sent to the County Jail with bail to be set.

 

 

 


 


 


 

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